Used Cars in New Jersey

Top 9-Seater SUVs: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

If you often transport a big group and don’t like minivans, a 9-seater SUV could be perfect. These SUVs have three rows of seats, accommodating three passengers on each bench.

The 9-seater SUV scene is pretty niche, and right now, only GM’s got the big players with four full-size SUVs offering that capacity. Therefore, while we have covered all the four options from GM in detail, we have also given you a bunch of alternatives if you need to carry 9 or more individuals.

Let’s break it down –

Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban stands tall as the OG of all SUVs, making its debut back in 1935 as the pioneer of metal-bodied truck-based wagons.

Robust truck-based platform, comfortable seating for up to nine passengers, gutsy V8 engines, stout towing and 4WD capability – probably reveals why it’s such a popular choice even today.

For those eyeing a 9-passenger Suburban, the 12th gen (2021 – Present) and the preceding 11th gen models (2015-2020) stand out for their wealth of modernities and advanced family-friendly features. The 2021 Suburban, in particular, marked a milestone by adopting an independent rear suspension, greatly enhancing interior accommodation and road manner.

However, the nine-seater configuration, complete with a front bench seat, is exclusive to the LS trim.

The good news is that even the base Suburban offers flexibility with rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive options. A choice between a potent V8 gasoline engine and a torquey inline-six turbo diesel engine is also on the menu, promising fewer pit stops at the fuel station. 

And let’s not forget the array of standard tech and driver assistance features, elevating the base 9-seater Suburban far beyond a mere Spartan model.

Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Tahoe

Rolling onto the scene in 1995, the Chevrolet Tahoe is essentially the Suburban’s compact cousin. It packs all the perks of its full-size counterpart but in a more parking-friendly package.

]The Tahoe has in fact emerged as a best-selling full-size SUV in the U.S offering families an escape from the minivan monotony, while still carrying passengers comfortably and bringing a trailer along.

Following suit with the Suburban, the latest generation Tahoe debuted in the 2021 model year. Not only larger and more spacious, but it also ushered in a myriad of enhancements. Thankfully, Chevy retained the 9-seater configuration, available in the equally well-equipped LS model.

While the Tahoe’s wheelbase falls 14 inches short of the Suburban, there’s still ample room for a grown adult to comfortably occupy the third row. Chevy doesn’t skimp on refinement either.

On top of that, every model comes equipped with cutting-edge tech and entertainment features, complemented by an array of standard driver assistance safety features.

Read more: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Buyer’s Guide

GMC Yukon XL

GMC Yukon XL

When the task at hand involves transporting up to nine individuals and their belongings or towing a substantial trailer, the GMC Yukon XL is another worthy choice. 

Positioned as a slightly pricier counterpart to its corporate sibling, the Chevrolet Suburban, the GMC Yukon XL shares the same frame, employs identical engines and rolls off the assembly line at the same factory.

Debuting back in 2000, the Yukon XL underwent its latest redesign in 2021, aligning with its GM twins for a bigger, plusher, and more technologically advanced version.

The move to an independent rear suspension system along with improved proportions did wonders for interior accommodations, especially benefiting third-row passengers.

For those eyeing the nine-passenger setup, it’s a similar deal. The Yukon XL offers optional three-row bench seats exclusively in its base SLE trim. Much like the Suburban,  there’s no shortage of amenities and ample space to stretch out throughout the SUV.

And if you’re not carting around a full load of passengers, simply fold down the second and third rows to unveil a staggering 144.7 cubic feet of room.

GMC Yukon 

Another contender in GM’s lineup, offering a 9-seating capacity, is the Yukon—essentially the corporate twin of the Tahoe and the more compact version of the Yukon XL 

Introduced in 1991, the Yukon has continually elevated the experience of highway cruising and off-road exploration. 

Currently, the Yukon is in its fifth generation which was introduced for the 2021 model year. GM made sure that being truck-based doesn’t mean lagging behind the times. This massive body-on-frame SUV, as rugged and capable as ever, is now distinctly sophisticated and loaded with the latest tech.

Just like its GM counterparts, the Yukon also offers an optional 9-passenger seating with a front bench seat, exclusively in the base SLE trim. But fear not, powerful engine options, available 4WD, and a host of standard amenities mean you’re not settling for a bare-bones base trim.

Features of the GM Full-Size SUVs

Here’s what the GM Full-Size SUVs offer in their nine-seater version: 

Engine Specs

EnginePowerTorqueMPG (City / Highway)
5.3-liter V8355 hp 383 lb-ft15 MPG / 20 MPG
3.0-liter I6 Turbodiesel277 hp460 lb-ft21 MPG / 28 MPG

*MPG Data is sourced from the US EPA’s website.

Note: GM also offers a more potent 6.2-liter V8 option in their full-size SUVs, however, it isn’t available in the nine-seater models.

Interior Space  

Front Head Room 42.3 inches
Front Leg Room44.5 inches
Second Row Head Room38.9 inches
Second Row Leg Room42.0 inches
Third Row Head Room38.2 inches
Third Row Leg Room36.7 inches

Cargo Area Dimensions  – Suburban / Yukon XL 

Cargo Space Behind Third Row 
41.5 cubic feet
Cargo Space Behind Second Row 93.8 cubic feet
Cargo Space Behind Front Row 144.7 cubic feet

Cargo Area Dimensions  – Tahoe / Yukon

Cargo Space Behind Third Row 

25.5 cubic feet
Cargo Space Behind Second Row 72.6 cubic feet
Cargo Space Behind Front Row 122.9 cubic feet


Here are the common standard features in all the GM full-size SUVs with nine-seater capacity:

  • LED headlights
  • Keyless entry and Remote start
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Eight-way power front passenger seat
  • 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Onboard Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Eight USB ports
  • Limited-slip rear differential
  • Rearview camera

Standard safety features include:

  • Automatic high beams
  • Front and Rear parking sensors
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Teen Driver system

There are plenty of options including:

  • 4-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case
  • Lane departure mitigation 
  • Blind-spot monitor 
  • Rear cross-traffic alert 
  • Max Trailering package

Alternatives to 9-Passenger SUVs

When you’re aiming for more flexibility in seating, and probably looking at squeezing in more than nine folks, those large SUVs just won’t do. It’s time to consider a full-size passenger van.

And the good news is, that you don’t have to sacrifice all that rugged SUV vibe because the options on our list still bring some capabilities to the table in one way or another. Check it out:

Chevrolet Express Passenger

  • Reliable workhorse, comfortably accommodating up to 15 passengers
  • Best-in-class 10,000 pounds of maximum towing capacity
  • Body-on-Frame construction
  • Most affordable full-size option in the van market
  • All-wheel-drive option was available for 1500 and light-duty 2500 vans (2003–2014) 

Yes, it’s a no-frills full-size Van not much different from the original version that rolled out in 1996, however, its best-in-class tow capacity along with an affordable price, are some solid reasons to consider.

Built on a full-length ladder frame with boxed forward frame rails, the Chevrolet Express Passenger offers diverse powertrain options, including an efficient diesel choice (available until the 2022 model year).

In 2018, a 276-hp 4.3-liter V8 was introduced as the base gasoline engine. The 6.0L V8 was succeeded by a robust 401-hp 6.6L V8 (L8T) starting in 2021. Notably, post-2016, the 6.6L Duramax diesel V8 was phased out, making way for a new 2.8L inline-4 Duramax as the diesel engine offering.

Ford Transit Passenger Van

  • Maximum seating capacity for up to 15 passengers
  • All-wheel drive capability offered
  • Can tow up to 7,500 pounds

With seating for up to 15 individuals and a range of wheelbase and roof height options, the Ford Transit’s adaptability caters to van shoppers requiring maximum people-carrying capacity.

Introduced to the American market in 2014 as an early 2015 model (fourth generation), the Transit remained largely consistent until 2020, when a mid-life facelift was introduced.

This update included a refreshed front fascia, interior design, and the incorporation of new features, including advanced driver assistance technology.

During this 2020 update, all-wheel drive became an available option for the Transit. Additionally, a new base 275-hp 3.5-liter V6 replaced the previous 3.7-liter V6, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission for improved fuel efficiency. Ford’s reliable 3.5L twin-turbo V6 with 310 hp remained an alternative option. The lineup also featured a 185 hp, 3.2L inline-5 Duratorq diesel until 2020.

Nissan NV Passenger Van

  • Can seat up to 12 passengers
  • Body-on-frame construction borrowed from the Nissan Titan pickup
  • Robust V8 powertrain capable of pulling up to 8,700 pounds
  • Nissan claims a whopping 324 different possible seating combinations to suit various needs

For those in need of nine or more seats without compromising the SUV virtues, the Nissan NV Passenger Van comes with solid credentials.

Admittedly, the NV shows its age, especially when compared to newer competitors like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit. Both of these rivals offer all-wheel drive and fuel-efficient diesel engines. Despite this, the NV Passenger Van holds its ground with a compelling mix of rugged practicality, capable engines, good road manners, and attractive pricing.

While the NV doesn’t provide a 15-seating capacity, its multi-configurable seating options give owners a great deal of flexibility in setting up their van for seating.

Powering the NV is a base 261-hp 4.0-liter V6 paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, delivering power to the rear wheels. Alternatively, there’s a larger 5.6-liter V8 that received a power boost from 317-hp to 375-hp for the 2017 model year, coupled with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van

  • Can accommodate up to 15 passengers
  • Four-wheel drive is available only with the Passenger Van 2500 model, capable of seating 1

If you’re looking for something beyond the basic utility of vans, Mercedes-Benz has a compelling answer. While the Chevrolet Express might outdo it in sheer capability, the Mercedes Sprinter aims not only to transport a full basketball team but to do so with a touch of sophistication.

Standing at over 9 feet tall, most people inside the van can stand up without worrying about hitting their head on the ceiling.

Redesigned in 2019, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter incorporates some of the most modern tech available today, delivering the utility expected from a large, boxy vehicle. What might surprise you is how easy it is to drive and how comfortable the experience can be.

The standard engine 188-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. On 2500 models and standard on 3500 and 4500 models, there’s an optional 188-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.