Top picks from the best luxury hybrid SUVs
What is your opinion regarding luxury hybrid SUVs? Which is the overall winner based on economy, standard gear, value, space and performance? I’m looking at Mercedes GLE 500e, BMW X5 40e Volvo XC90 T8. Vu Via Plug-in hybrids are a smart buy for those who travel relatively short distances to and from work. They promise the best of both worlds — electric driving
up 30km with back-up of an internal combustion engine to allay range anxiety. These three have a big physical footprint and weigh more than two tonnes, yet match or better the thirst of a Toyota Prius. We’re quoting makers’ fuel claims but it is worth comparing your potential purchases on the greenvehicleguide.gov.au site where the vehicles are rated for electrical consumption per kilometre … and Volvo doesn’t do as well as fuel figure indicates.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e, $124,900 The Benz wins the pace race at an impressive 5.3 seconds from rest to 100km/h. At that point you are tapping into a combined 325kW/650Nm from the electric motor and 3.0-litre V6 turbo. The regular GLE’s 690L cargo area drops to 480L here because Benz, not unreasonably, put the batteries in the boot. extra loading height may be an issue with heavy items. Drop seats and cargo space is 1800L. Claimed fuel economy 3.3L/100km using premium fuel. Active driving aids are standard the Benz rides on air suspension. BMW X5 40e, $124,200 It trails the opposition with a claimed 6.8 seconds for 0-100km/h sprint. The 2.0-litre turbo engine pairs an 83kW motor for combined 230kW/ 450Nm, claiming 3.3L/100km if you’re not trying to match the sprint time. The X5 wants 98 RON fuel, as does Volvo. Cargo capacity is 500L, growing to 1720L with rear seats folded. Lane departure alert and what BMW calls “light city braking” are standard, along with a 10-inch infotainment screen. The X5 also rides on adaptive air suspension.
Volvo XC90 T8, $120,900 The cedes a little on boot space at 430L but more than atones with seven-seat capacity. Fold everything flat and it wins 1868L. The XC90 was engineered as a hybrid
the batteries are packed along chassis rather than making cargo area smaller or higher. The 2.0-litre twin-charge engine, in concert with the electric motor, can crank out 300kW/640Nm. That dispatches 0-100km/h run in 5.6 seconds. Claimed fuel use is just 2.1L/100km (good luck with that in the real world). Rear cross-traffic alert and autonomous emergency braking are among standard features yet likes of digital radio can only be found in the options.
Porsche Cayenne S E-hybrid, $145,500 Combined power from the supercharged 3.0-litre and 70kW motor is 309kW/590Nm, delivering a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds. Official fuel use is 3.4L/100km. Luggage space 580L, expanding to 1690L with the rear seats folded. Active driving aids are conspicuous omission in this company — you’re meant drive a Porsche, not have Porsche you but the rest of the package is on a par and cabin, while festooned with more buttons, looks feels hand-built.
If you can afford it,the Porsche is the best all-round drive. If the budget doesn’t stretch that far, I’d look closely at BMW on
basis it is a marginally better drive than Merc. It might just depend what value you put on the badge.