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Edmunds: The five best hybrid SUVs under $35,000

Buying a hybrid vehicle can be a smart way to help save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint compared to a conventional gasoline-only vehicle. In recent years, automakers have also greatly expanded the availability of hybrid SUVs. These models can get impressive fuel economy while providing plenty of cargo space, available all-wheel drive, and the latest in technology and driver assist features. Edmunds’ experts have picked five of the best new hybrid SUVs on sale today for under $35,000. They’re listed below in order of affordability, and all prices include the destination charge.

2024 KIA NIRO

The 2024 Niro is a small hybrid crossover SUV that also gets the best fuel economy of the models featured here. According to the EPA, the Niro can get up to 53 mpg in combined city/highway driving. The Niro also provides the utility you might expect from a bigger and more expensive SUV. There’s plenty of space in the second row and the 22.8-cubic-foot cargo area is useful enough for most daily errands. In addition to its low price, the 2024 Niro Hybrid is backed by Kia’s impressive standard warranty and roadside assistance coverage plans. The main downsides to the Niro are slow acceleration and a lack of available all-wheel drive.

Base starting price, including destination: $28,315

2024 KIA SPORTAGE HYBRID

Edmunds’ top-rated hybrid SUV is also one of the most affordable. The 2024 Sportage Hybrid is one size larger than the Niro in Kia’s hybrid SUV lineup and has more interior room. It’s also more enjoyable to drive. The Sportage Hybrid has a turbocharged hybrid powertrain that makes plenty of power when merging onto freeways and without the droning noise common with many hybrids. It’s not quite as fuel-efficient but it still gets up to an EPA-estimated 43 mpg combined. The Sportage Hybrid provides up to 39.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its back seat. In addition, owners benefit from Kia’s long warranty and roadside assistance plans. The climate and media controls can be distracting to use, but otherwise the Sportage Hybrid is about as vice-free as an SUV can get.

Base starting price: $29,965

2024 TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID

We think the 2024 RAV4 Hybrid is the best version of this popular crossover SUV. Supplying more power than a standard RAV4, the RAV4 Hybrid is also far more fuel-efficient, returning up to an EPA-estimated 39 mpg. Every RAV4 Hybrid has all-wheel drive to help out with wintertime driving. Select the rugged-looking Woodland Edition and your RAV4 Hybrid will also have an off-road-tuned suspension and all-terrain tires. Who says hybrids have to be dorky? There’s plenty of utility, too, with up to 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats. Some drivers might be put off by the RAV4’s noisy engine or dated-looking center touchscreen graphics, but overall this is a pretty compelling hybrid.

Base starting price: $33,075

2024 HYUNDAI TUCSON HYBRID

Though it is one of the most expensive and least efficient models on this list, there are good reasons to choose a 2024 Tucson Hybrid. It’s mechanically related to the Sportage Hybrid and has the same turbocharged hybrid powertrain that gets up to 38 mpg combined. It’s pleasing to drive and has standard all-wheel drive. The Tucson Hybrid delivers utility by way of 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind its back seats. Add a terrific warranty plus other perks, such as a three-day return policy to swap for a different Hyundai, and you’ve got a value-packed hybrid.

Base starting price: $33,950

2024 HONDA CR-V

Technically, the 2024 CR-V hybrid’s price creeps over our limit when you include the destination charge. Honda only equips the hybrid powertrain on the CR-V’s more expensive — and better-equipped — trim levels. But spending the extra Benjamins is pretty easy to justify. The CR-V boasts a roomy interior and a smooth ride over bumps. Honda’s hybrid powertrain also supplies quick acceleration and fuel economy of up to 40 mpg combined. Open the rear liftgate and you’ll find 39.3 cubic feet of cargo area. The CR-V’s hybrid powertrain makes competitive power but can sound noisy and strained on hilly terrain.

Base price: $35,400 (Sport Hybrid trim level)

EDMUNDS SAYS

Each of these hybrid SUVs delivers impressive fuel economy, plenty of utility, and good value at a base price under $35,000. And of these, which one is the best? That would be the 2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid. It has won the Edmunds Top Rated SUV award for two years in a row.

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This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds.

Christian Wardlaw is a contributor at Edmunds.