Used hybrid SUVs

Big, stylish, economical, and better value than ever. Used hybrid SUVs are where the smart money's at

BuyaCar team
Oct 24, 2018

They used to be known as gas guzzlers, but some tall and rugged sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have transformed their image to become some of the greenest cars on the road.

Hybrid SUVs have batteries and a motor that can recover energy that's normally lost during braking then use it to drive the car at slow speeds and assist the engine when accelerating.

Plug-in hybrid SUVs, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (it stands for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle). go one step further. These have bigger batteries that can be plugged in and charged up, allowing them to run for up to 30 miles on electric power alone before their engine takes over.

As new cars, hybrids are generally more expensive than standard vehicles - not helped by the withdrawal of a government grant. However, used hybrids can be much more affordable. Combined with their efficiency, this makes many models extremely cheap to run. 

Used hybrids that were on the road before April 2017 are typically very cheap to tax and plug-ins are generally exempt. More recent cars are taxed under a new system which only brings minimal savings for hybrid owners. Business users can save even more, as the low CO2 emissions from hybrids bring reduced company car tax.

For efficient motoring, with the extra height and practicality of an SUV, scroll down for the best used hybrid SUVs.

Used hybrid SUVs

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Best used hybrid SUV for low emissions

Our pick Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 PHEV GX 3H
Latest Mitsubishi Outlander deals from £11,899
Finance from £188 per month

The car that did more than any other to raise the profile of hybrid SUVs has recently been updated. However, for sheer value for money, an older example remains the original and best.

It’s not the most accomplished SUVs to drive, and the quality is low in places, but it has tough mechanicals and is reliable. Add the prospect of up to 30 miles of electric-only running and it’s still hard to beat.
Mitsubishi Outlander buying guide


Lexus RX450h

Best used hybrid SUV for reliability

Our pick Ford Lexus RX 450h Luxury

There’s little prospect of much electric-only running with this large SUV, but up to 47mpg bests any comparable diesel. It’s even more impressive when you consider the engine is a large 3.5-litre V6 petrol producing 308bhp.

The way the hybrid system smoothly transitions from electric to petrol is impressive, as is the RX’s excellent reliability record, which has put it close to the top of dependability surveys for year after year.
Lexus RX450h buying guide


Toyota C-HR

Best used hybrid SUV for good driving experience

Our pick Toyota C-HR 1.8 Icon
Latest Toyota C-HR deals from £16,295
Finance from £215 per month

Toyota has decades-worth of experience producing hybrid cars. The Prius hatchback was its first in 1997 and much of its technology has found way into the C-HR, including a rather annoying CVT automatic gearbox that can make the engine’s revs soar with little provocation.

There isn't much scope for electric-only running in the C-HR but that economy figure is still pretty impressive. Meanwhile, it feels sportier and more engaging to drive than other hybrid cars, qualities which match its racy looks perfectly.
Toyota C-HR buying guide


Volvo XC90 T8

Best used hybrid SUV for safety

Our pick Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine R-Design  

The XC90 is a plug-in hybrid offering up to 25 miles of electric-only running. That alone is impressive, but add the big Volvo’s cool style, seven seats and plentiful safety features, and it’s one impressive SUV.

It’s only a 2.0-litre petrol engine under the bonnet but the addition of electric power boosts it to an almost unbelievable 395bhp for strong overtaking performance.
Volvo XC90 buying guide


Best used hybrid SUV for fun

Mini Countryman

Our pick Mini Countryman Cooper S E ALL4

The Countryman S E catapults the historic Mini brand firmly into the modern age with a plug-in hybrid system that’s capable of 25 miles of electric-only running.

Its combined power output is 221bhp, easily enough to justify the Cooper badge too.. The chirpy three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine combines with the electric motor very well, while the system’s extra weight takes nothing away from the little car’s fun character.
Mini Countryman buying guide


Best used hybrid SUV for value

Kia Niro

Our pick Kia Niro 1.6 GDi 2

If the Toyota CH-R is too self-consciously stylish for your tastes, take a look at the Niro. It’s much more conservatively styled.

Underneath its bulbous body, though, it's more advanced, thanks to a fast-shifting dual-clutch gearbox that makes acceleration much smoother than in the Toyota.

The Niro’s economy (74.3mpg) is pretty impressive. Chose the more expensive plug-in version and 25 miles of electric-only running awaits.
Kia Niro buying guide


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