Seven-seater cars are enough for most people, but a meaningful proportion of drivers need more. Our guide to the best eight seaters has you covered
The market for eight-seater cars is pretty small, but that’s not to say you don’t have choice if you need one of these vehicles. All such cars major on passenger space (naturally), and are based on vans. But while you might not get the refinement you would in a premium saloon, modern vans are far more refined than they once were, so having an eight-seater need not be a hardship.
Below are our picks of the five you should consider if you’re shopping around for a new eight-seater family car.
- Ford Tourneo Custom
- Citroen e-SpaceTourer
- Peugeot e-Traveller
- Mercedes V-Class
- Toyota Proace Verso
- Vauxhall Vivaro
- Renault Trafic Passenger
- Volkswagen Caravelle
1. Ford Tourneo Custom
Thanks to its Ford Transit van-derived underpinnings, the Ford Tourneo Custom excels when it comes to interior space. There’s enough space inside this big MPV for eight seats to fit in with no problems at all – and, if you want more versatility than that, you can even opt for a nine-seater version.
The Ford Tourneo Custom’s passenger seats can also be reconfigured, which gives you a bit more flexibility should you want to change the seating layout. For instance, if you’d prefer your passengers to be a bit more sociable on long car journeys, you can have both rows of seats facing each other, rather than straight ahead like they would in a conventional people carrier.
2. Citroen e-SpaceTourer
If the seven-seater Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer MPV (which is no longer offered for sale new) isn’t roomy enough for you, then you’ll be pleased to know the French firm has a more spacious alternative in the Citroen SpaceTourer. Even the smallest version is big enough to accommodate eight seats, and the larger model comes with an optional nine-seater layout if you need a bit more seating capacity.
Like many big people carriers of this ilk, the SpaceTourer used to be available with a suite of torquey diesel engines, but the only version you can buy new is the all-electric e-SpaceTouter. This has a 136-mile official range, and can take ultra fast 100kW recharging to help longer journeys go smoothly.
3. Peugeot e-Traveller
You might notice a theme develop with some of the vehicles on this list, as car companies often share development costs when designing new vehicles, resulting in the effectively the same model being offered under a variety of names.
This is the case with the Peugeot e-Traveller, which is the same underneath as the Citroen e-SpaceTourer and is, as you might have twigged, only available as an electric vehicle, with the same 50kWh battery pack as the Citroen – though Peugeot quotes a 148-mile range for the e-Traveller.
4. Mercedes V-Class
If you’d ideally like a people carrier that’s as posh as it is practical, then the Mercedes V-Class may be the big MPV for you. Large families will very much appreciate the eight-seater layout, and the Mercedes’ plush and well-appointed cabin is a pleasant place to spend long journeys in.
Bringing everyone’s kit along shouldn’t be a problem either, as even the shortest versions have 1,030 litres of luggage volume behind the third row of seats. Equipment levels are good across the board, too, though that along with the V-Class’ premium billing contributes to it being quite a bit pricier than the alternatives on this list.
5. Toyota Proace Verso
Tot Proace Verso is a seven-seater van-based people carrier that brings with it Toyota’s excellent ’Relax’ warranty policy, which allows you to extend the guarantee to for up to 10 years and 100,000 miles as long as you get the vehicle serviced at a Toyota dealer.
Aside from that, the Proace Verso is a highly competent people carrier, and comes with a 140hp or 180hp 2.0-litre diesel engine, with the former having a manual gearbox and the latter an automatic.
6. Vauxhall Vivaro Electric
As with the e-Spacetourer and e-Traveller, vehicles with which it shares its mechanical underpinnings, the Vauxhall Vivaro people carrier is now all-electric only.
In the case of the Vivaro, its vital statistics mean you get a 50kWh Battery with an official range of 143 miles and a 0-60mph time of 13.1 seconds, while a 30-minute charge using an ultra-rapid 100kW charger should get the battery from 15 to 80%.
7. Renault Trafic Passenger
While some of the vehicles here are electric only, the Renault Trafic Passenger is diesel only, and can be had in short or long-wheelbase guise.
Both versions have nine seats (driver plus eight passengers), while you can choose from a 110hp or a 150hp diesel engine, with the more powerful engine having the option of an automatic gearbox.
8. Volkswagen Caravelle
The Volkswagen Caravelle has been replaced with the Multivan, which unfortunately has only seven seats, so we’re recommending the older vehicle here – but it’s still a great machine. The Volkswagen Caravelle remains a terrific choice if you’re after a practical people carrier with plenty of space inside for the driver and the seven passengers.
Unlike many MPVs, the Volkswagen Caravelle in its eight-seater guise doesn’t come with rows of bench-style seats – instead, it has four rows of individual chairs. While this makes the Caravelle feel a bit more like a minibus than a family-friendly people carrier, it does at least mean your passengers each get their own window seat and have plenty of shoulder room at their disposal. You can also get digital dashboard dials and VW’s easy-to-use previous-generation infotainment system.
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