When it comes to buying a luxury hybrid SUV in 2020, you’ve got several choices in a segment that is expected to rapidly expand in coming years. For example, for 2021, a couple of BMW hybrid SUVs will arrive, based on the X3 and the X5.
In the meantime, what is the best luxury hybrid SUV? We’ve taken a close look at the segment, considering all of the hybrid and plug-in hybrids available to consumers for the 2020 model year. Based on our analysis and experience, the 10 makes and models listed in alphabetical below qualify as “best” in some fashion. Good luck in your quest to find the best new luxury hybrid SUV for you!
2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
One of the most popular luxury SUVs in America is also available as a luxury hybrid with a third-row seat — and it seems few people know about it. Better yet, the 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid’s powertrain is based on technology from the Acura NSX sports car, and that means it is fun to drive.
The most powerful and efficient version of the MDX you can buy, the Sport Hybrid makes 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, increases of 31 hp and 22 lb-ft compared to the standard V6. It includes all-wheel drive and gets 27 mpg in combined driving, an improvement of 5 mpg over the standard V6. Prices start at just under $54,000.
2020 Land Rover Range Rover P400e
Depending on how you define it, the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover P400e might just be the best large luxury hybrid SUV. It certainly costs more than any other vehicle on this list, and the P400e version (with a base price of more than $97,000) is a plug-in hybrid offering 22 miles of electric driving before it switches to gas-electric hybrid operation.
By combining a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a high-capacity electric motor, the Range Rover P400e makes 398 hp, which the company says is good for a 6.4-second sprint to 60 mph. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the EPA hasn’t rated the P400e’s fuel economy — but it should do better than the standard mild-hybrid 3.0-liter six-cylinder in the P360 model, which gets 21 mpg in combined driving.
2020 Lexus NX 300h
If you’re looking for an affordable luxury hybrid SUV, the 2020 Lexus NX 300h is a good choice. Equipped with standard all-wheel drive, able to get 31 mpg in combined driving according to the EPA, and boasting exceptionally good safety ratings, the Lexus NX Hybrid offers roomy seating for five people.
There are a couple of shortcomings. First, the cargo area isn’t terribly large. Second, the Lexus Remote Touch Interface is aggravating to use. If you can live with these flaws, prices start at just over $40,000.
2020 Lexus RX 450h
Boasting a long-standing reputation for dependability, the 2020 Lexus RX 450h is likely the most reliable luxury hybrid SUV on this list. You can buy one of these for just under $48,000 and enjoy fuel economy of up to 30 mpg in combined driving for many years to come.
Available in both five-passenger and seven-passenger configurations, and with standard or racy F Sport trim, the Lexus RX Hybrid’s all-wheel drive powertrain is based on a V6 engine rather than a four-cylinder like in the Lexus NX 300h. Total power output measures 308 hp, and Lexus says the RX 450h scoots to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds.
2020 Lexus UX 250h
If you’re looking for the luxury hybrid SUV with the best gas mileage, you’ll want to check out the 2020 Lexus UX 250h. This is a small crossover with a small back seat and little in the way of cargo space, but it certainly excels at passing by gas stations, getting up to an EPA-rated 42 mpg in combined driving.
Prices start at $36,400, and the UX Hybrid is available in standard, F Sport, and Luxury trim levels. In addition to its small interior, the UX 250h also suffers the same irritating Remote Touch Interface infotainment system design found in the bigger and more expensive Lexus NX 300h.
2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring
A plug-in hybrid, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring is our pick for one of the best luxury hybrid electric SUV models you can buy. Stylish on the outside and plush on the inside, the Aviator Grand Touring is a mid-size SUV with three rows of seats.
It’s powerful, too. The twin-turbocharged V6 and electric motor combine to make 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Running purely on electricity, the SUV isn’t quite as spry, but it provides 18 miles of driving range before switching to hybrid operation. Prices start at just under $70,000.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e EQ Power
A plug-in hybrid luxury SUV making 315 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, the refreshed 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e EQ Power boasts greater driving range than the GLC 350e it replaces.
Previously, this SUV provided about 10 miles of electric range before switching to traditional gas-electric hybrid operation and getting 25 mpg in combined driving. The GLC 350e EQ Boost should double that distance and match that fuel economy, though final EPA estimates were unavailable as of this writing. The GLC 350e EQ Boost goes on sale in the U.S. during the first half of 2020, and if the previous version of this SUV is any indication, it will be priced in the low $50,000 range.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53
Redesigned for 2020, and equipped with a new EQ Boost mild-hybrid powertrain, the 5-passenger Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 is among the best mid-size luxury hybrid SUV models you can buy. Prices were not finalized as this was written, but you can expect it to sell for less than $75,000 before adding options.
Essentially, a mild hybrid employs an electric motor and a smaller battery pack to help improve both efficiency and performance. In the new AMG GLE 53, the result is expected efficiency improvement over the previous AMG GLE 43, combined with an impressive 429 hp and acceleration to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
2020 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
If we had to choose, the 2020 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid would certainly qualify as the best new luxury hybrid SUV of the year. A plug-in hybrid, the Cayenne E-Hybrid provides an estimated 27 miles of electric driving before switching to traditional gas-electric hybrid operation and returning about 22 mpg in combined driving.
Don’t worry. The Cayenne E-Hybrid is still a Porsche, which means it is capable of impressive acceleration, handling, and braking. The hybrid powertrain makes 455 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, good enough to speed this SUV to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Prices start at about $82,500 and, like any Porsche, it’s available with a wide range of extras allowing you custom-tailor the Cayenne E-Hybrid to specific preferences.
2020 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8
Our choice for the best compact luxury hybrid SUV on this list, the 2020 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 is a plug-in hybrid offering about 25 miles of electric driving range and then 27 mpg in combined driving when used as a traditional gas-electric hybrid. It makes 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque, and zooms to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, according to Volvo.
For 2020, a new Polestar Engineered performance version joins the lineup. It adds 15 extra horses and 22 lb-ft of torque, and gets significant handling upgrades along with a long list of luxury features. Prices for the Polestar Engineered XC60 start at just over $70,000 while the standard XC60 Recharge T8 begins at just under $56,000.
2020 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8
Volvo is known for safety, and the 2020 XC90 Recharge T8 is one of the safest luxury hybrid SUV models you can buy. It’s got the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the smaller XC60 Recharge T8, but the XC90 is a larger SUV with three rows of seats that can hold more than 85 cubic feet of cargo.
Prices start at $68,000, and you can choose between six-passenger and seven-passenger configurations in three different trim levels. Like the smaller XC60, the XC90 Recharge T8 is also available through Care by Volvo for a flat monthly payment of $800 including taxes, insurance, registration, and maintenance.