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Estate Cars, MPVs, SUVS – What’s The Difference?

Cars come in all shapes and sizes – that we’re all aware of. One manufacturer’s idea of a type of car might be different to another’s – throwing even more variation into the mix. However, there is one thing that’s universal when it comes to all kinds of models. The number of seats.

Sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to just define a car by the number of seats it has. Especially if you’re looking for vehicles to accommodate the entire family. But to make it easier for you, we’ve looked at the different types of 7 seater cars you could go into your local car showroom and buy today.

Estate Cars

For many an estate car features five seats, but also provides a desirably spacious interior. Owners can get the best of both worlds in a sense – they get a luxurious vehicle that’s very practical. And unsurprisingly the market is full of fantastic examples of 5 seater estate cars.

However, there’s also a good selection of 7 seater cars available too – to accommodate all budgets. You’ll find rugged estate cars – great for those living out in the countryside – like the Mitsubishi Outlander, as well as top-end luxury, with models like the Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate. With the refined engine technology many car manufacturers have employed in recent years, estate cars have become a whole lot more fuel efficient.


2014-Mercedes-E-Class-1. Photo credit: Mercedes via Germancarforum and Automonthly

You can also fold down the very back row of seats in most estate cars too – giving you the option to make room for luggage, or keep them up when the kids are on-board.


MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles), as you’d expect from their name, are incredibly versatile. Traditionally referred to as people carriers in some sections, they’re typically used by large family units. Smaller 7 seater cars – like estate models – only provide so much room; MPVs, however, provide generous amounts of boot and cabin space.

There are lots of good MPV models that make use of innovative technology to make driving experiences smoother than they’ve ever been before. Whereas the accusation has been leveled at larger vehicles being somewhat cumbersome, the 7 seater cars available now are anything but.

Peugeot’s 3008, for example, boasts Dynamic Roll Control. This system enables drivers to experience the agile performance of a hatchback, and the smooth roll of a saloon car. Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso, meanwhile, offers lane departure warning.

Interior Peugeot 3008 Photo credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Interior Peugeot 3008 Photo credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This unique system uses a camera – installed in the base of the rear view mirror – which senses when the white lines of a lane have accidentally been crossed. It then sends a vibration through the seat-belt to remind the driver. It’s all designed to make the driver’s life easier.


2014 Acura MDX. Image credit; Honda Photo


The best option for those that live in remote locations, SUVs are similar to MPVs and estate cars in some ways. However, the main difference is that they feature four-wheel drive systems. This enables them to make light work of off-road conditions and treacherous weather conditions. Outwardly rugged and ready to tackle anything thrown their way, SUVs are also surprisingly stylish in the way they’re designed. So, you don’t have to compromise on style.

Louisa Jenkins

Louisa Jenkins

Louisa Jenkins is a car blogger. She loves nothing more than blogging about  the latest innovations to 7 seater cars, newest models and fuel efficiency technology.

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