SUVs with fantastic fuel-sipping stats.

Best Hybrid SUVs under $30K | CarMax

There's great news for 2021 shoppers looking for a used hybrid SUV: you can have it all. The hybrid SUV market is full of attractive options, particularly when you look at available tech features and some seriously attractive mpg estimates.

More and more of us are looking for fuel-sipping options as we take on the challenge of budgeting fuel costs. It's refreshing to find an SUV that plays its part; providing fuel economy and the cabin space you need to continue your adventures for years to come.

To help you on your search for the right used hybrid SUV, we've compiled a list of the 5 best hybrid SUVs under $30,000, based on CarMax vehicle and sales data from May 1, 2020, through October 31, 2020.1 Be aware that newer model years and upper trim configurations may bring the prices of some of these vehicles over $30K.

  1. Ford Escape Hybrid
  2. Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid
  3. Infiniti QX60 Hybrid
  4. Nissan Rogue Hybrid
  5. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid


Ford Escape Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs Under $30,000: Ford Escape Hybrid | CarMax

Making a welcome return to Ford's SUV roster in 2020 is the Escape Hybrid, last seen in early 2012. This full hybrid has a 2.5L four-cylinder gasoline engine, and two electric motors that work together intuitively to deliver 200 hp via an electronically variable automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive.

What does this mean for on-the-road fuel stops? For the standard 2020 front-wheel drive hybrid model, you can expect an EPA-estimated 41 mpg combined (or an estimated 40 mpg with the optional all-wheel drive).2

Comfortably covering your requirements for grocery trips and sport-filled weekends, the 2020 Escape Hybrid has 30.7 cu-ft of cargo storage and, when properly equipped, an estimated 1,500 lbs of towing capacity (2.5L hybrid engine).3 With passenger storage options through the cabin, including anti-tip cup holders, there are plenty of nice touches onboard this five-seat vehicle.

As part of its fourth-generation redesign, the 2020 Escape Hybrid is offered in SE Sport and Titanium trim levels. Both are equipped with updated driver tech, entertainment features, and some stylish exterior finishes, including six bright new paint options. Further highlights of the 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid SE Sport include:

  • 17-inch Ebony Black aluminum wheels
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration
  • Heated front seats
  • Forward collision mitigation
  • Keyless entry with push-button start


Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs Under $30,000: Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid | CarMax

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV's SUV capability is clear. It has 7.3 inches of ground clearance and the locking all-wheel capability makes it off-road friendly, while you can comfortably tote your shopping haul with its 30.4 cu-ft of fixed cargo storage space (2018 onwards).

The 2018–2020 Outlander PHEV Hybrid is a two-row, five-passenger vehicle (the gasoline-only model has three rows) powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and two 60kW electric motors, one solely to power the rear wheels. With an onboard 12kWh battery pack, this provides hybrid all-wheel drive capability. When properly equipped, the 2018–2020 Outlander PHEV (powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder hybrid powertrain) can tow an estimated 1,500lbs.3 If your daily driving is a series of short journeys like school drop-off, grocery runs, and visiting the local gym, then the Outlander PHEV could be your new best friend. With a full charge, it has 22 miles of electric-only range (2018 models).4

All 2018–2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrids are available in two trim levels; SEL and GT. All 2018–2020 Outlander PHEV SEL trim models feature:

  • Power liftgate
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seats
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Seven-inch touchscreen display


Infiniti QX60 Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs Under $30,000: Infiniti Q60 Hybrid | CarMax

Offering a touch of low-key luxury to the three-row SUV sector, the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid (2014-2017) is a smooth operator. The 2016-2017 QX60 Hybrid boasts a supercharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine, alongside a 15kWh electric motor with onboard battery pack to deliver an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined.2

An attractive draw for drivers is the Infiniti QX60's luxurious reputation for space, with its interior dimensions and creature comforts promising a peaceful and unobtrusive ride experience. With flexible seating and cargo arrangements, you can feel assured of both passenger comfort and dutiful capability.

Want to haul luggage, shopping bags, or sporting equipment? Flip the rear rows down in the 2016–2017 QX60 Hybrid to get 76.5 cu-ft of space. On the road with colleagues or friends? All seven seats can be comfortably reached by passengers with the QX60 Hybrid's easy enter and exit features. Both rear rows recline, while the second row helpfully slides 5.5 inches forward and back, so the third row can be easily accessed.

Kids getting taller by the day? The 2016-2017 QX60 Hybrid has terrific headroom (38.3 in.) and legroom (41.7 in.) across those rear rows, too. The 2016-2017 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid is available in a single trim with a range of add-ons, and a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. Standard 2016-2017 QX60 Hybrid features include:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Rearview camera


Nissan Rogue Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs Under $30,000: Nissan Rogue Hybrid | CarMax

Nissan's Rogue model has the stylish looks that turn heads on the road Think snazzy paint options, privacy glass, and special editions with tricked-out fascias. So if you'd like to shop a hybrid version Rogue, then you're in luck.

Nissan produced a hybrid Rogue from 2017 to 2019. Equipped with a 2.0L gasoline engine and electric motor, it delivers a total of 176 hp, which means that the 2017–2019 front-wheel drive models can claim an EPA-estimated 34 mpg combined.2 If your locale dictates a more rugged approach to the road, the optional all-wheel drive version gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined with the hybrid powertrain.2

Seating five passengers across two rows, the Rogue Hybrid is as comfortable carrying cargo as it is your nearest and dearest. Drop the second-row seats to enjoy 61.4 cu-ft of storage space behind the front row, a useful feature if you are busy moving boxes and equipment. Or you can just as easily ride with groceries in the rear and family upfront, as you'll get a generous 27.3 cu-ft of storage in the back.

The 2017–2019 Rogue Hybrid is available in SV and SL trims only, and both provide a welcoming cabin atmosphere with ample tech. The SL trim features an attractive set of driver assistance aids that could make it a worthwhile leap in trim grade.

For the 2017–2019 Rogue Hybrid SV trim, you can expect to find these features:

  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rearview camera
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Blind-spot monitoring


Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUVs Under $30,000: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | CarMax

The compact crossover SUV that makes the number one spot on our list is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. It debuted in 2016 and is a standout option if you're looking for a car that suits your green-conscious lifestyle without sacrificing style or substance. This ever-evolving hybrid model has an attractive set of standard features to help you and your crew get to your destination in comfort.

You'll get all-wheel drive on every trim (2016–2021), 60/40-split folding rear seats with adjustable recline, and, from 2018, Toyota's enviable suite of driver assistance aids (including automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist). All 2017–2019 RAV4 Hybrid models are powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and a battery-fed electric motor, delivering advanced road handling via a continuously variable automatic transmission.

The 2017–2018 RAV4 Hybrid (with 2.5L hybrid powertrain) gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg combined, while the redesigned 2019 RAV4 Hybrid has the same engine but improved performance, with an EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined.2 This hybrid model's battery pack doesn't impact the cargo space either. You'll get 35.6 cu-ft behind the second row and 70.6 cu-ft if you drop the row to maximize space for hauling larger items (2017–2018 models). The 2017–2018 RAV4 Hybrid XLE trim includes:

  • 6.1-inch touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Six-speaker sound system

Finding a car that combines the capability and presence of an SUV with the fuel-sipping benefits of a hybrid powertrain is now easier than ever. Start your search with this list of hybrid SUVs that could tick all the right boxes for your lifestyle.

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1Based on prices on carmax.com from May 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
2Fuel 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.
3Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
4EPA-estimated 22-mile range based on 74 MPGe combined estimate. EPA-estimated 310-mile range based on EPA-estimated 25 combined MPG and 74 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.

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