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Best Eight Passenger SUVs

Best 8 Passenger SUV

Best 8 Passenger SUV

When you need to haul the whole choir, but a minivan leaves you cold, there’s only one viable alternative: the eight-passenger SUV.

These SUVs and crossovers come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some can pull like a full-size pickup. Others have panache and curb appeal in spades. A few skip out on the luxury duds for utilitarian affordability. The one thing they all have in common? Two rows of three in the back.

With the variety of choices on the market, we’ve analyzed the facts to find the winners. We narrowed down our choices to five final categories: the most affordable, most luxurious, most spacious, most reliable, and best overall.

Check out all our picks for the best SUVs >>

Read about how we rank our vehicles >>

Best Eight Passenger SUVs Comparison

Best Midsize SUVsChevrolet TahoeToyota Land CruiserChevrolet SuburbanMercedes GLSChevrolet Traverse
Base / Top Trim Price
$51K / $71K
$87K / $89K
$53K / $74K
$76K / $161K
$32K / $53K
Passenger Volume
168 cu. ft.
105 cu. ft.
176 cu. ft.
N/A
155 cu. ft.
Max Cargo Volume
123 cu. ft.
82 cu. ft.
145 cu. ft.
80 cu. ft.
90 cu. ft.
Min. Ground Clearance
N/A
8.9 in.
N/A
7.9 in.
7.5 in.
HP (Top Trim)
420 HP
381 HP
420 HP
613 HP
310 HP
EPA Combined MPG (Base Engine)
18 MPG
14 MPG
18 MPG
21 MPG
20 MPG
Max Tow Rating
8,400 lbs
7,000 lbs
8,400 lbs
7,700 lbs
5,000 lbs

1. Overall Best Eight-Passenger SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevy Tahoe 8 Passenger SUVWhen it comes to building big SUVs, Chevy knows its stuff: ever since the first Tahoe came out in 1995, it has dominated the full-size market and earned loyal fans for its mixture of comfort, space, features, reliability, and towing performance. There isn’t anything quite like the Tahoe, which is why it remains the dominant player among large SUVs.

The newest Tahoe is fresh off a redesign, and this was no mere visit to the powder room - Chevrolet made some major upgrades to the latest Tahoe, not the least of which is the new independent rear suspension. The old solid axle hindered cargo space and left the big SUV feeling unsettled over rough pavement. With the new setup, those old complaints are no more.

The new rear suspension also opened up third-row legroom, which now measures 35 inches. The second row stretches a full 42 inches, which is about the same room afforded to front passengers. The tall roof and big window ensure plenty of visibility and head room for those riding in the back.

Our favorite bit of the Tahoe is its excellent powertrain choices. A pair of tried-and-true V-8s do a fine job of balancing horsepower and fuel economy: the standard 5.3-liter V-8 features 355 horsepower and returns 20 mpg on the highway - decent for something of this size and might - while the 6.2-liter engine pushes 420 horses and also gets 20 mpg highway. An available six-cylinder diesel only has 277 horsepower but will return an impressive 28 mpg on a highway.

Inside, the Tahoe features a standard 10.2-inch touchscreen, a wifi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Still, the interior feels a notch below what we expect of this price point - our main caveat on this otherwise excellent SUV.

Pros

  • Massively roomy
  • Will tow up to 8,400 pounds
  • Lots of available features
  • V-8 power...

Cons

  • …and V-8 fuel economy
  • Interior a touch dowdier than we’d like

Current Chevrolet Tahoe Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ChevroletTahoe2.49%$579/month for 36 months, $7,659 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevy deals here.

2. Most Reliable Eight-Passenger SUV: Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser 8 Passenger SUVThe Toyota Land Cruiser is an icon in more ways than one. This SUV is truly old-school and can go places where most SUVs can’t on account of its excellent off-road chops. It comes from an era when SUVs were built for going to the bush, not the town green.

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the Land Cruiser, though, is its legendary reliability. We’ve covered this in our article on most reliable SUVs, but we’ll rehash it here: this outdated old SUV will run - and run, and run, and run some more. Our friends at iSeeCars did a study analyzing the longest-lasting SUVs and found that 16 percent of Land Cruisers last beyond 200,000 miles. If that isn’t a testament to this Toyota’s longevity, check out the resale values on old Land Cruisers. Spoiler: they aren’t cheap.

Besides its penchant for running more reliably than a Swiss watch, the Land Cruiser is the real deal. It features traditional full-frame construction, excellent ground clearance, a robust four-wheel drive system, and equipment like a locking center differential. You can go anywhere with this thing - which is why they remain highly popular overseas in developing nations.

You won’t pass a gas station, though. In its most efficient form, expect no better than 15 mpg on the highway and 10 mpg in the city. In return for its voracious thirst for fuel, the 5.7-liter V-8 lazily churns out 381 horsepower.

Our other concern? The price. New models cost nearly $90,000, despite the fact that a rebadged Lexus version, the LX, costs exactly that. The Land Cruiser hasn’t had a redesign in years, either, so buyers get none of the latest features despite shilling out almost six figures. Perhaps this is why 2021 is the final year for the Land Cruiser.

No matter. We still love it, and it is hands down the most reliable eight-passenger SUV you can buy.

Pros

  • Massively roomy
  • Massively capable
  • Massively reliable

Cons

  • Massively expensive
  • Massively inefficient

Current Toyota Land Cruiser Deals & Incentives

You may qualify for deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals here.

3. Most Spacious SUV: Chevrolet Suburban

Chevy Suburban 8 Passenger SUVWe’ll keep this short, as the Suburban is the extended-length version of the Tahoe. It keeps all the same attributes of its smaller self but benefits from nearly a foot in extra length. With that additional space comes huge cargo and passenger numbers. Take the third row, for example. It features 37 inches of legroom - more than many midsize SUVs offer in their second row. Behind the third row is an equally huge 41.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

Moving into the second row brings 42 inches of legroom. With just the third row folded, buyers get 94 cubic feet of cargo space. That expands to a minivan-like 145 cubic feet of space once the second row is also stashed away. That’s more room than even the long-wheelbase Ford Expedition.

Compared to a Tahoe, the Suburban has the same available trim levels but generally costs another $2,000 regardless. Features and powertrains are similarly identical.

There’s no question about it: the Suburban is the largest, most spacious SUV on the market. Eight passengers will never have it better than they do in the Suburban.

Pros

  • Massively roomy
  • Will tow up to 8,400 pounds
  • Lots of available features
  • V-8 power...

Cons

  • …and V-8 fuel economy
  • Interior a touch dowdier than we’d like

Current Chevrolet Suburban Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ChevroletSuburban2.49%$599/month for 24 months, $9,789 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevy deals here.

4. Most Luxurious Three-Row SUV: Mercedes GLS

GLS 8 Passenger SUVThe most highfalutin ride on this list is the GLS, which is the biggest, brawniest SUV in the Mercedes lineup if you look past the bonkers G-Class.

Like other Mercedes models, the GLS is awash in luxury touches, from the glitzy dash to the zillion features to the delicate, detailed embroidery and finish work that’s visible throughout the interior. There remains nothing quite like a decked-out Mercedes this side of quarter-million-dollar exotics.

If the standard 362-horse twin-turbo V-6 isn’t good enough, the GLS also benefits from a full roster of AMG powertrains. This year the AMG lineup expands to include the GLS 63 S, which features a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 making 603 horsepower.

For a bit less power and a lot more pomp, the GLS 600 Maybach is available with 555 horsepower and a cabin that rivals a Bentley Bentagya. Among the Maybach’s feature list are rear massaging and power-adjustable seats, a 26-speaker audio system, and a seven-inch rear tablet loaded with the MBUX infotainment system.

One caveat here: the GLS actually only seats seven, but we included it due to the fact that big, luxurious SUVs as richly appointed and equipped as the GLS typically use a two-person third-row - because when has squeezing three across in a third row ever been a premium experience? Only the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade offer eight seats, but we wanted a wild card on the list that should still satisfy anyone’s need for three rows of seating.

Pros

  • Lavish cabin
  • Will tow up to 7,700 pounds
  • Lots of available features and engines
  • Excellent ride and handling

Cons

  • Only seats seven
  • Six-figure pricing on most trims

Current Mercedes-Benz GLS Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021MercedesGLS$999/month for 36 months, $5,643 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Mercedes-Benz deals here.

5. Most Affordable Eight-Passenger SUV: Chevrolet Traverse

Chevy Traverse 8 Passenger SUVThere are a few eight-passenger crossovers playing in the low-$30,000 range, but only the Chevy Traverse offers a base model under $30,000 before any incentives. No, we didn’t intend for this list to feature Chevys in three of the five categories, but the brand dominates when it comes to value-oriented, eight-passenger models. Between the Traverse, Tahoe, and Suburban, Chevrolet has a length and price point for every shopper who needs to seat eight.

As for the Traverse, it isn’t the nicest or most luxurious mainstream eight-passenger crossover - we’d point towards the Kia Telluride for that, which only costs a few thousand more - but space maximization and durability is a highlight of the Traverse. It has the most amount of room in its segment, both in cargo space and legroom, and offers it a basement price in its lowest trim - which, admittedly, is pretty bare-bones.

If you don’t mind the lack of niceties, the entry-level Traverse features a 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower, which makes it one of the more powerful of its competitors. It pairs up with a nine-speed automatic and can return up to 27 mpg on the highway.

Are there better crossovers? Yes. But there aren’t any that are this roomy, this capacious, and this cheap. Chevy has nailed the basics with the Traverse, making it a great buy for someone who needs a rugged crossover that can put up with the whole family.

Pros

  • Excellent price point
  • Powerful standard V-6
  • Capacious cabin

Cons

  • Base model is decidedly base
  • Rugged doesn’t equal luxurious

Current Chevrolet Traverse Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ChevroletTraverse$5000.00%$329/month for 36 months, $2,669 due at signing11/1/2021
2022ChevroletTraverse0.00%11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevy deals here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best eight-passenger SUV?

The Chevy Tahoe. When it comes to seating eight, this is the SUV to beat on account of its excellent powertrains, huge space, and plethora of standard and available features.

What’s the cheapest eight-passenger SUV?

The Chevy Traverse. It’s the only eight-passenger SUV with a starting price of under $30,000 before destination charges.

What’s the best eight-passenger SUV for the money?

If you don’t want to swing for the $50,000 Tahoe, the Kia Telluride would be our runner-up. It’s cheaper by nearly $20,000 and seats eight out of the gate.

What’s the roomiest eight-passenger SUV?

The Suburban. Its huge legroom stats and 145 total cubic feet of cargo capacity make it as versatile as a minivan.