Best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars

Family cars must be practical, and these days there are lots of electric and hybrid models that offer the versatility of seven seats

Tesla Model X

If you have a big family, an equally large car – preferably with seven seats – is vital for transporting everyone around in comfort. Low running costs aren't to be sniffed at either if you're looking to keep your overall household bills down.

Increasingly, manufacturers are offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars that fit this bill.

From no-nonsense, affordable transport to luxurious chariots that still cost pennies to run, there should be something out there to suit you.

So should you go electric and hybrid? That's largely decided by the kind of driving you do. If it's mostly shorter trips, like shopping or the school run, then electric is ideal, particularly if you have a home charging point.

If longer-distance runs are called for more regularly, then a plug-in hybrid may suit better – but even here, regular home charging is essential in order to enjoy the lowest running costs.

What follows is our pick of the best seven-seater family cars on sale now that employ electric or hybrid technology to reduce both emissions and ongoing running costs.

5. Nissan e-NV200 Combi

Okay, so the Nissan e-NV200 is looking a little dated as more capable (and let's face it, more desirable) electric vehicles enter the market, but there's no denying its appeal from a practical point of view.

The e-NV200 Combi boasts several configurations, one of which is a seven-seat layout with an additional 870 litres of luggage space; plenty for a family holiday and all of the necessary gear besides. Just be aware that the limited electric range means you'll probably have to stick to a staycation. Read our review of the e-NV200 van.

4. 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. Read our full in-depth review.

3. 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 ensure 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. Read our full in-depth review.

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. Read our full in-depth review.

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 Performance form: 0-60mph takes all of 3.4 seconds. 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 Long Range variant should manage around 300 miles and a Tesla Supercharger will have the battery back to 80% full from flat in as little as half an hour. Read our full in-depth review.

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