Best seven-seat SUVs

    Australia’s Best seven-seat SUVs as ranked by CarExpert

    For many families, bigger is better when it comes to SUVs. And even though there are statistically fewer people having large broods, seven-seat SUVs are seen as a must for many buyers.

    Vehicles with three rows of seats are big business, and the large SUV segment is where you typically find the best examples of the breed – but in this list, we’ve included a couple of slightly smaller options for those who don’t want to feel like they are piloting a school bus.

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    Kia Sorento
    8.0
    Kia Sorento
    $47,650 - $81,080

    Pros: Handsome looks and quality cabin, array of powertrain options, punchy diesel with all-wheel drive

    Cons: Some cheap plastics, busy ride on larger wheels, curtain airbags don’t cover entire third row

    Boot space: 187L/616L/2011L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    The current-generation Kia Sorento has impressed since its introduction in 2020, and the facelifted model for 2024 might change the attractive appearance for a more divisive design, but it remains a quality SUV with a long standard equipment list, bountiful technology and a spacious cabin.

    There is a range of models on offer, all with seven seats, and more expensive versions are properly plush feeling inside, with some features that luxury brands can’t match. Plus there is smart technology, such as a blind-spot view camera system which uses a camera feed to the instrument cluster to show you what you mightn’t otherwise see.

    There are a multitude of powertrain options – in fact, it’s the most comprehensive line-up of engine choices in Australia! – with a base model 200kW/332Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol, a 148kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, a 169kW/350Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid and a 195kW/350Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol plug-in hybrid.

    The V6 petrol is front-wheel drive only, the diesel and PHEV are all-wheel drive only, and the hybrid is available in FWD or AWD.

    Like all Kia models, the Sorento is covered by a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s a seven-year capped-price servicing plan, too.

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    4 Door Wagon
    67 L > 691 to 4188 km
    FWD/AWD
    1350 - 2000 kg Towing Capacity

    Spacious, practical interior

    PHEV is $15,000 more expensive than diesel

    Pros: Handsome looks and quality cabin, array of powertrain options, punchy diesel with all-wheel drive

    Cons: Some cheap plastics, busy ride on larger wheels, curtain airbags don’t cover entire third row

    Boot space: 187L/616L/2011L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    The current-generation Kia Sorento has impressed since its introduction in 2020, and the facelifted model for 2024 might change the attractive appearance for a more divisive design, but it remains a quality SUV with a long standard equipment list, bountiful technology and a spacious cabin.

    There is a range of models on offer, all with seven seats, and more expensive versions are properly plush feeling inside, with some features that luxury brands can’t match. Plus there is smart technology, such as a blind-spot view camera system which uses a camera feed to the instrument cluster to show you what you mightn’t otherwise see.

    There are a multitude of powertrain options – in fact, it’s the most comprehensive line-up of engine choices in Australia! – with a base model 200kW/332Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol, a 148kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, a 169kW/350Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid and a 195kW/350Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol plug-in hybrid.

    The V6 petrol is front-wheel drive only, the diesel and PHEV are all-wheel drive only, and the hybrid is available in FWD or AWD.

    Like all Kia models, the Sorento is covered by a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and there’s a seven-year capped-price servicing plan, too.

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    Hyundai Palisade
    8.5
    Hyundai Palisade
    $66,800 - $80,900

    Pros: Spacious cabin, seven or eight-seat layout, plush on-road manners

    Cons: V6 models are thirsty, not as practical as a people mover, annoying safety tech

    Boot space: 311L/704L (7 or 8-seat/5-seat)

    Hyundai’s largest and most expensive SUV looks like a big American truck, and it is a much larger SUV than many others on this list, with seating available for seven or eight occupants across three rows of seats.

    Buyers can choose if they want the seven-seater (with second-row captain’s chairs) or eight seats (two benches in the back), which sets it apart from many rivals, and could be a decision maker.

    Two engines are offered across three trim levels: a 217kW/355Nm 3.8-litre V6 with front-wheel drive and a 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel with all-wheel drive. Both engines get an eight-speed auto as standard. The next-generation model has been confirmed to receive hybrid power at the expense of the diesel.

    There is an enticingly long list of standard equipment on offer in this large SUV, but the flagship Highlander might be the pick for buyers keen on the best inclusions, such as Nappa leather upholstery, a surround-view camera system, and a blind-spot view monitor camera system (just like the Kia). Just be aware that Palisade has an annoying speed sign recognition system that could be a deal-breaker for some.

    The Palisade is covered by Hyundai Australia’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and the brand offers a lifetime capped-price servicing plan, too.

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    4 Door Wagon
    71 L > 664 to 973 km
    FWD/AWD
    2200 kg Towing Capacity

    Pros: Spacious cabin, seven or eight-seat layout, plush on-road manners

    Cons: V6 models are thirsty, not as practical as a people mover, annoying safety tech

    Boot space: 311L/704L (7 or 8-seat/5-seat)

    Hyundai’s largest and most expensive SUV looks like a big American truck, and it is a much larger SUV than many others on this list, with seating available for seven or eight occupants across three rows of seats.

    Buyers can choose if they want the seven-seater (with second-row captain’s chairs) or eight seats (two benches in the back), which sets it apart from many rivals, and could be a decision maker.

    Two engines are offered across three trim levels: a 217kW/355Nm 3.8-litre V6 with front-wheel drive and a 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel with all-wheel drive. Both engines get an eight-speed auto as standard. The next-generation model has been confirmed to receive hybrid power at the expense of the diesel.

    There is an enticingly long list of standard equipment on offer in this large SUV, but the flagship Highlander might be the pick for buyers keen on the best inclusions, such as Nappa leather upholstery, a surround-view camera system, and a blind-spot view monitor camera system (just like the Kia). Just be aware that Palisade has an annoying speed sign recognition system that could be a deal-breaker for some.

    The Palisade is covered by Hyundai Australia’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, and the brand offers a lifetime capped-price servicing plan, too.

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    Toyota Kluger
    8.3
    Toyota Kluger
    $47,650 - $80,230

    Pros: Efficient hybrid option, comfortable and spacious cabin, new turbo engine option

    Cons: Exterior design looks dated, interior design a little bland, poor tyres on low grades

    Boot space: 241L/552L/1150L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    The Toyota Kluger is a hugely popular SUV for buyers who are looking for a family-friendly three-row model, and it now comes with the choice of a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, or an oomphy turbocharged four-cylinder.

    The Kluger is a US-market focused product (it’s called Highlander there, and in all other markets, in fact) and that means it’s a big, spacious SUV and there’s three trim levels with three drivetrain options – something for everyone.

    The new entry-level engine is a 2.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder, with 198kW/420Nm, and it’s available with front-wheel drive as standard, or optional all-wheel drive, with those versions using an eight-speed auto transmission. The 184kW 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid is AWD only, with a CVT auto.

    The Kluger Hybrid’s combined fuel efficiency claim of 5.6L/100km is class leading, and better than diesel alternatives. The availability of hybrid power across the range is a key selling point, and isn't matched by any of its rivals.

    The turbo-petrol model is markedly more enjoyable to drive than the existing high-revving V6, and it’s more efficient, too, with consumption rated between 8.3L and 8.7L/100km. Just be aware that low-grade models have poor tyres, and in FWD versions it can be sketchy to drive.

    Cheap servicing and a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty are icing on the cake, but you can also get up to seven years powertrain warranty if you maintain your car by the book, while hybrid models have up to 10 years’ battery warranty on offer if hybrid health checks are performed annually.

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    5 Door Wagon
    65 to 68 L > 764 to 1161 km
    AWD/FWD
    2000 kg Towing Capacity

    Pros: Efficient hybrid option, comfortable and spacious cabin, new turbo engine option

    Cons: Exterior design looks dated, interior design a little bland, poor tyres on low grades

    Boot space: 241L/552L/1150L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    The Toyota Kluger is a hugely popular SUV for buyers who are looking for a family-friendly three-row model, and it now comes with the choice of a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, or an oomphy turbocharged four-cylinder.

    The Kluger is a US-market focused product (it’s called Highlander there, and in all other markets, in fact) and that means it’s a big, spacious SUV and there’s three trim levels with three drivetrain options – something for everyone.

    The new entry-level engine is a 2.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder, with 198kW/420Nm, and it’s available with front-wheel drive as standard, or optional all-wheel drive, with those versions using an eight-speed auto transmission. The 184kW 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid is AWD only, with a CVT auto.

    The Kluger Hybrid’s combined fuel efficiency claim of 5.6L/100km is class leading, and better than diesel alternatives. The availability of hybrid power across the range is a key selling point, and isn't matched by any of its rivals.

    The turbo-petrol model is markedly more enjoyable to drive than the existing high-revving V6, and it’s more efficient, too, with consumption rated between 8.3L and 8.7L/100km. Just be aware that low-grade models have poor tyres, and in FWD versions it can be sketchy to drive.

    Cheap servicing and a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty are icing on the cake, but you can also get up to seven years powertrain warranty if you maintain your car by the book, while hybrid models have up to 10 years’ battery warranty on offer if hybrid health checks are performed annually.

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    Ford Everest
    8.3
    Ford Everest
    $53,490 - $77,000

    Pros: Smooth diesel V6 option, comfortable ride, refinement for a body-on-frame SUV

    Cons: Interior fit and finish not perfect, silly gear selector, big premium for 4x4

    Boot space: 259L/898L/1823L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    Ford has a new locally engineered – if not locally built – three-row SUV, and it features a couple of familiar engines.

    The new-gen body-on-frame Ford Everest, like the Ranger it’s based on, packs an available 3.0-litre ‘Lion’ V6 turbo-diesel, an evolution of the engine that was so popular in the Territory. In this adaptation there’s 184kW and 600Nm, and it uses a 10-speed auto with four-wheel drive. You can’t get it in the base grades, though – only Sport, Wildtrak and Platinum have the V6 available.

    There’s also the 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel – the same powertrain that was offered in the last-gen Ranger Raptor! – with strong outputs of 157kW/500Nm. It is available in 4x2 or 4x4, but it’s only sold in the Ambiente, Trend and Sport models.

    The presence of two extra cylinders alone could help shake up this segment, not to mention that – unlike all others on this particular list – it has 3.5 tonne braked towing capacity, and serious off-road ability.

    Ford covers the Everest with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with a low price servicing plan for the first four years/60,000km.

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    4 Door Wagon
    80 L > 941 to 1127 km
    4WD/RWD
    3500 kg Towing Capacity

    Impressive interior technology

    It's expensive range-wide

    Pros: Smooth diesel V6 option, comfortable ride, refinement for a body-on-frame SUV

    Cons: Interior fit and finish not perfect, silly gear selector, big premium for 4x4

    Boot space: 259L/898L/1823L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    Ford has a new locally engineered – if not locally built – three-row SUV, and it features a couple of familiar engines.

    The new-gen body-on-frame Ford Everest, like the Ranger it’s based on, packs an available 3.0-litre ‘Lion’ V6 turbo-diesel, an evolution of the engine that was so popular in the Territory. In this adaptation there’s 184kW and 600Nm, and it uses a 10-speed auto with four-wheel drive. You can’t get it in the base grades, though – only Sport, Wildtrak and Platinum have the V6 available.

    There’s also the 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel – the same powertrain that was offered in the last-gen Ranger Raptor! – with strong outputs of 157kW/500Nm. It is available in 4x2 or 4x4, but it’s only sold in the Ambiente, Trend and Sport models.

    The presence of two extra cylinders alone could help shake up this segment, not to mention that – unlike all others on this particular list – it has 3.5 tonne braked towing capacity, and serious off-road ability.

    Ford covers the Everest with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with a low price servicing plan for the first four years/60,000km.

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    Mazda CX-90
    8.3
    Mazda CX-90
    $74,400 - $100,155

    Pros: Six-cylinder engines, big cabin space, luxury inclusions make it feel properly special

    Cons: Questionable ride quality, low towing capacity for diesel, high prices

    Boot space: 257L/608L/2025L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    Mazda has gone big with the all-new CX-90, which is more sizable than any model the brand has ever sold before, and has bigger pricing than ever before, too.

    It lives up to the asking price with quality and luxury inclusions that set it apart from its predecessor, the also-excellent CX-9. With a focus on the North American market, the CX-90 is big inside, too, with three rows of seats capable of hosting adults, not just kids.

    What sets it apart from models that have come before it, and those on this list, is that it has a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, and a pair of turbocharged straight-six-cylinder engines which makes it feel gutsy, and there’s native 48-volt mild-hybrid technology on all models, too.

    The 3.3L petrol offers 254kW/500Nm, while the 3.3L diesel has 187kW/550Nm. All versions use an in-house developed eight-speed auto transmission, which isn’t without its quirks. There’s a plug-in hybrid model due late in 2024.

    Strangely, the petrol model has slightly better claimed towing capacity or 750kg (unbraked) and 2500kg (braked), while the diesel – typically the choice for those who plan to tow – has 750kg/2000kg maximum capacity.

    Mazda offers a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty on all of its models, and there’s capped-price servicing for the CX-90, but keep in mind that the diesel has shorter (10,000km) service intervals than the petrol (15,000km).

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    4 Door Wagon
    74 L > 902 to 1370 km
    AWD
    2000 - 2500 kg Towing Capacity

    Pros: Six-cylinder engines, big cabin space, luxury inclusions make it feel properly special

    Cons: Questionable ride quality, low towing capacity for diesel, high prices

    Boot space: 257L/608L/2025L (7-seat/5-seat/2-seat)

    Mazda has gone big with the all-new CX-90, which is more sizable than any model the brand has ever sold before, and has bigger pricing than ever before, too.

    It lives up to the asking price with quality and luxury inclusions that set it apart from its predecessor, the also-excellent CX-9. With a focus on the North American market, the CX-90 is big inside, too, with three rows of seats capable of hosting adults, not just kids.

    What sets it apart from models that have come before it, and those on this list, is that it has a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, and a pair of turbocharged straight-six-cylinder engines which makes it feel gutsy, and there’s native 48-volt mild-hybrid technology on all models, too.

    The 3.3L petrol offers 254kW/500Nm, while the 3.3L diesel has 187kW/550Nm. All versions use an in-house developed eight-speed auto transmission, which isn’t without its quirks. There’s a plug-in hybrid model due late in 2024.

    Strangely, the petrol model has slightly better claimed towing capacity or 750kg (unbraked) and 2500kg (braked), while the diesel – typically the choice for those who plan to tow – has 750kg/2000kg maximum capacity.

    Mazda offers a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty on all of its models, and there’s capped-price servicing for the CX-90, but keep in mind that the diesel has shorter (10,000km) service intervals than the petrol (15,000km).

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    Mahindra XUV700
    8.1
    Mahindra XUV700
    $36,990 - $39,990

    Pros: Seven seats as standard, better tech than you’d expect, low price, long warranty

    Cons: No ANCAP rating, ownership is a bit unknown, resale question marks

    Boot space: No figures quoted

    The most affordable seven-seat SUV in Australia isn’t going to be for everyone, but it really does offer a lot of value for money if you’re willing to give this relatively unknown brand from India a chance.

    Better known for its success selling tractors, Mahindra is making a splash with models like the new XUV700 three-row SUV, which offers comparable space to the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail, but with a much lower price point and some impressive standard equipment.

    Indeed, both grades - the $36,990 drive-away AX7 and the $39,990 d/a AX7L - come with alloy wheels, LED lighting, twin 10.25-inch displays and a panoramic sunroof.

    There’s plenty of spec, and decent space on the inside, too, with enough room to fit smaller adults in the third row, if needed. Sadly, Mahindra has not supplied cargo capacity figures, but you can fit a couple of small bags behind the third row seats when they’re in use, or if you fold them down you’ll easily fit a pram and luggage.

    The XUV700 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with 149kW and 380Nm. It has a six-speed auto transmission and is front-wheel drive. The official fuel consumption figure is on the high side, at 8.3L/100km.

    Mahindra offers a seven-year/150,000km warranty for its models, with seven years roadside assist. There’s four years of capped price servicing offered as well, though note that the first service is due at 12 months/10,000km, while all others stretch out to 15,000km.

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    4 Door Wagon
    60 L > 723 to 723 km
    FWD
    1500 kg Towing Capacity

    Pros: Seven seats as standard, better tech than you’d expect, low price, long warranty

    Cons: No ANCAP rating, ownership is a bit unknown, resale question marks

    Boot space: No figures quoted

    The most affordable seven-seat SUV in Australia isn’t going to be for everyone, but it really does offer a lot of value for money if you’re willing to give this relatively unknown brand from India a chance.

    Better known for its success selling tractors, Mahindra is making a splash with models like the new XUV700 three-row SUV, which offers comparable space to the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail, but with a much lower price point and some impressive standard equipment.

    Indeed, both grades - the $36,990 drive-away AX7 and the $39,990 d/a AX7L - come with alloy wheels, LED lighting, twin 10.25-inch displays and a panoramic sunroof.

    There’s plenty of spec, and decent space on the inside, too, with enough room to fit smaller adults in the third row, if needed. Sadly, Mahindra has not supplied cargo capacity figures, but you can fit a couple of small bags behind the third row seats when they’re in use, or if you fold them down you’ll easily fit a pram and luggage.

    The XUV700 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with 149kW and 380Nm. It has a six-speed auto transmission and is front-wheel drive. The official fuel consumption figure is on the high side, at 8.3L/100km.

    Mahindra offers a seven-year/150,000km warranty for its models, with seven years roadside assist. There’s four years of capped price servicing offered as well, though note that the first service is due at 12 months/10,000km, while all others stretch out to 15,000km.

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