Best hybrid SUVs

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Best hybrid SUVs 2024

  • What are the best hybrid SUVs?
  • We test and rate the contenders
  • Find a hybrid SUV for sale

The best hybrid SUVs have to be refined, high-tech, nice to drive and, above all else, deliver better efficiency than a petrol or diesel SUV. In this list we've picked the top 10 best hybrid SUVs on the market today. 

Looking for a hybrid SUV? It's probably because you want lower running costs than a petrol or diesel SUV, or it might be because a hybrid SUV's lower emissions benefits the local environment and your wallet as a company car driver.

Hybrid SUVs are more fuel efficient because they marry a petrol engine (or in some cases a diesel engine) with an electric motor and battery. The two power sources are constantly juggled to ensure a hybrid SUV uses as little fuel as possible. The electric motor can also power the car without the engine, either for short distances or longer ones depending on which you buy. 

As well as significantly reducing fuel consumption, this massively reduces local emissions - an important factor for those buying a hybrid SUV for town use. The days of SUVs being stereotyped as big gas guzzlers are numbered - although if you're ready to really take the plunge why not check out our best fully electric SUVs?

The hybrid components do tend to eat some boot space, but the best hybrid SUVs are still more than big enough for all the family, business users love them thanks to their low BiK (Benefit in Kind) tax rates. What's more, they're often more refined and smoother to drive than petrol or diesel SUVs. 

If you're ready to buy we've got over 10,000 Used Hybrid Cars for Sale, while if you want more choice, we have over 70,000 Used Cars for Sale. If you're looking to save money, check out our guide to the Best Car Deals.

Best hybrid SUVs 2024

  1. BMW X5 xDrive 45e
  2. Kia Sorento hybrid
  3. Audi Q7 TFSIe
  4. Ford Kuga Plug-in hybrid
  5. Toyota C-HR
  6. Hyundai Tucson hybrid
  7. Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe 
  8. Lexus NX
  9. Mazda CX-60
  10. Land Rover Defender P400e

1. BMW X5 XDrive 45e

Year launched: 2017

BMW X5 PHEV
9/10

The BMW X5 XDrive 45e is a brilliant hybrid SUV. Officially, it returns an incredible 201-235mpg and 32-27g/km of CO2. What's more, being a plug-in hybrid, it can cover up to 54 miles with a full battery charge with zero local emissions. 

Those advertised fuel economy figures are based on the X5’s plug-in battery being fully charged, which means the mpg will be significantly lower when the X5 is running from the 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and the battery is depleted.

All versions of the hybrid X5 use all-wheel drive, while maximum power is a potent 394PS. BMW’s power delivery system is seamless, which means it’s very difficult to tell where the engine stops and the electric motor starts. The performance is great, too - really, it's better suited to the big X5 than the pure petrol options. The only downside is that because the hybrid tech takes up a bit of boot space, you can't spec seven seats.  

Hybrid system aside, the X5 is a very good large SUV. The interior is luxurious with comfortable wide seats, lots of high-quality leather and soft-touch materials. The X5 also has one of the best infotainment systems in its class, operated through a pair of 12.3-inch screens that are sharp, bright and easy to read.

2. Kia Sorento PHEV

Year launched: 2020

Kia Sorento 2020
9/10

The Kia Sorento is a classy and capable large SUV that illustrates how far the Korean brand has come in a few years.

With smart styling and an upmarket interior with plenty of neat touches, the Sorento no longer feels like the poor man's (or woman's) big SUV. It's no longer the budget alternative, though, but it's still cheaper than premium rivals. You also get seven proper seats, with a surprising amount of space in all three rows. 

Like the smaller Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sorento is available with mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. It's the full hybrid and plug-in models we're interested here, and the former makes a great case for itself, with an affordable price tag, great smoothness, respectable performance and 40mpg capability.

If that fuel economy figure just isn't good enough, though, you can spend a bit more and plump for the PHEV Sorento. That puts out a healthy 265PS from an all-wheel drive powertrain, promises up to 35-miles of all electric running and up to 176mpg if plugged in regularly. Our only complaint is the petrol engine is a bit coarse when it kicks into life. 

3. Audi Q7 TFSI e quattro

Year launched: 2020

Audi Q7 TFSI e quattro charging
9/10

The Audi Q7 is already one of our favourite SUVs. However, with a plug-in hybrid it morphs into one of the best large cars on sale today, with sub-100g/km of CO2 and the promise of up to 88mpg if regular charging is employed. 

The hybrid system combines a powerful 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. The battery gives the Q7 an electric range of 27 miles and a full charge takes 2.5 hours to complete from a home wall box. However it does mean that the boot is a bit smaller than the standard Q7, while like the BMW X5 hybrid you can't spec seven seats like you can in pure petrol or diesel versions. 

The Audi Q7 is smooth to drive at low speeds, with the electric motor doing all of the hard work. This means you can waft along in this large SUV in near silence, while the engine kicks in when the charge runs out or if the car needs a boost in power. As with the standard Q7, the interior is beautifully put together and supremely comfortable, with three-zone climate control and heated electric leather seats. It really is a very impressive all-round hybrid SUV. 

4. Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid

Year launched: 2020

Ford Kuga Review 2023: Driving
8/10

The Ford Kuga is a comfortable family SUV that’s good to drive and extremely practical. The plug-in hybrid Kuga boosts its potential fuel economy to an incredible 200+ mpg, while also giving this family-friendly Ford an electric range of 35 miles. 

Larger and more spacious than ever before, the latest Kuga feels like it’s been designed for everyday family life. The rear seats, for example, can slide forwards or backwards to maximise passenger or storage space. You also get lots of useful equipment as standard, with all plug-in models getting LED headlights, touchscreen navigation and a rear armrest with a pair of cupholders. 

The hybrid system combines a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a sophisticated electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. A full charge takes 3.5 hours from a home wall box and the Kuga (with a full tank of fuel) will be capable of covering a useful 465 miles.

5. Toyota C-HR

Year launched: 2023

Toyota C-HR Review 2024: static
8/10

The original Toyota C-HR proved hugely popular with UK car buyers, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if the same turns out to be true of its successor. This second-generation model has a proper eye-catching design that makes it stand out against rivals like the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008 – which are good lookers themselves – and it drives well, too.

It offers a choice of two hybrid powertrains, with a 1.8-litre engine or a 2.0-litre version. A plug-in hybrid model is on the way too, which should give you around 40 miles of electric-only range. Whichever version you go for, you should find excellent fuel economy.

You'll also get a much improved and very comfortable interior, which is home to a well-judged driving experience that strikes a balance between composed handling and refined comfort. And, as with any Toyota, you get a cracking five-year warranty on a  new C-HR, and a peerless reputation for reliability. 

6. Hyundai Tucson hybrid

Year launched: 2021

Hyundai Tucson Review 2024: exterior dynamic front
8/10

The Hyundai Tucson was a worthy but unexciting midsize SUV, until this new version came along in 2021. Out went the inoffensive (but bland) looks and in came a striking new design language that really marks the new model out against a sea of rivals. 

There's substance to the Tucson's style, too, with a high-tech and upmarket interior that shows Hyundai is hoping to pull buyers away from premium SUVs. It's pretty practical, too, and well-equipped even at the lower end of the range. There's also forward thinking in the powertrain department, with every version available as some form of hybrid - be it mild hybrid, full hybrid or plug-in hybrid. 

The full hybrid (HEV) Tucson is best for those who are unable to charge at home, as it deftly juggles its power sources to provide diesel-beating efficiency. With 230PS it's reasonably swift, too. There's also a 265PS plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Tucson, which is the version of choice for business users or those who can charge it regularly. Do that and you could manage to reach the impressive 201mpg claimed figure, with a strong 38 miles of all-electric running possible. 

7. Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe

Year launched: 2019

Porsche Cayenne Coupe Left Side View
8/10

Want to buy a high-performance SUV without the eco-guilt? The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe could be the automotive oxymoron for you. It’s brutally fast, yet emits the same level of CO2 as a small hatchback. 

In true Porsche fashion, the plug-in hybrid version of the Cayenne Coupe is brilliant to drive. The 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine delivers that trademark Porsche engine howl, while the electric motor and battery pack nullify the running costs to a socially acceptable 60-70mpg and 91-108g/km of CO2. The electric range isn’t the best, however, with a full charge giving you just 22-miles. 

Like all Cayennes, the E-Hybrid Coupe’s road handling defines its size. The steering is light and accurate, while the four-wheel drive system provides physic defying levels of grip. The interior is also cavernous, which means a family of four will have little trouble getting comfortable. 

8. Lexus NX

Year launched: 2021

Lexus NX Review 2023: front dynamic
8/10

Lexus has always provided a left-field choice in the premium classes, and in recent years has leaned heavily on its self-charging hybrid tech while others carried on with petrol and diesel. But now other manufacturers are also offering self-charging hybrid SUVs, the new Lexus NX is the brand's first model to also be available as a plug-in hybrid. 

There's two flavours of NX hybrid: the NX 350h uses the brand's proven self-charging hybrid system, using a 2.5-litre petrol engine mated to two electric motors for 244PS and a respectable 47.9mpg. It also suits the NX's smooth and relaxed driving style.

The more expensive NX450h+ gets that new four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid powertrain. Despite Lexus being new to this technology, its wider hybrid expertise means the stats are impressive: 309PS, 0-60mph in just over six seconds, up to 313mpg and a very healthy 47-mile all electric range. 

What's more, the new NX is much better than its predecessor, with greatly improved infotainment, a seriously solid and plush cabin and a comfortable ride. All NXs can also tow 1,500kg, which is fairly useful.

9. Mazda CX-60

Year launched: 2022

Mazda CX-60 Review 2023: front dynamic
8/10

Mazda is relatively new to hybrids, and the recently launched Mazda CX-60 is actually its first plug-in hybrid car ever. It's a rather decent first go, however. 

Unlike some of the cars here you won't find any used bargains yet given it's so new, but happily the Mazda CX-60 is already noticeably cheaper than equivalent premium rivals anyway. The CX-60 is the Japanese maker's attempt to go premium and has the only rear-wheel drive Mazda platform outside of its sports cars.

The plug-in hybrid model is four-wheel drive, however, which is needed to put down its punchy 327PS output. It's quicker than some of its key rivals, then, and also has Mazda's trademark sharp handling to make it feel fairly sporting despite its weight. Refinement is an issue, however - it's clear the established premium brands have been doing hybrids for some time as their systems are quieter. 

Still, the CX-60 has a very respectable electric range of up to 42 miles, also promising up to 188mpg. It also has a very nice cabin, which is smart, minimalist and with great, easy to use tech. We just wish it was a little more spacious. 

10. Land Rover Defender PHEV

Year launched: 2020

Land Rover Defender 90 frontleft exterior
8/10

A decade ago the idea of a hybrid Land Rover Defender would've raised a few eyebrows, especially among the farming and rural types that bought them. The new Defender, though, is designed for a broader church, from hardcore off-road enthusiasts to tech-savvy urbanites. 

Its brilliant exterior design takes the classic Defender shape into the new age, while the upmarket and high-tech interior is a world away from the old model. That doesn't mean it's not a Defender any more, though, as there's loads of practical touches and hard wearing trim, while off-roading is still a core focus. 

It's much better than the old Defender on the road, however, with excellent comfort and decent handling. And the P400e plug-in hybrid might be the best of the lot, putting out an impressive 404PS which takes the huge Defender from 0-60mph in under six seconds. But it's not just about straight-line performance, as the P400e is uncannily smooth and refined - two words that no old Defender driver would be familiar with.

The Defender P400e manages 27 miles of range on a charge and promises up to 85mpg. For something so heavy and brick-shaped, the numbers are pretty good. It also means you can drive the Defender around town silently, pollution-free and with less of a guilty conscience. 

Best Hybrid SUV FAQs

Lawrence Allan

Written by

Lawrence Allan

The BMW X5 xDrive45e is the best hybrid SUV. It blends impressive performance and luxury with a huge 54-mile all electric range and the promise of over 200mpg. Other highly rated hybrid SUVs include the Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid and Audi Q7 TFSI e.

Hybrid SUVs are popular because they usually use a petrol engine and an electric motor to maximise fuel economy while reducing CO2 emissions. Hybrid SUVs also use fuel-saving technology, like brake regeneration, which recovers energy and stores it onboard a lithium-ion battery. The battery will then use this recovered energy to power the electric motor at low speeds. 

Many hybrid SUVs on our list are too new to accurately gauge their reliability. However, two linked companies have been making hybrid SUVs for decades now: Toyota and Lexus. Both brands have an impressive reputation for reliability, and their hybrid systems are well proven and recognised as being extremely dependable. 

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Toyota RAV4

2.5 VVT-i Hybrid Design 5dr CVT 2WD

202116,175 mileshybridautomatic
£27,849
Deposit con. £250
£451mo PCP
L86PZ

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £450.75, Customer Deposit: £4,177.00, Total Deposit: £4,427.35, Retailer Deposit Contribution: £250.00, Optional Final Payment: £14,375.00, Total Charge For Credit: £7,180.35, Total Amount Payable: £35,029.35, Representative APR: 12.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 12.9%, Excess Mileage Charge: 8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000