Consumer Reports Best 8-Passenger SUVs for Less Than $40,000

Finding an eight-passenger SUV is getting easier and easier. But, these are big vehicles so they’re often at the pricier end of the SUV market. Luckily manufacturers are working to meet the needs of families who need to get all of the kids and cousins around but don’t have $60,000 for a new Jeep Grand Wagoneer. These SUVs that seat eight for less than $40,000 are also stylish, have all of the safety features you’ve come to expect, and look good. Oh, and they’re all some of Consumer Reports best eight-passenger SUVs.

1: Toyota Highlander, $35,855

The new Grand Highlander will be bigger than this current Toyota Highlander, which Consumer Reports recommends.
Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The Toyota Highlander sometimes gets lost in the shuffle at Toyota with the off-road (and seven-seater) 4Runner and RAV4 grabbing most of the headlines. But the Highlander is a capable, nice driving, SUV that seats eight. We’re expecting Toyota to release a new Grand Highlander in 2023 that should be a bit longer and improve this SUV’s capability. Also, it can be ordered as an AWD hybrid model.

2: Honda Pilot, $38,080

2019 Honda Pilot Elite is one of Consumer Reports recommended 8-passenger SUVs
2019 Honda Pilot Elite | Honda

The Honda Pilot may look humble, but it’s one of the fastest SUVs you can buy. The Pilot has a 280-horsepower V6 that gets it to 60 mph in about 6 seconds. The way-back seat doesn’t have the legroom of some of the others’ back seats. But the rest of the cabin makes up for that. It has 16 cupholders, removable second-floor seats that maximize the interior volume when you need it, and a purposeful if not beautiful cockpit. Consumer Reports says it’s one of the best eight-passenger SUVs.

3: Chevrolet Traverse, $33,900

The Traverse was updated for 2022 and earned high marks from Consumer Reports as a
2022 Chevy Traverse | Chevrolet

If you really don’t want a minivan but want the practicality of one, take a look at the Chevy Traverse. The Traverse was new for 2017 and packs a punch with a 310-horsepower V6 (though the Pilot is quicker). The Traverse was updated for 2022 and the safety features that were options before are now standard, such as automated emergency braking. It’s bigger than the other Consumer Reports best eight-passenger SUVs, and that translates to a third row that is designed to seat actual adult-sized people. The second and third rows can also fold flat, which means you can slide a lot into the back of this big SUV.

4: Hyundai Palisade/Kia Telluride, $34,000

The Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade SUVs are recommended by Consume Reports
The Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade SUVs | Kia, Hyundai

The Korean twins are getting a big update for 2023. They don’t need it, the current generation is a phenomenal sales success, but we’re not complaining. For 2023, the upgrades will include new grilles and even nicer interiors. Hyundai gets a new high-end Calligraphy version that moves it significantly beyond $40,000. For less than $40,000 you still get a 3.8-liter V6, modern Kia/Hyundai good looks, and a standard 12-inch touchscreen.

The Palisade and Telluride are Recommended by Consumer Reports as eight-passenger SUVs, and they both top many best-of lists for their all-around capability. The Hyundai is the more traditional of the pair, while the Telluride has a harder edge that gives it more urban cred.

RELATED: U.S. News Calls the 2021 Lincoln Navigator the Best 8-Passenger SUV to Buy