22 July 2022
Whether you’re looking for a car to fit the whole family (and the dog!) in or simply want more space when travelling with friends or as a group, a 7-seater car is a perfect choice.
There are many good 7-seater cars out there, but how do you know what the best 7-seater car is for you?
With so much choice on offer, we’ve rounded up what to look for when buying a 7-seater. From the most essential features to what to consider before you buy, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re already considering buying a 7-seater car, you’ll likely already know why you need one, whether it’s because of a growing family or a change in your lifestyle.
Before you start your search, it’s best to have already nailed down the following:
● How many passengers will you typically be travelling with?
● How old are your typical passengers?
● How much luggage will you have with you on a typical journey?
By answering these questions, selecting a car with the right features will become even easier.
If you’re shopping for a 7-seater car, space will likely be high up on your shopping list. That said, choosing a 7-seater car doesn’t always mean you’ll have an abundance of free space inside the cabin, so it’s important to choose a vehicle that’s well-suited to your circumstances.
Journeys will be far less comfortable if your passengers are cramped.
Often, the design of a 7-seater car means the rearmost two seats have the smallest amount of head space and legroom. That’s why it’s so important to work out which passengers will be in your car most often.
For example, limited head or leg space in the rear seats won’t matter as much if young children will be sitting there. However, for teenagers and adults, you’ll likely need to choose a more spacious option to keep them comfortable.
Don’t forget to consider the longevity of your vehicle. Children grow fast, so if your passengers are on the cusp of their teenage years, it may be worth opting for a more spacious car now to future-proof your decision.
How much luggage you’ll take with you on a typical journey will determine what you need from your boot.
Because 7-seater cars can accommodate an additional two seats, boot space can be more compact. However, there are models available with larger boots should you need the extra space for luggage.
Again, it’s a case of weighing up how you’ll use your vehicle and choosing a 7-seater with the boot space to suit.
It’s also worth considering the interior storage on offer, especially if you’re travelling with younger children who like to have the contents of their toy box in tow!
Handy storage compartments, drinks holders and pouches will make it easier to store essential items, keeping the cabin neat and passengers comfortable.
Regardless of who your passengers are, safety is paramount. Make sure you check out your car’s Euro NCAP rating.
Scored from 0 to 5, the rating indicates how safe a vehicle is based on its performance in official tests. The higher the rating, the safer the vehicle is likely to be in the event of a crash.
As well as the standard safety equipment, many modern cars come with advanced built-in technology that can keep you safe as you drive and potentially prevent accidents on the road.
Available technology will vary by vehicle but some of the most popular and useful safety features to look out for are:
● Adaptive cruise control
● Automatic emergency braking
● Blind spot detection
● Collision warning
● Cross-traffic alert
● Lane departure warning
● Pedestrian detection system
● Road sign recognition
If you are travelling with young children, make sure to check the number of ISOFIX points available within the car. This means you can safely strap in your children to a car seat.
When viewing a 7-seater car, we recommend bringing along your car seat to see if it can be fitted quickly and easily.
Just like choosing any vehicle, you should consider the type of engine you require when shopping for a 7-seater car.
While petrol and diesel engines are often the go-to choices, you may also want to consider hybrid and electric engines too. Hybrid cars combine a traditional fuel engine with an electric motor, while an electric car relies on an electric charge stored in a battery to power it.
Both are good choices if you’re looking for a 7-seater vehicle that’s affordable to run. Electric vehicles are exempt from tax, while fuel costs are lower across both hybrid and electric models.
While both are suitable for driving longer distances, hybrid and electric vehicles are particularly well suited to shorter journeys around town.
Whether you’re using your 7-seater as a family car or not, choosing a car with USB charging points is a good option. That way you’ll be able to keep your phone charge topped up on-the-go while making sure everyone else’s gadgets remain fully charged throughout the journey.
To further take the stress out of long journeys, look for an intuitive infotainment system. Built-in navigation can help you find the fastest route for any journey, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes connecting your phone even easier.
Other handy features to consider include parking sensors and a rear parking camera. Although not essential, these extras will be helpful if you’re not used to driving a larger vehicle and need some assistance manoeuvring.
We’re proud of our range of 7-seater cars which combine many of the must-have features we’ve outlined.
The SE and SE XL models of the All-Electric Combo-E Life both offer seven seats, along with a wealth of other clever features.
Entertainment-wise, you’ll get a multimedia infotainment system with an 8-inch colour touchscreen as standard, complete with DAB digital radio, Bluetooth® and USB audio connection. It’s packed full of safety features too, including rear parking distance sensors, a rear camera and a forward collision alert system.
With split-folding and removable third-row seats in the SE and SE XL models, you can maximise your interior space to carry larger loads when the seats are not in use.
If you’re looking for a slightly larger vehicle than the Combo-E Life, take a look at the Vivaro-E Life, a stylish 9-seater family car.