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There are plenty of large MPVs on the market to accommodate a family of 7, but for those who are seeking something larger, the choice is greatly restricted.
For larger families of 8 plus, the only option available is a people-carrying van, and there are a few on the market designed for this very purpose, to fit in 8 people and all their luggage. The downside is, the options are far from glamorous!
Below is a selection of 8 seater vehicles currently available on the market, so if you’re a family of 8 or more, take a look below to find out your options.
The Volkswagen Transporter Kombi is a people-carrying version of the popular Volkswagen Transporter panel van. It comes in a short or long-base version to accommodate between 6 to 9 people, but we’d recommend opting for the longer wheelbase if you want to benefit from maximum space. However, the short-wheelbase is not to be sniffed at, if you’re in need of a cheap, no frills people carrier for 6 with excellent engine and build quality. The layout of the Kombi is identical to a minivan, with a sliding rear door and bench style seating. It’s one of the most versatile vehicles on the market with a rear row that folds, providing plenty of seating options when needed. There’s also ample space for baggage even with all 9 seats in use, making it a good choice for taxi drivers and airport transfer firms.
The Citroen Dispatch Combi and the Peugeot Expert Tepee are both derived from the same engine and chassis. Both vehicles can therefore seat up to nine people comfortably and, like the Transporter Kombi, they come in two wheelbase lengths designed to seat between 6 and 9 people. Derived from the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert panel vans, both offer a minibus style seating arrangement and the interior is decked out in highly durable, practical materials. The cabin is basic and far from luxurious but it serves its purpose well. There is plenty of space for all 9 occupants and luggage can be transported with ease. Both vehicles offer plenty of practicality such as sliding doors on each side for ease of access. MPG is good on both vehicles and running costs are low, offering two cheaper alternatives to the more luxurious people carriers on the market.
The Hyundai i800 is based on a van but designed for families, so there’s lots of room for a maximum of 8 people. Furthermore, the i800 offers a choice of luxurious trim levels with standard equipment including an MP3-compatible stereo and separate air-conditioning for front and rear passengers. Top-of-the-range i800 cars come with all-power features, keyless entry, a leather interior and an overhead console. Again, the design is boxy and van-like so if you’re looking for something stylish then the i800 won’t be for you. To drive, the 2.5-diesel engine feels slightly underpowered, but overall the car represents great value for money for buyers who need vast amounts of space to transport people, or business owners who may want to use the car as a van in the week and a car at weekends. Furthermore, the i800 comes with Hyundai’s excellent 5 year long warranty.
Based on the Mercedes Benz Vito, one of the most popular commercial panel vans, the Viano is a fairly luxurious people carrier despite its van-like origins. Out of all the people carriers featured, the Viano looks the most car-like and for us, is the real pick of the bunch thanks to its strong build, practicality and versatility. The Vito is available in three different wheelbases and a variety of seat configurations to accommodate a maximum of 8 people in the extra-long wheelbase version making it highly adaptable whatever the occasion. It’s the perfect choice for a large family or those seeking executive-style travel.