10 Best Hybrid SUVS

10 Best Hybrid SUVS

SUV’s are incredibly practical but aren’t renowned for being very environmentally friendly. But they’re often cleaner than you’d expect, thanks to rapidly developing hybrid technology. We take a look at 10 of the best hybrid SUVs of 2017.

10. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

They say the original is often the best, and the Outlander PHEV was certainly a trendsetter in the hybrid SUV market. It bravely went where no SUV had been before, introducing plug-in hybrid electric power to the SUV market, and did so with a level of bravery that put the Japanese maker firmly on the map. Mitsubishi’s best-seller may have been a pioneer of the hybrid SUV market, and its technology is proven, but there are others around today that are more exciting. Nevertheless, it’s a great value choice.

9. Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid

Kia’s new Niro hybrid SUV is one of the most accessible ways into plug-in SUV ownership. In many ways, it’s nothing special – well made, dynamically adequate, spacious and well-packaged. There are other SUVs out there that have more character and brand presence, but few that make as much sense as a no-nonsense family car. The combination of 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor give claimed fuel economy of 217.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 29g/km. With the Plug-in Car Grant, it can be on your drive for £27,995

8. Lexus RX450H

As much as the Mitsubishi Outlander was the pioneer of plug-in hybrid SUVs, the Lexus RX is the granddaddy of the hybrid SUV as a concept. Even today, the RX450h hybrid is a beguiling choice, not least because it’s less expensive than some of the other premium brands on our list. Although not a plug-in, it uses technology proven and refined by Toyota and Lexus for the past 20 years, meaning reliability is a given. With power of 308bhp and fuel economy of 54mpg, it’s both lively and affordable to run.

7. Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e

There have been quite a few premium SUVs among the new hybrid SUVs of 2017, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE is one of the most intriguing. It has a beautifully detailed cabin, and is super smooth whether it’s running on its electric motor or its 3.0-litre petrol, which combine to give it an astonishing turn of speed. It’s great for towing, too, which is almost unique in the hybrid SUV sector. As a company car choice, it qualifies for 17% BIK tax, although it does come in 3g/km too high for the 75g/km cut off that would make it congestion charge exempt.

6. BMW X5 xDrive40e

The X5 doesn’t have the best plug-in hybrid system on the market, but it does have plenty going for it, not least the fact it’s an X5, which means it’s one of the most dynamically competent and desirable SUVs on the market. It’s a particularly attractive choice for company car drivers. The 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor produce a combined power output of 309bhp, but with 17% BIK tax. It’s pricey, though, with even the cheapest version costing just shy of £50k.

5. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

There’s no plug-in option yet for the RAV4 Hybrid, but as a usable, practical low-emission family car, the RAV4 has quite a bit of appeal. It drives well, holds its value and is one of the most sensible choices for the retail customer as a result. It delivers up to 57mpg, and costs less than £30,000 on-the-road, or less than £250 a month with Toyota’s latest finance offers.

4. MINI Countryman S E All4

As if the notion of a MINI SUV isn’t challenging enough, the British brand now offers a plug-in version as well. The Countryman S E All4 may be a mouthful, but it retains MINI’s traditional impressive dynamics, with family friendly credentials and CO2 emissions of just 49g/km. The MINI is one of the most unusual new hybrid SUVs of 2017, and also one of the most car-like to drive, as well. At a shade under £30,000 with the Plug-in Car Grant, it’s also one of the best value.

3. Range Rover Sport

In isolation, there are better cars than the Range Rover Sport in this list – but there are few quite as desirable. The Sport uses a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, coupled to an electric hybrid motor, but it isn’t a plug-in. That means it’s more expensive to run than its premium rivals, though Co2 emissions of 164g/km and 46mpg aren’t exactly prohibitive, especially if you’re in the market for a vehicle costing over £80,000. What the Range Rover Sport is, though, is one of the most beautiful and desirable hybrid SUVs out there. No other vehicle here has quite the same brand cachet, not to mention off-road ability.

2. Audi Q7 e-Tron

The Audi Q7 is a desirable beast at the best of times, but in e-Tron guise it makes even more sense. It bucks the hybrid trend by using diesel instead of petrol as its secondary power source, behind it’s plug-in electric motor. However, it can also lay claim to fuel economy of 156.9mpg thanks to the diesel powertrain, and sprint from 0-62moh in just 6.2 seconds. In among that, it’s congestion charge exempt, with stated CO2 emissions of just 48g/km. That, in turn, gives it a 9% BIK rating. As a business vehicle, the Q7 takes a lot of beating. It’s a terrific package, the only downside being that the battery installation means it’s only a five-seater.

1. Volvo XC90 T8

The stylish Swede is about as good as a hybrid SUV can get, thanks to Volvo’s Twin engine technology. It has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a powerful electric motor, producing 401bhp between them. That will power the XC90 to 60moh in just 5.6 seconds. In real world terms, Volvo’s 134mpg claim isn’t realistic, but if you commute over short distances and are able to plug it in regularly, it will prove frugal. It’s also congestion charge exempt, and falls into the 9% BIK company car tax category. A superb vehicle, beautifully engineered and cleverly marketed. It’s not cheap, but it is brilliant.

 

Like this article? Why not take a look at our guide on the Best Plug-In Hybrid Cars

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