Big 4×4 SUVs used to mean frequent trips to the petrol station. Then along came hybrid SUVs, with the promise of improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Today, the fusion of a petrol or diesel engine with battery power is certainly living up to its claims. Now we have hybrids and even plug-in hybrids (PHEVS) too – and some of them perform exceptionally well.

Hybrids vs Electric Vehicles

Top 10 Best Hybrid SUVs

To find used hybrid SUVs in our top 10 list, click on the ‘Search used cars’ link below the relevant vehicle. This link will take you to that particular car model. To display hybrids only, click the ‘More Options’ tab and scroll down to the ‘Fuel Type (Any)’ tab in the ‘Vehicle Spec’ category. From there, you can select a hybrid fuel type and it will display those models for you. Remember, choosing a hybrid SUV could help you save money on running costs. Read on for our pick of the best.

1. Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine Hybrid

The Volvo XC60 has one of the most impressive Euro NCAP scores out there, so naturally it came first in our list of The Best Family Cars for Child Safety. It’s also, in our opinion, the best hybrid SUV. It provides impressive fuel economy for short journeys, with an official 134.5 mpg. For longer days out, with the engine more in use, it’ll give a good return – around 50mpg. Even better, combine the electric motor with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and you’ll get some other impressive figures, like 407bhp providing an eye-wateringly fast 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds.

Best features:

  • One of the safest cars on the market
  • Great fuel economy
  • Good performance

2. Audi Q7 e-Tron

Winner of the best hybrid car category in the What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2018, the Audi Q7 e-tron also features in our top 10 of The Best Luxury Electric Cars. As you’d expect from Audi, it boasts some impressive numbers, like an official fuel economy figure of 156.9 mpg, although take away the battery assistance and it’s more like 36 mpg. The Audi’s low CO2 emissions of 48g/km make the Q7 e-tron a desirable and stylish company car too. Bear in mind, unlike the standard Q7, the e-tron is only a five-seater to make room for the battery, but it’s still a top-notch SUV, especially for smaller families.

Best features:

  • Very stylish
  • Brand appeal
  • Great fuel economy

3. Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Hybrid

Thanks to its spacious cabin, practical interior and ease of driving, we placed the Volvo XC90 in second place in our pick of The Best Large SUVs. Like the XC40, it has an impeccable safety rating with Euro NCAP, scoring 97% for adult occupant protection and 100% for safety assistance technology. As a hybrid model, the car offers an official fuel economy figure of 108.6 mpg, as well as low CO2 emissions. Unlike other large SUVs, such as the Audi Q7 e-tron, the XC90 manages to keep its third row of seats – ideal for large families looking for a seven-seat hybrid.

Best features:

  • 7-seater
  • Impeccable safety rating
  • Good fuel economy

4. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the most popular plug-in hybrid in Britain with over 36,000 models on the road. That’s a staggering number, but then so is the Outlander’s fuel economy at 139 mpg. Its low CO2 emissions are equally impressive at 46g/km, qualifying the vehicle for the lowest company car tax, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. Another reason is its low starting price and its generous equipment list. Even the entry-level model comes kitted with a reversing camera, cruise control, climate control, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, a DAB radio and automatic wipers.

Best features:

  • Generous equipment as standard
  • Low starting price
  • Great value for money

5. Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid

Older models of this hybrid crossover were known by the catchy moniker of Mini Countryman Cooper S E ALL4. Whilst the new name’s certainly easier to remember, it’s still powered by a paired three-cylinder engine and an electric motor for rapid acceleration of 0-62mph in just 6.8 seconds. The Countryman’s fuel economy is good too, with official figures claiming 113 mpg. In practice, with the batteries drained it’s more like 35 mpg. Nevertheless, if you keep the electric motor charged, you’ll see good returns and low CO2 emissions of 56g/km. It’s a neat car to drive around the city and is practical too, especially with its huge 450-litre boot.

Best features:

  • Practical
  • Badge appeal
  • Huge 450-litre boot

6. Kia Niro PHEV

Available as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, the Kia Niro uses a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which allows for quick, smooth gear changes. It also offers a comfortable ride and a well-built interior, making it a practical car for families. In terms of fuel efficiency, the hybrid model claims 74.3 mpg, whilst the plug-in boasts a mighty 217.3 mpg, although real world usage is likely to be a fair bit less. The incredibly low CO2 emissions also work in the plug-in’s favour – at just 29g/km, they place the Niro PHEV in the lowest 9 per cent benefit-in-kind bracket. It’s also exempt from the London Congestion Charge and is eligible for the government’s £2,500 grant towards plug-in hybrids.

Best features:

  • Great dual-clutch automatic gearbox
  • Very low CO2 emissions
  • Great mpg

7. Lexus NX

Typical of the Lexus brand, the NX looks stylish with its sharp lines and boxy appearance. Inside the cabin, there’s plenty of space and headroom in the front and back. It’s practical too, with a good 475-litre boot. The car’s fitted with a petrol-hybrid powertrain, which offers decent fuel efficiency around 48 mpg, though some owners claim it’s less than 40 mpg in real driving conditions. Whilst that’s certainly not the best return on this list, the Lexus NX does come stacked with useful equipment as standard, even in the entry-level. You get dual-zone climate control, electric windows, electrically heated and folding wing mirrors, a DAB radio and a seven-inch media display with an eight-speaker sound system. Not bad at all.

Best features:

  • Well-equipped as standard
  • Stylish looks
  • Practical and spacious cabin

8. Toyota C-HR Hybrid

Underneath the Toyota C-HR hybrid, there’s something familiar going on – a clever combination of a 1.8-litre petrol engine, paired with an electric motor and a CVT gearbox. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the same technological underpinnings of the excellent Toyota Prius. That winning combination provides the C-HR with a fuel economy figure of 74.3 mpg, which translates to roughly 60 mpg in real-world driving. It’s an impressive number for an SUV. However, its CO2 emissions of 86g/km aren’t as low as competitors. Nevertheless, the Toyota C-HR hybrid is a stylish car that’ll give rivals like the Nissan Qashqai a run for their money.

Best features:

  • Great fuel economy
  • Stylish looks
  • Responsive handling

9. Range Rover Sport PHEV

Combining luxury and genuine off-road capabilities is something of a speciality at Land Rover. The Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid is no exception. That’s one of the reasons it makes a great company car, another is the fact the hybrid model is the cheapest Range Rover for company car drivers, thanks to a Benefit-in-Kind tax rate of just 16%. For fuel economy, Land Rover claims the Range Rover Sport will offer a combined return of up to 91.1 mpg with 71g/km CO2 emissions – impressive numbers to say the least. The Sport’s 0-60mph in just 6.3 seconds is equally stunning for luxury a car of this size.

Best features:

  • Great on and off-road
  • Luxury brand appeal
  • Fantastic performance

10. BMW X5 xDrive40e

The plug-in hybrid model of the BMW X5 features a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor. Together, they produce 309bhp to create a drive with a bit of power and juice. For those who like numbers, that juice translates to 0-62mph in just 6.8 seconds, which is agile for the X5’s size. Like the standard model, the hybrid’s also good to drive, with enjoyable handling to boot. Unlike the standard model, the hybrid offers lower CO2 emissions and a claimed fuel economy of up to 85.6mpg, though that will be less without the battery power.

Best features:

  • Good to drive
  • Great handling
  • Good fuel economy
Back to articles January 3, 2019

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