The best eight-passenger vans can be split into two basic groups. The minivans are the obvious choice, and nearly all of them are represented here. (Only the Dodge Grand Caravan, which is limited to seven occupants, is missing.) The models that did make our list can then provide a wide variety of mainstream technologies and comforts. This means features like mobile Wi-Fi, advanced safety tech, and premium seating.
The thing is, if you really want to maximize passenger space, you’ll need to move up to the kind of bigger vans that are usually found in commercial settings. Now, these vehicles don’t have all the amenities you find in minivans. But they can be equipped with extra rows of seating to hold not just eight people, but a whole lot more.
2019 Chrysler Pacifica
If you want to keep the back rows entertained, the best eight-passenger vans include the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica. It offers the comprehensive Uconnect Theater rear-seat entertainment system. That brings dual 10-inch screens, mobile Wi-Fi, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a selection of its own apps and games. Power second-row windows are standard, too.
In terms of actual seating, the Pacifica comes with a seven-place layout as standard. However, an eight-person setup is optional for all trims except the base model and the gas-electric hybrid. The Pacifica also checks in with options to complement all that rear seating. For instance, the Pacifica can be ordered with hands-free sliding side doors, for easy rear access, and it can supply a built-in vacuum for cleaning up after your passengers.
2019 Toyota Sienna
The 2019 Toyota Sienna is another example of how the best eight-passenger vans have special content to help with their jobs. In this case, the Sienna’s “Driver Easy Speak” system lets you broadcast your voice over the vehicle’s audio speakers. That way, all rows of seating can hear what you have to say. The Easy Speak technology is available in most of the Sienna trim levels, including those that offer eight-person seating. (The Sienna has space for seven people in its standard configuration.)
Toyota’s popular minivan also showcases a rear-seat Blu-Ray entertainment system with a widescreen 16.4-inch display and HDMI inputs for gaming. To enhance comfort, the back seats can be covered in leather, perforated leather, and “leatherette” upholstery choices.
2019 Honda Odyssey
Leading the best eight-passenger vans for cabin technology, the 2019 Honda Odyssey takes the Toyota approach a few steps further. First, like its rival, the Odyssey lets you use its voice-recognition microphone and audio speakers as an interior “PA” system. Next, the Odyssey can broadcast your voice through the wireless headphones of its optional rear-seat entertainment system.
The Honda then builds on that capability with an in-cabin camera system. With this, you can keep an eye on rear-seat passengers using a ceiling-mounted camera and the 8-inch infotainment display. The Odyssey is known for its safety technology as well. As a final advantage for shoppers, you can pick from an especially wide selection of eight-passenger trim levels. In fact, that kind of seating is standard for every model above the entry-level trim.
2019 Kia Sedona
If you’re focused on safety technology, the best eight-passenger vans are all from the minivan segment. Consider the 2019 Kia Sedona. Like the three previous vehicles, the Sedona is available with some of the mainstream’s most sought-after safety features. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot monitoring system, a driver-attention alert, a forward-collision warning, a rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera.
The Sedona — which offers seating for eight in multiple trims — also welcomes an updated rear-seat entertainment system for 2019. The new system now boasts two 10.1-inch touchscreens, an upgraded dual-core CPU, and smartphone “mirroring.” This allows online content to be seen on the screens by leveraging your compatible smartphones. A Harman Kardon audio system is also new for the updated 2019 Sedona.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Metris
Mercedes provides two of our picks for the best eight-passenger vans. Both are from the commercial segments, but the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Metris is about the same size as a typical minivan. The passenger-Van model has three different seating configurations, with layouts for five, seven, or eight people.
In addition, the Metris has minivan-style sliding side doors along with some important safety technologies. There are typical safety systems, such as a blind-spot monitoring system, a lane-departure warning, a forward-collision warning, a drowsy-driver alert, and a rearview camera. But the Metris can also supply unexpected standard content such as a load-adaptive electronic stability system and “Crosswind Assist.” This is specifically engineered to help you keep the van in its lane during windy highway conditions.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
The best eight-passenger vans from Mercedes also include the brand’s full-size entry — which is actually offered in two different sizes. The standard 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter passenger Van is roughly the same length as a full-size heavy-duty pickup, and it’s capable of holding 12 people in a 2+3+3+4 configuration. The long-wheelbase Sprinter has the same layout for passengers plus a much larger rear cargo volume. For both models, a high-roof design is standard for impressive headroom in all rows of seating.
Both Sprinters can deliver key technologies, too, like the Mercedes Crosswind Assist feature. As a bonus with the regular-wheelbase Sprinter, you can enjoy the benefits of a four-wheel drive system. It comes with a dedicated low-range setting for when the going gets tough.
2018 Nissan NV3500
Although heavy-duty vans don’t have the same luxuries as minivans, they can serve up at least a few creature comforts. With the 2018 Nissan NV3500 passenger Van, this extends to leather-appointed seating, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, a touchscreen navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel.
Also, thanks to updates for the 2018 model year, the entry model passenger van gets new standard content such as a rearview monitor, a 5-inch infotainment display, hands-free text-messaging assistance, and Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming. To earn a spot on our list of best eight-passenger vans, the NV3500 is configured with four rows of seating that can handle 12 people.
2019 Ford Transit
To be clear, it’s not the compact Ford Transit Connect that we’re naming of the best eight-passenger vans. It’s the full-size 2019 Ford Transit. With an especially broad lineup, the Transit Passenger Wagon is available with three roof heights, three wheelbase lengths, and cabins that can fit anywhere from eight to 15 people.
The Transit can also leverage many of Ford’s favorite technologies. You can order the vehicle with a SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system that bundles Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, navigation, access to mobile apps, and Ford’s subscription-free automatic crash-notification technology. Other driver-assistance technologies for the Transit range from a rearview camera to a lane-keeping system to crosswind stabilization.
2018 Chevrolet Express
The 2018 Chevrolet Express is an old-school alternative to the Ford Transit and other full-size vans. Yet despite its traditional design and older, body-on-frame platform, the Express offers a modern advantage that’s missing from many newer rivals: an available mobile Wi-Fi hotspot that lets those passengers enjoy online connectivity.
You should also know that, when it comes to counting passengers, the standard Express goes well beyond our starting point. A 12-passenger layout is standard, while a 15-passenger setup is optional. Among the other notable options for the Express are a diesel engine, a navigation system, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and heated exterior mirrors.
2019 GMC Savana
The 2019 GMC Savana has quite a bit in common with its corporate cousin, the Chevrolet Express. That said, the Savana shows off new-for-2019 technologies that, as of this writing, had not been introduced for the Express. These include modern safety features like a forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning. They join a side blind-zone alert, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors that carry over in the Savana from 2018.
Of course, one technology the GMC does share with its Chevy counterpart is a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. The Savana also matches the Express with 12- and 15-passenger layouts, available assist steps, wheelchair-friendly upfit options, and a touchscreen navigation system.