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?


  • +2

    I purchased a used GL350 2015. Great for fitting two car seats in the back row. Middle row folds forward for easy access to put kids in.

    • How many kms and how much u paid?

  • I've got a Ford Everest - love it. Big car though if you're not doing any 4WD or towing.

    In laws have Pajero Sport with a 10 year warranty and 10 year (I think) fixed price servicing which are both unbeatable really. That's also a really nice car.

    I can't fault the CX-9 either

  • Go for a drive and visit a few car sales … don't ask questions on the internet… get out there and do your research.

  • +1

    May not look pretty but it is very functional > VW Caddy Max Life for well under your budget

  • +4

    How old are the kids? If you're also carting a pram/double pram and anything else the require, a lot of SUV's will struggle to fit it in with the 3rd row fully up.

    • +1

      That's exactly why we went with a Kia Carnival over a SUV. Most third rows are only good for small kids because they are so low, difficult to get into and leave no cargo space. Carnival has none of those issues.

      • Yep, new Carnival will likely be our next family car. Big wait time on current models though (July/Aug next year I'm told) but would rather wait for the digital dash update

    • Totally agree. We had a Captiva (yes, learned from that) and one day got two extras bods to bring home which meant using the third row. Had to put the pram on the roof racks.

      Also, when our kids were in car seats extra passengers (kids normally) climbed in through the tailgate. Have one seat down, one up, sit them in the one seat then put the second seat up so we didn’t have to remove the kiddie seats in the second row. Kiddie seats may mean you can’t easily fold the seats forward.

    • 2.5yr and new born.

      • +3

        I'd seriously consider a Carnival or other van then.
        You may be able to fit them side by side on the second row so you can still fold the 40% section of the seat forward and get to the third row but it's generally very tight (depending on design this can also be problematic as you can be on the traffic side trying to get both kids in). If their seats don't fit side by side, you can't access the 3rd row apart from climbing thru the boot. Which makes it difficult if the occupants are older/larger and you can usually only fit one as you can't get in with both seats up. Putting the older child in the 3rd row (if it has anchor points) becomes a pain to buckle them in/out all the time.
        Even with 2 child seats in the second row, you'll probably struggle to fit an adult between them if you can only cram one in the 3rd row. Not to mention things like air vents for 3rd row passengers, many don't have them.

        Have a look thru the carsales pictures when the 3rd row is up in the cars you're shortlisting. Most of them you lose a significant amount of space with the 3rd row up, especially if the back window is quite sleek/raking.

        Carnival on the other hand has a massive boot with the 3rd row up and can pull the middle seat on the second row out so you can literally walk thru, no need to fold the seats forward. Or you can spin it around if your wife wants to sit back there so she's facing the children. The Staria would be another option but the look certainly isn't for everyone.

        Babydrive does some decent reviews that look at practicality with kids seats and associated luggage.

      • +2

        Jees and you want to put them in the 3rd row?! Stupid idea

        • This, why on earth would you do this.

          • @brendanm: Because van doesnt look cool as an SUV to most people.

            • @Jackson: No, putting kids in the third row.

              • +3

                @brendanm: Sorry, I meant because a van isn't as cool as an SUV, he's thinking he's going to put his kids in the 3rd row to make the second row more useful, when he could solve the problem by just having a van. I don't know who else or how often he expects to take in the car besides his kids, but the van solves just about all problems except the looking cool one.

                Maybe I'm jaded, but basically every "which car" post seems to be people trying to justify the purchase of something a bit more exotic when they want to fill a functional need despite there being a better product that does the job, with varying degrees of reasonableness depending on the OP

    • This

  • +1

    We have a Honda CRV 7seater. Cost us under $45K 2 yrs back. Its pretty compact for a 7 seater compared to many others on the market. Its a 2 wheel drive though

    • The current post facelift rear door opens to 90 degree.

  • +4

    Skoda Kodiaq

    • +1

      I put a deposit down for the new petrol RS model in July or August, was meant to be coming early Dec. Have recently been told now not til late March 22' due to microchip supply issues. Bit annoying but happy to hold out as was not keen on a diesel.

      • +1

        Bugger. Will be worth the wait. I ended up with a Karoq Sportline and it's a great car. The RS Kodiaq will be awesome in petrol.

        • How much did you pay for karoq if you don't mind.

          • @obfuscator: $51k for a Sportline model (driveaway). That included the additional tech and travel packs ($6k). There weren't any available without the packs when I was looking.

  • Don't forget that kids grow up quick so space may become an issue.

    Cargo space is limited when using all 7 seats

  • Kia Sorento GT-Line 2021 Model. Great car and great value!

  • +7

    I have 2 kids and a 7 seater, here's what I've found:

    1. Kid seats in the last row of 7 seaters is not the safest, so if you care about that then I would suggest putting kid eats in 2nd row (what I do).
    2. Not all 7 seaters have anchor points for kid seats in the 3rd row - this is a legal requirement in Australia even for isofix seats, so make sure you check it. When I was buying, only a few 7 seaters had anchor points in the 3rd row.
    3. If you do install kid seats in the 2nd row, basically the 3rd row is inaccessible other than via the boot (ok for flexible teenagers, not ok for adults). Hence, you will actually never use the 3rd row (I've used the 3rd row a total of 2 times in the last 3 years).
    4. If you really, really want the 3rd row, and will use it often, the better option is actually go get a Kia Carnival. If you can look past the stigma, it's actually a bloody good car.

    Have fun!

    • +1

      Well said. Agree 100%. For big families the carnival is 10/10.

    • +1

      Spot on. I drove a carnival for about a week with six people and started to like it.

  • I had a 2010 Santa Fe Highlander and now have a 2018 Santa Fe Highlander. Great features and value for money. Looked at the CX9 bit didn’t like. Wife has a CX5 and wouldn’t buy another Mazda.

  • +2

    We love the Skoda Kodiaq

  • +1

    Had a drive in our friends Sorrento recently.

    I can't believe how far Kia has come. Seriously impressive car that isn't far behind euro cars double its price.

  • -3

    I can never imagine spending $70,000 on a depreciating asset.

  • If you want badge on a budget, Merc GLB/lexus RX-7seater
    I'd personally go for would be hyundai palisade/toyota kluger hybrid

    Fun options include peugeot 5008 / Tiguan allspace

    If you have a truck full of kids and just want practicality get a van with sliding door, ie. carnival/odyssey or the new staria

    • went to try the 3rd row in the GLB. its horrible. I wouldnt put my worse enemy there (or would i….)

    • Lexus paired to a rotary? :)

  • Last year we tested most of the models recommended above and decided on the CX9 Azami. Such an amazing car.

    • Worth noting there's no a/c vents to the 3rd row. Not good for the little ones

      • +1

        This is always mentioned and while it's true, it's never once been an issue for us, and that's with 4 kids and a dog (so 2 kids in the middle with the dog, 2 in the back). The middle air con is strong and obviously the windows provide air when required. Leg room can be a little painful for taller kids though.

  • +5

    2 kids but wants a 7 seater car. Makes sense.

    • I went from a sporty car with one kid (Hyundai Tiburon) to a CX9 when we had our second (as we planned for more kids), so I don't see an issue.

      • +1

        Also said they want to take their kids along, so 4 adults, 2 kids. By the time you get 2 kids seats in, you won't fit an adult in between them comfortably in most 5 seater cars.
        I can easily fill a CX9 with 2 kids the same age as OP by the time you add a double pram, couple of bags/esky/toys/whatever depending on where you're going but I also have another 2 older kids. Generally speaking, it's easier for them to take a second car than cram all 6 of us in there along with all the gear which is the same situation OP will be in for road trips.

        We also have an older Tucson and it's too small for the four of us IMO. The larger SUV makes everything easier even if it didn't have the third row.

    • Many occasion will need to pick up my two parents as they live close by, so for thing like a road trip I can put two car seats in third row and parents in second row.

      • +2

        Third row is the most dangerous spot in the car. If you're rear ended, they'll be the ones that squashed. Many also don't have airbags extending all the way to the third row….not to mention the lack of airflow if there's no vents back there.

        I would only put boosters back there personally, no way I'd be putting a newborn in there

      • "Road trip"?

        Hope you don't plan on having luggage, pram or baby bag…

  • +1

    Have you considered the practicality of getting young kids in and out of seats in the 3rd row? If it's something you think you'd need to do reasonably often, an SUV will make life more painful that it has to.

    We opted for a Carnival for that reason, plus the need to carry parents around and the larger storage capacity. Now that the kiddo's are a bit older, we can fit their bikes in the back when needed!

    • How has been your experience with Carnival? Have started thinking about this car, so the question.
      Also, do you have AWD or 2WD version? My current car Hyundai i45 is 2WD. And really want to upgrade for space/camping needs and safety/tech features. Would it make sense to go for 2WD or consider upgrade to AWD.

      • +1

        Carnival is only 2wd

      • +1

        I went from a 2004 Outlander to a 2015 Carnival, so fairly massive upgrade in terms of features! I'm a big fan of the Carnival, as mentioned the capacity is huge which is great for kids gear or moving furniture. We removed the centre seat from the 2nd row so we could put two car seats in that row and still allow access to the third row.

        I bought an ex-demo so no choice in the config, but it was the Platinum so it's got some nice bells and whistles. The 360 degree camera makes parking soooooo easy, even with such a large car. It was also diesel which seems to have decent power; Carnival powers up hills that the old Outlander struggled to climb.

    • One reason I am not go for people mover is my drive way width, even with CX9 i can just barely pass drive in (2.1m wide).

      • You might be surprised, but 7 seaters are pretty big. Often as wide as a car is allowed to be - just like the people movers.

        • Carnival is something like an inch wider than a CX9. Hardly noticeable

          • +1

            @whitelie: And people movers often have sliding doors which make getting in and out of the back a lot easier.

      • Yeah, that's a fair point to consider. Parking can sometimes be awkward with large cars, especially in tight carparks like the ones in the city. At the time I was looking, I had considered the Sorrento, but realised it's almost as wide as the Carnival anyway. As Euphemistic alluded, the sliding doors are pretty handy in tighter spots, but more importantly, kids can't swing open the doors in to a pillar or neighbouring car.

        Have you test driven a people mover yet? I was uncertain until I took the Carnival for a spin around the block and to a nearby Westfield carpark.

  • +1

    We re just about to get the palisade …. A bit pricey for a hyundai badge. But I ve compared with CX9 in person and pajero sport, Ford everest in youtube. In comparison as in cabin and space inside we like the hyundai Palisade. The rest a bit narrow, and 3rd row not for adult.

    We used to have a Nissan Pathfinder, size wise is big but only comes in petrol. 3.5l V6. Very expensive now.

    Palisade comes in captain seats option features wise above then all japanese cars.

    But these days not cars as reliable even if built in Japan… Always have issues.

    We wouldve gone to Kia Carnival but long wait on that. And doesnt come with AWD options.

    Hope that helps.

    • Massive fan of the Palisade it's chunky and my wife was keen to move away from the Soccer Mom look.

      We got the Elite and saved approx $9k from the full top range price. From what I gather the Elite is the same without the tech modes which I assume is due to chip shortages.

  • Should've made a poll

  • +1

    Have you considered the Hyundai Palisade 7s with a pretty nice configuration of 2-2-3. We recently upgraded as the family is growing and wanted a 7s that is actually usable with 3 Baby Seats/or Boosters.

  • +1

    Go for Palisade.,.

  • The CX8 is also a 7 seater, I much prefer the diesel engine in the cx8 than the petrol cx9, the torque is awesome and fuel economy good.

  • +1

    KIA Carnival is the best in my opinion.

  • I own a PathFinder… 7 seats and beats the space options out of the CX9 and the Sante Fe. At least there is alot of space between the back row seats and the back door.

  • +1

    Love the pathfinder if only not for the fuel economy wise ..

  • +2

    Kluger hybrid - base model - you will get everything on safety wise except some premium features

    Price is also around 59k(before discount)

    • Hard to get discounts in this covid environment

      • +1

        You can still get around 5%, because they are not giving it to you next week, you have to wait for few months.

  • -1

    Why nobody talk about Toyota?

    • +2

      kluger has been mentioend a few times, including literally the comment above yours..

    • Nissan Noah Hybrid prob be best bang for buck wise for moving 6 people as you literally get 6 adult seats.
      Most of the SUV mentioned here that last row is designed for kids under 10.

  • Just get a Kia Carnival, it looks like an SUV anyway.

  • +1 to Carnival. I've had a Sorento for 8 years. Fantastic for what it is but if you are buying a 7 seater because you need the 3rd row a Carnival will be far better to live with day to day than an SUV. Better suspension for around town, more usable space, easier access.

  • +1

    Nissan Pathfinder

    • Thats actually another option to check.

  • New Kia Sorrento, but wait list is over a year

  • +1

    What work do you do?

    Seems like you’ve got a really good budget for a big car in the current downturn.

    Skoda Kodiaq is a good choice

    • +1

      Got a demo (3000km) Kodiaq RS with 7 year warranty and 7 years' prepaid service for $74k drive away last month.

      The non-RS Sportline is around $10-15k lower.

      Amazing value car - has everything technology wise, a powerful engine, and VW-Audi quality interior. Highly recommend.

      • i was after that car and dealer advised none are left. damn ozbargainer took the last one! =P

  • do u really need an SUV? are you in the flat city or hilly woop woop?

    i switched from a SUV to a van because i am mainly on flat land, with 1 trip a year if that to the snowy mountains or blue mountains. So i figured i should invest money to where i am mostly at, which would be 51 weeks on flat land, and 1 or 2 week on hills or mountains. vans are awesome, its like being in a 1st class cabin on Qantas.

    • That's a good point though which particular van are you talking about ? ( That's would feel like first class Qantas cabin)

  • We're pretty happy with our Diesel LDV D90, seats 7 very comfortably, huge room inside, and we got it loaded with Towing Extra's for $47k - you can put some of your coin back in your pocket.

    • +1

      Reliability? How is it?

      • picked it up in Jan, it's due for it's 20,000km now to give you an idea of how much it's been used

        Apart from the puddle light going haywire, only issue i have experienced (and only just on the weekend gone), was the cruise control decided after 30km it wanted to turn itself off & be "unavailable"

        otherwise drives great and tows really well too.

        • +5

          That’s not a great sign for reliability.

        • So, yes, it has reliability issues.
          I would say, if you want to save some money then this is an okay choice.

          But if you don't want these small issues creeping in , here n there, during the course of ownership, there are better reliable brands at a higher price

          • @OneIdiot: the dealer claimed both "that happens sometimes due to conditions", and also "software update during service will make it better".

            We shall see.

    • are you worried about resale value though ? LDV has sold heaps of Vans however only couple of hundred D90's ? I dont know why people are not buying this car ? They will pay upwards of $45k for a used 100k+ Mazda CX9 but wont touch LDVs?

      • Businesses buy LDV because cheapest. For private use we are less likely to risk a budget brand - it’s still a lot of money.

      • Dude, what's with all the spruking?

        • Lol look at you following me everywhere. Love it. Haha thanks for your feedback though.

          • @azhar7772: Don’t feel special. Spaxkbace appears to follow everyone everywhere, but in reality just makes lots of comments on lots of threads.

  • Kia Carnival.

  • +5

    I just got a Palisade and its simply amazing for the following reasons;

    1. The 7 seat layout means you can actually access the 3rd row by walking in between the middle row 2 seats. This is crucial if you have 2 kid seats in the middle row and cant fold them to access the 3rd row seats

    2. Its incredibly spacious and roomy inside. The legroom in both middle row and 3rd row is almost unbelievable. Not just for legs but bags, shopping etc and all the other crap you have with kids is not an issue

    3. 3rd row folded down, the boot is MASSIVE. Almost like a van

    4. Access into the car is almost designed specifically for children. Just the way the side steps and grips are placed/designed

    5. We got the Elite version (definitely best bang for buck) and it feels a lot more premium than it is or costs.

    6. Performance and refinement is great. Definitely go for the AWD diesel. It can be a bit rattly but power/torque is great and fuel consumption is an easy 10l/100km

    7. You can get one immediately and can even get a discount as well


    1. Not the best looker out there but thats a bit subjective. Its a family daily for me so I don't care too much about that. Interestingly the car gets a lot of looks from passer bys as they are not that common. Whether they are looks of love or disgust I will ever know lol

    2. The elite version and below don't have automatic wipers

    • Nice , detailed response there. 👍

      As you have owned this car, I think you are in a better position to answer this.

      Is the AWD good enough on gravel and inclined slopes ?

      And what did you mean by engine could be "rattly" sometimes? In what situation?

      Have you had it fully loaded with passengers and their luggage and observed how does the engine perform?

      • Easily. I actually took it light off roading and it did pretty well. Think Subaru outback

        Rattly = diesel. Can sound like a truck at times. Fully loaded it performs well enough. Plenty of torque but the Hyundai 2.2l diesels are known to be a bit sluggish low down. Just have to get used to giving a bit more gas when taking off

      • Is the AWD good enough on gravel and inclined slopes ?

        Somewhat contrary to popular belief, 2wd vehicles can do a decent job on gravel and slopes when driven properly.

        Most part time AWD systems react so slowly they aren’t effective at providing additional grip until you have completely lost traction. If you want to legitimately use it on loose surfaces it needs to have a mode to engage AWD before yourself traction.

  • Lots of people recommending a Carnival, which is what I aim to get as well. I'm going to wait for the next year EV/Hybrid version, if it, at all, realises.

    • The only thing that stops me from considering carnival is the lack of AWD, and a sun/moonroof. 😞

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