Comfort and convenience with extra power.
Whether you have a big family, like to road-trip, or need all-wheel-drive capability, an SUV is often the preferred vehicle to go with. And driving a bigger vehicle doesn't mean you only have the choice of relying on traditional engines. Thankfully, many modern SUVs are available with hybrid and electric powertrains, providing you with the versatility and capacity that you need, but with fewer emissions. It's a great compromise that you can feel good about, too.
Unsure of your options? This list of the eight best hybrid and electric SUVs for 2020 shoppers—based on CarMax sales data from May 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019—is a good place to begin your search.
If your growing family requires an elegant three-row SUV, the Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid has the interior configuration and appointments that you desire. With seating for seven passengers, you'll find no shortage of space and high-end standard features on the T8 Momentum trim, like leather upholstery, heated front seats, and four-zone automatic climate control (2017–2018 models).
Upgrading to the Inscription trim adds even more comfort and sophistication with the following features on 2017–2018 models:
- 20-inch wheels
- Nappa-leather upholstery
- Wood-trim inlays
- Power sunshade
- Roof rails
Powerful performance flows from the XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid's 2.0L supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With the 87-horsepower electric motor, it achieves a total output of 400 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft. of torque (2017–2018 models). All-wheel drive is also standard, designed for better traction in slippery conditions.
The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid was discontinued in 2017, yet it remains a popular three-row SUV for families that want a touch of luxury and comfort. With room for seven passengers, this model boasts a spacious interior with 41.7 inches of legroom in the second row, as well as heated front- and second-row outboard seats with leather upholstery. The 2017 QX60 Hybrid's quiet cabin and plush ride are perfect for long road trips, while the 2.5L supercharged four-cylinder engine and 15-kW electric motor gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined with front- or all-wheel drive.1
Other standard features on the 2017 QX60 Hybrid include:
- Power-sliding tinted-glass moonroof with one-touch open/close
- Power rear liftgate
- Eight-way power driver seat
- Heated steering wheel
- Bose® 13-speaker premium audio system
Whether carrying groceries, luggage, or supplies from the home improvement store, the 2017 QX60 Hybrid offers great cargo carrying capabilities with a maximum of 76.5 cubic feet of volume.
Looking for an SUV with a performance-oriented hybrid powertrain? The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is a spicy option. Introduced as a third-generation model in 2019, this five-passenger SUV generates 335 horsepower from a turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine that's accompanied by an electric motor that draws power from a 14.1-kWh rechargeable battery. Total system output is a potent 455 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft.of torque with an estimated 0–60 mph time of just 4.7 seconds and a top track speed of 157 mph (2019 models).
Standard features on the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid include:
- 19-inch Cayenne wheels
- Partial leather interior
- LED lighting
- Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers
- Independent climate control
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid prioritizes comfort with a family-friendly design that can fit seven or eight passengers, depending on the trim you choose (2017–2019 models). On the road, you'll love how smooth and compliant this SUV rides as it gains its power from a 3.5L V6 engine and three electric motors (2017–2019 models).
Total system output is 306 horsepower, plus all-wheel drive comes standard on all 2017–2019 Highlander Hybrid trims. With three rows of seating, you'll have space to carpool your kids and their friends, while the estimated 30 mpg city and 28 mpg highway from the hybrid V6 provides you with the freedom of going longer between fills (2017–2019 models).1
The 2018 Highlander Hybrid Limited comes standard with the following features:
- 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels
- Heated and ventilated front-row seats with perforated leather upholstery
- Eight-inch touchscreen display with navigation
- Rearview monitor
- Bluetooth® connectivity
Cargo capacity behind the third row of the 2018 Highlander Hybrid Limited is 13.8 cubic feet, but that number expands to 83.2 cubic feet by folding the second and third rows down.
Small families, empty-nesters, couples, and singles looking for a hybrid compact crossover SUV are often drawn to the Nissan Rogue Hybrid for its agile design and comfortable interior. With room for five passengers in 2018–2019 models, this vehicle is great for commuting, weekend getaways, or errands, with 27.3 cubic feet of trunk space for groceries and luggage behind the second row.
Available in two trims (SV and SL), 2018–2019 Rogue Hybrids run off a 2.0L four-cylinder with an electric motor that generates a total-system output of 176 horsepower. With available all-wheel drive, 2017–2019 models with the 2.0L hybrid engine return an estimated 33 mpg combined.1
You can expect the following standard features on the 2019 trim-topping SL:
- 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
- Fog lights and LED taillights
- Power liftgate
- Leather upholstery
- Seven-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™
All 2019 Nissan Rogue Hybrid models also come standard with an eco-mode button and an engine stop-start system to help you get the most gas mileage from your SUV.
If your next vehicle purchase is a luxury hybrid SUV, the Lexus RX 450h will dazzle you with its classy cabin and sporty performance. 2018–2019 models get their power from a 3.5L V6 and three electric motors to deliver a combined 308 horsepower. All-wheel drive comes standard, along with a continuously variable automatic transmission that returns an estimated 30 mpg combined (2018–2019 models).1
The Lexus RX 450h boasts the following premium features on 2018–2019 models:
- Perforated NuLuxe interior trim
- Power-adjustable front seats
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column
- Power rear door
Adding an available F Sport Package to the 2018–2019 RX 450h takes the SUV's on-road prowess to higher levels with a performance-enhanced suspension system that's tuned to spark your adrenaline. Selectable drive modes also let you adjust the steering and suspension systems for more road feel and responsiveness.
With the 2018 BMW X5 xDrive40e, you can enjoy the utility of a large two-row SUV with the added benefit of an estimated 14-mile electric-only range (when fully charged).2 This plug-in hybrid comes with a 308-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that connects to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 9.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the cargo floor.
The 2018 BMX X5 xDrive40e features an assortment of premium standard equipment for your comfort and convenience, including:
- Sport leather steering wheel
- Power tailgate
- Panoramic moonroof
- Harman Kardon® surround sound system
- Navigation system
For a plug-in hybrid, the 2018 X5 xDrive40e also offers snappy acceleration with an estimated 6.5-second 0–60-mph time with maximum top speeds of 75 mph.
In the number-one spot of the eight best hybrid and electric SUVs for 2020 shoppers is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. This compact crossover SUV is a very good option for eco-conscious families that are looking to spend less at the pump but need more room than a hybrid sedan can provide. 2017–2019 models offer seating for five passengers with 37.2 inches of second-row legroom (2017–2018 models), which is perfect for adults or taller teens. Trunk space is equally generous with 35.6 cubic feet to carry sporting equipment or luggage for a weekend getaway (2017–2018 models).
The base 2019 RAV4 Hybrid LE trim includes the following standard features:
- Seven-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay integration
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Rearview camera
- Dual-zone climate control
- Six-speaker sound system
All RAV4 Hybrids use a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and an electric motor with a continuously variable automatic transmission that outputs 194 horsepower and an estimated 32 mpg combined on 2017–2018 models.1 Opting for the 2019 model will get you 219 horsepower and an estimated 40 mpg combined for a more potent blend of power and fuel economy.1
You can look beyond the traditional sedan or hatchback hybrid options and embrace the utility, comfort, and flexibility of a hybrid or electric SUV. To jump-start your search, these related articles can help you find the right SUV for you:
1 Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
2 Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition, and driving conditions. Battery range may decrease with time and use. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.