Best Eight-Seater Cars for Growing Families

By Alexi Falson on 01 Dec 2023
image for Best Eight-Seater Cars for Growing Families If you’ve got another young one on the way, it’s likely that you’re tossing up your best eight-seater car options to meet the needs of your growing family.

While seven-seat options are plentiful, there’s far fewer cars that offer enough space, particularly width inside the cabin for eight people, meaning you’ve got to know exactly where to look to find your best options.

Thankfully, we’ve done all the homework for you in your pursuit for a family-friendly car, and present you with our list of the best eight-seater cars for growing families.

Volkswagen Caravelle

2023 volkswagen caravelle

If you’re looking for sheer size and practicality, with the added bonus of being the only vehicle on this list with enough space to accommodate nine people in total, the Volkswagen Caravelle is a great option for growing families.

Based on the almighty Transporter van, the Caravelle comes with four rows of seats for nine people, and the added bonus of a flexible seating arrangement that allows you to tailor the layout to your family’s needs.

Power comes supplied by a beefy turbo-diesel engine that offers decent torque figures to push you up to speed, combined with impressive fuel economy figures for a vehicle of its size.

  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel 

  • Power & Torque: 110kW/340Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 6.6L/100km

  • Seats: 9 

  • Boot Space: N/A 

  • ANCAP Rating: Unrated 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Nissan Pathfinder

2023 nissan pathfinder australia

Nissan’s latest generation Pathfinder has been updated for modern families, with enough space inside the large platform for up to eight people.

Its sleek looks are bolstered by a spacious interior layout, a generous entertainment and safety equipment list for even the base-model, a heap of power from its 3.5-litre V6 and the option of both front- and all-wheel drive platforms for those looking for a family package with an adventurous spirit.

  • Engine: 3.5-litre V6 petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 202kW/340Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 10L/100km

  • Seats: 8 

  • Boot Space: 205L

  • ANCAP Rating: Five-star 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Hyundai Palisade

2023 hyundai palisade highlander

Hyundai’s flagship SUV, the Palisade, has become a hit with growing families here in Australia thanks to its large, spacious platform and the recent addition of more affordable entry-level variants for price-conscious buyers.

The Palisade offers enough space for up to eight people, with buyers presented with two options for the engine and the choice of a front-wheel or all-wheel drive layout, all of which come packed with a generous list of creature comforts and active safety gear to keep you and the family safe.

  • Engine: 3.8-litre V6 & 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel

  • Power & Torque: 217kW/355Nm & 147kW/440Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 10.7 - 7.3L/100km

  • Seats: 8

  • Boot Space: 311L

  • ANCAP Rating: Five-star 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre

Kia Carnival

2023 kia carnival

The almighty Kia Carnival has been the proverbial yardstick for Australian families to map out space and practicality for years now, with the latest Carnival range, thankfully, maintaining the company’s generous approach to interior packaging and features.

The Carnival’s large platform offers a super spacious layout perfect for families of eight, while the rear seats can be easily slid back and forth to allow for more space in the third row which, combined with the decent headroom makes it a lovely place to sit on long journeys.

  • Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel 

  • Power & Torque: 148kW/440Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 6.5L/100km 

  • Seats: 8 

  • Boot Space: 627L

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star  

  • Warranty: Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre

Nissan Patrol

2023 nissan patrol warrior

The Nissan Patrol is without doubt the toughest and most capable eight-seater car you’ll find on the market, allowing you to hit the road and conquer almost any terrain - with your family in tow.

The Patrol’s large platform allows for up to eight people to scramble inside, though larger passengers in the middle of the rows might be a bit lacking when it comes to width.

Having said that, there’s a huge amount of space inside the massive Patrol platform, and it goes without saying that its hardcore underpinnings and V8 grunt will take you almost anywhere and tow almost anything you can throw at it.

  • Engine: 5.6-litre V8 petrol

  • Power & Torque: 298kW/560Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 14.4L/100km 

  • Seats: 8 

  • Boot Space: 467L

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star  

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre

Hyundai Staria

2023 hyundai staria load premium australia

Looking for an eight-seater package that looks straight out of the future? Hyundai has you covered with its slick Staria van.

Thankfully for buyers, the Staria has more than enough substance inside the cabin to match its exterior styling, with a large interior cabin offering three rows of seating and a massive amount of boot space even with its eight seats deployed, making for a great option for growing families.

  • Engine: 3.5-litre V6 petrol or 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel 

  • Power & Torque: 200kW/331Nm & 130kW/430Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 10.5 - 8.2L/100km 

  • Seats: 8 

  • Boot Space: 831L

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star  

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre

Land Rover Defender 130

2023 land rover defender

For those looking for a slice of the premium motoring with some extraordinary off-road abilities, the latest Land Rover Defender range is worth taking a closer look at if you have a growing family to accommodate.

The Defender 130 sits atop the lineup as the biggest variant, offering exceptional interior space with immaculate interior designs and plush touches that makes it feel like a living room that can tackle even the toughest of terrain you throw at it, making it a truly versatile eight-seater family car.

  • Engine: Three engines available (turbo-diesel, turbo and supercharged-petrol)

  • Power & Torque: 221kW/650Nm - 368kW/610Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 7.9 - 12.7L/100km 

  • Seats: 8 

  • Boot Space: 389L

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Unrated (Five-star for Defender 110)   

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre

Toyota Granvia

2023 toyota granvia

Our list wraps up with another favourite for large Australian families and the commercial sector alike, with the Toyota Granvia’s long wheelbase platform offering a heap of space and comfort for families of eight.

The layout has a tonne of space for growing families, with the option of both six- and eight-seat layouts paired with a generous list of features, particularly active safety equipment in the base model that means you won’t feel short-changed with the entry-level Granvia.

  • Engine: 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel 

  • Power & Torque: 130kW/450Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 8.0L/100km 

  • Seats: 6 - 8 

  • Boot Space: N/A

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre

Request a Quote

If you’re tossing up your best options for an eight-seater family car, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying experts who can help find you the best possible price.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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