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Best Hybrid Suv To Buy [2021]


A hybrid SUV is a sport utility vehicle that has both a gas-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) and a battery-powered electric motor. The ICE and electric motor work in tandem to power the vehicle, which ultimately improves fuel efficiency and reduces tailpipe emissions. The ICE does the bulk of the work at cruising speeds, while the electric motor typically takes over when braking, idling, or accelerating from a stop. This can make hybrid SUVs an attractive option for people who do a lot of stop-and-go driving.




best hybrid suv to buy



Nope. Unlike a fully electric vehicle or a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), a standard hybrid SUV essentially charges itself. This primarily occurs in two ways. First and most simply, the gas engine provides a charge to the battery pack to ensure the hybrid motor maintains power. The second way is through a process called regenerative braking. This system recovers the energy expelled when the car slows down and uses it to charge the battery.


The Niro is the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market (although it is on the smaller side), According to the EPA, the conventional hybrid manages a combined 53 mpg combined by pairing a 1.6-liter inline-four gas engine with a 32-kilowatt electric motor to deliver 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers drop with 18-inch wheels that come standard on the top-tier SX Touring. The PHEV uses the same gas engine but upgrades to a more powerful electric motor and a bigger, 11.1-kwH battery pack. Together, they make 180 hp and 195 lb-ft. The plug-in hybrid musters an EPA-rated 108 MPGe rating. But it also offers up to 33 miles per charge, according to the feds, a full 25% improvement over the outgoing crossover. Note that the Niro continues to be front-wheel-drive only.


The new Platinum trim brings the 2.0L EcoBoost engine with AWD and a hybrid powertrain option with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Ford offers the ST-Line as a hybrid version with front-wheel drive. ST-Line Select and the ST-Line Elite open the door to an available 250-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with standard all-wheel drive and an available hybrid option. The full hybrid model with front-wheel drive targets 199 horsepower combined output and an EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles, but final certification is pending on both counts. Going Platinum with the FWD Hybrid hits $37,460, and the plug-in front-wheel drive is $39,995.


The RAV4 hybrid sets the standard for capable hybrid SUVs. There is a trim for everyone and optional all-wheel drive across the line makes it appealing for buyers in seasonal regions as well as the weekend warrior types who enjoy light trailblazing. Its fuel efficiency is already competitive in the segment but is boosted by its optional hybrid powertrain and new plug-in hybrid variant, the RAV4 Prime. While exterior styling may not be for everyone, the RAV4 is more self-assured than ever before and offers a menu of choices much longer than key rivals. It also has a competitive starting price and lots of standard tech including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and safety tech such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance.


The base 350h 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine gets 37 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg combined. The high-performance hybrid in the 500h still gets good fuel economy with 27 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined. Like the smaller NX and UX hybrids, the RX hybrid has long dominated fuel economy in its class.


There are several kinds of hybrid SUVs: Mild hybrids use an electric motor to assist their gasoline engine but never to actually drive the vehicle, while stop-start hybrids deactivate the engine when a vehicle is stationary to save fuel. These passive hybrid systems do offer some fuel savings over a regular gas-powered car, but only a little.


Hybrid vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine that works in concert with an electric motor. In the most familiar hybrid vehicles, like the Toyota Highlander hybrid, the vehicle operates on its electric motor at low speeds or in city traffic, but switches to gasoline or combined operation when power is needed or at higher speeds. In contrast to pure gas or diesel vehicles, which operate most efficiently on the highway at high speed, hybrids return their best mileage around town, where they can take full advantage of the electric assistance. For more information, see our hybrid guide.


The classic series-parallel hybrids on this list tend not to be. On-road performance and acceleration are usually a little less exciting in such vehicles than in non-hybrid or fully electric SUVs, since these hybrids tend to be optimized for economy, not power or speed.


We sorted our hybrid SUVs on EPA-rated gas mileage and overall performance, safety and tech features, battery capability, range, style and space for passengers and stuff. To qualify for the list, each car had to be a true hybrid (no plug-ins), measure as an SUV and start under $65,000.


The Ford Escape got a full redesign for 2020, gaining upscale styling, more space, and plenty of new tech, but Ford is further refreshing it for 2023, with updated styling and a new ST-Line trim level that is now the cheapest available with the hybrid powertrain.


Honda has been a major player on the hybrid scene since the days of the first Insight, and it continues to charge ahead with models like the CR-V Hybrid, which gets a redesign for the 2023 model year. Given its affordable price point, smooth power delivery, and ample interior space, some of us point to the CR-V Hybrid as our personal pick amongst the compact SUVs and crossovers on this list.


As part of the 2023 model-year redesign, the CR-V Hybrid moves to front-wheel drive (FWD) for lower trim levels, while retaining AWD as an option. Available on the Sport and Sport Touring trim levels, the hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that works with an electric generator/starter and propulsion motor, as well as a lithium-ion battery (there is no conventional transmission).


Put it all together and you get 43 mpg city and 36 mpg highway with FWD and 40 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with AWD. Those are big increases in gas mileage over the non-hybrid CR-V, which gets 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with FWD or 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with AWD.


Toyota has been slow to adopt EVs and move toward full electrification, and has instead focused on hybrid and fuel cell technologies. The result of that focus is a group of hybrid vehicles that offer power and smooth operation on top of exceptional fuel economy.


The Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid has a 2.0-iter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to a 17.9-kWh battery. These combine for a total of 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Those power figures are on par with the performance trim of the Q5 and the SQ5. On electric power alone, it goes 23 miles.


The 2023 Lincoln Corsair maintains the first generation released in 2020. The plug-in hybrid option is only available on one trim, the Grand Touring. The Grand Touring comes with a 2.5-liter inline-four paired with a hybrid powertrain to produce 266 hp. You can also go 28 miles on electric power only.


For those looking to optimize the environmental sustainability of their new SUV purchase without giving up on gas altogether, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) seem to offer the perfect compromise. These cars combine a standard gas tank with a battery, meaning that you can run on electricity for short trips without worrying about finding a charging station.


Today, a range of plug-in hybrid SUVs are available from popular brands, including Subaru, Kia, Toyota, and more. Comparing their stats to find which one will get you further can be confusing, so we broke down the decision process here.


Ford offers a highly efficient plug-in hybrid vehicle with the 2023 Ford Escape. It includes a 2.5-liter iVCT Atkinson-Cycle 1-4 engine that generates 210 horsepower and 209 lb-ft of torque. But where it really stands out is with the electric driving range, which averages 37 miles a charge. This SUV also includes an 11.1-gallon gas tank that lets it travel around 500 miles between fuel stops.


One of the best ways to improve the environmental impact of your PHEV is to invest in an eco-friendly charger. Check out our rankings of the best electric vehicle chargers, so you can maximize energy efficiency for your car.


Great article, Lydia. I bought a used BMW X5 e40i, which is a plug in hybrid SUV, and have been really disappointed with the pure electric range. BMW markets their plugins as having 17 pure electric miles, but mine can get 8 if I am lucky. The lack of electric range makes it very difficult to run around town using only the battery, which was the reason I bought the car in the first place.


A plug-in hybrid vehicle uses both an electric motor and gas-powered engine to optimize fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions. The battery is large enough to enable electric-only operation, allowing the vehicle to be powered completely by its electric engine over limited range and can be charged at home or a charging station as well as by its gas-powered engine.


Conventional hybrids, like the pioneering Toyota Prius, primarily use a nickel-hydride battery that is more energy dense than lead acid batteries and is paired with an internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrain system. However, a few manufacturers are now producing hybrids using lithium-ion pouches. These vehicles capture energy through regenerative braking and store it in the battery to propel the vehicle typically up to 45 miles per hour before the ICE kicks on for more propulsion.


Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are a compromise between an electric vehicle and a hybrid car because they have two powertrains: a gasoline engine and an electric motor paired with a lithium-ion battery pack. These vehicles are considered a stepping stone for drivers who want to be able to travel a limited range using only electricity and also have the ability to travel longer distances using a combination of gasoline and electricity when the vehicle operates as a hybrid. Most drivers travel on average 40 miles per day, and many PHEVs have electric driving ranges long enough for drivers to rarely use their gasoline system. 041b061a72


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