Best hybrid SUVs 2020

Sales of SUVs and hybrids are booming, making hybrid SUVs some of the most desirable cars around. But which of them are worth a place on your shortlist?...


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What Car? team

Until recently, if you wanted an SUV, it was almost always best to go for a diesel engine. However, changes to the tax system, combined with improvements in hybrid technology, mean these cars which mix petrol and electric power are now great for your wallet as well as your conscience.

In addition, the number of models available has exploded in the last couple of years. But this increased choice can be a negative as well as a positive, making it harder to decide what to go for. So, here we count down our current top 10.

10

Toyota C-HR 1.8 Hybrid

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£25,178

RRP from £26,255 to £34,410

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The C-HR is comfortable, fun to drive and well equipped, plus it makes a lot of sense for company car drivers. It's just a shame the rear seats are cramped and the infotainment system is one of the worst around.

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Pros

  • Great to drive
  • Plenty of standard kit
  • Hybrid version is a seriously cheap company car

Cons

  • Awful infotainment system
  • Rivals are much more practical
  • So-so performance
9

Audi Q7 60 TFSIe

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£51,910

RRP from £56,940 to £96,380

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This version of the Q7 is cheap to run if you charge it regularly, thank to its ability to run exclusively on electric power for 25 miles. Plus, it's incredibly quiet, even when the engine is on, and the interior is beautifully built. It costs a lot more than the diesel Q7 to buy, though, and is less practical because the batteries take the place of the third-row seats.

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Pros

  • Smooth and powerful engines
  • Pillowy ride in Sport and S line trims
  • Stunning interior quality

Cons

  • Rivals have better infotainment systems
  • Third-row space is better in the BMW X7
  • Plug-in hybrid model is average to drive
8

Kia Niro 1.6 GDi Hybrid

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£23,343

RRP from £24,910 to £31,955

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Not the game changer that the fully electric e-Niro is, and you have to put up with a firm low-speed ride. However, the Niro's spacious interior, excellent real-world fuel economy and industry-leading seven-year warranty all contribute to its appeal. And if you choose the conventional hybrid rather than the plug-in, it's decently priced.

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Pros

  • Ultra-low company car tax for the Niro PHEV
  • Well equipped
  • Seven-year warranty

Cons

  • Other family SUVs are cheaper
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Small boot
7

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid

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£59,425

RRP from £59,425 to £123,559

This is the fastest version of Porsche's biggest SUV, hitting 62mph in just 3.8sec, yet when you're in less of a hurry it can travel for 19 miles on fully electric power. Ridiculously expensive, but unbelievably good to drive.

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Pros

  • Powerful engines
  • Sharp handling
  • Spacious rear seats and a decent boot

Cons

  • Expensive to run
  • Stingy kit list
  • Firm ride around town
6

Volvo XC60 Recharge T8

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£37,083

RRP from £40,175 to £63,155

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More spacious than its main rival, the Q5 TFSIe, and the seats are some of the most comfortable and supportive in any car. True, you have to put up with a slightly unsettled ride – as you do in all XC60s – but when fully charged the T8 can cover almost 28 miles before it needs to use a drop of fuel.

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Pros

  • Elegant and high-quality interior
  • Superb driving position
  • Lots of standard kit

Cons

  • Not as quiet as its best rivals
  • No sliding or reclining rear seats
  • Uninspiring handling
5

Toyota RAV4 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid

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£29,929

RRP from £30,980 to £39,670

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Its ride and handling may be ordinary, but the RAV4 is a large and practical SUV that comes very well equipped and benefits from Toyota's stellar reliability record. What's more, it makes a cheap company car driver, thanks to its low CO2 emissions, and costs a lot less to buy than most of the other cars on this list.

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Pros

  • Seriously low CO2 emissions
  • Slow predicted depreciation
  • Strong reliability record

Cons

  • Terrible infotainment system
  • Rivals are better to drive
  • No seven-seat option
4

Audi Q5 55 TFSIe

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£38,093

RRP from £41,445 to £68,070

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Remember how we said the XC60 T8 is more practical than the Q5? Well, the Q5 compensates by being quieter and sharper to drive, with a more compliant ride. Plus, it offers a similar electric-only range and charges quicker, so it's the better all-rounder.

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Pros

  • Smooth and punchy engines
  • High-quality interior
  • Excellent infotainment system

Cons

  • Steering could be more involving
  • No seven-seat option
  • You need pricey air suspension for the best ride
3

Honda CR-V 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid

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£25,099

RRP from £27,270 to £39,060

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Honda's latest CR-V offers excellent space for both passengers and luggage, and the hybrid version – which combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor – provides plenty of poke. It's also the most efficient and refined CR-V variant, so makes a great family car.

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Pros

  • Vast rear-seat space (on five-seat models)
  • Good-sized boot (on five-seat models)
  • Comfortable driving position

Cons

  • Rough-sounding engine under load
  • Poor infotainment system
  • Seven-seat versions hard to justify over rivals
2

Volvo XC90 Recharge T8

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£49,706

RRP from £54,285 to £73,855

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The XC90 T8 hides an ace up its sleeve: it's the only plug-in hybrid SUV with seven seats. On top of that, it's the quickest XC90 by some margin, and has an impressive fully electric range, yet it doesn't compromise what made this big Volvo so appealing to begin with: its classy and family-friendly interior.

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Pros

  • Classy interior
  • Practical seven-seat interior
  • Brilliant plug-in hybrid option

Cons

  • Unsettled ride
  • Road and suspension noise
  • Fiddly infotainment system
1

BMW X5 xDrive45e

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£54,822

RRP from £60,125 to £78,125

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The plug-in hybrid X5 is every bit as comfortable and luxurious as the petrol and diesel versions, and you barely notice the extra weight of its batteries, even in corners. You can't have seven seats, but that's the only significant downside. Indeed, it has a much longer electric range than the XC90, a far more user-friendly infotainment system and attracts significantly lower company car tax bills so, unless you need those extra seats, it's the better car.

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Read our review

Pros

  • Fantastic plug-in hybrid version
  • Great to drive
  • Classy, well-designed interior

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Third row of seats costs extra
  • Relatively small boot
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