Recommendations for 7 Seater SUV - Budget $60k to $70K

Any recommendation on a 7 seater SUV, around $60k-$70k budget. So far best option is Mazda CX9. Kinda need it in next 2-3 months so I couldn't wait for the replacement CX90 or CX80?


  • What have you looked at and what do you love/hate?

      • +7

        Go look…

        Also, 2-3 months ETA will be difficult

        Good luck

  • +1

    How often will you use the 6th and 7th seats and when you do what age/size are the occupants of said seats?

    • i think will be quiet often. Two kid car seat will be in 6th/7th and might have option to move to 3/4 seat level to give more storage area. Importantly for long road trip I can take my parents along.

      • +11

        Kids in 3rd row may not be possible or might be inconvenient. Check anchor points, some don’t have any in 3rd row. Then if you need to strap the kids in it’ll be a right pain in the buttocks reaching through the second row.

        Might be better off with a van.

        • I have checked cx9 seen to have iso fix and top tether point. Wife will likely sear in second roll to look after the kid.

          • +8

            @kl2999: Vans are seriously underrated.
            I think they get a bad rep because they look old and unstylish, but there's something to be said about function over form.

            • +6

              @Kangal: Vans are awesome. We used to use a hiace commuter and its just so convenient to be able to walk down the aisle.

              • @ATangk: Yeah Hiace is awesome but Toyota never introduced modern family friendly versions in Australian market.

            • @Kangal: Agree, I'm looking at used VW Multivan, Nissan Elgrand or Mitsu Delica. All can fit 7 people with plenty of boot space leftover. Leaning towards the 2012 Elgrand which you can get for about $25k with about 100Km on the odo. The multivan is the most utilitarian, the elgrand is the most lux, and the Delica has true 4WD. I actually like the look of vans, for me it's a no brainer, I get both form and function.

            • @Kangal: I agree. We had the old wombat Tarago growing up. Parents still own it as it's so useful - still kicking along at 400k+ on the clock.

              The 3rd row seats are full size and just as comfortable as second row. In addition, there's still useable luggage space behind the 3rd row.

              7/8 seater SUVs and even 4WDs just do not have this space. I often watch "CarExpert" channel on YouTube and Paul reviews a lot of these 7/8 seat SUVs, he can't even fit in properly, head jammed against the roof, second row can't click back properly. I even think for a child it'd be annoying. Plus the third row almost jammed against the rear tailgate meaning no luggage room.

              Yes vans are not fashionable, but at least they work well funcitonally. These huge SUVS are so bloaty on the outside, but inside you just don't get the same space.

              • +1

                @placard: We had two Taragos (Taragoes?) growing as well as a Landcruiser 80. You have hit the nail on the head as to how practical they are, I hated sitting in the rear of the Landcruiser as an 9yo, you'd lose circulation to your lower body pretty quick. The Tarago was great and had rear air con which was pretty rare back then.
                Dad also managed to fit an entire queen size mattress inside too so it was great for load lugging.

                Fast forward and with three kids, I didn't want my kids to go through the pain of sitting in the last row of an SUV or 4WD so picked up a 2007 Toyota Estima with plenty of change from 20k, it gets you a lot of fuel for the savings to a new car. Plus kids trash the car anyway!
                Ours is A V6 with AWD that you can't get with any local minivan so great for snow, fire trails or wet roads.
                The Elgrand also comes in AWD models.

      • +15

        "quiet often. Two kid"
        No it won't be quiet often unless they are sleeping

        • -1

          Ipads for both

        • Have to agree with this. We bought a 7 seater with the exact same reasoning as theirs. Obviously situations and circumstances can be different, but we almost never used it, the times we did it was a slight convenience though we had other options and workarounds.

          Have to keep in mind with the 3rd row you practically have no storage space in the boot.

      • +8

        If you use the 3rd row quite often, you better go for MPV than SUV, try Kia carnival and Hyundai staria.

        • +2

          We’ve got the Carnival and can say it’s really quite nice. And when we don’t need the third row, there’s soooo much space.

          • +1

            @tomsco: Another vote for Carnival.

            Just keep in mind it will guzzle 2x petrol. If you travel a lot, get the diesel one.

        • Spot on. Back row is just to small on majority of SUV for regular use of kids sitting in the back row

      • There's no way that I'd put my kids in the 3rd row of an SUV

    • +3

      Another vote for a minivan if you're using the 3rd row daily.
      Kia Carnival even looks SUV-esque if you don't "like" the look of a minivan.

  • +9

    Do you need to carry a kayak?

  • +8

    Whatever you choose, make sure you check under the bonut.

  • +5

    Have you looked at the Sorento?

    • Might take a look at it in person next time. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • I bought a sorento earlier this week. Pick up on Monday, so they are around, though you won't get a lot of choice of colour of you need it soon.

    • No I think they want to buy a car to drive there.

    • Bear in mind that it has a dual clutch automatic.

  • +30

    Kia Carnival if you're not actually going offroad.

    • +4

      Best option for the price definitely.

      It's also the main reason you won't get delivery before August 2022.

      People are putting deposits on units that won't get delivered for almost ONE YEAR. Very popular and for good reason, but the lead time on popular new cars these days is unheard of.

      • They might upgrade you to 2023!

  • +4


    • +1

      3rd row worst than last gen.

    • Reviews online aren't kind. For the price you are missing a tonne of features other competitors give.
      The lack of head airbag protection for the 3rd row is also concerning (others offer it).

  • +8

    Prestige - Second hand Audi Q7
    Budget - Kia/Hyundai Santa Fe or Sorento.(my pick is the Sorento)

    After having owned a Sportage for 7 years with zero issues i'd definitely buy a Kia again.

    • -4

      The Audi would still be povo pack at that price would it not. You would be at least $120k+ to match the equipment levels new. It would tow a lot more though.

      • +1

        You would be at least $120k+ to match the equipment levels new

        Drakesy wrote-

        Prestige - Second hand Audi Q7

        They don't make a pov pack q7 anyway.

        • Audi, prestige? Sure.

  • +2

    At that price it is either Sorento Platinum or Santa Fe Highlander. Practically same car and motor, just depends on which exterior/ interior you like mostly.
    I went the Santa Fe for highest tow capacity in a 7 seat SUV and the centre console. After 15,000 kms very happy with decision.
    I like Mazdas, but did not choose the CX9 in that price range. It is a very nice drive but is not as well equipped and is very, very thirsty in comparison.

    In the end though any of those 3 are great cars so maybe if urgent you get which one is available.

    • Good point, will check all 3 and compare and see stock availability etc. I got a feeling can squeeze the cx9 price abit since replacement are coming.

      • The CX-90 is more end2022/2023 if it actually comes to Australia

        And has name confusion with Volvo.

    • +1

      Main difference between the Sorento and Sante Fe is the new Kia has been tuned for Australian roads so it has a much better ride on country roads. The Hyundai starting this year has a global suspension tune but is still a good car if you live in a city

  • +7

    Hyundai Palisade. Class leading third row. Very impressed the last time i went to have a look.

    • +1

      When I bought my Santa Fe this year, test drove the Pallisade, the Sorento and CX-9 as well

      *Pallisade was a bit big and had the old Santa Fe drivetrain, dashboard and instrument panel.
      *Sorento was good, liked the outside but too much glaring, reflective chrome across the dash and air vents
      *cX-9 drove very well, but demo had average 14.7km/100km
      *Chose the Santa Fe for the interior, the economy 7.4l/100km over 15,000 kms (Sorento would be the same, the Pallisade with older drivetrain would not be as low, probably closer to 9), and tow capacity which is better than all the above without having to go to a real 4WD.

      I would have got the Pallisade if I needed the 3rd row more than say, twice a week. And if you need it that often, I would also look at the Kia Carnival or the new Hyundai equivalent, the staria.

      Maybe this is a way of looking at it in order of my personal preferences:
      More than three kids: Carnival, Staria or Pallisade
      Three kids or maybe even two if primary school or early teens:Santa Fe, Sorento CX-9

      • 14.7km/100km.. that's what the engineers call a dimensionless unit.

        don't confuse km/l with l/100km.. 14.7km/l is actually 6.8l/100km. at 10 they're equal, but as one goes up the other goes down.

        km/l you want as high as possible.
        l/100km you want as low as possible.

        yes, they're 4sshats for making it so easy to confuse the two

        • Sorry, typo. It was 14.7l/100km.
          Which is what you would expect real world for a CX-9.
          The Santa Fe Hyundai claim 6.1l/100km, I got 7.4 over 15,000 km in undulating surburbia. Hardly ever hit 8th gear.
          I have had a tank down to 5.2 litres/100km on a long freeway trip though.

          • @entropysbane: We’ve got a 2018 cx9.

            Love it. Better drive than the others, and our real would economy is 10.3 l/100km.

            We’re 36k kms in and still love the responsiveness.

            That said, our 2 kid seats are in the middle row. Easy access, can hand them things when they drop them, pass a water bottle etc. Using the back 2 seats daily will be a struggle. I suggest you rest drive one and put your car seats in the back and put your kids in and out a few times.

            Sounds like you need a van.

          • @entropysbane: No way is CX-9 that inefficient. City you are looking at around 10-11l/100 and 8-10l/100 on the highway.

            • @dealsucker: It was a demo after all, so I doubt it was being driven gently. So a bit of a chalk and cheese comparison I will admit.

              Bottom line though is a CX-9 is a fair bit thirstier than its diesel brethren.

            • @dealsucker: if its petrol i would believe it. For starters being a demo people may be pushing it a little, also probably getting used for a lot of short trips or worse getting started to move around the lot.

              But real world, no way people are pulling 10/11s around the city in a big car like that unless they are flinstoning it. I have an outback with the 3.6l real world city is mid 13l, suburban is mid 12l and freeway is 9-10l. I am not flogging it, sure i could shave a bit hear and there but that is about right for the size of vehicle on petrol. The smaller Turbo engine SUV trend the gap between sticker consumption and real world is even bigger.

              And back to the original question, if you want a 3rd row just get a van unless you have towing requirements that drive you into a 4wd. The SUV body shape with a 3rd row thrown in has nothing on a van for real world use.

    • Class-leading third row

      According to who?

      I'm not arguing. I'm asking.

  • i got a 4 year old cx9 for $30k 2 years ago and had no issues with it at all but if i had your budget i would go for Kia sorrento which is amazing value for money. It got all the latest tech and rides quite well and got 7 year Kia warranty as well and it comes with v6 option which i think drives better than mazda

  • +3

    Kia Sorento is car of the year

    • +2

      So was the P76 in its day….

      • You could put a 44 gallon drum in the boot. The ads targeted its greatest selling point.

        • And the rest - that thing was massive. Generally derided except by Wheels magazine which voted it COTY - but my dad had one and I loved it.

          • @miwahni: Wheels COTY has always had the same level of credibility as AOTY.

            Other outstanding examples of Wheels’ editors’ judgement include Gemini, Camira, Nimbus, odyssey, and more recently the Merc EQC, an example of how not to build an EV.

    • It's Drive's COTY
      Carsale's COTY is the IONIQ 5
      Wheel's COTY is the CX-30
      The international COTY is the Yaris

      So you get a different answer depending on who you ask….

      • I'd argue Drive has always been the leader of these awards in Australia.

      • COTY awards are dependent on financial arrangements that the companies have with the websites. :) Decide on what your needs are, not what others think.

  • +3

    Isuzu mu-x

    • +2

      Honestly, I don't like the engine, feels like it's running on a mini truck and the acceleration is very slow even if you hit the pedal hard from stationary!

      • +3

        It’s not meant to be a race car. It has a truck engine with bucket loads of torque but not a lot of kw. It’s designed for serious towing and off road work. Of course it’s going to feel like a truck compared to more car based designs.

        • +2

          And you want to recommend this for a 7 seater runabout?

  • +2

    CX9 has no AC vents in 3rd Row

    CX9 is a great car - i put 97k kms on mine in two years before changing lease to a new vehicle

    However new Sorrento would have the features over it, however on the previous gen the Mazda Fit & Finish was much better quality

    Consider the Sorrento, look at the Pallisade… Long warranty on them if your keeping them is a great thing

    New kluger is built in the US so quality may be questionable!

    Bare in mind the CX9 Is Petrol 4Pot 2.5 T - It has some poke, but be aware the FWD will wheel spin if you gun it at T intersections, the AWD is the better choice if you are a lead foot

    Sorrento has a diesel option, also a v6 Petrol which may be thirstier

    • +1

      Thanks for the great break down. I just worry Korean brand wise the engine isn't last long as Japanese brand. Never own or drove any Korean cars. Currently driving a CRV and the engineer is pretty reliable.

      • +2

        I remember when those Hyundai excels were in the market with paint that faded the day after they left the showro9m. Vowed never to buy a Korean car. This was bolstered by the daewoo travesties Holden sold as Barinas etc.
        However, modern Korean cars build quality is pretty close to Cars made in Japan, probably better than Japanese brand cars made elsewhere these days. And the diesel in the Sorento, Santa Fe, carnival, palisade and staria is a very reliable, frugal and torquey little engine.

        Happy I broke that vow

      • +1

        Don't think you will get any Korean engineer thrown in for free when you purchase a Korean car.

    • New kluger is built in the US so quality may be questionable!

      Kluger has been US built since ~2013 with the previous shape. No issues, cops even use them

      Hybrid engine is similar to RAV4/Camry, just with beefed up electric motors. Again, proven engine

      • +1

        And Toyota is unlikely to want substandard production to tarnish its name so will be keeping quality control inspections up.

  • I have a Isuzu MUX 2WD, bought new in 2017. Been a great car, bought it for the well known reliability of the Isuzu engine. The 7 seats all fit adults, I'm 175cm tall no issues sitting in the back. Not quite the finish inside as the Mazda's (I had a CX7) before this, but definitely worth a look.

  • +4

    The new Mitsubishi Outlander looks pretty nice

    • The incoming one is Plug in hybrid and has 7 seats if people can hold off until that arrives

      • That's what we're waiting for.
        Hopefully find out more info in December

        • just checked the PHEV models on their website, all show 5 seats.

          • +1

            @yoba: the 2022 hasn't been announced yet but the expectation is that it will be a 7 seater from everything I have read

      • are they changing to a true 7 seater? or is it just the current 5+2? The extra seats in the current outlander are nice but I wouldn't want to be using them on the daily.

        • Not sure what you mean by true? It's got 7 seats

          • @Jackson: The back seats on the current outlander aren't a full sized seat like in something like a kluger or carnival. They also don't have ISOFix or a tether point and when they are in use there isn't much boot left to be used.

        • +1

          Definitely 5 + 2 spare

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