Best hybrid SUVs 2021

Published: 25 March 2021

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Chances are that if you're looking to buy or lease a new family car in 2021, SUVs are probably close to the top of your list. Safe, spacious and practical they may be, but many now also offer low running costs thanks to the availability of hybrid powertrains.

Boasting many of the benefits of a BEV, hybrid SUVs can deliver inexpensive and silent running in town, but without the range restrictions of an electric-only alternative.

Hybridisation brings other benefits, too: some models below deliver 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 2021? 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.

The best hybrid SUVs for 2021

Audi Q7 TFSIe

White 2021 Audi Q7 TFSIe

  • New price: from £66,000
  • Fuel economy: 104.6-113.0mpg
  • CO2: 57-60g/km

It’s pricey, but the £66k Q7 TFSIe 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 further refine its 3.0-litre petrol power. Previously, the Q7 plug-in hybrid wore e-Tron badges and featured a diesel motor.

Audi quotes 0-62mph in 5.9sec and as low as 57g/km of CO2, so it’s quick and impressively parsimonious - on paper. That big battery needs two-and-a-half 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 TFSIe review
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Volvo XC60 Recharge

Red 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8

  • New price: from £51,340  
  • Fuel economy: 100.9-113.0mpg (T6) 
  • CO2: 55-64g/km (T6)

Volvo used to be known for its class-leading estates, but in 2021 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 of its larger sibling, but adds plug-in hybrid power. Unlike other cars on this list, the XC60 Recharge uses its electricity for both economy and a performance boost. 

Two versions of the XC60 Recharge are available. The T6 packs 335bhp and has a 0-62mph time of 5.9sec, while the T8 has 385bhp (399bhp for the Polestar Engineered range-topper) and can squirt from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds. You can shave a further tenth of a second off with the Polestar Engineered version. And being a Volvo, it’s full of the latest safety kit, too, including an electronically capped top speed of just 112mph. 

Read our Volvo XC60 Recharge review
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Lexus NX Hybrid

Orange 2021 Lexus NX Hybrid

  • New price: from £36,060      
  • Fuel economy: 39.7mpg (front-wheel drive versions)
  • CO2: 161g/km (front-wheel drive versions)

Lexus’s mid-sized hybrid SUV offers is one of the roomiest interiors on this list, and it also features one of the biggest boots here. Toyota, Lexus’s sister company is already a pioneer in hybrid tech – just look at the Prius – and the NX benefits from the link.

Four-wheel drive versions are available, but they're less efficient at 36.6-37.1mpg and 170-175g/km of CO2. No plug-in versions - this is 'self-charging', after all - but when combined with a high-end interior and head-turning styling, this Lexus is worth considering. 

Read our Lexus NX Hybrid review
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Honda CR-V Hybrid

White 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

  • New price: from £30,810
  • Fuel economy: 42.2-42.8mpg (front-wheel drive versions)
  • CO2: 151g/km (front-wheel drive versions)

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 delivering decent economy and performance. It comes with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, with efficiency dropping to 39.2-39.8mpg and 161-163g/km of CO2 for the latter. 

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 Hybrid review
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Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid

Gold 2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid

  • New price: from £126,690 
  • Fuel economy: 68.9-74.3mpg 
  • CO2: 86-92g/km

The Porsche portfolio has grown massively in recent years, and this Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is a case in point. Who’d have foreseen this 30 years ago? And who'd have baulked at it if they had foreseen it?

Either way, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is marketed by Stuttgart as a sports SUV, and it does have the specs to match, as well as the alternative five-door Coupe bodystyle option. It uses a 671bhp PHEV powertrain delivering impressive performance: 0-62mph takes 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 183mph.

If that's too much, the 'regular' Cayenne E-Hybrid weighs in at just £69,980, boasting 76.3-91.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 71-83g/km. Slower, yes, but slow, no - 0-62mph is over in five seconds flat.

Read our Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid review
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Land Rover Range Rover P400e

Blue 2021 Land Rover Range Rover P400e

  • New price: from £89,385
  • Fuel economy: 77.1-83.2mpg 
  • CO2: 77-85g/km 

One of the most deirable SUVs has a plug-inhybrid powertrain. Also available in Range Rover Sport guise, the full-size models, the P400e has a class-leading setup, with impressive fuel economy and emissions figures for its size. 

There’s still good performance in the P400e as it produces 398bhp – though the 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine and electric motor doesn’t have the same presence as the V8’s classic growl.

Still, it retains that gorgeous interior and the star quality associated with Land Rover's flagship model.

Read our Range Rover P400e review
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BMW X5 xDrive45e

White 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e

  • New price: from £65,510
  • Fuel economy: 201.8-235.4mpg
  • CO2: 27-32g/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 serious performance, but no seven-seat option as the batteries take up to much room.

It’ll do an impressive 51-55 miles range on the batteries alone, but can still push out 282bhp for 0-62mph sprint times of 5.6sec. 

Read our BMW X5 xDrive45e review
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Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de 

Grey 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de

  • New price: from £66,530 
  • Fuel economy: 313.0-403.6 mpg 
  • CO2: 19-23g/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 0-62mph in just 6.8 seconds. In EV mode, top speed is capped to 100mph.

Luxurious interior, rammed with technology and driver aids, but like others of its ilk, no seven-seater package due to the battery location.

Read Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de review
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Ford Kuga PHEV

Red 2021 Ford Kuga PHEV

  • New price: from £36,555 
  • Fuel economy: 201.8mpg 
  • CO2: 32g/km  

Ford's third-generation Kuga SUV is finding even more fans thanks to a flurry of hybrid options. There's a mild-hybrid diesel and a self-charging petrol, but it's the plug-in version of the latter that gets out vote.

Nimble handling and plenty of flexible space will appeal to family car buyers who enjoy driving, but the 35-mile range of electric driving will appeal to the thrifty among us.

Read our Ford Kuga PHEV review
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Toyota C-HR Hybrid

Orange 2020 Toyota CH-R Hybrid

  • New price: from £26,885
  • Fuel economy: 53.2-57.6mpg
  • CO2: 110-120g/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 impressive efficiency. Not for nothing was it named as 2018 Parkers New Car of the Year.

Originally a petrol-only CH-R was available, but now it's exclusively self-charging hybrids. There's an economy-minded 1.8-litre with 120bhp, but the brawnier 2.0-litre packs a 181bhp punch for easier overtakes and more B-road fun.  

Read our Toyota CH-R Hybrid review
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Further electric reading

By Keith WR Jones

Managing editor of the Bauer Automotive hub and car brochure library owner

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