We Indians love to take our loved ones along for weekend drives or the long planned getaway and this is where large, family cars come into the picture. These 7/8 seater cars are usually called MPVs (multi-purpose vehicle) or MUVs (multi-utility vehicle) as they are used for a variety of purposes – for example, moving goods from one place to another for your small business needs and so on.
Thankfully, given our budget constraints, manufactures offer almost a dozen 7/8 seater models under Rs 10 lakh in India. These includes models with various fuel types of diesel, petrol, CNG as well as 4×4 options! Lets have a look at all of these
7 seater cars in india below 5 lakhs : Maruti Omni
Price: Rs 3.07 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: N/A
Believe it or not, the good old Omni continues to sell in great numbers in smaller towns and even in popular hill stations due to its small size, large cabin and extremely low running costs. Maruti sold more units in Omni in October 2018 that what Volkswagen and Nissan together managed in the same month. We kid you not! At an on-road price of Rs 3 lakh, the Omni offers you a lot of bang for your buck. The design hasn’t changed at all since its introduction decades back though Maruti has given minor tweaks in the form of matt black inserts up front, clear lens headlamps and better looking wheel covers. The cabin though has got major updates and looks good for the price. Its a very practical place to be in too – for example the high mounted cup holder on the right side, lockable glovebox with an open space on the top, wide front bench with a little central padding for a third person! Space at the back remains impressive for a small car and the Omni can be had in two versions of 5 and 8 seater. The latter option is what we will discuss here and this comes with two rows at the back, facing each other. Feature wise though, the Omni lets you down – no keyless entry, no air-con, no power steering or power windows. The Omni continues to be powered by a super reliable 3 cylinder 800cc engine that offers one of the lowest maintenance costs. Yes, given its placement, it does heat up the front seats but that simply frees up so much space on the inside. The Omni is still a very popular choice for family users looking at a cheap means of transport. No, its not safe but provides ample A to B performance. At this price, you simply cannot ignore the Omni for the versatility it offers.
- Long term reliability and running costs
- Ample space four adults and luggage
- Easy to drive – peppy motor, excellent visibility
- Feature stripped
- Not safe at all – no safety aids here
- Engine location means front seats very hot in summers
Latest update: Maruti Omni to be discounted from October 2020
2) 7 seater cars in india below 5 lakhs : Maruti Eeco
Price: Rs 3.77 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: N/A
As popular as its own younger sibling the Omni, the Eeco is always in demand in the commercial segment – both for passengers and cargo. In smaller towns, small business owners also rely on the Eeco for their daily needs as well as ferrying their family for outings. For approximately 25% higher cost over the Omni, the Eeco does deliver a lot. Its larger, has more space, a more powerful engine and is overall a much safer car. Plus ofcourse it also gets an optional air-con but sadly that is only reserved for the 5 seater petrol / CNG options.
Powering the Eeco is a tried and tested 1196cc motor that puts out 73 bhp of power and 101 Nm of torque. This engine has proven its reliable nature over the years and is peppy enough for highway usage as well. Infact, the Eeco can hold triple digit speeds all day long!
Like the Omni, the Eeco doesnt get any creature comforts like keyless entry, audio system or power steering. Maruti knows a large chunk of buyers are commercial operators and hence all these omissions. Though the steering is heavy at lower speeds, it becomes manageable above speeds of 20-30km/h. Talking of which, an area of discomfort for family usage is the bouncy and hard suspension. Though this is a good set-up for hauling heavy items or a full load of seven and their luggage, when driven with just a few people on board, the Eeco tends to bounce a lot, thereby making the ride very uncomfortable.
Like the Omni, given the price, the Eeco is hard to ignore!
- Long term reliability and low running costs
- Space on offer at this price
- Factory fitted CNG kit and air-con option
- Design is dated for private usage
- No creature comfort or safety aids at all
- Ride is uncomfortable for family usage
- Engine is not very efficient
3) 7 seater cars in india below 5 lakhs: Datsun Go Plus
Price: Rs 4.26 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Current Offers: None
Datsun recently rolled out a heavily revised version of the Go Plus 7 seater with improvements done across all parameters. The car indeed has improved massively and retails for less as compared to the outgoing model. This includes dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors being standard across all versions – a segment first. The Datsun Go Plus looks much better on the outside with revisions done to both bumpers, new horizontal DRLs and inclusion of larger alloy wheels. And there are even more changes on the inside – the entire cabin is redesigned and looks nice for a Rs 5 lakh car. Higher trims also get a segment leading touch screen interface that sounds good and works well to inputs. Space up front is nice though at the back, cars like the Santro fare better. The hand brake lever is back to its conventional position, you can a closing lid for the glovebox and the dual tone theme looks good (Go hatchback gets all black cabin). The highlight here is the unique 3rd row of seats that makes this a 7 seater. But only on paper. The problem is the excess which is difficult and once seated, you will release the lack of space. The last row then is only fit for kids in our opinion. That said, with this row folded, boot space is impressive.
We like the way the Go Plus drives and the reason for this is the 1198cc engine : this is bigger than all other rivals in the price band and similar in capacity to the Tata Tiago. Sadly, no optional AMT is offered and the engine is about 15-20% less efficient than other cars but far more efficient than the Omni and Eeco discussed above. If you are in the marker for a seven seater with the last row being reserved for kids or small adults, the Go Plus makes a lot of sense – its comfortable, feature loaded and looks nice for a MPV.
The Go Plus comes with a 5 year warranty set-up and 2 years of ’Datsun Care‘ comprehensive all-inclusive car service package that offers peace of mind to customers.
- Looks great for a small MPV
- Feature on offer : dual airbags, ABS standard
- Powerful engine – efficient too
- Revised cabin looks upmarket
- High speed manners
- Engine gets rough / vibey at higher revs
- Limited network, brand appeal
- 3rd row is best for kids
August 2018: 490
September 2018: 597
Latest update: Launch of new Go Plus model in September 2018
4) 7 seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Mahindra Supro
Price: Rs 5.25 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
The most affordable 7 seater diesel vehicle comes from the house of Mahindra. Its called the Supro and even available in an all-electric variant but that costs upwards of Rs 12 lakh. Back to the regular diesel powered versions then – this one comes with a 909cc unit belting out as much as 45 bhp of power depending on the version you pick and a healthy dose of torque, 98 Nm. As per the engine you pick, top speed will vary from 70 to over 95 km/h. Mahindra claims a certified economy of 23.5 kmpl for the Supro. Truth be told, the Supro does not look appealing at all for urban use. This is targeted towards smaller towns and rural markets where the vehicle will find lot of takers. Things are slightly better on the inside and this one even offers power steering and air-conditioning as optional. We haven’t driven one but as per our understanding, the Supro provides good comfort for the price. Mahindra even sells a school van model and optional CNG kits. Mahindra also offers an exclusive life insurance worth Rs 10 lakh to customers and other benefits. However, all said and done, if you are looking at a 7 seater for pure family and personal use and stay in metro cities, the Supro can be overlooked.
- Efficient diesel motor
- Space for 8 adults
- Only Diesel 7 seater engine at this price
- Dated design
- Brand appeal for metro cities
- Outdated cabin design for a Rs 6 lakh vehicle
5) 7 seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Maruti Gypsy
Price: Rs 7.12 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
India’s most affordable 4×4 and 8 seater is also part of the list here. The good old Maruti Gypsy is still a hit in various 4×4 groups and why not? With a peppy 1.3 litre petrol motor and light weight, the Gypsy gets good performance for both on and off-road usage. It gets a manual 4×4 transfer case with low ratio as well. Bare to the bones, the Gypsy is not your everyday car but one that can serve you for over a decade without requiring any major maintenance at all. The design has largely remained unchanged since its launch and so have the interiors. Basic, utilitarian and made for a purpose, there are no creature comforts at all. But this one can carry as many as 8 people in comfort with the side facing rear seats through any terrain, a reason why it is still so popular for jungle safaris. However, ride quality is bouncy and good only when you load it up with passengers and their luggage. This is one area where Maruti has made no effort to make an everyday 4×4 for Indians. The new Jimny was highly anticipated but Maruti has made no official statements about its launch in India. Till then, to satisfy 4×4 fantasies of adventure seekers, the Gypsy is the only petrol option.
- Go anywhere capability
- Peppy petrol, reasonably efficient too
- Long term reliability and maintenance
- Relatively lower price as compared to other 4x4s
- Uncomfortable – hard ride quality
- No creature comfort at all
6) 7 seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Mahindra Thar
Price: Rs 7.8 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Benefits of upto Rs 6000
Yes, another 4×4 in the list. But let us warn you – if you are looking for a car primarily meant for family use, skip to the next car in the list. The Thar is manufactured for a reason and that is to ferry people in rural markets or to have a reliable workhorse for your farm or estates. Do note that only the Di model is available for under Rs 10 lakh on road and gets an optional 4×4 as well. The CRDe model, the one that looks and feels better is about Rs 11 lakh on-road. As you can see here, the Thar Di wears an old school theme and frankly, looks basic. Step inside and the same theme continues – its made for a purpose and so we wont complain much. Apart from a lockable glovebox, no other creature comfort is offered. The Di Thar comes with a 2523cc engine which puts out just 63 bhp of power (the Eeco puts out 73 remember?) along with 195 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox which average shift quality. If you hit rural markets of states like Rajasthan you will a lot of these working overtime, hauling no less than 12-15 people along with goods and even animals! Overall, the Thar is more of a recreational vehicle for city dwellers like us.
- Most affordable diesel 4×4
- Can take in a lot of abuse
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Feature stripped
- Looks Basic
- Not your every drive!
Sales: (clubbed with CRDe)
7) 7 seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Maruti Ertiga
Price: Rs 8.39 lakh onwards (on-road)
Maruti has launched the 2nd generation Ertiga in India. This one surely is the star performer when it comes to a 7 seater MPV under Rs 10 lakh. The new Ertiga really is an all-new product and this is evident from the styling itself. It looks mature and has grown up in size too. We love the bold new face with the raised hood and ditto for the sporty bumper. Step inside and the surprises continue. The cabin design of the Ertiga is excellent and could pass off on a 10-14 lakh rupee sedan too – for example the wooden finish on the fascia and the doors, the classy speedometer console with the TFT screen for the petrol model and the sleek climate control knobs. Maruti says due to the bigger dimensions and pushing of the engine mounting ahead, they have liberated 70mm of extra room for the 3rd row passengers. Further every row gets more shoulder room too.
The Ertiga comes across a feature loaded MPV. Dual Airbags, ABS and parking sensors are standard while the top spec Z+ models get the SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system as well. The only feature missing here in our opinion is a cruise control. The big news is that the new Ertiga gets the same 1.5 litre petrol motor that debuted in the new Ciaz. Inspite of putting out more power and higher torque, it is more efficient and also comes with an optional automatic. This petrol AT combination however will set you back by over Rs 10 lakh on-road.
Thanks to the 5th generation HEARTEC platform, the new Ertiga is stronger and yet retains the same kerb weight. NVH levels have gone down and the new suspension is said to be more comfortable. Without a doubt then, the new Ertiga is the best 7 seater MPV in the price band.
- New deign looks sleek
- All-new cabin is excellent in terms of space
- Feature loaded
- Efficient automatic petrol
- No diesel automatic
- Petrol automatic not available in ZXI+
- Omission of cruise control is a surprise
- Rs 1.4-Rs 1.5 lakh premium for diesel
8) 7 seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Mahindra Bolero
Price: Rs 8.57 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Did you know the largest selling Mahindra in India is the Bolero? Drive outside the confines of your metro city into small towns and rural markets or towns based in mountains and you will be amazed with the number of Boleros on the road. This rugged MPV continues to bring in great revenues for Mahindra and is available in various body styles including pick-ups. However we will concentrate on the passenger version here, the latest sub 4 meter version which is called the Bolero+. Mahindra cleverly shaved off some length from the bumpers of the Bolero in order to get it under 4m in length. Next, they introduced a diesel unit with capacity of less than 1500cc. These two factors allowed the Bolero to enjoy small car tax benefits which means in terms of value for money, you can’t get a bigger 7 seater for your money. The top end version for example retails at an onroad price of Rs 9.7 and gets audio system with Bluetooth, a proper driver info display, air-con with heater, front demister, all four power windows and even voice massaging system!
The Bolero+ continues to look old school but this goes down well with a large set of buyers. Step inside and the same story continues – we dont remember the last time Mahindra updated the Bolero’s cabin. Space is good in the 1st rows but not so at the back – the last row also sees the vehicle using side facing jump seats. But the Bolero offers an easy drive for the size and comes with bullet proof reliability. Safety isn’t its fore (no ABS, no airbags) but as we said, this is one of the backbones of rural markets and smaller towns. The Bolero continues to set sales charts on fire…
- Substantial vehicle for the price
- 1.5 diesel offers ample low end grunt
- NVH levels are superb on the inside
- Old school design works well for most
- No safety aids
- Limited passenger space
- Not an everyday personal vehicle
Sep : 7046
9) 7 seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Tata Sumo
Price: Rs 8.9 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
And how could we forget the Tata Sumo? Launched in 1994, it was a runaway success for the company but today, struggles to get past 750 units on a monthly basis. Tata tried reviving it with models like the Grande and Movus but failed. The current Sumo comes in three versions of CX, EX and GX and largely sells under the commercial plate. This has also effected its brand appeal for private buyers. Tata Motors hasn’t changed the design of the Sumo apart from minor cosmetic tweaks and the same goes for the cabin which frankly isn’t expected from a vehicle that can cost over Rs 10 lakh on-road for the top spec version. However what the Sumo offers is space and comfort, one area where it is far better than the cheaper Bolero. Feature wise though, it again disappoints for family usage. Missing on the option list are Airbags, ABS, audio system and other features. To be honest, as a commercial cab, the Sumo does just fine. But for private use, its better to invest more into a proper, safe and a comfortable 7/8 seater option.
- The Sumo offers excellent space for 7-9 passengers
- Long term reliability is excellent – its a tried and tested product
- Ride quality is good
- Wears a commercial tag – hence private buyers stay away
- Missing safety aids
- Boring cabin design, missing features
10) 7 Seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Mahindra TUV3OO
Price: Rs 9.5 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 38,000 cash, upto Rs 15,000 exchange bonus (November)
The most rugged and butch looking compact SUV (SUV under 4m in length) is the Mahindra TUV3OO. The boxy design works well for a lot of owners and its the TUV that gives you the most ego massaging driving experience. It also looks larger than the EcoSport and Brezza and this works well in terms of road presence.
Getting inside is tough as compared to other SUVs but once seated, you are surprised with the fit and finish levels as well as above average cabin design. Given the massive discounts, you can pick from the base T4+ or the one up T6+ variant. The latter gets an infotainment system with 4 speakers, Mahindra BlueSense app compatibility, air-con, power steering, all four power windows, dual Airbags, ABS and even a rear was wiper. And unlike the EcoSport / Breeza, this one has a unique 3rd of seats that makes this a 7 seater. However, the last row is best for kids or adults not over 5.4 in height. Further, getting into the 3rd row is a task as you need to climb up from the back door.
Powering the TUV is a 1.5-litre turbo charged diesel unit that offers excellent NVH (noise, vibrations, harshness) levels – infact, on the move, the TUV is impressively quite on the inside. However, outright performance is lacking due to its weight and the TUV feels best under 3000rpm. There is also an optional AMT but will not fit in the budget mentioned here. Mahindra also sells a longer TUV Plus but price for that start upwards of Rs 11 lakh on-road.
To summarise, the 7 seater TUV is a great product from Mahindra, comfortable and smooth but lacks the eagerness of rivals or a spacious 2nd row.
- Looks big – good for massaging owner’s ego
- Commanding driving posture
- Smooth diesel, NVH levels are excellent
- Body kits available at dealer level
- Extra weight hampers performance
- Cramped 2nd row
- Subjective looks
- Dynamically not as good as rivals
August : 1966
September : 1786
Latest update: TUV300 Plus launched
11) 7 seater cars under Rs 10 lakh: Renault Lodgy
Price: Rs 9.5 lakh onwards
Discounts: Rs 30,000 cash on Standard, RxE
If you want a vehicle that your family will love to be driven in, of all the cars we have discussed till now, its the Lodgy that makes the most sense after the Ertiga. However, in a budget of Rs 10 lakh, only the base RxE can be purchased. Fret not as even the so called base model comes with power steering, air-con and ABS as standard. It may not look as appealing as the more expensive Stepway variants but the Lodgy is more about the cabin space and comfort. The cabin is laid out well and emphasis is clearly on providing practicality, very essential when moving around with loves ones on board. Space across the three rows is impressive and so is the ride quality, definitely one of the strongest points about this Renault MPV. The base or the STD variants comes with a 85 PS version of the same 1.5 dCi motor that powers other Renault offerings like the Duster and the Sunny and even cars from Nissan’s stable – the Terrano and upcoming Kicks. Mated to a 5 speed manual ‘box, the engine offers better performance than other 7/8 seater vehicles like the Sumo and the Bolero and yet delivers 15-25% higher fuel economy. True the Lodgy has not been setting sales charts on fire but trust us, this remains a very capable family workhorse.
- Cabin space and feeling of airiness
- Reliable and efficient diesel motor
- Super ride quality
- Poor resale value
- Base STD looks unappealing in terms of aesthetics
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