Today's Best Luxury Hybrids
Looking for some luxury to go with your sustainability? Well, you’re in luck. The electrification revolution is reaching all segments of the automotive market, including luxury vehicles. Luxury brands now offer not only a wide range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, but also a great selection of conventional hybrids as well. If you’re looking for improved economy, but not yet ready to deal with the hassles of charging, a luxury hybrid is for you. Here are four of the best on the market today.
Best Compact Hybrid Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is one of the brand’s top-selling models in the U.S. The latest generation – which is so new that the EPA hasn’t yet released MPG figures – has just begun to arrive on our shores, and every model has hybrid technology to improve performance and efficiency. The entry-level C300 model offers an excellent price/performance balance, with a standard 255-horsepower four-cylinder with mild hybrid drive and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Higher-performance models will follow, all with turbo fours and increasing levels of electrification.
What truly sets the new C-Class apart is its stunning interior, which combines the materials and craftsmanship you would expect from Mercedes-Benz with a staggering level of technology, including a digital instrument cluster, giant portrait-format central screen, and the awesome MBUX user interface. While there’s a bit of a learning curve from the start, MBUX offers an amazing array of features and the best voice operation on the market. As you would expect, standard safety features are comprehensive as well, including active brake assist, blind spot assist, pre-collision braking, and Pre-Safe, which even tensions the seatbelts and can move the front seats into a safer position if a collision is imminent.
- Starting MSRP: $43,550
- EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: TBA/TBA
Best Large Hybrid Luxury Car: Volvo S90
Volvo is a brand that built its reputation on safety, but more recently, it’s been earning plaudits for its environmental credentials. Every vehicle in its lineup is electrified – from mild hybrids in all of its mainstream models, to plug-in hybrids, and fully electric models as Volvo transitions to a zero-emissions brand. Volvo’s distinctive styling and beautifully-crafted interiors have also won it many fans, and the S90 simply has one of the best cabins in the business. The materials are gorgeous, from matte-finish wood to beautiful leather and details like a crystal gearshift knob. These analog touches sit alongside a very easy-to-use vertical touch screen and digital instrument cluster powered by Google – integrating maps, a virtual assistant, Google Play, and more. (Yes, there’s also Apple CarPlay.)
A 48-volt battery recovers energy produced while braking, augmenting a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to give 295 hp and a beautifully smooth, seamless driving experience. All-wheel drive is standard, providing safety and security in all driving conditions, and as you would expect from Volvo, the S90 is packed with safety gear. Blind spot monitoring, steering assist, pre-collision warning and braking, and even rear cross-traffic alert and braking.
- Starting MSRP: $70,500
- EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 23/32
Best Hybrid Luxury SUV: Lexus RX450h
Lexus was one of the pioneers of hybrid technology in luxury cars, and the RX450h is the latest in a long line of luxury hybrid SUVs. Its interior is a particular standout in the class, with beautiful finishes, easy-to-use electronics, with a large central screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa built-in (the Mark Levinson sound system is also one of the best). Comprehensive safety features include the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, with pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane assist, road sign recognition, radar cruise control, and more.
Starting at just under $50,000 with all-wheel drive, the RX450h has a powerful 3.5-liter V6 and an electrically-driven rear axle to produce 308 hp and impressive all-weather stability and traction. It can also drive on electric power alone. The overall driving experience is smooth and silent, while still delivering decent city and highway fuel economy – and if you need even more space, there’s a long-wheelbase RX450hL with a third row of seats available.
- Starting MSRP: $50,150
- EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 31/28
Best Hybrid Luxury Coupe: Lexus LC500h
The number of coupes on the American market has shrunk significantly over the last several years as the market moves more towards high-riding SUVs. But the two-door coupe is arguably the ultimate format for a luxury car – a bit of pure indulgence for traveling in style. If you’re looking for a coupe, and want hybrid technology, selection is pretty limited, but fortunately, the Lexus LC500h is a fantastic choice. It has gorgeous, concept-car looks inside and out, a beautifully-furnished interior, and impressive performance.
The LC500h melds a 3.5-liter V6 and 10-speed automatic transmission with a high-output permanent-magnet electric motor to produce 354 total horsepower, 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph – all while delivering 34 highway MPG. The big Lexus coupe has the ability to drive zero-emissions on electric power alone, which adds an extra dimension to the driving experience. Should you want wind in your hair along with your speed, style, and sustainability, there’s even a gorgeous convertible version available.
- Starting MSRP: $101,600
- EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 26/34