I want easy access to the third row so 7 seats was what we did. Kids aren't old enough to flip the seats up themselves, and they both have car seats which make it even harder. We don't need 7 seats, let alone 8, so I'd rather have the awesome sunroof, easy stow and go, and easy third row access. If we have a 5th person, they sit in the middle of the back, child or adult. My mil cant get in the back if we pop the captain forward (she wants to sit with the kids not in the front). Recently we've stowed the captain behind the passenger and had one kid behind the driver and one in the third row behind the passenger. Having that huge opening is so nice! Doubt I'd do that if I had to deal with the console, but maybe. Multiple times ive flattened the whole cargo area and not dealing with wrangling the extra seat out is awesome. Really depends what you need it for. For us it's an SUV with sliding doors.