SUVs and crossovers became increasingly popular beginning in the 1990s. Few automakers have yet to join this profitable segment, while most manufacturers that offer such vehicles are elbows deep into providing the sportiness and chutzpah more and more customers are demanding nowadays, while struggling to keep up with the stringent fuel-consumption and CO2-emission regulations. Granted, SUVs are now more than just plain, slow vehicles designed to haul people or tackle the roughest off-road trails.
Need a sports car that rides higher than usual and can carry four people comfortably? Porsche is ready to take your check and deliver a Cayenne . If legroom is what interests you most, but you also need more than 500 ponies and an off-road capable rig, then you’re better off with the Range Rover LWB . You’d rather trade British elegance and German sportiness for some American bling? No problem, you’re the reason why Cadillac is building the Escalade . There’s no doubt these are all great machines, but they all come with at least one drawback, they’re awfully expensive.
That’s not to say there aren’t any affordable SUVs that can offer seating for seven people out there. There’s a handful of seven-seaters you can buy for less than $50,000 that still offer plenty of posh features. We put together a list comprising the cheapest luxury seven-seater SUVs you can buy for the 2015 model year. Check it out below and let us know which one would you pick as a daily driver.
Click past the jump to find out more about the Top 5 Luxury 7-Seater SUVs priced under $50,000.
Fifth Place: GMC Acadia Denali - $46,825->http://www.topspeed.com/cars/gmc/2014-gmc-acadia-ar162806.html ]
The GMC Acadia is a strong contender for the midsize SUV market. It’s powerful, spacious and can seat up to eight people, a rare feat in this segment. More importantly, it retails from only $34,485. This sticker would be enough to send the Acadia to the top of our list, but the standard SUV isn’t the kind of luxury we are aiming for. The better-equipped model comes with a Denali badge and a price tag that jumps up to $46,825 before any options are checked. On the outside, the SUV is still fresh, thanks to an update operated in 2013, while the interior is not just useful, but luxurious as well. Although its overall design is somewhat simple, the cabin is pleasant to look at and comes with unique, perforated leather appointments, mahogany wood grain and aluminum trim, eight-way power driver and front passenger seat (both heated and cooled), and a premium audio system provided by Bose.
Seven-passenger seating comes standard, alongside automatic, tri-zone climate control, premium second and third row floor mats, rear seat audio controls, and numerous safety features. Power is provided by GM’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Rated at 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, the mill enables the Acadia to tow up to 5,200 pounds, just enough to haul a small boat or a trailer. All-wheel drive is available as an option, while fuel economy is estimate at 24 mpg on the highway.
Gallery GMC Acadia
For the same price GMC asks for an Acadia Denali you can buy the larger Yukon. But you’ll have to settle for the standard model, as the Denali trim fetches in excess of $62,000. That shouldn’t be an issue, though, as the Yukon is a well-equipped vehicle, even in its base SLE trim. Overhauled for the 2015 model, the new Yukon comes with standard Rear Vision Camera, front and rear Park Assist, a Bose premium audio system; a 4.2-inch, multi-color driver information center; NavTraffic, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The seats, on the other hand, are only appointed in cloth, while heated and cooled front seats aren’t available on the base trim.
Fortunately enough, third-row seats are also included in the standard package, enabling the SUV to carry up to eight people. As far as safety features go, the Yukon is far better equipped than the Acadia. Hill Start Assist, StabiliTrak, and a full OnStar pack are only a few of the standard amenities that come with the base price. Under the hood of the massive GMC Yukon lurks an aluminum-block, 5.3-liter, V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management and variable valve timing. Rated at 355 ponies and 383 pound-feet of torque, the mill is powerful enough to move a fully loaded SUV while returning up to 23 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in the city.
Gallery GMC Yukon XL
The MKT is arguably one of the more elegant-looking seven-seat SUVs on the market. Revised for the 2013 model year, when it received a new front end and several interior updates, this Lincoln -badged family hauler comes with a laundry list of standard features, numerous high-tech options, a quiet interior, and a choice of two powerful engines. A quick peek at the standard features list reveals why the MKT sits above many of its rivals. For $43,050, the MKT brings adaptive xenon headlamps with automatic high beams, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column.
Unlike most of its competitors, the MKT gets heated second-row seats. Behind the 60/40-split-folding second-row seats customers will find 50/50-split-folding third-row seats. Unfortunately, rear-seat headroom is rather cramped, while the third-row seats are not easy to access. Under the hood, the MKT can be had with either a naturally aspirated, 3.7-liter V-6 or a 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6. The former generates 303 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, while the turbo unit cranks out 365 ponies and 350 pound-feet. The crossover promises to deliver up to 25 mpg on the highway in FWD configuration, while the optional AWD claims to return 23 mpg highway.
Gallery Lincoln MKT
The Acura MDX is probably one of the most under-appreciated seven-seat SUVs. Its cabin is roomy, the seats are comfortable, the center stack is well organized, and the amount of luxury makes it a relative bargain for the buck. Sure, the interior comes with less animal hide than the BMW X5, but the standard features list is quite long and includes a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, heated eight-way power front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, twin console displays, and an eight-speaker audio system. Customers can also have perforated Milano leather on their seats or a DVD entertainment system in the back, but those come at an extra cost.
Acura offers only one engine in the MDX, the same 3.5-liter V-6 that motivates several models across the Honda and Acura range. The six-banger churns 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, making the MDX one of the least powerful vehicles in its segment. When paired with the SH-AWD system, the MDX needs around seven second to hit 60 from a standing start. Fuel economy sits at 27 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in the city.
Gallery Acura MDX
The Infiniti QX60 is yet another seven-seat SUV that doesn’t get the love it deserves, and the cheapest in our list. Priced from $42,100, the QX60 offers plenty of passenger room in all three rows and a smooth ride. Fitted with a driver-oriented cockpit and a specially designed instrument panel with a new Infiniti Intelligent-View display, the SUV comes with standard leather-appointed seating, and heated, eight-way power driver’s seat and six-way power front passenger’s seat. The second-row bench features 60/40-split-folding configuration for easier access to the third-row seats, which come in a 50/50-split-folding arrangement. A six-speaker premium audio system is also included in the base price.
Motivation is provided by an aluminum-alloy block, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine with 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of twist on tap. The oomph travels to the front wheels through a sport-tuned CVT, but an all-wheel-drive system is available as an option. The QX60 returns up to 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway in FWD guise and 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with AWD.