Most 4x4s spend the majority of their time on-road – indeed, a few are designed to be driven nowhere else. Some, however, are still deft at scrambling over boulders, across shallow streams or just parking at your local supermarket when it’s a little snowy.
Adding seven seats turns an already practical car into all the vehicle you could ever need. Here are the best seven-seat 4x4s you can buy. Don’t forget, you can put any of these cars in our car configurator to see the discounts available.
Launched early in 2015, the new Volvo XC90 is one of the most practical and classy vehicles on this list. All models benefit from seven full-size seats and Volvo’s large new touchscreen infotainment system to control most of the car’s functions, plus behind the third row lies a boot volume larger than an Audi A3.
Under the bonnet comes a choice of four-cylinder engines – most buyers will opt for the 2.0-litre turbodiesel that returns nearly 50mpg but there’s also a 2.0-litre turbo-and-supercharged petrol and a plug-in hybrid. That model combines claimed fuel economy of 113mpg with acceleration that would put most hot hatches to shame.
Check out the latest deals by speccing up a Volvo XC90 in our car configurator page.
4x4s don’t come much larger than the Mercedes GL. This gigantic off-roader offers seven seats and, unusually for this segment, all would comfortably accommodate a full-grown adult. Air suspension makes sure that all occupants stay cosy even over rough surfaces.
Buyers are offered the choice of a sensible 3.0-litre turbodiesel or an utterly bonkers 5.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V8. The former is refined, powerful and smooth, the latter will cost enormous amounts at the pumps but is one of the most exciting engines you can currently buy.
Pick your ideal Mercedes GL in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser is renowned the world over for being tough, dependable and brilliant off-road. It has a huge cabin – even with all seven seats up, the boot volume is on par with a Volkswagen Golf.
There’s plenty of equipment on offer, even in the base models, and a new 2.8-litre diesel makes the current model the most frugal yet – with fuel economy of 39.2mpg promised. Most buyers, though, will buy it for its utter dependability, regardless of what’s thrown at it.
See what discounts are offered by speccing up a Toyota Land Cruiser in our car configurator.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is a sizeable 4×4 capable of heading off the beaten track from time to time if the mood takes you. Thanks to the locking differential and a high ground clearance, it can clamber over difficult terrain, yet on the road it remains reasonably car-like to drive.
While the third row seats are smaller than some other cars here and only suitable for children, the cabin is otherwise spacious and practical. Prices start at a very competitive level too, with the 53.3mpg-rated 2.2-litre diesel starting at less than £24,000.
Put the Mitsubishi Outlander in our car configurator to see the deals on offer.
Range Rover Sport
Don’t let the luxurious façade fool you – the Range Rover Sport is still a seriously capable car when the going gets muddy. All of Land Rover’s latest tech is included: hill descent control, electronic differentials and the ability to wade through 850mm of water all help make it a formidable off-roading tool.
If anything, it’s even better on road. Performance ranges from the impressive 3.0-litre diesel to the barmy 5.0-litre supercharged SVR and, in corners, testers frequently compare it to some of the best sports saloons. That the Range Rover Sport is capable of this while seating seven people in one of the finest interiors money can buy – it’s easy to see why it’s rated so highly.
See the discounts on offer by choosing your favourite Range Rover Sport in our car configurator.
Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery isn’t quite the most expensive car in our list, but it is the highest rated among critics. A wowscore of 9.2 shows how highly the experts rate it – it truly is a fantastic car.
The interior is smart and spacious, the 3.0-litre V6 diesel is smooth and refined, and it’s very comfortable for all to travel in – even when loaded to the gills with seven people and luggage.
See how much you could save by selecting your ideal Land Rover Discovery in our car configurator.
Put any of these cars into our car configurator to see the discounts on offer. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you’re still struggling to pick what car you’d like, check out our car chooser.