Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2022
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 the market today...
With more manufacturers adopting hybrid and electric-car technology, there's a wider variety of electrified cars on sale in 2022 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 seven-seaters also offer a decent range and rapid-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:
- Hyundia Santa Fe
- Mercedes EQB
- Tesla Model X
- Volvo XC90 Recharge
- Kia Sorento
- Citroen e-SpaceTourer
- Toyota Highlander
- Vauxhall Combo-e Life
- Lexus RX L 450h
- Mercedes EQV
Make sure to check out the winners of the 2022 DrivingElectric Awards as well to see what’s impressed us the most over the past year – and don't forget to follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest news and reviews.
1. 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 plug-in version maybe the more effecient of the two with 36-mile all-electric range, but if you don't have a way to charge at home, then the full-hybrid Santa Fe is still gets good fuel economy, exceptional cabin quality and, more importantly for some, it's cheaper than the PHEV. The third row of seats is easy to access as well, but if you don't need them, there's a vast 571 litres of boot space on offer when they're folded down. Read our full review of the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid here.
2. 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 full review of the Mercedes EQB here.
3. 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. But it also boasts an impressive range of up to 360 miles, class-leading self-driving technology and impressive rapid charging capability. What's more, Tesla updated the Model X for 2022 to bring it in line with the latest Model S, meaning it gets a redesigned interior and will be available in the UK in Long Range and performance-orientated Plaid forms later this year.
The Long Range is the version capable of 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.
4. 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 of the Volvo XC90 Recharge here.
5. 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. It's one of the largest SUVs we've tested, but still 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.
6. 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. Read our full review of the e-SpaceTourer here..
7. 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.
8. Vauxhall Combo-e Life
Vauxhall’s zero-emissions entry into the MPV market is the Combo-e Life, which starts from just over £30,000 and is available in both five and seven-seat configurations. Much like its sister models – the Citroen e-Berlingo and the Peugeot e-Rifter – the Combo-e Life uses a 134bhp electric motor and 50kWh battery for an estimated 170-mile range. Thankfully, interior space in the Combo-e Life hasn’t taken a hit with the switch to electric power, with a surprising amount of space on offer in the seven-seater version, even for taller adults in the third row. The driving experience the Vauxhall is also smooth and relaxing thanks to its extremely quiet electric powertrain. Read our full review of the Vauxhall Combo-e Life here, and find out more about its sister cars from Citroen and Peugeot.
9. 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 of the Lexus RX L 450h here.
10. 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 full review of the Mercedes EQV here.
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