The battle ground for the top SUV Australia has to offer is getting fiercer and fiercer every day, let alone cheapest 7 seater.
For many, the dilemma between cheapest 7 seater SUV and cheapest 7 seater car is redundant, with the SUV winning out due to design and popularity. Twenty years ago, the best seven-seater for those who wanted space was a multi-purpose people mover (MPV), since most SUVs were ladder-on-frame. Now the default seven-seater has become the 7-seat SUV, thanks to worldwide demand.
Advances in vehicle packaging mean the third row of seats is becoming more and more spacious. No longer will those travelling in the back of the most spacious 7 seat SUVs be subjected to deep-vein thrombosis. Comfort levels are improving and more amenities are being offered to those in the back– not just on the best luxury seven-seaters. Please note all prices are before on-road costs unless stated otherwise.
Indian company Mahindra recently updated its mid-sized SUV entrant, the XUV500, increasing its value-for-money factor substantially. It may be one of the cheapest 7 seaters, but it is not short on kit.
You get a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine, up to 2500kg of towing capacity, 702 litre boot space and standard automatic. In addition to that, the suspension has been tuned by famed British sports car maker, Lotus. Higher spec W10 models in either $31,990 front-wheel drive or $34,990 AWD add sunroof, satnav, leather, reverse camera and more. The warranty is 5 years or 100,000km.
Freshly upgraded for the 2020 model year, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander features some styling updates and a new 8.0-inch touch screen infotainment system.
Other features include a new overhead console and a new Super All Wheel Control drive system (S-AWC) on the $46,790 Exceed flagship. The ES seven seat is powered by a 2.4-litre engine.
Having shifted nearly 13,000 units to the end of August 2019, the Nissan X-Trail is a firm family favourite among Australian new car buyers. The X-Trail can be had with either a 2.5-litre petrol engine with 126kW and 226Nm or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel generating 130kW and 380Nm.
Recently launched N-Sport variants add some sporting visual flair but sadly, not for seven-seater variants. The Renault Koleos is the X-Trail’s Gallic cousin, sharing the same basic architecture but with French design flair.
When this generation of CR-V was initially launched, the option of seven-seats was reserved for up spec models such as the Vti-L. A new-for-2019 Vti-E variant drops the entry point to $34,990. For this price, you get a 1.5-litre turbo engine, developing 140kW and 240Nm. An extremely clever interior with trick seats and plenty of storage is also part of the package, as well as Honda’s renowned reliability.
Chinese company LDV offers a solid seven-seater SUV with a 2.0-litre, 165kW/350Nm turbo engine. For that low price you get Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, rain sensing wipers, cruise control and a three year/100,000km warranty. Despite sharing much with the T60 ute, that vehicle’s diesel engine is not available on the D90 at this stage.
This seven-seat SUV makes the cheapest 7 seater cars list with its 3 year, 100,00km warranty, Cummins 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine generating 130kW and 365Nm. The gearbox drives all four wheels through a six-speed ZF gearbox. Front and rear climate control are just some of the features on this obscure Chinese SUV bargain.
At time of writing there are still a handful of 2018 build examples on the lot. Discontinued for 2019. Haggle hard and you could end up with a very cheap, large SUV on your hands.
Measuring 4701mm long, with a 2790mm wheelbase, the Mexican-built Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is a longer version of the German-made, five-seater Tiguan. As a result of this, the mid-sized SUV is able to accommodate a third row of seats. So what do you get at the pointy end of the range? A 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is standard with 110kW and 250Nm, as is DSG automatic transmission. Autonomous emergency braking (AEB), Apple Car Play and Android auto are just a handful of standard inclusions.
The Prado-sized Haval H9 from China is unusual in that it offers a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine standard, unlike competitors who opt for diesel power. Like the aformentioned Toyota, the H9 has four-wheel drive, a rugged design and plenty of standard features. With autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, satelite navigation and rear cross-traffic alert, it certailny comes with a lot of kit for the money. A Kia-equalling seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty is an unexpected bonus, too.
Featuring a 3.5-litre V6 engine connected to a CVT automatic, the Pathfinder has a maximum 2700kg of towing and a five star ANCAP rating. While it is not one of the most popular new SUVs, it is one fo the most spacious at 5042mm long with a wheelbase of 2900mm.
In addition to being exceptional value, Hyundai‘s newest Santa Fe features very fresh and distinctive styling which works very well, in our opinion. As expected, all the latest safety features are standard and an Australian tuning program means it is perfectly suited to local roads. Engines range from a 2.4-litre four-cylinder with 138kW and 241Nm to a 2.2-litre ‘R-Series’ turbo-diesel with 147kW and 440Nm. Later this year, a 3.5-litre V6 with 206kW and 335Nm will become available too.