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Looking for a four-wheel drive car for off-roading or for extra traction in tough weather conditions? And would you like that vehicle with better fuel efficiency, lower CO2 emissions, and a more environmentally friendly hybrid powertrain? Then you’ve come to the right place.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HYBRID CARS?

Whilst the majority of the 4x4s on the market and on this list are plug-in hybrids, which allow you to charge the batteries at a public charging point or at home, there are other hybrid powertrains available. To help you decide which type is best for you, we’ve compiled a quick and easy rundown of the main ones. There are four central variants to consider:

  • Plug-in hybrids
  • Mild hybrids
  • Self-charging hybrids
  • Range-extender hybrids

Of course, every type has their own set of pros and cons, so it’s worth taking a moment to consider which one would suit your motoring lifestyle best. Usually:

  • Plug-in hybrids pair an electric motor with a combustion engine (typically petrol), allowing you to switch between either one whenever needed – it’s often accompanied by a large rechargeable battery that can offer 20+ miles just on the electric motor alone
  • Mild hybrids pair an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine, improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions – typically, they do not have the option to drive solely on electric power
  • Self-charging hybrids (like the name implies) charge themselves, with the batteries getting energy directly from the combustion engine and from regenerative braking – they work like plug-in hybrids, although they normally have shorter range on electric power needing to switch between the combustion engine and electric motor several times in one journey
  • There are currently no new range-extender hybrids on sale in the UK (unless you opt for one of the older BMW i3 models), nonetheless, the way these work is by using an electric drivetrain and a fuel-based auxiliary power unit (APU) designed to increase the battery’s range – naturally, electric cars have made massive gains in recent years in both range and charging stations, so it’s unlikely future cars will adopt this type of hybrid moving forwards

THE TOP 10 BEST HYBRID 4X4S

The SUVs on this list offer good fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions thanks to their use of the hybrid powertrain. They all enjoy good four-wheel drive performance too. Some of the cars are true dirt warriors, able to go off the beaten track and able to tackle whatever tough terrain is thrown in their way. Other 4x4s are fantastic for families, proving more suited to light off-roading and poor weather. In short, there’s a good range here to suit a variety of motoring needs. Please, read on to find out our top 10 best hybrid 4x4s.

1. RANGE ROVER EVOQUE

When it comes to the best hybrid 4x4s, the Range Rover Evoque sits at the top. The premium SUV enjoys a stylish exterior and a luxury interior finished with high-quality materials.

As a four-wheel drive, the Evoque is typical of a Land Rover, enjoying class-leading off-road ability able to tackle the toughest terrains and the harshest weather. On the road, it’s just as good to drive with excellent manners and a comfortable ride experience.

The plug-in hybrid models offer fantastic fuel economy with a claimed consumption of up to 201 miles per gallon (MPG). To achieve this staggering figure, you will have to drive predominantly on the electric battery, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue as it has a range up to 41 miles when fully charged – perfect for daily commutes and city driving.

Best features:

  • Luxury interior
  • Class-leading off-road
  • Good to drive

USED PRICES FROM £10,300

2. MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER

The plug-in hybrid version of the Mitsubishi Outlander (PHEV) is one the best-selling hybrids in Britain. And it’s easy to see the appeal with its stylish, chunky looks and its excellent levels of practicality.

On the electric battery alone, it can drive approximately 28-35 miles, providing a real-world return of around 139mpg. The car comes with a good amount of equipment as standard as well.

Whilst it might not offer the same go-anywhere ability as the Evoque, it is capable for light off-roading and for adverse weather.

Furthermore, the car offers a generous 463-litre boot and a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. It’s also capable of towing a trailer up to 1,500kg.

Best features:

  • Stylish, chunky looks
  • Excellent practicality
  • Good standard equipment

USED PRICES FROM £2,500

3. BMW X1

The smallest SUV in BMW’s range, the X1 is an excellent crossover that came to market in 2009. It shares similar styling to the good looking 1 Series, but with added ground clearance and chunkier lines and dimensions.

As you’d expect from BMW, it drives really well, with precise handling and composed performance. The 4×4 is also well-suited for going off the beaten track, with the company’s xDrive four-wheel drive system able to tackle steep inclines, dirt roads, and rugged farmland.

Plug-in hybrid models offer fantastic fuel efficiency too, up to 157mpg when switching between the engine and the battery. It has a high-quality cabin finished with suitably plush materials, it’s comfortable, and it offers high levels of practicality.

Best features:

  • Good to drive
  • High-quality cabin
  • Very practical

USED PRICES FROM £4,000

4. VOLVO XC40

Another plug-in hybrid, the XC40 crossover, is also the smallest SUV in Volvo’s fantastic XC line-up, all of which are famed for their outstanding five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. They are renowned as some of the safest cars on the road, but that’s not all the XC40 has going for it.

It has strong build quality, high levels of practicality, and a spacious and comfortable cabin.

Surprisingly, it’s also a capable off-roader with good ground clearance and a capable hill descent system, although it is still better suited to lighter endeavours. Nonetheless, it is a superb all-rounder of a car, with plug-in hybrid models offering a brilliant return of up to 134.5mpg.

Best features:

  • Outstanding safest rating
  • Highly practical
  • Strong build quality

USED PRICES FROM £22,250

5. RANGE ROVER SPORT

The plug-in hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport merges luxury with efficiency, offering an excellent electric range up to 31 miles – perfect for reducing fuel consumption and lowering CO2 emissions.

The stylish car is typical of the Land Rover brand, providing that go-anywhere capability. It is an engaging and fun 4×4, proving a just as enjoyable drive on the road as it is off the beaten track.

Inside, the cabin is top quality, lined with soft materials, rich leather, and polished metal, creating a premium and luxurious feel throughout. For added comfort, it comes with heated seats as standard and it’s also available as a seven-seater for larger families.

Best features:

  • Enjoyable on and off road
  • Luxurious cabin
  • Stylish looks

USED PRICES FROM £3,000

6. MINI COUNTRYMAN

Unveiled in 2010, the Countryman is a spacious and practical crossover SUV with distinctive (and attractive) Mini styling, which is both playful and sophisticated.

As a plug-in hybrid, it is powerful and efficient, offering an excellent return from 140mpg to 166mpg depending on how frequently you drive on electric power alone.

As a 4×4, it won’t take you off-road, but it will provide extra traction and better grip in winter flurries and heavy rain, which can be a reassuring factor in adverse weather.

Overall, the Countryman is a great family car, enjoying a premium finish inside and out, a good driving experience, and stylish Mini looks.

Best features:

  • Stylish looks
  • Good to drive
  • Premium finish

USED PRICES FROM £4,000

7. KIA NIRO

The Kia Niro is available as a plug-in hybrid as well as a self-charging hybrid, catering to the needs of various drivers. You can also enjoy the car as a fully electric vehicle too.

When it comes to fuel consumption between the two hybrid models, the plug-in variants offer the best return although they do tend to cost a little more upfront compared to the self-charging hybrids, which offer almost 60 miles per gallon.

Whichever powertrain you go for, the Kia Niro is a comfortable and spacious car with a relaxed and easy-going driving experience. Whilst the four-wheel drive model won’t take you off-road, it is perfect for terrible weather, providing that extra grip when needed.

Best features:

  • Relaxed driving experience
  • Comfortable and spacious
  • Low running costs

USED PRICES FROM £10,000

8. FORD KUGA

If you’re looking for a hybrid 4×4 that focuses more on the driver’s experience, then the mid-size Ford Kuga SUV crossover is well worth checking out.

Arriving in 2008, this car is one of the best to drive in the sector and that should come as no surprise, as the Kuga shares much of the same platform (and engine choices) as the brilliant Ford Focus.

The Kuga also enjoys a stylish exterior and a spacious interior with a comfortable cabin. Plus, it is available as a plug-in hybrid or as a mild hybrid to suit various driving styles and preferences.

Whichever option you choose will see a good return, great fuel efficiency, and lower running costs.

Best features:

  • Good to drive
  • Spacious interior
  • Stylish exterior

USED PRICES FROM £3,000

9. TOYOTA C-HR

Introduced in 2016, the stylish Toyota CH-R is one of the many hybrid vehicles offered by the renowned Japanese company. And as you’d expect from Toyota, the hybrid powertrain is efficient, providing excellent fuel economy, around 54mpg to 57mpg. Whilst 4×4 models will reduce those figures slightly, due to the extra power required for all four wheels, it is still an efficient SUV crossover, especially amongst rivals.

It enjoys agile handling and a low centre of gravity, which combines with a spacious and comfortable cabin for a good driving experience.

It is a 4×4 more suited to light off-roading than going fully off the beaten track as it doesn’t have the ground clearance, but it is ideal for when poor weather hits and for giving it that extra stability when you need it.

Best features:

  • Stylish looks
  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Good driving experience

USED PRICES FROM £11,500

10. SUZUKI IGNIS

First introduced in 2000 as a compact supermini, the dinky Suzuki Ignis underwent a major change in 2016 becoming a city car/SUV crossover, which offers a lightweight body and a raised ride height. It is a characterful and charming vehicle that also proves surprisingly practical despite its seemingly diminutive proportions.

The car is available as a mild hybrid for great fuel economy and also as a 4×4. Although the four-wheel drive variant is not fit for full off-road adventures, it is capable for light off-roading and for extra traction during poor weather.

The stylish, boxy car is very well suited to city driving, with those smaller dimensions ideal for capturing tight parking spaces.

It also enjoys a very affordable starting price and excellent deals on the used car market.

Best features:

  • Very affordable starting price
  • Great fuel economy
  • Surprisingly practical

USED PRICES FROM £500

Looking for a hybrid 4×4 to take you on an adventure? Check out our huge range available at Motors.co.uk

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