When you need a big SUV, you need a big SUV. Environmentalists may throw shade as you drive by, but an eight-seat SUV can be the most efficient way to transport a big family — and may in fact be the best option in many cases. SUVs eclipsed minivans as the vehicle of choice for several reasons.
SUVs tend to be more stylish and refined than minivans. They offer a better view of the road, with an elevated seating position for the front row. SUVs are often available with more powerful engines than minivans, and most eight-seaters are offered with the option of four-wheel drive. SUVs have higher towing capabilities and payload capacities than minivans, and when you fold down the rear seats, they can also handle enormous amounts of cargo. So, if you need an SUV, don’t be shy — choose one of the 10 best eight-seat SUVs.
2019 Chevrolet Suburban
Chevrolet began building the Suburban in 1935, making it arguably the first SUV. Now in its 11th generation, the 2019 Chevrolet Suburban is a sophisticated, elegant family hauler with great presence and capability. Not only can eight passengers travel in a Suburban, but they can do so in comfort — while hauling up to 39.3 cubic feet of luggage behind the third-row seat. Fold down the seats, and there’s room for up to 121.7 cubic feet of cargo in the Suburban’s cavernous interior. Try that, Prius owners.
The Suburban comes with a 5.3-liter V8 gasoline engine or an optional 6.2-liter V8. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available on all trim levels. Prices start at $51,895 for LS 2WD and go up to $75,045 for Premier 4WD, plus options.
2019 Chevrolet Traverse
Chevy’s wide range of SUVs includes Trax, Equinox, the soon-to-arrive Blazer, Tahoe, and Suburban — and right in the middle, there’s the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV, now in its second generation of production. The Traverse is a unibody design, as opposed to the body-on-frame design of the bigger Suburban and Tahoe.
This design results in a lighter vehicle with a more flexible interior space, and the Traverse makes the most of it. When equipped with a bench seat in the second row, the Traverse provides seating for eight passengers. Access to the roomy third row is made easy with big side doors and simple operation of the Smart Slide second row. The Traverse comes with front-wheel drive or available four-wheel drive. Prices start at $29,930.
2018 Ford Expedition
Starting at $51,790, the 2018 Ford Expedition is a lot of SUV for the money. A traditional body-on-frame SUV, the Expedition can be outfitted with a bench seat in the second row to accommodate eight passengers in comfort, with the best-in-class second- and third-row leg room. The Expedition can tow up to 9,300 lbs when properly equipped, also best-in-class. An available Wi-Fi hotspot can connect up to 10 devices at a range of up to 50 feet, so all eight passengers can surf the web simultaneously, avoiding many family arguments.
An extended version of the Expedition, the Expedition Max (starting at $54,475), is also available, adding additional capacity for the family who has everything — and needs to take it wherever they go. The Expedition is available with SYNC 3, and it can access Waze navigation software to help avoid traffic, helping get everyone where they’re going faster and with fewer delays.
2019 GMC Yukon
The Yukon shares a platform with the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, but it attacks the eight-seater SUV equation with a different sense of style. With more assertive styling and a longer list of available options, the 2019 GMC Yukon can be outfitted as a luxury vehicle in Denali trim. Fit a Yukon SLE with a front bench seat, and seating capacity can even be expanded to nine for the truly large family. The Yukon can tow up to 8,500 lbs, which will come in handy with all those family members and their luggage.
There’s an extended version of the Yukon available, too – Yukon XL – which adds additional cargo capacity behind the third row of seating. Yukon comes with a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine or an available 6.2-liter V8. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available on all trim levels. Prices start at $49,100.
2019 Honda Pilot
Now in its third generation, the 2019 Honda Pilot is an eight-seat crossover SUV that goes its own way. Riding on a platform shared with the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck (another outlier), the Pilot comes with front-wheel drive or available four-wheel drive. Honda’s suite of advanced driver assistance features, Honda Sensing, is standard on all Pilot trim levels and includes collision-mitigating braking, road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist.
There’s just one engine choice for the Pilot, a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6. LX, EX and EX-L trim models get a six-speed automatic transmission, while the Touring and Elite come with a nine-speed automatic with shift-by-wire and paddle shifters. Pricing starts at $31,450 for the LX FWD and goes up to $48,020 for the Elite AWD.
2019 Infiniti QX80
The 2019 Infiniti QX80 is often overlooked by buyers, but those who have discovered it are attracted by its bold exterior design, modern interior, and sophisticated technology features. Infiniti consistently achieves very high levels of fit and finish, with glossy paint, chiseled trim and finely tailored interiors. The QX80 can be ordered with quilted Semi-Aniline leather-appointed seating, a luxurious look and feel for its eight passengers (when fitted with a 60/40 split-folding second-row bench seat).
A powerful 5.6-liter V8 gasoline engine pumps out 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, and it uses a seven-speed automatic transmission with adaptive shift control. A driver-adaptive learning algorithm learns from its driver’s style and adjusts its shift points to match the driver. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive with auto, 4H, and 4L modes is available. Prices start at $65,100 for the Luxe RWD model and go to $89,800 for Limited 4WD, plus options.
2018 Lincoln Navigator
Lincoln allowed its largest SUV to languish for years without revision before wowing the crowds with the all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator, a home run for the beleaguered brand. Starting at $72,555, the new Navigator is packed with capability and luxury for each of its eight passengers. A twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine takes its place under the hood, capable of producing up to 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available. An available adaptive suspension controls the up-and-down movement of the wheels and is adjustable with six selectable drive modes to match road conditions. The Navigator’s body is made of an aluminum alloy for lighter weight and greater rigidity than before, eliminating squeaks and rattles. Available Lincoln Connect and a standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot enhance connectivity, and an available head-up display makes driving less stressful.
2018 Nissan Armada
The largest Nissan SUV sold in the US, the 2018 Nissan Armada seats up to eight passengers in three rows. The Armada’s exterior design goes beyond the traditional two-box SUV paradigm with elegant curves and organic shapes, with a sense of muscularity that is very appealing.
A 5.6-liter V8 gasoline engine provides the motivation with 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque on tap, sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is also available. The Armada comes with 9.1 inches of minimum ground clearance (9.2 inches with 4WD), the kind of long legs that come in handy on rough terrain. Towing capacity of 8,500 lbs and a maximum payload of 1,537 lbs represent great utility. Prices start at $46,090.
2019 Toyota Land Cruiser
Compared to nearly every other eight-seater SUV, the 2019 Toyota Land Cruiser is a true legend. And with good reason – produced since 1951, Land Cruiser is the longest-produced vehicle in Toyota history. Land Cruisers have conquered every continent on Earth, and treasured vintage models command great admiration and attention.
The current vehicle is a far cry from the rough-edged early versions. The Land Cruiser is now a luxury vehicle, for all intents and purposes, with high-end features meeting with impressive capability and durability. With prices starting at $84,765, the Land Cruiser comes with a 5.7-liter V8 gasoline engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and sophisticated off-road technology including Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control as standard equipment.
2019 Toyota Sequoia
Toyota Sequoia debuted as a 2001 model, with a second generation following in 2008. Though largely unchanged since then, the Sequoia is hardly stagnant — it is an extremely capable, comfortable SUV that does a great job of transporting up to eight passengers and their cargo. The recent addition of Toyota Safety Sense P, standard on every Sequoia, has brought a suite of active safety technologies to the SUV’s arsenal. LED headlights are also standard.
A 5.7-liter V8 engine is standard with 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, along with a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive (four-wheel drive is available). The Sequoia has 18.9 cubic feet of luggage space behind its third row, expandable to 66.6 cubic feet by folding the third row flat and 120.1 cubic feet with second and third rows folded. Prices start at $48,700 for the SR5 2WD and go up to $67,635 for the Platinum 4WD, plus options.