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For many reasons, buying a small, compact, midsize, or large SUV with a hybrid powertrain is excellent. However, some buyers fear it’ll drive poorly in snow or other inclement weather because of its fuel-efficient engine setup. One expert put together a list of the best types of each vehicles for driving in snow. The answer is pleasing to most buyers in the hybrid SUV segment because the best options are some of the most popular available. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the best hybrid SUV for driving in snow, and the Lexus RX 450h is the best luxury model.

What is the best hybrid SUV for snow driving?

A blue 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is parked.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

According to iSeeCars, the best hybrid SUV for driving in snow is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The midsize model comes with a standard suite of safety features that make it safer in inclement weather. For example, features include cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. In addition, Highlander Hybrids have front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive costs just $1,600 extra for lower trims and $1,950 for higher ones.

Furthermore, the Highlander‘s AWD system has a separate rear-mounted electric motor to send power to the rear wheels when necessary. All of these things make it a capable model on snow-covered and slippery roads. iSC gave it a quality score of 9.2 out of 10, an 8.9 for reliability, an 8.3 for value retention, and a perfect 10 for safety.

What is the best luxury hybrid SUV for winter weather?

2023 Lexus RX 350h side view is one of the best hybrid SUVs for driving in snow.
2023 Lexus RX 350h | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Next, iSeeCars says the best luxury hybrid SUV model for driving in snow is the Lexus RX 450h. Another midsize SUV, it’s available in a two-row or three-row configuration of the buyer’s choosing. Using the 450h powertrain, drivers average a combined 30 mpg. Additionally, the model uses a standard Lexus AWD system that automatically sends power to two or four wheels to provide the best traction possible in all scenarios.

Moreover, the Lexus RX 450h is one of the best luxury midsize SUVs all around. iSC gave it an 8.9 out of 10 for quality, a 9.5 for reliability, an 8.1 for value retention, and a 9.4 for safety. Like the Toyota Highlander, the Lexus RX 450h is a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient model that can tackle most winter weather terrains.

How much are the Highlander Hybrid and RX 450h?

The price is important if you’re interested in buying one of these hybrid SUVs for driving in the snow. In 2022, many hybrid models are still a little more costly than their non-hybrid alternatives. The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid starts at $38,855 but can cost as much as $50,960 for the highest trim. Finding the perfect version of the Toyota midsize SUV is easy since so many trims offer many standard features. Edmunds recommends the Highlander Hybrid XLE because it’s reasonably priced and has many standard features.

Next, the 2022 Lexus RX 450h starts at $48,020. However, the most costly version of the luxury hybrid is $53,820. Fortunately, it’s a lower price than many other luxury SUV models, even other Lexus. Edmunds recommends the base model for the 450h. It has more variety regarding wheel, paint, and interior colors. Plus, buyers can upgrade it with many optional packages to get everything they need.

Best hybrid SUVs for driving in snow

In conclusion, the best hybrid SUVs for driving in snow are the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Lexus RX 450h. With each of these models, buyers get reliability, value retention, quality, and safety. In addition, the affordable but valuable all-wheel drive systems are perfect for navigating the white powder this winter season. Check out Toyota and Lexus’ hybrid midsize SUV offerings if you’re searching for a fuel-efficient model that is best for driving in snow.


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