Modern passenger vehicles can be as sleek, sophisticated and luxurious as some high-end vehicles while still being as practical as ever. Families and large groups can comfortably sit 7 or 8 with a third row without sacrificing interior or exterior style, performance or having the latest and most advanced features available.
Below is a list of all the best minivans, SUVs and crossovers (that seat at least 7) that this year had to offer. While 2012 models are the focus of the article below the table, the details in the table below are for the newest versions. There are 45 different 7 passenger vehicles offered by Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford other manufacturers, so we have collected all of the most important information to help you compare them. You can sort by price, interior size, head, leg and shoulder room in the 3rd row, fuel efficiency, the number of passengers, whether the seating comes standard or optional and an aggregate rating based on automotive critics’ reviews. Learn how we calculate ratings.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this tool:
- To compare vehicles by a particular manufacturer, enter their name into the search bar
- Hold down the shift key select and sort 2 columns at once (ex. to compare the MPG of the highest rated vehicles)
- “std” means that many seats come standard. “opt” denotes that the size is available as an option
EPA Passenger Volume (cu. ft.)
3rd Row Room
|Acura MDX||$43,280||141.8||35.8, 28.7, 57.1||16/21||7 std||8.5|
|Audi Q7||$46,800||133.2||35.4, 29.2, 48.6||16/22||7 std||7.7|
|BMW X5||$47,500||102.4||N/A||16/23||7 opt||7.8|
|Buick Enclave||$38,445||153||37.8, 33.2, 57.4||17/24||7 std (8 opt)||8.4|
|Cadillac Escalade||$63,170||172||37.9, 25.6, 61.7||13/18||7 std (8 opt)||7.9|
|Cadillac Escalade Hybrid||$73,850||172||37.9, 25.6, 61.7||20/23||8 std|
|Chevrolet Suburban||$43,295||N/A||38.1, 34.9, 64.7||15/21||8 std (9 opt)||8.2|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||$40,405||N/A||39.7, 25.6, 61.7||15/21||9 std (7 & 8 opt)||8.3|
|Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid||$53,045||N/A||37.9, 25.6, 61.7||20/23||9 std (7 & 8 opt)||7.4|
|Chevrolet Traverse||$30,510||150.8||37.8, 33.2, 57.6||17/24||8 std||8.1|
|Dodge Durango||$29,495||133.9||37.8, 31.5, 50.4||16/23||7 std||8.2|
|Dodge Journey||$18,995||99.6||N/A||19/26||7 opt||7.7|
|Ford Expedition||$40,605||N/A||N/A||14/20||8 std||8|
|Ford Explorer||$29,100||151.7||37.8, 33.2, 50.8||17/24||7 std||7.7|
|Ford Flex||$30,900||155.8||38.7, 33.3, 50.8||17/24||7 std||8|
|GMC Acadia||$34,050||154||38.4, 33.2, 57.8||17/24||8 std||7.8|
|GMC Yukon||$41,185||N/A||37.9, 25.6, 61.7||15/21||8 std (9 opt)||7.9|
|GMC Yukon Hybrid||$53,570||N/A||37.9, 25.6, 61.7||20/23||8 std||7.6|
|Honda Pilot||$29,520||153.7||38.2, 32.1, 58.9||18/25||8 std||7.8|
|Hyundai Santa Fe||$24,450||N/A||N/A||21/29||7 opt||7.6|
|Infiniti JX||$41,250||N/A||36.5, 30.8, 57.1||17/23||7 std||7.9|
|Infiniti QX56||$60,750||N/A||36.4, 28.3, 60.5||14/20||7 std (8 opt)||7.8|
|Kia Sorento||$23,150||142.5||N/A||21/30||7 opt||8|
|Land Rover LR4||$49,100||N/A||N/A||12/17||7 opt||7.6|
|Lexus GX||$53,795||141.4||35.2, 29.3, 54.5||15/20||7 std||7.5|
|Lincoln MKT||$45,285||142.3||33.5, 33, 49.1||17/25||7 std||7.7|
|Lincoln Navigator||$57,875||N/A||37.6, 37.7, 51.9||14/20||7 std (8 opt)||7.3|
|Mazda CX-9||$29,725||139.4||35.4, 32.4, 56.9||17/24||7 std||8.1|
|Mercedes GL-Class||$62,400||143.6||38.9, 35, 50.5||17/21||7 std||8.1|
|Mitsubishi Outlander||$22,695||97.5||N/A||23/28||7 opt||7|
|Nissan Armada||$41,290||N/A||35.9, 32.2, 63.7||13/19||8 std||6.6|
|Nissan Pathfinder||$28,650||157.8||37.8, 30.7, 57.1||20/26||7 std||7.2|
|Subaru Tribeca||$32,595||133.5||36.2, 30.9, 51.3||16/21||7 std||6.9|
|Toyota 4Runner||$31,490||97.3||N/A||17/22||7 opt||7.3|
|Toyota Highlander||$29,020||145.7||36.3, 29.9, 55||20/25||7 std||8.2|
|Toyota Highlander Hybrid||$40,170||145.4||36.3, 29.9, 55||28/28||7 std||8|
|Toyota Land Cruiser||$78,555||N/A||35.8, 28.4, 62.3||13/18||8 std||8|
|Toyota Sequoia||$42,455||N/A||36, 35.3, 66||13/18||8 std||7.5|
|Volvo XC90||$39,700||N/A||35.5, 30.1, 54.1||16/23||7 std||7|
|Chrysler Town & Country||$30,530||163.5||37.9, 32.7, 62||17/25||7 std||8.2|
|Dodge Grand Caravan||$19,995||163.5||37.9, 37.2, 62||17/25||7 std||7.5|
|Honda Odyssey||$28,675||172.5||38, 42.4, 60.9||18/27||7 std (8 opt)||8.6|
|Nissan Quest||$25,990||177.9||40, 40.5, 61.2||19/25||7 std||7.5|
|Toyota Sienna||$26,585||164.4||38.3, 36.3, 61.1||18/25||7 std (8 opt)||8.6|
|Lexus LX 570||$81,530||N/A||35.8, 28.3, 62.3||12/17||8 std||7.4|
And the winners are…
2013 Acura MDX – $43,280
2013 Best 7 Passenger Vehicle
Unchanged from the 2012 model, the 2013 MDX kicks off the top five list with luxury and style. While not the lowest cost sport utility vehicle in this list, it is very competitively priced for the amount of luxury provided in even the base package. Featuring a single trim level with various options packages available, three rows and seven seats comes standard with the MDX. This should be considered when looking at the base price, since the third row comes at a cost in other models.
The MDX comes with a 3.7 liter V6 good for 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. This is the only power plant offered and provides zero to 60 acceleration performance of 7.1 seconds. Fuel economy comes in at 16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
Standard trim includes heated eight-way power front seats, leather upholstery, three zone climate control, an eight speaker surround sound system including satellite radio and an auxiliary audio input jack, 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, fog lamps, and a power lift gate.
The MDX scored four out of five stars in government crash testing with five stars for side impact protection. An optional collision warning system will monitor distances to cars ahead and apply the brakes to avoid a collision. – Read the full review
2013 Kia Sorento – $24,100
2013 Best Fuel Efficiency
The Sorento enters 2013 mostly unchanged from the 2012 model and is a very well thought out car offering a wide range of packages and options availability. The base model is very nicely equipped, especially considering its starting price of just over $24,000.
Engine choices range from one of two four cylinder motors putting out 175 and 191 horsepower, or a 276 horsepower V6. Gas mileage ranges from a low of 20 mpg combined for the V6 with all-wheel drive, to a high of 34 mpg combined with front wheel drive in the middle entry four cylinder engine.
This car based crossover provides above average handling and while not the fastest of the group, has ample power for everyday driving to and from school and work. The interior can be customized with leather upholstery and an interactive voice activated electronics control system along with many other options.
Known for producing reliable automobiles, Kia stands behind their product with a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. This is the longest standard warranty available today rounding out the high value available with the Kia Sorrento.
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe – $28,138
2013 Best Vehicle for the Money
Hyundai redesigned the Santa Fe for 2013 and it is available in two models, a compact five passenger sporty model and the large 3 row model with seating capacity for seven. Those looking for seven seats will want to skip the sport model and start shopping with the Santa Fe GLS.
Both three row models, the GLS and Limited, come standard with a 3.3 liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower and gets a very respectable 23 mpg combined efficiency for front wheel drive models and 21 mpg for all–wheel drive. Acceleration with the V6 comes in at 7.7 seconds for zero to 60 which is average to good for this category.
Hyundai has been working for years to increase the luxury appeal of their vehicles. The Santa Fe showcases these efforts and holds up in comparison to the pricier MDX with a long list of standard features. The new exterior design has an attractive, modern style that holds its place next to more expensive models with grace.
The institute for highway safety awarded the Santa Fe its highest rating, and it earned a top five-star ranking in government crash testing. Additional reviews tout the safety and reliability of the Santa Fe as being in the top level for the category.
2013 Honda Odyssey – $29,505
2013 Best Minivan
There is a reason used car lots are stocked with plenty of Hondas – they simply make some of the best cars on the market and they last forever. The 2013 Honda Odyssey has everything going for it allowing its entry into this top five list as the only van.
With room to carry eight adults and 148 cubic feet of cargo space, the Odyssey stands out above the competition. The second row seat has room to fit an additional car seat for a total of three across in contrast to two captain seats available in competing models.
There is an extensive options list that can push top end Touring Elite models north of $45,000 which is a lot of money for a minivan, but offers about the most reliability and flexibility per person per dollar for any car in this list. – Read the full review
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class – $63,305
2013 Best Luxury Vehicle
Starting at over $63,000, the Mercedes-Benz GL class was fully redesigned this year and is the best luxury SUV. If you can afford the GL, you’ll love its performance and high-tech features. Its handling is smooth and flat around corners and is considerably more nimble that most other Large SUVs. In addition, the GL’s standard diesel engine offers surprisingly respectable fuel efficiency at 17/21 mpg city/highway.
For those that want a powerful seven seat vehicle, the Mercedes offers the highest power engine options available. In addition to the 240 horsepower V6 diesel, two V8 options are available producing 362 horsepower in the GL 450, and 429 horsepower in the GLS 550. The 550 does zero to 60 in a blistering 5.5 seconds. No hybrid powertrain is offered, but the diesel will serve those looking for good fuel economy well. In the event the GLS 550 just does not provide enough power to haul your load, there is a first ever AMG version offered with the GL 63. This model cranks out 550 horsepower that drops the zero to 60 performance to 4.8 seconds.
The standard trim for the GL includes many features that are available as options on the other vehicles in this list. The interior is beautifully crafted with high quality materials and the cabin is very quiet. Features include power folding second row seats that make it easy to access the third row, rain sensing windshield wipers and heated front seats.
See the top 5 vehicles of 2012.