Despite their popularity reaching all-time high, crossovers and SUVs still haven’t managed to resolve their fuel efficiency issues. True, they’re getting better year in, year out, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. This is where hybrid systems come in handy. Problem is, even hybrid SUVs often fail to impress when it comes to fuel economy. Sure, they’re better than their conventional gasoline counterparts, but improvements are often marginal. That’s why we’ve seen a number of hybrid SUVs get the axe over the years. But we’re here to decipher which is the best hybrid SUV 2018 has to offer? Not to lament the long-gone unsuccessful hybrid SUVs and crossovers.
Answer to that question, however, probably doesn’t exist. The same way there’s no answer to the question what’s the best car overall. It’s all a matter of perspective of respective buyers and their needs. And it often goes down to the quality of their conventional counterparts. The following 10 hybrid and electric SUVs and crossovers can be considered best overall. We’ve included vehicles of all sizes and prices, as well as crossovers and SUVs with both the all-electric and classic hybrid powertrains.
1. Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e
Although much more advanced and reliable than before, the Mercedes-Benz GLE Class can’t hide the fact it still hides behind the M Class’ mask. Not enough time has passed in order for us to forget the M Class and its numerous issues. But then again, the GLE Class is the only Mercedes-Benz SUV that offers a hybrid powertrain. At least in the U.S. GLE 550e plug-in hybrid finds motivation in a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 backed by an electric motor. The setup is good enough for 436 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, and propels the 5,500-pounder to 60 mph from standstill in just 5.2 seconds. It also allows up to 19 all-electric miles and the EPA rates it at 21 mpg combined. What’s best, batteries can be recharged in only 2 hours.
As always, the Mercedes-Benz GLE offers a quiet, comfortable ride in a luxurious cabin filled with advanced tech goodies. 550e, however, requires the use of a drive selector mode in order to utilize its full potential. It starts from around $67,000 which is $15,000 more than what the base GLE 350 costs. And it can’t exactly pull as much weight as its gasoline counterpart. While all-wheel drive GLE 350 can tow up to 7,200 pounds, 550e’s towing capacity stops at 4,410-pound mark. Despite the mandatory all-wheel drive. Yet, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more refined urban-looking luxury hybrid SUV than the GLE 550e.