It wouldn’t be in our people-championing ethos if we didn’t freely agree that many supposed 7-seater cars are in real life more suited to five adults (if the rear bench is wide enough to start with) plus two children, rather than a full complement of seven grown-ups of varying sizes, in the same way that some of the coupes marketed as 4 or 5-seaters are in reality ‘2+2’ cars barely large enough in the back for a couple of average teddy-bears let alone lanky teenagers or petite adults.

In today’s car market overflowing with choice particularly in the hugely popular SUV segment that has everyone from new drivers and parents of young families through to adventurous individuals and elderly motorists salivating, it can be difficult to sift through all the brochures, other marketing material, car reviews and less well-researched articles to identify genuine 7-seater cars that can truly seat seven adults in reasonable comfort.

CarLeasingPeople has rounded up the best options currently available, based on our own experiences and those of our car lease customers, plus our independent road-test reviews and a healthy dose of wider research. Just bear in mind that even though these cars should fit three average adults across the middle/second row of seats and a couple more grownups in the two rearmost seats without them having to unscrew their legs or contort in some advanced yoga pose, boot space is often severely compromised as a result, and seven-up use isn’t recommended for long journeys. After all, anyone wanting or needing to regularly transport seven adults along with modest luggage let alone holiday suitcases or similar is probably better off looking at buying or leasing a minibus van style of vehicle.


Kicking things off partly alphabetically and partly with a stylish premium SUV, BMW’s newbie isn’t merely a stretched X5 but is built on the 7 Series’ platform as a 7-seater by default. Exactly two metres wide, over five metres long and not that far off two metres in height, it’s the kind of beast that requires commitment to drive and park, but its dimensions unsurprisingly translate into acres of space, with enough room for seven six-foot adults in its ridiculously opulent interior, occupants of the two seats farthest back treated to an extended panoramic roof if the right option is ticked.

Cars that can seat 7 adults - BMW X7 SUV - front - Car Leasing People

Okay, passengers 6 and 7 may not have the same soft headrest pillows as occupants 3, 4 and 5 to nestle their bonces into, but they still sit on chairs draped in Merino leather. Each seat can be electronically adjusted, the second and third rows get their own digital climate control displays and, unlike in some claimed 7-seater cars that are really 5+2s, the BMW X7’s rear passengers won’t feel claustrophobic or cramped back there.

Cars that can seat 7 adults - BMW X7 SUV - rear back - Car Leasing People

The middle row’s outermost seats have ISOFIX anchor points and the two ‘boot seats’ even get ISOFIX mountings, too, which is unheard of in most 7-seater MPVs, SUVs and other vehicles. Boot space is tight with all seven seats in use, though, although the 326 litres remaining beats what the Volvo XC90 manages. Ultimately we envisage the BMW X7 being leased primarily as family transport with kids and perhaps dogs on board, or as an executive chauffeur vehicle, rather than as a sports club’s or business’ crew minibus type affair. Lease a BMW X7 from £787.19 per month including VAT.

Cars that can seat 7 adults - BMW X7 SUV - rearmost back seats - Car Leasing People

Ford Galaxy MPV

Moving onto a much more affordable car for families, businesses, teams, charities and others to lease, the Ford Galaxy has been around for many moons and predictably looks sharper than ever on the outside complete with its best interior efforts yet. It’s one of the MPVs of choice around Westminster for ferrying politicians and other VIPs on long distance journeys, and executive hire firms like Addison Lee have always had a traditional penchant for the Ford Galaxy, too.

Ford Galaxy MPV true genuine 7-seat car for seven adults front - Car Leasing People

Despite being technically classed as an MPV, the latest and really rather elegant version boasts a wide mix of contemporary curves and lines plus intelligent adaptive lighting with Ford dynamic LED headlights on the outside, multi-contour front massage seats, 12 Sony speakers and Android Auto/CarPlay pairing on the inside, plus a host of safety technology such as a front wide-view camera, emergency brake assist, and intelligent AWD, some of these naturally being upgrade options. The middle row slides backwards and forwards to vary the amount of legroom available for the two rearmost passengers.

Ford Galaxy MPV true genuine 7-seat car for seven adults boot access - Car Leasing People

Not only can the stylish Ford Galaxy MPV truly seat seven genuine adults and its versatile, practical seats can be folded down in various different configurations for times when all seven seats aren’t needed and other cargo is a priority, but it also handles relatively sportily with the levels of agility that Ford has become renowned for delivering. It proves that spacious people-movers needn’t handle like light commercial vehicles, and those who choose to lease a Ford Galaxy can be reassured by its 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with an 87% score for adult and child safety.

Land Rover Discovery SUV

More curvaceous and desirably-styled than any Discovery generations before it, the latest model excels in the practicality stakes and offers copious amounts of space for seven large adults, even when the middle row seats are slid back as far as they will go. With all seven seats in use, the Land Rover Discovery provides 258 litres of luggage space in the boot, which is not bad as it’s only three litres fewer than in a Kia Picanto city car.

7-seat cars for families sports clubs - Land Rover Discovery - Car Leasing people - towing caravan

n terms of actual seating comfort, some passengers may feel that the second row of seats seems relatively low and not at a traditional angle, but the modest transmission tunnel hump means that the middle passenger won’t feel like they’re having to awkwardly straddle, and room for heads and knees is plentiful. The two rearmost seats are decent enough for six-foot adults but they are upright and offer less padding so may not be as ideal for passengers with bad backs. Remarkably, the five rear seats can even be individually folded and configured in other ways using a smartphone app.

7-seat cars for families sports clubs - Land Rover Discovery - Car Leasing people - seven seats

Parents will be interested in knowing that the Land Rover Discovery comes with five ISOFIX anchors in every trim level, meaning child seats can be fixed to the outer seats of the middle row, the front passenger seat and, impressively, the two seats in the boot. The car’s sheer height and the wide aperture of its door-openings mean that fitting child seats and indeed accessing the rearmost seats aren’t burdensome procedures.

7-seat cars for families sports clubs - Land Rover Discovery - Car Leasing people - front rear off-road

Land Rover Discovery leasing customers and owners are more likely to take theirs off-road than BMW X7 drivers, and extreme terrain is where the British 4x4 excels, underpinned by the firm’s revered Terrain Response 2 system, with wading ability up to 900mm and a 3,500kg maximum towing capacity for caravan, horsebox and trailer pullers.  It’s the default leasing option for people, businesses and other individuals who need to transport seven adults in comfortable seats off-road over challenging terrain.

Tesla Model X electric SUV

While most people primarily think of the original Model S saloon and its new and more compact sibling the Model 3 when they hear the name Tesla, Elon Musk’s firm also produces a practical SUV called the Model X which, in the eyes of some, looks more like a coupe-MPV crossover. It’s a distinctive sight on the road with a sleek, sporty front end, curvaceous sides and dramatic Falcon Wings doors that really are a beautiful design feature while boosting the car’s accessibility with only one foot of access required on each side.

Tesla Model X SUV seats 7 adults back - look like - Car Leasing People

Tesla describes the Model X as “the safest, quickest, most capable SUV ever” and it’s certainly the only real option for those looking to buy or lease an electric car with 7 seats actually capable of ferrying seven adults and some clobber around in near-silence, backed by zero emissions and all-wheel drive traction for the winter months. Never before have seven adults been able to reach 60mph so fast, the Model X dispatching it in a ludicrous 2.7 seconds, and with a battery range of 315 miles it’s a useable car for those who cover higher annual mileages.

Tesla Model X SUV seats 7 adults back - Falcon Wing doors - Car Leasing People

The Model X’s middle row of seats and two rearmost chairs fold flat and, importantly, flush, making it easier to load bulky items into the boot when seats 3 to 7 aren’t required and tip-trips are the order of the day. It’s also worth noting that the floor in the back is completely flat with no lump to position one’s feet either side of, and the outer rear seats cleverly slide out of the way to make access to seats 6 and 7 a doddle. Even with all seven seats in use, a couple of small suitcases should still fit in the boot, and there’s an extra 200 litres of space available under the bonnet, which is another advantage of electric cars. The middle seat on row two isn’t recommended for a tall passenger, though, due to the door mechanism design slightly impacting headroom, but the Falcon Wing doors come with integrated skylights, which is a nice luxury touch.

Tesla Model X SUV seats 7 adults back - interior iPad - Car Leasing People

Families will be reassured by the car’s safety standards, its front radar, eight surround cameras and ultrasonic sensors able to not just see through fog and heavy rain but also beyond the vehicle in front, helping to predict and mitigate potential collisions, while the way its battery is integrated makes for impressively strong sides.

SEAT Alhambra & Volkswagen Sharan

For sheer space for seven adults at an affordable finance or lease price, few cars come close to this duo from the VW stable, which are essentially the same cars wearing different badges, the SEAT typically regarded as the cheaper-priced of the two, complete with higher trim specifications.

Best 7-seat MPVs recommended for families or seven adults - Volkswagen VW Sharan sliding side doors - Car Leasing People

There are slight differences between the SEAT Alhambra and VW Sharan, such as light and dark exterior paint and interior upholstery colour choices, heated windscreens, privacy glass and adaptive cruise control (ACC), and the VW’s glovebox is velvet-lined as part of its generally plusher cabin, but both of these fabulously spacious seven-seat MPVs are fitted with sliding doors that make multi-storey car parks and other tight spots much more pleasant to deal with. They, along with the boot, can even be electrified for an even easier life if the right options are ticked.

Vest 7-seat MPVs recommended for families or seven adults - Volkswagen VW Sharan - Car Leasing People

These VAG MPVs are larger than SUVs that they are typically compared to, such as the SEAT Tarraco and SKODA Kodiaq, so are highly recommended as the best choices for large families or anyone else who needs a lease car for carrying seven adults. The Alhambra and Sharan offer light, airy cabins with plenty of flexibility in terms of seat configurations, with individually sliding seats across the middle row, while boot space with all seven seats sat in is still reasonably usable at 267 litres. The outermost seats on row two boast two integrated booster cushions for smaller children, and optional winged headrests can be specified for kids who tend to fall asleep on journeys to the delight of their mums and dads. Both the SEAT Alhambra and VW Sharan MPVs are reportedly cars that can fit 3 ISOFIX car seats side by side, and they have coveted reliability records and 5-star Euro NCAP safety ratings.

Best 7-seat MPVs recommended for families or seven adults - Volkswagen VW Sharan rear boot luggage space - Car Leasing People

Mercedes-Benz GLS 7-seat SUV

Ending where we started, with a larger-than-life luxury SUV capable of genuinely seating seven adults in fairly good comfort, the GLS from Mercedes is in many ways like an S-Class saloon on stilts, with added off-road hardware. It’s actually longer than the BMW X7 and most definitely the full-fat Range Rover, can be adorned with various street-cred’-enhancing options such as 23” alloy wheels, beefier exhausts and illuminated running boards, and boasts arguably the most stunning infotainment system in its niche segment, with two glorious screens plus Mercedes’ new MBUX experience platform.

True genuine 7-seat cars for seven adults - Mercedes GLS SUV 4x4 - Car Leasing People

A proper 7-seat SUV, three large adults can easily sit side by side across the middle/second row, Mercedes says passengers of up to 1.94m can fit in the two back seats, and even with bottoms on all seven there’s still more boot space than in an A-Class left behind the Mercedes GLS’ sixth and seventh seats, with 355 litres to play with.

Nine airbags, a rising-up bonnet and plenty of electronic systems contribute towards the Mercedes GLS’ safety credentials, but parents will find it useful to note that the rearmost seats in Stuttgart’s flagship 7-seater SUV do not offer ISOFIX child car seat anchor points – only the outer middle row positions do. Still, climbing into the seats is made light work thanks to the way the middle bench folds electrically at the push of a button, and passengers six and seven enjoy their own storage cubbies, cupholders, door bins and comfortable leather upholstery.

True genuine 7-seat cars for seven adults - Mercedes GLS - Car Leasing People

Impressively, the third row is heated, occupants get their own separate climate control zones, the chairs even fold and adjust electrically, and a clever microphone setup amplifies the voices of the driver and front passenger so they can be heard all the way back there. USB adapters might be needed, though, as the Mercedes offers USB-C type ports. The GLS’ side windows are deep and the car comes with a glass sunroof as standard, enhancing the amount of light available inside, which is especially desirable with seven on board.

Few likely will, especially car leasing customers aiming to incur as few as possible de-hire damage charges for dents and scratches at their end of their business and personal contract hire agreements, but the Mercedes-Benz GLS is one of the very limited pool of 7-seat SUVs able to tackle seriously difficult terrain, but the standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive system admittedly needs to be augmented by the optional Off-Road Package for any serious mud-plugging.

7-seat cars for families sports clubs - Land Rover Discovery - Car Leasing people - back seats

So, there we have it – Car Leasing People’s roundup of the best recommended cars for seating seven full-size adults in comfort, albeit perhaps not on long journeys. From the hard-working SEAT Alhambra and VW Sharan MPVs and the downright luxurious BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS 4x4 SUVs to the all-electric Tesla Model S and the Land Rover Discovery that excels off-road, all of these cars offer more than occasional-use jump-seats in the boot. Compared to the Audi A7, Kia Sorento, SKODA Kodiaq, Volvo XC90 and other similar SUVs, whose back seats are more suited to kids, these cars’ rearmost seats are adequate for adults of most sizes, making them great options for families, businesses and sports clubs to lease.

To find out more about any of these impressive 7-seat vehicles, contact Car Leasing People today.