10 Best Hybrid SUVs for Seniors (With Pictures)

Older drivers typically prefer comfort, practicality and ease of use, over pure performance and cutting edge tech. 

Smaller hybrid SUVs meet all these requirements and elderly people find them easier to get in and out of compared to a sedan or a larger truck. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few hybrid SUVs and check out the features that make them great choices for senior citizens. 

1. Kia Niro Hybrid

The Niro is a subcompact crossover with similar dimensions to a hatchback, making it easier to maneuver for older drivers while the slightly taller ride height helps with visibility.

Although it’s one of the most affordable hybrid SUVs in the market, its roomy interior is very well designed and filled with lots of modern tech. 

It has lots of buttons and dials that are thoughtfully laid out and easy to access, so seniors won’t have too much difficulty figuring out the controls since they’re not hidden behind menus or a touchscreen.

Ground clearance is better than a hatchback at 6.3 inches and the doors also open up pretty wide so you don’t have to bend as much to get in and out.

All trim levels, aside from the base model, have a power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar for additional back support. The SX and SX Touring also come with a power tailgate.

Standard driving aids and safety features include automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot detection, lane assist and a driver attention monitor. Going up from the base LX trim adds adaptive cruise control and Kia’s Highway Driving Assist.

Rear parking sensors are standard on the EX trim levels while the SX models also have sensors in the front.

Fuel economy on the hybrid is an impressive 53 mpg combined, making it very economical to run. The second generation plug-in hybrid model also has up to 33 miles of EV range, up from the older model’s 26 miles.

2. Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

The Corolla Cross Hybrid uses many of the same components as the Corolla sedan, but with a slightly larger and higher riding crossover body.

Interior wise, it’s significantly more spacious than the hatchback, both with the rear seats up and folded down. 

The tech and layout of the controls are similar to what you’ll find in a Corolla, which isn’t very modern looking compared to its rivals. But it has a familiar feeling that older drivers will have no trouble getting used to.

The height of the roofline and 8 inches of ground clearance is about the same as the more expensive RAV4, so getting in and out will be as easy as in any other compact SUV.

The 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and power tailgate is only available on the top of the line XSE trim level.

All models come with automatic emergency braking, lane assist, road sign assist and adaptive cruise control. The SE and XSE models add blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, while the XSE is the only one with front and rear parking sensors and parking assist. 

Gas mileage is estimated at 42 mpg combined but it does come with all-wheel drive as standard, unlike the Niro which only comes with front-wheel drive.

3. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The RAV4 Hybrid is a great vehicle for elderly persons who want something that is good on gas, maintenance free, and can hold a lot of stuff. 

It comes with all-wheel drive as standard like the Corolla Cross Hybrid, but is noticeably more spacious and uses better materials all throughout the interior. 

Although ground clearance is the same for both vehicles, the RAV4’s seats are positioned a bit higher so it’s even easier to get in and out of. The driving position also makes you feel like you’re driving a proper SUV.

The RAV4 Hybrid is a little thirstier than the Corolla Cross with an estimated fuel economy of 40 mpg, but it still beats out most rivals. There’s also the RAV4 Prime with its 302 hp, making it the fastest in its class, and has an impressive EV range of 42 miles.

Unlike lots of hybrid compact SUVs, the RAV4 also comes with an actual spare tire instead of a repair kit.

If you want more comfortable seats, you’ll need to start looking at the Hybrid SE and higher trim levels which come with 8-way power-adjustable seats and lumbar support. The power liftgate is also only available in these more expensive models. Go up to the range topping Limited model and you get ventilated front seats.

Standard safety features include 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. The Limited model also comes standard with front and rear parking assist.

4. Honda CR-V Hybrid

The Honda CR-V has been the Toyota RAV4’s main rival for several decades.

Like the RAV4, the CR-V is known for its versatility and reliability, but it also has a quieter cabin and more engaging driving dynamics.

The sixth generation CR-V, which debuted as a 2023 model, is also more spacious than ever before. Its doors open really wide, especially in the back, which makes getting in and out easier.

Inside, everything in the latest generation CR-V is controlled by buttons and dials, which are all very intuitive to use. In the previous model of the CR-V Hybrid, many features required using the touchscreen. 

Power-adjustable seats with lumbar support are also standard on all CR-V Hybrid models.

The Sport-L and Sport Touring models have a power tailgate, but only the latter has a hands-free function. But even without the power tailgate, it’s designed to be very lightweight to make opening and closing easier. 

It comes with front-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive is available as an option on all models. 

Fuel economy for the front-wheel drive model is similar to the RAV4 at 40 mpg combined, but it goes down to 37 mpg for the all-wheel drive model.

Standard driving aids and safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane assist, driver attention monitor, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic monitor, and automatic emergency braking. 

Front and rear parking sensors are standard on the Sport-L and Sport Hybrid models, but can be added to the Sport Hybrid by the dealer.

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5. Ford Escape Hybrid

The Ford Escape Hybrid has been around since 2005 and was the first hybrid SUV in history.

The current model has been out since 2020 but it just got a significant styling update for 2023.

It’s still one of Ford’s best selling models as it offers a nice balance of space, comfort, and tech.

The Escape Hybrid is also popular among seniors because it offers a lot of value for money, especially with the markups other brands and dealerships are asking, and gets great fuel economy at around 40 mpg combined.

It has slightly lower ground clearance at 7.5 inches compared to its rivals but is still very easy to get into. Ford also designed the Escape to feel like you’re driving a car instead of a compact SUV. making it easier to drive.

Older model years had a good amount of buttons and knobs to control everything, despite having lots of tech. With the facelifted Escape Hybrid, many of the physical controls were replaced by touch-sensitive buttons. 

Power-adjustable seats with lumbar support and a power tailgate are standard on all hybrid models.

All-wheel drive is standard on the ST-Line Select and ST-Line Elite, but is available as an option on the other trim levels.

Also standard is Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assists which include automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane assist, and a driver alert system. 

On the Platinum, ST-Elite, and Plug-in Hybrid models, you get the optional adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, evasive steering assist, and rear parking sensors as standard.

6. Kia Sportage Hybrid

Older generations of the Kia Sportage have always been somewhat lost in the mix, but the new 2023 model really stands out with its bold exterior, modern interior, and impressive tech features.

It’s also the first time the Sportage received hybrid powertrain options, so you can choose between a traditional hybrid or plug-in hybrid.

The front-wheel drive base model delivers outstanding fuel economy at 43 mpg combined, while the all-wheel drive models get an estimated 38 mpg. The plug-in hybrid also adds up 34 miles of EV range.

Although it looks youthful and aggressive on the outside, it’s still a good choice for seniors when it comes to comfort, space, ease of use, and the amount of features that you get for your money.

Ground clearance is best in its class at 8.3 inches so getting in and out will be quite effortless.

Inside, it has impressively large screens and a very upscale looking interior. It has a good mix of physical buttons and knobs, but the climate control and infotainment use a lot of capacitive touch-sensitive buttons. 

The EX and SX Prestige come with a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar, while the base LX model only gets manual adjustments. The SX Prestige also has heated and ventilated seats.

The Smart Power Tailgate is only standard on the SX Prestige model, but optional on the EX.

Standard safety features include automatic braking, lane assist, driver attention warning and rear parking sensors. The EX trim level adds blind spot monitoring, while the SX Prestige also has navigation-based adaptive cruise control and front parking sensors.

7. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

People typically choose the Hyundai Tucson for its more affordable price, wealth of standard features, comfortable ride, and long warranty, which is pretty much what most elderly owners are looking for.

It’s also always been a bit more popular than the Kia Sportage, even though they share the same chassis and engine options.

When the latest generation Tucson debuted for the 2022 model year, Hyundai made a lot of effort to make it more exciting and modern, and look less like a boring appliance.

The fourth generation Tucson is the first to get a hybrid powertrain which significantly improves gas mileage to 38 mpg. Range for the PHEV model is 33 miles, which is about the same as the Sportage plug-in hybrid.

It has 8.3 inches of ground clearance so it’s very easy to get in and out of. It’s also very spacious and comfortable inside, and still very easy to drive, which will appeal to older drivers.

However, although the Tucson has lots of modern tech and impressively large screens, there’s barely any traditional knobs or buttons on the center console, making it more difficult to use at times. 

The base model Blue trim level has a few more physical controls for the HVAC and infotainment, but still uses a lot of capacitive touch buttons.

All models come with power adjustable seats with lumbar support for added comfort and a hands-free power liftgate. All-wheel drive is also standard on all models which is important if you’ll be driving it through snowy winters.

Standard safety features and driving assists include automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, lane assist, driver attention warning, and adaptive cruise control. Parking sensors and parking assist is only available on the top of the line Limited model.

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8. Toyota Venza

The Toyota Venza uses the same chassis and hybrid powertrain as the RAV4 Hybrid, but has a more sophisticated design and upscale interior.

It’s more expensive than the RAV4, but is also more comfortable and plush, which a lot of older drivers will like.

All-wheel drive is standard on all models and fuel economy is estimated at 39 mpg combined.

The base LE model has a lot of buttons and knobs like the RAV4. Higher trim levels have a larger screen, but replaces most of the physical controls on the center console for touch-sensitive buttons, which some may find frustrating to use. 

The 2023 model year improves the control layout a bit by adding more physical buttons and lots of basic functions are no longer hidden behind menus on the touchscreen.

It’s just as easy to get in and out of as any compact crossover with its ride height sitting at 8.2 inches. Power adjustable seats with lumbar support and hands-free power tailgate are also standard on all trim levels.

The Venza is 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.

9. Lexus RX Hybrid

Lexus vehicles are very popular among the older demographic because they’re extremely comfortable, have excellent ride quality, extremely quiet inside, and last a very long time.

The Lexus RX midsize crossover has all of these great qualities, but adds more room for passengers and cargo.

Its 8.2 inches of ground clearance makes getting in and out very easy, which is very important for most older people. 

The fifth generation RX is new for the 2023 model year and replaces the old V6 engines for more fuel efficient 4-cylinder units.

The new RX 350h Hybrid uses a more powerful version of the RAV4 Hybrid powertrain, which gives it better fuel economy than ever before at 36 mpg combined.

The RX also has a plug-in hybrid model for the very first time with the RX 450h+, powered by the same hybrid powertrain as the RAV4 Prime. For those who want more power, there’s the top of the line RX 500h Hybrid which has a turbocharged inline-4.

Lexus also kept the needs of their primary demographic in mind when designing the new RX Hybrid.

Although it has lots of modern tech and large screens, it still has buttons and knobs for most of the primary controls you’ll be using every day. 

All trim levels come with power adjustable seats with lumbar support and a power tailgate. Heated and ventilated seats are standard on all models except for the base RX 350h.

Standard safety features and driving assists include automatic braking, lane assist, radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, road sign assist, and a driver monitor alert. Intuitive parking assist with automatic braking is also standard on the Premium and higher trim levels.

10. Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid

The XC60 Recharge is a compact hybrid SUV that features a lot of Volvo’s class-leading safety technology and driver assists.

It stands out from the crowded luxury SUV segment with its sophisticated looks and stylish interiors.

The XC60 is a performance-oriented plug-in hybrid that boasts a total output of 455 hp from its turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter engine, giving it a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.5 seconds 

It goes up to 32 miles in EV mode and fuel economy is around 26 mpg when using just the gas engine.

Although it has exhilarating acceleration numbers, the XC60 Recharge offers an extremely comfortable and refined ride. 

Ground clearance is on the higher end of the range at 8.5 inches, but entry and exit is still very easy. All trim levels also feature a power tailgate.

If you want a larger and roomier vehicle, check out the flagship XC90. Older people and empty nesters might not need the extra space it offers though, and the XC60 is going to be easier to drive due to its small size.

The XC60’s seats are ergonomically designed for extra comfort. The top of the line Ultimate trim level also features power side bolsters and cushion extensions for added support, as well as seat ventilation.

Physical buttons for the climate control and infotainment are limited since the XC60 uses Google’s Android Automotive OS, which uses the touchscreen for a lot of features.

Standard safety features and driver assists include automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, lane assist, road sign assist, rear parking sensors, steering assist, and driver attention alert. The Plus and Ultimate models add front and side parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and Volvo’s Pilot Assist.

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...