By Eric Brandt
Getting the versatility of an SUV with the fuel economy of a hybrid is a win-win. Hybrid SUVs have gotten so good and so affordable that the best ones come with almost no compromise at all.
Here are the best hybrid SUVs of 2020, with scores from Autotrader.
1. 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – 4.8 / 5
Starting Price: $29,470
Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -0.19% has long been a leader in hybrids and that expertise culminates in the latest iteration of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The RAV4 Hybrid simply does everything well. It returns 41 city/38 highway mpg, comes standard with all-wheel drive, has a roomy interior for both passengers and cargo, and it even has respectable performance with 219 horsepower. This is one of the most well-rounded compact crossovers money can buy.
2. 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid – 4.8 / 5
Starting Price: $28,870
The closest competition to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the outstanding Honda /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC +0.29% CR-V Hybrid. All-new for 2020, this is the first generation of the CR-V available as a hybrid in the U.S. It achieves up to 40 city/35 highway mpg, has standard all-wheel drive, and moves along nicely with 212 horsepower. This hybrid crossover also offers a nice, gentle ride and one of the biggest interiors in its segment.
3. 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid – 4.6 / 5
Starting Price: $39,320
If you’re looking for a hybrid with three rows of seats, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is your best option. This big crossover is fully redesigned for 2020 and has mpg numbers in the mid-30s for both city and highway with the AWD option only making a slight impact on efficiency. The third row of seats is admittedly a little tight, but the ride is comfortable, the hybrid drivetrain is excellent, and it’s well-appointed with standard safety features.
4. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid – 4.6 / 5
Starting Price: $36,155
For something on the more adventurous side of hybrid SUVs, consider the outdoorsy Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. This is both a good Subaru /zigman2/quotes/200526066/composite FUJHY -0.92% and a good hybrid. It has respectable off-road chops with standard all-wheel drive and a generous ride height. It’s also a plug-in hybrid with an EPA-estimated combined 90 MPGe rating that can go 17 miles on electricity alone. It comes loaded with lots of standard features, but cargo space is a little tight because of the hybrid battery.
5. 2020 Kia Niro – 4.4 / 5
Starting Price: $25,710
The Kia Niro is the most affordable hybrid SUV on our list by a fairly considerable margin. Although it’s pretty small, it’s quite roomy on the inside for a subcompact SUV. Fuel economy is outstanding returning up to 51 city/46 highway mpg. The Niro got a nice face-lift for 2020 with revised styling and some new standard and available features. As long as you don’t need a ton of space, the Niro is a very value-conscious choice.
6. 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid – 4.3 / 5
Starting Price: $34,595
The Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F +1.93% Escape Hybrid is back for 2020 after an eight-year hiatus. We’re glad to see it back with its impressive fuel economy of up to 44 city/37 highway mpg. Although it’s more efficient than its chief rivals from Honda and Toyota, its interior isn’t quite as upscale as its closest competitors when similarly priced. That said, we love the generous standard features, the roomy cabin, and the user-friendly infotainment system.
7. 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid – 4.1 / 5
Starting Price: $53,525
The massively popular Ford Explorer is now available as a hybrid for the first time for 2020. While its hybrid V6 drivetrain has no shortage of power with 318 hp, its fuel economy rating of up to 27 city/29 highway mpg just isn’t that impressive. It can tow more than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but unless you’re going to be towing up to 5,000 lbs regularly, the Toyota is a better value than the surprisingly expensive Ford.
8. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – 3.5 / 5
Starting Price: $37,705
The Mitsubishi /zigman2/quotes/205120473/composite MSBHF +0.44% Outlander PHEV is a plug-in hybrid compact crossover that lags behind the competition. You get up to 22 miles of electric range making it good for short drives around town without burning any gas. The standard Outlander has three rows of seats, but the hybrid only has two. Unfortunately, the Outlander PHEV just isn’t as modern or as comfortable as the best hybrid SUVs of 2020 toward the top of this list.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.