Toyota is Ireland's bestselling brand so far in 2022

Best Hybrid SUVs 2023

What are the best hybrid SUVs in 2023? In this article we are going to take a closer look at some of the best hybrid SUVs available in Ireland right now.

Hybrid SUVs can benefit from lower CO2 emissions, better fuel economy and lower motor tax rates than conventional combustion engine powered cars.

Like battery electric vehicles, they can be expensive to buy but for many they are a more practical and convenient option right now.

What is a hybrid?

Before we take a closer look at the best hybrid SUVs available in Ireland, we need to understand what is a hybrid? Hybrid SUVs combine the benefits of a combustion engine and an electric motor. There are two types of hybrid car currently on sale in Ireland:

A full hybrid is powered by a fuel engine (usually petrol but occasionally diesel engine) but there is also a small capacity battery and an electric motor on board. Supporting a combustion engine with an electric motor helps reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption. At very low speeds, the car can often run on battery power and the electric motor alone. But most of the time the car is intelligently using power from a mixture of engine and electric motion with a bias towards efficiency.

Also known as a PHEV, the plug-in hybrid has an engine and a larger capacity battery than the full hybrid. The plug-in hybrid is most efficient when it is plugged in and charged after every journey, just like an electric car. It can be driven using just battery power for typically a range between 40 and 100 km depending on model and driving conditions. There is no fear of range anxiety because when the electric power runs out, the car can draw power from the engine and get the benefits of a hybrid car.

Plug-in hybrids can be charged at home and driven on electric power for a limited range
Plug-in hybrids can be charged at home and driven on electric power for a limited range

Is there a grant for buying a hybrid car in Ireland?

VRT relief for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles expired at the end of 2020. The grant of €2,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) was also removed at the beginning of 2022.

What are the best hybrid SUVs available?

SUVs come in various shapes and sizes, from small hybrid SUVs to 7-seat hybrid SUVs. There are many good hybrid SUVs on the market at the moment and this article features some of my favourites. Some are full hybrids, which don't need to be plugged in, and some are plug-in hybrids that offer buyers the ability to drive for a significant distances using only the energy stored in the battery.

My best efforts have been made to ensure that all the information is accurate. However noting the fast pace of the motor industry, some information may change over time so do always check the manufacturer's website or with your local dealer for the most up to date pricing and vehicle specifications.

The Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona Hybrid

The Kona is a very popular small SUV and has sold well in Ireland since it was launched in 2017. The second generation of the Hyundai Kona has just arrived with a bold new look, more upmarket interior and more space than ever before. The Kona Hybrid offers more power than the petrol version, as well as an automatic gearbox. It's a full hybrid so doesn't require to be plugged in and charged to get the best efficiency from it.  The Kona Hybrid is priced from €34,295.

The Toyota Yaris Cross
The Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross

The Yaris Cross is one of Ireland's bestselling small SUVs and it's sold exclusively as a hybrid. There's no need to plug it in and it is incredibly efficient without even trying too hard. Chunky SUV looks make it a hit, as does a rock solid interior with lots of Toyota's digital tech and safety features on board. The Yaris Cross is on sale from €30,305.

The Kia Niro on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Kia Niro on test for Changing Lanes!

Kia Niro PHEV

The latest generation of the popular Niro launched in Ireland in 2022 with a stylish new look and more modern interior and lots of new digital features. The plug-in hybrid is available from €40,200. There is also a full hybrid Niro available but the plug-in hybrid does allow buyers to charge the car and drive it electric for a range of up to an impressive 65 kilometres.

The Renault Austral
The Renault Austral

Renault Austral

The Austral is a new family SUV from Renault and it's new in Ireland for 2023. It offers an upmarket cabin experience, space for a family and a smooth, refined driving experience. The full hybrid offers plenty of power (200hp) and is efficient for a big SUV too. The Austral is available from €45,295.

The new Hyundai Tuscon on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Hyundai Tuscon on test for Changing Lanes!

Hyundai Tuscon Hybrid 

The Tuscon is consistently a bestseller and the latest generation brings the game on in design and powertrains. Options include a full hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The hybrids offer a smooth, quiet and powerful drive. Available from €40,245.

The Toyota C-HR
The Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR

A new version is expected to go on sale in January of 2024 but the current one still happens to be a great buy. The C-HR looks great and has a nicely made interior. It compromises some practicality for style but this car is fun to drive and super efficient too! Available from €34,955. For something a bit more practical, there's also the Corolla Cross.

CUPRA Formentor is available as petrol, diesel or hybrid electric
The Cupra Formentor

Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid

Cupra is one of Ireland's fastest growing car brands and the Formentor is leading the charge. This is a super stylish model with great looks and image, and a well-finished cabin. The plug-in hybrid version offers excellent on the road driving behaviour and refinement. It uses a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, electric motor and a 13 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery, with up to 54 km available in electric mode. Hybrid priced from about €48,300.

The new Range Rover Sport on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Range Rover Sport on test for Changing Lanes!

Range Rover Sport P440e PHEV

The new Range Rover Sport P440e debuted in Ireland at the end of 2022. It packs a performance punch with 440hp and is the ultimate luxury SUV with a big comfy interior and lots of toys on board and digital tech. The beauty of the plug-in hybrid Rangie is that it has a decent battery so it can drive electric for up to 113 kilometres. It's priced from around €111,000.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC on test for Changing Lanes!
The Mercedes-Benz GLC on test for Changing Lanes!

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 e 

The new GLC arrived in Ireland in 2023 and this is one smooth operator. Not only does it look exceptionally classy, but it also has one of the most stunning interiors of any luxury SUV on sale. The plug-in hybrid is a marvel in its own right with plenty of athleticism on the road and the ability to drive on its battery power for up to 129 kilometres! There's also a diesel plug-in hybrid available in the GLC range. Plug-in hybrid priced from €91,510.

The Toyota RAV4 is a popular hybrid SUV
The Toyota RAV4 is a popular hybrid SUV

Toyota RAV4 

The RAV4 is a sturdy and reliable family SUV that's been a household name in Ireland for many years. The latest RAV4 is sold exclusively as a fuel-sipping hybrid or as a plug-in hybrid with an excellent EV range of  up to 75 kilometres. This is a proper large family SUV that's comfortable for five with a big boot.  Hybrid available from €43,895.

The new BMW iX1 is expected in Ireland in early 2023
The BMW X1

BMW X1 xDrive25e

A new generation of BMW's compact SUV arrived in Ireland late last year with new stylish design, well-built interior and confident driving dynamics. The plug-in hybrid is very special with lots of power and an EV range of up to 82 kilometres. X1 plug-in hybrid available from €51,570.

The Lexus 450h+
The Lexus RX450h+

Lexus RX450h+

Competing at the premium end of the market, the RX450h+ is a new plug-in hybrid SUV from Lexus. The RX is well-built and luxurious, known for its comfort and quality. The plug-in hybrid can drive up to 65 kilometres on battery power. Priced from €89,070.

The Kia Sorento is available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time in 2021
The Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid

Kia Sorento PHEV

An all-new flagship Sorento arrived in Ireland for the Kia brand in late 2020. This 7-seat hybrid SUV proved to be a force to be reckoned with. An exceptionally stylish and spacious family SUV with a new hybrid powertrain for the very first time. Proving that big can be beautiful! It can drive electric for up to 57 kilometres. Priced from €56,500 for the plug-in hybrid.


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year