After looking at the hybrid SUVs we’d pick for under $50,000, we at CarExpert are now opening our imaginary wallets a little further.

    Stepping up to the wide $50-100,000 price bracket, there are multiple Lexus SUVs to choose from, while there are vastly more plug-in hybrids available.

    Within this price range, there’s everything from the GWM Tank 300 hybrid off-roader to the sporty Cupra Formentor VZe plug-in hybrid crossover.

    The continued expansion in the number of electrified options is helping to fuel greater hybrid and plug-in hybrid sales.

    Last year, 98,439 hybrids were sold here – a new record, 20 per cent higher than the previous record year – while plug-in hybrid sales were up 89 per cent to 11,212 vehicles.

    If you want to find which hybrid SUV you would pick, you can use our Car Chooser tool.

    Alborz Fallah: Peugeot 3008 GT Sport Plug-In Hybrid AWD

    This is an odd choice and not a cheap one either, but I would pick the Peugeot 3008 GT Sport PHEV, which is incredibly expensive at around 90k according to Peugeot Australia’s website, which is well and truly overpriced.

    Nonetheless, I suspect and I have heard that there are, let’s say, substantial discounts to be had on those cars so I would be looking to pay about 65-70k for one. And even then, I would expect to lose about half the price before I drive it home – but hey, it’s a beautiful car and at least it’s not just another Japanese PHEV.

    MORE: Buy a Peugeot 3008

    Scott Collie: Lexus RX 350h Luxury AWD

    There’s a huge range of conventional hybrid SUVs on offer around the $50,000 mark, but the closer you get to our $100,000 cutoff they start to disappear… and the plug-in hybrids start taking over.

    While they work for a small group of people with very specific needs, they’re inherently compromised by the fact you’re always carrying around a redundant power source – be it the heavy petrol engine when using electric power, or a massive lithium-ion battery when you’re leaning on internal combustion power.

    With that in mind, I’d be opting for the Lexus RX 350h Luxury AWD ($90,675 before on-road costs).

    It’s not the most exciting car in the world, but it’s a very comfortable and efficient way to lug four people around, and isn’t burdened with the weight, cost, and complexity of a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

    Lexus has drastically improved its interior technology recently, which means you can now bask in the superb build quality and brilliant materials without almost driving off the road every time you need to change radio stations – and unlike the smaller NX, the back seats and boot are pretty family friendly.

    It rides nicely, handles better than its clumsy predecessor, and is beautifully refined on the highway.

    MORE: Buy a Lexus RX

    Jordan Mulach: Cupra Formentor VZe

    If I can’t have a passenger car, give me something familiar. In this case I’ve gone with what is probably the closest thing to what I currently own in the Cupra Formentor VZe (priced from $68,990 drive-away in Queensland).

    While Cupra’s existence is a bit of a head scratcher within the Volkswagen Group’s hierarchy – I mean you’ve already got Skoda, so why another niche brand? – the Formentor looks cool, rides relatively low and has a plug-in hybrid system.

    With its 180kW/400Nm outputs and six-speed dual-clutch auto, it’s similar to my Octavia and Superb at home – funny that, given they’re all on the same platform – but it’s loaded with tech, can drive a claimed 58km on electric power and can be had with a panoramic sunroof for the little one to stare out of.

    Unfortunately we don’t get a plug-in hybrid version of the flagship VZx, but a boy can dream. Hopefully this powertrain ends up in more Volkswagen family models in the near future so buyers can have more choice with familiar nameplates.

    MORE: Buy a Cupra Formentor

    Jack Quick: Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV Exceed

    I had a hard time this week picking out a hybrid SUV I actually liked that’s under $100k. There are plenty of desirable options above this threshold, as well a number of more lacklustre options well under.

    With this in mind I decided to choose a car considerably under the $100k threshold – the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. I’d use the rest of the money to set up a nice home charging wallbox with solar and batteries. If there’s leftover money I’ll use it on a holiday.

    Now I know plug-in hybrids aren’t for everyone, but the Outlander PHEV is one of the best implementations of this innovative powertrain technology I’ve experienced to date. It’ll easily get around 75-80km on a full charge of the battery pack and when the petrol engine kicks on it’s largely whisper quiet.

    If I was actually buying an Outlander PHEV I’d be quite content with the entry-level ES variant in all honesty, but given I have more theoretical budget to play with I’d be silly to not look further upmarket.

    The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed ($69,290 before on-roads) offers plenty of standard equipment while not being over the top like the flagship Exceed Tourer. I’m not the biggest fan of the saddle tan (pretty much orange) interior finishes in the latter.

    MORE: Buy a Mitsubishi Outlander

    William Stopford: Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

    At one end of this price range, the Honda CR-V E:HEV RS I drove recently really impressed me. At the other end, a Lexus RX350h is a desirable luxury hybrid SUV.

    But for me, my choice is somewhere in the middle: a Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid. As a bonus, it offers something those other SUVs don’t: a third row of seating.

    There’s a new Santa Fe just around the corner with bolder styling, but even the outgoing model still stacks up as a desirable option thanks to its well-tuned powertrain that’s refined and thrifty.

    Even in base Elite guise it’s well-equipped, but the top-spec Highlander adds some features you won’t even find on the Lexus like Hyundai’s clever Blind Spot View Monitor and Remote Smart Parking Assist.

    It’s also been easier to get your hands on a Santa Fe Hybrid quicker than the mechanically related (and admittedly more handsome) Kia Sorento Hybrid.

    MORE: Buy a Hyundai Santa Fe

    James Wong: Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV Exceed

    It seems the options in this price bracket and body style are both in abundance and short supply.

    The Cupra Formentor VZe initially stuck out as my pick, but perhaps recent price rises and its fairly small size for the money had me thinking someone actually buying in this end of the market might need something a bit more pragmatic.

    For me, the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV Exceed makes a lot of sense. It gets all the good stuff the new-gen Outlander has to offer including the MI-PILOT semi-autonomous highway assistant, and it’s the most affordable way into an Outlander PHEV seven seater.

    Mitsubishi has done a great job in bringing a medium-large SUV with 5+2 seating that offers a PHEV system that can actually do 70-80km of EV driving in the real world. For many, you could go weeks if not months without filling up if you charge nightly and don’t venture out of the city.

    The Outlander PHEV is also a far nicer drive than its petrol-powered equivalent. If only the cheaper Aspire grade offered seven seats and MI-PILOT, because otherwise it’s a winner from a value perspective.

    I’ll take mine in Red Diamond ($940) with the no-cost Light Grey quilted leather interior.

    MORE: Buy a Mitsubishi Outlander

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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