Buying a used SUV

I would to buy a used SUV but I am not sure which is best. This will be a family car. Seating for 7 and a decent amount of cargo space is needed but I don’t want it to feel too big. Anyone have any thoughts.

“Seating for 7 and a decent amount of cargo space” and “I don’t want it to feel too big” are not compatible. You need a large SUV, there’s no way around it, and it’s going to feel like a large SUV.

Suburban? Tahoe? Excursion? Expedition? I give up. Vehicles such as this are not my thing.

Honda Pilot fills the bill as well. Nearly as roomy inside as the largest of truck based SUVs but much more efficient. Have not met a Pilot owner who wouldn’t buy another. The room of a minivan, function of an SUV.

I can think of only one SUV that seats 7, has lots of cargo space, and isn’t very big on the outside: a Land Rover LR3. The boxy design and layout allow it to accomplish things the others on the market can’t. Another option is the Toyota 4runner built between 1997-2002 which has tremendous cargo room and I THINK can be equipped to seat 7, although I could be wrong. After this your consideration would be a Toyota or Honda SUV like a Pilot that is equipped with 7 seats. I won’t strongly suggest against getting an American SUV for reasons of quality, reliability and fuel mileage. Completely avoid those monsters like the Suburban or Expedition.

If you do not drive many miles/year I would recommend a large SUV like Ford Expedition, Suburban, or Yukon. They are thristy on fuel but are being inexpensive used with poor resale(eg bargains) due to panicked reactionary drivers who miss the bigger picture. They also are what our domestic auto market builds the best of (large SUV’s).

These little Honda something or others might be ok around town with that many people, but on the road, they’d be miserable and they’d have to UPS their luggage to their destination.

I vote for a Suburban or Excursion. That way if you go somewhere there’s room for everyone without sitting in each other’s laps and you can still put the suitcases behind the last seat.

A diesel Excursion would get a little better mileage than Suburban’s gas engine, but unless you know which diesel is which, stay away from the Excursions, there are several around with 6.0L diesels in them that are junk. The old 7.3 L Excursions are fine.


The new Rav4 can seat 7 (maybe last year’s, too?). Be careful of any midsize SUV that seats 7. Ther is very little cargo room behind the 3rd seat. Seating for 7 and cargo space equals minivan, especially if you want over 20 MPG on the highway.

Another vote for the Honda Pilot if you’re one of those minivanphobes.

Unless you need to tow a heavy trailer I would NOT recommend you buy an SUV just to move the family around.

There are a few reasons why.

One is: one that will carry seven people will suck your wallet dry in a hurry. Not wise. At todays fuel prices, that’s a given.

Two: If you are thinking domestic SUVs, you won’t find one (aside from a Suburban) that has a third seat with enough leg room to seat one person comfortably let alone three jammed into the seat.

Three: the insurance is higher on these big trucks as opposed to a van that can seat seven reasonably well.

Think about the cost of maintenance as well.

Example: I put four new tires (on sale) on my Tahoe last November and they cost me $700 installed.

I have an '02 Chev Tahoe that I bought only for towing our travel trailer and after sitting in numerous vehicles (different types and sizes) including attempting to sit in the rear third seat, I decided to buy one without a third row.

We don’t require a third row seat anyway but I quickly realized SUVs aren’t very roomy inside. Looks are deceiving.

Truth be known, if I had to transport seven people at a time I’d be looking for a full sized van or even a mini-school bus. Insurance costs are questionable though.

Problem is, any vehicle big enough to do the job safely and comfortably is definitely going to be expensive.

I’m sorry but your requirements REQUIRE a BIG SUV. A Honda Pilot or Toyota 4-runner or Ford Explorer are NOT going to meet your requirements. 7 people AND a large cargo space?? need something BIG.