There are only a handful of vehicles available to consumers that have the ability to seat 9 passengers. Some are large SUVs while others take the form of commercial-grade cargo vans that have been converted for passenger duty. Large families and transport drivers alike can save some money and enjoy extra passenger space by choosing a converted cargo van, but should be aware that these vehicles tend to contain very basic interiors with few features. On the other hand, SUVs will provide comfortable interiors complete with a plethora of features, but adults will find the third row (and sometimes even the second) a bit more cramped.
2013 Chevrolet Tahoe – $40,405
Our rating: 8.3
According to The Car Connection, the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe offers the perfect combination of seamless power, fuel-saving performance, towing capacity and good looks. The two wheel drive 1500 LS base model includes features – cruise control, navigation, back up camera, anti-theft system, chrome wheels, running boards, satellite radio and heated mirrors – typically found in premium packages. The Tahoe offers six option packages, divided between 2WD and 4WD versions: LS, LT and LTZ packages. The LTZ package allows onboard, hands-free navigation and backseat audio controls.
The Chevrolet Tahoe has a 39-inch turning radius for great handling in the city. In addition to being ranked for its 8500-pound load towing capacity and ability to comfortably transport nine people, the Chevrolet Tahoe has tremendous gas mileage. It may not get the mileage of a hybrid, but it has a good warranty. The luxury features score points too.
2013 GMC Yukon – $41,760
Our rating: 7.9
GMC has been long known for its reliable, tough SUVs, running second only to Chevrolet, and it appears the full-size 2013 GMC Yukon is no exception. U.S. News & World Report ranked this full size SUV number fourth among Affordable Large SUVs. The 2013 GMC Yukon offers a 5.3 liter 8 cylinder engine with the base SLS trim and a 6.2 liter 8-cylinder engine with the Denali trim.
The SLT package offers an optional power-tilt sliding sunroof, tire pressure monitoring system, steering wheel controls, navigation from telematics, rear reading lamps and an auxiliary power outlet. Fuel economy is exceptional for the 8 cylinder engine: 16/21 city/highway. With electronic stability control and traction control, the Yukon is a family-friendly full-size SUV that offers great handling, a small turn radius, roomy interior, serviceable cargo space, convenient features, and reliable performance – the perfect SUV for minivan owners who want to move up to a high capacity SUV.
2013 Chevrolet Suburban – $43,870
Our rating: 8.2
The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban has excellent reviews in several categories for full-size SUVs, including its enormous cargo space, competitive price and decent fuel economy. It easily seats nine adults and provides plenty of head and leg room. Consumers may have to sacrifice a little economy for a towing capacity of 9600 pounds, but it’s still sound at 15-city/20-highway with the base 355hp V8 engine. Buyers can also choose between 2WD or 4WD drive, and 1500 and 2500 trim package combinations. The base trim level comes with an automatic transmission or a six-speed manual with overdrive, keyless entry and power locks. In the higher trim levels, the Suburban comes with torsion bar front suspension and a 39-gallon gas tank and much more.
The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban offers eye-catching exterior styling. In addition to leather and synthetic seats, it provides a smooth and effortless ride at highway speeds. Some consumers stated that it might be the best choice to transport adults, create three rows or carry a significant amount of cargo. Consumers looking for a powerful full-size SUV with excellent fuel economy may find that the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban is the perfect choice.
2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – $36,290
Our rating: 7.3
Although the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter falls in the middle in price among the top five 9 seat transport vehicles, the performance is definitely not in the middle of the road. In fact, the features that earned the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter the number one ranking among consumers amount to its utility and affordability. Mercedes builds trucks galore, so driving a commercial Mercedes truck isn’t anything to blush about. The Sprinter gets an astonishing 24 mpg according to Mercedes. With a diesel engine there’s enough power to perform well, especially in city environs. Best of all a 6-foot tall adult would have no trouble standing upright. It seats many more than 9 adults; some seating arrangements run as high as 12.
Standard features include terrific high-back sporty seat, Mercedes Benz instrumentation, and enormous cargo and passenger capacity. Kelly Blue Book says it’s the perfect vehicle, albeit a commercial vehicle, if consumers are shopping for a van that can do anything. The 3.0-liter, turbo-diesel V-6 engine features a 5-speed automatic transmission. Drivers enjoy 325 pounds of torque.
2013 Chevrolet Express – $29,510
Our rating: 6.9
The 2013 Chevrolet Express is less expensive than the others on this list, but it trumps most SUVs for cargo and passenger space, and it’s certainly not cheap. Owners are happy with the full size van that can hold up to 15 passengers and offer a versatile platform for cargo, passenger seating or van conversions. The base 1500 4.3-Liter V-6 engine is offered as a 195 horsepower option, which features mpg of 15 city/20 highway – good fuel efficiency for its size. The 296hp 4.8 liter V8 gets 11 city/17 highway mileage.
The Express has historically been a comfortable, reliable vehicle for long trips. Consumers like the fuel economy of the V-6 and the power of the V-8, but were more impressed by its great utility and versatility. The Express Passenger version of this van seats up to fifteen. Features include rear air conditioning, power windows and carpeting. The Express brings a good return on the used market.