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What Car? Electric Car Awards in association with myenergi

Electric Car Awards 2020: Hybrid seven-seater

With electric cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best plug-in hybrid seven-seater...

Electric Car Awards - Volvo XC90 Recharge T8

WINNER: Hybrid seven-seater

Volvo XC90 Recharge T8

Best buy Inscription List price £68,695 Target Price £63,263 Target PCP £615 per month 0-62mph 5.8sec Top speed 112mph Official economy 100.9mpg CO2 emissions 63g/km

As a seven-seat plug-in hybrid, the Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 is in a class of one – but don’t go thinking this accolade is a token gesture. The XC90 is absolutely deserving of recognition in these awards because of the outstanding plug-in package it offers beyond its seven seats.

Luxurious, spacious and quick, the Recharge T8 provides plenty of reasons to recommend it. Not least, the fact you should be able to cover around 20 miles in real-world driving conditions on pure electric power alone. Some five-seat plug-in hybrids can go farther on electric juice, but the XC90 still offers plenty to electrify most commutes or school runs.

Volvo XC90 T8 rear

When you aren’t trying to conserve range, there’s great performance on offer, too. The 0-62mph dash is covered in just 5.8sec and the XC90 feels more agile in corners than the five-seat BMW X5 plug-in. It’s great on longer journeys, too, riding smoothly on motorways.

Inside is where the XC90 really shines, though. The suave Scandinavian interior offers plenty of glossy black and chrome finishes that make it look as flash as anything this side of a Bentley, and the materials used are great. Plus, you sit nice and high, with fine visibility all round.

Inscription trim is the one we’d go for. It’s slightly more expensive than the sportier R-Design alternative, but that means it comes with a long kit list; niceties include leather upholstery, 20in alloy wheels, heated front seats and four-zone climate control that includes air conditioning for those in the third row.

Volvo XC90 T8 - interior

Those in the very back will not only be kept cool but have also got a good chance of being comfy. The tallest of adults might find it a squeeze, but for everyone else, a third-row journey isn’t the short-straw draw it is in many cars with seven seats, including the non-plug-in Lexus RX L hybrid.

And what if you don’t want to carry seven but do want lots of boot space? The XC90 has you covered there, too. Even with all seats in use, there’s room for a couple of big bulky bags, and when you drop the rearmost seats you get one of the longest and most practical boots of any SUV.

All in all, its practicality and performance make the XC90 one of the most versatile plug-in hybrids going.

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