We'd like a 7 seater - what would you go for?

(69 Posts)
designerbaby Sun 10-Jun-12 01:04:26

Our ancient Renault Scenic is regularly costing us a small fortune, so we figure we're probably better off upgrading.

We only have 2DCs, but often take an extra adult... or two, and if we had the space we'd be taking extra children/adults etc. more often. So we figure a 7 seater would be our best bet, and the huge boot (when the 2 extra seats aren't in use) would be very useful as we holiday by car (cornwall, scotland, france etc.) often and it's always a struggle to fit everything in.

We'd like a seven seater that really is - i.e. 3 proper seats across the back. i.e. didn't like the mini-seat in the Grand C-Max, because if MIL came out with us, we'd have to put a back seat up and then wouldn't be able to get much in the boot (a buggy, for example).

We're considering:

Ford S Max
Nissan Qashqai +2
Toyota Verso
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

But we're open to suggestions...

I don't especially want to drive too much of a bus... or be tarred with the 'chelsea tractor' brush. (We don't live in chelsea or own a farm...)

Any suggestions? I figure our requirements are hardly unique and some of you must have been looking for a similar spec...

Any help/experiences/warnings gratefully received!

Thanks in advance,

GooseRocks Sun 10-Jun-12 01:26:11

I'm looking too.

From your list I'd love an s-max.

Wondered about peugeot 5008 and citroen grand c4 picasso also.

S-max is great, but expensive. They're also HUGE for the inside space you get and longer than they need to be.

Look at the Peugeot 7 seater or the VW Touran. WIth the Touran you can take out hte whole middle row of seats if you do wish, which is v useful for ikea trips. The boot is enormous too.

jubilucket Sun 10-Jun-12 01:33:14

I'd get a newer Espace. Don't go near the Toyota Previa, I have never driven anything that was thirstier.
I love my Scenic (petrol 03) it's the best car I've ever had.

sleepdodger Sun 10-Jun-12 01:35:48

Love my qashqai space is practical as 4x4 but running cost of car

designerbaby Sun 10-Jun-12 15:35:48

I loved the SMax too, but it did seem HUGE to drive around day-to-day/park etc... Will take it for a test drive next week and see if it feels as big as it looks though.

We've had a scenic and a citroen as our last 2 cars, and having totted up the repair bills we'll probably steer well clear of French cars from here on shock.

Even the mechanic at our Renault garage said, in confidence, that he'd NEVER buy a French car but would go for a Japanese car or a Ford. He also advised against VWs... We know this guy pretty well because he's been doing all our (many, many) repairs for the last 4 years, so would take his advice on board...

That said if we liked a VW and the price was competitive we wouldn't rule it out... Especially if there was good warranty!

I think we're well and truly sworn off all French cars though - I've had to be rescued by the RAC too many times...!!

Very interested in the Qashqai as love the way it looks, but have heard its smaller inside than it ought to be? Are there 3 full seats across the back? What is the boot space like when the additional seats are up?

We're hoping to hang on to this next car for 10 years or so, so don't want to outgrow it...

Thanks for help...

ScoobyDooWhereAreYou Sun 10-Jun-12 15:54:03

Love our Qashqai+2. Can get an adult sat in the middle seat with a car seat either side. The two pop up seats in the boot don't offer much leg room so better left for kids or short journeys. When both pop up seats are up you can just about get an umbrella buggy in the back with a big beach bag and picnic on top. It's great being able to use those extra seats independently as we often have 6 people in which still leaves us with plenty of boot space. And it's really nice to drive, doesn't feel too big at all, is significantly shorter than our previous estate car and doesn't look like a people carrier which was a bonus for me.

SoupDragon Sun 10-Jun-12 16:01:47

Love my SMax. I've not found it too big at all.

The boot is cavernous, the middle row of seats are all full seats and all move independently of each other which is good for seatbelt access when child carseats are in use.

Seats pop up and down really easily too.

SoupDragon Sun 10-Jun-12 16:02:08

My last car was a Renault Laguna and I would never touch Renault again.

SocksOnFire Sun 10-Jun-12 16:04:49

Chrysler Grand Voyager - we've never looked back

blooblies Mon 11-Jun-12 14:37:43

We've just been through this and got an S-max. The Touran's boot was just too wee for our needs. The S-max was next best before getting into Galaxy/Sharan/Alhambra territory. And I do like the independently moving seats, and the fact that seats are fold-down instead of removable (have precious little storage in our garage).

jkklpu Mon 11-Jun-12 14:41:27

Friends bought brand-new S-max last summer and it was a disaster. Clutch burned out within a couple of months, despite car being taken to Ford garage for checks because of burning smell. Terrible customer service and then the news that the clutch isn't covered under the guarantee, so friends had to pay for new one, which started smelling within a week. Lots and lots of wrangling with head office and finally they're on 3rd clutch but hardly drive it because they're scared it will break down suddenly.

SoupDragon Mon 11-Jun-12 14:45:51

The customer service I had from my local Ford has been great - there were 2 occasions mine had to go back in under warranty. Both times they sorted me out a courtesy car from a hire firm even though the dealership ones were fully booked.

It must depend on the dealer.

zzzzz Mon 11-Jun-12 14:52:53

Chrysler grand voyager.

Love our Touran - you dont feel like you are driving a bus but there is plenty of room for everyone. We also have a friend with a Mazda 5 which is lovely. The middle seat is a bit smaller but it handily folds away for when you only have 2 children in back and it lets you have access to seats in back when they are up.

SirEdmundFrillary Mon 11-Jun-12 14:56:03

Fiat Multipla? they're known as ugly-bugs, I understand. They do look odd but have a lot of room without the hugeness of some things.

kilmuir Mon 11-Jun-12 14:58:29

Love our sMax

Babylon1 Mon 11-Jun-12 14:59:13

VW Touran all the way. We've had ours for 4 years now and can't see us ever having different.

Ours is a 53 plate and still drives like a new car despite having done over 100k miles.

It's economical, spacious and just a lovely car really. We've easily gone from 2 carseats to 3 without putting extra seats up in the boot ( an option you don't get with a lot of 7 seaters - seats are either in or not, ours fold down flat into boot and will easily and comfortably take adults).

Only thing I would say is to avoid VW dealerships and buy from either private or other garage. Really cannot fault ours though grin

Dukandoit Mon 11-Jun-12 15:15:18

We went from a Renault Scenic to a Mazda 5. I'm very happy with it. Very similar width to scenic but with two easy to pull up full sized seats in the back. Carries large numbers of teenage boys with golf clubs and cricket bags with ease and they fight to be the one to sit at the back!!
Very reasonably priced and having had Mazdas in the past they run and run.

designerbaby Mon 11-Jun-12 15:25:00

This all makes really interesting reading... There are quite a few options, looks like we're going to be spending done time in dealerships in the next few weeks trying stuff out.

I just parked next to a Honda FRV (I think) it looks like it ought to be a 7 sweater but it had blacked our rear windows, so I couldn't tell... Is it? Liked the look of it...

The Chrysler seems ££££... Is it worth the extra money?

Thanks for all the feedback. I honestly can't wait to get a new car. If the reverse gear drops out ONE MORE TIME I swear I'm going to go postal... So that'll be in about an hour when I try and reverse out of a parking space. It NEVER takes fewer that three goes to actually get it to stay in reverse.angry

I loved the scenic when we first got it (passed on to us from a friend) but over time all the little niggles and all the time spent in the garage for stupid-yet-critical faults are making me hate it. I think it's a real good idea, and lots of things are well thought out, but it's just really badly made, and that almost makes me more cross than if it was crap in all respects...


blooblies Mon 11-Jun-12 15:43:14

We saw an FRV. It is a 6-seater - the extra seat is in the front. The gear stick is in the dash, the front floor is flat and the middle seat folds down to a central console if not needed. Lots of space to access kids in the back if needed, but not a great boot size.

zzzzz Mon 11-Jun-12 16:12:07

Chrysler is absolutely brilliant. Back seats fold in automatically, side doors and boot automatic, serious climate control, 2 screens so 2 videos going simultaneously, big boot, rear view vid for reverse, blue tooth,.....grin

Ours is about 3 months old and still a dream. Real customer service.

Only slight worry is we might all grow to fit the ample American size seats!

Oh and they hold their value too.

zzzzz Mon 11-Jun-12 16:56:02

Slightly shock and blush at my enthusiasm....perhaps it is not just my butt taking on an American feel.

SocksOnFire Mon 11-Jun-12 20:31:07

Not just you zzzzz, I think all of us chrysler owners become evangelical about how bloody amazing they are!

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-12 20:34:38

i like my S-Max because it's not an obvious 7-seater and therefore folk don't assume you will give them or their DC lifts/take stuff to the dump/take them to Ikea etc.

I also like it because it's a great car to drive, but get one with parking sensors as it's hard to judge the rear end.

Quip Mon 11-Jun-12 20:48:38

We had a Renault Scenic and have sworn never to get behind the wheel of a French car again. Opted for a Ford as we couldn't afford a German-made car.

MeDented Mon 11-Jun-12 20:53:09

Citroen C8 is a fab 7 seater, same as the Peugeot but cheaper. Sliding side doors are brilliant as makes it much easier getting in and out of the car in parked spaces. Also the backseat is the extra 2 so it remains a 5 seater when back seats out. Also front 2 seats turn round to face back and middle seat used as table for in car picnics!

mamasmissionimpossible Mon 11-Jun-12 21:13:21

We have recently bought a toyota verso in order to get dc3 car seat in the back. It's a good car. Spacious, drives well, reliable and fairly economical.

The rear seats also move back and forward, so anyone in the rear seats can have leg room. The boot is a decent size if the very rear seats are laid flat. All in all we are pleased we bought it.

GenuinelyClueless Mon 11-Jun-12 21:29:27

Have a look at car safety ratings here. Chrysler grand voyager is pants for safety.

zzzzz Mon 11-Jun-12 22:07:23

I can't see the grand voyager on that site (might be me being daft), it has been massively revamped since my last grand voyager (2004).

ENormaSnob Wed 13-Jun-12 19:50:10

Stay away from the Citroen c4 grand Picasso.

I have one and loathe it. Numerous faults, engine goes into shut down whenever a fault is detected which is not great in the outside lane of a dual carriage way shock running costs are extortionate and Citroen garages are shit.

GooseRocks Wed 13-Jun-12 21:42:52

Oh ffs. I was thinking about a citroen.

Every car I consider someone on here has had a bad experience with it...


AJ27 Sat 16-Jun-12 18:06:22

The S-Max is really expensive. Have you thought of the Kia Carens. The VW Touran has third row flip down seats and has really good MPG, as does the C4 Picasso, Zafira (EcoFlex), Mazda 5 and Peugeot 5008.

Source: www.7-seater-cars.co.uk/WordpressBlog/2011/08/the-seven-most-fuel-efficient-and-frugal-7-seaters/

stressheaderic Sat 16-Jun-12 18:17:55

I have a C4 Grand Picasso. Had it from almost new for 4 years and had no problems at all with it, easy to get seats up and down and cheap to run.

BonnieBumble Sat 16-Jun-12 18:49:29

Mil has a Vauxhall Zafira. Very happy with it and I think they are one of the cheapest on the market.

RandomMess Sat 16-Jun-12 18:53:30

My mechanic rates

Manual Diesel:

Zafira or sharran/alhambra/galaxy (they are all the same engine and car jsut different badges). Very happy with my alhambra, certainly running costs are low and never needed anything doing to it just regular service, mechanic says it should run easily to £150k miles.

ArcticLemming Sat 16-Jun-12 18:53:34

If you're going to use it as a 7 seater regularly I'd steer away from the touran and other "optional" 7 seaters. When the 3rd row is in place there is very little room between the rear of the car and the last row of passengers - this makes a rear end shunt very dangerous, as well as giving you very little boot space.

weblette Sat 16-Jun-12 19:20:29

I heart my Sharan. It's the new design and doesn't feel like a bus. Loads of space - even with all the seats up I can still fit a full load of shopping in the back.

Fuel economy good, excellent on long journeys. Handles v well and it's a great, responsive drive.

We considered a Galaxy but couldn't get the spec we wanted. Have had a Zafira and Grand Scenic in the past, no problems with reliability but the VW just feels far better built, less plasticky.

designerbaby Sat 16-Jun-12 22:51:28

Well we spent a WHOLE BLARDY DAY visiting and test-driving.

The SMax was lovely - very roomy, but it felt enormous to drive. And I felt like a midget in it. Really didn't feel comfortable that I could really see what I was doing. Just too much car for day-to-day use, I felt, although I could imagine it's wonderful for long trips. I would NOT want to try and park it though...

We've ruled out the Qashqai - it's not a 7 seater, really, it's a 6.5 seater - the middle seat, when between two car seats, would never fit an actual person, so you'd have to pop up the rear two just to carry an extra person which would be a pain. I'd go along with the 'reverse tardis' comment above. It's a nice looker though.

Then we tried the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer. Nice but there was too much trim and blingy-nonsense on the interior, which made it feel more cramped that it should do. I liked it, but not enough – it also felt a bit, well, chavvy? Lines of red strip lighting along the interior trim? Please... It was ok to drive - a bit smaller than the S-Max, which is good. Plus there's a 3 month wait, and I'm not sure the clutch on our Scenic will last that long! 0% finance though, and lifetime warranty.

The we tried the Toyota Verso. DH is in love, I think. We drove the 2l Diesel, and for me the engine sounded and felt pretty rough - but I think if we were buying we'd probably get the 1.6 petrol anyway - we don't really do sufficient miles to make the benefits of a diesel outweigh the negatives. Apparently that's really quiet... I liked it as it feels the same size as our Scenic to drive (in fact I think it's pretty much the same size) I'm not quite sure how they've done it as all seats are pretty spacious. The two rearmost seats are a bit dark - the kids couldn't see anything sat back there... It's a really good price, meaning we can up-spec a bit and still come in cheaper than other options. They do 0% finance too. DH would honestly buy it tomorrow. I have to say the sales/service was great... the best of the lot by a mile.

Then we tried the Touran, and I fell in love. Really like the minimal, no-nonsense styling - it's not trying to be something it's not. Really solid, rooted to the road drive - drove the diesel and it was quiet and as smooth as butter. Really spacious interior. Rear-most two seats a bit smaller than the Verso, and a bit more of a palarver to get to, but we wouldn't be using them THAT often, and when sat in them you could see out really nicely and there was room enough for me to sit comfortably (although I am, admittedly, a short-arse). DH thinks it's expensive. They're not offering 0%, but they do a hire-purchase where you put 30% down and then pay 0% on the rest over 2 years - which to my mind is almost the same... DH says not. I'm hoping to convince him on the fuel economy...

So, Verso vs.. Touran.

Who will offer me what odds?

GooseRocks Wed 20-Jun-12 14:54:48

Interesting. Verso looks small to me but obv not.

Touran - definitely.

Did you know you can take out hte whole row of middle seats (or e.g. just the middle one to make getting into the back easier)

Fuel economy is OK - can get 500 miles out of a full tank (just!) with normal day-to-day driving - motorway loads better. If you're careful you can get 50mpg out of it. It really drives like it's on rails too.

Do a comparison on insurance - that might swing it. We saved money when we switched to the Touran, which I was surprised by!

designerbaby Thu 21-Jun-12 15:54:59

I know... I luff the Touran... But DH reckons what the financing ans stuff there's a 4-5k difference in price (which is a lot of insurance/petrol/road tax)...

I suspect he's compiling a spreadsheet as we speak – how can I compete with that?

But thanks for the tip re: insurance... It will help a bit, I hope...


Checked today and I get 40mpg on normal day-to-day driving, so very good for such a massive car.

WHo's going to be driving it the most? If you have it 70% of the time, then you should get 70% of the vote wink

designerbaby Thu 21-Jun-12 20:31:33

Jareth – That is very good... might help... dunno...

And while I use the car most, DH is the family finance Tzar... (which makes sense, he being a chartered accountant and being trained to manage money, and me being a chartered designer and thus trained to spend it...blush)

So it's less about who has custody of the car, and more who has custody of the bank details...


Balls... if you use it, you have the sway.

How about a VW Touran will keep its value a lot more than a Verso? grin
(and it will!)

sleepdodger Thu 21-Jun-12 21:38:12

We have a qashqai and love it

sleepdodger Thu 21-Jun-12 21:42:46

blush blush blush just realised I've answered twice without even noticing it was the same thread!!!

designerbaby Thu 21-Jun-12 21:52:54

Hi sleepdodger - don't be embarrassed, 'tis a slow moving thread grin.

We have, however, ruled out the Qashqai because of it only having 2.5 seats across the back rather than a proper 3 - we use this all the time, and wouldn't want to have to use the rear two that much due to the compromise on boot space.

Jareth, I have NO sway when it comes to money. Mostly I like it that way, (being well aware of my limitations in that regard,) but sometimes...

Trouble it, I'll now feel a bit dissatisfied with the Verso if we end up with one, which is a shame, because I've NEVER owned a new car before and was/am really excited about that...

Gah... We nearly didn't make it to the VW test drive, part of me wishes I hadn't gone, then I would have just been delighted with the new shiny Verso... But now I've gone and seen the Touran and driven the Touran... ah...



p.s. Aware I'm being a brat. Make no apologies for it as it's such a rare occurance... grin

poorbuthappy Thu 21-Jun-12 21:58:12

We have a 55 plate Touran which has been the main car for the last 3.5 years. Its great...but we are just about to scrap our other car and buy a 4 year old Galaxy so we can both take 3 kids and others out in both cars.

The Touran is great and very good value for money but, we struggle to do up all seat belts in the back (1 on a booster and 3 year old twins in full on seats) so we need slightly more width.
And I've wanted one since we shopped for the touran but couldn't afford 1. Now we can afford 1!

We are squashed into a Mondeo at the moment, and hate it. sad

We had to sell our Ford Galaxy when DH was made redundant. We lurved it. sad

Before that we had a Renault Grande Scenic - cost us a fortune in repairs. angry

We sometimes have use of DM's Foird SMax, and are really impressed - would prefer it with sliding doors though. DHsay it is speedy, nice to drive and comfortable to drive in.

designerbaby Sat 23-Jun-12 18:55:52

We just bought the verso. Incredible spec for approx 6k less than the mid range VW (once financing taken into account as Toyota offering terrific 0% and 5 year full warranty) which had a lot less stuff included.

So while I liked the VW a lot, I couldn't really argue with the numbers in the end. Try as we might, we couldn't make the VW work financially.

They threw in leather seats and a bunch of other stuff and we get it in 2 weeks...

I'm quite excited again, it's my FIRST EVER new car...


GooseRocks Sat 23-Jun-12 21:38:47

So is the verso a similar size to the touran then? It seems more compact?

Glad you got it sorted OP.



designerbaby Sat 23-Jun-12 22:36:31

Yes, goose, almost identical size, inside and out...

Actually really good MPG if you get Diesel (we did), seats easier to manoeuvre. Downsides? I preferred the more minimal aesthetic of the Touran, and bigger windows (especially for rearmost seats) but I couldn't honestly say these things matter to me to the tune of £6k when push comes to shove...

What are you considering?


GooseRocks Sat 23-Jun-12 22:38:36

Considering something different every blooming day!

designerbaby Sat 23-Jun-12 22:42:44

Jareth, well, a small bah! Perhaps...

But we're getting a new car, which won't cost us a fortune in repairs, the reverse gear won't continually drop out, and windows won't disappear inside the door, never to be seen again...

So a big YAY to drown out the small bah...
And £6k we haven't spent, which is a pretty bloody massive YAY!



designerbaby Sat 23-Jun-12 22:44:07

Goose, if you PM me I'll happily send you DHs very thorough spreadsheet...

He loves a good spreadsheet does DH...

twolittlekings Sun 12-Aug-12 11:03:27

I know this is a late post but have just bought a Peugeot 5008. Looked at lots of 4wd and MPVs but decided on this as we needed to get 2 car seats in back plus adult and I wanted them all on first row. I'm put off by permanent positioning of anyone in the very back due to safety and rear crashes (plus no boot space if these are up). It's amazing how many cars don't have 3 proper seats in back. I looked at the FRV but there's just a wall of seats so no interaction with the front and back - we are always turning round to pass things to kids and check things are ok so did not like the idea of not being able to do this.. We also looked at xc90 as real contender but we worked out running costs would be double to our current s40. And no proper boot either. Looks nice though but have decided that practicality must override! Anyway the 5008 is lovely - big but does not look like a proper MPV and I feel like I'm driving a car. Its very economical with £115 tax and car insurance ok too. Kids love it too as they get trays to do things on and storage by their feet!!

bea Sun 12-Aug-12 15:09:11

ooo! twolittlekings... i ahve just posted about the lack of 5008 to see in real life! I have yet to see one... don't suppose you live in the midlands so we can have a nosey hey???

am very jealous!

bureni Sun 12-Aug-12 15:16:10

I swear by my Volvo estate cars for carrying 7 people though the 2 rear foldout seats are rear facing which might not suit everyone, I stick to Volvo estates as I also need a large carrying capacity were all the seats can fold down quickly and easily. Bonus is the durability and safety that a Volvo offers, I certainly would not touch a Renault with a bargepole due to the complex and expensive electrical problems.

3littlefrogs Sun 12-Aug-12 15:19:51

I loved my old diesel galaxy.

It transported all manner of DC to parties, football, rugby, basketball, swimming, cricket, cubs, scouts etc over many years.

We could even put bicycles in it if we took some seats out.

It was big enough to transport tables, chairs, tents, even a bed once.

It was the end of an era when we exchanged it for something smaller.

twolittlekings Sun 12-Aug-12 16:07:30

Bureai I love volvos but the largest estate just did not seem big enough with 2 car seats and a adult. My friend has a newish v70 and the middle seat still not full size but I'm sad to see my s40 go.

Bea we live in London - we bought from a Peugeot dealer in Epsom. I'm not sure how easy they are to get where you ate but they had 4 to buy used with the average age less than 2 years. Thus has 28k on the clock and is an ex demonstrator.

janew57 Thu 03-Jan-13 05:34:01

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

pendlewitch70 Sun 09-Jun-13 23:43:43

We're in the same predicament a year on - just like you have a scenic which keeps breaking down/costing fortune in repairs. just like you i really like a touran or verso (doesn't seem too be a big price difference). my DH still wants another grand scenic despite himself, as like you we still love the drive, airy feel and handy gizmos despite it spending half the time in a garage and the engine blowing up whilst holidaying in france! we are at stalemate as the new grand scenic is supposed to be far more reliable and has 4yr warranty and servicing and low running costs. i just can't bring myself to trust them and the verso is big on reliability but the touran whilst being classier isn't as reliable. please could you let me know if, a year on, you are happy with the verso or wishing you had got something else!

AlexMumsnetCars (MNHQ) Mon 10-Jun-13 11:03:42

Do make sure you check Mumsnet Cars' recommendations for the 10 best seven-seaters (which are compiled with our partners at What Car?) so you can be sure you (and your DH) haven't missed anything.

zumo Thu 20-Jun-13 06:09:37

I have had
Volvo estate 7 seater
Peugeot estate 7 seater
Landrover Discovery 7 seater
Basically the same concept, excellent idea but when you do carry 6 or 7 people you have little space for anything else.
I now have a Mazda Bongo 8 seater van type MPV and its excellent, we often carry 6 adult size people with luggage.
I would try and hire a van type MPV for a weekend and do the trips out shopping etc, you will find it much better

Lewis3 Sun 23-Feb-14 18:05:03


We were looking at buying a new Vauxhall Zafira Tourer. Sales guy said it would be great for us to put 3 seats across second row. Reading the review on Mumsnet it said can fit 3 child seats across second row. I then read a Top Gear review by someone who thankfully read the Owners Manual before buying.

On page 58 (http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/content/dam/Vauxhall/Europe/united_kingdom/nscwebsite/uk/Home/pdf/Owners_Services/owners_manuals/VX%20Zafira-C%20Tourer%20OM_KTA-2722-5_MY14.5%20(Jan%202014).pdf) it shows that the middle seat of the second row should not be used with any type of child seat. It also shows that the front seat can only be used with baby car seat, not suitable for any of the other groups of child seat even with airbag turned off.

A real eye opener as I have seen parents and child minders with these cars using both of those positions. Apparently a safety hazard and also if using those with children and a crash happened the manual means the insurance company could say they were negligent in not following the Owner Manual.

So this is not as suitable as other MPVs.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 01-Mar-14 17:41:48

Traded in our Renault Megane Scenic three months ago for a Kia Carens and have not looked back. It's a fantastic car to drive.

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