The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (2023)

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (1)

Compact SUVs tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people. They're small enough to maneuver through a crowded metropolis, yet still have ample space to carry people and cargo. They are also inherently relatively fuel efficient. However, if you need maximum fuel economy on your commute and are willing to pay a modest premium, there are a range of compact SUVs with even more miserliness availableGasoline-electric hybrid drives. These electrified sport-utes offer the same practicality as their non-hybrid counterparts with the added bonus of an electric motor (or two or three) that can assist the petrol engine, improving fuel economy and, in some cases, performance. Read on to discover the best mainstream compact hybrid SUVs.

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6. Ford Escape Hybrid and PHEV

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (2)

The Ford Escape gets an exterior refresh for 2023, swapping its previous friendly but somewhat uninspiring looks for a more aggressive and upscale design that's right in line with the rest of the Blue Oval's current lineup. However, if you look beyond the updated design, you'll find that the 2023 Escape is largely the same as last year (except for a new and improved infotainment system). As before, the Escape is available with two petrol-electric powertrain options: a traditional hybrid that combines a 2.5-liter inline four with an electric motor, or a plug-in hybrid (or PHEV) powertrain that uses a lithium-ion engine larger capacity includes battery pack, giving it an EPA-estimated electric range of 37 miles. Regardless, both powertrains produce 210 hp. While the traditional Escape hybrid is available with all-wheel drive, the plug-in is front-wheel drive only. The Escape is a decent choice in this segment, but if you're craving an engaging driving experience, you're better off going with one of its competitors.

  • Base Price: $35,335
  • CDRating: 7.5/10


5. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (3)

The current generation Mitsubishi Outlander shares much of its hardware with theNissan Rogue Compact SUV. A key difference between the two models is that the Outlander comes standard with three rows of seats, although that third row is too small to be of much use. Just like its predecessor Outlander, Mitsubishi's latest generation of its compact SUV is available as a plug-in hybrid. With a combined output of 248 hp from a four-cylinder petrol engine and three electric motors (two in the front, one in the rear), the all-wheel drive Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2023 is more powerful than its predecessor. It's more efficient too. A larger battery allows this plug-in Mitsu to travel an estimated 38 miles on battery power alone — a big increase over the previous model's 24 miles. The Outlander PHEV is also reasonably fun to drive, thanks to its all-wheel drive system that gives the rear engine a slight bias. Unlike previous iterations, the new Outlander features a modern interior that uses higher quality materials. If the included third-row seat doesn't add value to your needs, Mitsubishi sweetens the deal with one of the most generous warranties in the industry: a 5-year/60,000-mile base plan and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain plan Guarantee.

  • Base Price: $41,190
  • CDRating: 8/10


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4. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Prime

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (4)

Despite its lack of driver engagement, the Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling vehicles in America. Part of that is due to the Toyota brand's tremendous reputation for reliability, but also because the RAV4 is simply a pleasant, well-rounded compact SUV. Two hybrid variants of the RAV4 are available: the traditional RAV4 Hybrid and the RAV4 Prime PHEV. Both are faster than the non-hybrid RAV4, and in our tests the plug-in even beat thatToyota GR Supra sports carto 60 mph (the four-cylinder version, but still). Like other plug-in hybrids on this list, the RAV4 Prime can be driven for short distances on battery power alone. In that case, the EPA estimates the Prime can cover a healthy 42 miles on a full charge of its battery. The RAV4's interior is a bit bland, but it's comfortable and well built. It's also available with niceties like a 10.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system and an 11-speaker audio system. All petrol-electric RAV4s come standard with all-wheel drive. While this compact Toyota SUV looks pretty butch with its4Runner-inspiriertes Design(especially inthe Woodland Edition of the hybrid), don't expect it to conquer Moab or the Rubicon Trail. The RAV4 is better suited to mall crawling than rock crawling.

  • Base Price: $32,060
  • CDRating: 8.5/10


3. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (5)

Completely redesigned for 2022, the Hyundai Tucson is now one of the most distinctive compact SUVs available today. From its sculpted body panels to its unmistakable headlight signature, the Tucson is anything but boring. Its base engine isn't a strong point, however, as the gas-powered four-cylinder delivers mind-blowing acceleration and sounds thrashy at higher revs. A little more punch (as well as solitude) can be found in the two different petrol-electric powertrains: a traditional hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. Both use a supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Though neither will set your hair on fire, both electrified Tucsons offer straight-line performance superior to the non-hybrid 2.5-liter four-pot. The plug-in even offers an EPA-estimated electric range of 33 miles. The standard hybrid, meanwhile, returns an EPA-estimated combined fuel economy of 38mpg, though we only saw 28mpg in our real-world 75mph highway fuel economy test. However, if you're looking for an efficient compact SUV that looks good inside and out, comes with plenty of standard and convenience tech features, and comes with a great warranty, then both the Tucson hybrid and PHEV are solid choices.

  • Base Price: $32,685
  • CDRating: 8.5/10


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2. Kia Sportage Hybrid and PHEV

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (6)

Like its corporate sibling, the Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage stands out from the rest of the class with a bold exterior design and an attractive, quality interior. Mechanically, the Sportage is very similar to the Tucson, with the Kia offering both a regular hybrid and a plug-in hybrid option, which are essentially the same as the Tucson. The plug-in Sportage's electric range is slightly better than its Hyundai counterpart, however, with the EPA estimating the Kia can go up to 34 miles on a fully charged battery. There are other differences between these two Korean compact SUVs as well. For one thing, the Sportage looks very different inside and out. The Kia PHEV also pushes a more off-road-oriented theme, as all plug-in Sportages come with the brand's tough-looking X-Line exterior design package. The traditional Sportage hybrid, on the other hand, dispenses with this kit. Regardless, we think the latest Sportage is a head turner. However, others may prefer the more traditional looks of other petrol-electric vehicles in this segment.

  • Base Price: $28,815
  • CDRating: 8.5/10


1. Honda CR-V Hybrid

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (7)

Given the2023 Honda CR-V is a 10 Best Truck and SUVWinner, it should come as no surprise that the CR-V Hybrid takes our top spot in the compact hybrid SUV rankings. Like its gas-only counterpart, the CR-V Hybrid is comfortable and spacious. It also drives quite well for an SUV, but still offers a comfortable ride. While the CR-V hybrid might not be the powerhouse of the plug-in RAV4 Prime, it still offers dynamic improvements that its petrol-only relatives lack. With a total of 204 hp, the CR-V hybrid packs 14 more horses than the turbocharged four-cylinder that serves as the SUV's base engine. The hybrid is available with front- or all-wheel drive and returns an EPA-estimated 43 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. If you're looking for the most versatile compact hybrid SUV, this is it.

  • Base Price: $33,695
  • CDRating: 10/10


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The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023

The best compact hybrid SUVs of 2023 (8)

  • 6. Ford Escape Hybrid und Plug-In-Hybrid
  • 5. Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in-Hybrid
  • 4. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Prime
  • 3. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid
  • 2. Kia Sportage Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid
  • 1. Honda CR-V Hybrid
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