Best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars

Practicality is a must in a family car, and there are plenty of electric and hybrid models that fit the seven-seater bill

If you have a large family, then a seven-seater vehicle to transport them around in is fairly essential. And with so many mouths to feed, you’ll also want to keep running costs down to a minimum.

Thankfully, there are a number of electric and hybrid seven-seaters that will do just that. At one end of the scale there are affordable runabouts geared towards making fuel go further, and at the other there are luxury machines that - despite costing a little more - will return greater savings the more you drive.

The decision on whether to go hybrid or electric should be made depending on the type of driving you do. If you mostly cover short distances - such as the school run or trips to the supermarket - an electric model might suit your needs best, especially if you can charge regularly at home.

If you do regular short or medium length journeys, but also need to travel long distance from time to time, then hybrid technology is the way to go.

But if you’re a regular long distance driver, then an economical petrol or diesel car is likely to suit you better.

To give you an idea of what to expect from an electric or hybrid seven seater, we’ve put together the following list of our favourite models.

5. 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 of the standard RX boosts boot space accordingly. It’s still a bit of a squeeze with all seven seats in use, mind.

4. Toyota Prius+

If you want a dedicated MPV that also boasts hybrid technology, the Toyota Prius+ is your only option. It can travel just over a mile on electric power alone - which is good for slow-moving traffic and parking manoeuvres - and the rest of the time it works alongside a 1.8-litre petrol engine for a total power output of 134bhp. Economy of around 60mpg isn’t particularly impressive, but low CO2 emissions ensures a low company-car tax rate. The boot measures just 200 litres with the rear seats up, but in five-seat mode the Prius+ will afford you 505 litres of space.

3. Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is sold as a five-seater, but two additional seats can be ordered as options at a cost of £3,800. Facing rearwards, these utilize the well in the boot to provide legroom, and as a result they’re only really suitable for children. But if you can make do (and afford) this compromise, the electric Tesla Model S is thrilling car: the top-spec P100D can do 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds, and deliver around 315 miles of range in the real world.

2. Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine 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 385bhp and a 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds. As a plug-in hybrid, it’ll do up to 28 miles on electric power only thanks to a 10.4kWh battery, meaning that you can feasibly run errands without using any petrol at all. With all seven seats in operation there’s 262 litres of space in the boot, rising to 680 litres in five-seat mode.

1. Tesla Model X

The all-electric Tesla Model X is one of the most futuristic vehicles on the road right now, and like the Model S it’s ludicrously fast in top-spec P100D form: 0-60mph takes all of 2.9 seconds, making the 75D version look positively pedestrian with its 4.9-second figure. The seven-seat version of the Model X is an optional extra that costs £2,900, and the novel ‘falcon wing’ rear doors make getting in and out both easy, and a spectacle. Long-range driving is possible in the Model X too: the 100D variant should manage around 280 miles of range in the real world, and a Tesla Supercharger will have the battery back to 80% full from flat in as little as half an hour.