For cutting carbon emissions and mitigating climate impact, the only thing better than one person driving in an EV would be two or more coming along for the ride.
Until now, the EV industry in the United States has focused more on building 5-seat luxury sedans or SUVs that limit the number of friends and family members who could pile in for the drive. But that trend is changing.
Here, we’ll take a quick look at the 7-seater electric SUVs available in the United States as of 2023, with a glance at the models coming in the next year.
The cold truth is that, right now, there are no designated, standard 7-seater electric cars in production. For a brief moment in history, Tesla offered a Model S that could be configured with two child jump seats in the trunk. But newer models have returned to the 5-seater status quo.
That said, a few current EV SUV models offer a third row as an option. Let’s take a look.
Tesla Model Y
The Model Y is reportedly the most popular EV in the US, as well as the best-selling car in the world, now beating the Toyota Corolla in sales (though these figures are under dispute). It comes with a $53,490 price tag ($50,490 + $3,000 for the 7-seat option) and a range of 330 miles, and it qualifies for the full Federal Clean Vehicle Credit. Right now, the 7-seat option is only available on the Model Y Long Range variant.
Though current models don’t all feature 7 seats, you can find a few older models in the used car marketplace. Just be aware that the third row is tight and might be uncomfortable on long road trips, especially for adults.
With plenty of legroom in the third row, even for adults, the R1S comes out ahead of the pack on this list for passenger room. Growing families will appreciate that Rivian designed the second and third rows to fit children’s car seats. With the exception of the middle seat in the second row, the second and third-row seats all have LATCH car-seat connectors, except for the middle seat in the second row, though that seat can accommodate a car seat with the traditional belt connector. Of all the models on this list, that puts them on top for car seat accommodation.
The Rivian has a $78,000 MSRP and a range of 260-390 miles, and it qualifies for the Federal Clean Vehicle Credit. However, current reservations for a new R1S are stretching into 2024 for fulfillment. Compared to some of the other models here, used R1Ss will also be tougher to find and still sell for well over MSRP.
Tesla Model X
Though it features a hefty price tag of $101,990 ($98,490 + $3,500 for 7 seats), the Model X has featured 7 seats for longer than the other EVs on this list. But you can find a used Model X at a more budget-friendly price tag since it’s been around for five years.
The falcon-wing doors on the Model X look pretty cool and make it easier for parents to access the child seats in the second and third rows. But the Model X can’t feature a roof rack, which could be a dealbreaker for families who love long road trips.
Mercedes EQS SUV
The EQS SUV stands out from the other EVs on this list for its luxury details like plush interiors, user-friendly tech, and quality materials.
But when you add $1,250 for a third row of seats to the $105,650 MSRP, you only get a 7-seater built for short trips (or shorter people). The third row is a bit cramped, though easy to access through the powered second row, and the overall trunk space can only fit about 2 medium-sized suitcases. An after-market roof rack could make this easier to manage, and the EQS offers a respectable range of 305 miles.
Mercedes EQS EQB
The EQS EQB offers the same luxury details (but with the same shortage of leg room) as the Mercedes EQS SUV, but with a lower MSRP of $52,750. The EQB offers more physical control features than the Tesla Model Y, but with a much shorter range of 245 miles. That means more stops to recharge on long road trips.
This newcomer from Vietnam doesn’t yet have the track record of performance as the others on this list, so it’s difficult to rate overall. But with so few 7-seaters available, it’s worth a mention. Plus, the VF9 does offer comparable passenger legroom to the R1S and Model X, with an MSRP of $83,000 for its Eco trim.
Upcoming 7-Seater Electric SUVs in 2024
Some new 7-seat EVs are coming to the market in 2024.
2024 Kia EV9
This 7-seat electric SUV is expected to match the Rivian R1S and Model X for passenger space but at a lower price point of $50,000 (estimate). Its details are pending, but it does have an anticipated range of 300 miles.
2024 HYUNDAI IONIQ 7
Built on the same platform as the Kia EV9, the IONIQ 7—with an estimated MSRP of $50,000—plans to offer 7 seats with an anticipated range of around 300 miles.
2024 VW ID.Buzz
With an estimated MSRP of $45,000-$50,000 and an anticipated range of 260 miles, this long-wheelbase version of the EV could fill in a market gap as the first electric minivan for the mass market.
2024 Volvo EX90
Volvo expects their EX90 will be available with third-row seats designed for adults. And according to Volvo, these seats were designed for adults. The anticipated range will be a competitive 300 miles, with an MSRP of $80,000.
Though manufacturers have been slow to consider and offer 7-seat versions of EVs to the U.S. market, this list demonstrates that consumers do have options, and that the number of models available is set to grow in coming years.
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