What is the Best Luxury Hybrid SUV?
August 31, 2022
Luxury hybrid SUVs offer drivers better fuel efficiency for a long commute. Luxury models also typically provide upgraded standard features when compared to non-luxury models, and buyers also might have more choices for high-end options, too.
SUVs have become one of the most popular body styles in the country; in fact, the majority of the top-selling vehicles in 2021 were either SUVs or trucks. These models can offer more space for taller drivers or even a better ride for shorter drivers. For buyers looking for a new SUV on a higher budget, what is the best luxury hybrid SUV?
KBB rounded up a list of the best options for 2022 and 2023; the recommendations included:
- 2022 Lexus RX
- 2022 Lexus NX
- 2022 Lexus UX
- 2021 Land Rover Range Rover
There are a few other models that didn’t make the list. Buyers also could choose:
- 2022 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
- 2023 BMW X5 PHEV
- 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge
- 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC
Lexus Dominates the Luxury SUV Market
Among the recommendations from KBB, three out of four of the models were from Lexus. The brand offers three different hybrid SUVs for those looking for a fuel-efficient roomy ride.
The Lexus RX Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $49,795. The SUV offers an estimated 31 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. The 2022 RX received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (with specific headlights) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The NX is a compact luxury hybrid that starts at $46,625. It’s also available as a plug-in hybrid. The standard hybrid offers an estimated 31 MPG combined. The NX offers two rows of seating and space for five. The 2022 NX received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from IIHS.
The UX Hybrid is the most affordable luxury hybrid SUV offered by Lexus; the 2023 UX starts at $35,850. The 2022 UX Hybrid gets an estimated 41 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. The 2022 UX received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (with specific headlights) from the IIHS; a separate safety report for the hybrid wasn’t available.
The Range Rover is offered as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). According to Carbuzz, the 2021 Range Rover PHEV has a starting price of about $97,000 to $130,000. The site noted that the PHEV could get an estimated 42 MPGe. The Range Rover offers three rows of seating and space for seven.
Other Luxury Hybrid SUVs
While Lexus offers the most options for luxury hybrid models, there are a few other models on the market for buyers. Porsche and BMW also offer a luxury hybrid SUV model in their lineup.
The 2022 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $86,500. The E-Hybrid can get an estimated 21 MPG (combined) and an estimated 46 MPGe (using the electric option). The Cayenne E-Hybrid has two rows of seats and space for five.
The X5 PHEV has a starting MSRP of $65,700 and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 5.3 seconds. It offers 30 miles of range (when utilizing only the electric option). The standard design for this model offers two rows of seating and space for five, but buyers also could opt for three rows and space for seven.
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC
The 2023 GLC will offer a hybrid powertrain. Car and Driver reports that it is expected to start at $45,000.
Shop Used or Pre-Owned for More Hybrid Luxury SUV Options
Car buyers might have limited choices for luxury hybrid SUVs. More luxury auto makers might be focusing on electric models versus hybrid options. Buyers who are committed to choosing a hybrid luxury SUV could choose to expand their search to the used or pre-owned market.
In addition, some luxury buyers could shop used models to better align with their budget. The price for used models can depend on:
Inventory (or lack thereof) also impacts pricing. Those who are shopping for a used car during a supply crunch could brace for higher prices. Again, though, prices also vary on other factors related to the vehicle.
Are Luxury Electric Models a Better Option?
Luxury buyers might gravitate to hybrid SUVs because they offer better fuel efficiency. For buyers who don’t want to worry about the fluctuating price at the pump, though, choosing an electric luxury SUV also could be an option.
Luxury electric SUV/crossover models include:
- BMW iX
- Tesla Model X
- Tesla Model Y
- Cadillac LYRIQ
- Jaguar I-PACE
- Rivian R1S
- Audi e-tron
- Audi e-tron Sportback
- Mustang Mach-E
- GMC Hummer EV
- Volvo XC40 Recharge
- Mercedes-Benz EQS (upcoming)
- Porsche Macan (upcoming)
Buyers who prefer luxury have many choices for electric SUVs. Luxury SUVs are available from Rivian, Audi, Tesla, Volvo, Ford, GMC, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Buyers might focus on which model offers the range that fits their driving needs.
Currently, Tesla offers the SUV with the longest range. The Model X offers three rows of seats and space for seven; the X has an estimated range or 348 miles. The Model X starts at $148,000.
The Tesla Model Y Long Range offers an estimated range of 330 miles. It also offers three rows of seating and has space for seven. The Model Y Long Range starts at $65,990.
Every buyer might have different criteria for their ideal perfect electric SUV. Luxury buyers can research the range and features of each model to find their best vehicle.
Charging Stations for PHEV and Electric Luxury SUVs
PHEV (or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and electric luxury models need to be charged to regenerate the battery that powers their electric engines. Buyers can opt for a level 1 charger or a level 2 charging station.
A level 1 charger is simply a cord that connects to the vehicle and plugs into a standard outlet. These chargers might be fine for a driver who doesn’t travel far via their electric vehicle.
Buyers who have a longer commute, though, might find that these chargers don’t regenerate the battery fast enough. In fact, depending on the vehicle, it could take up to 20 hours to fully recharge the battery via the level 1 charger.
The level 2 charging station is more efficient and can allow the battery to be fully charged overnight. These charging stations are an extra cost, though. Some homes also might not offer a voltage capacity that’s compatible with the level 2 charger.
While the level 1 can be used with a standard outlet, the level 2 charging station requires a higher voltage outlet. Car owners might have to upgrade the wiring in their home, which is an extra cost (and requires an electrician).
Those who drive a plug-in hybrid or an electric car also could use a public charging station. Not all areas offer many of these public stations, though. In addition, the price of charging at a public station could vary. While many new electric vehicles might come with free access to specific public stations for a certain period of time, eventually the free access will expire; car owners could find that using a public station is more expensive than charging at home.
Before settling on a plug-in hybrid or an electric vehicle, car buyers might want to think about their charging options. Is a level 2 charging station compatible with the voltage in the home or would this station require an electrical upgrade?
For those whose homes don’t offer the voltage required for a level 2 charger, would a level 1 charger provide an adequate charge overnight? Buyers need to consider their driving habits and the vehicle’s range.
Some buyers might find that a level 1 charger would not adequately charge their car overnight to power the next day’s commute. In this case, a level 2 charger might be a necessity. Again, buyers would need to figure in the cost of installing this upgraded charging station.
Are Luxury Hybrid SUVs Applicable for a Tax Credit?
Many electric models are still eligible for a tax credit. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the credit starts to phase out “…for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009).”
What about hybrid models, are they included for the credit? Not all hybrids qualify, but some PHEV SUV models are on the list of eligible vehicles. Buyers who are wondering which plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle qualifies should consult the list of vehicles and their applicable credit which is available via the IRS website.
In addition, buyers also should consult with their tax professional or CPA about this credit. Not every vehicle qualifies, and buyers cannot take a credit for which they don’t qualify.
Buyers wondering about the best luxury hybrid SUV might find that they have several options on the market. However, Lexus offers the most SUV hybrid models. The best luxury hybrid SUV might be the model that meets the needs of the buyer and offers the features they demand.