In a country which prides itself upon in its traditional culture & values, India has been a land of big families. There were times when families had ten members easy, and there was no family car that was capable of supporting 10 bottoms. However, our well-known penchant for ‘jugaad’ enabled us to make do, with our close knitted families getting those backsides ‘adjusted’ into them cars.
However, with the years we have realized the virtue of modesty in the bedroom as well, and families have been limited to maximum 6 or 7 members with usually, only a couple of children in each household. But, the crux of the matter remains that no hatchback or sedan is capable of adjusting 7 people. Automakers realizing that have been building Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPV) to satiate the need of an all-purpose family car. The market is flooded with MPVs now, a segment which till a decade ago only had a handful of names.
Customers have a whole platter of options to choose from now. Cars are available under all range of budgets now, with MPV’s like the Datsun Go Plus starting from 3.8 lacks & going up to 16.7 lacks with the top variant of the Toyota Innova Crysta. We have taken it upon ourselves to enlighten you regarding the best 7 seater cars in India & have compiled a list of the 3 best 7 seater family cars out there.
1. Toyota Innova
The Toyota Innova has been the champion of the MPV segment for more than 10 years. It has the most space in its class & comes equipped with a powerful engine. The Toyota Innova is like a plush, comfortable 7 seater couch which you can readily take out on short & long drives alike.
The original Innova was powered by a 2.5-liter hulk of an engine which churned out 101 bhp of power & 200 Nm of torque. Mated to a 5-speed gearbox with smooth shifts, the engine, however, did raise a ruckus at higher RPMs. Despite its sheer size & bulk, the Innova isn’t susceptible to too much body roll or vertical pitch. It has three rows of air conditioner vents to ensure that the third row of passengers survives the summer heat in breezy comfort.
Despite getting numerous facelifts since its inception, none of which were fundamentally very different from the first, Toyota has finally opted for an all-out renovation with the Innova Crysta. Phasing out the original Innova, the new Crysta comes in 2 diesel variants (2.4 L – 148 bhp, 343 Nm & 2.8 L – 172 bhp, 360 Nm) along with a petrol variant (2.7 L- 164 bhp, 245 Nm) about to hit the market too.
2. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
Ertiga looks like the car which the Ritz can see & exclaim “Mamaji”. Based on an extended Swift platform, Maruti would love to call Ertiga it’s the first tryst with MPVs. Probably, Maruti’s first people mover which does not look like a kidnapper’s wet dream, Maruti has come a long way in terms of designing from the likes of Versa & Omni to Ertiga to feature in the list of best 7 seater cars.
It comes in 2 power options – a 1.4 litre petrol (94 bhp, 130 Nm) & a 1.3 litre diesel (89 bhp, 200 Nm) engine. The petrol variant is smoother of the two, but the diesel is efficient enough & once you factor in fuel economy, the diesel seems equally suitable, if not better. The first car on the list to sport a light-weight monocoque chassis, it has a very car-like driveability and negligible body roll. The A-pillar might take some getting used to, considering how it obstructs the view every now & then.
A good looking MPV, which after making sliding adjustments to the middle row leaves an acceptable amount of space for the passengers seated in the third row. Add to it the India friendly tag of Maruti & you will have the reason behind the competition’s nervousness.
It has quite a lot of the features found in the Swift. Worth mentioning is the miserly boot space of 185 liters after all the three rows have been deployed. The beige interiors which do look good need some maintenance to look squeaky clean.
3. Mahindra Marazzo
Mahindra is well known for its powerful diesel engines which have powered many a powerful beast like the Scorpio & XUV500. Having such a tried & tested, reliable drive train along with those comfortable plushy seats only adds to the Xylo’s appeal which is the 5th & last car to feature on our best 7 seater cars list. It comes powered by two diesel engines – a 2.2-liter mDI CRDe engine (94 bhp, 218 NM) & a 2.5-liter mHawk engine (118 bhp, 280 Nm).
The double-wishbone front suspension and the twist beam setup at the rear mean this is one of the best Mahindra to drive so far. The comfy seats of this MUV and ample of space translate to a pleasant ride all around on bumpy roads. The interiors come in a homey beige color and the dashboard is clean and organised.
The car comes with ample safety and lifestyle features, ABS, EBD, dual airbags and all-wheel disc brakes standard on all. Rear air con and a responsive 7.0-inch infotainment system with android auto and reversing camera and sensors. Cruise control and LED headlamps are part of the top variants topping out at around 14 lakhs