Top ten seven seat cars for 2012
Seven seat cars are great for both long distance road trips, coping with busy family life and generally being more practical than your average family cars.
Although seven seat cars offer the benefit of ample interior space and comfy, some are under the common misconception that they are boxy or unattractive to look at.
However, there are many seven seat cars on the market now that offer stylish compact MPV body styles. On top of their obvious space advantages, seven seat cars usually come with a wide range of engines and oodles of interior equipment.
Below we have compiled a list of the top ten seven seat cars for 2012.
The Seat Alhambra is renowned for its versatile handling on the road.
Even with all of its seats in place the Alhambra offers 267-litre of storage space. With the two rows of seats folded down it offers up to 2,297 litres of storage space. On top of its storage space the Alhambra offers generous leg and headroom for its rear seats that will suffice for even adults.
The Alhambra offers plenty of entry level equipment on its S trim level, including 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control, multi-function steering wheel and stop/start technology.
Its entry level engine is a meaty 1.4 TSI petrol producing 148bhp.
Seat Alhambra prices start from £23,535 on the road.
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
The Zafira Tourer harnesses Vauxhall’s new sporty design language and features the stylish criss-cross lighting arrangement on its front end.
Its interior is filled with storage compartments, including storage in the side of the doors, glove boxes and under the seats, which can prove useful for security reasons.
The Zafira Tourer also comes with Flex7 seating, which allows the seats to be configured to the driver’s specification. With its seats folded down the Zafira Tourer has a maximum storage capacity of 1,860-litres.
It houses a frugal 2.0-litre diesel engine that emits just 137g/km and returns up to 54mpg.
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer prices start from £21,010.
The Chevrolet Orlando is a compact MPV, but it resembles a sporty SUV.
Alongside its lean mean exterior, the Orlando can easily cope with bumpy pot holed roads.
This stylish off-road appeal is complemented by 1,487-litres of storage space, which is more than enough space for bikes or sporting equipment. This makes the Orlando a great family car.
Standard kit on the Orlando is also impressive as it features air conditioning, remote central locking, tinted windows and an adjustable steering wheel.
Although its interior is well equipped and comfy, it is also hard wearing and will avoid scuff marks.
Chevrolet Orlando prices start £16,825.
Land Rover Discovery
The Discovery offers something a little different to other seven seat cars and thanks to its clever Terrain Response system, is the master of off-road driving.
As well as offering unbeatable off-road ability, the Discovery offers a luxurious interior that features standard equipment such as automatic climate control, cool box in centre console and wide range of leather upholstery.
The Discovery also ticks the storage capacity box with up to 2,500-litres worth of stowage space.
There is a range of engines offered with the Discovery, one of which is a powerful 255bhp 3.0-litre diesel.
Land Rover Discovery prices start from £38,825.
Ford Transit Mini Bus/ Tourneo concept
The new Ford Tourneo concept was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and upon release will become the next generation Transit Mini bus.
The key difference with this model is that it has been given interior saloon-style luxury.
The Tourneo concept features a driver focussed cockpit which is equipped with Ford’s new voice-activated SYNC system, which allows voice control of a mobile phone, music library and many other car features.
On top of its new design appeal it comes with a wide choice of body styles and two different wheelbases: SWB and LWB. It will also be available with Ford’s Econetic engine range, which includes a 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel.
Prices are yet to be announced for the new Ford Transit Mini bus.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
The C4 Grand Picasso offers a conveniently spacious interior with plenty of storage compartments and easy to access seats.
Its three-row seating arrangement also allows for plenty of space for passengers in terms of leg and head room. Even with all of its seats in place the C4 Grand Picasso offers up to 576 litres.
It comes available with a range of high quality equipment options, including an optional DVD system which is built into the back of the seats. Great if you want to entertain the kids in a long journey.
Behind the wheel there is also great manoeuvrability of the steering wheel and driver’s seat so that you can find the right comfy configuration to suite you.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso prices start from £18,455.
Book a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso test drive
The Mazda5 is a colossal MPV which is perfect for family life.
As it is so big the seven seat Mazda5 also offers the leg and head room you would usually associate with a spacious saloon. There is also a walk through aisle for easy access to the whole car.
In terms of storage the Mazda5 offers 875-litres of stowage space, which is great for packing luggage and bikes. Its 1.6-litre engine also readies it for weekend away trips with up to 54.3mpg.
Its entry level equipment is also high quality with air conditioning, CD/radio and privacy glass on offer. If you decide to bump your equipment up a notch then a 5.8-inch TomTom navigation system is available.
Mazda5 prices start from £ £18,175.
Book a Mazda5 test drive
The Chevrolet Captiva, as well as being a seven seater, has definitely got an edge over many of its competitors in terms of style.
Its compact exterior echoes an SUV appeal, as its bonnet and door contours give it a sporty stance.
Inside it still offers plenty of space with up to 465-litres with the sweats up and up to 1565-litres with its 60:40 split seats down.
The Captiva doesn’t disappoint when it comes to off-road either with equipment like hill start assist, electric handbrake, parking cameras and electronic stability control to help you on your ventures.
Chevrolet Captiva prices start from £22,505.
The Peugeot 5008 is somewhat of a big brother to the Peugeot 3008, offering a similar sporty appeal but with added edge of greater storage space.
Inside the 5008 offers a massive storage capacity of up to 1,754-litres with the seats folded down. It still offers up to 823-litres with the seats in place.
On the road the 5008 delivers a smooth and silent ride, which is always a bonus when driving long distance. The cabin is also roomy which makes for a comfortable driving experience.
Its dashboard is also littered with equipment, including the option of a sat nav.
Peugeot 5008 prices start from £16,495.
Renault-owned Dacia is entering the UK market this year with the introduction of the five- or seven-seat Dacia Lodgy.
The Lodgy promises to be one of the best value seven-seat MPVs on the market today thanks to low prices, huge amount of space and its use of Renault’s impressive engine line-up.
Expected to undercut most of its rivals in the budget MPV market, the Dacia Lodgy promises to be the most affordable MPV ever sold in the UK – and that will make it a top choice amongst families.
The Dacia Lodgy will be avilable from Perry’s Ayelsbury dealership in summer 2012.