Best 8-seater SUVs of 2020

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.

Characteristics of cars that seat 8

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:

  • Space - Unsurprisingly, squeezing eight passengers into even a large crossover is no simple feat. Aside from providing enough room for all the arms, legs, and everything in-between, these automobiles also have to ensure that accessing every pew does not require contortionist abilities. And, with eight people comes a boatload of luggage. The most capable contenders should at least be able to stow carry-on bags for each person.
  • Power - Being bigger than your run-of-the-mill vehicle, these rotund beasts often weigh close to three tons. Moving that much weight requires a pretty potent powertrain, and adding more than half a dozen individuals and their assorted cargo certainly does not help. Horsepower in excess of 300 hp is not uncommon in the segment.
  • Economy - Not many luxury brands compete in this market, as cramming so many people into a confined space is not likely to be a luxurious experience, no matter how hard you try. As you’d expect, none of these machines boast particularly inspiring mileage figures, but they still try to be affordable to run, with some brands even offering hybrid configurations. Many start at around $30k, while a starting MSRP of over $50k is quite rare.

Best 8-passenger SUVs

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.

Who needs SUVs that seat eight?

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.

Pros

  • Mom, dad, the kids, the grandparents, and the dog can all fit inside
  • High safety ratings and lots of standard tech
  • Generally impressive cargo capacity
  • Capable powertrains
  • Reasonably affordable, usually

Cons

  • They’re huge and can be difficult to operate in tight areas
  • Fuel economy rarely astounds
  • Only a select few offer spacious third rows

FAQs

What are the best 8-person cars?

Despite the list being quite short, some of the entrants are genuinely impressive. At the apex of our rankings is the Kia Telluride, boasting great performance, capacity for travelers and their things, and modest pricing. The Hyundai Palisade is almost as good, while the Toyota Highlander falls a little short by comparison. Similarly notable offerings include the Honda Pilot, Ford Expedition, and Chevrolet Tahoe.

What is the cheapest eight-passenger SUV?

Surprisingly, most of these automobiles don’t have overly oppressive price tags. Our favorites start at just over $30k, with the Kia Telluride asking for $31,890, while the Hyundai Palisade will cost you $31,975 new. Only the US-built Chevrolet Traverse is cheaper at $29,800, although it is not as good value for the money. You can probably pick up a used 2019 top pick at a similar, or even lower cost.

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.

BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2021 Kia Telluride
9
BuzzScore
10
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#2
2020 Hyundai Palisade
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#3
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
8.8
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#4
2020 Toyota Highlander
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#5
2020 Ford Expedition
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#6
2020 Ford Expedition Max
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#7
2021 GMC Yukon XL
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#8
2021 Honda Pilot
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#9
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
8.4
BuzzScore
7
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#10
2021 GMC Yukon
#10
GMC Yukon
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#11
2020 Chevrolet Traverse
8.1
BuzzScore
6
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#12
2021 Subaru Ascent
8.1
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#13
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser
7.9
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
6
MPG
8
Interior
7
Infotainment
10
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#14
2020 Chevrolet Suburban
7.8
BuzzScore
7
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
7
Safety
8
Value
#15
2020 Nissan Armada
7.1
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
6
MPG
7
Interior
6
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
7
Value
#16
2020 Toyota Sequoia
7.1
BuzzScore
6
Design
8
Performance
6
MPG
7
Interior
8
Infotainment
10
Reliability
6
Safety
6
Value
#17
2020 Lexus LX
#17
Lexus LX
6.8
BuzzScore
6
Design
6
Performance
5
MPG
7
Interior
6
Infotainment
10
Reliability
8
Safety
6
Value