The upcoming period will be very exciting in the automotive industry. While everyone talks about new EV models that are coming, hybrids seem a little bit overshadowed. However, manufacturers are working hard to bring models that will be able to provide not just superior performance compared to gasoline engines, but also respectable performances.
Among numerous hybrid cars, we can see in today’s market, there aren’t many 7-seaters that use such a powertrain. In the past, electrification was reserved for compact cars but things are changes. Some hybridized 7-seaters have been around for a while, but most of them have just arrived or they are on the way.
Therefore, we present to you the list of best hybrid 7-seaters on the market, in our humble opinion. Some of them are already established and well-known names in the business, while there are also several all-new models that are coming soon or that have just arrived.
2021 Lexus RX 450h
The current generation of the brand’s most popular model has been around for full five years but the company won’t rush with changes. Simply, the current model still delivers excellent performance and driving experience. This hybrid is super-easy to drive and Lexus/Toyota hybrids are well-known for their seamless transition between hybrid and electric power. We are talking about a relatively old but still more than a decent system, which is based on a 3.5-liter V6, which puts out around 308 horsepower. The fuel economy is also good for the segment, as you may count on about 29 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Of course, the RX 450h comes standard with an AWD layout and offers an incredibly smooth ride. However, handling isn’t that great and most classmates feel sportier. When it comes to the interior quality, this is a typical Lexus. It isn’t flashy as some rivals, but the build quality is top-notch. Of course, you can choose between a standard 5-seat and stretched 7-seater. Of course, the latter is the one that interests us and it offers a typically tight third row for the segment.
All in all, the RX will remain a great package for a few more years. It is fairly priced, offers world-class reliability and more than satisfying performances. Also, don’t forget the impressive list of standard safety features that comes already in base models. If you’re patient enough, you can wait for the next-generation model, which is scheduled for 2023.
The current model starts around 51.500 dollars.
2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
If you’re looking for a great all-rounder, search no more. The current generation is still pretty fresh and offers so many great things, starting from an impressive fuel economy and comfortable ride. We don’t expect bigger changes in the following years, so you won’t make a wrong decision if you purchase this crossover right now. Besides excellent hybrid performance, this model looks attractive, comes with a nice interior, and is fully loaded. Moreover, there aren’t many rivals that offer a hybrid powertrain.
When it comes to the powertrain, Japanese manufacturers did a smart move with the recent redesign. Instead of a large V6 engine, the new version uses a 2.5-liter turbo-four. It features less power than it’s predecessor (243 horses) but definitely gets the job done. The ride is smooth and you will surely appreciate the work of Toyota engineers once you realize that fuel economy goes around 35 miles per gallon both in the city and on the highway. It’s hard to argue with that number.
Other than the excellent hybrid drivetrain, we also like the fact that the new Highlander finally features an appealing design. Also, it’s dimensions aren’t too big, so maneuverability is actually pretty good. On the inside, you will find a well-built cabin, fully-loaded with safety and tech features. The third row isn’t particularly spacious, but that’s a quite typical thing for the segment.
The starting price goes around 39.000 dollars. Some would say that’s too much for a Highlander but the fact is that this is still the best value among hybrid crossovers.
2022 Acura MDX Hybrid
The all-new MDX is about to come later in the year, as the 2022 model. Of course, we count on a new hybrid version as well. The current hybrid still has a lot to offer. It offers 321 horsepower and impressive handling for an SUV of this size. Therefore, we have no doubt that the next generation will be even better. We count on better efficiency and some power increase.
Of course, the new powertrain won’t be the only improvement. The new model has a lot of things to improve, starting from a subpar interior quality. There, we count on the same approach as in the RDX, which surprised us with the excellent build quality, which is nearly on par with the much more expensive Q5. Therefore, we expect from the new 2022 Acura MDX Hybrid will be on par with the German trio. Also, the current model is expected to be slightly bigger and to offer more space on the inside, considering that the outgoing version doesn’t impress in this aspect. Of course, a long list of safety and tech features is a certain thing.
Styling-wise, the new model will come with evolutionary changes. We already saw several photos of the new generation and everything looks pretty amazing, full of Acura’s recognizable sharp lines. The pricing is yer to be announced but we expect that the new model will be notably more expensive than the current one, which starts around 53.000 dollars. Some sources estimate 55.000 dollars for the base hybrid version.
2022 Ford Explorer Hybrid
The Explorer Hybrid came as a direct answer to Toyota’s mid-sized electrified crossover. The new generation is still pretty fresh and although it doesn’t deliver as smooth transitions between electric and gasoline power as the Japanese model but on the other side, there is plenty of power, around 318 horses and 322 pound-feet of torque. That’s way more than you get in Toyota. Still, the fuel economy isn’t that good, 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
Some sources suggest we could see a more powerful hybrid version of this crossover. It would be base on the same engine, but feature a total output of more than 500 horsepower, which would be the highest output we’ve seen from a naturally-aspirated V6 engine. At this point, we are still waiting to hear something from the officials about this.
The current Hybrid model features a starting price of around 52.000 dollars, but keep in mind that it comes in Limited trim level only, fully-loaded with all kinds of standard equipment.
2022 Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid
Ford may not be as proficient as Japanese manufacturers in making hybrid powertrain but it brings some pretty big novelties for the next year, reports say. It looks like the PHEV model will come to North America too. Currently, this version is sold in Europe and it features a modern plug-in hybrid setup. It is based on a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, which gets help from a powerful 100-hp electric motor. As a result, you get a total output of 450 horsepower and an impressive max torque of 600 pound-feet.
At this point, this is just a rumor. Still, more and more unofficial sources are suggesting such a scenario, which gives us a lot of reasons to believe in such a scenario. The new version could arrive already as the 2022 model.
2022 Volvo XC90 T8
We are expecting the next generation of Volvo’s flagship crossover with big excitement. It is about to bring a lot of significant improvements and some pretty big novelties, including an advanced system of autonomous drive. Of course, we count on all forms of electrifications as well.
The current generation is already available in a plug-in hybrid setup and features a rather complex setup. The system is based on a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, which gets help from a turbocharger, supercharger and electric motors. The total output goes up to a respectable 400 horsepower.
We expect that the next generation will bring an evolutionary, upgraded version of this setup. Of course, we count on more power and quicker acceleration, but also on improvements in terms of fuel economy and range. The latter is particularly important, considering that the current model features a relatively small 11.6 kWh battery pack, which is big enough to provide just 18 miles in the all-electric mode.
The current generation features a starting price of around 70.000 dollars and we don’t expect that the new model will be significantly more expensive.
2022 BMW X7 xDrive45e
The Bavarian carmaker finally entered the segment of large SUVs with the X7 model. This three-row full-size crossover is a direct competitor of the well-known Mercedes-Benz GLS and things are looking pretty good for now. This model is still pretty fresh and we don’t expect bigger design changes in the next few years. However, some sources suggest an electrified version, which is currently available in a smaller X5 model.
This would be a rather familiar setup, based on BMW’s well-known turbo-inline-six gasoline engine, which gets help from a synchronous electric motor, for a total output of 394 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Of course, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see more power in the full-size iteration, but let’s wait for the official confirmation first.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450
Mercedes-Benz is bringing some pretty interesting design solutions in terms of electrification these days but most of them are reserved for compact models. On the other side, the full-size GLS rather sticks with more conventional variants. Still, there is one form of electrification, which is the reason why it finds a place on our list.
All engine options come with a 48-Volt mild hybrid system, which provides an additional 21 horsepower and a significant 184-lb-ft torque increase. As a result, fuel economy improvements are minimal but driving dynamics, smoothness and overall ride quality are much better compared to the previous generation of this full-size SUV.
The base price starts around 76.000 dollars.
2022 Lexus LQ
This is definitely one of the most anticipated models for this year. It is about to arrive in the second half of 2021, as a brand-new model, the brand’s new flagship crossover. Judging on the photos, it will look very concept-like and will definitely be something more interesting compared to usually conservatively designed models in the class.
Of course, one of the most interesting parts of the new model will be its powertrain. There will be three options in the offer and one of them will be a hybrid version. At this point, most sources suggest a similar setup to the one we can see in the luxurious full-size LS sedan, which is based on a 3.5-liter V6 and delivers a total output of 354 horsepower. Most likely, this one will get a slight power increase, though Toyota management still keeps details a secret.
The brand-new Lexus LQ will arrive sometime in the second half of the year and base models should go around 80.000 dollars.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The next-generation Grand Cherokee is on the way and for the first time, we will see it in a seven-seat version. Of course, that won’t be the only novelty and improvements in coming in various aspects. For example, it will ride on Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio platform, which promises significantly better driving characteristics than before. The thing that’s most interesting to us at the moment is the expected plug-in hybrid version.
Although we are still waiting for the official confirmation, many sources suggest such a version of the legendary mid-size SUV. Allegedly, the new Grand Cherokee will use the same system as the new Wrangler 4xe. That would mean a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine in a combination with two electric motors, for a total output of around 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. We expect a similarly-sized or slightly bigger battery, which should provide a max range of around 30 miles in the all-electric mode.
The all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is about to arrive this summer.