Combining luxury and efficiency
Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have been big business for manufacturers in the past decade, and their popularity does not look to be waning any time soon.
Because of this, it has been crucial for some manufacturers to create SUVs that are not only plush inside, but efficient and economical. Given that electric vehicles (EVs) are not quite for everyone just yet, that brings us onto hybrids, which offer a middle-ground between efficiency and everyday usability.
Below, we have highlighted five of the best hybrid SUVs that are available on the used car market. And because luxury is a desirable trait in a modern SUV, we have selected cars that meet that criteria, too.
One of the original founders of luxurious SUVs, it is only right that the BMW X5 gets the first mention. If you want hybrid power, then you will need to opt for the X5 xDrive45e. While the name is a bit of a mouthful, the vehicle itself is very impressive.
Under the bonnet lies a 3.0-litre petrol engine that has been combined with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology to give this version of the X5 a colossal 389bhp. Despite the power figures, the X5 xDrive45e can travel up to 54 miles on electric power alone; it can even achieve up to 235mpg when the batteries are charged.
Typical of a BMW, the interior of the X5 is a soothing place to spend time. Quality materials feature on every surface, while the brand's widescreen infotainment system is among the best in the business. What is more, the cabin is whisper-quiet at speed, which is a welcome trait.
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A natural rival to BMW, it is no surprise to see a Mercedes-Benz featuring in this list. Although the GLC is very similar to the X5 mentioned above, we are going to focus on the GLA; most specifically, the GLA 250 e.
Based on the A-Class, the GLA is an accomplished SUV that combines additional practicality with the excellent driving dynamics of its sibling. With a 1.3-litre petrol engine and plug-in hybrid technology, the GLA can achieve the 0 to 62mph sprint in 7.1 seconds, and can drive up to 37 miles on battery power alone.
Because it is based on the A-Class, the interior of the GLA does not disappoint. The MBUX multimedia system is among the class leaders, offering intuitive use of the car's features. Elsewhere, you will find soft-touch materials surrounding the high-quality switchgear.
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Land Rover Discovery Sport
Land Rover are renowned for creating vehicles that can tackle the great outdoors, regardless of whether it is snow or muddy fields. Now, imagine taking class-leading off-road ability and mixing it with remarkable efficiency: that is quite the recipe.
That is where the Discovery Sport comes in, more specifically the P300e. Boasting a 1.5-litre petrol engine and plug-in hybrid technology, the 0 to 62mph dash takes just 6.2 seconds; an impressive feat for an SUV this size. Despite this, the P300e can travel up to 34 miles on battery power alone.
Land Rover have a knack with interior design, where the materials feel robust and hard-wearing, yet still look and feel premium. A 10-inch infotainment system takes centre stage, while an interactive driver display really adds to the ambience of the Discovery Sport's cabin. Remarkably, up to seven people can enjoy the interior because of the extra seats in the back that reveal themselves when required.
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Completing the trio of premium German manufacturers is Audi, who are responsible for the Q5 TFSI e you see here. A desirable feature of the Audi is that it comes with the brand's legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system, which should prove beneficial during the winter months.
Unlike the other SUVs on this list, the Q5 is available with two different power outputs, which are both derived from a 2.0-litre petrol engine and plug-in hybrid technology. The entry-level 50 TFSI e produces 300bhp, while a more potent 55 TFSI e is available with 365bhp should you want more performance.
Audi's interior design are among the most elegant on the market, with premium materials complementing the ergonomic switchgear. The front sports seats that feature as standard provide plenty of support, yet are immensely comfortable over longer distances.
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Volvo have always had a reputation for safety and dependability, but it is only in recent years that they have become a manufacturer geared towards luxury. However, the XC90 has always been a premium vehicle, which reflects in the XC90 Recharge model you see here.
Similar to the Audi, the XC90 Recharge comes with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, as well as plug-in hybrid technology. However, the Volvo produces more power, which is rated at 390bhp. Deployed through an 8-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive, this XC90 can achieve 0 to 62mph in just 5.5 seconds, yet can travel circa 42 miles on battery power alone.
Inside, the XC90 is bright and airy thanks to an open cabin design. What is more, the materials are of a high quality and beautifully moulded together. A central touchscreen adds to the opulence of the interior, and offers swift navigation of the vehicle's menus.
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Discover your next luxury hybrid SUV through Stratstone
In the past, SUVs did not have a reputation for being efficient. However, times have evidently changed with the introduction of hybrid technology, which reduces emissions, improves economy and provides extra flexibility when driving. The vehicles above are evidence you really can have good economy and luxury in an SUV.
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