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.
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.
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.
Offering an estimated 34 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid's base XLE trim with automatic transmission and 2.5L engine is a great choice for those in the market for a smaller SUV.1 This subcompact SUV will seat up to five passengers comfortably. Drivers will enjoy standard features like a rearview camera and keyless entry/ignition. Drivers and passengers alike will love the standard sunroof, dual-zone air conditioning and heating, and Bluetooth® connectivity!
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
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!
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.
When you're looking for an SUV that delivers more than just fuel efficiency and utility, the luxurious 2013 Lexus RX 450H with 3.5L engine is a great option. This luxury vehicle offers seating for up to five passengers and boasts an estimated 31 mpg city and 28 mpg highway in its standard FWD version.1 It's also a top contender for those wanting a little more power behind the wheel, as it comes standard with a powerful V6 engine. Standard features abound in this hybrid SUV, including some luxurious features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, and a premium nine-speaker sound system.
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.
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.
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.
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.