Two rivals compete for hybrid SUV supremacy, and it’s a close fight. Go ahead, splurge. Treat yourself to the best compact SUV in the showroom—just don’t let the hybrid badge surprise you. If that h-word provokes associations of stodgy, slow, compromise-mobiles, consider this: The 2020 Honda CR-V and 2020 Toyota RAV4 offer engine upgrades that deliver more responsiveness and efficiency than almost any SUV under $40,000.
Oh, and you’ll retain the interior space you expect while traveling more than 100 miles longer between fuel stops. When it comes to having your cake and eating it, too, the hybrids of these segment-dominating rivals provide satisfying and guilt-free motoring. At the higher end of the segment, though, which is the best hybrid SUV—the CR-V Touring or the RAV4 XSE?