Alternative 7-Seaters: Versatile Family Vehicles from the USA and Canada


The typical 7-seaters from Europe are well-known: Citroën Berlingo, Opel Zafira, or VW Multivan are popular choices in the region. However, there are great alternatives from America., Europe's largest online marketplace for vehicles from the USA and Canada, presents interesting options.

7-seater family cars

Extraordinary 7-Seater Family Cars from Overseas - Discover New Choices

The American automotive market is one of the largest globally, offering a diverse selection of models. Here, you can find vehicles that are not available in Europe. In some cases, even re-importing European models can be financially attractive. In addition to the minivans, vans, and SUVs known in Germany, the American market also offers many exciting family cars. Compared to the 7-seaters available in Germany, overseas vehicles often boast significantly more space, powerful engines, and generous features. Plus, they are less commonly found in Germany—a perfect alternative for individualists. Good examples include SUVs like:


Some of the most notable 7-seater models from the U.S. and Canada include:

  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Cadillac Escelade
  • Cadillac XT6
  • Dodge Durango
  • GMC Yukon
  • GM Acadia

and vans

  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Ford Windstar

Some European and Asian manufacturers also offer models exclusively available in the United States.

  • Volkswagen Atlas
  • Ford Expedition
  • Toyota Squoia
  • Toyota Siena

These are some representatives specifically designed for the American market. The advantage: USCar-Trader imports these vehicles for you. Of course, they can also handle any necessary conversions and registration for your dream car. The American market offers many opportunities to drive a vehicle that is not found on every European corner.

A Brief History

Volkswagen has been working with a modular system since 2012, which has become the industry standard for the automotive industry in recent years. The so-called "Modular Transverse Matrix" (MQB) originates in the USA. There, many different bodies were already being placed on a single technical basis in the 1920s. This allowed manufacturers like Dodge, Cadillac, and others to offer new vehicles at relatively short intervals. Various models could also simultaneously be based on a single platform, keeping costs low. For example, Chevrolet offered 19 different models in 1957, which were technically identical. It was like having technology off the shelf while the body was tailored. This allowed design departments the best opportunities to be creative. Customers, in turn, enjoyed affordable prices and a wide selection.

A widespread cliché is that US cars are large vehicles with simple technology. While this may have been true in earlier years, increasing demands on drivetrain technology, emissions, consumption, and safety have emerged in the USA.

In terms of equipment, the New World was ahead. While European car buyers in the late 1930s were lucky to have heating, air conditioning was already being installed in America. Pioneers in 1938 were Nash and Studebaker, who made cooling possible for $4,000. The first standard air conditioning systems were introduced in the early 1950s. In Germany, however, air conditioning was not offered for retrofitting until 1960—initially for the VW Beetle and later for other vehicles. Many additional features that make driving easier and/or more comfortable were first offered in US cars.

Why Alternative 7-Seaters?

As mentioned earlier, the demands for size, engine power, and equipment in the USA and Canada are somewhat different from those in Europe. Naturally, the design of most vehicles available in America is anything but boring. Fans of the American lifestyle will find the optimal compromise between form, versatility, and family suitability.

American Engine Technology

Typical American large engines are known for their durability and great sound. Particularly, the big V8 engines continue to enjoy great popularity. Automatic transmissions are predominantly used. Engines and transmissions are usually operated far below their performance limits, which ensures high mileage and reliability. Fuel consumption is also moderate during typical American cruising. Vehicles only become truly thirsty when significant power is demanded. But let's be honest, who wants to race in such a car? However, even in America, the signs of the times have been recognized, and more fuel-efficient engines have been developed. Like in Europe, large engines are on the decline. Nevertheless, they are still larger in volume compared to European models. V-6 engines have become widely accepted and rarely have a displacement of less than 3.5 liters. Massive V8 engines still have a high market share.

The relatively high vehicle weight, combined with the high engine power and predominantly large torque, provides high towing capacity. While most European vehicles in this class have a permissible trailer load of 2 to 2.5 tons, American vehicles can often tow trailers of more than 4 tons.

The trend in Europe is increasingly towards smaller engines, from which more and more power is demanded. This certainly reduces fuel consumption. However, this comes at the cost of increased wear and tear. More complex engines are being developed, which are prone to failure, expensive, and cumbersome to repair. But even these smaller yet powerful engines can be found in the United States.

Electric mobility is also on the rise in the States. In addition to Tesla, two other manufacturers dominate the American market and score points with their long ranges. Lucid claims that its luxury cruiser, the Lucid Air, can cover more than 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) on a single battery charge. Its acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (about 62 miles per hour) in 2.5 seconds leaves many Porsche drivers pale with envy. Rivian offers the R1S, a three-row electric SUV with 7 seats. Depending on the battery package, ranges between 420 and 510 kilometers (about 261 to 317 miles) are achievable.

Outlook for the Future

In the future, change will also come to America. As in Europe, discussions are taking place about changes in relation to climate change. Stricter emission regulations (similar to those in Europe) are being considered, as well as the introduction of a quota for electric mobility. By 2032, a maximum of one-third of vehicles are to be equipped with an internal combustion engine.

Design from Another World

From the early years of automobile manufacturing, American vehicles were characterized by a distinct design. Everyone is familiar with the classics from Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, and Dodge. Gigantic tail fins, hoods as large as ping pong tables, and excessive chrome trimmings were hallmarks of the cruisers of yesteryear. Even today, the shapes and sheer size of US cars stand out from the crowd. Admittedly, such spectacular design language as in the fifties to seventies of the last century no longer exists. Since 2001, bulky and angular shapes have been predominant, perhaps an expression of the nation's willingness to defend after an attack that struck deep into the hearts of many Americans. The vehicles still undoubtedly attract attention, and the size is not only evident in their appearance. The interior of these alternatives to European cars promises ample space and flexible usability.

In general, two body styles have established themselves among the 7-seaters: vans, some of which have additional seating options and can be extended to 8 or 9 seats, and SUVs. If off-road conditions are not expected, vans usually offer more space, better road handling, and lower consumption. Off paved roads, the SUV with its all-wheel drive, higher ground clearance, and greater towing capacity is the better companion.

Non-US car manufacturers have also gained a foothold in the American market and offer vehicles specially developed for the local market. For example, Volkswagen with its 7-seater VW Atlas. The SUV not only offers more space than the Tiguan, also from VW, but also all-wheel drive.
Another interesting alternative comes from Japan with the Toyota Sequoia. Built since 2000, it offers up to 8 seats as the second-largest SUV of the manufacturer. With the new generation from 2022, a hybrid drive is also used, which enables a system output of 437 hp.

The Toyota Sienna was specifically designed for the North American market. The front-wheel drive van has up to 8 seats and is popular among New York taxi drivers.

Safety of 7-seater US Cars

In the early years, the US car industry focused less on safety. Hard steering wheels and dashboards as well as missing airbags were the norm. Robust technology, powerful engines, size, and design took precedence. This has changed over the years. Stricter regulations and an increasing safety needs of customers led to a comprehensive change in strategy. Nowadays, most US cars have extensive safety equipment. Modern 7-seaters are equipped with comprehensive airbag and restraint systems as well as many useful assistants.

How can USCar-Trader help with import?

USCar-Trader will support you in all matters related to vehicle purchases in the USA and Canada. According to customer requirements, we offer you an all-round service from purchase to the delivery of the desired vehicle, ready for registration, at your doorstep.

• Choose your dream car from our selection of more than 4 million vehicles.
• At your request, our appraiser inspects the vehicle and ensures that it meets the technical and visual requirements.
• The purchase price is paid, and the vehicle is prepared for transport to the port.
• Transport to the port.
• Sea transport to Bremerhaven
• Customs clearance
• Retrofitting and full acceptance
• Delivery to your doorstep

Are you looking for a unique 7-seater? Then browse through our extensive database. Using the search function, you can specifically search based on your criteria. Do you have any questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to us.