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The Best 7-Seaters

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Which 7-seat car should I buy?”

For years, if you had 3 kids they all had to squash into the back seats, and if you had 4 or more offspring, the only option was strapping the living room armchair to the car’s roof.

Today, there are dozens of cars available with a rather handy fold-up third row of seats to allow much more room for the family. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would previously never have considered more than two children as there wouldn’t have been anything decent to drive them around in. Am I?

So, to answer the question of which 7-seaters are best (and to help those lucky enough to be blessed with a sizeable brood), I have selected my three favourites:


Everybody loves a VW – always well built and good to drive, with a respectable badge.

The Touran is just 8 inches longer and 1 inch wider than a Golf, which means that when both the rear seats are being used, there isn’t a huge amount of boot space.

All the diesel engines are good; however, the 1.4 TSFI petrol engine is my choice as it combines blistering acceleration with diesel-style economy.

But be careful though – some of the earlier cars do not have 7 seats as standard.

£7,000 buys a 2004 petrol with 50,000 miles
£10,000 buys a 2006 diesel with 30,000 miles
£15,000 buys a 2008 diesel with 10,000 miles


I rarely recommend French cars; however, the C4 Grand Picasso seems to be pretty well built.

The quirky dashboard layout is fun, plus they are very comfortable and often very well equipped. They are also about the cheapest way you can get a large 7-seater diesel-powered automatic!

(And ignore the damning reviews of the ‘EGS’ semi-automatic gearbox – once you get used to the EGS it’s absolutely fine.)

£10,000 buys a 2007 petrol with 30,000 miles
£12,000 buys a 2007 diesel with 15,000 miles
£14,000 buys a 2008 auto diesel with 10,000 miles


Yes it has a Ford badge, but modern Fords are brilliant!

It may be a little on the large side, but it drives amazingly, has a good level of equipment as standard, and plenty of boot space even with the rear seats in use.

But… diesel automatics are VERY rare and therefore are very expensive, so only go for the S-MAX if you cover less than 12,000 miles a year, or are happy with a manual.

£10,000 buys a late 2006 diesel with 50,000 miles
£15,000 buys a 2008 diesel with 15,000 miles
£17,000 buys a 2008 auto diesel with 15,000 miles

At Palmdale we specialise in taking all the hassle out of the car buying process:


  • YOU tell us exactly what car you want
  • WE search for every available car in the UK that meets your description
  • WE negotiate with the seller
  • WE make sure that the car is perfect
  • WE collect the car and bring it to your door
  • YOU enjoy your new wheels for many years to come

These newsletters are our attempt to teach you everything we know about car buying; however, if you would like us to find and buy your next car for you, all you have to do is ask!