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Best Hybrid SUVs [Ranked for 2021]

Best Hybrid SUV

Best Hybrid SUV

You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run by choosing the right SUV with great gas mileage.

The market for fuel-efficient SUVs is expanding rapidly this year. Here is our rundown of the most fuel-efficient SUVs available today without a plug.

Don’t be surprised if this list skews heavily toward Toyota. The company that brought the first hybrid to market hasn’t looked back, and it builds the broadest selection of high-mileage SUVs.

Check out all our picks for the most fuel-efficient SUVs >>

Read about how we rank our vehicles >>

Best Hybrid SUVs Comparison

ModelEPA Fuel EconomyAnnual Fuel CostPotential Savings
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD
40 MPG
$1,050
$2,750
Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD
38 MPG
$1,100
$2,500
Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD
35 MPG
$1,200
$2,000
Lexus RX 450h AWD
30 MPG
$1,750
$750
Ford Escape Hybrid AWD
40 MPG
$1,050
$2,750
Ford Explorer Hybrid AWD
25 MPG
$1,700
$500

1. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid MileageThe five-passenger Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is one of the top-selling small SUVs in America. If any vehicle demonstrates the high market demand for fuel-efficient crossover SUVs, this is the one.

The RAV4 Hybrid is all-wheel drive in every trim and boasts a 219 hp powertrain that results in a 40 MPG Combined EPA rating. Using a total of three electric motors to augment its uniquely efficient four-cylinder gas engine, the RAV4 Hybrid has proven to be ultra-reliable over eight model years and two generations. It is also America’s top-selling hybrid SUV. The RAV4 Hybrid was updated in 2018, and it gained a much more modern infotainment system.

Those shoppers who like the RAV4 Hybrid but are looking for a sleeker body shape should check out the all-new Toyota Venza. Shoppers looking for a premium hybrid SUV similar to the RAV4 Hybrid will find it in the Lexus NX. All three models share the same core technology.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Features

  • Standard AWD
  • Spare tire with every trim
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Two years of included maintenance
  • 1,750-pound tow rating

 

Current Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaRAV4 Hybrid1.90%11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals and average prices paid.

2. Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD

Honda CR-V Hybrid MileageAlthough Honda was long second only to Toyota in its commitment to fuel-efficient passenger vehicles, it took the company until last year to produce a CR-V Hybrid. Available in two or all-wheel drive, the CR-V Hybrid will feel familiar to any former Honda owner. It offers the same satisfying driving experience that has attracted Honda shoppers for decades.

Although the Honda CR-V Hybrid is “only” rated at 38 MPG, in our real-world testing over a week of combined driving, it exceeded that rating by about 1 MPG. Two things missing from the CR-V Hybrid are a spare tire and a towing rating. Honda doesn’t offer a spare in any trim of this SUV, and its US version is not rated to tow.

Honda CR-V Hybrid Features

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Honda Sensing active driver aids

 

Current Honda CR-V Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HondaCR-V Hybrid1.90%11/1/2021
2022HondaCR-V Hybrid1.90%$299/month for 36 months, $3,299 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals and average prices paid.

3. Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD

Toyota Highlander Hybrid MileageThose looking for a fuel-efficient SUV with three rows and a legacy of reliability will find it in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Toyota offers the Highlander Hybrid with front or all-wheel drive. With a strong 243 hp and the combined torque output of the electric motor in the hybrid drive, the Highlander Hybrid feels just as strong as any of its non-hybrid peers on the open road.

The Highlander Hybrid with front-wheel drive earns a 36 MPG fuel economy rating and the AWD version 35. The Highlander Hybrid is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds, and every trim offers a spare tire.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Features

  • Choice of front or all-wheel drive
  • Spare tire standard
  • 3,500-pound towing capacity
  • Modern infotainment
  • Two years of included maintenance

 

Current Toyota Highlander Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaHighlander Hybrid1.90%$309/month for 36 months, $3,999 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals and average prices paid.

4. Lexus RX 450h AWD

Lexus RX 450h MileageThe Lexus RX 450h is offered in two versions, the classic two-row and newer three-row “L” version. Both use a unique six-cylinder hybrid powertrain. With a 30 MPG fuel economy rating, the Lexus RX series offers an unusual combination of power, luxury, and efficiency.

Despite its finer accouterments, the RX is an SUV with an optional tow package that includes a transmission cooler and heavy-duty alternator. Every RX 450h trim also has a spare tire, rare among luxury vehicles in general and almost non-existent in luxury green vehicles today.

Lexus RX 450h Features

  • Choice of two or three rows
  • Smooth V6 hybrid engine
  • Towing approved
  • Spare tire in every trim
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick

 

Current Lexus RX 450h Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021LexusRX 450h

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Lexus deals and average prices paid.

5. Ford Escape Hybrid AWD

Ford Escape Hybrid MileageThe Ford Escape Hybrid is offered in either front-wheel drive with a Combined EPA fuel economy estimate of 41 MPG or AWD with a 40 MPG rating. Like Toyota, Ford has been offering an Escape Hybrid for a long time, and Ford’s commitment to fuel savings is evident across its entire product line.

We have not tested the current-generation Escape Hybrid and see relatively few on the road. We’d caution buyers to check local availability before mentally committing to one. One added note; Ford has removed the spare tire from all Escapes for 2021. We hesitate to call any vehicle without a spare tire a “utility” vehicle.

Ford Escape Hybrid Features

  • 1,500-pound tow rating
  • 41 MPG in FWD
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick

 

Current Ford Escape Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021FordEscape Hybrid$1,500 5.90%$338/month for 39 months, $3,266 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Ford deals.

Ford Explorer Hybrid AWD

Ford Explorer Hybrid MileageHow does a six-passenger vehicle with a 25 MPG rating earn a spot on a list of vehicles with great fuel economy? Hear us out.

The Explorer is a large three-row vehicle, and the one we feel fits the term Sport Utility Vehicle better than any other vehicle on this list. With a 5,000-pound towing capability and massive 87 cu ft cargo capacity, the Explorer Hybrid is a true SUV.

Ford couples a 3.3-liter V6 engine with its hybrid powertrain to produce 318 hp. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but Ford’s sophisticated all-wheel drive system is optional.

Ford Explorer Hybrid Features

  • Self-seal tires (No spare)
  • 5,000-pound tow rating
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ safety rating
  • 7.9-inch minimum ground clearance

Frequently Asked Questions

What hybrid SUVs have the best gas mileage?

Some SUV models can get up to an estimated 40 MPG. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Honda CR-V Hybrid, and Ford Escape Hybrid are some SUVs with the best gas mileage. 

What is the best luxury hybrid SUV with good gas mileage?

One of the better choices for a fuel-efficient luxury SUV is the Lexus RX 450h. It gets an estimated 30 MPG. 

What brand has the best fuel-efficient hybrid SUVs?

Toyota brought the first hybrid to the market and offers the broadest selection of high-mileage SUVs. Specifically, the RAV4 Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid models are worth paying attention to. 

How much money can I save by buying a fuel-efficient hybrid SUV?

Drivers can save up to $2,500 in fuel costs if they pick the right fuel-efficient SUV.