Top options for used Seven Seaters
It’s all fine and dandy if you can afford drop £40,000 on a glamorous new seven seat MPV or soft roader. At a pinch, if your income can support it, you might even be happy to finance such a purchase.
However, in this day of economic recession and job instability, many people have to find a more financially prudent means of owning a vehicle with seven seats. To help prospective buyers shop for affordable seven-seaters, we’ve identified a few of the top options in the used seven-seater market.
Volkswagen Sharan/Seat Alhambra/Ford Galaxy
These two MPVs from Volkswagen and Seat are basically the same vehicle. Though the overall shape and format is the same for both cars, details like badges, styling and lights are different.
Many owners and reviewers admire the solidity of the Volkswagen Sharan. It maintains Volkswagen’s reputation for quality build, though the seats are quite heavy. Bear this in mind if you expect to need frequent changes to the cabin layout. There’s plenty of room inside and the VW Sharan is a good drive. Word on the street is that the 1.9Tdi is the engine to go for.
The Seat Alhambra is virtually identical to the VW Sharan. However, as is so often the case, Seat manages to imbue the Alhambra with its own character, so despite being produced in the same Portuguese factory alongside the Sharan, the Seat Alhambra feels noticeably different.
The Alhambra provides the same level of quality construction and fun driving found in the Sharan. When all of the seats are out, luggage space is a bit restricted. Again, the diesel engines are the ones to pick. Avoid the 2.8-litre V6.
Older generations of this family of cars also include the Ford Galaxy. Many reviewers caution against buying the Ford Galaxy as some versions have developed a reputation for poor reliability. Even if you find a Ford Galaxy that seems like a good deal, bear this reputation in mind and do some research.
According to many reports, the V6 Galaxy with automatic gearbox was responsible for many of the customer complaints. In any case, the V6 engine is not very economical. The 1.9 Tdi engine, produced by the Volkswagen Audi Group, has a fine reputation for reliability and offers superior fuel economy. The latest Ford Galaxy is a completely different vehicle from its former stable mates.
Volkswagen and Seat have introduced ‘green’ versions of their seven-seaters. Called BlueMotion and EcoMotive, respectively, these late-model MPVs will be more expensive to buy than older models but you may benefit from superior fuel economy and cheaper car tax.
Overall, though the Sharan/Alhambra/Galaxy family is not the sexiest group of seven-seat cars available, they have been around for many years and have sold quite well. This means they’re likely to be the easiest to find used and so you’ll be able to shop around.
The Toyota Corolla Verso has been around since 2006. If you’re eager to find a well-built seven seater, the Verso is virtually unbeatable. Toyota is known for a high standard of build quality, and the Toyota Verso is no exception. The cabin is practical and offers great flexibility, with many nice touches to help make the use of all that space and seating.
As with many MPVs, the turbo-diesel engine is the economical choice. The 2.2-litre D-4D is the pick of the bunch. Despite Toyota’s reputation for quality, however, Toyota has issued recalls for problems with airbags.
Kia used to be known solely as a source of cheap but humourless cars. Today, however, the company produces a range of excellent vehicles that combine great design with excellent quality and superb value.
The Kia Sedona makes a fine choice for seven-seat motoring. It’s a big MPV with plenty of room inside and big sliding doors on the side that allow excellent access for rear passengers. Equipment levels are excellent and you have a basic choice of petrol and diesel engines. The Kia Sedona cabin design is outshone by some of the better European and Japanese opposition but buyers looking for value should not skip the Sedona.
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