Hybrid SUVs make for great Uber vehicles because they have lots of room but have the same fuel economy as a small hatchback.
Many hybrid vehicles can also run the AC off the battery so you don’t need to burn any gas while waiting for passengers.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best hybrid SUVs for ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and check out the features that make them stand out.
Table of Contents
1. Kia Niro Hybrid
The Kia Niro Hybrid is a subcompact crossover that rivals the Toyota Prius when it comes to fuel economy.
It’s been around since 2017 while the second generation model made its debut for the 2023 model year.
The first generation Kia Niro Hybrid already had great fuel economy at 50 mpg combined, but the latest model improves this to an estimated 53 mpg city, 54 mpg highway and 53 mpg combined.
The top of the line SX Touring model has slightly worse highway fuel economy at 45 mpg, but has the same gas mileage in the city as the lower trim levels at 53 mpg, which is more important since you’ll be primarily using it to shuttle passengers around town.
The SX and SX Touring models both come with Kia’s SynTex synthetic leather seat upholstery which is more durable and easier to clean in case your passengers make a mess in the back.
All models come with advanced driver aids like automatic braking, blind spot detection, lane assist and driver attention warning.
The EX and SX models are even easier to drive for long periods of time because they come with smart cruise control with stop and go, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, and highway driving assist.
These models also have rear AC vents so your passengers can stay comfortable even in the sweltering heat.
2. Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
The Corolla Cross is basically a Toyota Corolla with a subcompact crossover body.
Mechanically, it’s exactly the same as a regular Corolla but with more ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive.
In 2023, Toyota introduced the Corolla Cross Hybrid which uses the same powertrain as the Corolla Hybrid.
Despite being slightly heavier than the Corolla, it gets almost the same gas mileage as the Corolla Hybrid with all-wheel drive at 45 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined.
The top of the line Hybrid XSE trim level comes with Toyota’s SofTex synthetic leather upholstery, while the cheaper models have fabric seats.
It also has a 10-way power adjustable seat with lumbar support while the lower trim levels only have fabric seats.
All models come with rear AC vents to keep your passengers comfortable while you drive them to their destination.
Also standard is Toyota’s Safety Sense which includes modern driver aids like automatic braking, dynamic cruise control, lane assist and road sign assist, which helps prevent accidents and keeps you and your passengers safe on the road.
3. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Although the fifth generation RAV4 Hybrid has been around for several years now, it’s still one of the most sought after hybrid SUVs in the U.S.
A lot of it has to do with Toyota’s excellent track record for reliability and the strong reputation of its hybrid vehicles.
Even with its standard all-wheel drive, the RAV4 Hybrid is still capable of achieving 41 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined.
The RAV4 Hybrid also has more space than the Corolla Cross and is more capable off-road, despite both vehicles having standard all-wheel drive and almost the same ground clearance.
It’s also much faster than both the Corolla Cross Hybrid and the regular gas-powered RAV4, making it a more well-rounded commuter vehicle and workhorse.
Only the top of the line Hybrid Limited model has full SofTex seats which are more durable and easier to clean.
The lower trim levels come with fabric seats while the Hybrid XSE uses a combination of SofTex and fabric inserts.
All models come with rear seat vents, but the Hybrid Limited can also be optioned with heated rear seats for added passenger comfort during the winter.
4. Honda CR-V Hybrid
The Honda CR-V has been one of the most popular compact SUVs in the market for the past three decades.
It’s known for its versatility, reliability and low maintenance costs, making it an ideal choice for a daily driver and commuter vehicle.
The hybrid version of the CR-V was first released in 2020. For the 2023 model year, the sixth generation CR-V was introduced with the same hybrid powertrain as the older model.
Lower trim levels of the latest CR-V Hybrid are front-wheel drive, but have all-wheel drive as an option.
The front-wheel drive CR-V Hybrid gets great gas mileage at 43 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined, making it a great choice for Uber drivers.
The sixth generation CR-V also has a slightly longer wheelbase compared to the previous model, giving it more legroom in the back and slightly more cargo space.
The Sport-L and Sport Touring Hybrid come with leather seats while the Sport Hybrid only has fabric seats.
5. 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.
The fourth gen Highlander Hybrid does 36 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 36 mpg combined, compared to the older models which could only max out at 30 mpg.
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. This makes it one of the few hybrid SUVs eligible for Uber XL.
The Hybrid XLE trim levels come with Toyota’s SofTex synthetic leather seats, while the Limited and Platinum models have leather seats, both of which are more durable and desirable for Uber usage compared to the fabric seats of the Hybrid LE trim level.
All trim levels also come with three-zone climate control, as well as second and third row vents for better passenger comfort.
6. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Mitsubishi introduced the latest generation of the Outlander for the 2022 model year.
Aside from getting a major redesign both inside and out, 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.
One benefit it has over other three-row hybrid SUVs is that its total seating capacity goes up to 7 people, including the driver, so it’s also eligible for Uber XL.
This is a major improvement over the previous generation’s PHEV model, which didn’t come with third-row seats in the back.
However, reviewers have noted that the third-row seats are pretty cramped so adults might find it uncomfortable for longer trips.
The SE trim level comes with synthetic leather seats while the SEL has leather seats. The base ES model only comes with fabric seats, which is less than ideal if you’re going to be shuttling passengers around day in and day out.
7. Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid made a comeback with the release of the fourth generation model in 2020, after it was briefly discontinued for the third generation.
The first and second generation Escape Hybrid had a pretty solid reputation for reliability as they were often used as taxis in major cities around the U.S.
For its fourth generation, Ford also introduced a plug-in hybrid powertrain to the Escape’s lineup in addition to the regular hybrid.
Fuel economy for both the front and all-wheel drive versions of the Escape hybrid is on par with its rivals at 42 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 39 mpg combined.
Only the top-of-the-line Platinum model comes with Ford’s ActiveX seats which is a synthetic seating material that’s durable and easy to clean.
The ST-Line seats use vinyl with cloth inserts, which are more likely to get stained by random Uber passengers.
All trim levels come with Ford’s Co-Pilot Assist suite of driver aids, which makes the vehicle easier to drive and keeps you and your passengers much safer on the road.
8. Kia Sportage Hybrid
The Kia Sportage Hybrid has one of the lowest starting prices for a hybrid SUV but it’s packed with lots of features.
The base LX model is the thriftiest of the bunch with its standard front-wheel drive configuration which is capable of returning 42 mpg city, 44 mpg highway and 43 mpg combined.
Higher trim levels with standard all-wheel drive have slightly lower fuel economy at 38 mpg combined.
Kia’s Syntex synthetic leather seat material is standard on the EX and SX Prestige models while the LX only comes with cloth seats.
An array of driver aids comes standard in all models which includes driver attention warning and automatic braking, but the SX Prestige adds navigation-based cruise control with stop and go capability.
The Sportage Hybrid also boasts the best rear legroom in its class at 41.3 inches, as well as the longest powertrain warranty.
9. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
Hyundai equipped the Tucson with its first hybrid powertrain in 2022 when the fourth generation model was introduced.
It’s mechanically the same underneath as the Kia Sportage but with different bodywork and interiors.
One key difference the Tucson Hybrid has over the Sportage Hybrid is that it only comes with all-wheel drive.
Since Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system is standard on all trim levels of the Tucson Hybrid, its best fuel economy numbers top out at 38 mpg, which is exactly the same as the all-wheel drive versions of the Sportage Hybrid.
It also has a higher starting price than the Sportage Hybrid, since it doesn’t have a base front-wheel drive model.
Similar trim levels of the Tucson Hybrid and Sportage Hybrid aren’t too far apart when it comes to pricing, but the Tucson’s Limited model is the most expensive of the bunch.
However, you’ll need to spend a bit more to get leather seats in the Tucson Hybrid since the most affordable Blue trim level only comes with cloth seats.
In comparison, the Sportage Hybrid’s EX model already comes with synthetic leather seats for about the same price as the Tucson Hybrid’s Blue model.
10. Kia Sorento Hybrid
The Kia Sorento is one of the smallest and most affordable hybrid SUVs with third-row seats.
It got its first hybrid powertrain when the fourth generation model was introduced for the 2021 model year.
Similar to the smaller Sportage Hybrid, the base Sorento Hybrid comes with front-wheel drive as standard which returns better fuel economy than the all-wheel drive models at 39 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined.
The all-wheel drive versions of the Sorento Hybrid have slightly lower fuel economy at 36 mpg city and 34 mpg combined.
Although the Sorento Hybrid has three rows, all the hybrid models come with second-row captain’s chairs as standard.
This limits the Sorento’s total seating capacity to 6 people, including the driver, so the hybrid models do not qualify for Uber XL which requires seating for 7 occupants.
On the plus side, both trim levels of the Sorento Hybrid come with leather seats so you don’t have to worry about the upholstery getting stained or ruined by your passengers.
11. Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid was first introduced with the debut of the fifth generation model for the 2021 model year.
It uses the same platform and powertrain as the Sorento Hybrid, but it has different bodywork and interiors, and it lacks the Sorento’s third row seats.
The Santa Fe Hybrid also only comes with all-wheel drive, so it has slightly worse fuel economy than the base Sorento Hybrid with front-wheel drive at 36 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined.
The most affordable Santa Fe Hybrid Blue model also only comes with cloth seats, so you’ll have to spring for the more expensive SEL Premium and Limited trim levels to get leather seats.
In addition to the suite of driver assists that come standard with the Santa Fe Hybrid, it has also received the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is important if you spend a lot of time on the road.