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?...
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 buy. So, here we count down our current top 10.
10. Toyota C-HR Hybrid
The CH-R is comfortable, fun to drive and well equipped, plus the hybrid version 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.
9. Audi Q7 60 TFSIe
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.
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.
7. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid
This is the fastest version of Porsche's luxury 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.
6. BMW X5 xDrive45e
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 or a spare wheel, but that's the only significant downside.
5. Volvo XC60 T8
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.
4. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
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.
3. Audi Q5 TFSIe
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.
2. Honda CR-V Hybrid
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.
1. Volvo XC90 T8
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.