Best 7 seater electric cars 2023

Need space for seven but the ability to run on battery power alone? These are the best hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric seven-seaters

By James Wilson

If you're trying to find a car that produces fewer carbon emissions, but you need it to have seven seats and enough space for your family, there are a handful of options available to you. Some of the best hybrid SUVs on sale are surprisingly efficient when it comes to emissions, while they also make excellent family cars.

You might be thinking you'd really like to stop burning fuel altogether and buy an electric car, but seven-seaters with current technology are simply too big and heavy to make them viable as electric cars for many of us. There is a growing number of large electric vehicles becoming available, and with some models exceeding 200 miles in range and others exceeding 300 miles from a full charge, the prospect of electric family motoring is taking off.

Unless you plan on doing regular road trips, chances are the latest crop of electric seven-seaters will fit the bill. If you don't have access to a vehicle charging point at home, EVs and plug-in hybrids, you may want to consider self-charging hybrids, where the petrol engine charges a smaller set of batteries as you drive, offering a small electric boost.

Regardless of how big your budget is, it is important to have a good idea of what you need your seven-seater to do. Major considerations to keep in mind are electric range and how usable you need the rearmost seats to be – electric car or not, a third row of seats often only brings enough space for small children.

1. Citroen e-Berlingo

Our pick Citroen e-Berlingo Flair XL
Used deals Limited stock

Citroen has a long history with its van-based Berlingo people carrier, which has been favoured by familiar after a practical motor thanks to its sliding rear doors and extensive headroom.

The latest version has been on sale since 2018, and while previously available with 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines, it’s now only available in electric e-Berlingo form. M models only have five seats, so XL versions should be top of your list if you need all seven.

It uses the same 50kWh battery (which can do over 150 miles from a full charge) and 136hp electric motor as the mechanically identical Peugeot e-Rifter and Vauxhall Combo-e Life, so consider those if you prefer their styling.


2. Citroen e-SpaceTourer

Our pick Citroen e-SpaceTourer Flair
Used deals from £19,990
Monthly finance from £366.84*

If you’re in need of a little more space, the SpaceTourer is a size up from the Berlingo. As a result, the seat count goes up to eight, or nine in certain models.

You can expect the same electrics underneath, including the battery, which in this heavier and larger vehicle will do around 130 miles before it runs flat.

Similarly, there are the very similar Peugeot e-Traveller and Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life to choose from. All three have been available with petrol and diesel models, but these too are now only available in electric forms.


3. Mercedes EQV

Our pick Mercedes EQV 300 Sport Premium
Used deals Limited stock

The Mercedes EQV is an expensive eight-seater electric MPV: new prices start at around £78,000 compared with the £62,000 petrol- and diesel-powered V-Class on which it is based.

Mercedes reckons it will do more than 200 miles from its 90kWh battery, which is less than a Vauxhall Corsa-e will travel with a far smaller 50kWh battery. While it may be more expensive to top up than most conventional electric cars, it remains cheaper to fuel than the V-Class, particularly with petrol prices rocketing in mid-2022.

Every version gets a high-tech media system borrowed from other cars in the range like the popular A-Class, as well as electric sliding doors and a handy split tailgate. The boot space isn’t huge, but there’s plenty of additional storage space under the rear seats, so fitting a family and its entire luggage shouldn’t be a problem.

4. Mercedes EQB

Our pick Mercedes EQB 350 AMG Line 4Matic
Used deals Limited stock

If you like the idea of owning a Mercedes but don’t want to pay so much money - or don’t want to drive a van - the EQB could be a solid choice. The rearmost seats are smaller than in a van, as is the case with any seven-seater SUV, so they’re best used only by children.

Prices start at under £55,000 for a 66.5kWh battery pack that will do even more miles than the EQV - around 250. It’s also pretty punchy, with 228hp or 292hp, and both ‘300’ and ‘350’ models get four-wheel drive for added traction in slippery conditions.

100kW rapid charging is supported, which could be better; there are other electric cars available that accept 150kW or more, but the 11kW AC charging could make a difference to those plugging into free charging points like those found in supermarkets and shopping centres, where many other EVs are limited to just 7kW.

5. Tesla Model X

Our pick Tesla Model X Dual Motor
Used deals Limited stock

The Model X caused a stir when it was launched due to its ‘falcon wing’ rear doors, which open upwards even in tight space. Inside, it’s similar to the Model S, however a pair of seats in the rear make this a full seven-seater, unlike the small 'jump seats' that were previously available in early Model S cars.

First-generation Model X cars come with a large portrait-oriented touchscreen, while later versions got a landscape screen. There are various hardware upgrades, new battery tech, and a revised design, but going for an older Model X should not put you off, because every Tesla car gets over-the-air updates to keep things like Autopilot working smoothly.

The second generation is yet to go on sale in the UK, but will probably cost more than £100,000: all the more reason to go for a used example. If you can stretch to a 90kWh ‘Dual Motor’ or 100kWh ‘Performance’ version, range anxiety shouldn’t be too problematic. Earlier 75kWh models will probably struggle to go a full 200 miles from a full charge.


7. Nissan e-NV200

Our pick Nissan e-NV200
Used deals Limited stock

While the e-NV200 Combi is slightly let down by its somewhat sluggish acceleration and average interior packaging, the fact remains that if you want a relatively affordable electric car with seven seats, it is one of your best options.

Knee room might be a tad tight, but thanks to the height of the rear seats, the fact they recline, and the impressive amount of headroom, most should be comfy when travelling in the rear row.

Performance is less than impressive - 14 seconds to 62mph and on to a top speed of 76mph, but don’t expect the 120-mile range if you drive at full throttle. If you’re after a budget electric seven-seater, this is your only option, but our advice is to consider a Citroen e-Berlingo or e-SpaceTourer if you can afford it.

7. Volkswagen ID. Buzz

Our pick Volkswagen ID. Buzz 77kWh

The long-awaited ID. Buzz is finally here, and Volkswagen hopes it will be just as popular as its predecessors which include the original campervan. For now, it’s only available with five seats, but six- and seven-seater versions are said to be on their way.

It uses the same 77kWh battery found in more expensive ID.3, ID.4, and ID.5 models, but has the lowest range of all at around 200 miles. It’s not quick, but fortunately Volkswagen did opt for the more powerful 204hp electric motor in the ID. Buzz, which we have enjoyed in other ID models.

In five-seat form, the 1,121-litre boot should be enough for an entire tip run, expanding to over 2,200 litres with the rear seatbacks folded flat. Our only gripe is the touchscreen media system, which can be a little buggy and slow. Volkswagen has also been slow to deliver over-the-air software updates in its other ID models.

8. Mercedes EQS SUV

Our pick Mercedes EQS 450+ 4Matic

The EQS is set to take on the currently unrivalled Model X, and with a price tag to match of more than £100,000. It’s no surprise that it will be full of luxury when it goes on sale - it’s based on the EQS Saloon.

Every version gets four-wheel steering and air suspension, and can be specified with the optional ‘Hyperscreen’ setup, which places a third display in front of the passenger as well as the usual touchscreen media system and digital driver’s display.

Expect up to 380 miles of range from the most expensive model, and 200kW charging to do a 70% topup in around half an hour.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.