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?


      • Have a look at the Staria.

        • Sorry mate, but I have to say, staria isn't even close to carnival in terms of looks, practicality , features and interior space.

          • @OneIdiot: Staria is a fair bit bigger so has more interior room just about everywhere (headroom and behind the 3rd row particularly), has AWD and higher towing capacity but damn is it ugly and the 3rd row being permanently up (along with the second row middle seat not being removeable like the Carnival) is a major downside. I do think the Carnival Platinum is better spec'd where the Staria looks and feels a lot more van-like.

            Also Carnival Platinum's have dual sunroof's, not sure why that's on your list as a negative?

            • +1

              @whitelie: Thanks. Everyone learns something everyday , so, the sunroof is a welcome feature in new carnival. Now, only gripe left is the missing AWD option.

              Add that to carnival, and it's a beast an no other people mover stands a chance

            • @whitelie: Have you seen the rear windows on the staria? Those are sliding ones like a proper bus/van. Same is the dash.

              • @OneIdiot: Why does it matter when people are buying a bus?

  • +1

    Would not recommend Santa Fe or Sorento if you are frequently using the rear bench.

    1. Curtain airbags do not extend to protect the rear bench passengers

    2. Cargo capacity is abysmal in 7 seat configuration.

    I would recommend the base model Palisade. That's well below your $70k limit. 8 seater, full length curtain airbags and decent boot space with all 8 seats in use.

    Also in stock, which the Kia Carnival is not.

    • +2

      I second that.
      It amazes me that people don't understand, that these so called 7 seaters like Santa Fe and Sorrento are really just 5 seaters with big boot. Practically vise the 3rd row access and use isnt suitable

      • -2

        thats why they are called 'occasional 7 seaters'

        • Do you also occasionally not wear a seatbelt?

          If not, I don't see why you would occasionally put anyone in a seat that does not offer full protection to the head in the event of an accident.

          The concept of "occasional 7 seater" based on lack of safety features is absolute nonsense.

  • +2

    Highly recommend Pathfinder. What I really liked about it: Quite spacious & good legroom, access to 3rd row is super easy even with child seats in second row, got 3rd row A/c vents, good tech/ intelligent features, 360 degree camera views… Had considered CX9, Santa Fe, Kluger at the time; but went with Pathfinder; all good so far (been only 2+ years though)!

    If it isn't in your shortlist, worth checking it out, I would say.. Cheers!

    • I agree, however , the tech and infotainment so outdated by atleast few years.

  • After many many hours of research I went with the CX9 Azami and LOVE it, my aspirations of getting another luxury car (Lexus/BMW//Merc etc.) have subsided and will likely go for another mazda for our 2nd car now

    Also a number of dealers have these in stock too, Toyota told us a 4-6 month wait when I was shopping around

    • I went with the CX9 Azami

      I am considering this one too, did you go with 6 seater or 7?

      • I went with the 7 seater, i only have 2 kids but handy if they want friends to come back from netball

    • Please pm me the price.

      • @Kl2999 you will need to edit your settings so i can PM you

        • Keen to find out the price on your end, if you don't mind via pm

        • Setting updated. thanks

  • Hyundai Palisade if you're going to use the thrid row daily, much easier to get into and a lot more space if you need it. Also you can configure it to have captain seats in the second row, so there's an aisle to third row like the carnival.

    Tick's all the boxes if you don't mind a bigger SUV and want it to be an SUV, not a van. Otherwise Carnival, but finish is nicer in the Palisade, less cheap plastics imo.

    Cx—9 would be the next choice, but it's slightly smaller so getting in the back a little tighter. Not a huge deal if it's just kids climbing in the back. It's going to get facelift overhaul soon though? watch out for that.

    • yeah its the CX80/90 coming, but I couldn't wait for a year.

  • +2

    I’ve got the CX9 and am pretty happy with it as a tourer. It has a nice premium feel to the design and the engine is pretty decent for its size.

    The gripes I would suggest you look out for are:
    1. Shorter 10000km service interval
    2. No full-sized spare
    3. No third row air vents
    4. Not space efficient due to the sloping design. So you have a very long car but with no space benefit.

    The things I like are:
    1. Anchor points for all seats
    2. Engine has good torque at low rpm and decent acceleration.
    3. Good general inclusions (e.g. leather, LED, remote start/stop) from the Touring grade. Competition is catching up though.
    4. Economy is reasonable at 12L/100km on 98RON with urban-bias.
    5. Good standard “Level 1 autonomous” safety. Adaptive cruise control, blind spot, lanekeeping assist etc at all grade levels
    6. HUD display at all grade levels

    I would definitely compare it against other rivals, particularly the Kia Sorrento. I’d consider the Palisade (for size), Sorrento (for inclusions) and CX9 (for overall premium finish).

    • -1

      Economy is reasonable at 12L/100km on 98RON with urban-bias.

      You consider that reasonable?


      • Economy is reasonable at 12L/100km on 98RON with urban-bias.

        Wow, and that too on 98. Can it run on E10 though? Would hate to spend $1.80/ltr each time at the servo, if anything - this makes the PHEV case even stronger.

        • It'll run on 91

  • the Kluger hybrid seems nice and fuel-efficient.
    I gotta admit, people movers are very comfortable, for the passengers. Drive ok too. Not sure about fuel consumption.
    The third row in SUV can be quite tight, and kids on the third row might get motion sickness as it's bumpier on the road.

  • I know it’s not an Ozb car, but as a Pathfinder owner I’m pretty happy with my decison.
    Almost 4 years from the purchase and never missed a beat.
    Also if you’re not in a rush, it could be worth to wait for pathfinder 2022. The new model will have better interior design an apple car play etc.

    • +1

      How’s fuel consumption for pathfinder?

      • I own the 4WD 3.5l V6 petrol version.
        The fuel tank is 73lt.
        Mileage in highway is around 700-750km.
        And around 400km in city driving.

  • Kluger. Much preferred it to the cx9, the cx9 had more tech, but the kluger had far more sideways leg room for driver, the cx9 centre consoles bulk pushed my left leg into a squashed uncomfortable position.

  • A lot of comments about the carnival but not much about the odyssey. Odyssey seems cheap from 48k? Is it smaller than the carnival?

    • true interior on the carnival is a touch better quality

    • Honda Odyssey is less thirsty on fuel.

      Carnival is larger, and heavier, best pick with Diesel engine.

      Odyssey is pretty good for its price and it’s still made in Japan.

  • 2021 LDV Deliver 9 LWB Auto MY21

  • +1

    Kia carnival
    Hyundai palisade
    Mazda CX-9
    personal recommendation will be pajero sport

    • +1

      Care to elaborate pls.
      Not much discussed about Pajero Sport here so genuinely interested to know your thoughts. Cheers.

      • +1

        pajero is based on the triton which makes it a true offroader, top spec offers 2 diff locks and it drives just like a toyota prado very soft and slugish, but that's just the nature of a ledder frame chasise off roader, it's a very capable car, and can pretty much take your whole family to places a normal suv struggles or can not go, if you like road trips and going out in rural places pajero will be your best choice, if just city commuting I think palisade and the carnival are the better option, as for the cx9 I think it's a nice 7 seater but a bit overpriced

      • +1

        oh forgot the most important part, pajero is cheap as well top spec runs around 64k prado is like freaking 110k atm, to be fare prado is a bit nicer nut it's price is just insane to even think about

  • +1

    Skoda Kodiaq, RS if you can find one.

    • +1

      I really wish Skoda made their RS lines a bit warmer. I think the MY22 with the petrol engine will be a much better car

      • On paper I can see how it would seem that way, but after my wife got one (I had limited say. ha.) I've been frankly shocked at how well the engine suits the car.

        Huge torque curve from practically zero, even broader than a regular turbo diesel with its compound twin turbo setup.
        The new petrol will probably be faster, but it'll have to be strung out to redline to get the car moving - That makes more sense in a hatchback than a big SUV. Hard to explain but imho it'll be a huge shame when its gone.

        I had zero expectations from it when my wife brought it home, but its grown on me as one of the best all rounder cars we've ever owned (And we've owned plenty of expensive silly cars)

        • +1

          The petrol engine is something like 60kg's lighter than the diesel. All the reviews I've seen of it overseas say it's a significantly better car for the weight reduction, doesn't lose anything in straight line speed but handling is improved a lot. That said, I do think they are a great car with little to no competition at the price point. If you want something 'hotter', you've got to double the money.

          But I think the RS range in general is held back by VW. Much in the same way the Octavia RS should have the same engine spec's as the Superb Sportline or Golf R. Would make it a much better car rather than just lukewarm but would probably take too many Golf R sales.

          • +1

            @whitelie: I'd implore you to drive one, 2 people who've borrowed the wife's have gone and nabbed one for themselves.

            Its not a car about straight line speed, or outright handling really - If you're after either of those you'll probably be a bit disappointed. What it does do great is roll on the throttle at any speed and shove you forward without needing to kick down a gear etc, and effortless cruising/mid corner shove without being at 6500rpm.

            The 500Nm available earlier and with less lag than 370Nm in the Petrol makes for a more usable car, with the switch to the Petrol they've stopped using the (iirc heavier and stronger) DQ500 RS3 gearbox and moved the battery back into its conventional position under the bonnet. I would bet the weight distribution is the same or worse with the Petrol, even though the press material implies the weight change is due to the Diesel.

            We traded a Superb 206 for the Kodiaq RS, the Kodiaq's diesel is a much more entertaining engine and better suited to the big car. Previously she had a petrol Octavia RS that probably doesn't suit a diesel.

            Anyway I've soapboxed enough, its just definitely a car I didn't expect to like but fell in love with. My own previous car was a V8TT C63 so I was a bit shocked to like a silly pointless SUV.

            It's a car I'd consider keeping long term, but she's already got her eye on the new Cupra Formentor when it arrives next year.

    • Definetely not Kodiaq.
      Went to showroom with my wife and looked at the car, we are convinced to not look at Kodiaq again.
      Massively overpriced, poor design and poor quality. At first look, got a big turn-off to even think of a test drive.
      I would call it a third rate car at first class price.

      • +1

        It sounds like a sales person touched you… because that's a frankly ridiculous impression to get about that car from looking at it in a showroom - And way out of step with basically every other review anyone has ever done.

  • +4

    Have 4 kids, 3 primary school age and a 6 month old. Needed a new 7 seater to replace our aging and inefficient tribeca before the 4th was born. Tried a whole lot of them - XC90, B and G mercedes, pallisade, sorento etc, even the model X. All have the same issues (except the model X, but that's to much $$$ for a family car) - minimal boot space with rear seats up, poor access to rear seat especially with kid seats in, minimal rear seat room. My boys are already tall and I can see issues in 5 or 6 years if we still had the car. Test drove the new model Kia carnival and bought it. Haven't looked back and am sad to say my aversion to 'minivans' due to ego and image was stupid. We've removed the middle row centre seat, so the kids walk to the back row a bit like a bus, even with a booster and baby seat in place. Rear row always up and we can still fit a pram in the boot without folding it up. Sliding side doors with remote open are a god send in car parks to unload them. Plus you might like the look of it. It has a more 'escalade' type US SUV look than a minivan. Got the diesel and the city consumption is around 8l/100km, way better than the 14l/100km the petrol tribeca got.

    If you don't plan to take it off road and want to keep the rear row of seats in the carnival is definitely worth looking at, I'm so glad we got it, huge quality of life change. It sounds like an exageration but 3 kids to and from school every day plus sports/swimming/music, it's a lot of loading and unloading the car that is now effortless. At 70k that's pretty much the platinum - black rims, sunroofs and cooled front seats - which is what we got. But 60k I think gets you the model below, which comes with almost everything apart from the extra I mentioned and a wireless charging sport for your phone. Only issue is lack of chips so speedo etc are analogue and no auto wipers or bluetooth applecar play in any model, but supposedly all coming in future after chip shortage. Those are my only criticisms.

    • +2

      Kia have upped their game, glad you found what you needed, and carnival has a same pick and power as any normal Sedan 3.0l will do.

  • +2

    Previous owner of CX9, to be honest mazda is just a hype technically its a excellent car but i found it to be bulky and big, in saying that the bigger it is on outside it looks way smaller on the inside. The Body space ratio doesn’t match. I’m in market for new 7 seater for the price New outlander is good.

    But I’ll pick Kia Sorrento hands down anyday over Mazda Cx9, i havent seen CX90 yet but Sorrento wins the day.

  • Buy a Nissan Cubic! It has 7 seats. Save the rest of your funds.

  • SUV with 7 seats with all 7 seats up, offers next to nothing boot space. But you can always buy a roof rack and cargo box to fit stuff for family vacations.

    I would go with either hybrid or diesel. Petrol prices are going up and lot of new cars are tuned for premium unleaded which is even more expensive. Driving a 2 tonne vehicle with 6-7 occupants consumes lot of fuel.

  • Toyota Fortuner could be an option?

  • +1

    Personally I would stay well clear of the Mazda, the plastic finish on the dash and centre console is pathetic and scratches very easily, My wife's looks terrible after two years.. ! really disappointed int he brand.

  • +1

    Kia Sorrento or Hyundai Santa Fe, has the same decision 2 years back, but couldn’t stretch the budget only had 45k so got the Tiguan allspace, just based on the current petrol prices I’d stay away from Mazda (unless they make a 7 seater diesel now.

  • +1

    CX9 Touring owner for 2 years here. I do like the practicality and the size of the third row seating. However biggest gripes are its enormous width, fuel efficiency is not great and hate the amount of wheelspin on the FWD model. I would pay the extra to get AWD if I had my choice again. The interior is well built and only had one minor issues with clunking from a loose plastic part near the wheel well. Join some Facebook groups for whatever car you're interested in to get a feel for how many issues customers are experiencing. I found that CX9 has had very few issues, possibly owing to this gen being in the market for many years now.

    • Re wheelspin, I have a Sorento FWD and had the same issue on the stock Kuhmos. Changed them out at 55,000 mostly city ks because they were so bad and they still had plenty of tread ; goes to show how hard a compound they use. Swapped to Michelin primacy SUV tyres which offer way better grip in the wet or dry and still give me >60,000ks. Maybe consider a tyre upgrade during the black Friday sales.

  • Kia Carnival or Honda Odyssey.

    Where an elevated ride height or certain level of towing ability isn't needed, SUVs are for people with self-esteem issues.

  • I have a merc V250.. ticks all the boxes and drives more like a car than a van. just face the seats facing each other and you won’t look back.

  • For those who need only occasional use of the third row, take a look at the Peugeot 5008 GT. Best looking car (especially the interior) in its class! The diesel version has great fuel efficiency too.

    • quite a lot smaller overall though …

  • +1

    OP if you are set on the cx-9 - sutherland mazda has a couple due in stock for December. January and onwards will set you back <$70K for Azami AWD

    • Thanks for the info, this is helpful.

  • Sorento. Period. Have owned em since 12 and love em.

    • +4

      Pretty sure the legal age to drive and own a car is 18?

  • we did this about a year ago, quite happy with cx9 azami. downsides are its thirsty (which we knew) and the stock paint is shithouse (didn't know that .. worth considering aftermarket protection) … features are awesome, and drives nice, its big but so are most in class… haven't actually needed 3rd row, for us it's occasional use only when family is over or kids have friends in car.

    Santa Fe and Sorrento for me weren't any bigger or better… not sure if we've got that new bigger kia here yet… Audi Q7 would be better but for money it would be 2nd hand so not sure it would make sense in long run with maintenance costs.

  • Holden trailblazer.

    Great car 500nM torque and 3T towing capacity.

  • Tiguan allspace

  • Kia Serrato.

  • +1

    I worked for Mazda back in 2013 as a mechanic. I don't think the newer CX-x are made by ford, but you may wish to check. If you are also considering Mazda, ask them for a list of approximate service pricing. I remember even changing the spark plugs on the old CX-9 was a very expensive and labour-intensive task, due to tucking the engine slightly under the firewall lip.

    Kia seems to be popular for their "777" program (7 years roadside, fixed service, and warranty). Personally, just avoid brands like MG or anything from China. It's cheap but the value will plummet and there is no long-term owner reports. Great Wall Version 1 and Chery were massive red flag for Chinese made cars. If you want quality Toyota is hard to beat and if you want a mid-price SUV, the outlander is a bad choice for the price.

    Just avoid Chinese made and be aware of European car repair prices if you plan to keep beyond warranty. I also recommend you factor in resale value when you want to get rid of it, because paying a little extra for say a Toyota, might return the difference in value when you sell it.

    John Cadogan (Australian car reviewer), is pretty blunt with his reviews. He is very pro-korean (price vs quality), but he has a point. He also stated what most of us thought about Holden and Ford a few years back. The guy is proudly the "Most hated motoring journalist in Australia" by brands and is worth a watching a youtube clip or reading his reviews on a particullary car before purchase.

    • +1

      Did you mean to say outlander is NOT a bad choice? Or is outlander a bad option. I am personally considering New 2022 outlander, which I think is a really good value for money. Would like to know if others have anything to say about it as well. Cheers

      • +1

        For the price, the outlander is not a bad choice (it's a good choice). Sorry, my bad and thanks for pointing this out. It's no Toyota Kluger, but it's a fraction of the cost with a 7-year warrant 10-year warranty (wow). If I was in the market for a comfortable SVU, that is excellent value with decent safety and tech, then the outlander would likely be at the top of my list (based on the current models and I do not know any mechanics that have worked on PHEV, so no comment on them).

    • +1

      Personally I think Korean car engine is still not as reliable compare to Japanese mades. Thats what pull me away from Kia and Hyundai. Even they provide good 777 program.

      • over a decade ago, I would agree.
        But now, they already caught up. And, in certain extent, clearly exceeded.
        I bought my mazda with a claimed 9ltr/100km. In reality, I have been clocking up 15.7ltr/100km. I know it depends on your driving and a lot of other factors but with such a massive difference like this, i think mazda, as a jap car, cannot claim itself better than korean or chinese car engines.

  • -1

    VW Tiguan Allspace, top of the line 162TSI Highline can be had for around $65k, have had one for 3yrs now brilliant car. Now they offer 5yr warranty and prepaid servicing for approx. $2600 (5yrs)

    Examples (depending on state you live in) :

    Servicing care plans :

  • Open your choices and look at this as well: as far as I know available in 30-60 days delivery

    • Thanks mate, already placed an order of cx9 Azami AWD. Happy new year.

  • -1

    Definetely the new KIA Sorento for 7 seaters.
    I used to love Mazda. But, they are now considered old. The instrument and Entertainment cluster appears to be significantly undersized for the car of that size.
    The shape of the car hasnt been updated for over a couple years already. And, like what you have heard, the current shape of CX9 would be the last of that model.
    There hasnt been any plan from Mazda to update the model with new generation.
    CX9, like CX7, is being phased out.

Login or Join to leave a comment