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Top 10 best hybrid SUVs and hybrid 4x4s 2024

SUVs and 4x4s traditionally used a lot of fuel, but there are now plenty of hybrid options to cut costs. These are the best ones to buy right now

Almost every brand has now added hybrid technology to their best-selling SUVs and 4x4s, combining the style and practicality which buyers want with impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions to cut your running costs. It means that the best hybrid SUVs should cover all the family car bases and we’ve tested every one of them to bring you the list below.

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The term ‘hybrid’ needs some explanation because nowadays it’s often used to refer to regular petrol and diesel models that incorporate a small 48-volt electric motor to act as a starter motor and generator, taking some of the load off the engine. These are called ‘mild-hybrids’ (MHEVs) and they usually only bring modest improvements in fuel economy compared to a petrol or diesel engine without any kind of electrification.

In our round-up of the best hybrid SUVs, we’ll only be including full-hybrids (often referred to as self-charging hybrids) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). The former use small batteries charged via regenerative braking or the petrol engine plus an electric motor to help the main engine power the car, which can greatly boost fuel economy. Plug-in hybrids take this a step further with a larger battery and electric motor that can be used to drive the car on electricity alone for distances upwards of thirty miles. These can be charged the same way as their self-charging siblings, or plugged-in via a cable like a fully-electric car.

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As you can guess, with the popularity of both hybrid cars and SUVs, there’s quite a few models to choose from. Here we’re going to list what are, in the opinion of our testers, the best hybrid SUVs you can buy today based on our own in-depth testing of every hybrid SUV on sale.

If you’re after PHEV specifically, why not check out our list of the best plug-in hybrid SUVs? If you’re looking to step into the world of electric motoring, we also have a list of the best electric SUVs currently on sale.

Best hybrid SUVs and 4x4s to buy now

Read on for our top hybrid SUV picks and click the links under each one to read the full in-depth reviews…

1. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

The fourth iteration of the Tucson is by far the best, bringing a striking design and the latest drivetrain technology to what was once just a competent but conservative family SUV. The Hyundai is a great all-rounder, offering a comfortable and composed ride, impressive build quality and efficiency at an affordable price for this type of vehicle. All-wheel drive comes as standard, too. A plug-in hybrid version is available, but the full-hybrid Tucson is our pick as it can still return up to 50mpg and is a good chunk of change cheaper than the PHEV.

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Read our full Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review to find out more.

2. Kia Niro Hybrid

Our Best Hybrid Family Car for 2023, the Kia Niro is available as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid, as well as a fully-electric Niro EV. It’s the former two we’re focusing on here, though, with the regular Hybrid model being our favourite. It can return up to 60mpg and offers a relaxing and smooth drive around town. Topping this all off, we must say that the latest Niro is also quite the looker, with cues carried over from the larger Sportage and flagship EV6, combined with a class-leading, dual-screen infotainment setup. 

Read our full Kia Niro Hybrid review to find out more.

3. Mercedes GLC 300 e

With the mid-size premium SUV segment becoming more competitive than ever, it is increasingly difficult for a car to make its mark. However, the Mercedes GLC does so with a modern design, a luxurious cabin and the latest MBUX infotainment system.

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It also stands out with an impressive quoted electric range of 80 miles and economy of 565mpg on the official WLTP tests. Mercedes offers luxury options like a panoramic roof, a Burmester stereo, a head-up display, and augmented reality navigation. The standard petrol cars get 600 litres of boot space but in the plug-in hybrid this is reduced to 470 litres by the battery located below the boot floor. The GLC 300 e delivers a near-silent driving experience, especially in electric mode.

4. Lexus NX 450h+

Lexus is well-known for its hybrid technology and perhaps nowhere is this better showcased than in the NX 450h+ hybrid SUV. The latest Lexus SUV gets a clever plug-in hybrid powertrain which can offer an electric-only range of up to 40 miles. However, once the battery is depleted, unlike most PHEVs that turn into regular petrol models, the NX 450h becomes a full-hybrid, keeping the MPG figure high and your fuel costs low. Pair this with Lexus’ bright and responsive new touchscreen infotainment system and it's easy to see why the NX 450h+ made it onto the final podium spot.

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Read our full Lexus NX 450h review to find out more.

5. BMW X5 xDrive45e

If you’re after a large luxury hybrid SUV, you can’t go wrong with the BMW X5 xDrive45e. Its big battery provides an electric range of up to 54 miles and BMW says it’ll even return up to 235mpg on the WLTP tests – though you may struggle to reach this in the real world. Despite the extra weight of the batteries, the X5 PHEV drives just as well as a BMW should, with tight body control and sharp steering. It’s worth noting that the X5 was facelifted for 2023 and an updated xDrive50e model arrived with an electric range of up to 68 miles – close to that of the new plug-in Range Rover Sport.

Read our full BMW X5 xDrive45e review to find out more.

6. Toyota C-HR

The sporty-looking Toyota C-HR is another one of several hybrid Toyota SUVs to choose from. Despite its sloping roofline, the C-HR is surprisingly spacious for a small SUV, and boasts a well-built (if, perhaps a tad unexciting) interior. 

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The real stars of the show, though, are the pair of hybrid engines on offer. The top-of-the-range 2.0-litre 184bhp model offers plenty of punch, but we think the base 134bhp 1.6-litre hybrid will suit most buyers. It should be nippy enough for driving around town and Toyota says it’ll return around 58mpg on the combined WLTP test cycle, meaning it’ll be cheap to run, too.

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Read our full Toyota C-HR review to find out more.

7. Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV

Volkswagen has spent over 80 years developing cars for families, so it's no surprise that the Tiguan PHEV makes our list. Offering a relaxing drive with its proven plug-in powertrain, it provides a 30-mile electric range and boasts a quoted fuel economy between 157 and 177 mpg. 

Despite the battery pack reducing boot space by 139 litres, the Tiguan still has a respectable 476 litres of boot capacity and it comfortably seats three adults in the rear. The Tiguan transitions smoothly from electric to petrol power, boasting a decent combined power output of 242 bhp and achieving 0-62 mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds.

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Read our full Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV review to find out more.

8. Range Rover PHEV

The Range Rover has consistently been one of the preferred choices for drivers seeking a luxury SUV over the years, and the latest PHEV model lives up to this reputation. Despite the additional weight of the battery and size of the car, the Range Rover glides along with maximum comfort and can handle twistier roads well. 

The charging capabilities mean that on a standard home wallbox, you can fully recharge the 38.2kWh battery in around 5 hours, providing a quoted range of up to 70 miles in all-electric mode. However, Range Rover admits that in most conditions, the range is closer to 50 miles. 

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Inside, as expected, there's ample legroom for all passengers, and a boot space of 818 litres. There is plenty of tech such as 360-degree cameras and an electronically operated split-tailgate. The 13.1-inch touchscreen is very simple to operate - most functions are only two taps away.

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Read our full Range Rover PHEV review to find out more.

9. Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid

Kia offers its Sportage family SUV in petrol, full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms – but it's the latter which we think is the most impressive. With up to 43 miles of pure-electric range, the Sportage is able to go much further than its Tucson counterpart without using a single drop of fuel, and can even return up to 252mpg, provided you keep the battery charged up. With an interior that’s almost as striking as its exterior, the Sportage hybrid is packed with the latest tech and is an ideal choice if the Niro is just a bit too small for your family.

Read our full Kia Sportage review to find out more.

10. Toyota RAV4

Wrapping up our list is another offering from Toyota, the RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid. Producing a quoted electric range of 46 miles, it combines practicality with a spacious 520-litre boot space and offers a comfortable driving experience. With 302bhp under the bonnet and 0-62mph acceleration in just six seconds, it delivers impressive performance while emitting a mere 22g/km of CO2. 

The manufacturer states that regular charging could get you a fuel economy of up to 282mpg (WLTP). This family SUV is packed with features, including advanced safety systems and convenient amenities like keyless entry. The RAV4 has a roomy cabin featuring premium materials, providing ample comfort for every journey.

Read our full Toyota RAV4 review to find out more.

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy in 2024

  1. Hyundai Tucson
  2. Kia Niro
  3. Mercedes GLC 300
  4. Lexus NX 450h
  5. BMW X5 xDrive45e
  6. Toyota C-HR
  7. Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV           
  8. Range Rover PHEV 
  9. Kia Sportage
  10. Toyota RAV4
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Content Editor

Hello, I'm George Armitage. I joined the DrivingElectric team in 2024 as a content editor and I also contribute to Auto Express. Formerly, I restored classic cars and worked in car sales. Starting with freelance writing, I progressed into automotive journalism, fuelling my passion for storytelling and connecting with audiences to explain the amazing world of EVs.

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