Best hybrid SUVs 2020

Published: 30 April 2020

► Which hybrid SUV should you buy in 2020?
► CAR picks the best hybrid 4x4s in the UK
► We’ll constantly update this list

If you’re after a new family car in 2020, chances are an SUV is at the top of your list. Big on safety, space and practicality, SUVs tick most boxes – and now they’re available in hybrid form, too.

Featuring all the benefits of an EV, SUV hybrids give you cheap and silent running in town, but don’t have the range restrictions of an electric-only car. Hybrid brings other benefits, too: some cars on this list feature cheaper running costs than their ICE-only counterparts, while others use their electric power specifically for a boost in performance. See, SUVs can be fun too.

Further hybrid reading

So, which are the best hybrid SUVs you can buy in 2020? Below you’ll find a list of our favourites, but scroll down for a more detailed breakdown of the best partly-electrified SUVs you can buy.  Keep reading and you'll also find the hybrid SUVs worth waiting for.

The best hybrid SUVs on sale now

Audi Q7 e-Tron

The Audi Q& hybrid

  • New price: £67,550
  • Fuel economy: 156 mpg
  • CO2: 46g/km

It’s pricey, but the £66k Q7 E-Tron packs a lot of clever plug-in hybrid gubbins into its huge footprint: there are five seats (you lose the rear-most row in favour of batteries) and it uses active engine mounts to hide its 3.0 V6 TDI diesel power. Audi quotes 0-62mph in 6.0sec and 46g/km of CO2, so it’s quick and impressively parsimonious - on paper. That big battery needs nearly three hours to charge on a fast charge - and more like eight on a three-point plug at home, so make sure you have the correct charging facilities is our advice.

Read our Audi Q7 e-Tron review
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Volvo XC60 T8

Thee Volvo XC60 T8 hybrid

  • New price: from £60,670  
  • Fuel economy: 141 mpg 
  • CO2: 51g/km 

Volvo used to be known for its class-leading estates, but in 2020 the brand is equally known for its impressive SUVs, and the XC60 is a brilliant example. Essentially a scaled-down version of the XC90, the XC60 maintains the sharp styling if its larger sibling but adds hybrid power. And unlike other cars on this list, the XC60 T8 uses its electricity for both economy and a performance boost. 

The T8 offers a maximum power of 390bhp, a 0-60mph time of 5.3 seconds and a 150mph maximum speed – but it’ll also return 141mpg if you drive it respectfully. And being a Volvo, it’s full of the latest safety kit, too. 

Read our Volvo XC60 T8 review
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Lexus NX

The Lexus NX hybrid

  • New price: from £34,94      
  • Fuel economy: 35 - 56 mpg
  • CO2: 121g/km

Lexus’ hybrid SUV offering is one of the roomiest on this list, and it also features one of the biggest boots here. Toyota, Lexus’ sister company is already a pioneer in hybrid tech – just look at the Prius – and the NX benefits from the link. Fuel economy varies between 35 to 53mpg, and when combined with a high-end interior and head-turning styling, this Lexus is worth considering. 

Read our Lexus NX review
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Honda CR-V Hybrid

Honda CR-V hybrid

  • New price: from £25,995 - £37,255
  • Fuel economy: 39 - 53 mpg
  • CO2: 120g/km

The focus might be on its all-new and all-electric Honda e, but Honda’s CR-V hybrid is a serious contender in the hybrid arena. The CR-V uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine along with a pair of electric motors for around 53.3mpg, and it comes with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. 

It’s not the most exciting SUV, but improvements such as a larger interior mean the CR-V is even better suited for family life this time around. 

Read our long-term Honda CR-V review
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Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

  • New price: £57,260 - £101,416 
  • Fuel economy: 24 - 31mpg 
  • CO2: 72g/km

The Porsche portfolio has grown massively in recent years, and this Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a case in point. Who’d have foreseen this 30 years ago?

Either way, the Cayenne hybrid is marketed by Stuttgart as a ‘sporty’ SUV, and it does have the specs to match. It uses a 3.0-litre V6 from the standard Cayenne, and combines it with an electric motor for impressive performance: 0-62mph takes 5.0 seconds and a top speed of 157mph is impressive, too.

Read our Porsche Cayenne Turbo hybrid review
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Range Rover P400e

Range Rover P400e

  • New price: £81,900 - £177,735
  • Fuel economy: 101 mpg 
  • CO2: 64g/km 

One of the most common SUVs gets a hybrid powertrain. Available in Range Rover Sport and full-size models, the P400e (PHEV) is a class-leading setup, with impressive fuel economy and emissions figures for its size. 

There’s still good performance in the P400e – though the 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine and electric motor doesn’t have the same presence as the V8’s classic growl.

Read our Range Rover P400e review
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BMW X5 hybrid

  • New price: £ £63,175
  • Fuel economy: N/A
  • CO2: 47g/km

The X5’s gas-guzzling days are over – sort of. You can still buy high-performance versions of the SUV such as the X5 M, but a more eco-friendly version is now available. Known as the xDrive 45e, it’s a luxury SUV with a third row of seats, and serious performance. It’ll do an impressive 53-60 miles range on the batteries alone, but can still push out 389bhp. 

Read our review of the BMW X5
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Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de 

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350

  • New price: £ 62,360 
  • Fuel economy: 256 mpg 
  • CO2: 29g/km

Mercedes’ GLE 350de features a turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel, and combines it with an electric motor mounted to a nine-speed ‘box. That puts 315bhp and 516lb ft below your right foot and 0-60mph in just 6.8 seconds. In EV mode, top speed is capped to 100mph.

More on the Mercedes-Benz GLE hybrid
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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

  • New price: £27,680 - £45,600 
  • Fuel economy: 139 mpg 
  • CO2: 41 g/km  

One of the most successful plug-in hybrid models ever sold in the UK, Mitsubishi cleverly identified the PHEV trend early and combined it with a popular SUV bodystyle to devastating effect. A 139mpg average along with a spacious interior and third row of seats – only for children, mind – make it very practical and cheap to run, too. A facelift in 2018 means it’ll look fresh for years to come. 

Although the marketplace has become more crowded now, the Outlander remains a smart choice, with prices from £34,000 and around 30 miles on silent EV mode.

Read our Mitsubishi Outlander review
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Toyota C-HR

Toyota CH-R Hybrid

  • New price: £21,880 - £30,765
  • Fuel economy: 42 - 74 mpg
  • CO2: 86g/km

The C-HR packs the Prius’s hybrid powertrain into a more zeitgeisty crossover bodyshell that feels like it made a break from the concept car paddock at Toyota HQ. The C-HR is far from a dull old Toyota, with interesting styling inside and out, plus the lure of 74mpg economy, 86g/km CO2 emissions and prices from around £25,000. Not for nothing was it named as 2018 Parkers New Car of the Year.

The CH-R is available in petrol trim too, but Toyota expects three-quarters of sales to be hybrid. 

Read our Toyota CH-R review
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The best hybrid SUVs coming soon 

Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota has unveiled the Yaris Cross, its new compact SUV. It rides on the same scalable TNGA platformas the Yaris in GA-B configuration, with sweet-driving larger SUVs like the C-HR and RAV4 using the GA-C platform. Like the Yaris, it’s of the self-charging variety, so there’ll be no charging up or standalone all-electric journeys, but that should help make it simpler, lighter, and cheaper.

It uses a 1.5-litre system developed directly from the 2.0 and 2.5-litre hybrids in the C-HR and RAV4 respectively. That means a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine running the Atikinson cycle, paired up to an electric motor.

 Total system output is 114bhp, marginally less powerful than the Yaris but in line with entry-level models of most competitors such as the Juke, 2008 et al. Efficiency is what Toyota really goes for, though, and while fuel economy figures haven’t been announced it expects CO2 to be below 90g/km NEDC or 120g/km WLTP for front-wheel drive models.

Here's everything we know about the Toyota Yaris Cross
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VW Tiguan hybrid

VW is gearing up to reveal a heavily-updated Tiguan SUV in the second half of 2020

The Tiguan plug-in will use a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and a 13kWh battery pack, with VW targeting between 31 and 43 miles of zero-emission electric range. While speaking at a digital presentation over VW’s PHEV plans, Dr. Kai Philipp – the brand’s project manager for electrified powertrains – told us that that target applied to all of VW’s upcoming new PHEVs: ‘surveys with Volkswagen customers have shown that a total electric range from 50 to 70 km (31-43 miles) fits the need of our customers.’

Here's everything we know about the hybrid Tiguan
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Further electric reading

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast