Seven-seaters are the pinnacle of the family car market. They are ideal for those needing plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Although there are less seven-seater models around than there are hatchbacks or estate cars, there is still quite a lot of choice out there.
Buyers can choose from compact MPVs, full-size people carriers or 4×4 SUVs. The classic seat configuration is 2 individual front seats, 3 separate seats on the middle row and 2 seats that fold up from the boot floor. Which to choose depends on your budget and also on how often you are in need of 7 seats and how much space you require.
Currently, the most popular choice of seven-seater is the full-size people carrier followed by the compact MPV. However, 4×4 seven-seaters are becoming more and more popular even though they tend to be the most expensive option. Seven-seat SUVs usually offer practical interiors, increased towing capacity and strong off-road capabilities.
When buying a seven-seat 4×4 usually diesel engines are the only options because they can provide the necessary pulling power.
Here we take a look at the Mercedes GL 7 seater 4×4, arguably the best family car on the market.
The Mercedes-Benz GL
Although not the cheapest option (new 2nd generation GLs are priced at around £60,000 to £80,000), the GL is the ultimate family car. It is an extremely spacious vehicle, being bigger even than the Range Rover and a seven-speed automatic gearbox is supplied as standard. The GL will go from 0 to 60 in less than 8 seconds and it is one of the safest cars on the market. For more information on safety ratings see here.
Despite its size the steering is extremely light and parking is a doddle. Air suspension is supplied as standard at the front and rear as are 21 inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the build quality is excellent and there is some attractive leather-effect trim throughout the cabin.
However, it is practicality where the GL really rises above its rivals. The interior is huge with a cabin to match and there is plenty of legroom in the rear, middle and front. Even the pop-up rear seats are comfortable and supportive.
Access to the GL is fantastic and the fact that the rear seats are electrically folded takes all the hassle out of reconfiguring the car seating. With the rear seats down, the boot space is immense but even in its seven-seat mode the GL provides a generous amount of luggage space.
The standard equipment provided with a GL is comprehensive but there are also a range of fantastic options available such as the On and Off Road Package, Keyless-Go, Night View Assist and a Bang and Olufsen stereo system
The GL isn’t a cheap car to buy or to run but if you can afford it and you have a family, it is hard to think of a better seven-seat 4×4 option.