The extra room that SUVs offer makes them more comfortable on long stretches of road.
However, hybrids often get worse fuel economy on the highway because the battery doesn’t get charged as much.
In this article, we’ll take a look at hybrid SUVs with excellent highway mileage, as well as plug-in hybrids with the best EV range.
Table of Contents
1. Kia Niro Hybrid
The Kia Niro Hybrid is a subcompact crossover that rivals the legendary Toyota Prius when it comes to fuel economy.
Kia also designs their hybrid powertrains to provide slightly better fuel economy on the highway, so they’re great options if you have a long commute.
In ideal conditions, the Kia Niro Hybrid can get up to 54 mpg on the highway which is slightly higher than the estimated 53 mpg that it returns in the city.
Its plug-in hybrid model has slightly worse mileage at 47 mpg highway because of the added weight of its larger batteries, but it does have up to 33 miles of EV range, which means you’ll still be using less gas overall if you keep the battery charged up.
The Niro also comes with an array of advanced driver aids as standard, which includes a driver attention warning that keeps you from dozing off or focusing on something else other than driving.
The higher trim levels also add highway driving assist and smart cruise control which allows the car to basically drive itself on long stretches of road.
2. Kia Sportage Hybrid
The Kia Sportage has the best highway fuel economy in the compact hybrid SUV class.
The base front-wheel drive model can achieve up to 44 mpg on the highway, 42 mpg city and 43 mpg combined.
When equipped with all-wheel drive, it gets 38 mpg across the board, which is still slightly better than many of its rivals.
The fifth generation Sportage is also slightly larger than the previous generation which gives it best-in-class rear legroom.
The plug-in hybrid model also has up to 34 miles of EV range, so you’ll hardly be using any gas at all if you have an average distance commute.
To get highway driving assist and smart cruise control, you’ll have to get the top-of-the-line SX Prestige model.
3. Lexus UX 250h Hybrid
The Lexus UX is a subcompact luxury crossover that uses the same platform and hybrid powertrain as the Toyota Corolla Hybrid and Corolla Cross Hybrid.
Despite the similarities, the Lexus UX manages to get better highway fuel economy at 41 mpg compared to the Corolla Cross Hybrid, which only does 38 mpg.
The Lexus UX’s interior is also more upscale and better built, so it’s not as tiring to drive and a nicer place to be in for long periods of time compared to its Toyota cousins.
All trim levels come with Lexus Safety System+ which includes helpful driver assists such as dynamic cruise control, lane assist, automatic braking and road sign assist.
It also has many premium options such as a color head-up display, which is only typically found in luxury vehicles.
4. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The current fifth generation RAV4 has been around since 2019, but it’s still one of the top hybrid SUVs in its class.
Its hybrid model not only has more performance on tap compared to its rivals, but it’s also very capable off-road and in winter conditions with its standard all-wheel drive.
Its highway fuel economy is very good at an estimated 38 mpg, which is similar to the much slower all-wheel drive Sportage Hybrid’s numbers.
The RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid is even quicker and can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds while providing up to 42 miles of EV range which is class leading.
In the city, the regular hybrid gets better gas mileage at an estimated 41 mpg. Its overall fuel economy of 40 mpg combined also beats out all the other all-wheel drive hybrid SUVs in the compact category,
It’s also packed with safety features which includes automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and road sign assist. All models except the base Hybrid LE come with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
5. Toyota Venza Hybrid
The Toyota Venza uses the same platform and powertrain as the RAV4 Hybrid, but has more sophisticated styling inside and out.
Compared to the RAV4 Hybrid, its interior is more upscale and much quieter when cruising so it’s less tiring to drive for daily commutes or long road trips.
It also comes standard with all-wheel drive and its highway fuel economy is almost the same as the RAV4 at an estimated 37 mpg.
The Venza is also loaded with safety features and driver assists like automatic braking, lane assist, radar cruise control, road sign assist and blind spot monitoring, All models except the LE have front and rear parking sensors.
Since it shares many components with the RAV4 Hybrid, you can expect the same levels of reliability and longevity out of the Venza, so it will easily last hundreds of thousands of miles.
6. Ford Escape Hybrid
Ford brought back the hybrid version of the Escape during the 2020 model year after being discontinued for its third generation model.
Aside from the regular hybrid, Ford also added a plug-in hybrid to the Escapes powertrain options.
Compared to some of its compact SUV rivals that look and drive like a small truck, the Escape has more car-like driving characteristics which translates to better handling and a more relaxing drive.
With the standard front-wheel drive, the Escape Hybrid manages to get an estimated 36 mpg on the highway, which is on par with the rest of the compact SUV class.
In mixed use, one can expect around 39 mpg combined. All-wheel drive is available as an option for those who have to deal with harsh winter driving, but this lowers overall fuel economy by 3 to 4 mpg.
The Escape PHEV has an impressive 37 miles of EV range which is just about as long as most people’s average round-trip commute.
Aside from the included standard driving assists, the more expensive trim levels also come with Ford’s Co-Pilot Assist which adds adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, advanced navigation features, a rear parking sensor and a digital rear view camera.
7. Honda CR-V Hybrid
In 2023, Honda released the sixth generation CR-V which is slightly larger and has a more truck-like appearance compared to the previous model.
It uses the same hybrid powertrain as the fifth gen CR-V Hybrid, but it’s been tweaked to be slightly more responsive.
It still uses the same chassis as the Civic, so it has better driving dynamics and handling than most of its rivals in the compact SUV class.
The lower trim levels of the CR-V Hybrid come with front-wheel drive as standard which allows it to achieve an estimated 36 mpg on the highway.
When equipped with all-wheel drive, highway fuel economy drops to 34 mpg, but it still manages to get up to 40 mpg in the city.
All CR-Vs also come standard with modern driver assists courtesy of Honda Sensing which includes automatic braking, lane assist, blind spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition and a driver attention monitor.
Like the RAV4, the CR-V is known for its build quality, durability and longevity, so it’s a great choice if you plan on keeping it for several years and racking up lots of miles on the highway.
8. Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Toyota Highlander is one of the few hybrid SUVs with third-row seats making it a great family hauler and carpool vehicle.
It’s had a hybrid model since 2006, but the fourth generation model, which was introduced as a 2020 model, now uses the same 4-cylinder engine as the RAV4 Hybrid so it gets much better mileage than the older V6 hybrids.
Despite its larger size and extra seating capacity, the fourth gen Highlander Hybrid still manages to get 35 mpg on the highway whether it’s equipped with front or all-wheel drive.
The base model with the bench seats can seat up to 8 people while models with captain’s chairs can carry up to 7 occupants.
All trim levels also come with three-zone climate control, as well as second and third row vents for better passenger comfort on longer road trips.
9. Lexus RX Hybrid
The RX is Lexus’ best selling model and it’s had a hybrid variant since 2010.
When the fifth generation Lexus RX was introduced for the 2023 model year, the hybrid model ditched the old V6 engine and started using the same powertrain found in the RAV4 Hybrid.
Now known as the RX 350h, its highway fuel economy has improved to 34 mpg compared to the older RX 450h models which could only achieve up to 28 mpg.
Aside from now having the same fuel economy as a compact sedan, the RX has always been known for its outstanding comfort, ride quality and noise isolation, making it an excellent daily commuter and road trip vehicle.
Heated and ventilated front seats are standard starting with the Premium trim level if you want to remain comfortable after driving for several hours.
It’s also loaded with a long list of advanced driver aids which includes radar cruise control and traffic sign recognition. A new feature called Driver Monitor Alert also helps keep you focused even after long stints on the road.
10. Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid
Mitsubishi introduced the latest generation of the Outlander during the 2022 model year.
Aside from overhauling the exterior and interior, the plug-in hybrid’s range has increased from only 24 miles to a more usable 38 miles.
It still uses the same 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, so fuel economy once the battery has depleted has stayed the same at roughly 26 mpg combined.
Compared to the previous generation’s PHEV model, the new Outlander now comes with third row seats which ups the seating capacity to 7 people, including the driver.
All trim levels of the Outlander PHEV also come with an array of modern driver aids as standard, which includes automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, lane assist, and driver attention alert.
Stepping up to the more expensive SE and SEL models also adds adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition, which makes the vehicle easier to drive on long stretches of highway.
11. Mercedes-Benz GLE Plug-in Hybrid
For the 2024 model year, the current generation of the midsized GLE got a facelift and updated powertrains.
Aside from improving the regular gas models, Mercedes-Benz also added the GLE 450e PHEV which has an impressive 48 miles of EV range.
In the real world, some reviewers were even able to get closer to 60 miles on a full charge — more than enough for most commutes that involve a lot of highway driving.
Once the battery is depleted, the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine can return up to 24 mpg combined, which isn’t bad considering all the amenities and power that the GLE 450e has to offer.
On the highway, the GLE 450e’s cabin is roomy, comfortable and quiet, so you can take it on day-long highway trips without breaking a sweat.
It’s also loaded with Mercedes-Benz’s class-leading safety tech which includes, attention assist, brake assist and crosswind assist, among many others.
The GLE 450e also has many available options such as active stop-and-go assist, steering assist, and speed limit assist, making it one of the best and safest highway cruisers on the market right now.
12. Range Rover Plug-in Hybrid
The Range Rover has been the benchmark for luxury and comfort for several decades.
Despite its rather astronomical pricing, there are few vehicles that can match the levels of opulence that the Range Rover has to offer.
Its plug-in hybrid models also keep getting better and better with each passing year.
New for the 2024 model year is the P550e plug-in hybrid that delivers more power and range compared to the older P440e.
Aside from having a combined output of 542 hp, the P550e can also travel up to 59 miles in all-electric mode, which is currently the highest EV range you can get in a plug-in hybrid SUV.
Once the battery is spent, the 3.0-liter inline-6 should be able to achieve around 26 mpg on the highway which is what the EPA estimates for the base P400 that uses the same engine.
Although the Range Rover is already packed with creature comforts and amenities, it also has loads of available options so you can personalize your ride to your heart’s content.
13. BMW X5 Plug-in Hybrid
Like other German luxury vehicles in its class, the X5 was designed to eat up highway miles on the Autobahn in the most comfortable way possible.
The new xDrive50e plug-in hybrid model has more power on tap with a combined output of 483 hp — almost 100 hp more than the old model — allowing you to overtake other vehicles pretty effortlessly.
Once you’ve used up the 39 miles of electric-only range, you can expect around mid to low 20 mpgs from the gas engine on the highway since the batteries won’t have many chances to go into regen mode.
The optional Driving Assistance Pro Package adds lots of camera and radar-based driver aids. One of its best features is BMW’s Highway Assistant which lets you enjoy hands-free driving on the open road and while stuck in traffic.
The BMW X5 xDrive50e and the older xDrive45e also come with air suspension as standard. This not only improves ride quality, but also keeps the vehicle composed and level at all times.