If you’ve got a family of six, you need a vehicle to carry them – and that’s where the best 6 passenger SUVs fit in. Of course, there are a good number of compact SUVs, but they only fit five. When you need six, you’re looking at a smaller number of compacts, and moving up into the midsize SUV territory.

Sure, you could go for a large SUV that seats seven or eight, but why to to that expense when you only need room for six? Still, some SUVs that can “seat up to 7” may work for your purposes. Keep in mind, though, that the third row in many SUVs is suitable only for children. So, even if it seats up to seven, they might be better considered best 6 passenger SUVs.

  • 2011 Ford FlexFirst introduced as a 2009 model, the Ford Flex for 2011 continues to feature retro-styled exterior, family-friendly interior gadgets, powerful

    and fuel-efficient EcoBoost optional engine, and spacious third row. Six seats are standard with captain’s chairs in the second row, but there is a 7-seat option. Car and Driver observes (of the 2009 Ford Flex): “Another deal maker is the standard two-butt third row that is quite comfortable for average-size adults – knees and toes included – and getting back there is a snap, thanks to a single-motion second-row release and huge, tall rear doors.” Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $29,075. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway.

  • 2011 GMC AcadiaThough it’s a midsize SUV, the 2011 GMC Acadia can seat up to eight. Even with all three rows in use, there’s 24.1 cubic feet of cargo space –

    perfect for fitting all the family’s gear without cramping anyone’s style. In fact, Acadia is class-leading in interior space. Starting MSRP is $31,840. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway (front-wheel drive 3.6-liter V6 engine). Consumer Guide says: “Acadia is tailor-made for buyers who need a minivan but don’t want to drive one. This Best Buy crossover is dynamically capable, comes standard with a host of safety features, and offers several unusual and useful options. Though we consider it a midsize, those shopping large SUVs will find Acadia a more-efficient alternative.”

  • 2011 Chevrolet TraverseSibling to the GMC Acadia, the less-expensive – but no less versatile – 2011 Chevrolet Traverse seats up to eight, has class-leading

    cargo capacity, the same impressive 17/24 mpg fuel economy as Acadia, and starts at an MSRP of $29,224. MSN.com says: “There is a plethora of crossover SUVs to choose from today and they come in all sizes. If you regularly tote around six or seven passengers, occasionally load plywood sheets or tow up to 5,200 pounds, the Traverse should be added to your shopping list.”

  • 2011 Mazda CX-9If you need a midsize SUV that’s fun to drive and can seat up to seven in three spacious rows, the 2011 Mazda CX-9 is a good choice for best 6 passenger SUVs. Even if you just need room for six, there’s plenty of legroom and cargo space. In addition, the materials are quite upscale. The Kansas City Star’s Tom Strongman (published in Cars.com), says of the 2009 model: “The CX-9’s interior is as nice as a luxury sedan’s. Carefully executed styling details are evident throughout the vehicle.” MSRPs start at $29,135. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway (FWD) and 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway (all-wheel drive).

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