Believe it or not, 7 passenger vehicles are not newfangled inventions. In fact, they date back to the 1920s when there were vehicles called depot hacks that were used to carry people and their luggage to and from train stations. In the 1940s, Jeep actually introduced a 7 passenger vehicle called the Jeep Wagon.
There have also been numerous 7 passenger vehicles over the years that were called station wagons. Some of these were even capable of seating 9 people. However, station wagons have evolved into SUVs and minivans and today it is difficult to buy something called a station wagon.
Today’s 7 Passenger Vehicles
Station wagons began losing popularity in the 1970s due mostly to the 1973 oil crisis. It created a sort of turning point against the classic American station wagon with its vinyl bench seats and sluggish V8 engine. Some people referred to these as “lumbering landmarks.” The last American-made, full-size models were the Chevrolet Caprice and the Buick Roadmaster. Both were discontinued in 1996.
As mentioned above, two types of 7 passenger vehicles have replaced station wagons. The first of these is the minivan as mentioned above. Chrysler Corporation introduced it in 1984. Minivans quickly became popular because they would accommodate 7 passengers (or 4 people with a lot of cargo) and because they offered so much more interior space than the relatively low-slung station wagons.
The second type of vehicle that helped kill off the station wagon is the 7 passenger SUV. There are now many of these vehicles available in a wide range of prices. This includes high-priced, luxury vehicles such as the Cadillac Escalade, the Lincoln Navigator, the Mercedes-Benz GL 450 and the Lexus LX 570, all of which can cost up to $70,000. Lower-priced 7 passenger SUVs include the Toyota Highlander, the Ford Explorer and the Honda Pilot. However, it is important to understand that “lower-priced” means vehicles that cost from $25,000-$35,000. In short, they are lower-priced only when compared to the luxury models.
What To Look For In A 7 Passenger Vehicle
If you decide to buy or lease a 7 passenger vehicle, the first thing you’ll probably look at is its sticker price. Beyond this, it’s important to consider safety, stability and reliability. In minivans, the Honda Odyssey always rates well as does the Toyota Sienna. The Odyssey is not only safe and reliable but also, according to Car & Driver, “has long been our favorite minivan, going beyond utility and practicality to inject a semblance of driving enjoyment into the segment.”
Some other 7 passenger vehicles that rank well for safety include the Chevy Traverse, Subaru Tribeca and the Ford Explorer. In minivans, the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & country and the Nissan Quest also rank well.
If you need a 7 passenger vehicle, you have many choices. You can choose a minivan from Honda, Chrysler or Toyota or a SUV from Ford, Lincoln, Cadillac and many other manufacturers. And if you have more than $80,000 to spend, there is always the Land Rover Range Rover.