Which 7 seater car to buy?

(116 Posts)
defuse Wed 24-Oct-12 23:51:36


I need to purchase a 7 seater car. Dont have a clue whats out there. Any ideas which 7 seaters are spacious and economical as well as not too expensive to buy? I have heard good things about skoda yeti but dont know if that comes in a 7 seater size.

Any knowledgeable mnetters out there? smile

Iamnotamindreader Thu 25-Oct-12 00:07:52

It depends on your requirements.
Do you need to fit 3 car seats on one row?
Do you have a mix of teen and younger children?
These will have a bearing on whether you get one that is a dedicated 7 seater or a 5 seater with 2 extra seats in the boot.

The latter leaves you with no boot space, the seats are in crumple zones and are usually a bit cramped so not for older children.
The former might be a bit of a gas guzzler, however you need to balance.

There are lots of online revews comparing 7 seaters. I am sure you will be able to find one which ticks all your boxes.

We have a Nissan. It has served as a removal van as well as a family car but its been expensive on the fuel. However it being a 4 wheel drive meant in bad weather we got to pick up friends children stranded at school. It isn't one of those ones that look like a Chelsea tractor (all the kit but never going on more than grass). It looks like a minibus, just with a bit more pull.

unitarian Thu 25-Oct-12 00:49:07

Vauxhall Zafira.
It has 2 in front, 3 behind with full seat belts and two pull up seats in the back. When they're not in use it's a good sized hatchback.
I have carried teens in the back seats but it is a bit cramped for regular use that way and there's no space for baggage when they're all in use.
Does 45+ mpg, tows a caravan over Alps and is really nice to drive.
Heater is not good.

I too have a zafira.

Has been very reliable and nice to drive. But like the other poster says, hate hate the crumple zone seating and also the struts on either side of windscreen, I feel they obstruct my vision.

Boot space also pants.

Jellibotti Thu 25-Oct-12 05:41:46

I'm also looking for a 7 seater, but am in the 5 plus occasional 2 camp. Looked at loads, but have come down to two - the Touran and the Peugeot 5008.
Qashqai +2 was too small, Mazda 5 too tinny, Citroen too peculiar, Smax too big.

RobynRidingHood Thu 25-Oct-12 06:24:05

I third a Zafira

I have a Chrysler voyager- plus points are the aisle through the middle so you can walk down to the back row, nice to drive, sliding doors so you can get the kids out even when people park really close to you.

Minus points- hard to park (though it's not my strong point..), when there are three kids in the back row it's a squash & you cant fit 3 car seats along there. Boot not massive but I can still fit a week of shopping in alongside a single buggy.

When someone crashed into us we had a ford s max as the courtesy car which was lovely though if you need more than one big fixed in car seat not so good as you fold the middle seats to get to the back.

Glittertwins Thu 25-Oct-12 06:46:27

We have a Zafira however it isn't possible to use the seat on the back with 2 full size car seats. A Touran/SMax/Grand Scenic all get 3 seats comfortably in normal rear seats.
The 3rd row of seats is easy to get up / down but, as with all cars of this design, these seats are in the crumple zone so not often used. DH would also agree that the A pillars can obstruct your view when pulling out.
That said, it's been one of the better cars we have had for reliability.

Eastpoint Thu 25-Oct-12 06:53:25

We had a VW Sharan. Fitted 3 car seats in the middle & 2 seats in the back. Our 1.8l engine was a bit underpowered when doing long motorway journeys but good for everyday life, school run etc. brilliant when moving as could take all the seats out (apart from driver's!).

Have a BMW x5 with 7 seats now. Much more comfortable to drive but back seats not nearly as good. Wouldn't be able to fit 3 car seats in the same row.

Had a Yeti on demo the other week. It doesn't come with 7 seats. Plus the suspension is really hard.

My parents have an SMax and it doesn't feel big to drive IYKWIM.

We have a Sharan and a Citroen C4 grand Picasso. Love them both, can get 3 carseats on middle row in both.

Used to have Zafira, didn't like the bench style middle row, personally prefer the three full seats in the cars I have now. Plus the bloody engine blew up.

pongysticks Thu 25-Oct-12 09:04:36

I would put my hand up and say Landrover Discovery, loads of space 7 seats, but I'm thinking unless you get 05 plate at 12K maybe a tad more expensive than a Zafira? not sure how much they are new but the landie will last forever!!

countingto10 Thu 25-Oct-12 09:07:41

Have Citroen C8, as my brother (a mechanic) says "it does what it says on the tin". Have had it 8 yrs now, it has 7 full size seats which can all be removed (2 at front excepted), bit heavy on fuel around town but good on a long run. We had the Citroen garage phone us asking if we were looking to trade it in, I replied that we were holding on to it until it went to the great garage in the sky and she replied "you and every else!". It's a good workhorse for a large family.

We primarily chose it because we had had 2 picassos before and were pleased with them, at the time the C8 was good value as opposed to the Renault Espace and we were advised not to touch a Voyager with a barge pole as they crumpled on impact (at that time) - this from my brother and friend's DH who was a policeman who investigated fatal crashes (they had an Espace as they couldn't get a secondhand C8).


Dillydollydaydream Thu 25-Oct-12 09:12:27

We went for a Touran as the middle seat on the second row was a much better size and all 3 seats can move independently of each other rather than just being a bench like the zafira. We used to have a Renault grand scenic that was a really good size but we traded it in for the Touran as it was costing too much in repairs.

If you need 7 seats don't get a zafira, you do not want to have children in the crumple zone as a permanant thing. Hated ours.

Love my Galaxy, but it also needs mid row seats folded to get to back row, so no good if you need carseats in middle row and want easy access to back.

MotherOfSuburbia Thu 25-Oct-12 10:08:10

We have a 3yr old Galaxy. Perfect if you need the seats on a regular basis. Loads of legroom for everyone. Not a huge amount of bootspace once the back seats are up, but we could fit our buggy and a travel cot in there and just got a roof box for when we're on holiday.
Obviously, at first it felt a bit like I was driving a bus but now it's great. No complaints here.

fledtoscotland Thu 25-Oct-12 10:19:45

We used to have a Kia Sedona and I miss that car. 7 full size seats, sliding doors, sensor parking, able to shut the door and stand in front of the middle row of seats for fasten seat belts instead of getting soaked in the rain. All seats apart from drivers came out for moving day. The only thing I hated was filling up at the petrol station which is why we traded it in and now have a Volvo estate.

Wearsuncream Thu 25-Oct-12 10:47:37

Ford grand c-max here. It does seat seven but not seven adults as the two back seats are in the boot with very little leg room and no boot space. Plus the three seats across the middle block the exit for those right at the back. However for us as a family of five its great. Sliding doors are excellent and it's not huge to drive - I can still just about get it in a normal parking space .

NinePeedles Thu 25-Oct-12 11:26:30

We got a VW Touran earlier this year and I love it!

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 25-Oct-12 11:27:13

Hello. We're going to move this thread to our Cars topic now.

ventilatormum Thu 25-Oct-12 11:53:16

We had a sharan which was great apart from one thing. That was that the back two seats, although v comfortable and safe, were incredibly difficult to get in and out and very heavy. So when you buy, do check that. The sharan was a breeze to drive, park etc. Have had espaces on holiday but not as nice as the sharan i m o. I would second the sliding door point made above - they are great for busy car parks (not sure if available on a sharan, I doubt it.)

Heavywheezing Thu 25-Oct-12 12:10:57

We have a Honda fr v . Truly excellent. It has 6 seats, three across the front if you need it, three seats at the back and a boot.

The engine is excellent and it's not a shoddy put together car.

They come highly rated but experts and people like us.

Never regretted buying it.

coorong Thu 25-Oct-12 12:18:23

We got a touran because we like VWs. For five people it's great. But for 7 tricky. If you have child seats in the middle row, you can't flick the seats forward to let the people get into the back row very easily - we let people go in through the boot! There is also no spare tyre / wheel with the Touran (we bought a space saver tyre for emergencies). The boot is also surprisingly small - narrow - our maclaren pram wouldn't lie flat across the back. We're very happy with it and take it camping in France every year (with bikes, tents etc).
Have you looked at the VW tourareg? or sharan?

maillotjaune Thu 25-Oct-12 12:24:03

We have a second hand Renault Espace. It is about the same size as the Citroen (think it's the Grand Picasso now?) and Peugeot equivalent but feels plusher and more solid. I love it.

It took quite a bit of patience finding one second hand - at first they only seemed to be coming up hundreds of miles away, then the local ones were going overnight. As someone said upthread people hold onto the good ones, plus we were told in one showroom that they are often sold to minicab drivers.

manitz Thu 25-Oct-12 12:26:17

new sharan has sliding doors but we have old one. I love it apart from sliding doors isofix in all five seats but dd has to get in back seat through the back and we need a roof box to go camping.

Next car we will buy a van and keep sharan till it dies then buy a second car as a golf or similar for day-to-day driving to keep fuel costs down. haven't worked out how much insurance is against fuel etc. but dd wont need a seat and can go in the front by that time. Tried an espace when we got our sharan but it felt much bigger and wouldn't fit my double buggy with all seats up (sharan could)

would get parking sensors and sharan has the turning cirlce of a small barge.

DorisIsWaiting Thu 25-Oct-12 12:37:14

We have a Kia Sedona and I love it. for everything fledtoscotland said.

I know Kia aren't popular but it's great. Take the rear seats out to go camping and get 3 dd's across the middle in fixed seats.

preety18 Thu 25-Oct-12 12:45:51

Try the toyota corolla verso it has 2 seats in front, 3 individual seats in the middle and 2 pull out seats in the boot. It's a great family car and good on fuel too.

Pinkforever Thu 25-Oct-12 12:53:20

Seems I am going against the grain here but I would say not the kia sedona. We have only had ours for 3 years and I have lost count with the number of times it been in the garage. Had loads of problems with doors especially-latest problem cost us £300!

Saying that it is a comfortable car-plenty of space for 3 car seats and enough boot room for shopping/luggage.

I know a couple of people who have them who love them so maybe we have just been unlucky?

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 25-Oct-12 13:02:25

VW Caravelle? I love ours. smile

Peetle Thu 25-Oct-12 13:07:27

Seconding the Toyota (Corolla) Verso. Good sized 5 seater with an extra two when you need it, though you lose most of the boot when you do. Turning circle like a battleship but I think that's true of all long-wheelbase, front wheel drive cars. It doesn't look like a bus which is a bonus as well.

Rear seats all quite flexible so if you need a huge carrying space they can all be folded flat.

kateecass Thu 25-Oct-12 13:08:16

Marking my place as we're considering the same

Iatemyskinnyperson Thu 25-Oct-12 13:12:57

I'm on my second VW Touran. Obviously I like them! We only use the 2 rear seats occasionally, so the boot is very useful to us. I love the driving position & the solid build quality. Also as its on a golf chassis, it's not terribly long, so easy for parking etc.

I tried lots of 7-seaters when we changed the last time, and the Touran was my favourite. The others all felt tinny to me, or had an uncomfortable driving position.

PanicMode Thu 25-Oct-12 13:14:50

We have a Grande Espace and I love and hate it in equal measure. Plus points are that all 7 seats have an NCAP 5 rating, but the minus is that they are SO heavy to get in and out of the car. It's really good for long journeys, but it is very thirsty around town. DH is 6ft 6 and all of the children are tall, so there is plenty of legroom, and as we have the Grande, there is a boot even though we have all 7 seats in most of the time.

In terms of running it it's terrible - it's cost us £1000s - everyone I know who has had one for any length of time wouldn't own them again. We've had recurring electrical problems, have had two engine failures (Renault have a slush fund because this is a known problem!), and from a maintenance POV they just seem to guzzle money as fast as they guzzle gas.

I have no idea what we'll get next - DH thinks a Disco because everyone I know with one loves it - but I can't imagine that they are any cheaper on diesel or maintenance!

7to25 Thu 25-Oct-12 13:14:58

had a head on collision on the motorway in an Espace (other driver going the wrong was)
we all survived
I was extensively injured, front seat passenger has seatbelt bruising and child in carseat had a broken arm
the other driver died instantly.
My vote for Espace

Notnowcato Thu 25-Oct-12 14:07:49

7to25, what an amazing story. I'm not sure if my opinion should sway the argument, given your outcome, but here it is for what it's worth …

We have a Peugeot 5008 and it gets a big five stars from us.

The three seats in the middle are a good size (the middle seat is a proper seat, unlike the Zafira we test drove) and the two at the back are fine for an adult. (I am 5' 6" and have travelled over 300 miles in the back seat. Not the most comfortable ride but absolutely fine. I don't think my husband would manage a long journey right at the back, but he has also done short trips.) I also regularly travel in the middle of the 'middle' row (DD gets travel sick and so often rides in the front, two DSs tend to fight on long journeys - so I get to sit in between them and amuse them) and that's very comfortable.

With three children (age 2, 6 and a very short 8) and a granny living locally when we bought the car, we wanted something that could take three proper stage 2/high-back booster car seats in the middle row, and still leave space for adults in the back. Combined with the Peugeot's fuel economy (we got the diesel version) oh, and the fact that Top Gear seemed to like it, the decision was relatively easy.

My only two complaints are a slight lack of headroom for me when I am driving. There again, as my husband likes to say, I do have a ridiculously upright driving posture. For me, the Touran won in this respect. Also, if you regularly need the 6th and 7th seats, then you will have a ridiculously small boot space so for holidays you would need a top-box. Having said that, the Peugeot does have rather dinky under-floor storage boxes which are brilliant for raincoats/wellies/lunches on a day-trip.

We also liked the Ford S-max but it was a bit more expensive.

turtles Thu 25-Oct-12 14:16:25

For a smaller car - Touran, Cmax, Mazda 5 Venture but they are more 6 seaters.
For a bigger people carrier - Sharan, Alhambra, Kia Sedona (big!), Smax/Glaxay

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 25-Oct-12 14:16:33

<pops in> great discussion - just wanted to let you all know that Mumsnet Cars has a Top 10 MPVs feature here and if you have bought a 7 seater you really rate (or hate), we'd love you to review it here.

GreenShadow Thu 25-Oct-12 14:30:53

We are on our second Ford S-Max (not because the first one went wrong, I hasten to add, but because we have it under DH's company car scheme).

It is an ideal compromise between MPV and estate - ie. not as big as most MPVs but still pretty powerful/pleasant to drive, without feeling like a tank.

Before that we had a Volvo with fold up extra seats in the boot, but the DC (and their legs) have out grown that.

You could get a few year old one for a good price.

seaweed74 Thu 25-Oct-12 15:15:31

We bought a second hand VW Touran a few months ago. Got great deal, 3year old car with less than 10,000 miles on clock!

We were torn between Touran or S-Max.

Really pleased with our choice. Very economical on diesel (1.9 ltd) and loads of space. I have 2 dd in big car seats and we often have 3 adults in car too as well as double buggy and dog in the boot. On odd occasion that we need all seven seats we can fit a single buggy on the floor in front of middle row of seats and still have legroom for an adult!

Just returned from week's hol in Aviemore. Excellent fuel economy, lovely to drive, good acceleration even fully laden. We got loads of luggage and double buggy in boot by creating extra space by sliding middle row seats forward abit. Still had room for dog and more luggage on foot wells in mid row. Love all storage areas. Easy to park.

If you want to regularly carry 7 people prob need bigger car though.

Marmiteisyummy Thu 25-Oct-12 15:50:10

I have a Hyundai Santa Fe, which is the best car I've ever owned. 2 fold down seats in the boot but big enough for an average female adult to sit with legs straight, my 6ft DH does struggle but at 5'6'' I have room to spare. Makes for an ENORMOUS boot!! Such a nice car to drive too and the clincher for me was 4 wheel drive for the snow. Nt the most economical, about 35mpg diesel, with mainly town driving. 5year warrantee not to be sniffed at and after sales has been excellent.
I also test drove the Skoda yeti, which does have 7 seats and more options in that they can be taken out and it used as a van. I thought it was a great drive but DH didn't like the looks and I must say compared to the Santa Fe the interior does look cheap. Gets v good reviews though.

JollyJackOLantern Thu 25-Oct-12 16:02:50

We've just bought a Citroen Berlingo. It's amazing. But we only have the 5 seater version so I don't know how much boot space you'd get in the 7 seater.

We're thinking about a Toyota Previa. Anyone have any ideas about that one?

7to25 wow that must have been truly horrific shock

Our voyager got crashed into from behind by a van and the bumper is dented but all four kids barely noticed even though we were stationary and the vans brakes had failed so it was going pretty fast.

blooblies Thu 25-Oct-12 16:31:39

We have an S-max which is fab in terms of comfortably fitting 3 car seats across the middle (dd can still do her buckle in the middle seat easily), nice driving position, still has reasonable boot space with all 7 seats up, electric front windscreen for quick defrosting in winter, and fairly manoeuvrable. New ones have sliding doors too.

Don't get the 1.8 diesel though, as we did. Low gears are like treacle.

Mum2Luke Thu 25-Oct-12 16:56:36

I love my Ford Galaxy TDci, we bought it for my childminding as the seats are normal sized and can fit car seats on all. It has ISOFIX on 2 outer car seats too if you need which are safer than normal seatbelt fitting seats.

It is very spacious, I haven't got children to mind at the mo so its the family car as we have 4 adults and a 10 year old. The only disdvantage is the lack of spare wheel, it has that stuff you inject into the wheel for temporary use but I won't use that, we bought an extra wheel and keep it in the boot while I only need the 5 seats but ever since buying that I have had one puncture and I did that on the drive grin.

I was going to get a Zafira but my friend said don't bother, its not big enough for adults in the very back and am very glad I bought the Galaxy.

us4downhere Thu 25-Oct-12 17:28:14

We got a VW Touran 2.0l in August and I absolutely love it! We have 2 DC on boosters and I'm pregnant with DC3 so am expecting to get 3 seats in the back.

Love everything about it. We have had Grand Scenic (under powered) and Espace (seats too heavy to move) before and this tops them!

stillsmarting Thu 25-Oct-12 17:33:34

Starlight didn't know you could still get the Previa.I thought they stopped making it in 06. We drove one in Australia (called Tourago over there) and absolutely loved it. It had sliding doors which was a plus. We have ended up with a Galaxy as the next best thing. It is one of the ones where the seats fold flat. My friend has an older model where you have to remove the rear seats if you want the extra space.We really only use the two rear seats for occasional lifts and wanted the space for camping. The Galaxy is more roomy than the Zafira and you can get two adults in the rear seats, whereas the head room at the back of the SMax means you can only have children in there.

I see them on the road all the time. Presumably people sell them at some point?

stillsmarting Thu 25-Oct-12 17:40:55

Perhaps there is a Toyota dealer near you. Round here there are loads of Galaxies and several Ford garages. Perhaps that makes a difference. I would say the Previa is worth a look.

MoonHare Thu 25-Oct-12 18:00:29

Love our Galaxy. We have been known to insert people through the boot into the back two seats when can't be bothered to rearrange the middle 3 for access that way. Has good leg room in rear two seats, more space back there than almost any other 7 seater on the market. Good build quality, feels sturdy to drive but not in a stodgy way.

unitarian Thu 25-Oct-12 18:20:33

Agree that the Zafira has a nasty blind spot.

instantfamily Thu 25-Oct-12 18:24:54

I have loved both our Touran and the Sharan, but I always had the problem that the middle row was still too narrow to fit 3 car seats.

Impossible for DC to buckle themselves up and I had read on MN about something called "buckle crush" or something like that were the buckles would get destroyed in an impact because they were squeezed between two car seats. I have hence put one in the back, middle seat down or out (in Touran) and two in the middle row.

TeamEdward Thu 25-Oct-12 18:37:00

We have an S-Max, and find it very spacious but without the "Help I'm driving a tank!" feeling.
It fits adults in the back comfortably, and there is still room for the weeks shopping. Also lots of footroom in the middle row, and the seats all move with ease.
Good fuel economy (for a larger car) and we have a 1.8 Turbo diesel so it has pleanty of power!

PosieParker Thu 25-Oct-12 18:43:18

If I had to buy tomorrow it would be the Merc Viano, as it is I have a Grand Espace, as with all French cars only get one with a warranty...they are bloody expensive to fix.

PoppyAmex Thu 25-Oct-12 18:45:56

I have a Volvo XC90 and really love it - it's like driving sitting in an armchair, there's load of space in the back seat, you could hide bodies in the massive boot and I feel safe.

It also has a "shopping bag compartment" in the boot that I really like blush

Now you see , I like that "I'm driving a tank!" Feeling! Get out of my way minions!

MinkSlink Thu 25-Oct-12 19:44:53

Have a read of this, it's the European standards safety reports very interesting.

We chose a toyota corolla verso after taking one as well as a vauxhall zafira for a test drive, the zafira was really rubbish in comparison!

We've never had any problems with our car and owned in second hand for about 5 years, easily the best car I've ever owned.

PanicMode Thu 25-Oct-12 20:17:49

7to25 How utterly terrifying, and is maybe making me rethink getting rid of the Espace as soon as I can. One of the main reasons we bought it was for its safety record, but it just costs such a lot in maintenance as it's just not reliable enough.

oooggs Thu 25-Oct-12 20:29:39

We had a C8 for 3.5 years and have just traded in for a VW Caravelle - love it grin

harrassedswlondonmum Thu 25-Oct-12 20:29:40

Another anti-Espace vote here I am afraid. We had one from new, engine failed at 31,000 miles, no payment from Renault slush fund here despite lengthy correspondence. They offered us £1500 off a new one. I don't think so! Sold it age 6 for £3000 having paid £30k for it new and having had to pay £4.5k to get it back on the road. Still very bitter I'm afraid......

nowahousewife Thu 25-Oct-12 20:51:19

We've had a Volvo xc90 for 5 yrs and I wouldn't swap it for anything. Fab car, really good on long journeys, kids love it and I feel really safe driving it.

Only down side is our large dog cannot get into the very high boot so I have this v silly looking manouvere where I place his front paws on the tailgate then scoop up his rear end to shove him in the boot. On the plus side I always get sympathetic chaps offering to help me!

PanicMode Thu 25-Oct-12 20:52:50

harrassed - that is outrageous. Our first engine failed on a car we'd bought two weeks before (second hand). It was three years old and very low mileage - and our garage took it back, and they did all of the negotiating with Renault, who ended up paying 90% of the cost to the garage. The garage got us a new (secondhand) one - and that failed on our summer holiday this year - something to do with the injection system - and we again got 90% of the cost from Renault. Perhaps we were just very lucky with our dealers.

However, I don't think we'll mourn it when we finally get rid of it!

What do you have instead now? do you still have a 7 seater?

dumdedah Thu 25-Oct-12 20:57:13

I've a Peugeot 807, which I have mixed feelings about. We got it 2nd hand, so wont commit on general worthiness as not sure which mechanical problems are due to age. However, will say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sliding doors. So much easier to get kids in and out, and can open and close at the click of a button. Combine that with the reversing noise alert thing (yup, sure that has a proper name?) and you can park anywhere. I was worried about upsizing when we bought it, and being able to park it, but I think I park in smaller spaces now than I did with our little car.
The seats are a pain to get in and out of the car, but we have really appreciated and got value from having a gigantic van (by taking 5 seats out) when needed.
I'm eyeing off the VW Sharan as our next 7-seater, when we get around to it.

notanotter Thu 25-Oct-12 21:25:29

Over our twenty year parenting career we have had... with marks out of ten

1. toyota previa 6 - nice but almost too big and drank gas
2. Ford Galaxy 5- ok but dull and once it started going wrong the wrongs were spectacular
3. chrysler voyager 7- nice and flash but a bit small
4. chrysler grand voyager 6 - bigger but went wrong a lot and turned into a nightmare - don't be tempted
5. VW transporter 8 - nice roomy great for holidays but a bit utilitarian CRAP in the snow. People love it - we were forever being complimented on it.
6. VW Caravelle 8.5 nice - roomy GREAT for days out and picnics - FANTASIC for getting kids and babies in and out because of rear facing seats...GREAT for kids chatting because of rear facing seats. A bit utilitarian - despite paying for loads of extra bits that you get on most cars as standard... CRAP in snow...notably crap..scarily crap. VERY ££££ for what you get....

About to change car and was sooooooo tempted by XC90 which looked fab and comfy and cheapish but just a bit small????? Is it???
REALLY really want landrover defender but dp wont ...too many down sides

Will probably end up with caravelle again - but maybe 4 x 4 one

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 21:36:37

We've had two Ford Galaxies (1996 version and 2005), and a Chrysler Grand Caravan in the last 15 years.

The most spacious was the Grand Caravan. If it weren't so darned greedy with the fuel I would have it again in a heartbeat. It has slidey doors (very handy with enthusiastic children opening doors in tight spaces blush) and in the newer versions all the seats fold down into the floors, leaving giant storage spaces when the seats are up. The configuration of the seats is quite good too- you can fold down any of middle seats, leaving a nice wide space to reach the rear seats.

The older Ford Galaxy (petrol engine) was a pain if you wanted to use the space for carrying stuff as you had to remove the seats which weighed a ton and were a bugger to put back. I doubt you'd be getting a mid 90s version anyway, but I wouldn't recommend it if you were. Also its fuel economy was appalling by the time we sold it aged 13- about 25mpg.

The newer Ford Galaxy (diesel) is the one that has the most all round appeal for us. The seats fold down to allow use of the cargo space. Folding down the rear seats is pretty easy and it leaves a huge boot space. It's not as easy to fold down individual middle seats to allow space to get to rear seats as in the Grand Caravan, but the middle seats tip forwards easily enough. There's not as much space as in the GC. Its major selling point for us is its amazing fuel economy. It easily does 50mpg on standard run about mode, and on a motorway journey straight out of the petrol station we've easily got it to 60mpg, which is astonishing I think for what is a pretty large car. It's at its most fuel efficient at 50-60 mph in 6th gear, with the revs at or below 2000.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 25-Oct-12 21:39:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BadRoly Thu 25-Oct-12 21:54:09

We have 4 children and have a '57 Galaxy (with the fold down flat seats) and have recently inherited an '07 Espace.

The Galaxy has more boot space with the back seats up (umbrella pushchair and suoermarket shopping fit easily) and is easier for 4th child to access the back row. Seat 7 is always available as it folded into the boot so handy when we visit Grandmothers! Has 2 ISOFIX seats on outsides of middle row. Bit sluggish as it is 1.8 but lovely on motorways etc. Cheap to maintain but has no spare wheel.

The Espace has less boot space and we don't keep seat 7 in the car so we are trying to find somewhere to store it (bulky and heavy). We have a 2,2,2 set up as we couldn't see an easy way to access back row seat. This was invaluable on Sunday changing muddy rugby playing children! I find it much nicer to drive (it's a 2.0l) but past ownership of a Scenic means I fear it will be more expensive to maintain! Kids currently prefer the Espace as it has built in DVD players...

At the moment, I would recommend both grin

tilder Thu 25-Oct-12 21:55:36

Just check you can get all the car seats in that you will need. Some of the smaller ones dont have room for our three.

we replaced our 53 plate Zafira this year with a Chrevolet Orlando. The boot seats are much better and easier to put up - you just pull up the back but that doeas mean the entire boot space level is much higher than the Zafira was.
It is a good solid car which I think will become as popular as the Zafira.

CointreauVersial Thu 25-Oct-12 22:24:55

We have just bought a Toyota Verso (which is mid-sized, with two seats in the back which fold flat). Perfect for the five of us, now we are past the age of carseats. I'm particularly chuffed with the 5-year warranty and the reversing camera.

MissVerinder Thu 25-Oct-12 22:34:30

I love my Touran (love bus).

I can fit a 3 car seats (2 toddlers and a bucket) in the middle row, 2 in the back (through the boot admittedly) and a roofbox on top for the puschairs.

I really really love it. Sturdy, not too bad on fuel or insurance.

zanz1bar Thu 25-Oct-12 22:38:57

VW Touran
Love, love ,love it.
Which mag said it had a Good mpg diesel and more importantly the instruments give you a realistic mpg.

zanz1bar Thu 25-Oct-12 22:40:49

Also the toucan has good head height and leg room as ds could be over six foot by the time he is 12

Gobbledegook100 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:42:22

We have a Citroen C8 but unfortunately they have stopped making them now so you need to search for 2nd hand: Its excellent (if a bit like a van) - 3 proper seats for 3 different sized child seats and 2 proper seats in the boot (Fine for adults for long journeys) plus enough boot behind for all our stuff. We regularly make long journeys abroad inlcuding camping so have lots of stuff to transport and its been great. Slidy doors too make it great for tight parking on ferries. Also we find very economical on fuel (diesel) for size and weight of car. Only niggle is that when 3 child seats are fitted in the middle you have to climb through the boot to get to rear seats - not very elegant.

The replacement C4 Grand Picasso lacks the proper rear seats, has a smaller boot and no sliding doors - don't know what we'd do if our C8 fell apart as the C4 just isn't as useful a car. We would definitely recommend the C8, if only you can get one - good luck!

minimuffin Thu 25-Oct-12 22:49:39

I love love love our Volvo XC90 - so comfortable to drive and as a passenger. Can't imagine having anything else now. Fits 5 in the back (adults or kids) comfortably.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 25-Oct-12 22:52:42

Unfortunately they don't make the 7 seater Berlingo any more, there may be a few on the used car market.

We're looking for an occasional 6/7 seater ATM and will be test driving the grand c max, Mazda 5 and peugeot 5008 ver the weekend.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 25-Oct-12 23:17:04

We changed the lovely old Grand Voyager (which guzzled gas like mad) for the most boring car in the world - S Max 7 seater. I hate it so much and it's the most boring car I've ever owned. I'll never ever have another Ford - it's our first. I've driven for 30 years and never hated a car before. We'll be changing it very very soon. To be fair, it's a lot cheaper than the Chrysler but just so much more horrible.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 25-Oct-12 23:18:33

Agree with the CX90 - had a loan one for a while. That's what we may get next. Discovery seats in the back don't have proper legroom sadly.

JollyJackOLantern Thu 25-Oct-12 23:26:53

Iwishiwasmoreorganised Citroen's website says you can still get a 7 seater berlingo, as does the catalogue I picked up from a Citroen garage 2 weeks ago.

Here : www.citroen.co.uk/new-cars/car-range/Citroen-Berlingo-Multispace/interior/

We have a VW Sharan and we love it. There is loads of space to sit and the seats are all really adjustable and comfy. It's lovely to drive but is stupidly expensive to tax....... We usually leave one of the rear seats in the garage so we have space to put things in the boot, so it woud be nice if someone made some sort of seat storage bag for it so it could be kept clean and dry in the garage (and spider free)!

Mich37 Thu 25-Oct-12 23:50:18

Nissan Serena with out a doubt,, 7seater and still got decent boot space, i was able to get my pram in without collapsing it down, which is defo a bonus. Plenty of room inside aswell due to the seats being layed out as 2seats, 2seats and the 3 seats on the bk row.... My 2ltr was not to bad on petrol, especialy when driving long distants around the UK..Never had no problems or repairs to b done on the older model i had, It was beeeping vandals and pfft thiefs that wrecked mine, smashed a couple of windows, poured Redex (a fuel additive) all over the electrics, it was a right-off, all cause they seen a kids jacket, car seat n a few pennies to thieve :-(

Suzieismyname Fri 26-Oct-12 12:38:45

another vote for toyota verso here, but only if you want the extra 2 seats for occasional use.
best in its class for safety, 5 year warranty, not as expensive as Smax etc, very flexible for seating arrangements (I managed to clamber in and out of the extra seats when I was 8.5 months pregnant with DD2!). It doesn't feel like a big car at all to me.
It's great for us to use on holiday with PILs, with just enough room for a pushchair in the boot.

BirdyBedtime Fri 26-Oct-12 12:49:44

Another vote for the Verso here. We are now on our second (first petrol and second diesel). Fantastic fuel economy. I drive a tiny car (Aygo, we're a bit of a Toyota family!) and the Verso while much bigger, doesn't feel it to drive. The 2 boot seats are fine for DCs and even adults for short-ish journeys, although as others have pointed out you lose most of your boot when they are up. The other good thing is that you can fit 3 car seats in the middle row (with a bit of fiddling with seatbelts) and this row are all independent so great for configuring to transport bulky items. Not long ago we fitted in a single mattress, dismantled bed frame, and all 4 of us (DCs in car seats), all seatbelted and (relatively) safe! They are not as cheap as some but do keep their value pretty well - both times we've bought one-year olds and have had no problems at all.

Florence1205 Fri 26-Oct-12 13:38:44

We have had both a galaxy & currently a grand voyager, both have pro's & cons, we have 3 kids

Galaxy- set up 3 seats in middle row 2 seats in back, all independant of each other & removable
Still need to lift a seat up to get to back
Rear doors seemed quite big
Boot space limited but could take both rear seats out when not required

Chrysler- set up, 2 seats in middle with an aisle & 3 seats in the back, can be a bench but ours is leather & a 2/3 split
Sliding doors are great, the kids fling them open without me having heart attack
Changed the interior for the leather so we can now leave 1 seat in back but on the old system we couldn't take the rear seat out if we all needed to go out
All seats can be taken out
Good boot space even with all seats in
Big car, more difficult to park
7 adults & luggage can be in this comfortably (not loads of luggage) wheras the Galaxy really would have struggled with this


JuliaGulia Fri 26-Oct-12 13:42:45

We have a Mazda 5. It's really 6 + 1 but we can still fit our double buggy in the boot with the 2 boots seats in place.
It's not overly efficient but as I have twins I was sold on the rear sliding doors. Best invention ever.

wasuup3000 Fri 26-Oct-12 13:53:06

I am driving a hire car C$ grand picasso and it is quite powerful considering its size. The seats at the very back are only suitable for children I would say. We looked at most of the 7 seaters on the market. I do like the new Sharan but its out of our price range. We have had an Espace before but if anything wroing it would have to back to the main dealer as it needs special tools in some cases even to change a lightbulb. The Sedona looked good value price wise but costly to maintain and run. Really liked the Galaxy probably best out of all the larger 7 seaters with a Sharan coming in a close 2nd. Out of the middle sized 7 seaters I liked the Touran. The Mazda is only really a 6 seater but you can get a good size engine on it and good spec for the price of a Touran. I also have had a Zafria, good for younger children prob only going to get 2 child/baby seats in there though, can be reliable but costly for Cambelt/clutch changes. Parkers has a good review website and honestjohn.

harrassedswlondonmum Fri 26-Oct-12 15:02:29

PanicMode - thanks for your sympathy! Were yours both 2.2dci's by any chance?

We now have a 7 seater BMW X5 as a company car, which wasn't an option available to us when we bought the espace. Space wise it's not a match for the espace but now we don't need baby/toddler paraphernalia we manage fine. We always go on holiday in it with a roof box and one seat flat, and we just fit everything for 6 of us.

I still feel aggrieved about Renault not offering compensation but over three years on I am trying to put it behind me!!

pipsy76 Fri 26-Oct-12 17:26:50

xc90 lovely!

PosieParker Fri 26-Oct-12 17:46:52

Please consider NCAP. Chryslers fail safety tests.

Mankychester Fri 26-Oct-12 19:07:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ponders Fri 26-Oct-12 19:13:26

I had a Mazda5 for a while - I traded it in because it was diesel, over 3 years old, & over 40,000 miles; I don't do a lot of miles & was worried about potential expensive problems with the DPF, EGM etc

BUT I loved it - as Julia says it's really a 6+1 because the middle seat in the middle row is only for occasional use, but apart from that it's fabulous to drive & the sliding doors are sooo useful (& I don't even have small children grin)

I'd get a petrol one now though. Much less risky. Are you looking for new or used, defuse? what's your budget?

Ponders Fri 26-Oct-12 19:22:29

sample 10 plate petrol Mazda5 with under 10K miles, 9,500 - look at picture 7 for the boot space with all seats in place. You can fold the small middle middle seat away to give walk-through access to the 2 rear seats.

The 2.0 petrol is supposed to do about 34mpg.

Def worth considering

beachyhead Fri 26-Oct-12 19:42:16

Volvo XC 90 here too. Massive seats for all and versatile in terms of seats up and down configuration. Also the two back seats fold flat so the boot space is great if you only have 5 seats....

Similar problem with dogs to up thread - too high for them to jump into....

Ponders Fri 26-Oct-12 19:55:03

The Mazda 5 rear seats fold flat into the floor too & the boot is massive without them

It's quite a nifty design. Worth a look smile

PiedWagtail Fri 26-Oct-12 20:19:38

We have a 7 seater Kia Carens. we love it. The seats are easy to move round, the car is nice to srive and has great visibility, the kids love the little secret pockets and lights in the back. We tend to only use 5 seats regularly though as the back 2 are in the crumple zone - but they are handy for taking groups of kids out, etc., on short journeys. It's pretty fuel-efficient too with an mmpg of about 42 (the diesel version).

Roseformeplease Fri 26-Oct-12 20:23:27

Another vote for the XC90 here. Really, really comfortable. An unexpected hit with granny because of the handle and wee step to help getting in, as well. Loads if space and really hold their value and are safe.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 26-Oct-12 21:21:04

JollyJackOLantern that's interesting. The main dealer in Cardiff told us that they're not making them any more.

bea Fri 26-Oct-12 21:55:25

we've just got a peugeot 5008... about 3 weeks ago after our zafira bit the ghost and have to say... we love it to bits... dh loves to drive it... (had cruise control!) and when driving long distances ( we do a lot!) it's brilliant!

we got diesal and the fuel economy is fab!

3 'proper' seats in the middle... grat smooth and simple action for the extra 2 seats in the back.. plus has airbags... all down the side to cover the extra seats at rear.

Ours has got the panoramic glass roof which is soooo loevly and the kids just think its wonderful to see the stars at night!

Huge boot space.. but nto so much when all seven seats are up!

Very nice and just a fab change from the flippin' zafira!

only problem... quite hard to find secondhand (well teh model we wanted!)

all reviews brilliant definitely a lovely great seven seater!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 26-Oct-12 22:36:15

I've looked at that car Bea.

The seats in the very back didn't seem to have a proper space for the occupants feet to go in, no kind of footwell. How have you found them?

XBenedict Fri 26-Oct-12 22:37:53

Wouldn't swap my SMax for anything, lovely car, lots of space & gadgets!

sandyballs Sat 27-Oct-12 07:58:05

No one seems to have mentioned the Mitsubishi grandis, fab car. 7 proper seats, the two in the very back arent flimsy like the Zafira. Solid and reliable.

booboomonster Sat 27-Oct-12 10:55:24

Another vote here for the Berlingo, although again, we only have the 5 seater. But I'd say if you are a city dweller, like me, the 7 seater version could really work as it's a very compact car but like a tardis inside.

defuse Sun 28-Oct-12 22:30:41

I have just come back to this thread since posting (been a hectic few days and am amazed at the number of responses!! - and grateful!) am reading through them all currently and will hopefully make up my mind after reading all your experiences. Many thanks. smile

defuse Sun 28-Oct-12 23:23:51

Just read through all the replies abd made a list of all cars mentioned along with pros and cons. Now going on internt to find pics and further reviews. Thanks all.

So far peugeot 5008,xc90, c8 and verso are on my interested list.

Sharan, touran, galaxy and smax are on my reliable list.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Oct-12 23:32:10

If I'd had the cash, I would have replaced our Ctroen Synergie with its succesor - the C8. We all loved that car.
<and it loved us>

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 29-Oct-12 20:12:55

We've narrowed it down to the Mazda 5 or the peugeot 5008. We're in the market for an occasional 7 seater, so we're not looking for anything as big as the s-max or grandis.

PanicMode Tue 30-Oct-12 06:10:53

Harassed - Yes, both 2.2dci

I am very aggrieved on your behalf - the second, recent failure resulted in us expecting a massive bill and the garage called US to say Renault were going to cover the majority of the cost - we didn't think for a second that was an option!

I don't know what we will get next - but as we live in a town, I don't want a 'Chelsea tractor'?. That said, we do need a big 7 seater as DH is 6ft 6 and all of the children are above averagely tall!

HaplessHousewife Tue 30-Oct-12 18:23:40

I love my XC90, it's heavy on diesel and tyres but I forgive it because it's comfy and safe. It also has a Winter Mode button so driving in snow and ice is easy.

How did I not know about the shopping bag compartment?

PoppyAmex Sat 03-Nov-12 17:37:47

Hapless it's in the boot by the door, there's a lever just lift it and presto you have a shopping bag compartment which stops your bags flying all over the boot.

It's very handy.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 03-Nov-12 17:44:39

We've just bought a peugeot 5008. I'll tell you all about it in a couple of weeks once we've actually got it and driven it a bit!

janew57 Thu 03-Jan-13 05:31:23

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

chrisp1 Sun 24-Mar-13 12:35:40

Personally my favourite is the X5 although the Discovery 4 is another great choice if you're looking for something a bit different. The X5 looks pretty stylish too which helps! The main problem though is the cost, but a second hand one from around 2005-2007 is somewhere in the £8-10k region. Obviously still quite expensive but a lot more reasonable than a new one. Watch out if you're getting one though as the saloon version is just a 5 seater, it's the other model that's the 7 seater. Not that great at off-roading if you need the 4x4, but as good as it gets on the tarmac.

Turniphead1 Mon 25-Mar-13 18:35:31

I love my VW Sharan. It's one if the newer ones that has the sliding doors. Awesome.

AlexMumsnetCars (MNHQ) Thu 28-Mar-13 10:28:49

Morning all. Just thought you'd like to know that we've published a guide to the Top 10 seven-seaters. Do take a look - we think it's essential reading <modest>.

SnowWhite2 Sat 25-May-13 03:57:18

hi every body,
I would like to know how good is ford fiesta
I also found this article;
is it a good car?

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