There are several important advantages SUVs come with that most minivans and other types of cars do not. While they typically consume more fuel and can be a little less pocket-friendly, it’s certainly not a bad tradeoff for the extra space and style they bring to the table.
Now, when it comes to practicality, 8-passenger SUVs offer plenty of options for travel. Whether you’re looking for a daily driver that can double as a road trip vehicle, or you just need a lot of space for occupants, this list has you covered.
While some of these vehicles come with options to accommodate seven, eight, or even nine passengers, we’re only going to be covering the 8-passenger expectation. If you’re looking to travel with seven people and want a slightly better fuel economy, you may want to check out our list of best 7-passenger SUVs.
As for an eight passenger SUV, choosing the right one may turn out to be quite a daunting task, especially given that you can’t go testing many and may not even have the kind of expertise you need to figure out which one is the best. That being said, our list of 15 8-passenger SUVs may certainly eliminate the need to do more research for you.
Looking for the best 8-passenger SUV? Here are your 15 best options!
The Toyota Highlander is inarguably one of the most popular SUVs out there. It has been doing great in terms of sales for quite a while now, and for good reason.
It can easily accommodate eight passengers, as well as leave you with enough space for all your cargo. The interior is well-made, and while it’s not built with all the high-quality materials you commonly find within a luxury SUV, it provides plenty of comfort.
As for engine options, the base trim comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that leaves drivers wanting a bit more. Every trim level above the base will equip the SUV with a powerful 3.5-liter V6. If you have the extra money and want increased performance and towing capability, a higher trim level is worth the added cash.
The Nissan Armada is a true 8-passenger SUV in all aspects. It offers plenty of space for passengers and cargo, comfortable seating, and a modern interior.
As for performance, all three trim levels of the Armada come with a 5.6-liter V8, making this one of the strongest options available. If you plan on doing a lot of towing, the Armada can handle just about anything you throw at it.
Whether you go with the base trim or a higher trim level, the Armada comes with plenty of helpful standard features. All trim levels will come equipped with touch screen navigation that supports voice commands, a forward collision warning system, and parking sensors for the front and rear. The Premium trim adds lane departure warnings, intervention systems while backing up or changing lanes, as well as some other safety tech.
Lincoln Navigator L
While the Lincoln Navigator L isn’t one of the most popular SUVs out there, it certainly deserves more recognition. In fact, it’s one of the few SUVs on the market today that offers “premium” seating for eight passengers.
The build quality is pretty solid, and there’s enough cargo space, too. The power-folding third row seat is a unique feature of the Navigator L, making the cargo area very accessible. You also have the option of adding an air suspension to increase ride quality if you frequently drive in bumpy areas.
Regardless of your trim, the Lincoln Navigator L comes with a superior twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which produces an impressive 380 horsepower.
The Honda Pilot is definitely one of the best picks in the 8-passenger SUVs segment, boasting healthy sales figures, a lot of praise by critics, and a surprisingly large number of highly satisfied owners.
The interior is fairly spacious and the cargo area is on par with the class standard. While the base trim offers quite a bit of nice features, higher trim levels give you more to work with. Forward collision warning systems, lane departure alerts, and lane keeping technology all come standard, but we suggest bumping up at least one trim level. Anything above the base will give drivers the HondaLink infotainment system, as well as some additional safety and convenience features.
It doesn’t disappoint on the power front either, with the Pilot’s 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 280 horsepower.
When it comes to the towing capacity, there don’t really seem to be many better options out there than the Chevrolet Suburban, which boasts a massive towing capacity of up to 8,300 lbs. It turns out to be the winner on the space front as well, with its innovative seating design ensuring that it can accommodate as many as nine passengers instead of eight.
The Suburban’s 5.3-liter V8 engine offers a solid 355 horsepower and is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. If you go with the Premier trim, you get the option to upgrade to a 6.2-liter V8 which can be paired with the standard 6-speed automatic, or a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Unlike other options on this list, the Suburban is lacking when it comes to tech. The standard safety technology that you get with the majority of competitors is only available on the highest trim for the Suburban. If you plan on doing a lot of highway travel and could use the help from some more modern technology, you may want to look elsewhere.
The Ford Expedition is another popular SUV out there, but isn’t as spacious as some competitors. The first two rows of seating provide plenty of leg room for passengers, but the third row will get a bit cramped for adults or older teens. If you have young children to sit in the back seat, the interior is very comfortable and should offer a quality driving experience for everyone.
While the base model does come equipped with an infotainment system, that’s about all you’ll be getting for tech. The majority of the modern safety technology is reserved for higher trim levels. If you have a lot of money to spend and want all the bells and whistles, you should aim for the Platinum trim. It comes with the Cargo and Driver Assistance packages, which will help out quite a bit.
If you’re shopping on a budget and don’t want to drop $70,000 to go all out on the Expedition, you should be able to find something else that will suit your needs at a lower price point.
GMC Yukon XL
The Yukon XL is pretty similar to many other 8-passenger SUVs, except that it probably comes with a slightly smoother ride and is a better option for daily driving.
As far as the space is concerned, the Yukon XL definitely ranks among the best, as its able to be a 9-passenger SUV as well as an 8-passenger. The standard suspension package that comes with the first three trim levels will provide passengers with a smooth ride over any terrain. If you want to get the smoothest ride ever imaginable, you can bump yourself up all the way to the Denali trim and get yourself a magnetic ride control suspension package that will take things to the next level.
While the base Yukon XL comes with a 5.3-liter V8 engine capable of producing 355 horsepower, the high-end Denali version’s 6.2-liter V8 can put out 420 ponies. The 5.3-liter V8 is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the Denali trim pairs a 10-speed automatic to its 6.2-liter engine.
Lexus LX 570
The Lexus LX 570 seems to be a more unique SUV, allowing you to fold the cargo compartment’s walls and make more space for additional passengers. While this might sound pretty cool, it’s actually quite a hassle and doesn’t work nearly as well as traditional folding methods.
However, what most would find impressive is the LX 570’s impressive off-road capability, thanks to features such as crawl control and a permanent four-wheel drive system. Ground clearance is also slightly higher than other options on this list, which makes this one of the better picks for off-road travel.
The LX 570 also fares well on the power front, with the V8 engine offering an outstanding 383 horsepower.
The Toyota Sequoia comes with a fairly impressive design, taking inspiration from some high-end Japanese models. However, it’s as powerful as any other American SUV, with a towing capacity of up to 7,400 lbs thanks to its powerful V8 engine. Unfortunately, this also plays a role in the vehicle’s below-average fuel economy.
It’s one of the most spacious options on this list, providing plenty of space for passengers of all ages. While the vehicle does come with a lot of standard features and safety technology, the interior is a bit dated. Your first impression when you look inside may not be the best, and although it comes with an infotainment system, it could really use some updating.
All-in-all, the Sequoia is a great pick if you’re able to look past some of its flaws.
The Infiniti QX80 is a monster SUV that would have no problem fitting in eight passengers, though children would make the best occupants in the third row. The first and second rows will offer up plenty of space for passengers, but the third row is a little bit short on leg room.
The base trim is equipped with an 8-inch touch screen communication and navigation system, a forward collision warning system, front and rear parking sensors, and an around-view monitor with moving object detection. If you want systems to help you out on the highway, like lane departure warnings and intervention systems, you’re going to have to go with the Limited trim.
There are no powertrain options for the vehicle aside from its 5.6-liter V8 paired to a 7-speed adaptive automatic transmission. For the base trim, you can choose between rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, while the Limited trim comes with four-wheel drive standard.
The Chevrolet Traverse has made a name for itself over the years by being a practical SUV for families. It doesn’t have all of the luxury and flash that comes with some of the more up-scale SUVs, but it does offer a ton of space for passengers and cargo, as well as a comfortable driving experience.
The interior, while comfortable for long periods of time, isn’t as luxurious as some competitors. The materials used aren’t always of the highest quality, but this is easy to look past when you see how much space is available. It’s never been easier to pack up the family and go on a road trip. Nobody will be complaining about leg room, and all of your luggage will fit in nicely without any headaches.
The Traverse doesn’t have the most powerful engine around, and it may leave drivers wanting more. It has decent speed and acceleration, but nothing that will blow your mind. If you’re not worried about speed, there’s a lot to look forward to. A great infotainment system and modern features come standard, consistent safety and reliability ratings allow buyers to sleep easy at night, and the Traverse is considered to be one of the best 3-row SUVs for families.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the best 3-row SUVs with off-road capabilities available. If you see yourself going on camping trips often, or just enjoy going off-road with the family for a few hours on the weekend, the Land Cruiser won’t let you down.
One of the biggest weak points for the SUV is the lack of space. Due to the third-row folding to the side, rather than folding down, you won’t be looking at as much cargo space as competitors. If you don’t plan on loading the vehicle up with supplies or luggage, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The fuel economy is also severely lacking, as it only gets 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.
Aside from that, the Land Cruiser is equipped with a ton of great features that come standard. With its high price point, it may not be the most practical option available. Unless you’re looking to spend a lot of money on a vehicle dedicated to off-roading, you can probably find something more reasonable.
The Chevrolet Tahoe is a great full-size SUV. It has very strong engine options, a decent fuel economy for its class, and provides occupants with a comfortable ride. Despite its size, it has a third row that can get cramped for adults and is a bit lacking when it comes to cargo volume.
Although it can get a bit tight in the back, the positives of the vehicle outshine the negatives, making this one of the best options available for travel. Its power V8 engine options are great for towing and offer quick acceleration for highway merging. Handling is very smooth, and visibility shouldn’t be an issue given the size of the windows and mirrors.
With high predicted reliability and safety ratings, a long list of standard features, and a reasonable price point, the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe is worth your consideration.
The 2019 Subaru Ascent makes its big debut this year as Subaru’s first full three-row SUV. It’s the largest Subaru to date and offers seating for seven or eight passengers. Although its extremely new to the market, the debut of the Ascent has been very promising and showcases a new model that will be improved upon for years to come.
The Ascent has good cargo capacity for a midsize SUV, as well as spacious seating for the first and second rows. The third row does get a bit cramped for adults, so it works best for children or young teens. The interior, while comfortable and well-designed, doesn’t feel as upscale as competitors.
The engine is powerful and gives the option for towing, but being a midsize SUV, it’s not as strong as some full-size SUV options. The Ascent comes with great standard features, a ton of modern tech, and handles exceptionally well. A high price point may deter potential buyers, especially since the vehicle is new, but it makes a good case for itself as a quality family SUV.
Like the Subaru Ascent, the 2020 Kia Telluride is an all-new model from Kia and is the biggest SUV they’ve ever created. With seating for seven or eight passengers and a very roomy interior, Kia has done a wonderful job creating a family SUV with a reasonable price tag.
While the Kia Sorento did a great job as Kia’s three-row SUV for many years, the Telluride shows clear and promising improvements. The biggest downside to the Sorento was the lack of cargo room and space in the third row. The Telluride is here to take care of those shortcomings and give the public what they’ve been asking for.
The SUV comes with a plethora of standard features and technology, making it one of the most modern and up-to-date SUVs available. As you move up the trim list, you get access to even more convenience, including a power liftgate, keyless access and push-to-start functionality. While there are no powertrain upgrades, the V6 engine outputs plenty of power for standard driving or towing.
This is a huge move for Kia and the Telluride will likely rise to become one of the most talked about SUVs for years to come. If you’re interested in buying one for yourself, you may want to wait a little while. Demand is high right now and after a few more months on the market, it may be easier to negotiate a better price.
Practicality for different situations was considered while making this list, so you should hopefully be able to find the perfect SUV to meet your driving needs. Whether you’re going on cross-country road trips, need a vehicle to go off-road to get to a camping destination, or you’re looking for a daily driver that you can load up when needed, these vehicles have you covered!
Article Updated: April 8, 2019