Used hybrid SUVs

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

Oct 4, 2018

Hybrid cars combine a diesel or, more usually, a petrol engine with an electric motor to drive down emissions and boost fuel economy.

A special battery pack enables them to store electricity, which allows some to run using just electricity.

So-called plug-in hybrid SUVs, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (it stands for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) go one step further by making it possible to charge the vehicle from an external charger so the vehicle can run for up to 30 miles on electric power.

New, they’re more expensive than standard cars, although a government grant of up to £2500 is available on some qualifying models.

Once a hybrid becomes a used car, no further grant is payable. However, the additional depreciation the car suffers for having had its new price subsidised, will ensure it is still much cheaper.

The result is that with a used hybrid, you can have your cake and eat it: the possibility of electric-only driving for short distances, a lower purchase price, plus, the added ride height and style of an SUV.

Here are six of the best used hybrid SUVs:

Best used hybrid SUV for low emissions

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Our pick Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 PHEV GX 3H
Latest Mitsubishi Outlander deals from £13,689
Finance from £196 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

Best used hybrid SUV for reliability

Lexus RX450h

Our pick Ford Lexus RX 450h Luxury
Latest Lexus RX450h deals from £23,400
Finance from £349 per month

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 reliability record, luxury trims, and sheer comfort.
Lexus RX450h buying guide

Best used hybrid SUV for good driving experience

Toyota C-HR

Our pick Toyota CH-R 1.8 Icon
Latest Toyota C-HR deals from £17,450
Finance from £224 per month

Toyota owns Lexus and has a lot of experience in hybrid systems. The Prius hatchback was its first hybrid car and much of its technology has found way into the CH-R, including a rather annoying CVT automatic transmission that can make the engine’s revs soar with little provocation.

Again, like the RX, there isn't much scope for electric-only running in the CH-R 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

Best used hybrid SUV for safety

Volvo XC90

Our pick Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine R-Design  
Latest Volvo XC90 Twin Engine deals from £46,950
Finance from £653 per month

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.

Best used hybrid SUV for fun

Mini Countryman

Our pick Mini Countryman Cooper S E ALL4
Latest Mini Countryman hybrid deals from £28,620
Finance from £420 per month

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
Latest Kia Niro deals from £16,990
Finance from £223 per month

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

Given Toyota’s experience with hybrid systems, it’s no surprise it feels better resolved but even so, 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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