The five best hybrid SUVs you can buy

Aug 4, 2021, 6:22 AM | Updated: 7:31 am

Buying a hybrid vehicle is typically a smart way to help save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint compared to a conventional gasoline-only vehicle. Not long ago your shopping choices were largely limited to hybrid hatchbacks and sedans, but the hybrid SUV market has expanded considerably the past few years. The latest hybrid SUVs can get impressive fuel economy while providing plenty of cargo space, a higher ride height, available all-wheel drive and cutting-edge technology features.

Edmunds’ experts have picked five of the best new hybrid SUVs on sale today. They are presented in alphabetical order, and all prices include the destination charge.

2021 FORD ESCAPE HYBRID

Base price: $29,920

Fuel economy: 40-41 mpg combined

The recently redesigned Ford Escape is a fine crossover SUV, but it’s the Escape Hybrid that stands out in Ford’s lineup. It’s also Edmunds’ current top-ranked hybrid SUV. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the roomy and comfortable Escape Hybrid offers excellent fuel economy without sacrificing much in terms of performance. We also like the Ford’s available in-car tech and driver aids as well as the generally smooth ride quality. As with some rivals, Ford also offers a plug-in hybrid variant with an estimated 37 miles of electric-only range. The biggest drawback is the Escape’s cargo space, which is slightly less than what some rival small SUVs offer.

Standard features on the base Escape Hybrid SE include dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Driver aids include blind-spot monitoring and lane departure mitigation.

2021 HONDA CR-V HYBRID

Base price: $31,785

Fuel economy: 38 mpg combined

The Honda CR-V is one of Edmunds’ favorite small SUVs, and the fuel-efficient hybrid model is no different. While it’s a bit more expensive than some of its competitors, the CR-V Hybrid comes well equipped with lots of standard tech and safety features. All-wheel drive — optional on most rivals — is standard here too. Edmunds found the CR-V Hybrid comfortable and spacious, with many clever storage bins in the cabin for your phone, drinks and other small items.

Notable standard features on the base CR-V Hybrid EX include LED lighting, remote start, keyless entry and ignition, and driver aids such as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.

2022 HYUNDAI TUCSON HYBRID

Base price: $30,235

Fuel economy: 37-38 mpg combined

The Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is one of the latest hybrid SUVs to hit the market, and it immediately impressed with a comfortable ride, a spacious interior and loads of standard tech. An excellent warranty and a relatively low base price make it all the more compelling. The Tucson Hybrid’s interior is handsome and well appointed, offering a slightly more premium feel than some rivals. All-wheel drive is available for drivers who need it, and Hyundai also offers a plug-in hybrid that allows for an estimated 32 miles of electric range. The biggest downside is slightly worse fuel economy than its rivals.

Standard features on the base Tucson’s Blue Hybrid trim level include roof rails, tinted rear windows, LED lighting, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

2021 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER HYBRID

Base price: $39,910

Fuel economy: 35-36 mpg combined

If you need more space than what these other hybrids offer, the three-row Toyota Highlander is well worth a look. There are larger three-row SUVs out there, but few can match the Highlander Hybrid’s fuel economy. Like the Toyota RAV4, the Highlander Hybrid doesn’t cost significantly more than the standard model, making it all the more appealing.

The Highlander Hybrid is comfortable and well equipped from the get-go with standard features including LED headlights, a power liftgate, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as three-zone climate control. All-wheel drive is available as an option on all Highlander Hybrids.

2021 TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID

Base price: $29,975

Fuel economy: 40 mpg combined

The Toyota RAV4 is one of America’s best-selling vehicles and, like the Escape, its hybrid version makes a better case for itself than the standard model. For only slightly more money than the standard model, the RAV4 Hybrid offers significantly better fuel economy and quicker acceleration. It’s spacious and comfortable and comes standard with all-wheel drive. There’s also the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid that offers 42 miles of all-electric range on a full battery.

Toyota also comes with standard driver aids such as adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning as well as features including LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

EDMUNDS SAYS: Buying a hybrid no longer means sacrificing utility and space for the sake of fuel efficiency.

Author bio:

This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds.

Related links:

2021 Ford Escape Hybrid review; 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid review; 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review; 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid review; 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid review.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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The five best hybrid SUVs you can buy