The minivan was long the dominant force in people hauling, but the SUV has since overtaken the minivan with a wide range of high-capacity models on the market. These options include 7- and 8-passenger options. For many families, an 8-passenger SUV is just too much, but a 7-passenger model usually adds the extra comfort of captain’s chairs in the second row, making a great spot for adults and older teens.

So, what are the best 7-seater SUVs in Canada for 2023? We cover the best seven below.

What’s the Best 7-Seater SUV in Canada?

You have plenty of 7-seater SUVs in Canada to choose from, but which ones are the best for your family? We outline the seven best 7-seater SUVs in Canada below.

2023 Toyota Highlander
2023 Toyota Highlander | Source: Toyota

1. Toyota Highlander

Not all Toyota Highlanders are 7-passenger SUVs, as the LE and XLE trims take up to eight passengers. However, the XSE and Limited models feature second-row captain’s chairs, making them 7-passenger crossovers.

The 2023 Highlander boasts a roomy second row, offering up to 983 mm of legroom, but the third row is best left for short trips or young children, as it has only 711 mm of legroom. That said, the cargo room is plentiful at 453 litres with all the seats upright, 1,371 litres with the third row folded, and 2,387 litres with all the seats folded.

Powering the Toyota Highlander is a 2.4-litre turbo four-cylinder engine that delivers 265 horsepower (hp) and 310 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque to its standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. For buyers seeking a more fuel-efficient option, there’s also a hybrid model that features a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and electric motor that combine for 243 hp and up to 6.7 L/100 km combined.

The Toyota Highlander also impresses in the technology department with its standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, four USB charging ports, SiriusXM, automatic emergency braking, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlight, left-turn intersection support, and much more.

The 2023 Highlander starts from $46,934.50, but the 7-seater models start from $53,934.50 for the XSE AWD trim. The Highlander is a common SUV in Canada, so finding one on the used Highlander market is possible and may save you lots of cash.

Shop Used Toyota Highlanders

2023 Honda Pilot
2023 Honda Pilot | Source: Honda

2. Honda Pilot

Like the Toyota Highlander, the Honda Pilot doesn’t offer exclusively 7-passenger models. In fact, most are 8-passenger SUVs. That said, the new-for-2023 Trailsport model boasts second-row captain’s chairs, making it a 7-passenger SUV. On top of that, you get about 25 mm of extra ground clearance, an upgraded AWD system with Trail mode, steel skid plates, and more to help you travel off-road.

The Pilot is also roomier than the Highlander, offering 1,036 mm of second-row legroom and 826 mm of third-row legroom. That’s still not a ton of legroom for those in the third row, and it will not likely work for older teens or adults on long trips. The Honda Pilot also has loads of cargo room, ranging from 635 litres with all the seats upright to a cavernous 3,166 litres with all the seats folded.

Powering the Pilot is a 3.5-litre V6 engine that pumps out 285 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. This power flows through a 10-speed automatic transmission and its standard AWD system.

Technology is also plentiful in this 7-seater SUV. It comes standard with a 7-inch colour instrument cluster, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, four USB ports, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and more.

The 2023 Honda Pilot starts from $52,865, but the 7-seat Trailsport model sits at $59,565. The Pilot is a popular model, so finding a used Pilot that suits your needs shouldn’t be difficult and may save you a few thousand dollars.

Shop Used Honda Pilots

2023 Hyundai Palisade
2023 Hyundai Palisade | Source: MotorTrend

3. Hyundai Palisade

The Hyundai Palisade continues the trend of not being only a 7-seat model. It comes standard with eight seats but has the option for captain’s chairs in its Urban trim — they are standard in the Ultimate Calligraphy trim.

The Hyundai Palisade follows Hyundai’s recent trend of heading in a more premium direction with upscale styling and materials. Inside, this three-row SUV comes standard with a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, five USB ports, SiriusXM, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, lane-follow assist, and much more.

Powering this posh midsize SUV is a 3.8-litre V6 engine that pumps out 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. This power heads through an eight-speed automatic transmission and out to a standard AWD system.

Second-row legroom is plentiful at 1,077 mm, but the rear seats are tight at just 798 mm. Cargo room is OK with the seats upright at 509 litres, and it is plentiful with all the seats folded at 2,447 litres.

MSRP for the 2023 Palisade starts from $50,706, but the 7-seat models start from $56,656.20. You may be able to find a used Palisade on the open market to help save a little cash on your 7-seater SUV.

Shop Used Hyundai Palisades

2023 Ford Explorer
2023 Ford Explorer | Source: Ford

4. Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer has been around for many years and continues getting better with each iteration. The latest version is a seven-seater SUV with tons of powertrain options and upscale features to fit any family.

As for interior roominess, the Explorer has a respectable 991 mm of second-row legroom, but the third-row seating is a little tight at just 813 mm. Cargo space is also decent, ranging from 528 to 2,132 litres.

The Explorer has a powertrain for everyone, too, starting with a 2.3-litre turbo four-cylinder that delivers 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It also has two 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 options: a 365-hp and 380-lb-ft engine in the Platinum trim level and a 400-hp and 415-lb-ft version in the ST. Finally, there is the 3.3-litre hybrid with 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque for those looking for better fuel economy.

Standard features are plentiful too. The 2023 Explorer has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, SiriusXM, Ford MyKey, and more. However, it lacks many of the standard safety features and driver-assist technology of many other family SUVs, but they are available as options.

The 2023 Ford Explorer’s MSRP ranges from $48,340 to $67,320, but with a robust used Explorer market, you may save thousands.

Shop Used Ford Explorers

2024 Mazda CX-90
2024 Mazda CX-90 | Source: Forbes

5. Mazda CX-90

Once known as the Mazda CX-9, the new CX-90 has a sharp design and the ability to haul seven passengers in superior comfort. Like many other three-row SUVs on this list, the CX-90 is actually an eight-passenger crossover in its base setup, but the GT and GT-P trims are 7-seater SUVs.

These models offer tons of second-row legroom at 1,000 mm, but the third-row is tight at 773 mm. Still, that is plenty of room for a younger child or teen on a short haul. Cargo room is lighter than some models at 423 to 2,101 litres, but still plenty for most families.

The 2024 CX-90 comes standard with a 3.3-litre mild-hybrid line-six-cylinder engine that produces 340 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and ships it through a standard AWD system. You can also opt for a plug-in-hybrid version if you like.

Where the CX-90 excels is its high-end cabin that includes a standard 10.25-inch infotainment screen, an 8-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (wireless ACP and AA in GT and GT-P trims),tri-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, and tons more.

The 2024 CX-90 starts from $45,900, but the 7-seater versions start from $55,350. You can also seek a used CX-9 or CX-90, save a nice chunk of cash, and still get a reliable SUV.

Shop Used Mazda CX-9s

2023 Acura MDX
2023 Acura MCX | Source: Acura

6. Acura MDX

For those looking for a true luxury SUV with a 7-seater cabin, the Honda Pilot’s upscale cousin, the 2023 Acura MDX, is a great option. No matter which trim level you choose, the MDX is a 7-seater SUV in Canada, giving you a wide range of options to pick from.

Like the Pilot, the MDX has ample second-row legroom at 977 mm, but its third row is cramped at 738 mm. However, it makes up for this with up to 2,690 litres of cargo space with the seats all folded.

Powering the MDX is a 3.5-litre V6 engine that ships 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

This luxury people hauler also has tons of standard features, including a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Alexa, HomeLink remote, remote start, driver seat position memory, tri-zone climate control, a 9-speaker audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a plethora of safety and driver-assist features, and more.

All this starts from $69,010 and rises to $87,110, but with a robust used MDX market, you can save thousands by buying a pre-owned model.

Shop Used Acura MDX

2023 Ford Explorer
2023 Ford Explorer | Source: Ford

7. Ford Expedition

Need a full-size SUV to accommodate your large family? One of the best 7-seater SUVs in Canada to fit this bill is the Ford Expedition. Remember that the Expedition is an 8-seater SUV standard, but you can opt for second-row captain’s chairs to make it a 7-seater.

The cabin has loads of room for all shapes and sizes, as the Expedition has 1,081 mm of second-row legroom and 917 mm of third-row legroom. It also has up to 2,962 litres of cargo room in its standard setup and 3,439 litres in the longer MAX body.

Power comes from a 3.5-litre turbo V6 that pumps out 380 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque or 400 hp and 480 lb-t of torque, depending on the trim level. This heads through a 10-speed automatic transmission and out to all four wheels.

Features are also plentiful inside the 2023 Expedition. It has 8-way power front seats, tri-zone climate control, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system, lane-keeping assist, a universal garage door opener, automatic emergency braking, and more.

Expedition’s starting pricing ranges from $75,680 to $102,405, but you can save big by opting for a used Expedition.

Shop Used Ford Expeditions

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Save Big on the Best 7-Passenger SUV in Canada at Clutch

You have many 7-seater SUVs in Canada to pick from, but the prices can get a little high on these people-hauling specialists. Fortunately, you can get great deals on some of the best 7-seater SUVs in Canada on the used market from Clutch, Canada’s premier online automotive retailer.

Our high-quality pre-owned 7-seater SUVs have been through a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure they are ready for your next road trip. Plus, we offer each vehicle with a 6,000-km or 90-day warranty. 

When you order your pre-owned 7-passenger SUV online with Clutch, you bypass the headaches of going to the dealership and negotiating a good price. At Clutch, you always get a great price — no haggling necessary. On top of that, you get a 10-day or 750-km test-own period. If you don't love your new Clutch SUV during that period, you can return it for a refund or exchange it for another vehicle. 

Trading up into a newer 7-passenger SUV with more features? Clutch can also handle trade-ins, and you can get your offer online. If you're satisfied with our offer, we'll pick up your trade-in vehicle and apply the trade-in value to your purchase.