We are a family of five – two adults and three kids aged seven, five and three (all still in car seats). We are looking for a seven-seater that will still offer space in the luggage compartment, even when the seven seats are in use. This car would be the everyday run-around for mum and the kids. On average we travel 10,000 kilometres a year so we are looking for an economical car as well as something comfortable. We have looked at the Nissan Pathfinder but we are not sure if this is the best out there for us?
ANSWER – SAMANTHA STEVENS:
It’s a hard question you ask, because all but the biggest 4x4s and large SUVs have little more than token boot room with the third row occupied.
You could consider the new Toyota Kluger (from $43,550 for the 4x2 GX, AWD from $47,550), which has even more room than before thanks to a more compact rear suspension, boasting 529 litres of space if only the second row is filled and a full-size spare under the boot floor. With the third row in place, the boot still packs a respectable 195L. Add a pram, though, and you may struggle.
Sadly, the next best thing is a people mover. Now, I know you may think “Oh no, here comes the Tarago…” but some vans drive well, are very practical and have such clever compartments and boot spaces that you may wonder why you never considered them. The base-model Volkswagen Multivan Comfortline diesel comes in at $52,990, is super frugal, practical, fun, and so easy to live with, and you can add extras including tables and stackable luggage spaces.
The Honda Odyssey is another option, with its boxy dimensions providing an ability to fit almost everything in.
So if you want something practical, then it may be time to consider a people mover.