The whole point of buying a hybrid SUV is to enjoy an efficient yet upmarket driving experience. In recent years hybrids have become increasingly popular, and it seems like the trend is only growing larger. As such, it’s best to maximize the hybrid platform by opting for the most economical hybrid SUV out there.
Whether it be for city driving or highway driving, the perfect hybrid is out there and we will help you find it. Currently, the most economical SUV on the market is the BMW X3 xDrive30e followed closely by the Volvo XC60 Hybrid and the Volvo XC90 Hybrid.
The Audi Q5 E is in third place, and the fourth place goes to the BMW X5 xDrive45e. However, if you want a more affordable hybrid SUV which still offers superior efficiency ratings, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid are the ones to consider.
It’s worth mentioning that the BMW X3 xDrive45e, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and the Volvo XC90 Hybrid are best when it comes to highway driving, while the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Audi Q5 E seem to get the best MPG results in the city.
BMW X3 xDrive30e
With a combined output of 60MPGe, the BMW X3 xDrive30e is the most economical hybrid SUV out there. Besides being eco-friendly and fuel-efficient, this Bavarian semi-compact SUV is also a great all-around SUV.
The entire X3 platform features a good-looking design with lots of sporty touches which work great with the BMW X3 urban mindset. Technology is incredibly advanced, and this SUV offers pretty much every piece of modern technology you’d wish for in such a car. Comfort is also great, and so is the interior space.
Volvo XC60 Hybrid
The Volvo XC60 Hybrid is rated at 57MPGe which places this semi-compact Swedish SUV at the number 2 spot. The Volvo XC60 Hybrid and the BMW X3 xDrive30e are so closely matched when it comes to efficiency that it’s difficult to say that one is better than the other. It all depends on how you drive the car.
Besides efficiency, the XC60 offers a more mature-looking minimalistic design both inside and out. However, technology levels and comfort are also closely matched with the X3, while interior space is a bit better with the BMW X3. You are not making a mistake by opting for either one of these.
Audi Q5 E
While we are on the topic of semi-compact SUVs, we ought to mention what Audi offers in this segment, and that would be the Audi Q5 E. This handsome-looking SUV is good for 50MPGe which places it behind the BMW and the Volvo.
However, where Audi cars differ is the sheer attention to detail and technology. Even though both the Volvo and the BMW are indeed technologically advanced and futuristic looking, it’s safe to say that the Audi looks better inside and out. Besides a futuristic architecture, the Q5 E also offers an abundance of space.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
It would not be a contest of hybrid efficiency without mentioning at least one Toyota model, and in this segment, the RAV4 is the best. With a combined output of around 50MPGe, the RAV4 is right up there with the most efficient hybrid SUVs on the market.
Besides being efficient, the RAV4 offers a fairly competitive price, a well-equipped interior, and superior reliability. A Toyota has to be efficient and reliable, that’s the main selling point of modern era Toyota models, and the RAV4 is definitely such a car.
Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid offers identical MPGe results as with the Toyota RAV4. Besides great efficiency, the Escape offers a well-thought-after interior design that promotes ergonomics and intuitive button positioning. Space is also great with wide opening doors and a high interior ceiling.
This means that the Escape is easy to drive and easy to figure out which enables the driver to take advantage of all the features the Escape has to offer. Reliability and affordability are also strong suits of the Ford Escape Hybrid. So no matter how you look at it, the Escape Hybrid is a very welcomed addition to this segment.
What’s the difference between MPG and MPGe?
MPGe means miles per gallon of a gasoline equivalent which takes into account the ability of a hybrid to take advantage of a combustion engine and an electric engine. The difference is the fact that the regular MPG rating only considers traditional miles per gallon of fuel ratings.
These types of ratings make it easier to understand how well a hybrid operates when compared to other hybrids and traditional combustion engine cars. As the technology continues to progress, we are likely going to see better ratings with smaller engines and larger batteries.
How reliable are MPG and MPGe estimates?
It’s worth mentioning that MPG and MPGe estimates are not reliable at all. To reach these sorts of numbers, you’d have to have a perfect road, perfect weather, a perfect driver, and the perfect fuel. These are more of an ideal situation results and more often than not they never translate to real-world use.
However, when shopping for a hybrid these estimates are essential, but be aware that a 10-15MPG difference between two models is of no concern. Only if the difference is way higher than the real-world usage difference will be mentionable. After all, the MPG results are mostly down to how we drive, and not what we drive.
Should I buy a hybrid SUV?
A hybrid SUV seems like a perfect type of car for an environmentally conscious individual who wants to enjoy a state-of-the-art car. There are many hybrid options to choose from, and some of them are better than others. It’s best to opt for a plug-in hybrid as these are usually the best when it comes to efficiency and availability.
As such, if you are able to completely utilize the hybrid platform, you should buy a hybrid, if not, you ought to wait a few years until you have the ability to do so.