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Hybrid cars have gotten more attractive ever since gas prices spiked last year, and one way to get the most out of a hybrid is by shopping for hybrid SUVs. This is a great idea because SUVs offer more utility than sedans, and a hybrid powertrain adds even more practicality to the car. Unsurprisingly, out of the 11 best compact SUVs of 2023, five of them are hybrids.

1. 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Kelley Blue Book recently published its list of the best compact SUVs of the year. Overall, there were many repeats on the list, as out of the 11 top compact SUVs, eight were either a Honda CR-V, a Kia Sportage, or a Toyota RAV4. This is because the standard versions of those cars made the list, but so did their hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions.

The CR-V Hybrid starts at about $33,700. That’s about $1,000 more expensive than the standard version. It received a 4.8 out of 5, the same score as the regular CR-V. The main difference is, of course, its powertrain. It gets 40 mpg combined, and that’s much higher than the standard CR-V’s 30 combined mpg rating.

That said, Honda gave the CR-V a total redesign for the 2023 model year, so the latest CR-V Hybrid has improvements in many areas. For example, its cargo capacity is much larger than in the prior model years, maxing out at 76.5 cu. ft.

2. 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid

A blue-green 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid compact SUV model parked in front of a field of windmills
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid | Kia America

The Kia Sportage and its variants all received a score of 4.6 out of 5, the same score that the Toyota RAV4 and its variants got. The Sportage Hybrid starts at just under $29,000, which makes it about $1,200 more expensive than the standard version. Once again, there’s not much difference between the Sportage Hybrid and its regular version, other than the powertrain. 

The hybrid SUV gets 43 mpg combined. In comparison, the regular Sportage only gets 28 mpg combined. Kia also redesigned the SUV for the 2023 model year. One of the most significant changes happened to its infotainment system. Every Sportage model now starts with a 12.3-inch touch screen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster display as standard.

3. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The hybrid version of the Toyota RAV4 starts at about $32,000. That’s almost $3,000 more expensive than the standard version. Its hybrid powertrain gets 40 mpg combined. The standard RAV4, meanwhile, gets 30 mpg combined from its 203-hp engine. Toyota also updated the touch screens on all RAV4 variants for the 2023 model year, starting with an 8-inch touch screen as standard.

4. 2023 Kia Sportage Plug-in Hybrid

The plug-in hybrid version of the Kia Sportage also made the list, and since it’s a PHEV, it costs $40,000, which is about $11,000 more expensive than the traditional hybrid version. Kelley Blue Book says that the Sportage PHEV is the best PHEV of the year and offers many advantages for its price. It gets about 84 MPGe, and thanks to its battery, it can go 34 miles in battery-only mode. 

5. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is also a plug-in hybrid, starting at almost $44,000. This version of the Toyota SUV has a lot of advantages as well. For example, its PHEV powertrain gets 302 hp, making it the RAV4’s most potent option. This powertrain also allows the RAV4 Prime to get 94 MPGe, and its massive battery pack allows drivers to go 42 miles in battery-only mode. That’s a high amount of range for a PHEV.

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