Skip to main content

Many car shoppers looking at new SUVs may want to consider getting a hybrid as they’re relatively affordable and highly fuel efficient. That said, there are a lot of bad hybrid cars on the market, so here’s a look at the three worst hybrid SUVs.

3. 2023 Toyota Venza

U.S. News published a list of the best hybrid SUVs of the year, and the 2023 Toyota Venza was ranked as the third worst hybrid SUV of them all. It had an overall score of 7.6 out of 10, which isn’t actually very low. For context, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid was ranked in third place, but it had an overall score of 8.3 out of 10. 

As such, while the Venza and the other poorly-performing hybrids are the worst in the segment, they aren’t terrible. There are simply better options out there. In the Venza’s case, it’s a $33,500 midsize crossover SUV. The Japanese auto giant gave it one powertrain option, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid that gets 219 hp combined.

This hybrid powertrain gets about 39 mpg combined, which is a good amount for a midsize SUV. Toyota also gave the SUV a comfortable ride and a well-equipped interior. However, the engine is noisy and only has a max cargo capacity of 55.1 cu-ft. That’s a small amount of cargo space for an SUV of its size.

2. 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Ford Explorer driving outdoors
Ford Explorer | Ford Media Center

The Explorer Hybrid scored 7.5 out of 10, and it was tied for last place with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. It starts at about $54,000 and is also a midsize crossover, but it has three rows of seats as standard. On top of that, Ford gave the hybrid SUV a lot of standard features, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Despite those great standard features and its high cost, the American automaker didn’t give the Explorer Hybrid a high-quality interior. The cabin is unimpressive as Ford used a lot of hard plastics, and the second and third-row seats are cramped. When the seats are folded down, drivers get access to 87.8 cu-ft of space, which is impressive for the segment.

However, other hybrid SUVs offer a more luxurious interior for a cheaper price tag. On top of that, there’s only one powertrain option available, and it’s a 3.3-liter hybrid V6. It gets 318 hp but only 28 mpg combined. That’s a terrible fuel economy for a hybrid.

1. 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid


U.S. News Had a Surprise Pick for ‘Best Used Hybrid Car for Under $15K’

The Outlander PHEV also had an overall score of 7.5 out of 10, starting at about $40,000. Just like the Explorer Hybrid, it also comes with three rows of seats as standard. When those seats are folded down, the Mitsubishi SUV gets 78.5 cu- ft of cargo capacity, which is above average for the segment. Furthermore, the Japanese automaker redesigned the SUV for the 2023 model year, and its cabin quality improved as a result.

Mitsubishi used a lot of high-quality materials to build the SUV’s cabin. The automaker also gave it some nice standard features, such as an 8-inch touchscreen. Despite the redesign, the SUV’s third-row seats are still cramped. There’s a single PHEV powertrain, and it gets 248 hp. The SUV’s battery allows it to go 38 miles in battery-only mode, which is a good amount. However, the Outlander PHEV only gets 64 MPGe, which is below average for a PHEV.