Many years ago, the best SUVs were hulking machines with big engines, huge towing capacities, great off-road capabilities, and limited fuel economy. With rising fuel costs, SUVs slowly shrunk into the more car-like crossover SUVs we know today. Not only are these crossover SUVs easier to drive, but they also offer superior fuel economy.
As fuel prices continued to rise and emissions regulations tightened, automakers looked toward electrification to make SUVs more fuel-efficient, bringing in the era of the hybrid SUV. Let's look at some of the best hybrid SUVs in Canada to see which is the best choice for your family.
Ford completely redesigned the Escape lineup for the 2020 model year, bringing a sporty look to a compact SUV already known for its above-average performance. This redesign carried over to the hybrid version of the Escape and Escape Plug-In Hybrid.
The Escape Hybrid rolls in with a 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain that delivers 200 horsepower and a fuel consumption rate as low as 5.8L/100 km combined.
On top of great fuel economy, the Ford Escape Hybrid is plenty roomy. It offers up to 974.1 litres of cargo room with the rear seats up and 1,721.7 litres with the rear seats folded. The rear seats are also adult-friendly with up to 988 mm of legroom.
The Escape Plug-In Hybrid SUV also delivers 200 horsepower from a 2.5-litre engine and electric motor, but the consumption rate falls to as low as 2.3L/100 km, thanks to its 60 km of all-electric range.
Despite its larger battery, this plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) shares the Escape Hybrid's roomy interior specs.
Toyota introduced the radically redesigned RAV4 lineup in 2019. Boasting a more upright and rugged styling, this all-new RAV4 was a huge departure from the previous generation and ushered in a grander design theme for all Toyota crossover SUVs.
The RAV4 Hybrid model followed its gas-only sibling's design but added an electric motor to the mix. This gave it a respectable 219 horsepower combined and a combined fuel consumption rating as low as 6L/100km. A significant benefit is the RAV4 Hybrid’s standard all-wheel drive (AWD).
In addition to having stellar fuel consumption ratings and standard AWD, the RAV4 Hybrid is a roomy five-passenger SUV with 37.8 inches of rear legroom. The cargo area has 1,064.7 litres of room with the rear seats upright and 1,976.5 litres with the rear seats folded. On top of all this, it can even tow a small trailer thanks to a 1,750-pound towing capacity.
This hybrid vehicle also comes well-equipped with a standard touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Like many Toyota models, the RAV4 Hybrid comes equipped with all the latest safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, road-sign assist, and more.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime has the same rugged styling as the base RAV4 Hybrid, but it adds a potent plug-in hybrid powertrain that delivers 302 horsepower and a 62-km all-electric range.
Combining the all-electric driving range and its thrifty hybrid mode after the batteries deplete, the RAV4 Prime delivers a stellar 2.5 L/100 km fuel consumption rating.
On top of this thriftiness, the RAV4 Prime also has plenty of interior space, including 960.1 mm of rear seat legroom, 948.6 litres of cargo room with the rear seats up, and 1,789.6 litres with the rear seats folded.
A year after the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid hit the road with its new look, the Highlander Hybrid got a similarly bold redesign.
The Highlander Hybrid boasts a 2.5-litre hybrid setup that delivers 243 horsepower and has standard AWD. On top of respectable power, the Highlander Hybrid is also fuel efficient for its size at 6.7L/100km.
Speaking of its size, the Toyota Highlander is a three-row midsize SUV with room for up to eight passengers, though some setups have second-row captain's chairs, which offer more comfort but reduce the seating capacity to seven. The Highlander delivers up to 1,041.4 mm of legroom in its second row, but its third row is nowhere near as roomy at just 703.6 mm.
In the cargo area, the Highlander Hybrid has just 453.1 litres of room behind the third-row seats, but this swells to 1,370.5 litres of cargo space behind the second row. With all the rear rows folded, the Highlander Hybrid's cargo area can tackle up to 2,387.1 litres of cargo space.
Like the RAV4, the Highlander Hybrid can tow up to 1,750 pounds and has advanced tech features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
For buyers seeking a luxury SUV that delivers great fuel efficiency, the NX 350h is a good option. This compact crossover boasts a 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain with a combined 239 horsepower. This peppy hybrid setup delivers a fuel consumption rate of just 6 L/100 km
In addition to its thriftiness, the Lexus NX 350h offers an upscale cabin with a sharp design and premium materials. It's also relatively roomy with 916.9 mm of second-row legroom. Its cargo area is a little tight, though, with only 642.8 litres with the rear seats up and 1,328.1 litres with the rear seats folded.
It can, however, tow a medium-sized trailer thanks to its 2,000-pound towing capacity.
The Toyota Venza returned in 2021 after a six-year hiatus. It returned as a sleek-looking crossover SUV instead of the small minivan-like vehicle it was before.
Unlike other Toyota models on this list, the Venza comes exclusively as a hybrid model, but it shares its 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain and AWD with the RAV4 Hybrid. Like its RAV4 cousin, the Venza delivers a combined 219 horsepower, but it’s slightly less fuel efficient than the RAV4 at 6.1 L/100km.
Inside, the Toyota Venza has a roomy rear seat with up to 960.1 mm of rear legroom. However, its cargo room is on the smaller side with up to 815.5 litres with the rear seats upright and 1,560.2 litres with the rear seats folded.
The Venza does come well-equipped, though, with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The predecessor to the NX 350h, the NX 300h paired a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and a permanent magnet motor for a combined 194 horsepower. Like its successor, the NX 300h came standard with all-wheel drive.
This setup was far less powerful than the NX 350h that replaced it, but it was still fuel efficient with a consumption rating of 7.4 L/100km combined.
Despite being older, this luxury SUV still has a lot to offer, including 916.9 mm of rear legroom and a luxurious cabin with premium materials. Its cargo area is even tighter than the NX 350h with 475.7 litres with the rear seats upright and 1,520.6 litres with the rear seats folded.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid arrived with a striking design that's sure to catch a few glances. It also boasts a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for a combined 226 horsepower and a respectable 6.4 L/100 km fuel consumption rate.
The 2022 Tucson Hybrid also has plenty of room inside, with up to 41.3 inches of rear legroom and a cavernous 2,265.4 litres of cargo space with the rear seats folded. Towing is no problem in this thrifty crossover SUV either, as it can tug up to a 2,000-pound trailer with brakes or a 1,650-pound trailer without trailer brakes.
The latest-generation Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid arrived in 2021 with a sleek new look that included thin LED headlights, a bulging tiger-nose grille, sharp body creases, and an upscale-feeling cabin. For those seeking a more rugged-looking crossover, the Santa Fe also includes an XRT trim that adds black exterior molding, black bumper fascias, black roof rails and cross rails, and dark silver front and rear skid plates.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid comes standard with a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that cranks out 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the electric motor, the Santa Fe Hybrid delivers 226 hp and fuel consumption ratings of 7.4 L/100 km combined. This hybrid crossover is also fairly capable with its up to 2,000-pound towing capacity with trailer brakes and 1,650-pound capacity without trailer brakes.
The Honda CR-V Hybrid arrived as a part of the sixth generation for this popular crossover lineup in 2023. This restyled CR-V boasts a more upscale and refined design inside and out. The Honda CR-V Hybrid carries the gasoline-only CR-V's look and feel but includes a gas-sipping electrified powertrain.
Powering this hybrid version of this crossover is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and electric motor that pair up for 204 hp and a fuel consumption rate of 6.4L/100 km combined. It can also tow up to 998 pounds.
The redesigned fourth-generation Kia Sorento arrived in 2021, and it gained a hybrid model in the 2022 model year. The 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid boasts the same upright and classy-looking design as the gasoline model inside and out. The only distinguishing element is the thrifty hybrid powertrain.
Under its hood is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor that delivers a combined 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy with this hybrid system checks in at an impressive 6.6L/100 km combined. The Sorento Hybrid also has plenty of capabilities with 2,139 litres of cargo room with the rear seats folded and a 2,000-pound towing capacity.
The fifth-generation Kia Sportage arrived in the 2023 model year. It gains a striking new look with angular LED signature lighting, low-placed headlights, a bold grille design, and sharp body lines. Inside, the Sportage continues with sharp angles but pairs them nicely with upscale materials and designs. The other big change for 2023 is the introduction of the Sportage’s new hybrid variant.
Powering the Kia Sportage Hybrid is a 1.6-litre turbocharged gas engine and electric motor that combine for 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain delivers a fuel consumption rate of just 6.2L/100 km and a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. It also offers ample cargo room of 1,872 litres with the rear seats folded.
Kia continues to dominate this list with yet another hybrid SUV and the only dedicated electrified crossover on the list — the Niro has no gasoline-only variant. The Niro arrived in 2017 and remained relatively unchanged through the 2022 model year. While it may not be as stylish as some of the newer Kia models on the list, the Niro has an easy-to-approach design made for the masses and is a functional and thrifty compact crossover.
Under the Kia Niro’s hood is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor that pair up to produce 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. While the power is a little light, its crowning achievement is its incredible 4.6L/100km combined fuel consumption rate. It also has decent cargo capacity, offering up to 1,543 litres of cargo room with the rear seats folded. The downside is the Niro is not rated for towing.
When shopping for your next hybrid SUV, skip the traditional dealership and come directly to Clutch, Canada's first-ever 100% online car-shopping experience.
We not only offer a range of thrifty SUVs to pick from, but we also put all our vehicles through a rigorous 210-point inspection to ensure they're top-notch. All our vehicles sold online also come with a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty in case something does go wrong,
In addition to this, all Clutch vehicles include a 10-day, 750-km test-own period. If you don't love your new car in the first 10 days, we'll take it back and give you a full refund or exchange it for a different vehicle.
Have a vehicle you need to trade in? We can handle that too. Use our online trade-in tool to find out how much it's worth. If our offer meets your needs, you can save the hassle of selling it yourself by trading it and using the trade-in value toward your new SUV.