Popular 7 Passenger Vehicles
Most 7 passenger vehicles give you foldable third row seats, big trunk, all wheel drive system, and a lot of electronic equipment both for entertainment and safety. All those things make any SUV heavy, which will affect car weight and of course fuel consumption.
It is difficult to determine the actual best 7 passenger vehicle for everyone, but perhaps one of the following popular seven passenger cars with good gas mileage meets your expectations.
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in three trims including ES, SE, and GT. Compared to the previous models, there are some noticeable improvements especially concerning mileage, interior, and plenty of high technology features. Third row seats are now standard as well.
The base ES model and midrange SE are equipped with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 166 horsepower. In terms of fuel consumption, the engine runs at 27 mpg (31 mpg highway/25 mpg city) with front-wheel drive configuration. When running on 4-wheel drive, it is rated at 24/29 mpg (city/highway) or 26 mpg combined.
Under the hood of the top of the range GT model is 3.0-liter V6 engine generating 224 horsepower. It should deliver better acceleration and top speed, but higher performance means worse fuel economy. The V6 is rated at 20/28 mpg (city/highway) or 23 mpg combined. With the third row seats folded down, you can carry 34.2 cubic feet of cargo, but you can get 63.3 cubic feet when the second row is also folded.
2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Unlike the underpowered Prius, the 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is powerful enough for a 7 passenger SUV, thanks to its 3.5-liter V6. There are two trim levels available including base and Limited. Both have the same engine and differ mainly in terms of equipment. The base model gets 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, etc. Limited trim is even better with 19-inch wheels.
Like any other hybrid, this car is powered by both conventional gasoline engine and electric motors. Depending on driving configurations, each can work alone or in tandem with the other. When working together, they produce 280 horsepower and it allows you to get to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds which is quite fast for a crossover.
Highlander Hybrid’s real strength is actually the fuel consumption at 28/28 mpg (city/highway) or 28 mpg combined. You get both good performance and reasonable fuel economy.
2014 Ford Transit Connect
The 2014 Transit Connect takes a totally new design from the older versions of Transit Connect vans and seeks to bridge the gap between the coming Transit van and the Ford C-Max Hybrid Hatchbacks. The minivan is mounted with a standard 2.5 liter four cylinder engine that is capable of generating up to 169 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. However, there is an optional turbocharged 1.6 liter four cylinder engines available on selected modifications. Both engines send power to the front of the wheels through a six speed automatic transmission.
The estimated fuel economy for the cargo van which has a 2.5 liter engine is rated at 24 mpg combined with 21 city/29 highway. For the wagon, the fuel economy is relatively less at 23 mpg and a combined 20 city/28 highway. Should you opt for the turbocharged 1.6 liter engine, expect a fuel economy of about 25 mpg combined with 22 city/23 highway.
2013 Kia Sorento
Apart from the properly appreciated newer offerings from Kia, the Sorento crossover is the actual best seller from the manufacturer. It has three trim levels including LX, EX, and SX. Every model comes with standard front-wheel drive configuration and six-speed automatic gearbox, while all-wheel drive is available as an optional feature.
Sorento also provides options on engines and seating. In fact, the standard in all trims are not 7 passenger vehicles at all, but you can get the extra seats as options in SX and LX V6. In LX trim, a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 175 horsepower is equipped as standard. It takes you to 60 mph in a slow 9.9 seconds. However, you can always opt for the more powerful direct-injected version engine with 192 horsepower, which actually comes as standard in EX trim.
On front-wheel drive configuration, EPA-estimated fuel consumption is 21/30 mpg (city/highway) or 24 mpg combined, while it gets to 21/27 mpg (city/highway) or 13 mpg combined on all-wheel drive setting.
2013 Ford Explorer
The 2013 Ford Explorer is one of the more powerful 7 passenger cars out there. Compared to other Explorer variants, the 2013 models are also the most upscale and efficient. With this car, you can even expect high tech equipment and bigger trunk.
This car is available in two trim levels including base and sport versions, and Ford provides three different engines for you to choose from. The standard variant is equipped with 290 horsepower V6 engine. Oddly, the smaller less powerful 2.0-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine that generates 240 horsepower is available as a more expensive option. This is probably good if you are driving with mostly fuel economy in mind.
When you want performance, Ford gives you the Sport trim powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 365 horsepower. Fuel efficiency for the more powerful engine is rated at 16/22 mpg (city/highway).
2014 Nissan Quest
Even with numerous 7 passenger vehicles available in the market, it is sometimes difficult to get everything that you want from one car only, as properly demonstrated by the 2014 Nissan Quest. This car is good from the stand points of handling, comfort, and even performance, but the styling is probably not exactly what you expect. This minivan has 4 trim levels including S, SV, SL, and LE.
The power comes from its 3.5-liter V6 engine generating 260 horsepower combined with (CVT) continuous variable transmission rather than the conventional automatic gearbox. As a result, Nissan Quest takes you to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. The floor is considerably tall, making it difficult to carry more than 108 cubic feet of cargo. Fuel economy is rated at 19/25 mpg (city/highway) or 21 mpg combined.
2012 Volkswagen Routan
Mechanically identical to a Dodge Grand Caravan, Volkswagen Routan has a 3.6-liter V6 engine equipped under the hood. This engine creates 283 horsepower which is sent to the front wheels through six-speed automatic gearbox. It will take you from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, making it equally fast to a Nissan Quest.
The Routan provides a space behind the second row seats for 83 cubic feet of cargo. When it comes to simply carry things instead of passengers, you can remove the second row seats to haul more than 144 cubic feet of cargo. The estimated fuel efficiency is 17/25 mpg (city/highway) or 20 mpg combined.
Below you will find a comparison of above vehicles.
|1||2014 Mitsubishi Outlander||SUV||28||$22,995|
|2||2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid||SUV||28||$40,170|
|3||2014 Ford Transit Connect||Minivan||23||$25,000|
|4||2013 Kia Sorento||SUV||23||$25,700|
|5||2013 Ford Explorer||SUV||23||$29,100|
|6||2014 Nissan Quest||Minivan||22||$26,220|
|7||2012 Volkswagen Routan||Minivan||21||$27,020|
Let us not forget that SUV is basically created to carry people or cargo, trading off performance for space and comfort. You cannot totally expect it to perform like a 4-doors saloon or a luxurious off road cars. Still, there are a lot of options when it comes to 7 passenger vehicles, and some manufacturers even make hybrid version to improve efficiency and performance without sacrificing speed and riding comfort.