There really aren't that many hybrid crossover vehicles out there. In fact, the list of the best hybrid crossovers gets shorter and shorter each year as manufacturers experiment with other methods of saving fuel such as turbocharging, direct injection, or diesel power plants. We've surveyed the field and put together this complete list of each and every one of the hybrid crossover SUVs currently on the market to give you an idea of what's out there for those seeking a capable and efficient people mover or tow vehicle.
Let's take a quick look at eight of the best hybrid crossovers on the market.
01. 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid
2012 might represent the final year of production for the previous generation of Ford Escape Hybrid, but there's a lot to like about this compact crossover vehicle. A frequent finalist when discussing the best hybrid crossovers at any price point, the Ford Escape Hybrid dazzles with its fuel efficiency, checking in at a sparkling 34-mpg in stop and go driving and 31-mpg during highway cruising. The vehicle's reduced gas consumption is made possible by the use of a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder motor that works together with a single electric motor in front-wheel drive editions, and a pair of the battery-powered units when the vehicle is ordered with all-wheel drive. Total system output is 177 horses, and a continuously-variable automatic transmission handles the crossover's shifting duties.
02. 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a large mid-size crossover that represents one of the most affordable seven-passenger hybrid crossover SUVs available. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid provides three rows of seating, can tow 3,500 lbs, and is based around a 280 horsepower drivetrain. The Highlander Hybrid's gas-powered 3.5-liter V-6 is matched with not one, not two, but three electric motors, and all-wheel drive is standard (as is a continuously-variable automatic transmission). The third electric motor only kicks in if a loss of traction requires that power be shunted to the vehicle's rear wheels. Fuel economy for the Highlander Hybrid is listed at 28-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.
03. 2012 Lexus RX 450h
The 2012 Lexus RX 450h is a very popular hybrid crossover SUV by virtue of the fact that it is based on the best-selling Lexus lineup member. The Lexus RX 450h is a five-passenger vehicle, which means that there's a decent amount of second row legroom and excellent cargo space to go with it. Comfortable and quiet, the RX 450h features a drivetrain that is similar to that of the Highlander Hybrid, only it offers the choice between front wheel drive (two electric motors) and all-wheel drive (three electric motors). The Lexus hybrid crossover comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, and all together the system generates 295 horsepower and is managed by a continuously-variable automatic transmission. Fuel mileage for the RX 450h shows as 32-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.
04. 2012 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
The 2012 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid apparently didn't get the memo about crossover hybrids having to offer modest performance. The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid delivers exceptional handling and poise when pushed hard at higher speeds, and it also provides startling acceleration for such a heavy vehicle. Popping the hood reveals a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 that combines with a single electric motor in order to churn out not just 380 horsepower but also 427 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive helps to make sure all of that grunt makes it to the pavement with a minimum of drama, and an eight-speed automatic transmission helps to keep things interesting for the driver. Fuel mileage for the Cayenne Hybrid checks in at a decent 20-mpg around town and 24-mpg on the highway.
05. 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid is a stealth luxury hauler, one of the best hybrid crossovers around that few people have actually heard about. Coming in at close to $10k less than the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, the two models actually share the same hybrid system and matching power ratings (380 horses, 428 lb-ft of torque). Interior room is generous, all-wheel drive is standard, and the availability of a substantial amount of premium features come as part of the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid's package. Throw in fuel economy figures of 20-mpg in stop and go driving and 24-mpg on the highway, and for those who don't need the badge recognition provided by the Cayenne it would seem like the Volkswagen is a serious contender.
06. 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is one of the largest hybrid crossover vehicles money can buy, and it comes with the same brash visual personality that has long served to identify its gas-only counterpart. The Escalade Hybrid is the most expensive vehicle in the Cadillac stable, and as such it comes extremely well-equipped with premium gear. The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid also provides three rows of seating, barn-like cargo space, and a ferocious 6.0-liter V-8 engine that, together with a pair of electric motors, generates 379 horsepower. Four-wheel drive is optional with the ultra-luxury hybrid, and a special automatic transmission even allows limited forward travel using battery-power alone. Fuel economy for the hybrid is 25 percent better around town than the gasoline edition (20-mpg), and highway mileage is listed at 23-mpg.
07. 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
Want to benefit from the same hybrid crossover SUV capabilities offered by the Escalade Hybrid but not interested in the luxury? The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid also benefits from the installation of GM's two-mode gasoline / electric drivetrain without adding in the Cadillac's extra frills. Horsepower for the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is identical to that of the Escalade Hybrid (379 ponies), as is its fuel economy of 20-mpg in city driving and 23-mpg on the highway. Towing is excellent for the Tahoe Hybrid, showing as 6,200 lbs, and four-wheel drive can be added as an option.
08. 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid
The 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid can be thought as the 'middle child' of GM's trio of hybrid crossover vehicles. The GMC Yukon Hybrid cribs its platform from both the Tahoe Hybrid and the Escalade Hybrid, but it does so with a bit more comfort equipment and sound insulation than the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. In fact, the only options you can get on the Yukon Hybrid are a DVD player and a sunroof, which indicates just how loaded the SUV really is. 379 horsepower from the same V-8 / electric motor setup as the Tahoe Hybrid and Escalade Hybrid ensure excellent passing power and towing capability, and like its siblings it offers available four-wheel drive and a fuel mileage rating of 20-mpg city and 23-mpg highway.