The Best Hybrid SUV on Consumer Reports Beat the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Hybrid SUVs are the hot ticket item these days and for good reason. Many drivers love the roominess and road feel of SUVs. More than ever before, SUVs are dominating our roads. However, alongside their popularity is the fear of rising gas prices. Thanks to the leaps that hybrid technology has made over the last few years, hybrid SUVs are stealing the show. Consumer Reports picked the 2023 Lexus NX Hybrid as its best hybrid SUV. It even beat the massively popular Toyota RAV4 Prime.  

A blue Lexus NX350h hybrid crossover SUV driving through the desert for a promotional photo, cacti visible in the background.
2023 Lexus NX350h | Toyota Motor Corporation

The 2023 Lexus NX Hybrid is the best hybrid SUV, according to Consumer Reports

Hybrids used to be a segment cursed by noisy, ugly, slow things that robbed joy from nearly all who saw them, much less drove them. That is no longer the case. There are hybrid Ferraris, pickup trucks, and even F1 cars. Hybrid is one of the finest ways we have yet to convince to move a vehicle. 

Of all the great buzzing around these days, Consumer Reports just published its list of the best hybrid SUVs, and the 2023 Lexus NX Hybrid took the top spot. This was surprising to some, given the massive popularity and specs of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime. 

Consumer Reports ranked the best hybrid SUVs by comparing their “Overall Score,” which factors in road-test performance, owner satisfaction, predicted reliability, and safety. It’s worth mentioning that CR’s Overall Scores can change over time as new information, such as reliability data, becomes available.

What makes the 2023 Lexus NX Hybrid the best hybrid SUV?

The 2023 Lexus NX Hybrid received massive updates below the surface, although the new model looks nearly identical to the previous one. 

CR testers note that the NX is responsive in the corners and rides a touch firm but still comfortable. The 2023 Lexus NX Hybrid also sports two hybrid engine options, a 240-hp 2.5-liter four-pot, and a 304-hp 2.5-liter. Both hybrid engines pair with a CVT. Between these super-efficient engines and the Lexus NX’s smaller size, it averages 38 mpg. 

One of the biggest reasons the NX is rated so highly is its Toyota lineage. The NX is said to be reliable, tough, and satisfying. One of the only downsides is its stout starting price of $56,555. Here is where the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime can almost sneak in. 

How much is the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime?

Front angle view of red 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid crossover SUV
2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime | RAV4

Starting at $42,340, the RAV4 Prime is a strong competitor for the Lexus NX. The RAV4’s secret weapon is its PHEV powerplant which offers up to 40 miles of range on only electric power. After that mileage is spent, the gas engine kicks in. This means at full charge; the 2023 RAV4 Prime can get 74 mpge. The RAV4 Prime is nicely equipped, efficient as all hell, and cheaper. So, why is it ranked lower than the Lexus NX? Reliability. 

Consumer Reports gave it a lower predicted reliability score than the Lexus NX. This proves to be a dagger for the RAV4 Prime. 

For now, the 2023 Lexus NX Hybrid is the best hybrid SUV, according to Consumer Reports. But, somehow, I doubt it will ever be as popular as the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime.