10 of the coolest electric and hybrid SUVs currently on the market
With the current state of global pollution figures, political unrest and the ever-decreasing amount of oil in the earth’s crust, much of the automotive industry has embraced the idea of alternatives to internal combustion. Many manufacturers have either hybridized their existing models or ditched dinosaur juice engines altogether.
This has opened the field for new innovations in the design and construction of cars – or more specifically hybrid and electric SUVs. Rivian has already shown what can be done when there’s no driveshaft taking up space under a pickup truck. Tesla always demonstrates its ability to stay relevant, even when the market is flooded with equally innovative vehicles and gadgets. BMW also joined the party with its controversial styling and stunning driving dynamics. In the hybrid part of the segment, Range Rover has equipped its new Sport hybrid with a 6-cylinder and offers more efficiency. Jeep has equipped its Grand Cherokee and Wrangler models with a hybrid configuration, both of which continue to dominate off-road trails, even in electric-only mode.
While the internal combustion engine is still preferred by many, the era of hybridization and electrification is already upon us and the 2022-2023 model years offer some pretty amazing choices in terms of SUVs. Here are ten of the coolest currently on the market.
10/10 Lexus NX
The Lexus NX is currently in its second generation and is better than ever. The model range consists only of 4-cylinder engines paired with hybrid transmissions, producing very good performance for the model. The top-of-the-line hybrid is the NX450h+, featuring the same engine used in the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Lexus ES Hybrid equivalent.
The NX450h+ cranks out a healthy 304bhp from its 2.4-litre hybrid inline-4, sending power through an electronic CVT gearbox to all four wheels. The NX has the next generation of Lexus design language and is a fantastic option for any small family, even at a premium price.
9/10 Electric GMC Hummer SUV
The Hummer name was recently revived in the form of the GMC Hummer EV, featuring a ridiculously terrible KWh usage rate – just like older Hummer models from the 2000s. pounds, outpacing most other commercial passenger cars and electric vehicles.
The huge 246.8 KWh battery itself weighs more than an entire Chevrolet Cruze. The Hummer EV is currently available in pickup and SUV body styles, which adds to the practicality of the vehicle. In addition to the multitude of gadgets and technologies, the Hummer EV has an off-road crabbing function and a launch mode called “Watts To Freedom”. Very funny.
8/10 Range Rover Sport P400e
With the latest generation Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the British marque introduced its P400e trim level. This version includes a turbocharged 4-cylinder coupled to an electric motor, creating a 400 hp hybrid transmission. Although it worked well, some found the motor to be a bit noisy on start-up.
For newer generations of Range Rovers, JLR has ditched the 4-cylinder for a smoother and quieter turbocharged inline-6 mated to an electric motor. Combined power increased to 440 bhp and trim was replaced with the P440e. It’s a fantastic alternative to normal inline 6 and even V8 trim – and it’s certainly more fuel efficient than the latter.
7/10 BMW iX3
The BMW X3 is currently in its third generation and BMW has just introduced the all-electric iX3 model to most of the world. Where other automakers design and build specific platforms for their electric vehicles, BMW simply takes existing models and modifies them to fit electric motors.
In the case of the iX3, the vehicle currently only has a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle, meaning it is rear-wheel drive only. The iX3 has around 280hp and the 80KWh battery translates to an official range of around 280 miles. While it will only get better, it’s not a bad first attempt from the German brand.
6/10 Toyota RAV4 Premier
The Toyota RAV4 Prime is the top-of-the-range version of the RAV4 range and is only available with a hybrid powertrain. The Prime is offered in XE and XSE trims, the former of which adds all-wheel-drive to the options list.
The RAV4 Prime is a great option for anyone looking for a well-built, reliable and premium crossover, which is currently the best-selling model in its segment. For those who want something more exciting, Japan’s Mitsouka Motors can make the RAV4 look like a Chevy K5 Blazer.
5/10 Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is the brand’s current smallest crossover and one of the best-selling models in its segment. The current trim lineup only includes long-range and performance all-wheel drive, as the base RWD model was dropped.
Both versions available have dual motors, with the long-range claiming an official range of around 330 miles, while the more powerful performance comes in at just 300 miles. An interesting fact is that the Performance model loses the third-row seats, turning the seven-seater into a five-seater.
4/10 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
The new generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee was launched in 2021 and is a complete redesign of the WK2 generation. The current Grand Cherokee is equipped with all the engines of the previous generation – with the exception of the 6.2 liters Hellcat V8.
As a bonus, Stellantis has added the 2.0-liter turbo-4 hybrid “4xe” version to the lineup, the same one used in the current Wrangler 4xe. This model produces a combined output of 375 hp and has an electric range of around 25 miles. The electric motor can also be used off-road for a substantial torque gain.
3/10 BMW iX
The BMW iX is the brand’s first bespoke electric SUV, designed specifically to compete with Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC. The iX’s current lineup consists of the xDrive40 and xDrive50, offering between 230 and 390 miles of range. The lower version produces 320 hp, with the top level producing an impressive 516 hp.
BMW introduced the M60 version in 2022, with a range of 350 miles and producing 610 hp and an astonishing 811 lb-ft of torque. The styling of the iX may be controversial, but there’s no denying that it has fantastic driving dynamics.
2/10 Volvo XC90 T8
The Volvo XC90 is one of the brand’s most successful models. Originally introduced in 2002, the family-oriented SUV is currently only in its second generation, mainly due to its extreme success. The new XC90 is only available with 2.0-litre engines, either turbocharged, twin-charged or hybrid.
The top-of-the-line version of the XC90 T8 is a very efficient hybrid that produces a combined output of 402 hp and 472 lb-ft. Volvo has continued to update the T8 and the 2023 model will have an 18.8KWh battery, as opposed to the 9.2KWh it launched with. The best part about the XC90 is that due to the packaging, the battery doesn’t hinder passenger space at all.
1/10 Rivian R1S
The Rivian R1S is the latest in the electric SUV segment. Based on the R1T van, the R1S is the most luxurious SUV version, but doesn’t sacrifice practicality. The styling of the R1S is extremely similar to the pickup but has a more rounded and sleek design.
The R1S currently features the same 135kWh battery as the pickup, with the same four-motor setup providing a range of around 320 miles. The vehicle weighs over 7,000 pounds, but luckily has the same 835 hp as the R1T Launch Edition. The R1S is a fantastic looking and capable electric SUV, but unfortunately got rid of the signature pickup feature – the Gear Tunnel. Still, it will humiliate many super SUVs in a drag race.