Take the tribe
Wagon, van or SUV: The pick of the seven and eight-seaters
SCHOOL’S back and parents across the country are scrambling to find uniforms, bags and the best route to get to school. For larger families who have another child about to start their formal education, the issue compounds and many will be in the market for new transport for the tribe.
Modern people-movers have been moulded into three diverse groups: the occasional seven-seaters where the thirdrow pews are best left for emergencies, the high-riding SUV style and the practical but not as pretty van-based contenders.
Here are some of the classiest candidates in each division. All are capable of carrying an extended family with varying degrees of spaciousness and comfort. It comes down to how often you’ll need those third-row seats and how much you’re prepared to pay for extra room.
On-road costs add $3000 or more in this price bracket, so we’ve published drive-away prices.
OCCASIONAL SEVENSEATERS Kia Rondo From $35,400
The Rondo rules as the best handling of the entry level seven seaters. Because it’s not jacked up off the ground it corners with less body roll, which induces less nausea in your passengers and saves you unpleasant cleaning duties. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is paired with a six-speed auto for claimed fuel use of 7.9L/100km.
Nissan X-Trail From $35,500
Anyone shopping for a midsized SUV with seven seats should look here. As with the Rondo, the X-Trail misses out on third-row airbags but the second row seats slide independently and have a raised base so smaller bodies can still enjoy a decent view. The 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission claim fuel use of 8.1L/100km.
Toyota Prius V From $40,100
Petrol-electric propulsion is the unique selling proposition for the Prius. The 1.8-litre engine and electric motor achieve an official fuel use of 4.4L/100km. Performance isn’t punchy but it doesn’t need to be in this type of car and the Prius is more than capable of keeping up with the traffic. Toyota’s attention to details shows in the storage spaces and adjustable rear seats.
SUVs Kia Sorento From $45,200
Practicality is the premise behind Kia’s big SUV. It isn’t as physically imposing as the Mazda but it packs a lot of space into that shape and the combination of a seven-year warranty and sharp pricing