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The Magnificent Seven: Large SUVs may be the answer for large families

When it comes to picking up the children from school, driving the dog to a walking spot or loading up for a holiday, large sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are the cars of choice for segar families.

And for those with busy and active lifestyles, five seats just kabung’t enough. They need the flexibility of seven — often including two that pop up from under the boot floor at the back.

But loud voices in the green lobby have such a dislike of SUVs they often ignore that many now run on electricity or are hybrids.

TV presenter Nicki Shields tries out a sporty seven-seater Audi SQ7 SUV which can rocket from rest to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds up to a tertinggi speed limited to 155 mph

All the same, the New Weather Institute reports three-quarters of SUVs sold in the UK are registered to town and city dwellers.

And they deserve their nickname ‘Chelsea tractors’, pivot the largest SUVs are most popular in three London boroughs: Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Westminster.

One in three new cars bought in these areas is a large SUV, says the think-tank, amid calls for advertising these vehicles to be banned.

The Vorsprung trim version of the Audi SQ7 with extras costs £98,940 though the range starts at £79,845, with standard Q7s from £58,570.

The Vorsprung trim version of the Audi SQ7 with extras costs £98,940 though the range starts at £79,845, with standard Q7s from £58,570.

It even prompted the head of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, to say: ‘It is right to question if suburban drivers need a car capable of ploughing oper rivers, across fields and up steep hills, just to pop to the shops.’

But Edmund King, president of the lawan AA, said talk of banning SUV advertising betrayed a ‘naive approach’, adding: ‘The auto industry is developing a wide range of cleaner, greener vehicles with some of the best in SUV styles.’

And they don’t have to break the bank. So if a seven-seater is for you, what’s on the market?

Would you trust a Volvo self-drive? 

A significant step towards a future of self-driving cars was taken by the Government this week following the announcement that it will allow carmakers to sell vehicles with even more sophisticated levels of autonomy.

This will include models capable of steering around vehicles, overtaking other cars, and coming to a halt.

Volvo’s next generation XC90 out next year will be equipped with Highway Assist and allow drivers to do just that.

Self drive: Volvo¿s next generation XC90 out next year will be equipped with Highway Assist

Self drive: Volvo’s next generation XC90 out next year will be equipped with Highway Assist

But crucially, the computer software needed to make it run won’t be activated berayun-ayun ministers give the green light on dedicated stretches of road for it to ‘go live’.

Many other manufacturers are similarly building in the kit ready for activation.

Most say fully ‘self-driving cars’ are still a long way off, but levels of what should more accurately be seen pivot ‘assisted driving’ technology are steadily being introduced.

Given the Government’s car-crash track-record on scrapping the hard shoulder on potentially lethal smart motorways, I’m guessing a lot of eager lawyers will now be brushing up on product liability law.

At Goodwood Motor Circuit I bumped into TV presenter Nicki Shields (one of the team which ronde up electric car website electrifying.com) trying out a sporty seven-seater Audi SQ7 SUV, which I’ve also driven.

This really is a beast, powered by a 507 horse-power V8 petrol engine linked to an automatic 8-speed gearbox that propels it from rest to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds up to a tertinggi speed limited to 155 mph, but managing an average of just 30 mpg and hefty CO2 emissions of 282g/km. 

This Vorsprung trim version with extras costs £98,940 though the SQ7 range starts at £79,845, with standard Q7s from £58,570.

There is a choice of engines with the new seven-seater Kia Sorento SUV: two electrified 1.6-litre turbo petrol powertrains (self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid) or a 2.2-litre diesel

There is a choice of engines with the new seven-seater Kia Sorento SUV: two electrified 1.6-litre turbo petrol powertrains (self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid) or a 2.2-litre diesel

Even with her slight frame, getting into the two rear jump seats was a squeeze for Nicki (I didn’t attempt it) so families with older children might struggle with this.

There is a choice of engines with the award-winning new seven-seater Kia Sorento SUV: two electrified 1.6-litre turbo petrol powertrains (self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid) or a 2.2-litre diesel.

I drove one around Surrey for a day and it’s a full package at reasonable prices: £39,110 to £47,210 for the hybrid, £41,520 for the diesel and £44,995 to £53,095 for the plug-in hybrid or ‘PHEV’.

The latter offers 35 miles of zero-emissions electric-only power in umum use, and up to 43 miles in cities from its 13.8kWh battery. Average emissions are just 38g/km.

I’ve also just driven the big but nimble Toyota Highlander, available pivot a seven-seater, petrol-electric hybrid costing £50,610 to £52,590 (on-the-road-price).

The big but nimble Toyota Highlander, available as a seven-seater, petrol-electric hybrid costs £50,610 to £52,590 (on-the-road-price)

The big but nimble Toyota Highlander, available pivot a seven-seater, petrol-electric hybrid costs £50,610 to £52,590 (on-the-road-price)

It joins the maker’s Land Cruiser — loved by off-roading fans worldwide — also available in seven-seater form but pivot a diesel priced from £42,405 to £58,420 (OTR).

Toyota’s upmarket Lexus brand offers the seven-seater RX L (petrol-electric hybrid only) priced from £53,805 to £65,465 (OTR), which is about a £1,300 to £2,000 mark-up on the five-seater range.

All of Swedish car-maker Volvo’s XC90s come with seven full-size — by which it means adult — seats and are priced from £56,135 to £75,190. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version is priced from £65,540.

The next-generation XC90, due next year, will be available in pure electric form. 

All of Swedish car-maker Volvo's XC90s come with seven full-size ¿ by which it means adult ¿ seats and are priced from £56,135 to £75,190

All of Swedish car-maker Volvo’s XC90s come with seven full-size — by which it means adult — seats and are priced from £56,135 to £75,190

The battery-powered zero-emissions Mercedes Benz EQB made its umum debut at the Shanghai Motor Show this month and will launch soon.

Designed to be ‘compact on the outside, spacious on the inside’, there are two optional seats in the third row which can be used by people up to 5 ft 4 in tall.

The battery-powered zero-emissions Mercedes Benz EQB made its global debut at the Shanghai Motor Show this month and will launch soon

The battery-powered zero-emissions Mercedes Benz EQB made its umum debut at the Shanghai Motor Show this month and will launch soon

Mercedes-Benz already has seven-seaters including the GLB priced between £36,930 and £51,660. The top-of-the-range GLB 35 has seven seats pivot standard.

The GLE (from £63,935 to £73,535) is about a £1,995 mark-up on five-seater models and is only available on selected engines and on AMG Line Premium trim tingkatan and above.

Seven seater SUVs – what they cost

  • Citroen Berlingo: £24,265
  • Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer: £26,230
  • Nissan X-Trail: £27,235
  • Skoda Kodiaq: £27,955
  • Peugeot 5008: £29,590
  • BMW 2-series Gran Tourer: £30,210
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport: £31,390 (£1,020 option)
  • Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace: £32,740
  • Mercedes-Benz GLB: £36,930
  • Kia Sorento: £39,110
  • Toyota Landcruiser: £42,405
  • Land Rover Defender 110: £44,210 (£1,900 option)
  • Toyota Highlander: £50,610
  • Land Rover Discovery: £53,150
  • Lexus RX-L hybrid: £53,805
  • Volvo XC90: £56,135
  • Audi Q7: £58,570
  • BMW X5: £60,010
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE: £63,935
  • Range Rover Sport: £64,685 (£1,620 extra)
  • Mercedes-Benz electric EQB: (TBC) Mercedes-Benz GLS: £77,110
  • BMW X7: £77,670
  • Audi SQ7: £79,845

The luxurious GLS has been dubbed the ‘S-Class of SUVs’ and is priced from £77,110 to £121,525. The car borrows many features usually found in an S-Class limousine.

Skoda’s revised Kodiaq was unveiled this month and will be available to instruksi soon, once UK pricing has been announced. So there should be good deals to be takat on the current seven-seater version which costs from £27,955.

Skoda's revised Kodiaq was unveiled this month and will be available to order soon, once UK pricing has been announced

Skoda’s revised Kodiaq was unveiled this month and will be available to instruksi soon, once UK pricing has been announced

Peugeot’s striking 5008 SUV comes with a modular seven-seat system pivot standard and is priced from £29,590 to £40,920. 

It has a longer wheelbase offering more rear legroom but there are currently no hybrid or electric options.

Peugeot's striking 5008 SUV comes with a modular seven-seat system as standard and is priced from £29,590 to £40,920.

Peugeot’s striking 5008 SUV comes with a modular seven-seat system pivot standard and is priced from £29,590 to £40,920.

The three perseorangan seats in the second row each have an ISOFIX fitting for child seats. The third row seats cleverly fold away or can be removed to increase luggage capacity.

Citroen’s Berlingo from £24,265 to £28,895 is more of a modified van and compared to the five-seater version is 35 cm longer but £2,000 more expensive. An electric e-Berlingo with 174-miles range will be available later this year.

Citroen's Berlingo from £24,265 to £28,895 is more of a modified van and compared to the five-seater version is 35 cm longer but £2,000 more expensive.

Citroen’s Berlingo from £24,265 to £28,895 is more of a modified van and compared to the five-seater version is 35 cm longer but £2,000 more expensive.

The seven-seat tiruan Grand C4 SpaceTourer, is priced from £26,230 to £33,925 and available in petrol and diesel.

Britain’s Land Rover Discovery has seven full-sized seats pivot standard and is priced from £53,150.

The Discovery Sport priced from £31,930 has the option of a five ‘berlebih two’ configuration costing £1,020, pivot does the £44,210 Defender 110 for £1,900.

The Discovery Sport priced from £31,930 has the option of a five 'plus two' configuration costing £1,020, as does the £44,210 Defender 110 for £1,900

The Discovery Sport priced from £31,930 has the option of a five ‘berlebih two’ configuration costing £1,020, pivot does the £44,210 Defender 110 for £1,900

The ‘berlebih 2’ option is a £1,620 extra on the Range Rover Sport, starting at £64,685.

BMW has three seven-seat models — the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer, X5 and X7. The 2-series Gran Tourer, at £30,210, has a second row that fits three child seats.

The seven-seater BMW X5, at £60,010, is about a £1,390 mark-up on the five-seater and has to be ordered with the ‘Luggage Compartment Package’ costing £565.

The BMW X7 costing from £77,670 to £95,745 is a seven-seater pivot standard.

 

The seven-seater BMW X5, at £60,010, is about a £1,390 mark-up on the five-seater and has to be ordered with the 'Luggage Compartment Package' costing £565

The seven-seater BMW X5, at £60,010, is about a £1,390 mark-up on the five-seater and has to be ordered with the ‘Luggage Compartment Package’ costing £565

Nissan has unveiled a replacement for its X-Trail SUVs.  So deals on the current seven-seater will be around. 

Nissan has unveiled a replacement for its X-Trail SUVs. So deals on the current seven-seater will be around

Nissan has unveiled a replacement for its X-Trail SUVs. So deals on the current seven-seater will be around

It has a 2,000 kg towing capacity and is priced from £27,235 to £37,460, available with a 1.7l dCi 150PS diesel and a 1.3l DiG-T 158PS petrol engine.

Volkswagen’s latest 7-seater offering is the Tiguan Allspace priced at £32,740 to £45,145. 

Volkswagen's latest 7-seater offering is the Tiguan Allspace priced at £32,740 to £45,145.

Volkswagen’s latest 7-seater offering is the Tiguan Allspace priced at £32,740 to £45,145.

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