Selecting the best hybrid SUV that’s the right fit for your needs means looking at myriad choices.  If you are shopping for a hybrid SUV, ponder the features that are important to you in a new car.

Keep in mind that when shopping for a hybrid auto, horsepower ratings are not as important as the specifications attributed to the vehicle’s range. Attaining highway speed isn’t an issue as the gasoline engine takes over during instances of rapid acceleration.

SUV’s are not known for getting exceptional gas mileage but models with hybrid engines, meaning having powertrain that’s propelled by a system consisting of a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery and gasoline powered engine typically perform comparatively better.

This engine configuration means that they are better on gas mileage than SUVs that are only powered by gas. There’s plenty of data out there for you to reference on how hybrids work. If you do a lot of driving and gas mileage is important – start by comparing miles-per-gallon ratings.

Questions to ask when shopping for a hybrid SUV

The road to owning a hybrid may require you to read more than one sign, scan a site or two and look for a sale to get that low price you are searching for.  Smart buyers will go the easy way to check out the latest, fact-based low-down and these questions represent an outstanding place in which to start.

  • Will you be transporting children, dogs, and groceries on a regular basis?
  • How many seats do you need and what kind of seat configuration is desirable? Some models offer an extra row in the rear.
  • Is it important that you are able to change the seating arrangement if you want to?
  • In terms of quality and ratings, will you consider who makes who makes the best SUV overall? Luxury brands include BMW, Lexus, and Volvo. More affordable choices include Toyota and Nissan.
  • Do you need a full-sized SUV or can you get by with a compact model?
  • Do live in the city and are constantly searching for parking in tiny spaces?
  • Do you have a two-car garage and park in suburban size parking lots where vehicle size isn’t an issue?
  • Are you a hiker, biker, skier, or scuba diver? Do you have lots of gear that needs to be moved? More cargo space may be more important to you than having several rows of seats.
  • Do you park in a place where you can plug in? How about at work? Plug-in hybrids generally get better mileage because they rely more on the battery for power than the gasoline engine. Plugging in a hybrid can help you reduce fuel costs.

Find your way to the best hybrid SUV and limit your search. Drivers who want an easy way to compare and contrast your next set of new wheels can start here by considering a few more key questions.

What hybrid SUV gets the best gas mileage?

Three quarter view Toyota RAV4 parked on road

 

The hybrid SUV that gets the best gas mileage is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid with a combined rating of 39 miles per gallon.  It’s rated at 41 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on the highway. The only SUVs that do better on mileage than the RAV4 are all electric vehicles including the Tesla.

Keep in mind that the ratings are estimates and the mileage may vary by how you drive the car.

The Nissan Rogue, which is Nissan’s most popular and best selling model, comes in second place with a combined rating of 34 miles per gallon. The diesel-powered Chevy Equinox, which is technically not a hybrid, gets the best gas mileage for a vehicle powered by a petroleum-based fuel with a rating of 40 miles per gallon but diesel fuel typically costs forty cents more a gallon than gasoline.

When trying to figure out which hybrid gets the best gas mileage keep in mind ratings and car models vary slightly every year. Engine size also affects miles per gallon, as larger engines typically consume higher quantities of fuel.

Which 3-row SUV hybrid has the best gas mileage?

The 3-row SUV hybrid that has the best gas mileage is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It has a  rating of 29 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway.

The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid also does well in mileage with ratings of 26 miles per gallon in the city, 27 miles per gallon on the highway, and 27 combined.

Who makes the best hybrid SUV?

2019 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid driving in snow

 

  1. Porsche Cayenne

Porsche makes the best and most impressive hybrid SUV assuming money is no object. The list price for a Porsche Cayenne is about $80,000. It is considered a mid-sized, luxury class hybrid SUV.

The Cayenne is a plug-in hybrid meaning it can run for a short period of time on  battery power alone. Porsche is known for building high performance cars especially when it comes to handling. Alternatives to the Porsche may possess superior attributes regarding gas mileage and cargo space.

  1. Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Toyota Highlander is an excellent hybrid SUV. It has a high rating for miles per gallon so it is very fuel-efficient. The list price for the Highlander ranges from $37,000 – $48,000 depending on how it’s equipped.

The Highlander is a midsize SUV with lots of safety features offered standard and an attractive cabin. The Toyota is also given high marks for reliability.

  1. Lexus RX Hybrid

The Lexus RX is considered a luxury class, midsize SUV.  It does well in offering attractive interior styling and a smooth ride.  Lexus is made by Toyota and does well on reliability ratings. The list price ranges from $46,000 – $54,000 depending on the options package.

  1. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The RAV4 is a great choice for a compact-sized SUV. It gets excellent gas mileage and has a lot of cargo space for its size. It is reliable and has excellent acceleration. The list price for a RAV4 ranges from $27,000 – $35,700.

  1. Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

The Crosstrek is a subcompact hybrid SUV and is a new model for Subaru. It’s interior is well executed, and has many standard features. List price is about $35,000

  1. Acura MDX Hybrid

The MDX is a luxury class, midsize hybrid SUV. It’s fast, agile, and offers three row seating. It’s also exceptional on gas. Acura is a luxury brand made by Honda.  List price on the Acura ranges from $53,000 – $60,000. 

  1. Lexus NX Hybrid

The Lexus NX is a luxury compact hybrid SUV. It gets good gas mileage and has a comfortable interior. Its reliability standard is high. List price is about $39,000.

  1. Lexus UX Hybrid

The Lexus UX is the luxury subcompact hybrid SUV in the Lexus lineup. It’s a good-looking vehicle featuring a smooth ride and it gets good gas mileage. The list price ranges from $34,000-$39,000.

  1. Nissan Rogue Hybrid

The Rogue is Nissan’s compact SUV and is known for it’s good gas mileage and has a stylish interior. The list price ranges from $27,000 – $33,000.

What is the best hybrid full-size SUV?Red Infiniti QX60 Hybrid driving

  1. Lexus 450H
    The top of the line Lexus hybrid SUV combines a 3.5 liter V6 gas powered engine with two electric motors for plenty of power. The ride is smooth; the feeling is all about the luxury. The cost of this model is about $46,000.
  2. Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD LE Plus
    The Toyota Highlander is one of the best full-sized hybrid SUVs and is also a leader in fuel economy. This all-wheel drive (AWD) model features a 3.5-liter, V6 and a single electric motor for excellent performance and good mileage. The list price for the Highlander ranges from $37,000 – $48,000 depending on options.
  3. BMW X5 xDrive
    The BMW is an excellent, full sized hybrid SUV. It’s offered as a plug-in hybrid in many different versions including a turbocharged gasoline engine that delivers all the performance you would expect from BMW. Prices start about $62,000
  4. Volvo XC90
    Volvo’s AWD luxury class is an award winning, highly rated, plug-in hybrid that offers seating for 7 and has all the safety features that Volvo is known for. Prices start at about $48,000.
  5. Infiniti QX60 Hybrid
    The Infiniti QX60 is a fuel-efficient full size hybrid SUV that ranks near the top of the list. The second row of seats can be adjusted into different configurations. The third row of seats reclines for additional comfort. Prices start about $44,000. Infiniti is the luxury brand of Nissan.

What is the best hybrid SUV for cargo space?

The Toyota Highlander is the best hybrid SUV for cargo space clocking in with 40.5 cubic feet of room. The Infinity QX60 comes in second place with 39 feet of cubic space. Other well scoring brands include the Volvo XC90 with 35 feet.  The BMW X5 xDrive has 34.5 and the Porsche Cayenne has 33.

What is the best plug-in hybrid SUV?

The best plug-in hybrid SUV is the Porsche Cayenne.  This category provides a limit of acceptable model choices as plug-in hybrids have a tendency to be rendered as sedans or compact cars. But there are a few other names worth mentioning. The Volvo XC90 is available as a plug-in electric hybrid.  Here are two more you might want to check out.

  1. Kia Niro PHEV

Equipped with a single electric motor and a small gasoline engine, the Niro is closer to a crossover than a true SUV. It has front wheel drive and can drive about 26 miles using batter power alone. Prices start at about $23,000

  1. Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi sold this model everywhere but the U.S. market until 2018. It currently holds the record for longest distance a true hybrid SUV can travel on battery power alone with a rating of 22 miles.

Conclusion

In 2015 SUVs became the largest and most popular automotive segment being built, accounting for almost 23% of light vehicle sales in the world. Crosley, a small independent carmaker originally used the term “sports utility,” in 1947. Ford used the term in 1966 to describe its 2-door pick-up version of the Bronco. Jeep stated using it in 1974 when talking about the Cherokee.

We now have compacts, sub compacts, full size and luxury SUVs. Crossovers are a spin-off of the SUV body style. If you are interested in a flexible, rugged vehicle that is somewhere beyond a car but not quite a truck, the SUV may be your eventual destination. And if you want that vehicle to get better gas mileage than what the body style is known for, a hybrid is your answer.

When trying to decide on what is the best hybrid SUV the fits your needs right, let AutoGravity help guide you to the best hybrid SUVs.

Summary
Best Hybrid SUV – The Right Fit for Your Needs
Article Name
Best Hybrid SUV – The Right Fit for Your Needs
Description
We review what questions to ask and how to analyze what the best hybrid SUV for you is – which ones have the best mileage, cargo space, and more.
Author
Publisher Name
AutoGravity
Publisher Logo
Author

Scott Sowers is a writer based in Washington, D.C. His work appears in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic and many other fine publications. He grew up in the car business as his father managed Western Auto and Goodyear stores for several years before buying his own repair shop. He’s written automotive content for Car Gurus, The Fuel Line, The Auto Body Line, Auto Exec and serves as an Associate Editor for AutoDealer.

Comments are closed.

Shop Cars How It Works