So, you’re looking for the best 8-passenger SUV. You must be the car pool driver. Or maybe you just have a really big family. Then again, maybe you want to haul your own baseball team around (pitchers need their own vehicles, prima donnas that they are). Whatever the reason, you want the maximum amount of passenger space possible for your sport utility vehicle, not to mention the extra power you’ll get with the big boys which will allow for greater towing capacity, more cargo space, and power to spare. Granted, SUVs have gotten smaller over the years, but there are still those out there that command space on the road; they command respect with their extra seats, extra gadgets, and extra muscle. What’s left out there with all these extra trimmings? Let’s take a look at the best 8-passenger SUVs.
The early models, the ’08 and ’09, can probably be had for a much lower price considering the new models are more technologically savvy. New models have concentrated on adding such technological essentials as the rear DVD system, power outlets, and Bluetooth wireless technology. No matter what year you choose, you’ll get Lexus luxury with a smooth, comfortable ride. The LX570 provides ample rear cargo room and the 5.7L VVT V8 engine provides more than enough power for hauling and towing capacity.
This could possibly be the most diverse of all the Sport Utility Vehicles with nearly a dozen trim options offering such choices as 2- and 4-wheel drive, flex fuel or standard fuel, and a variety of optional equipment. With two V8 choices, the 4.6L and the 5.7L, neither option will leave you hurting for power. This is the SUV for those who regularly haul a lot people or gear. Thanks to the bigger engines, fuel economy is not best and the maneuverability in tight spots may leave you sweating at times. Other than that, the reliability and comfort of the Sequoia make it a top choice in the 8-passenger line.
The Pilot has carried on Honda’s tradition of reliable, economical vehicles for some time now. It comes standard with the 3.5L V6 engine and is available in both two and four-wheel drive. Not as roomy as some of the alternatives, it is roughly $10K cheaper than some higher-end models. While fuel efficiency is comparable to many Honda models, one drawback may be Honda’s choice of materials in building the interior. Several parts, including a rear hatch cover, are made with very thin plastic that will break if handled in too rough a manner. Despite some of the cheaper flaws, the cargo room and economy make it a steal for the price.
The Enclave combines the roominess and style of a wagon with the comfort and ride of a luxury sedan. The 4 year/50,000 mile warranty make reliability a non-issue and the plethora of options make the Enclave comparable to many luxury models that are priced nearly double the Enclave’s MSRP. It is also one of the safest models, garnishing a 5-star crash rating in all front and side impact tests. The one drawback seems to be the positioning of controls. If you’re taller than 6 foot, leg room in the driver’s seat may become an issue as the steering wheel is positioned awkwardly with the driver’s seat pushed all the way back, despite the wheel’s telescoping ability.