The 8 Best Hybrid SUVs Available in 2022
There’s more to buying a hybrid SUV than just driving it home and plugging it in. Some SUVs are plug-in hybrids, and can run on either gas or electric power, while others are conventional hybrids and use the battery to supplement the gasoline engine.
You’ll also need to consider whether to buy an electric crossover or a full-size SUV, both of which have their benefits and disadvantages.
Either way, you can expect to get better fuel economy with a hybrid than you’d get with a conventional car, although crossovers tend to be more fuel-efficient.
Here are our picks for the best hybrid SUVs available in 2022, as well as what to look for in a hybrid and where to find the best deals on electric cars near you.
Best Hybrid SUVs of 2022
Before we get into the pros and cons of different types of hybrid, let’s take a look at how some real-world hybrid models stack up:
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid checks all the boxes if you’re looking for a full-size SUV. You’ll get safety features like LED fog lights and a Blind Spot Monitor, plus a 12.3-inch touchscreen display and wireless phone charging connectivity.
If the Highlander is too big, Toyota has plenty of other hybrid models in its lineup, such as the Toyota Venza, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and Toyota RAV4 Prime.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP): $38,855
Miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe): 36 MPGe
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The Mitsubishi Outlander is a great choice if you want a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) due to its impressive fuel economy: It has an all-electric range of 24 miles and an EPA-estimated MPGe of 74 when using both gas and electric power.
The Outlander has a four-cylinder engine with five driving modes, and an infotainment system that’s compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
MPGe: 74 MPGe
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid AWD
The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid with 17 miles of all-electric range and a combined city/highway fuel economy of 90 MPGe. It’s a good choice for safety due to its EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and an overall high safety rating from the IIHS.
You’ll also get Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, integrated roof rails for bikes or cargo, and up to 1,000 pounds of towing capacity.
MPGe: 90 MPGe
The Kia Niro is one of the most affordable hybrid SUVs on our list, with a starting price of $24,690. It has a roomy interior with 63.2 cubic feet of cargo space, as well as an under floor storage tray, and it gets up to 50 MPGe in some driving conditions.
Other features include the Kia Access app, which allows you to lock and unlock your car remotely and adjust the climate control settings from your smartphone. If this hybrid isn’t quite right, Kia also offers a midsize SUV called the Kia Sorento.
MPGe: 50 MPGe
Volvo XC90 Recharge
The Volvo XC90 Recharge is the only luxury hybrid on our list, with leather-free seats and a crystal gear shifter contributing to its high-end styling.
Although it’s more than twice the price of similar SUVs, its 7-seat configuration may be worth considering if you want a luxury SUV that can fit the entire family.
MPGe: 55 MPGe
Ford Escape Hybrid
The trusty Ford Escape Hybrid has been around for a while, but the new 2022 Escape Titanium Hybrid ups the ante with the Co-Pilot 360 driver assist system.
For $33,040, you’ll get an estimated 44 MPGe, with seating for five and a hands-free liftgate. An optional Class II Trailer Tow Package is available as an upgrade.
Ford fans may also want to consider the Ford Explorer Hybrid for a slightly roomier hybrid model.
MPGe: 44 MPGe
Honda CR-V Hybrid
The Honda CR-V is available in both conventional and hybrid versions, with a two-motor hybrid powertrain giving you up to 40 mpg city driving. You can choose from three drive modes – ECON, Sport, and EV – and adjust the regenerative braking settings.
Plus, all-wheel drive comes standard, giving you even more versatility if you plan to do any off-road driving.
MPGe: 40 MPGe
Hyundai SANTA FE Hybrid
The Hyundai SANTA FE Hybrid gets points for being a family-friendly EV with up to seven seats and plenty of cargo space – although you can choose to go a bit smaller and get the TUCSON Hybrid instead. The SANTA FE Hybrid comes with all-wheel-drive, plus a 226-horsepower engine and up to 2,000 pounds of towing capacity.
MPGe: 36 MPGe
What to Look for in a Hybrid SUV
Hybrids are some of the best deals in the electric car world, because you get the fuel savings of an electric car without the limitations of an all-electric vehicle.
Since all types of hybrid SUVs have a gas tank, you don’t have to worry about running out of power on long commutes or in rural areas without charging stations.
But you’ll still get the energy-saving benefits of regenerative braking, which improves your fuel economy and reduces your emissions.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between hybrids and PHEVs, as well as how to choose between a crossover SUV and a larger hybrid model:
Hybrid vs. Plug-In Hybrid
The main difference between a standard hybrid vs. a plug-in hybrid is that plug-ins have an onboard charger that you can plug into a charging station and conventional hybrids don’t; the battery pack only gets charged through regenerative braking.
That makes plug-in hybrids more fuel efficient, because you can drive them for short trips on all-electric power without using any gas at all.
Both types of cars have an internal combustion engine, as well as a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor, and similar maintenance costs.
Plug-in hybrids are more expensive than other hybrids, but tend to have a lower starting price than all-electric vehicles. Plus, if you buy a plug-in hybrid, you’ll be eligible for the federal electric car tax credit, which isn’t extended to standard hybrid models.
Crossover SUVs vs. Full-Size SUVs
The other thing to consider is what size and style of SUV to get. Hybrid cars come in all shapes and sizes, including compact SUVs, midsize SUVs, and even pick-up trucks.
Full-size SUVs come with the benefits of extra legroom and a larger cargo area. If you have a big family, then you may be on the lookout for a three-row SUV that can seat up to seven passengers comfortably.
Even if you don’t need a third row of seats, a full-size SUV is a good option if you’ll be towing a trailer or doing lots of off-road driving.
On the other hand, full-size SUVs are less fuel-efficient than crossover SUVs, and have a lower all-electric range due to their more powerful hybrid powertrain.
Crossovers may not be as roomy, but they’re more comfortable to drive, and some are still available in all-wheel drive (AWD) versions if you need the extra versatility.
For some drivers, the best hybrid SUV will be a compact SUV or a sporty crossover, but for others, a full-size SUV will be the clear winner.
Find the Best Hybrid SUV Near You
Finding the best hybrid SUV for you depends on your budget and your lifestyle. Some drivers value fuel economy above all, while others prioritize horsepower or cargo space. By comparing the specs, safety features, and styling of different models, you’ll have a better idea of which hybrid car is right for you.
Once you’re ready to get started, you can use this tool to search for the best hybrid offers near you and compare them by make and model year.