Best 8 Seater Cars & People Movers For Australians

Are you in the market for an 8 seater car? These cars are great for bigger families, car pooling and of course family camping trips. Because of their versatility 8 seater cars are growing in popularity throughout Australia, but not all 8 seater cars are made equal. This is why we’ve created a list of the very best 8 seater cars currently available for sale in Australia.

Related: Australia’s Best SUVs Compared

Best 8 Seater Cars

1. Mercedes Benz Viano

ford explorer  Mercedes-Benz Vito 8 seater car

Mercedes is definitely one of the first names most people think of when they’re thinking about car brands. Well known for its variety of highly luxurious vehicles, Mercedes has brought the same level of luxury their smaller vehicles are renowned for to the Viano. The Viano’s luxurious interior as well as the quality of its exterior shell are why it is currently considered the best 8 seater car currently being sold in Australia.

Here are some of the Viano’s best features: 

  • The Viano is powered by a V6 3.0 liter turbo diesel engine, making it the best 8 seater ride in the country at 165kW/440Nm. Its BlueEfficiency engine is also designed for maximum fuel efficiency(of around 8.6ltr/100km) and minimal emissions(with exhaust CO2 scores at 226g/km). This makes it a great drive for anyone who wants to save money on fuel and reduce their impact on the environment while still enjoying all the luxuries of a 8 seater car.
  • The Viano features 8 trimmed seats draped with Lugano leather. It also features dashboard controls that rival what you expect to find in an E-class sedan and a command APS system with a 6.5 inch colour display. Voice recognition and HDD navigation give the Viano an extra level of luxury.

2. Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle


Designed to handle all kinds of roads well, this vehicle is perfect for the rugged driver. It might not be quite as luxurious as the Viano but it does still have a spacious interior capable of comfortably holding 8 people or quite a bit of cargo.

The Transporter Shuttle’s best features are: 

  • The Shuttle comes with a total of 5 different engine options. All of these options are 2.8 litres and they range in power from 84PS to 180PS.
  • It offers a rather respectable fuel efficiency of 30-32 miles per gallon. This is particularly impressive when compared to most other 8 seater cars.
  • The Transporter Shuttle is equipped with far more safety features than many other 8 seater cars. These features include an electronic stabilizing system, traction control and multiple airbags.

Related: Australia’s Best 7 Seater Cars

3. Chrysler Town and Country

2016 Chrysler Town and Country

The Chrysler Town and Country is an excellent choice for the average family. Its 3.6 liter engine makes it perfect for long journeys and like the others on this list its interior is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate all 8 people.

Some of the Chrysler Town and Country’s best features are: 

  • This model comes with a 3.6 liter V6 engine which can produce 283HP and 260lb-ft torque.
  • The Chrysler Town and Country offers a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon on open roads and around 17 miles per gallon in cities.
  • It has easily foldable back seats so it can accommodate large amounts of cargo.
  • The Chrysler Town and Country has several safety features including anti-lock disk brakes, stability control, traction control and of course multiple airbags. This makes it one of the safest 8 seater cars currently on the Australian market.

4. Kia Grand Carnival

8 seater cars compared

The Kia Grand Carnival is a very practical choice for big families, both affordable and spacious. It offers enough space for even taller people to be comfortable in the back seats.

Here are some of the Carnival’s best features: 

  • The Carnival features an attractive van-like design.
  • Upon purchase you can choose between a petrol engine and a diesel engine.
  • The Grand Carnival is great for moving trailers with a 750KG towing capacity.

Mercedes Benz VianoBlueEfficiency V6 3.0 liter turbo diesel engine with voice recognition & HDD navigation, 8 trimmed seats draped with Lugano leather & amazing dashboard controls
Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle5 different engine options from 84PS - 180PS with fuel efficiency of 30-32 mpg, safety features include electronic stabilizing system, traction control & multiple airbags
Chrysler Town and Country3.6 liter engine with spacious interior, one of the safest 8 seater cars in Australia
Kia Grand CarnivalAffordable & best for big families or even taller people, can move trailers with 750 Kg load
Toyota TaragoHeated leather seats with 2 sun roofs, sliding doors good for tight parking spaces
Ford Explorer6-way power seat for driver with option for manual recline, choice of 4-cylinder or V6 engines & includes a host other extra options

5. Toyota Tarago

toyota tarago

The Toyota Tarago is an old favourite. Many people who bought the Tarago when the original model came out are still driving in it more than ten years later. If you’re looking for an 8 seater car to last you a long time, the Tarago is one of the best models you can choose.

Some of the Toyota Tarago’s best features are:

  • Heated leather seats
  • Two sun roofs that can both be opened to give the interior a nice airy feeling
  • The seats in the second row offer a reclining option and even come with foot rests to make your passengers feel like they’re traveling first class (these features come on two seats)
  • Sliding doors are perfect for parking in tight spaces

6. Ford Explorer

ford explorer reviewed

Brought to you by one of the most well respected car companies in the world, the Ford Explorer is everything you would expect from the brand. It’s a touch less spacious than most of the other cars on this list, but it’s still an excellent model. There are actually two models of this car, the Explorer Limited and the Explorer Sport, which come with different visual trimmings but most of the same crucial features.

Here are some of the Ford Explorer’s best features: 

  • Owners can choose a fuel efficient turbo-charged four cylinder engine instead of the standard V6 engine
  • A six way power seat for the driver with a manual reclining option
  • The Ford Explorer comes with different packages of extra options such as power-adjusted pedals, ventilated front seats and a navigation system

Purchasing an 8 seater car is a big decision, but you simply can’t go wrong with one of these models. Take some time to think about which features matter most to you and try to find a dealer who will let you take the car for a test drive before you make a purchase. You never really know how you’ll feel about a car until you’re driving it!

8 Seater Vehicle Buying Guide

Before rushing to a car dealership, be sure you are armed with information essential to your purchase. It is never enough to like and tick a vehicle from a catalog. What is more important is your overall satisfaction after you have bought your new vehicle.

Size/Market Segment

Commercial vans are available in various sizes but in recent times, these minivans only come in single, full sized models.


Minivans have become significantly more expensive than previous year models. Although some vehicle brands provide you with cheaper models that start low at around the $20,000 range, most of them now start selling more than that. A host of additional equipment can lead luxury-lined models to go beyond $45,000 for starters.

Engines/Fuel Economy

V6 power has long been a standard among minivans. Expect more adequate engines to push acceleration with a combined 20 mpg. Only one manufacturer offers all-wheel drive.


Minivans are among the safest vehicles to drive on the road, armed with plenty of airbags and high-tech accident avoidance tech options. Consider crash test scores provided by the IIHS and the NHTSA.

Family-Friendly Features

Main features to look for in minivans include versatile seat configurations, power-slide doors, rear air-conditioning, entertainment system, and storage containers among others. Automatic climate control, smartphone interfaces, heated seats, USB ports, and WiFi as well as navigation systems, Bluetooth connectivity, and keyless start systems which used to be luxury features are now ordinary options for minivans.

Interior Seating

Family buyers must focus on the second row seat of a minivan because different models offer unique configurations or features that stand to benefit their users. If some units stow under the floor, others are fitted with built-in footstools.

Other models feature detachable center positions while some would slide laterally to hold three side by side child seats; some have these two combined. All modern minivans feature third row seat that fold neatly flat to the floor to accommodate more luggage. However, ease in doing so varies from one model to another.

Passenger Capacity/Interior Space

Minivans may comfortably seat 7 or 8 in and designs allow parents to move with ease to enable tending to young passengers.

Cargo Capacity

Minivans are superior to SUVs due to their passenger and cargo hauling capacity. Interiors are roomier than the new SUVs.

Operating Costs

We see SUVs as more stylish options compared to minivans when it comes to transporting family members to any destination but minivans are far better choices in terms of budget. The latter cost less to maintain and insure. They can carry more passengers without compromising positions. Compared to large crossovers, they consume lesser fuel and own more advantage vis-à-vis full-sized truck type SUVs.



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