10 Best 7 Seater SUVs in Canada


Morgan Gregory

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SUVs with all-wheel drive are hot sellers in the Canadian market. They are spacious, high off the ground, and have all-wheel drive grip to cope with Canadian winters.

Larger SUVs allow you to do it all. They support a busy and active lifestyle, with lots of room for sporting equipment and plenty of friends. They can fit everyone and everything a family needs on a road trip or camping adventure. 

Lots of choice is a good thing, but there are over 30 models that offer 7 seats. They all seem to offer the same things, like lots of space and some towing ability.

Here is a list of the best SUVs in Canada that seat at least 7 people (in alphabetical order). To make the list, in addition to 7 seats, each vehicle had to offer good quality, great safety features, and one special thing that sets it apart.

Best 7+ seat SUV comparison

Note: Cargo space is quoted with the 3rd row up / down and the head, should and leg room is specifically for the 3rd row of seats.

VehicleMSRPSeatsArrangementCargo SpaceHeadroomShoulder RoomLeg roomEngineFuel EconomyTransmissionDrivetrain
Acura MDX$54,39072,3,215 / 45.135.654.730.93.5L V610.99 spdAWD
Ford Explorer$44,69972,2,318.2 / 47.938.954.632.22.3L turbo10.3 or 11.810 spd4WD
Honda Pilot$41,2908 (7 opt)2,3,316.5 / 46.838.957.631.93.5 V6116 spdAWD
Hyundai Palisade$38,5498 (7 opt)2,3,318 / 45.837.855.231.43.8 V610.58 spdAWD
Lexus RX 350 L$56,0507 (6 opt)2,3,27.5 / 2334.857.823.53.5 V611.18 spdAWD
Mazda CX-9$39,9007 (6 opt)2,3,214.4 / 38.235.453.129.72.5L turbo106 spdAWD
Subaru Ascent$36,6958 (7 opt)2,3,317.6 / 4736.357.231.72.4L turbo10.4CVTAWD
Toyota 4Runner$48,12072,3,29 / 47.234.357.729.34.0L V6145 spd4WD
Toyota Highlander$39,9908 (7 opt)2,3,316 / 48.436.15527.63.5L V610.38 spdAWD
VW Atlas$36,7407 (6 opt)2,3,320.6 / 55.538.357.433.72.0L turbo128 spdAWD

1. 2020 Acura MDX

  • MSRP: $54,390
  • 7 Seat Arrangement:  2, 3, 2
  • Cool Feature/Option: Standard system that cancels out unwanted noise
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 425 litres (15 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1277 litres (45.1 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 35.6 in. (904 mm) / shoulder room 54.7 in. (1389 mm) / legroom 30.9 in. (785 mm)

The Acura MDX is a bit smaller than most others on this list, and it lacks a hands-free tailgate. It does come standard with a long list of safety features, including Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control to keep your family safe on the highway. 

Another standard feature you will love is Acura’s noise cancellation system, which actually  creates sound to cancel road-noise so your drive is calm and quiet. A smooth and quick 6 cylinder engine, 9 speed transmission, and Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) make this the driving enthusiast’s SUV.

What Sets it Apart: driving dynamics

2. 2020 Ford Explorer

  • MSRP: $44,699
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 2, 3
  • Cool Feature/Option: Optional 10.1” LCD Capacitive Portrait Touchscreen
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 515 litres (18.2 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1356 litres (47.9 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 38.9 in. (988 mm) / shoulder room 54.6 in. (1387 mm) / legroom 32.2 in. (818 mm)

The Ford Explorer is one of Ford’s best sellers. New for 2020 is an all-wheel drive system built on a rear-wheel drive platform. Rear-wheel drive platforms offer better towing ability so you can tow that trailer with confidence.

There is truly an Explorer for every buyer. The base model will easily haul the kids and all their hockey equipment to the rink, and the upper trims will delight the techie with the optional, absolutely massive infotainment screen.

What Sets it Apart: a rear-wheel drive platform

3. 2020 Honda Pilot

  • MSRP: $41,290
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 3, 3 or optional 2, 2, 3
  • Cool Feature/Option: Special Black Edition for 2020
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 467 litres (16.5 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1325 litres (46.8 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 38.9 in. (989 mm) / shoulder room 57.6 in. (1463 mm) / legroom 31.9 in. (810 mm)

The 2020 Honda Pilot offers excellent reliability. The smooth, powerful 6 cylinder engine is standard and makes even a trip to the grocery store fun.

There is a new Black Edition for 2020, though changes to the previous top trim — the Touring 7P — are cosmetic only. Whether you get into the base LX or the Black Edition, there will be a smile on your face driving this SUV.

What Sets it Apart: fun to drive

4. 2020 Hyundai Palisade

  • MSRP: $38,549
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 2, 3 or optional 2, 3, 3
  • Cool Feature/Option: Infotainment system can be used to fold 3rd row seats
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 510 litres (18 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1297 litres (45.8 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 37.8 in. (960 mm) / shoulder room 55.2 in. (1402 mm) / legroom 31.4 in. (798 mm)

The Hyundai Palisade offers great features to make life easy on busy days. The 3rd row seats fold electronically and can be operated from the infotainment system. There is a hands-free tailgate that opens if you stand behind the vehicle with the key fob.

The Palisade seems to have been designed to beat all other SUVs in every category, and it just might have done it. Make sure you check it out. 

What Sets it Apart: near-luxury in a well-equipped new model

5. 2020 Lexus RX 350L

  • MSRP: $56,050
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 3, 2 or optional 2, 2, 2
  • Cool Feature/Option: Safety system that detects bicycles 
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 212 litres (7.5 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 651 litres (23 cu.ft.)
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 34.8 in. (884 mm) / shoulder room 57.8 in. (1468 mm) / legroom 23.5 in. (597 mm)

The only vehicle on this list made in Canada! The Lexus RX 350 L is a bit small, with limited legroom in the 3rd row, but no SUV is more reliable.

Lexus’s advanced safety system comes standard, and it includes pedestrian detection in low-light and even daytime bicycle detection. You will be safe, and so will those around you, in this classy Lexus that is proudly made in Cambridge, Ontario. 

What Sets it Apart: luxury and quality made in Canada

6. 2020 Mazda CX-9

  • MSRP: $39,900
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 3, 2 
  • Cool Feature/Option: Use premium gas to get extra power
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 408 litres (14.4 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1082 litres (38.2 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 35.4 in. (899 mm) / shoulder room 53.1 in. (1349 mm) / legroom 29.7 in. (754 mm)

Most of the SUVs on this list offer a choice of engines or only a 6 cylinder, but the Mazda CX-9 sticks to 4 cylinders. Filling the gas tank with premium gas increases power, making the CX-9 a bit more fun to drive.

Many safety features come standard, including 4 different systems to help the driver brake and stop more quickly. Great brakes and precise steering make the CX-9 safer by helping the driver avoid trouble. 

What Sets it Apart: top trim does not break the bank

7. 2020 Subaru Ascent

  • MSRP: $36,695
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 2, 3 or optional 2, 3, 3
  • Cool Feature/Option: 19 cup holders
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 498 litres (17.6 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1331 litres (47 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 36.3 in. (922 mm) / shoulder room 57.2 in. (1454 mm) / legroom 31.7 in. (804 mm)

The Subaru scent comes standard with Subaru`s famous symmetrical all-wheel drive system and it is high off the ground, making it easy to get around when the snow is falling. 

Power from the 4 cylinder engine feels adequate due to a CVT transmission that helps the Ascent tow up to 5000 lbs, enough for a medium-sized trailer to take the family camping. An interesting feature of the Ascent is 19 — yes 19 — cupholders, so your passengers can bring their favourite drinks for the ride. 

What Sets it Apart: Subaru’s all-wheel drive system

8. 2020 Toyota 4Runner

  • MSRP: $48,120
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 3, 2 
  • Cool Feature/Option: four-wheel drive for off-road adventures
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 255 litres (9 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1337 litres (47.2 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 34.3 in. (871 mm) / shoulder room 57.7 in. (1466 mm) / legroom 29.3 in. (744 mm)

The Toyota 4Runner has not changed in years, but why change something that is just right? To get 7 seats you have to select the Limited or Nightshade edition, but a big 6 cylinder engine, 5 speed transmission, and legendary durability come standard.

Unlike the other vehicles on this list, the 4Runner offers traditional 4-wheel drive that gives it true off-road capability. A comfortable interior and a full array of standard safety features round-out this SUV that can do it all on any terrain.  

What Sets it Apart: real off-road capability

9. 2020 Toyota Highlander

  • MSRP: $39,990
  • 7 Seat Arrangement: 2, 3, 3 or optional 2, 2, 3
  • Cool Feature/Option: Captain’s Chairs in the Platinum edition
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 453 litres (16 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1371 litres (48.4 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 36.1 in. (918 mm) / shoulder room 55 in. (1397 mm) / legroom 27.6 in. (702 mm)

The Toyota Highlander sits comfortably on this list. It has lots of room and a reputation for solid reliability. Many safety features are standard, including side curtain airbags for all 3 rows.

All trims have 8 seats, except the top-of-the-line Platinum edition that has 2 very comfortable captain’s chairs in the 2nd row. The Highlander is so safe and comfortable it will make you want to fill it with family and friends every chance you get.

What Sets it Apart: a great hybrid model is available

10. 2020 Volkswagen Atlas

  • MSRP: $36,740
  • The 7 Seats: 2, 2, 3 or optional 2, 3, 3
  • Cool Feature/Option: all four trims can be had with the 6 cylinder engine
  • Cargo Space: 3rd row up 583 litres (20.6 cu.ft.) / 3rd row down 1572 litres (55.5 cu.ft.) 
  • 3rd Row Room: headroom 38.3 in. (972 mm) / shoulder room 57.4 in. (1459 mm) / legroom 33.7 in. (856 mm)

The VW Atlas is a very large 7 seater that offers lots of comfort and Volkswagen’s very good all-wheel drive system. All-wheel drive is only offered with the 6 cylinder engine, but the 6 cylinder is an available option on all trims.  

The 2021 Atlas arrives mid-2020 and it might finally offer all-wheel drive and 4 cylinders. Tons of space and good fuel economy could be perfect for those trips to the cottage.

What Sets it Apart: lots and lots of room

Runners-up

  • 2020 Audi Q7: expensive German luxury, but a new turbo-charged V6 and legendary Quattro for Canadian winters. 
  • 2021 Genesis GV80: available later in 2020, the first Genesis SUV has a rear-wheel drive platform and loads of luxury, comfort, and technology. 
  • 2020 Kia Telluride: a Hyundai Palisade with fewer features and Kia styling.

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3 thoughts on “10 Best 7 Seater SUVs in Canada

  1. Excellent article. Well written, thorough and engaging. Made me want to buy an SUV even though I don’t need one and I don’t know how to drive. 11/10

  2. I know nothing about vehicles, which is why I appreciate the “cool feature” and “what sets it apart” sections of this article. I need someone who knows something about SUVs to quickly tell me the ways one SUV stands out in comparison to the others! Thanks Cansumer for doing that!

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