Hybrid SUVs Buyer's Guide

Hybrid SUV crossing a river

Image courtesy of Land Rover MENA, used under CC license

Hybrid SUVs are gaining traction in the marketplace as consumers increasingly find appeal in ecofriendly features such as fuel efficiency and green materials. Car manufacturers are taking note. For instance, Subaru's XV Crosstrek Hybrid is built in a zero-landfill plant where 100 percent of waste is recycled or turned into electricity.

The automotive industry is also embracing technology and digital integration as more smart appliances are embedded inside vehicles. These typically include voice-activated navigation and touch screen, with USB, Bluetooth, and mobile plugins.

Additionally, manufacturers are increasingly integrating acoustic-type features such as noise-reduction materials to lessen unwanted sound. Car enthusiasts typically take notice of the resulting comfortable ride. However, relatively expensive price points remain a challenge for certain hybrid vehicles and the industry may need to balance the adding of more hi-tech features with cost considerations.

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2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru has upgraded the XV Crosstrek, making the hybrid SUV more appealing to digitized consumers. The relatively compact XV comes with a new 6.2-inch (or seven-inch) touchscreen infotainment system with voice-activated navigation, two USB ports and satellite radio. Passengers can also use Bluetooth, Aha smartphone app integration, a rearview camera, heated side mirrors, push-button start and power moon roof.

This hybrid excels in fuel efficiency, technology integration and noise cancelling materials. The XV's fuel efficiency of 30/34 mpg city/highway ranks as one of the best among hybrid and non-hybrid SUVs.

Subaru uses sound-lessening materials that lower wind and road noise. The four-cylinder XV features an electric motor and offers EyeSight driver assistance suite as well as steering-responsive fog lights. This car model features a low center of gravity, which augments the road-gripping symmetrical all-wheel drive. The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is built in a zero-landfill plant where 100 percent of waste is recycled or turned into electricity.

Subaru SV Crosstrek for sale



2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Toyota's Highlander Hybrid gets high marks for fuel economy and a spacious, first-rate cabin. Its plush interior features reclining third-row seats and a seating capacity of up to eight people. According to Toyota, nearly 90 percent of consumers prefer models with the 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, which comes in either front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD).

The Highlander's interior offers a pass-through cable organizer for various devices, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, 8-inch touch screen, climate control and center console with ample room for storing personal effects. This third-generation model also has an Easy Speak app which amplifies the driver's voice for the benefit of rear passengers -- an underestimated safety feature that can prevent distractions and road accidents.

The Highlander Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 27/28 mpg city/highway with a standard V6 gasoline engine, three electric motors and automatic transmission. This model can handle a variety of road surfaces. It's a large, dependable vehicle with a prominent grille up front -- a contemporary take on the classic family wagon.

Toyota Highlander for sale



2015 Lexus RX Hybrid

2015 Lexus RX Hybrid

The Lexus RX Hybrid epitomizes luxurious comfort with its well-trimmed interior featuring a wealth of high-tech amenities. Standard features include proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera and a Display Audio system with a seven-inch display screen. Additionally, the wood-grain design complements the perforated leather seats and sporty cabin.

This premium mid-size crossover provides 270 hp with its V6 engine and electric motors, but the RX also gets high ratings for its fuel economy of 28/32 mpg city/highway. There's plenty of cargo space and Lexus upholds its high-end reputation with the RX's quality cabin.

Buyers can include options such a 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, Siri Eyes Free smartphone integration, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, a rear-seat entertainment system and navigation with Lexus' Remote Touch controller.

Lexus RX for sale



More Hybrid SUVs

Here are additional hybrids you may want to consider.

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