Our partners - and car review experts - at CompleteCar.ie
have come up with the top five seven-seat cars you can buy today. As you can see from the list, being able to comfortably transport seven people is no longer exclusively the preserve of big, boxy people carriers.
1 - Ford Grand C-Max
Doesn’t take up much space, drives very well
Rear-most seats are really just for small kids
- Pricing: from €36,810 to €41,760
- Popular engines: 1.0 petrol, 1.5 and 2.0 diesel
- Power output: 95- to 150hp
- Fuel consumption: 4.1- to 5.1 litres/100km
- Road tax: Band A4 to B1 (€200 to €270)
- Safety: The current model has yet to been tested.
Ford introduced the facelifted Grand C-Max in early 2015 and as family cars go this ticks quite a lot of boxes. Firstly there’s its appearance, and although it might not get your heart racing it looks more like a conventional hatchback than a traditional MPV. However, there’s a higher roofline and rear sliding doors so access is great. Inside there is plenty of space and a configurable cabin in the rear that can seat three in the middle row, or you can neatly flip the middle seat out of the way and into the one next to it to make individual chairs. Two more pop up from the boot floor to make a third row. Up front there’s good visibility and it drives well. Ford has always been good at producing normal family cars that are enjoyable and easy to drive and this is no exception.
2 - Kia Carens
Solid, well-finished interior, seven-year Kia warranty
Not as spacious as some rivals, nor much cheaper
- Pricing: from €27,790 to €31,950
- Popular engines: 1.7 diesel
- Power output: 115hp
- Fuel consumption: 4.9 litres/100km
- Road tax: Band B1 (€270)
- Safety: Five-star EuroNCAP rating with 94 per cent for driver protection
For the last few years Kia has really been upping its game, from hatchbacks to SUVs and in the case of this Carens, seven seaters too. At first glance you might not think that the Carens is all that big but the third row of seats easily pop up. They might not be too spacious but they get the job done and on shorter journeys younger passengers won’t complain. The 1.7-litre diesel engine is a bit of a workhorse and has plenty of pulling power for lugging everyone around but there’s still plenty of refinement in how it drives. It isn’t overly big so getting into parking spaces won’t be an issue and the higher specification grade comes with front and rear parking sensors, but conventional rear doors make it less practical than some rivals. There’s also that excellent seven-year Kia warranty to remember.
3 - BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer
Includes all the expected BMW qualities
Expensive option compared to rivals
- Pricing: from €35,730 to €50,850
- Popular engines: 1.5 petrol, 1.6 and 2.0 diesel
- Power output: 136- to 190hp
- Fuel consumption: 3.9- to 6.4 litres/100km
- Road tax: Band A3 to B2 (€190 to €280)
- Safety: The current model has yet to been tested.
Such is the popularity of people carriers now even BMW couldn’t resist getting in on the act with its 2 Series Gran Tourer. As you might expect it carries a noticeable price premium, yet apart from the badge there’s little very special about its design - until you sit inside and you find a high quality interior that one would expect from a premium brand. Apart from that though there is very little to make this model stand out from its mainstream rivals and, considering its price, makes for a purchase that is hard to justify. That is until you drive it and experience a level of refinement that is better than many in the segment and there is also the option of an all-wheel drive model. But even with that in mind, this remains one for those who really just want a BMW.
4 - Land Rover Discovery Sport
SUV styling, real off-road ability
High price and seven seats only optional
- Pricing: from €37,100 to €66,300
- Popular engines: 2.0 petrol, 2.0 and 2.2 diesel
- Power output: 150- to 240hp
- Fuel consumption: 4.5- to 8.0 litres/100km
- Road tax: Band C to D (€390 to €570)
- Safety: Five stars NCAP rating including 83 per cent for child occupant
The Land Rover Discovery Sport replaces the Freelander but now offers much more, such as an additional row of seats that brings seating capacity up to seven. Unfortunately, if you do need seven seats it is an optional extra, and an expensive one at that, but in use they work well and conveniently each seat gets its own individual power socket - handy for keeping the passengers entertained and their devices powered up. In higher trim levels it feels like a real Land Rover but cheaper models don’t feel as special. You can choose an automatic version that features a nine-speed gearbox and all-wheel drive, and as you’d expect from a Land Rover this really can go very far off-road. Smart looks and that higher SUV driving position will appeal to many but you will need deep pockets.
5 - Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Class-leading interior, good engines, style
Bigger than many of the other alternatives
- Pricing: from €27,245 to €39,645
- Popular engines: 1.6 and 2.0 diesel
- Power output: 100- to 150hp
- Fuel consumption: 3.8- to 4.4 litres/100km
- Road tax: Band A3 to A4 (€190 to €200)
- Safety: The current model has not been tested.
The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso firmly falls into the seven seater category and it shows many rivals a clean pair of heels too. Its spacious cabin is tall and airy and everyone gets their own individual chair, with each middle row seat able to move forward and back. Those rear two seats fold into the boot floor when not required. Citroen also has some good diesel engines that provide more than adequate pulling power when fully laden, while the huge windscreen and super-slim split A-pillars give the driver really good visibility. The dashboard is very modern looking too with two large colour screens to display all the relevant information you might need. Most buyers will opt for the manual gearbox, but this model features a newer automatic transmission that is significantly better than older Citroen versions.