Are you wondering which SUVs and vans seats 9+ passengers on the market? Look no further for the best vehicle to haul your large family and everything else that goes with them. All of the vehicles have 3rd row seating, plenty of cargo space and decent fuel economy.
Choosing a vehicle for your family takes times, so we created a list to help you narrow down your options. The five best nine passenger vehicles on the market and rank them by: price, fuel efficiency, safety ratings, features, reliability, size of the interior, 3rd row room and reviews by automotive journalists.
1. Chevrolet Tahoe – $47,215
Chevrolet’s Tahoe packs full-size truck functionality and space inside an SUV frame. The enormous Tahoe will will seat up to nine passengers when given front row bench seats, with plenty of room for cargo and serious hauling power to boot. The new V-8 drivetrain gives the 2017 Tahoe enough muscle to haul just about anything that could be thrown at a family SUV and provides enough power on the road for almost any driving demand.
The Tahoe’s massive 5.3L V-8 is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission and produces a whopping 355-hp. It can be configured to tow up to 8,600 pounds, making it one of the best towing options in its class. It has both RWD and 4WD drivetrains, and both get the same EPA estimated 18 combined mpg. The 2017 Tahoe has undergone a number of suspension changes to make this the best driving Tahoe in a long time. It feels big and sturdy like the SUVs of old, but is surprisingly agile and handles its bulk well. The one glaring downside should be fairly obvious: the Tahoe is massive. Regardless of how well it handles, it’s going to feel big on smaller city streets.
As far as space is concerned, buyers will be hard-pressed to find an SUV that offers a more cavernous interior. Only the Suburban dwarfs the Tahoe’s size in the Chevy lineup, and it’s by a small margin. This means passenger accommodations allow for plenty of legroom in all three rows, including the third row, which will comfortably seat smaller adults even on long trips. Unlike some SUVs in its class, the third row isn’t overly difficult to access either. Chevrolet has taken the time to upgrade the Tahoe’s interior as well, using higher quality materials and ditching cheap, plastic-like panels in key areas. This all combines to create one of the most practical, functional, and comfortable Tahoe’s that Chevrolet has ever built, and it’s a standout when compared to other competitors in its class.
2. GMC Yukon – $48,530
Nearly identical to the Chevrolet Tahoe when selected in its base trim, the GMC Yukon benefits from all the strengths of its Chevy cousin. It’s largely unchanged from 2016, with only a handful of minor upgrades from last year’s model. The Yukon is a large, utility-focused weekend warrior, that is equally at home on the job site as it is hauling the family and all their luggage off on a rugged camping trip. Its largest and most expensive trim, the Yukon XL Denali, is essentially a luxury edition of the Chevrolet Suburban, with a price tag to match.
The base model Yukon comes with the same enormous 5.3L V-8 power-plant as the Chevrolet Tahoe, but the Denali trim ups the ante with a monster-sized 6.2L V-8 rated at 420-hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Not surprisingly, the Yukon’s engine is mated to the same 6-speed automatic used in the Tahoe, while the Denali uses a newer 8-speed transmission. Both engines can haul up to around 8,500 lbs and come in either RWD or 4WD configurations. Fuel consumption is 19 combined mpg and 18 combined mpg for the RWD and 4WD drivetrains, respectively.
In the Denali trim, the Yukon is basically a luxury SUV. Opting for the Yukon Denali XL provides the same cavernous interior space as a Chevy Suburban, with leather seating, a power folding second row , and standard safety features not found on the base models, like vibrating seat crash-threat warnings and 360 degree crash-monitoring. It will seat up to nine, with the third row potentially being a bit cramped for larger adults. The third row can also be folded down to provide extra cargo room.
3. Chevrolet Suburban – $49,915
The 2017 Suburban is Chevrolet’s answer to those seeking the biggest SUV money can buy. It’s one of the largest consumer vehicles available from any manufacturer, sharing a similar chassis to a full-size pickup, the Silverado. The 130-inch wheelbase and 220-inch length means there’s plenty of room for the whole family, their friends, their luggage, and a boat.
Once again Chevrolet uses the 5.3L V-8 that’s being shared among many of the vehicles in their model lineups this year, producing 355-hp and 383 lbs-ft of torque using a 6-speed automatic. Both RWD and 4WD are available, and the 5.3L V-8 is the only engine option. The suburban never feels short on power thanks to the monster under its hood, and can easily haul up to its rated 8,300 pounds without crippling its acceleration. The Suburban handles like a vehicle of its size looks like it should; there is significant body roll and it’s not the most agile object on four wheels. The sheer size of the Suburban can be problematic in cramped road conditions.
The Suburban can also be optioned to seat up to nine when selected with three rows of bench seats. Leg and headroom is in ample supply in both the first and second rows, with the third row still being a bit short on legroom for larger adults. Even when the Suburban is filled to capacity, all nine passengers will travel in relative comfort for short drives. The third row can fold flat to create additional cargo space as needed, boosting the Suburban’s already significant available space.
4. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van – $40,745
Mercedes’ purpose built van, the Sprinter, was designed from the ground up to be a cargo and people carrier. It’s sold in a wide variety of configurations to fit almost any commercial or consumer need, including a nine seat (or more) passenger trim that is the most luxurious and comfortable full-size passenger van available today. Mercedes focused on practicality when designing the 2017 Sprinter, creating a massive workhorse that’s easy to drive, safe, and comfy for both drivers and passengers.
Two drivetrains are offered, an impressively tuned 2.1L turbodiesel 4-cylinder and a 3.0L turbodiesel V-6. Of the two, the 4-cylinder will be more than adequate for most family commuter needs but buyers who intend to fully load the Sprinter or who prefer faster freeway acceleration will want to opt for the larger V-6. Mercedes does offer a push-button activated 4WD variant, but the vast majority of drivers will find this to be overkill, opting instead for the basic RWD.
There is a dizzying list of customization options even inside each selected trim. Focusing on the basic nine-seater passenger model, the Sprinter will fully accommodate nine adults with a copious amount of legroom and a minimal amount of elbowing. Drivers will enjoy standard features like a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone connections, USB and auxiliary inputs, and an SD media slot. Mercedes offers a wealth of optional extras, with prices to match, and the Sprinter van can easily be customized to fit almost any need, for a price.
5. Ford Transit Passenger Wagon – $34,365
The replacement for the wildly popular Econoline van, the Transit arrived on the U.S. market in 2017 to solid acclaim. It goes largely unchanged for the 2017 model year, recognizing its strengths as a moderately priced entry-level commercial van. The inspiration drawn from the original Econoline is instantly apparent when viewing the Transit both outside and in, presenting itself as a no-nonsense full-sized van designed to get the job done.
The base 3.7L V-6 will be more than adequate for most drivers’ needs. It creates 275-hp and is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. It handles its length and girth surprisingly well on the road, and feels like a vehicle with much less interior space than it actually has. A carefully adjusted suspension makes riding in the Transit a moderately smooth affair, with only the roughest of road conditions having a noticeable impact on the suspension.
As a gasoline powered van, it provides more space than any other competitor on the market when selected in its largest trim. Over 487 cubic feet of cargo space dwarfs anything else available, meaning that in its nine-seat passenger configuration, everyone can sit comfortably without worrying about their neighbor or the seats in front of them. A rear-view camera is now standard on all Transit models, and a list of smartly priced convenience features like a power deploying running board are available as optional extras.