A hybrid powertrain is a great fit for the SUV. Being physically larger, they’re better suited to coping with the weight and size of additional batteries, while the electric assistance that a hybrid setup brings can help to reduce an SUV’s running costs compared with a traditional petrol or diesel version.
Unsurprisingly, this means that there are now plenty of hybrid SUVs on the market today, with a host of new models added to the market over recent months. We’ve picked out some of the best on sale.
Land Rover Defender P400e
You might not think that a rough-and-ready off-roader like the new Land Rover Defender would be suitable for electrification, but that’s not the case. The P400e arrives as the most efficient variant of Land Rover’s new four-wheel-drive, combining a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and battery.
It’s good for up to 27 miles of electric-only driving, while Land Rover claims that you could see up to 85.3mpg combined. The ability to charge at speeds of up to 50kW means an 80 per cent charge can be conducted in 30 minutes, too.
Citroen C5 Aircross hybrid
Citroen has been really pushing hard when it comes to electrification, bringing a variety of electric and hybrid models to market. The new C5 Aircross Hybrid is arguably one of its most practical, but thanks to a 1.6-litre petrol engine hooked up to an electric motor and battery, it’s one of the more efficient ones too.
Citroen claims an electric-only range of up to 40 miles and though its boot is slightly smaller than the one you’ll find in a diesel or petrol-powered C5 Aircross, it’s still usefully practical.
Audi Q5 TFSI e
Audi has – much like the wider Volkswagen Group – been incorporating hybrid powertrains across its current range of cars and has recently added one to its ever-popular Q5. Badged Q5 TFSI e, it brings a large 17.9kWh battery pack, which enables it to travel for up to 26 miles on a single charge.
A full charge via a home wallbox will take around 2.5 hours, while you still get the high-quality interior and spacious cabin that you’d find in the regular Q5.
Renault Arkana E-Tech
Renault’s striking Arkana has recently hit the market – and it’s only available with hybrid powertrains. Though a mild-hybrid kicks off the range, it’s expected that the regular hybrid – badged E-Tech – will make up the bulk of sales.
It uses the same powertrain as found in the latest Clio, combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors and a 1.2kWh battery. Though it can’t match plug-in hybrids for electric-only range, it still does well in the efficiency stakes with Citroen claiming up to 56.5mpg.
Mini Countryman PHEV
Mini’s Countryman PHEV might’ve been on sale for a little while, but its classy interior and effortlessly smooth powertrain mean it’s still well worth checking out. A 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor give the Countryman all-wheel-drive, while its 6.6-second 0-60mph time is very respectable.
Plus, Mini claims that you should be able to see up to 38 miles conducted on electric power alone.
Jeep Renegade 4xe
Jeep has recently introduced hybrid power to its chunky Renegade compact SUV, adding a 1.3-litre petrol engine, 11.4kWh battery and an electric motor to its popular model. It can travel for up to 26 miles on electric power, too, at speeds of up to 81mph.
Plus, the combination of petrol and electric motor means that the Renegade has genuine four-wheel-drive, while Jeep’s Selec-Terrain response system can help the car to cover all manner of surfaces.
If you’re after an uber-large electrified SUV, then the Highlander is likely to be on your radar. Arriving as the biggest SUV in Toyota’s line-up, the Highlander is a ‘regular’ hybrid, rather than a plug-in version.
With 245bhp it is hugely powerful, however, meaning that it’s got plenty of performance as well as efficiency.