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Best Hybrid Vehicles for Towing


Fuel-sipping vehicles that haul, too.

Best Hybrid Vehicles for Towing | CarMax

When you're shopping for a hybrid SUV that can also haul a small camper, trailer, sailboat, or more, there are a number of options to choose from. You and your family will appreciate the features and amenities that make excursions a snap when you find the hybrid SUV that fits your lifestyle and budget

To help make it easy for you, we've compiled a list of the 5 best hybrid vehicles for towing, based on CarMax vehicle and sales data from November 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

  1. 2015 Lexus RX 450h (3.5L)

  2. 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum (3.5L)

  3. 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC350E Plug In Hybrid (2.0L)

  4. 2017–2018 Lexus RX 450H (3.50L)

  5. 2016 BMW X5 Plug In Hybrid XDrive40e (2.0)


2015 Lexus RX 450h (3.5L)

Best Hybrid Vehicles for Towing: 2015 Lexus RX 450h | CarMax

With an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined from the 3.5L engine, this premium five-passenger SUV is a star on the road.1 The 2015 Lexus RX 450h has a quiet cabin, plush interior, and great suspension that gives you a comfortable ride. It's powered by a 3.5L engine matched to a battery pack and electric motor, capable of towing an estimated 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped.2 That's enough to tow a small sailboat or a pair of jet skis on a trailer for an idyllic weekend getaway.

For model year 2015, the Lexus RX 450h includes these features and more:

  • Leather-wrapped power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

  • Seven-inch display screen

  • Power liftgate


2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum (3.5L)

Best Hybrid Vehicles for Towing: Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum Limited | CarMax

For model year 2018, Toyota combined a 3.5L V6 with electric motors for a total of 306 horsepower on its popular Highlander Hybrid. With an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined, the 2018 Highlander Hybrid is going to save you trips to the pump over its gas-only version.1 And it tows an estimated 3,500 pounds with the 3.5L engine when properly equipped.2

Roomy and sleek, the Highlander Hybrid boasts three rows with enough room for eight. It also has a configurable interior that makes this SUV a terrific option for singles, couples, and families depending on how many people and gear you want to haul. In the Limited Platinum trim, the 2018 Highlander Hybrid offers the best of the best, including a panoramic sunroof that's just right for parking at a campsite and staring up at the stars.

Standard features on the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum include:

  • 360-degree parking camera system

  • Heated rear outboard seats and heated steering wheel

  • 12-speaker premium sound system

  • Front parking sensors


2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC350E Plug In Hybrid (2.0L)

Best Hybrid Vehicles for Towing: Mercedes-Benz Plug In Hybrid CarMax

If you're looking for a hybrid SUV with impeccable road manners, a solid powertrain, a plush interior, and towing capacity to boot, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC350E Plug-In Hybrid is an excellent choice. It pairs an electric motor and battery pack to a turbo four-cylinder 2.0L engine for a combined 315 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque and has the capability to tow an estimated 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped.2

Inside the cabin, you're going to love the flexible 40/20/40-split rear seatbacks that fold down via buttons in the cargo area, and a whopping 19.4 cu-ft of space behind the second row. Your ride is enhanced by dynamic select driving modes from Comfort to Sport+, including a customizable program that lets you drive just the way you want. When you need an SUV that can haul your pets, family, and friends in a cloud of luxury, this is the one.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e Plug-In Hybrid is generously equipped with these features and more:

  • 13-speaker Burmester® surround sound with digital amplifier

  • Heated power front seats with driver-seat memory

  • Power liftgate

  • Dual-zone climate control with dust and pollen filter and activated charcoal odor filtration

  • Multifunction steering wheel with leather trim


2017–2018 Lexus RX 450H (3.50L)

Best Hybrid Vehicles for Towing: 2017 Lexus RX 450h | CarMax

At number two on our list is a one-two punch of Lexus hybrid SUVs from model years 2017 and 2018: the well-appointed RX 450h. Powered by a 3.5L V6 engine and a pair of front-mounted electric motors, the 2017–2018 Lexus RX 450h seats five and tows up to an estimated 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped.2 All of that capability is combined with a beautiful interior that includes a 40/20/40-split rear seat that reclines, slides, and folds for maximum utility and comfort. Like the cherry on top of the sundae, 2017–2018 Lexus 450h models are furnished with a generous set of features that won't disappoint. You'll feel great driving and will enjoy hosting passengers in this lovely SUV.

Standard features for 2017–2018 Lexus 450h models include:

  • Power liftgate

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Leather heated and ventilated power front seats

  • Sunroof

  • Lane departure warning


2016 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid XDrive40e (2.0L)

Best Hybrid Vehicles for Towing: BMW X5 Plug In Hybrid | CarMax

BMW's original “Sports Activity Vehicle" was also the first in its SAV lineup to be offered as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The 2016 X5 XDrive40e combines a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with a 9.2-kWh battery pack and an electric motor integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission. That combination generates a total of 308 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, equipping the X5 PHEV for a variety of activities, including towing. When properly equipped, the number-one vehicle on our list of best hybrid SUVs for towing can haul an estimated 5,953 pounds with its 2.0L powertrain.2 That's plenty to bring along a midsize camper, boat, or trailer for all of your adventures.

When the electric motor and gas engine are working together, fuel economy reaches an EPA-estimated 56 combined MPGe (or an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined on gas alone).1 All-wheel drive is standard on the 2016 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid XDrive40e 2.0L, which means it's ready to take you and four passengers off the beaten path.

Interested in the 2016 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid XDrive40e 2.0L? These features and more are standard:

  • Power liftgate

  • Roof rails

  • Nine-speaker sound system

  • Heated 10-way power front seats

When you're looking for an SUV with room for people, pets, and gear, and has a hybrid powertrain, these picks are all great options. For family trips, this combination is hard to beat. Which used hybrid SUV is your favorite?

Want to explore even more vehicle options? Take a look at additional research:

1Fuel 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
2Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

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.