The Best 7-Seat Luxury SUVs for Families

I’m as thoughtful about my shoes and my handbags as I am about my kitchen and living space. In other words, I like to invest in design and comfort.

It’s the same with a luxury car. It should look good and perform well for a long time. It should have cutting-edge technology and the leather should retain its club-chair fragrance for more than the first few years. And, it should be able to make the transition from the soccer field to whatever high-falutin’ thing I’m invited to. (C’mon! It could happen!)

But what should I expect from a luxury three-row seven-passenger SUV? Pampering, of course. But I also want top technology, such as driver assist safety features (blind spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, lane departure assist and pre-crash mitigation systems should be the starting point), a truly usable third row and all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive that means you can go where you want, when you want.

With all that in mind, these are our favorite three-row seven-passenger luxury SUVs for families.

The Best 7-Passenger SUVs for Hauling Your Clan Around


Acura Mdx

Why You’ll Love It
Acura, the luxury line from Honda, pairs the brand’s solid reputation for reliability and low cost of ownership (think: fewer expensive repairs as your car ages) with luxury and performance. It’s just gone through a redesign that added some bling, including the diamond grille and jewel eye headlights, and running lights that remind us of a diamond tennis bracelet. But Acura reputation runs deeper than beauty: It’s made a name for itself in the performance world (the exotic NSX sports car competes alongside Ferrari and Lamborghini), and that DNA trickles down to the MDX, which is not just beautifully designed inside and out but fun to drive, too.    

Why the Kids Will Love It 
Three words: ELS Premium Sound. Acura is the exclusive brand to feature a sound system created by Grammy-winner Elliot Scheiner, whose accolades include awards for his work with Beyoncé, Eric Clapton and the Foo Fighters. That means the kids will compete to plug in their devices and dance in their seats. Luckily, there are plenty of USB ports and Bluetooth so everyone can play iPhone Jukebox.

What It Costs: $44,000 to $53,000

This is what we thought when we test drove the Acura MDX


Audi Q7

Why You’ll Love It
This amply sized, roomy and fun-to-drive six- or seven-passenger SUV surprised us with the value for the price (though you can upgrade to a 6-cylinder 329 HP engine for $6,400). Audi’s touch pad infotainment system puts all the controls at your finger tips, the infotainment screen rises out of the dashboard when you start the car and the digital cockpit displays all driver information vividly in front of you. But the kid-friendly details were what really sealed the deal: The center row seats are roomy enough for three car seats across the center row bench (with room to spare) and upholstered bolsters cover the LATCH anchors—pop them out to reveal the anchors or leave them in so things don’t get lost in the abyss between the seat and its back. This is brilliant.

Why the Kids Will Love It
The center row seats are adjustable so the kids can get comfortable. And the third row means they can bring a friend along or join a pal’s carpool for amped-up social time.

What It Costs: $53,000 to $65,000

We took the Audi Q7 for a test drive and this is what we thought

Emily Morgan

Bmw X7

Why You’ll Love It
Finally…BMW has brought the world-class quality of its 7 Series to the SUV category, with goodies like voice-activated controls, electric seats in every row, an Alcantara suede ceiling liner and Swarovski crystal controls. The X7 has some novel features including something called “back up assistant” that will reverse along your exact path, great for narrow driveways and off-road adventures, and a road sign reader that displays signs on the navigation screen. But you might forget about all those things, as you sink into the leather seats and enjoy either of the two engine options—the standard 335 horsepower or the larger and faster 465.  

Why the Kids Will Love It
The pampering doesn’t stop with the front row. Suede head cushions on the headrests, electronic seat controls and a USB-C port for every seat are just the start. They’ll also love the cargo space, which means no gear under foot. The clamshell lift gate—the lower portion folds down while the upper portion lifts up—is great for tailgating or catching a sports event from the sidelines.

What It Costs: $73,000 to $129,000

Is the BMW X7 the Ultimate Family Car? One Mom Puts It to the Test

Cadillac Xt6

Why You’ll Love It
This three-row, six- or seven-passenger SUV showcases the new design direction of Cadillac: elegant, demure and, in many ways, zen. The XT6 encompasses much of the best of its big sister Escalade—lots of legroom and head room—but this all new SUV handles more like a car; it’s easier to drive on narrow roads and park in a parking garage. We also found it easy to climb in and out of and the third row seats (all the seats, actually) are sublimely comfortable: leather panels are stitched together in the signature Cadillac chevron pattern.

Why the Kids Will Love It
Many of the things Cadillac has done so well in recent years—WiFi, plenty of charge ports, lots of cupholders, ample passenger and leg room—are accented by a panoramic sunroof that keeps the cabin feeling open and airy. And, with a motion-activated lift gate, kids can open and close it by themselves no matter how short they are.

What It Costs: $54,000 to $68,000

Why you should test drive the Cadillac XT6

Land Rover

Land Rover Discovery

Why You’ll Love It
Land Rover is the classic SUV brand, and in the Discovery, you’ll find surprising affordability for a luxury car that includes luxe features like head up display, gorgeous leather seating and a really great infotainment system. We also love the gear selector: It rises from the center console when you start the car and then tucks out of the way when you turn the engine off. This makes opening your laptop or spreading out your calendar a breeze.

Why the Kids Will Love It
The rear seats are made more comfortable by a double-pane sunroof; a cooler in the console is perfect for tiny thermoses; HDMI ports allow for video game systems; and they’ll be wowed by Land Rover’s Park Assist feature, which finds a spot and parks the car for you, as long as you’re at the controls.

What It Costs: $52,000 to $65,000

We drove the Land Rover Discovery and this is what we thought


Infiniti Qx60

Why You’ll Love It
If you're into design, Infiniti should be at the top of your must-see list. Not only is the exterior elegant—the hood line reflects the sinewy roll of the flared fenders—but inside, Infiniti works magic with leather upholstery, wood trim and gorgeous metal accents. The brand is also an innovator in driver assist technology; they were the first to introduce adaptive cruise control and lane departure assist, which comprises its “Pro Assist” system to keep distractions from derailing your drive.

Why the Kids Will Love it
The fantastic theater system with wireless headphones means you won’t hear a peep from the peanut gallery until you turn the car off.

What It Costs: $44,000-$49,000


Lexus Gx

Why You’ll Love It
This is the mama bear of seven-passenger SUVs. A bit old-school, it has the boxy full-size SUV shape, but with the modern features and comforts you demand. It’s also truly an off-road vehicle, for those needing the ability to climb mountains, traverse sand dunes or crawl through creeks. We love that the rear gate opens out, not up, and that the rear glass opens for retrieving items from the cargo area without fully opening the gate.

Why the Kids Will Love It
This SUV has running boards, making it easier for short people to get in and out. They’ll also love the Mark Levinson premium sound system, which will make them want to compete for who gets to pick the Spotify playlist.

What It Costs: $51,000 to $68,000

Why we loved the Lexus GX SUV


Lexus Rx L

Why You’ll Love It
The mid-sized RX is easy to drive, easy to park and yet, with higher ground clearance and lots of luxuries, easier to get in and out of and easier to see the road from. There’s also a hybrid option, which gets great fuel economy for an SUV.

Why the Kids Will Love It
The third row is more of a convenience row, but if it means saying yes to bringing a friend along, we know our children would be happy. Then there’s the premium sound, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and apple outlets. See? Everyone is happy.

What It Costs: $47,000 to $60,000

Our review of the Lexus RX L Hybrid


Lincoln Aviator

Why You’ll Love It
Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand, has been reinventing itself for the last few years, and Aviator is the pinnacle of this redefined style. This innovative SUV has features like door chimes that were recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 30-way front seats and an app that allows you to use your phone as a key—you can even share it (and revoke it!) with other drivers.

The tricks this car performs will wow. It bends down to greet you. It has a plug-in option that allows it to run on electricity. Young drivers can simply drive it with the phone app. And the 28-speaker premium Revel sound system means front-row seats for all.

What It Costs $51,000 to $89,000

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Mercedes-benz Gle

Why You’ll Love It
“Hey Mercedes, will you turn up the heat?” Done. And that’s just the start. Voice activation in the Mercedes-Benz takes the art of the ask to the next level. Just ask, “Hey Mercedes, where is the closest Starbucks?” and you’ll be on your way to your next PSL. There’s also comfortable leather seats, a panoramic sunroof and push-button everything, as well as a live view screen overlayed with turn-by-turn navigation. Then, when you need to tune out the tech and the kids, try the heated massaging seats, which you can pair with soft light, calming music and even ambient fragrance to create the ultimate in-car spa experience.

Why the Kids Will Love It
There are plenty of places to plug in devices in the second row, and the optional third row means there’s always room for extra passengers. With a bench seat or captains chairs in the center, everyone has room to spread out. But unless you really want your kids to obsess over this car, don’t show them how the air suspension can be choreographed to their favorite songs. You’ll never stop staging that show.

What It Costs: $55,000 to $70,000

We took the Mercedes- Benz GLE for a drive and this is what we thought


Volvo Xc90

Why You’ll Love It
In the 2020 model, buyers can find luscious blonde leather, new paint colors and, for the first time, center row captain’s chairs that mean seating for seven and lots of legroom for everyone on board.

Why the Kids Will Love It
Did we mention the center row captain’s chairs? This means easy in, easy out for everyone and that tall, lanky kids can lounge comfortably in the back.

What It Costs: $47,000 to $104,000

We reviewed the Volvo XC90 and this is what we thought