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Top 10 best hybrid SUVs 2024

Hybrid SUVs offer the running costs of a hatchback but with far more space – here are the best

Best hybrid SUVs

It wasn’t so long ago that ‘SUV’ and ‘efficient’ were two words you’d be hard-pressed to find in the same sentence, but things are very different today thanks to modern hybrid systems. This technology allows many SUVs to achieve similar – if not better – fuel economy figures compared with even the smallest of hatchbacks.

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Hybrids work by combining a traditional combustion engine with a battery and one or more electric motors. The electric motors take some of the load off the combustion engine at low speeds, resulting in better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. We have included both self-charging hybrids and plug-in hybrids on this list – we have a handy guide to hybrids if you are unfamiliar with the difference.

We have included a range of models from different manufacturers at varying price points, so there should be a hybrid SUV to suit all buyers.

The best hybrid SUVs on sale today

These are the top 10 best hybrid SUVs on sale right now. If you’re not set on hybrid power, read our guide to the best SUVs on sale, which includes combustion-powered and electric alternatives. Or, if you’re willing to consider cars of all shapes and sizes, read our list of the best hybrids.

Hyundai Tucson review – a great family car

Hyundai Tucson front quarter driving
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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  • Priced from £32,000
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The Hyundai Tucson impresses with its striking exterior and plush interior, which puts many more premium rivals to shame. Pre-facelift cars get an impressive 10.25-inch central infotainment touchscreen and digital instrument cluster set-up, something that’s often an optional extra on other cars. The Tucson is spacious, too; the small transmission tunnel makes it easy to seat five and the boot is one of the best in class at 620 litres.

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All models barring the entry-level version of the Tucson come with some form of hybrid assistance – whether that be the 48-volt mild hybrid, self-charging or plug-in. We recommend opting for the frugal 227bhp 1.6-litre self-charging hybrid. This has plenty of motorway pulling power and is quiet and economical around town, managing around 50mpg. While the PHEV offers an impressive 200mpg and 31 miles of pure-electric range, this model is quite expensive and is only recommended for company car drivers.

In 2024, the Tucson received a slick facelift, bringing a new widescreen dashboard with a pair of displays. Hyundai didn’t fiddle around with anything under the bonnet, so buyers still get the same choice of efficient hybrid engines.

Lexus NX SUV review

Best Large Plug-in Hybrid: Lexus NX
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £44,445

While Lexus has always produced dramatic and contemporary car designs, they have also lagged severely behind premium rivals such as BMW and Mercedes when it comes to technology. The latest Lexus NX bucks this trend with a familiar exterior design, but a revolutionised interior. The new ‘floating’ 14-inch touchscreen is a big improvement over Lexus systems of old and the digitised climate control dials are modern, yet functional.

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The Lexus NX is offered as both a self-charging and a plug-in hybrid. The 302bhp plug-in has low running costs and an electric range of around 40 miles. While this model is expensive, its low Benefit in Kind band makes it appealing for company car drivers. Private buyers should instead opt for the self-charging hybrid in the NX350h because this is significantly less expensive to buy outright and still remains frugal to run, with fuel economy figures of up to around 50mpg.

Hyundai Santa Fe review – the best seven-seater?

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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  • Priced from £51,885
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Being a large seven-seat SUV, you’d expect to find a big thirsty diesel engine under the bonnet of the new Hyundai Sante Fe. Open it up, and instead you’re greeted by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. While that may sound relatively puny, the Santa Fe comes with either a self-charging or plug-in hybrid system, boosting both performance and fuel economy, and allowing for electric-only driving at low speeds. 

Love or hate the chiselled styling, we can’t imagine anyone complaining about the Santa Fe’s interior. There’s masses of space across all three rows of seating and the material quality and technology are on par with offerings from more upmarket brands. Plus, the suspension has clearly been set up for comfort over sportiness – a decision that your passengers will appreciate. The cabin is quiet and, importantly, the transition from electric to petrol power is smooth.

Mercedes GLC SUV review

Mercedes GLC SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.4 out of 5

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  • Priced from £52,895
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The Mercedes GLC is perhaps the most tech-packed SUV on this list, with a bank of interior displays to rival NASA mission control. While the central ‘hyperscreen’ certainly looks impressive, it’s the plug-in hybrid tech under the skin that really sets the GLC apart from other premium SUVs. Using a giant 31kWh battery pack, this PHEV Merc can travel nearly 80 miles on electric power alone – enough for a few trips around town during the week and more than practically all of its rivals. The GLC ticks all the normal SUV boxes, too, with a big boot, comfy ride and high-quality interior materials.

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Interestingly, Mercedes sells the GLC as both a petrol and a diesel plug-in hybrid. Badged 300 de, the latter combines the PHEV tech with a fuel-sipping 2.0-litre diesel engine, resulting in a WLTP-tested fuel economy figure of over 700mpg. That may be hard to believe, but like any plug-in hybrid, that figure will only be achieved if you remember to keep the battery topped up.

If that all sounds a bit boring, there is another plug-in hybrid option for the GLC: the AMG GLC 63 Performance. You won’t see much change from £110,000, but you’ll get supercar-beating performance and respectable fuel economy.

Kia Sorento review – a great SUV now made even better

Kia Sorento 2024 front quarter driving
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £41,995
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A favourite among families, the Kia Sorento has grown in popularity over its four generations and has recently been treated to a mid-life facelift, bringing updated styling and the South Korean brand’s latest interior tech. Buyers can choose between a self-charging petrol hybrid or a conventional diesel. There’s also a plug-in hybrid petrol with 35 miles of electric driving range, which is likely to be the pick of the bunch for business car choosers.

Inside the Sorento, passengers are welcomed by an excellent interior, with premium materials and a minimalist design. It follows a similar layout to other Kia models, featuring a pair of 12.3-inch displays on the dashboard, with a row of physical buttons for the climate controls. Buyers will be most impressed by the Sorento’s practicality; there’s over 600 litres of boot space in all models, and passenger room in the third row of seats is better than many rivals. The 2024 facelift reintroduced some more affordable trim levels to the Sorento, too, making it an even more appealing option for family-car buyers on a budget.

Renault Captur review – a stylish, good-value small SUV

Renault Captur facelift Carbuyer review
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £21,595
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If style is your motivation for buying an SUV, then you’ll love the chic looks of the Renault Captur. Essentially a jacked-up version of the Renault Clio supermini, it shares many of that car’s benefits such as a portrait-style touchscreen – similar to that you’d find in a Tesla. Another benefit is the standard sliding rear bench seat which can recline for maximum passenger comfort or slide forward to allow for an impressive 536 litres of boot space.

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For buyers looking to keep running costs to a minimum, Renault offers an ‘E-Tech’-badged hybrid version of the Captur with a self-charging hybrid system. A plug-in hybrid model with 30 miles of electric driving range was previously offered, but it was discontinued following a facelift in 2024. We don’t think that is any great loss, however, as the self-charging hybrid is more affordable and still returns impressive economy figures. This model starts from around £25,000 and still returns nearly 60mpg.

Dacia Duster review – a budget family SUV favourite

Dacia Duster SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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  • Priced from TBC

Dacia is a brand known for its affordable and utilitarian family cars, so you may be surprised to learn that the new Duster is available with a full self-charging hybrid system. This fuel-saving tech – and the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that it’s attached to – are pinched from parent-brand Renault, meaning you get similar economy figures to the Captur above. Compared to the old Duster, the new model feels far more refined from behind the wheel, while you still get good visibility and some handy off-road capability, too.

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The cabin has also taken a big step forward. Sure, there are still plenty of cheap-feeling plastics dotted around, but with an expected starting price of under £20,000, we can forgive the Duster. What you do get is a large 10.1-inch infotainment display in all but the entry-level model, plus easy-to-use physical buttons for the climate controls and a big 517-litre boot. 

BMW X1 SUV review

BMW X1 SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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  • Priced from £34,935
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BMW’s entry-level X1 SUV is a bit of a do-it-all car, not least because it’s available with petrol, diesel, electric (badged iX1) and plug-in hybrid powertrains. In fact, the xDrive25e plug-in hybrid model is one of the most efficient on the market. It’s capable of an official fuel economy figure of up to 403.5mpg, and can do up to 56 miles to a charge, which means you’ll be able to do plenty of trips around town without using a drop of fuel.

The X1 is also fun to drive, and gets plenty of BMW’s latest technology, plus the interior has a premium, high-quality feel. The look of the latest X1 is also one of the least controversially styled models in BMW’s recent history, so will appeal if you favour a slightly more conservative design aesthetic. While it is quite expensive, there’s a lot to like about the X1 xDrive25e plug-in hybrid, and there’s even a punchier xDrive30e version if you want more oomph.

Kia Sportage review – a popular, economical hybrid SUV

Kia Sportage drive front quarter
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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  • Priced from £29,390
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The latest Kia Sportage is one of the most distinctive-looking SUVs on sale thanks to its quirky, angular design and boomerang-shaped headlights. On the inside, the Sportage feels just as special thanks to several ideas taken from the brilliant Kia EV6 electric car. The optional dual-screen 12.3-inch infotainment system is slick and easy-to-use and the touch-sensitive climate control panel feels futuristic. Underneath, the Kia shares many of its parts with the Hyundai Tucson and has similarly roomy rear seats and only a slightly smaller boot, at 591 litres.

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Just like the Tucson, the Sportage is available with both as a 227bhp self-charging hybrid or as a plug-in hybrid with 261bhp; however on the Sportage, the PHEV boasts a whopping 40 miles of pure-electric range. One drawback of the Sportage is its slightly harsh ride quality around town, but it should still remain comfortable over long distances on faster roads.

Range Rover Sport PHEV review

Range Rover Sport P510e 2023 front
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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  • Priced from £75,255

If you’re looking for a luxury plug-in hybrid SUV, then the Range Rover Sport P460e and P550e plug-in hybrid models could be the answer. The 454bhp P460e is the more efficient of the two, getting an official fuel economy figure of up to 392.6mpg and an electric range of an impressive 75 miles. The more powerful P550e gets 542bhp and an official fuel economy figure of 377.9mpg with up to 72 miles on a charge. We’d stick to the P460e given the P550e is a lot more expensive, however.

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Though no plug-in hybrid Range Rover Sport is cheap, the most affordable model with the P460e powertrain is the Dynamic SE, coming in at just under £93,000 – its low Benefit-in-Kind rate still makes it a favourable company car for those that can afford it. It gets sumptuous leather upholstery, the brand’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system and lots of safety tech, too.

Hybrid SUV buying guide

Thanks to the extensive implementation of hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology, SUVs are now more fuel efficient than ever. The best hybrid SUVs combine the rugged looks, raised ride height and off-road capability of an SUV with lower fuel consumption and – in the case of plug-in hybrids – the ability to drive short distances on electric power alone.

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If you’re looking to buy a hybrid SUV, you first need to decide whether a self-charging hybrid or a plug-in hybrid is right for you. Both will offer improved fuel economy over a traditional combustion engine, but, as the name suggests, a plug-in hybrid will need to be topped up via a charger to get the most out of the system. If you’re not able to plug in your car to charge it, you’ll probably be better off with a self-charging hybrid, although you’ll be sacrificing the extended electric-only driving range of a PHEV.

The electric-only range offered by the batteries used in these plug-in hybrids has come on a lot over the years, with some of the best plug-in hybrid SUVs capable of up to 70 miles or more on electric power alone – gone are the days when the trade off for a larger, more practical SUV meant paying over the odds to run it. Plus, company-car drivers’ Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) liabilities are based on CO2 emissions; this means the extra cost of hybrid SUVs over their petrol or diesel counterparts can often be offset against your obligations to the taxman.

Why not read our list of the best plug-in hybrid cars?

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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