Well, the world has lived through the days when the huge beasts of yesterday, as large as ocean liners, it seemed, cruised the streets and highways. AM radio stations played with tinny echoes in the air as they drove by, long fins gleaming and globular fenders bulging. Those were the days, weren’t they?
But then came the need for economy. Gas prices soared, and smaller cars came to accommodate the driver’s need to save on gasoline. What we call mid-sized models came first, followed by even smaller, almost midget-like vehicles, most with only two doors and seats that leaned forward to let passengers scrunch their way into the miniscule backseat area. Yes, they were better on gasoline, alright, but they certainly weren’t made for family travel or road trips with the gang.
But history has a way of repeating itself, and while many rigidly claim economic crisis still ( and there is likely more fact to that statement than we understand), many go through each day, their own bank accounts fat and sassy, and they don’t think twice about economy, particularly in the mid- to higher-class family unit. Today, people aren’t just buying long, lean, and roomy Cadillacs, or mini vans that were made with mom in mind. No, now is the time of the eight-seater, the great Incredible Bulk that not only seats our own kids, but those of practically every neighbor on the block, and the beast provides them with video and audio entertainment to boot so they stay quiet during that trip to soccer or the class play. We’ve reverted, alright, but this time with every comfort and amenity that man could possibly think of. Damn the gas prices…full speed ahead! And turn down those cartoons, please…
Well, we thought we’d reflect on the new 8-seater vehicles that have won the hearts of mothers, fathers, and children everywhere. If you are responsible for hauling anyone at anytime, you have daydreamed of owning one of these, but they can seem pricey, to say the least. In an effort to save you a bit of anxiety we have put together a list of ten of the best ones out there. They are listed from #10 to #1 – from the acceptable to the best. The prices vary, as do the extras and the specs, but were sure this will help you decide whether or not you want one, and if so, which one is best for you.
The 10 Best 8-Passenger Cars for 2020:
10. 2020 Honda Pilot
The truth of the matter is that Honda has had a lot of luck with the Pilot. It has a good price, it handles well, and is not too bad on gas. The standard version comes with front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission, as well as a five-inch display, Bluetooth, seven-speaker audio, USB ports, and a push-button ignition. And of course, it seats eight, but it’s not quite as roomy as some on this list. It is comfortable, though, and it looks good. All this for the low price of $31,550 standard.
9. 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
The Traverse by ever-popular Chevy is considered a mid-sized SUV that is capable of getting 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. If you opted to purchase one standard, you could look forward to getting an attractive SUV with a lot of storage space, and we don’t just mean for the kids. They come with either front-wheel drive or the all-wheel drive option, choice of cloth or leather, excellent safety equipment, heated power seats, and a larger infotainment screen than ever before. A bit more roomier than the pilot, and more of an eye-catcher, the has seven trim levels and starts at $29,800.
8. 2020 Chrysler Pacifica
The Pacifica has long been considered one of the cooler-looking family SUVs on the market, and it still is today, in our opinion. The 2020 model offers all kinds of space for passengers or baggage, and it comes with options like a sunroof, front seats that are ventilated, an on-board vacuum for those happy meal messes, hands-free sliding doors and lift gate, and a whole list of other options as far as entertainment and comfort go. Technically considered a minivan, it provides a smooth ride and good gas mileage, but doesn’t come with much for cargo room. The starting price on the Pacifica is around $33,700.
7. 2020 Hyundai Palisade
The Palisade also comes in either four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with about a $2000 price difference between the two. This is a brand new model for Hyundai and replaces the Santa Fe; since Hyundai has gotten more and more popular with each passing year, fans should be excited. The Palisade has three rows of seats, with each row being very generous with the room. The standard version comes with many excellent features, with additional options that are even better. Owners will also enjoy the towing power the V6 provides. This particular 8-seater has a starting price of around $31,500.
6. 2020 Toyota Highlander
Starting at $34,600, the Highlander is a family vehicle that has been proving itself for years. The 2020 model offers 21/29 mpg city/highway, respectively, the Toyota Safety Sense system, eight comfortable seats with ample restraints, a smart-key system that has push-button starting capability, five USB ports, three-zone automatic climate control, and of course, Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, and Apple Car Play compatibility. It really is all you could want for the price you pay.
5. 2020 Kia Telluride
The Telluride is not only attractive and extremely spacious on the inside, but its three rows of seats are outrageously comfortable, and the ride is smooth and quiet to boot. Unfortunately, it is missing some of the more modern amenities, like automatic parking, no rear-seat entertainment, and it comes with an audio system that is nothing to write home to mom about. Otherwise, it gets 21 mpg/city and 23 mpg/highway, and for a starting price of around $31,690 it’s a good value for what does come with it and for the way it performs. For those reasons the Telluride sits right in the middle of our list.
4. 2020 GMC Yukon
This 6-speed V8 with overdrive gets a mere 15/city and 22/highway, but the power it gives is impressive to say the least …not that you want to run it too rough with the family along for the ride. Of course, it will fit your entire clan comfortably, and you have the option of a variety of attractive trims. On the inside you are looking at all the extras you could want for the standard price, and some pretty impressive additional options if you want to spend more. Standard, we’re talking about spending approximately $50,600, and it can go as high as $70,700, but nationally you can save an average of $5,100 to $6,200 off the sticker price, so that really isn’t too bad for an SUV of this caliber.
3. 2020 Ford Expedition
For years Ford has put out some of the best-selling, highest quality vehicles on the road today, and the Expedition is no exception, which is why it makes the top three on our list. Not only is the gas mileage better than expected (17/city and 23/highway), but it comes in eight different trims, which is enough to suit just about any taste. The XLT, which is the basic model, starts at $52,810 and has the PowerFold/PowerRecline third row seat, a voice recognition communication and entertainment system, and a ten-speed Select Shift automatic tranny. It also comes with all the little extras we’ve come to know and love, from beverage holders to overhead storage, WiFi, and other things to keep the kids busy during the ride. It’s just about everything you could want in a family vehicle.
2. 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser
Back in the day, when you thought of a Land Cruiser you thought of going out on the dirt roads with your friends. But Toyota has spent a lot of time and effort taking this iconic vehicle out of the proverbial box. Today is a very nice looking vehicle with an interior to match. It comes with the basics standard, with options that include a quality entertainment system, WiFi, voice commands, and just about every other luxury you could imagine, PLUS it can handle that difficult terrain with little to no effort. The gas mileage might not be top notch, at 13/city and 17/highway, and the price might make you catch your breath ($85,415 to start), but this baby is everything you could ever want or need for your family, and it’s safe, too.
1. 2020 Lincoln Navigator
The number one spot on our list goes to the Lincoln Navigator, which we chose for the fact that it’s not only luxurious, but it can handle just about anything you can throw at it, inside and out, and the price isn’t as murderous as that of the Land Cruiser. The Escalade didn’t make it, because in our opinion it just couldn’t take the heat. The Navigator, even when standard, has more extras than some vehicles that are at the top of their model line, and it is so comfortable you almost feel like you’re driving your house. For a starting price of $75,825 you get a twin-turbo-charged engine and five selectable drive modes, along with a sixth mode called ‘slow climb’ that is a gas saver. Each of the three rows is fully equipped for comfort and adjustable to the number of passengers you have, plus you get a WiFi hotspot with an embedded modem that allows usage up to 50 feet away. With a wide array of other options, we feel you simply cannot go wrong if you can afford it; it’s simply the best, and there’s no two ways about it.
Well, there they are…our picks for the best 8-seater vehicles on the market in 2020. Of course, there are more available than what you see here. Some with lower prices, others with less options, but all are good in their own way. Make sure to check on all the safety features before making your choice, as your family is your most valuable asset. With that being said, good luck shopping, and happy, safe driving to all of you.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith