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Best Hybrid SUVs That Cost $35,000 to $45,000

Here is what Consumer Reports analysts have to say about which Hybrid SUVs are the proven best within a price range of $35,000 to $45,000 right now!

With all the news of late about EVs beginning to look like not such a good deal despite what shoppers have previously been led to believe, consumers are taxed with either going with a hybrid car instead or sticking with a conventional gasoline-only vehicle.

As it turns out, there really is no justifiable reason for not giving a hybrid car―especially the most recent models―a try today.

Should I Go Hybrid with My Next Car?

The arguments for going hybrid over gas or electric comes down to two current fundamental truths: (1) Hybrids significantly cut down on carbon emissions in comparison to gas-only vehicles. (2) The charging infrastructure for a totally electric vehicle world is not there yet and could be as far as a decade down the road…but probably longer…or maybe never in our lifetime due to infrastructure hurdles that need to be cleared.

Furthermore, while EV purists argue that their EVs are more efficient, there’s a lot to be said about just how environmentally efficient and friendly these vehicle types actually are in truth.

For example, two important issues involve recyclability of EVs and their batteries. And, the toll mining of rare Earth minerals to support growing EV battery production takes on human rights in developing countries such as the Congo.

Despite these issues, hybrids straddling both the EV and ICE worlds, are a more commonsense approach today for new car shoppers.

Related article: Used Hybrids and Hatchbacks with the Best Fuel Economy Say Consumer Reports Analysts

What Are the Benefits of a Hybrid Car?

According to CR automotive experts, the benefits of owning a hybrid include:

  1. Higher mpg: Most hybrid SUVs get more than 35 mpg, and most hybrid sedans get more than 45 mpg. That’s about a 40 percent improvement over non-hybrids, on average.
  2. Easy to use: Unlike a pure electric vehicle, you don’t have to plug in a hybrid. Simply refuel at any gas station.
  3. Better to drive: CR’s tests show that the hybrid versions of many cars have more power and smoother acceleration than the gas-only models.

Is It True That Hybrids Still Have Problems?

If shoppers do consider going hybrid, they need to understand that a lot has changed toward the improvements of hybrids. While yesteryear models of hybrids are popular and remain recommended, buying a newer model of hybrid has much more to offer with the caveat that “Not all hybrids are equal” as evidenced by a statement from a recent CR newsletter that, “…today’s hybrids have little in common with the slow and noisy ones from a decade ago.”

As Consumer Reports’ auto experts have seen in testing, hybrid versions of vehicles generally have a better response when starting up from a stop and are quicker and quieter in regular driving and when accelerating. Many of them also have ride and handling characteristics that are as good as—or better than—their conventionally powered siblings,” states the latest newsletter on Hybrid vehicle shopping.

Automotive experts at Consumer Reports recently noted from their latest Hybrid SUV listing, “All of these models come standard with automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, AEB that operates at highway speeds, blind spot warning (BSW), and rear cross traffic warning (RCTW) unless noted otherwise. Most carry our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.”

Best Hybrid SUVs That Cost $35,000 to $45,000

That said, here is a summary of their latest listing on hybrid SUVs you should consider when shopping for a new car:


  • Toyota RAV4 Prime 2024

Price Range:  $43,690 - $47,560

CR MPG:  Overall 34 / City 29 / Hwy 39 mpg

#1 of 31 Compact SUVs

  • Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $39,590 - $44,090

CR MPG:  Overall 31 / City 27 / Hwy 34 mpg

#3 of 31 Compact SUVs

  • Honda CR-V Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $34,050 - $40,200

CR MPG:  Overall 35 / City 31 / Hwy 38 mpg

#6 of 231 Compact SUVs

  • Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $37,500 - $44,760

CR MPG:  Overall 31 / City 27 / Hwy 34 mpg

#8 of 31 Compact SUVs

  • Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $40,345 - $50,345

CR MPG:  Overall 25 / City 24 / Hwy 25 mpg

#9 of 31 Compact SUVs

  • Ford Escape Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $28,000 - $40,500

CR MPG:  Overall 34 / City 30 / Hwy 38 mpg

#19 of 31 Compact SUVs


  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $39,120 - $53,125

CR MPG:  Overall 35 / City 27 / Hwy 41 mpg

#1 of 21 Midsized SUVs 3-row

  • Toyota Venza 2024

Price Range:  $35,070 - $43,215

CR MPG:  Overall 37 / City 31 / Hwy 42 mpg

#3 of 17 Midsized SUVs

  • Kia Sorento Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $31,990 - $59,200

CR MPG:  Overall 28 / City 22 / Hwy 34 mpg

#10 of 21 Midsized SUVs 3-row


  • Toyota Sienna 2024

Price Range:  $37,685 - $53,905

CR MPG:  Overall 36 / City 28 / Hwy 43 mpg

#2 of 8 Minivans 3-row

For additional articles related to recent new and used Hybrid vehicle recommendations, here are three for your consideration:

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

COMING UP NEXT: Best Hybrid SUVs for Less Than $35,000

Image source: Deposit Photos


John Goreham    May 5, 2024 - 11:56AM

We're very happy with our new Venza Limited (John and Hande). 39 MPG We picked the $46K option, but there were other trims less expensive on the lot. RAV4 Prime SEs are over $50K. Not sure why CR would think otherwise.