Innovative, practical, and powerful.
Are you looking to make less stops at the pump without giving up cabin room or cargo space? A hybrid or electric SUV could be the right choice for you. With more options available featuring innovative powertrains, many hybrid and electric models provide you with great performance and handling, just like their gas-engine counterparts.
If you've been considering making the switch to alternative power, this list of the nine best hybrid and electric SUVs for 2020 shoppers, based on CarMax sales data from August 1, 2019, to January 31, 2020, is a great place to start.
If you are searching for a seven-seater hybrid SUV with luxurious touches, you'll find the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid to be an attractive choice. Discontinued in 2017, this model year comes standard with leather upholstery and heated front seats with eight-way power adjustments for the driver, so you'll be comfortable as you make your commute. You can also store your favorite settings using the standard dual-occupant memory system for the driver seat, steering wheel, and outside mirrors. Other premium standard features on the 2017 QX60 Hybrid include:
- LED fog lights
- Power sliding tinted glass moonroof with one-touch open and close
- Power rear liftgate
- Bose® 13-speaker audio system
As for capability, the 2017 QX60 Hybrid is as skillful as it is sophisticated with optional AWD. Power is generated by a 2.5L supercharged engine and a 15kW electric motor delivering you a net 250 hp. Whether equipped with FWD or AWD, fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined.1
The Ford Escape Hybrid is back in production for 2020 after an extended absence since its 2012 model year. With it comes two hybrid choices: a 2.5L Atkinson cycle hybrid engine with an EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined with AWD (standard on SE Sport and Titanium models) and a 2.5L Atkinson cycle plug-in hybrid engine (standard on SE, SEL, and Titanium Plug-in Hybrid FWD models).1 The 2020 Escape Hybrid also boasts a sportier and stylish exterior with a lower, longer, and wider body that looks good whether you take it out on date nights in the city or loaded with camping gear. For 2020, the Titanium trim includes these standard features:
- LED headlamps and fog lamps
- 10-speaker sound system
- Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control
- Heated steering wheel
With seating for five, the 2020 Escape Hybrid is a great choice whether you're driving yourself or a small family. Cargo capacity behind the second row is 34.4 cubic feet of volume, which can hold groceries for quick errands or luggage for weekend getaways.
Offering a nice blend of interior room and sophisticated styling, the Volvo XC90 Plug-In-Hybrid also packs a powerful punch when it comes to performance. Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and an 87-hp electric motor and battery, the 2019 XC90 Plug-In-Hybrid churns out 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. On top of that, it'll deliver you an EPA-estimated all-electric range of 17 miles on a full charge.2 If you're a short-distance commuter, a full battery may be enough to get you to the office and back. Standard features on the Inscription trim include the following for 2019 models:
- 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels
- Perforated Nappa leather upholstery
- Four-zone climate control
- Panoramic moonroof
Inside its spacious cabin, your taller passengers will find comfort in the 2019 XC90 Plug-In-Hybrid—even in the third row, which can fit two adult passengers quite easily.
Want a plug-in hybrid SUV with a sports car attitude? The 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid will get your heart pumping. This five-passenger model features a 455-hp powertrain comprised of a turbocharged 3.0L V6, an electric motor, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This not only allows the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds but it can also reach top track speeds of 157 mph (according to the manufacturer, when new). Standard features on 2019 models include:
- 19-inch Cayenne wheels
- Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM)
- Partial leather interior
- LED main headlights
With an EPA-estimated 46 MPGe combined with the 3.0L V6, electric motor, and AWD, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is a very sensible choice for your daily travel.3 All-electric range is an EPA-estimated 13 miles on a full charge.4
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid's three-row design with seating for seven or eight passengers (2017–2019 models) makes it a great SUV if you need space for kids and furry friends. With all seats in place, you'll have 13.6 cubic feet of trunk volume to carry everything from sporting equipment to dog food, but folding the third row flat expands capacity to 42.3 cubic feet (2017–2019 models). Using three electric motors and a 3.5L V6, the 2017–2019 Highlander Hybrid returns an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined with AWD.1 You'll find the following standard on 2017–2019 XLE trims:
- Sunroof and second-row sunshades
- Height-adjustable power liftgate
- Three-zone climate control
- 8.1-inch touchscreen display with navigation
Second-row sliding and reclining seats in 2017–2019 Highlander Hybrids cater to your passengers' comfort needs while also offering 38.4 inches of legroom.
If you're craving an extravagant yet capable hybrid SUV, the Lexus RX 450h will capture your interest with its standard AWD and expressive design. Under its sleek body, accentuated by a bold grille and wraparound LED taillamps, 2018–2019 AWD models are equipped with a trio of electric motors and a 308-hp 3.5L V6 to deliver an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined.1 Opting for the F Sport package adds the following features to 2018–2019 RX 450h models:
- 20-inch wheels
- Adaptive suspension dampers
- Heated and ventilated sport seats
- Heated sport steering wheel
With three rows of seating for seven people in 2018–2019 models, the Lexus RX 450h gives you plenty of passenger space. Dedicated third-row climate controls and generous legroom add to the comfort you and your passengers can expect from this hybrid.
If you're thinking of making the switch to hybrid power, the Nissan Rogue Hybrid is a great transitionary SUV. Offered in FWD or AWD, it uses a 2.0L four-cylinder that pairs to an electric motor to generate a combined 176 hp for 2018–2019 models. With this hybrid powertrain, you'll be able to go longer between fills with an EPA-estimated 34 mpg combined when equipped with FWD.1 This model matches its favorable hybrid fuel economy with a compliant and comfortable ride that's remarkably smooth on the highway. You'll also enjoy many impressive standard features starting from the entry-level SV trim (2018–2019 models):
- Heated front seats
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Six-speaker audio system
- Power-adjustable driver seat
Maximum cargo capacity in 2018–2019 Nissan Rogue Hybrids is 61.4 cubic feet, which you can access by folding down the second row. But, with all seats in place, you'll still have access to a roomy 27.3 cubic feet of space.
Known for its strong plug-in-hybrid performance and comfortable cabin, the BMW X5 xDrive40e is a great SUV for when you want to take a long road trip. Powering the 2018 X5 is a 308-hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine and a 9.2-kWh lithium-ion battery that returns an EPA-estimated 56 MPGe combined with standard AWD.3 If you want to drive solely on battery power in the 2018 X5 xDrive40e, you'll have 14 miles of range at your disposal on a full charge.5 With room for you and four occupants, you and your passengers can enjoy the following standard features on the 2018 model:
- Leatherette upholstery
- Dynamic Damper Control
- Sport leather steering wheel
- Heated front seats
Cargo capacity for the 2018 BMW X5 Plug-In-Hybrid is very generous with 34.2 cubic feet of volume behind the second row.
Sliding into the number one spot is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid—a great five-passenger SUV that works for a range of people, whether you are single, a couple, or have a few kids. Redesigned in 2019 as part of its fifth generation, this model year uses a 2.5L four-cylinder and an electric motor to generate 219 hp. In return, you'll enjoy an EPA-estimated 41 mpg city and 38 mpg highway with standard AWD.1 If you're looking for the most bells and whistles, check out the grade-topping Limited trim, which includes the following standard features on the 2019 model:
- 18-inch five-spoke chrome-finished sport alloy wheels
- Puddle lights
- SofTex®-trimmed heated front bucket seats
- Entune™ 3.0 premium audio with navigation and 8.0-inch touchscreen
A hybrid or electric SUV is a great way to jumpstart your green-conscious lifestyle. Whether you have a big family or just want something more practical for errands and commuting, this list is a great place to start.
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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.
2EPA-estimated 17-mile range based on 58 MPGe combined estimate. EPA-estimated 490-mile range based on EPA-estimated 25 combined MPG and 58 combined MPGe. Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new and assume a full battery charge and full tank of gas (if applicable). Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
3Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Actual mileage will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
4EPA-estimated 13-mile range based on 46 MPGe combined estimate. EPA-estimated 450-mile range based on EPA-estimated 22 combined MPG and 46 combined MPGe. Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new and assume a full battery charge and full tank of gas (if applicable). Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
5EPA-estimated 14-mile range based on 56 MPGe combined estimate. EPA-estimated 540-mile range based on EPA-estimated 24 combined MPG and 56 combined MPGe. Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new and assume a full battery charge and full tank of gas (if applicable). Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
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.