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Best Hybrid SUVs of 2017 | CarMax

Today, just about every auto manufacturer offers a hybrid car or hybrid SUV on their lots. From sedans and SUVs to even vans, hybrids are all the rave. A hybrid vehicle typically refers to one that runs on two different types of power: a "traditional" internal-combustion engine and battery power. These vehicles switch from one power source to the next in effort to reduce fuel usage.

If you’re in the market for an SUV, a hybrid SUV can be a great option. You'll enjoy ample space and storage that comes along with reduced fuel dependence in the process. Not sure where to begin when it comes to shopping for hybrid SUVs? We've got you covered.

How we compiled our list

Our list of top 10 hybrid SUVs was compiled based on CarMax vehicle sales data from January 1, 2017, through October 31, 2017. Here were the results:

  1. Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
  2. Saturn Vue Hybrid
  3. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
  4. GMC Yukon Hybrid
  5. Ford Escape Hybrid
  6. Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid
  7. Lexus RX 400H
  8. Infiniti QX60 Hybrid
  9. Toyota Highlander Hybrid
  10. Lexus RX 450H


Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid | CarMax

Produced from 2008 through 2013, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is well-known for combining the benefits of a hybrid with the practicality of a more rugged SUV or truck. The 2013 model boasts a towing capacity of an estimated 6,200 pounds (when properly equipped).1 Available in a single trim option (the 1HY), the 2013 1HY boasts a 6.0-liter V8 with two accompanying electric motors and a combined fuel economy of an estimated 21 mpg in both the all-wheel-drive and two-wheel-drive options.2 Standard features for the 2013 model also include 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, and tri-zone automatic climate control. The Tahoe hybrid is great option for those looking for a larger SUV with three rows of available seating.


Saturn Vue Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: Saturn Vue Hybrid | CarMax

Manufactured exclusively for the 2008 and 2009 model years, the Saturn Vue Hybrid is another top contender for your hybrid SUV purchase. The 2008 model is available in one trim level, the Green Line. This two-row SUV is really more of a hybrid crossover, seating up to five people comfortably. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and a six-speaker stereo system. Powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor that provides an extra "boost" when needed (such as during quick acceleration), the 2008 Vue Hybrid Green Line is simple yet practical for smaller families. It is also available with an optional "comfort and convenience package," which includes heated mirrors, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Combined fuel economy for the 2008 Vue Green Line is an estimated 28 mpg2, which is quite competitive for a vehicle of its size and model year.


Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | CarMax

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has only been in production since 2016, although the RAV4 itself dates back to 1996. This Toyota hybrid has a lot to offer in terms of utility, passenger space, and standard features. And unlike many other hybrid SUVs on the market, the 2016 model is available in two different trim options: the XLE and Limited trim. The XLE comes standard with dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, and even a sunroof that drivers and passengers alike will enjoy. The interior is surprisingly elegant, with abundant leg and head room for even larger adults in the middle row. Powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and front and rear electric motors, the 2016 RAV4 XLE packs a surprising punch behind the wheel and boasts a combined fuel economy of an estimated 32 mpg. 2


GMC Yukon Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: GMC Yukon Hybrid | CarMax

Those looking for a hybrid SUV with plenty of storage, passenger space, and towing capacity will do well to check out the GMC Yukon Hybrid. Specifically, the 2012 model (available in one trim) boasts a number of great standard features, including rear-park assist with a rearview camera, tri-zone climate control for added comfort, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Drivers will also enjoy a standard navigation system for those long road trips, as well as available satellite radio and traffic reporting for daily commutes. The 2012 Yukon Hybrid is also available in either rear- or four-wheel drive, both of which are powered by a 6.0-liter V8 coupled with a pair of electric motors to achieve up to an estimated 21 mpg combined city and highway. 2


Ford Escape Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: Ford Escape Hybrid | CarMax

Combine the convenience of a full-size SUV with the practicality of a hybrid and you’ve got the Ford Escape hybrid. The 2008 Escape Hybrid, for instance, is available in one trim option and comes with your choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. On top of that, you'll enjoy standard features such as 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control for added comfort, and full power accessories. All 2008 Escape Hybrids are also powered by a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine along with two electric motors for a total output of 155 horsepower and a combined fuel economy of an estimated 32 mpg. 2 Drivers will enjoy the nearly 30 feet of cargo space, which can be extended to 65 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Overall, a great option for families!

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Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid | CarMax

First available as a hybrid in 2014, the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid is a great choice for those in the market for a crossover SUV that seats up to seven comfortably. Many will enjoy the fact that this vehicle boasts adult-sized seats not just in the front row, but in the middle and rear rows as well. It also comes in three different trim levels, which offer lots of options for customization and truly making it your own. The 2014 hybrid base trim is also powered by two drivetrains, including a 2.5-liter supercharged engine and a 15kW electric motor for a total output of 250 hp. Both the four-wheel and front-wheel drive options of this vehicle can achieve an estimated 26 mpg combined city and highway.2


Lexus RX 400H

Best Hybrid SUVs: Lexus RX-400H | CarMax

If you're in the market for a luxury hybrid vehicle, the Lexus RX 440H might fit the bill nicely. Specifically, the 2008 Lexus RX 400H offers a variety of amenities that drivers and passengers will enjoy, as well as impressive build and utility. Drivers will really enjoy that this vehicle can be operated in gas-engine only, electric-only, or a combination of both to suit your needs. It is available in one trim level in either front- or all-wheel-drive, with standard equipment for both, including a power rear lift gate, dual-zone climate control, heated mirrors, and a premium eight-speaker sound system.


Infiniti QX60 Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: Infiniti QX60 Hybrid | CarMax

Another great option in the world of luxury hybrid SUVs is the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, the 2014 model of which is powered by a supercharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and a 15kW electric motor. Families will enjoy the ample space available in this three-row SUV, along with the impressive power and acceleration provided by the standard supercharged engine. The cabin is also large enough to comfortably seat up to seven people, offering generous leg and head room even for larger passengers –– truly a great hybrid option for those who don't want to sacrifice luxury, power, or space to save on fuel. Speaking of fuel, the 2014 base model has an estimated 26 mpg combined city/hwy.2


Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs: Toyota Highlander Hybrid | CarMax

This three-row crossover SUV is a great option, with the 2015 version available in two trim levels: Limited and Limited Platinum. Standard features include upgraded 19-inch alloy wheels, adjustable-height lift gate, ambient interior lighting, and even leather upholstery. The 2015 Limited trim has an impressive 3.5-liter V6 engine and multiple electric motors for an output of up to 280 hp (that’s a lot for a hybrid). Drivers can tow up to an estimated 3,500 pounds in the Highlander Hybrid when properly equipped, making this one of the more versatile hybrid trucks on the market.1 It also boasts a decent fuel economy at an estimated 28 mpg combined. 2


Lexus RX 450H

Best Hybrid SUVs: Lexus RX-450H | CarMax

Another luxury hybrid to consider is the Lexus RX 450H SUV hybrid, which offers a great balance of luxury, performance, and utility. For example, the 2015 model is available in both front- and all-wheel drive, and it offers standard features such as rear privacy glass, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, and a premium 12-speaker sound system. Additional package options are available to suit your unique needs, including the Premium, Comfort, or Navigation package. All 2015 RX 450Hs are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine and several electric motors, including an extra electric motor on the all-wheel-drive model for added control and handling. Drivers will also enjoy the high fuel economy of an estimated 29 mpg combined that all 2015 RX 450Hs are able to deliver. 2

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Whether you're looking for an electric SUV that's rugged and powerful, sleek and luxurious, or some balance in between, this list of top 10 best hybrid SUVs is a great place to start.

For more research, check out these related articles:

1. Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
2. Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating 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.