Sometimes a sedan or a regular crossover just does not have the right characteristics, and for larger groups or families, an 8-seater SUV provides a much more comfortable way to get around. Depending on your needs, you could either go for a basic set-up with high-value for money, or something more luxurious with full electrics and classy fixtures and fittings. There’s a lot to consider, but we’ve narrowed down the field and evaluated the top models on sale to help you distinguish the class leaders from the rest.
Aside from passenger space, we also assess each car’s cargo capacity with the seats in their various configurations, how useful small-item storage is, whether all perches are easily accessible, and if occupants at the back get a raw deal or benefit from amenities like dedicated air-conditioning vents. You will also want enough power to comfortably motivate a fully-loaded SUV, so our assessment includes feedback on how each machine performs in town and on the highway. Finding a bigger SUV for you and your tribe has never been simpler.
Bordering on minivan-like capabilities, these enormous machines need to do quite a few things right to recommend themselves. Only a select few vehicles can actually be configured to accommodate eight, so even a single misstep can take them out of the running. Making the right choice means considering the following:
All our picks make valiant efforts at meeting all of our stringent requirements, and here are a few key derivatives with their most impressive specifications. Topping our rankings as the best 8 passenger SUV is the Kia Telluride. While it can be configured to house seven, the midsize crossover can add an extra position without too much fuss. It’s also among the more spacious options on the market, with a genuinely usable third-row that is relatively easy to access. The cavernous 21-cubic-foot trunk is more than generous, too. The 291-horsepower V6 achieves 20/26/23 mpg in its most efficient guise, and it will only cost you $31,890 to buy.
Sharing the same underpinnings as the Telluride, the Hyundai Palisade also receives the same powertrain. The interior is also almost identical to the Korean competitor’s, too, with plenty of space for each person. However, the trunk is a bit smaller at 18 cubic feet, and the Palisade only gets 19/26/22 mpg at best. Its price tag isn’t much of a departure, either, starting at $31,975.
If you don’t mind a slightly higher initial cost, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is an interesting alternative to the usual offering. The powertrain isn’t quite as capable, putting out only 243 hp, but the vehicle isn’t as hefty as its rivals, either. This translates to less room for commuters inside, sadly, and a modest 16-cubic-foot trunk. However, the Highlander Hybrid boasts a class-leading 36 mpg in the combined cycle.
While not absurdly expensive, such a large vehicle is still a decisive purchase. You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons before jamming one of these juggernauts into your garage. Alternatively, you may be able to find one for rental if you only need to transport a whole soccer team now and then.
We invite you to peruse our detailed reviews of the 2019 and 2020 autos on sale in the USA, or take a look at some of the sneak-peeks of upcoming 2021 models.