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Best cars & vans

Best hybrid SUVs to buy 2024

Plenty of SUVs now come with hybrid power, and we’ve picked out the very best buys on today’s market

As diesel continues to fall out of favour due to tightening emissions regulations and increasingly-high fuel costs, many of the SUVs you see on the road today are now electrified. For drivers who aren’t ready to go fully-electric, the best hybrid SUVs offer reduced emissions and increased economy over ICE models without any sacrifices in terms of power, range or capability.

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As hybrid technology has worked its way throughout the car market’s mainstream, there are plenty of shapes and sizes of hybrid SUV to choose from. Whether it’s a budget-friendly small SUV or a fully kitted-out luxury seven-seater, there’ll be a hybrid SUV to fit your needs.

Our expert road testers have driven every hybrid SUV that you can buy in the UK and, to make your search as easy as possible, we’ve rounded up the top 10 best hybrid SUV models right here.

Best hybrid SUVs to buy

Read on to find the best hybrid SUVs for your money, listed in reverse order below

10. Mercedes GLC 300 e

  • Prices from £60,000

The GLC offers all of the luxuriousness, build-quality and technology that you’d expect from a Mercedes — along with the badge appeal — and the 300 e combines all this with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that claims an official fuel economy figure up to 565mpg. 

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Of course, it’s going to be a considerable challenge to achieve this figure without extrement diligent charging, but the Merc’s fully-electric battery range of 84 miles will help a great deal towards preserving every last drop of petrol. This all helps to drive down CO2 emissions, too.

It all sounds rather promising, and the GLC’s lacklustre driving experience is the only thing that prevents it from moving further up this list.

9. Range Rover PHEV

  • Prices from £116,000
  • Best for luxury
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While there’s lots of excitement about the fully-electric Range Rover, the plug-in hybrid model is already a very strong starting point for those who desire a large luxury SUV with a relatively small carbon footprint. 

There are two versions of the Range Rover PHEV, the P460e and P550e, and both of these have a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine that’s combined with an electric motor to offer improved efficiency and up to 71 miles of fully-electric driving.

The refined nature of all-electric running suits the calm demeanour of the Range Rover, and the plug-in versions remain just as capable off-road as the Range Rover would be with a thundering diesel at the front.

8. Toyota RAV4 

  • Prices from £40,000

The Toyota RAV4 has been around for over 25 years in one form or another, but the latest version stands out with much sharper styling than its predecessors. The design is not as ‘out there’ as the smaller C-HR with its sporty coupe-style roofline, but compared to the RAV4 of old, it’s a much more appealing package for anyone who wants to make a style statement.

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Now only available as a hybrid, the RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor combo that together offer just short of 220bhp, as well as the option of four-wheel drive. You also get a CVT automatic gearbox, which sounds characteristically strained under vigorous acceleration, which for some buyers will spoil the experience. The ride and driving experience are otherwise quite pleasant.

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If you want a mid-size SUV hybrid that doesn’t need plugging-in, there’s still not really anything else out there to tempt you away from the RAV4. It’s not a cheap car, though, and with prices starting from around, you’ll need to be keen on the powertrain to pick a RAV4 over a diesel Skoda Kodiaq, which is cheaper and not much less economical.

7. Toyota C-HR 

  • Prices from £31,500

While small crossovers continue to prove exceptionally popular, few have the style and head-turning ability of the Toyota C-HR. Just like its predecessor, this striking little SUV won’t be to everyone’s taste, but beneath the bold body is a capable family car.

Toyota was a pioneer in hybrid tech, and the C-HR is predictably refined as a result of this expertise. While not necessarily a car for keen drivers, the small footprint and impressive economy make it a great everyday option, and a solid first step into hybrid ownership.

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This rakish styling means the C-HR does lose out on practicality compared to the Kia Niro, but there’s plenty of passenger space throughout its modern and upmarket cabin.

6. Kia Niro

  • Prices from £31,000

The Kia Niro is a regular sight on our best hybrid cars lists, thanks to its frugality, practicality and general capability. The Niro’s platform has to cater to hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric power, but it isn’t compromised by this. This Kia remains a versatile family car regardless of your chosen powertrain.

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The Niro Hybrid claims up to 64.2mpg on the WLTP combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 100g/km. The PHEV, meanwhile, can apparently reach 353.1mpg while emitting just 23g/km of CO2. It can also cover up to 40 miles on purely-electric power.

5. BMW X5 xDrive50e 

  • Prices from £81,000

The BMW X5 xDrive50e fits the template of the big hybrid SUV perfectly. It combines a smooth 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with a 25.7kWh battery, and this combination allows it to cover up to 70 miles on electric power.

Having such a large battery means some buyers will barely ever use the engine, but the two power sources are well integrated, adding to the X5’s air of luxury. The six-cylinder engine is refined and quiet at speed, but still delivers strong performance in tandem with the electric motor – BMW says 0-62mph takes 4.8 seconds. Given its size, the X5 isn’t the most agile PHEV on sale, but the steering is sharp and the ride is smooth when you take it easy.

4. Renault Captur 

  • Prices from £25,000
  • Best value for money
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The latest Renault Captur follows the same simple yet effective formula of its predecessor - a sensible, low-cost SUV with a generous helping of on-board tech that’s built on the same platform as the best-selling Clio

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While these underpinnings make the Captur a small car in SUV terms, but the level of practicality is still impressive. The seats are adjustable, providing extra space for passengers, and the boot offers between 422 and 536 litres of space.

While it isn’t a particularly exciting performer, the Captur is comfortable over bumps and is easy to park and manoeuvre, which go even further towards making it a nice and easy car to live with. Pricing for the hybrid starts from around £25,000, so it shouldn’t break the bank, either.

3. Toyota Yaris Cross 

  • Prices from £25,500

We think the current Yaris is a fantastic supermini so it should come as little surprise that its SUV sibling, the Yaris Cross, is also a great option. Like the Yaris, the Cross uses a 114bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol hybrid, mated to a CVT automatic transmission. 

It might be a bit heavier than the Yaris, but the Yaris Cross can still comfortably return over 60mpg. Unsurprisingly it’s not very quick, but this small SUV certainly feels solid enough from behind the wheel and the level of refinement is good for a car of this size. 

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Equipment levels are pretty generous, too. The entry-level Icon trim comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and steering assist.

2. BMW X1 xDrive30e 

  • Prices from £47,000
  • Best driving experience
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The BMW X1 has long been one of the best-driving small SUVs you can buy, and the latest car continues this legacy. The plug-in hybrid xDrive30e delivers plenty of efficiency to go with its performance, too. 

As with many plug-in hybrids, we’re sceptical of BMW’s claims of over 300mpg for the X1 when it comes to driving in the real world, but 16-20g/km of CO2 and the ability to travel up to 52 miles on battery power alone are useful figures for company car buyers. 

1. Lexus NX450h+

  • Prices from £55,000

As we’ve said, Toyota was a pioneer of hybrid technology, and its luxury sub-brand Lexus shares this wealth of knowledge. The plug-in hybrid Lexus NX450h+ is a great premium all-rounder which boasts a premium interior that’s ergonomic and practical but its powertrain is the real highlight. 

The 2.5-litre 4cyl petrol-electric plug-in hybrid is the same as you’ll find in the Toyota RAV4, but Lexus has worked on making the NX even more refined. The hybrid system is particularly clever because once the 18.1kWh battery is depleted (over 40 miles of pure-electric running is possible) it reverts to acting like a normal hybrid so you still have some sort of electrical assistance. 

The NX is also much more refined and comfortable than its Toyota cousin, and it rides better without sacrificing body control. 

The best hybrid SUVs to buy now

  1. Lexus NX450h+
  2. BMW X1 xDrive30e 
  3. Toyota Yaris Cross
  4. Renault Captur
  5. BMW X5 xDrive50e
  6. Kia Niro
  7. Toyota C-HR
  8. Toyota RAV4
  9. Range Rover PHEV
  10. Mercedes GLC 300 e

Now read our list of the best electric SUVs...

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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