Multipurpose vans, minivans, or 7-seater cars are among Nigeria’s most popular vehicles for the transport business. Before MPVs were introduced for transportation in the country, cars like the VW Golf 3 or Toyota Avensis wagon were commercial drivers. However, they have limitations for carrying only five passengers with small space for cargo. That alone makes it less profitable for transporters in the industry.

This article will review five of Nigeria’s most popular 7-seater autos, perfect for transportation business and family use.

Our primary focus will be on their engines, fuel economies, general performance—and, equally, any downside (if any) of buying any of them.

Most Popular 7-Seater Cars For Transporters In Nigeria

The Best 7-Seater Vehicles For Families Or Businesses

If you are looking for popular multipurpose vans for families or transportation businesses in Nigeria, you have landed on the right page. You are at the right place. Now, catch this information. The vehicle manufacturers designed 7-seater Cars, which offered commercial drivers an increased seating capacity of 7 to 8 passengers. They even had larger cargo spaces, helping drivers maximize their profit.

Meanwhile, look at the top five popular multipurpose vans for Nigeria’s transportation business.

Top 5 7-Seater Cars (Multipurpose Vans) For Transport Business

Toyota Sienna3.0L, 3.3L, or 3.5L V6 engine4 or 5-speed automatic transmission27 mpg (8.7 L/100Km)
Toyota Picnic1.8L, 2.0L, or 2.2L 4-cylinder engine5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission24.8 mp (9.5 L/100Km)
Volkswagen Sharan2.0L 4-cylinder engine5 or 6-speed manual transmission25 mpg (9.4 L/100Km)
Ford Galaxy2.3L 4-cylinder engine5 or 6-speed manual39.2 mpg (6 L/100Km)
Honda Odyssey3.5L V6 engine5-speed automatic transmission21 mpg (11.2 L/100Km)

Nigerians have a simple way of using one popular brand name to identify other similar products. In loose terminology, the Toyota Sienna is Nigeria’s most popular MPV for transport. Below is a list of the five most popular multipurpose vans (minivans) used for transportation in Nigeria:

  1. Toyota Sienna
  2. Toyota Picnic
  3. Volkswagen Sharan
  4. Ford Galaxy
  5. Mazda MPV/Honda Odyssey

1. Toyota Sienna

Lagos transporter Kunle says the Toyota Sienna is like the Camry of minivans in Nigeria. The Sienna started production in 1997 and seats 7-8 passengers. Models from 1998 to 2005 are famous for commercial transport in Nigeria and are common in Nigerian transport companies’ fleets.

The Sienna is a top choice for Nigerian transport businesses. Its fuel economy is 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. It’s fuel-efficient and has readily available spare parts. The Sienna’s engine and body can handle Nigeria’s rough terrain.

Key Data Toyota Sienna In A Table:

Model YearsEngineTransmission
1998 – 20033.0L V64-speed automatic
2004 – 20093.3L or 3.5L V65-speed automatic

Other key details:

  • Fuel economy: 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway
  • Seating capacity: 7-8 passengers
  • Availability: 2001 – 2005 models are still available
  • Interior space: More spacious in the 2004 model

2. Toyota Picnic

Next to the Toyota Sienna, the Picnic is another popular vehicle used in Nigerian transportation. The Toyota Picnic is an MPV that has more of a car feel than a minivan.

The Toyota Picnic was in production between 1995 and 2001. It is still a popular choice among commercial drivers in Nigeria today.

It is compact, generally easy to drive, and offers one of the best fuel efficiency among minivans used for transportation in Nigeria. Available engine options mounted on the Toyota Picnic range from 1.8L and 2.0L petrol engines to a 2.2L 4-cylinder diesel engine. They come as manual or automatic transmissions.

Toyota Picnic has a fuel economy rating of 18.2 mpg (12.9 L/100Km) for city driving and 30.9 mpg (7.6 L/100Km) for highway driving.

Apart from its excellent fuel economy and easy-to-maintain parts, the Toyota Picnic also possesses the right amount of agility to combat Nigerian roads.

3. Volkswagen Sharan 2.0

The Volkswagen Sharan is a versatile multipurpose van common among commercial drivers in Nigeria. The first model of the Volkswagen Sharan hit the market in 1996. Popular Toyota Sharan models used for transportation business in Nigeria range from 1996 to 2006 model years. The Volkswagen Sharan engine options include 1.8L or 2.0L 4-cylinder engines paired against a five—or six-speed manual transmission.

The fuel economy rating of the Volkswagen Sharan is 18 mpg (13.1 L/100Km) for city driving and 25 mpg (9.4 L/100Km) for highway driving.

Regarding the VW Sharan, the 2.0L engine delivers a slightly better fuel economy than the 1.8L turbo engine. You may want to avoid buying the 1.8L turbo engine because the turbo is challenging to fix in Nigeria once it is faulty.

The VW Sharan is known to be swift on the road and boasts a well-enough cabin and cargo space for passengers and luggage movement.


4. Ford Galaxy 2.3

The Ford Galaxy is a large-sized multipurpose van that went into production in 1995 and shared many similarities with the Volkswagen Sharan. It was a joint venture automobile between Ford and Volkswagen.

The first generation Ford Galaxy spanned the 1995 – 2000 model years and offered good fuel economy. Although the Galaxy carried over most Volkswagen engines, it came with two of its own, the 2.0L and 2.3L 4-cylinder engines.

Ford facelifted the second-generation Ford Galaxy from 2001 – 2006, which consumed less fuel. Its available engine options include the 2.8L 24-valve V6 and 1.9L diesel engines. These engines have either a 6-speed manual or a Select-Shift automatic transmission.

The Ford Galaxy’s fuel economy rating is 17.2 mpg (13.7 L/100 km) for city driving and 30.2 mpg (7.8 L/100 km) for highway driving. Besides having roomy interiors, good fuel economy, and easy-to-replace spare parts, the Galaxy has the agility to convey 7 – 8 passengers interstate without batting a wheel.

5. Honda Odyssey

Although the Honda Odyssey is not as popular as the Sienna Sharan or Picnic, some transporters use it for commercial transportation in Nigeria. The third-generation Honda Odyssey was unveiled in 2004 as the 2005 model year. The Odyssey offered a seating capacity for 7 – 8 passengers. One notable feature of the Honda Odyssey that distinguishes it from the other MPVs we’ve discussed is its luxurious interior.

The fuel economy rating of the Honda Odyssey is 17 mpg (13.8 L/100Km) for city driving and 25 mpg (9.4 L/100Km) for highway driving.

A comparison of fuel economies between the Sienna and the Odyssey revealed the Odyssey to be closely marking Sienna’s fuel economy. Besides that, the Honda Odyssey offers a good experience for the movement of passengers and cargo. It also has the necessary gait to handle the constant bumping on Nigerian driving terrains.

The Honda Odyssey is mounted with a 3.5L V6 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Odyssey is one vehicle that has held its value over time. Its high-strength chassis is one of the reasons Honda enthusiasts love it.


Having seen the top 5 most popular 7-seater cars used for transportation business in Nigeria, you might wonder which is best to buy. To find the best car for your transportation business, you only need to pay attention to a few things about your vehicle of interest, and then you’re good to go.

Engine performance, fuel economy, seating capacity, and spare parts availability are among the top features to look out for in an intended commercial vehicle. These key points were the basis of our research into Nigeria’s most popular used vehicles for the transportation business.

Also, given that price is a chief determinant when buying a car, we recommend you choose a vehicle that matches your budget. The Toyota Sienna is an excellent choice if you have a robust budget for an MPV. On the other hand, if you’re working with a tight budget, the Toyota Picnic, Ford Galaxy, and Volkswagen Sharan have reasonable starting prices. The Honda Odyssey is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an MPV with a very luxurious interior.

These few peculiarities are excellent choices and possess the necessary gait for distance travel on Nigerian roads. Their fuel economies closely mark each other, and their spare parts are straightforward to find in Nigeria.

If you want to import your MPV from Germany, the US, or Canada, click the button below to schedule a one-on-one consultation with us to discuss your options.

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