What Is The Best Compact

7 Passenger SUV

That's Small In Size But Big In Room

by Bill Flitter

Dad, Coffee Lover, Coach, First Car: '79 Camaro

Not all compact SUVs are built the same. For starters, some are bigger than others. Some only have two rows of seats and can seat five while others have three rows of seats and can sit seven. My growing family (more gear, more of the kids friend’s that need transportation and in-laws who no longer drive) is looking for a 7 passenger SUV – preferable a compact.

I thought I’d take a look at three row compact SUVs that can comfortably seat seven people. 

Here’s what I found out…

7 passenger suv for a growing family

A 7 Passenger SUV That Is Small in Size But Big in Room

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

7 passenger suv - 2018 VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN

Carjojo Starting Price: $23,407

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7 Passenger SUV

MSRP: $26,500 | MPG: 24 Miles per Gallon

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Normally, when you first hear Volkswagen, you might think of a bug or a small sedan. But Volkswagen is in the compact SUV space as well. Since I was looking for something that will carry seven passengers, I decided to take a look at the Tiguan, which already has specs for the 2018 iteration. The vehicle ranks high with tech features, cargo space, a smooth ride and spacious first and second row seats. However, the negatives include a small engine, bad handling and only moderate fuel economy. What’s more, the third row seating has been described as “postage-stamp” small. Here are the cargo specs: “ The 3-row Tiguan has 12 cubic feet of space with all seats up, 33 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 65.7 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.”

2017 Nissan Rogue

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Carjojo Starting Price: $20,240

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7 Passenger SUV

MSRP: $25,300 | MPG: 29 Miles per Gallon

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The Nissan Rogue is a fairly popular SUV you see on the highways on occasion. Common reviews are that it’s a very mediocre SUV with nothing to make it stand out as great but then it’s not so bad that it’s horrible. It’s just a very average vehicle. At first looking at the specs, you might think the Rogue only carries up to five passengers, but that’s not quite true. For the the S and SV models, you can get a third row seat that does allow up to seven people. While the second row seats can recline and fold and seat three, the third row has a 50/50 split and can hold two people. It should be noted that with the third row in place, space becomes minimal.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander


Carjojo Starting Price: $22,166

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7 Passenger SUV

MSRP: $24,390 | MPG: 27 Miles per Gallon

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The Outlander is another rare compact SUV that boasts three rows and seating for seven. However, it has a short list of positives, including a quiet cabin, high quality interior and the third row seat is standard, which is in contrast with the Rogue where it’s an option for the higher level trims. The list of cons is slightly longer in that it has a poor reliability rating, an underpowered engine, a rough ride, and comes with few standard features. But it does have a standard rearview camera and a 6 inch touch screen. In terms of cargo space, the Outlander has “10.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 34.2 behind the second row, and 63.3 behind the first row,” making the Outlander an average sized compact SUV that happens to have three rows.


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Over to You

A compact, 7 passenger SUV might be small but if you’ve been caught needing to add an additional kid to carpool it comes in handy in a pinch. If you are willing and able to go a little bigger for a midsize SUV, then your list of options will grow substantially. So, what size SUV are you most interested in? Does the smaller third row seating bother you or is it just-the-right-fit for your elementary school kids?