Suggstions for a 4x4 or SUV with 7 seats please

Mr Happy

Hi guys,

With the birth (on Friday) of my third boy we now need a 7 seater vehicle. In addition, we enjoy ski holidays so need a 4WD of some kind. As we do not do off roading, only snowy roads in blizzards, it is not strictly necessary to have L/R genuine 4x4 but something close (hence consideration for an SUV).

I will be buying new and getting rid after three years so my question is, what would you recommend?

We are thinking of the Suburu Tribeca which appears to come with everything, another option is that Volvo Xthing and my wife has friends who swear by some Mitsubishi thing.

Lastly, the wife, who is small, needs to be able to drive the thing. Needless to say, parking sensors and rear facing cameras all good.

Relatively open budget, and I like my extras.
Discovery. You can get one with c. 45,000 on the clock for less than £10,000 and it'll last you for the next hundred thousand and more (mine's now at 155k and still in the prime). You could also try one of the Jap second-hand imports; I had a Toyota Surf in Zim a couple of years ago, bought direct from Japan second-hand. With a 3.0 turbo diesel, it was an outstanding car, and I came close to re-exporting it to the UK.
Seconded, no hesitation, although I would tend to go for one of the older Discoveries with the remarkably reliable 300TDi engine and the real A-frame chassis. Much cheaper to buy, easier to service, robust as hell and really quite comfortable. Plod around all day at 85 mph, return around 30 mpg and easy to repair (except for the rear llights)

Probably get a good ex soccer-mom one with 75k on the clock for around £3k
Have driven a Mitsubishi Pajero (shogun import) for 8 years now. Olde version and slighly newer (M Reg). As an import came with all the bells and whistles. By it via dealer to get all the back up. Insurance and parts no problems at all. 2.8 diesel Turbo bit thirsty on fuel but will tow anthing anywhere. has 80 litre fuel tank so approx £90+ to fill up. No hesitation in reccomending it as the dealers want rid of them as fashion has changed and a good second hand is easily available.

Mr Happy

jarrod248 said:
I'd be careful of anything 4x4 with things as they are at present. It might be prudent to wait and see what happens and if it the tax mans squeezing everyones balls if they have a 4x4, then the prices will fall.
Fortunately, I gave up on the UK 7 years ago. And so whatever corrupt UK politician is screwing you and the rest of UK over, it has sweet FA to do with me.

Also, as it is a company car, and because the tax situation isnt like the UK. The car is free and tax free. If I dont spend it, I lose it. So its new cars only please, and whilst I am not trying to spend money just because I can and am aware of the carbon footprint of a new car vs a second hand one... Its new only.

I even rang Bowler (SP?) about their wildcat but apparently we are well short of seats there!

All Rangys have 5 seats BTW so they are out.
The disco 3 is a damn fine vehicle and will do pretty much anything you ask of it, gets expensive with the extras but if you're not too bothered about that then it's the best choice.
The Volvo XC90 is another good choice, especially if you are not planning on doing any serious off roading, you can get them with all the toys for a considerable amount less than the Disco.
The Scooby Tribeca is only available as a petrol and is pretty thirsty (about 23mpg I think). Possibly the ugliest 4x4 this side of the Cayenne and going to suffer on resale values compared to the other 2. Like most japanese cars it will have plenty of toys though.
The Mitsubishi Shogun new model now has a 7 seat version, good reliable cars but shoguns used to have quite agricultural engines and sound rough as hell even when warm, not sure what the new 3.2 diesel is like though.
You could always go for a Nissan Patrol, paint it white then you could pretend you're in the UN! :D
Hopefully LR have finally got their Disco 3 build quality up to spec then ... a two year old LR3 owner with many problems writes ! Nice car, disinterested company (at least to non UK customers IME)
clarkson rated the volvo x thingy as the best for familys.
as he has young sprogs and knows a little about cars :roll:
be a little cheaper to fuel up if you don't need off road ability
I have to say with my Fire Team-1 we have been very pleased with our Volvo V70 with additional seats in the boot. These were factory fitted. The same can be added to the 4X4 version (C70). Winter tyres more than compensate for the lack of 4X4.


Proper rear seats that remove the need for booster seats as they are designed for children only.

Fold flat to give you much more interior luggage space than a SUV or the Volvo C90!

More fuel efficient and cheaper to insure.

Roof bars enable the addition of all Roof boxes, ski bars and bike holders as required.

Few "extras" required and the top spec holds its value very well. Suggest you look for a second-hand one about 3 yrs old.


Its a Volvo.
I'd vote for a Discovery 3 been using one for the last couple of weekends (borrowed)
The pros are the V6 engine so much better than my TD5, you end up driving around thinking I have 4x4 look there is a RUPP and you dial the selector and off you go, with that 4x4 sign you wont be able to help yourself. The 7 seats are all comfortable to a 6foot adult. You can do 4 hours driving on motorway or cross country or more get out at the end and not even feel it.
Drawbacks well space is the biggests with all seats in use there is not a lot of boot space so you need to look at a roof box. It's about 30 miles per gallon if your not heavy footed and you can find out how to turn off the air-con :roll:

It looks better than the volvo / audi that have the appearence of 'on steriods' and if you walked to close with a pin you could burst them. They are fine for muddy car parks though. :x Although I've never driven the 4x4 versions my T5 back end used to skip round corners.

If you just want seats and space the merc exec minbus. If you after 4x4 get the best you budget allows the Disco HSE
Odd one here, VW caravell Syncro? I used to have one, bloody good MPV with 4x4, 35mpg 6, 7 or 8 seats depending on spec however you can carry 8 plus luggage for 8 and skis no problem. Wish we had never swapped it for a Grand Espace which was crap, less space and worse economy too.
Have a look at that Chevrolet thingy, the Captiva, comes fully loaded and wont require a body part to buy, not actually looked at one, but a mate of mine was toying with the idea as he was after a 7 seater 4x4.
Point to note though, he did say that its not the most executive of finishes on the interior apparrently.
If you can't afford a Discovery 3 or a Volvo XC90 - then for about there's the Hyundai Santa Fe with a five year warranty. A 12 month old one goes for about £20k too.

Mr Happy

rimsey84 said:
SUV? did I just warp into America?
I did write 4x4 or SUV, thus implying that they are different things...

To other posters:

I have booked a Volvo test drive. Will advise.

I hired a Merc Viano 4x4 the other day for a long weekend in the mountains, it was a horrible horrible drive and frankly, I almost asked for my money back - luxury hire car my arrse.

The Disco v3 is very nice BUT BUT BUT Frau Happy didnt like the (a) tank appearence, she is a bit awed by this sort of thing and (b) the rear seats were too heavy for her to deploy, I did demonstrate using my little finger how easy it was but it was too late, her mind was made up that this was a crap car. Early experiences with the Disco v1 and LR servicing 10+ years ago kinda screwed that relationship up. The (on-road) ride, when I took it out didnt impress me either - not convinced the fuss is worth it. I also thing the console, ermm, dashboard is a bit toss, e.g. I have to lean to hit some switches and I am 11" taller than the Frau so the trouble she would have got into..

Thanks for the off the wall suggestions re Synchro and other volvos, I will be discussing with the sales chappy.

FYI, have also looked at the sangyyong 4x4 bus - not that great but loving the KRW FX rate/price!
MY next door neighbour has the Hyundai Santa Fe - 7 seats, CDTI (diesel 30+mpg), low emissions, looks good, good waranty. It is a 4x4 though (as with most of these suggestions) and so will be stodgy on road.

Things like the XC90/XC70 etc are estates with about 3" more ground clearance and passable 4wd for slightly more slippery going and will therefore be much better as a road car.

If you want 90% road car with 10% ability to climb snowy roads why not just get a 2wd car and snow chains? Must be a few big 7 seat estates - Merc E-class?, volvo V70, Honda Accord?, my knowledge is drying up... Honda FR-Vs are 6 seaters - 3 man bench at the front and behind - any good, or do you need to have 7 seats?


Try a Nissan Pathfinder, 9 months old with 12k on it for £19k 2.5 diesel and all the bells and whistles on it

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