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Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021

If the regular crop of electrified SUVs and family cars don’t provide enough practicality for you, then take a closer look at the range of electric and hybrid seven-seaters on market now

Mercedes EQB

With more manufacturers now adopting hybrid and electric-car technology, it's available in a broader array of models than ever before. From compact city cars and estate cars, to sports cars and even seven-seater SUVs and MPVs. The latter are ideal for drivers whose top priority is practicality, but don’t want the running costs of the petrol and diesel options on the market. 

So how do you decide if your seven-seater should be a full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric model? The best place to start is the type of journeys you usually do. An all-electric car is ideal for short trips, like a regular commute, shopping and school runs, particularly if you can park on a driveway that's suitable for a home wallbox to top-up the battery at night. Even if you do need to make occasional longer trips, most new electric SUVs and MPVs also offer a decent range and fast-charging.

If your driving includes a greater mix of long and short trips, a plug-in hybrid may be the best option for you. Regular charging is essential to minimise running costs – especially when driving locally – but it's easy to top up with fuel when driving further afield. A full-hybrid doesn't need plugging in at all, and works best in urban areas, where frequent braking puts energy into a small battery, allowing it to run on electric power for short periods. However, a hybrid can't match the potential economy figures of a PHEV, or the cheap cost-per-mile of a pure-electric car.

With all that mind, here are our top picks for the best seven-seater electrified cars on sale right now. Make sure to check out our list of the best electric family cars, too.

e-berlingo

Citroen e-Berlingo

The Citroen Berlingo is a van-based people carrier that has an absolutely huge interior. It's not just a seven-seater, but a proper 'people mover', because even adults can get comfortable in the rear seats. Now, the French brand offers a fully electric version of its MPV, called the e-Berlingo. It's a sister model to the Peugeot e-Rifter and Vauxhall Combo-e Life, all of which use the same 134bhp electric motor and 50kWh battery for an estimated 170-mile  range. Prices start from just under £30,000 after the plug-in car grant (PiCG) is deducted. Read more about the e-Berlingo here, as well as its sister cars from Peugeot and Vauxhall.

Citroen e-SpaceTourer

Citroen e-SpaceTourer

While the e-Berlingo, along with the Peugeot e-Rifter and Vauxhall Combo-e Life, are the more compact electric MPVs offerings from their respective brands, the e-SpaceTourer packs in enough space to seat nine. Citroen’s electric minibus can cover up to 143 miles on a charge thanks to a 50kWh battery, while the e-SpaceTourer’s electric motor produces 134bhp. Prices start from just under £32,500, after the plug-in grant is deducted. The sister car to the Peugeot e-Traveller and Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life is available in two body lengths, M and XL, with the latter added in 2021 for more cabin space and practicality. Watch our video review of the e-SpaceTourer to learn more.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

The latest Santa Fe is available as a full hybrid or a plug-in hybrid, just like its sister model the Kia Sorento below. The normal hybrid uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 59bhp electric motor and 1.49kWh battery. The plug-in also has the 1.6-litre petrol engine, but gets a larger 13.8kWh battery and a 90bhp electric motor, which allows for a 36-mile all-electric range. The former will work best for families who don't have a driveway or a way to charge at home, while the latter will be great for those who can charge up, or company-car drivers who'll benefit from the lower Benefit-in-Kind tax rates for plug-in models. Read more about the Hyundai Santa Fe here.

Kia Sorento Hybrid

The Sorento is a large, practical SUV with a bold look all of its own. Like its sister car from Hyundai, the Sorento is available with either full-hybrid or plug-in hybrid power. The latter features a 13.8kWh battery and a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, can return up to 177mpg and has an electric driving range of 35 miles. Meanwhile, the full-hybrid can still return a decent 38-41mpg and produces 158-168g/km of CO2.

There aren't many hybrid seven-seater SUVs to pick from, so it's good that the Sorento is one of the best large SUVs we've tested. It’s sharp to drive, and practicality is particularly impressive, thanks to an impressive over-600-litre boot space in both versions when the rear most seats are folded down. Remarkably, the third row of seats is just big enough for adults to get comfortable in. Read our review of the Sorento hybrid here and check out our video review of the Sorento plug-in hybrid here.

Mercedes EQB

Mercedes EQB

Derived from the combustion-engined Mercedes GLB and sitting between the smaller EQA and larger EQC in the three-pointed-star's line-up, the EQB is the first electric SUV from the Mercedes to be offered with seven seats. Its boxy styling ensures no shortage of passenger space inside, although Mercedes does admit that the third-row seats "can be used by people up to 5ft 4in tall". But both versions of the EQB available from launch do get all-wheel-drive thanks to a dual-motor setup, plus rapid-charging capability and a range of up to 257 miles. Read our review of the Mercedes EQB here to learn more.

Mercedes EQV

A more luxurious take on the 'van-with-windows' recipe, the EQV is the fully electric version of the Mercedes V-Class. Available configured to seat six, seven or eight people, it's largely aimed at the private-hire market, but could well make for a very spacious family car. Performance is decent enough thanks to a 201bhp electric motor, while the battery offers enough charge for a 200-mile range. We're particularly fond of the car's whisper-quiet operation and excellent refinement: perfect for a relaxing airport transfer or family getaway. Read our review here.

Lexus RX L 450h

The seven-seat Lexus RX L sounds exciting on paper, with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine working in conjunction with a pair of electric motors to produce 308bhp. However, this hybrid is more about smoothness and refinement than performance and power. With prices starting above £50,000, luxury is the name of the game, and an extra 110mm in length compared to the standard RX boosts boot space accordingly. It’s still a bit of a squeeze with all seven seats in use, mind. Read our full review here.

Tesla Model X

The Model X is one of the most well-known electric seven-seaters on the road right now, thanks in no small part to its novel ‘falcon wing’ rear doors. For 2022, Tesla updated the Model X to bring it in line with the latest Model S, so it gets a redesigned interior and will be available in the UK in Long Range and performance-orientated Plaid forms.

The Long Range is capable of up to 360 miles on a charge, while Plaid gets a 340-mile range, but pumps out over 1,000bhp and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds. Prices start from around £100,000 for the Long Range and over £110,000 for the Plaid – however, you have to fork out an extra £3,400 for the seven-seat layout. Read our full review of the Tesla Model X here.

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Dynamic Front 2

Toyota Highlander

While the Toyota Land Cruiser has been available in the UK with seven seats for some time, the Highlander is the first SUV from the Japanese brand to combine that many seats and a hybrid powertrain. It's only available as a regular hybrid, not a plug-in, so fuel economy won't be any better than around 40mpg.

However, while it’s not as efficient as some of the other entries on this list, we can’t knock the Highlander's superb build quality, with leather seats across all three rows and plenty of soft-touch plastics. Plus, even the entry-level version gets heated front seats and steering wheel, three-zone climate control, a glass panoramic roof and a power-operated boot opening. Read our full review of the Toyota Highlander here.

Volvo XC90 Recharge

The Volvo XC90 Recharge is another seven-seater that’s surprisingly quick when you put your foot down: an electric motor supports a 2.0-litre engine that’s both supercharged and turbocharged, resulting in 448bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds. For 2022, Volvo added a larger 18.8kWh battery to the plug-in XC90, so the Swedish seven-seater is now capable of returning up to 235mpg and covering 43 miles on electric power. With all seven seats in operation, there’s 262 litres of space in the boot, rising to 640 litres in five-seat mode. Read our full review here.

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