Interest in larger SUVs has continued to grow with consumers who are looking for comfort along with good safety ratings. If you’re in need of more room, an 8 passenger SUV is a safe and sporty alternative to the tired old minivan.
Let’s take a closer look at four of the top rated 8 passenger SUVs.
The 2012 Nissan Armada tops the list in pricing, coming in at close to $44,000. The 2012 GMC Yukon and the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe are each priced at just under $40,000. Finally at the lower end of the scale is the Honda Pilot which comes in at about $31,000, making it the most affordable alternative.
Built for families, or business owners in need of space to transport crews, these full-size SUVs have a lot going for them. Of course, you can easily seat eight in the spacious interiors that are the hallmark of an 8 passenger SUV. Best of all though is you can do that without sacrificing either comfort or cargo space.
In full-size SUVs there is simply more room overall, so you can be comfortable wherever you’re sitting. Each model has bucket seats in the front. Second row seating in all but the Armada is 60-40 split benches with lots of leg room and head space. The Armada comes with a 40-20-40 split-bench for even more passenger comfort.
The third row of seating in smaller SUVs is often cramped and flat out uncomfortable. But in these full-size SUVs, there’s plenty of leg room, more than ample hip space, and lots of room overhead.
Both the Armada and the Pilot come with a 60-40 split bench set-up, while in the Yukon and the Tahoe the third row is set-up with a 50-50 split bench. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these arrangements.
If you find that you need more room for cargo, the 50-50 bench seats in the Yukon and the Tahoe are removable. But passengers end up with less seating room with this configuration. With the Nissan Armada, getting extra cargo room is as easy as folding down the second and third row seats. This is a lot more efficient than having to remove a bench seat.
The Armada has the most spacious arrangement, providing passengers with more shoulder space and a full six inches more leg room in the third row, compared to the other SUVs.
The sleek appearance of this new generation of SUVs replaces the boxy look of earlier SUVs. Along with the re-design comes a better safety rating. The roll-over problems that plagued SUVs in the past have been addressed, and safety ratings are at an all-time high.
All four of the 8 passenger SUV models we are looking at have taken safety to a new level, and as a result have earned close to perfect safety ratings.
Each of these SUVs includes airbags in four critical areas: front, driver side, passenger side, and overhead. All have side impact bars, as well as anti-locking brake systems. To minimize the possibility of a roll-over, electronic stability technology has been installed. The system used varies from one manufacturer to another.
Of course the main drawback of driving a full-sized SUV is fuel efficiency. Because these vehicles are bigger and heavier, they come with a more powerful engine. It’s no surprise that a bigger engine goes hand in hand with greater fuel consumption.
The 2012 GMC Yukon has a 5.3L V-8 320 HP motor. The 2012 Nissan Armada comes with a 5.6L V-8 317 HP engine. The 2012 Chevy Tahoe is powered by a 5.3L V-8 320 HP engine, while the 2012 Honda Pilot has the smallest motor at 3.5L V-6 250 HP.
Gas mileage is affected accordingly. Coming in at the top of the list for best fuel economy is the Honda Pilot with an estimated MPG of 18-city and 25-highway. Both the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe get an estimated 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The Nissan Armada gets 12 mpg in city driving conditions and 18 mpg for highway driving.
Your best bet is to visit each dealership and take a test drive to see for yourself which one you prefer. With lots of extras available in all models, you can customize your ride the way you want it, and choose the look that appeals to you. There is really no bad choice when it comes to an 8 passenger SUV. It comes down to getting what you need.