10 Best 7 Seater SUVs in Canada


Morgan Gregory

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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 in litres with the 3rd row up / down. The head, shoulder and leg room is specifically for the 3rd row of seats and quoted in millimetres in that order.

VehicleMSRPSeatsArrangementCargo SpaceHeadroomShoulder RoomLeg roomEngineFuel EconomyTransmissionDrivetrain
Acura MDX$54,39072,3,2425 / 127790413897853.5L V610.99 spdAWD
Ford Explorer$44,69972,2,3515 / 135698813878182.3L turbo10.3 or 11.810 spd4WD
Honda Pilot$41,2908 (7 opt)2,3,3467 / 132598914638103.5 V6116 spdAWD
Hyundai Palisade$38,5498 (7 opt)2,3,3510 / 129796014027983.8 V610.58 spdAWD
Lexus RX 350 L$56,0507 (6 opt)2,3,2212 / 65184414685973.5 V611.18 spdAWD
Mazda CX-9$39,9007 (6 opt)2,3,2408 / 108289913497542.5L turbo106 spdAWD
Subaru Ascent$36,6958 (7 opt)2,3,3498 / 133192214548042.4L turbo10.4CVTAWD
Toyota 4Runner$48,12072,3,2255 / 133787114667444.0L V6145 spd4WD
Toyota Highlander$39,9908 (7 opt)2,3,3453 / 137191813977023.5L V610.38 spdAWD
VW Atlas$36,7407 (6 opt)2,3,3583 / 157297214598562.0L 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: 425 / 1277 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 904 / 1389 / 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: 515 / 1356 litres 
  • 3rd Row Room: 988 / 1387 / 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: 467 / 1325 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 989 / 1463 / 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: 510 / 1297 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 960 / 1402 / 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: 212 / 651 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 884 / 1468 / 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: 408 / 1082 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 899 / 1349 / 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: 498 / 1331 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 922 / 1454 / 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: 255 / 1337 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 871 / 1466 / 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: 453 / 1371 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 918 / 1397 / 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: 583 / 1572 litres
  • 3rd Row Room: 972 / 1459 / 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.

What to read next

Over to you

We’re interested to know – which 7 passenger SUV are you most interested in? For what activity or trip do you need the seating and cargo space the most? Let us know in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “10 Best 7 Seater SUVs in Canada

  1. 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!

    Reply
  2. 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

    Reply

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