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7 of the Best 2021 Hybrid SUVs and Electric SUVs

Best Hybrid and All-Electric SUVs for 2021

2021 Rivian R1S all-electric SUV

Crossovers and SUVs have taken over as go-to vehicles for families and singles alike, for old and young, and for pretty much everyone out there looking to be in touch with modern trends. Hybrids, plug-ins, and EVs are another segment that’s been gaining in popularity in recent years, and when you put two and two together, it comes as no surprise that hybrid and electric SUVs have gained a considerable chunk of market share after 2018. We’ll now look further into the future and present the 2021 hybrid SUVs and all-electric SUVs bound to flood the market in near future.

Crossovers and SUVs have accounted to 47.6 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2018. Hybrid and electric crossovers and SUVs play a small role in that impressive figure as well, but they’re still far from being a driving force behind this highly popular body style’s success. Every little bit counts, however, and their numbers are only going to get bigger as we delve deeper and deeper into 21st century’s third decade.

If hybrids and EVs aren’t your vehicles of preference, you might also be interested in some of the more interesting conventional crossovers and SUVs scheduled to appear in 2021.

More conventional all-electric passenger cars might be an option too.

You might also want to check some of the longest and shortest range electric cars available out there.

07. 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford might have left many car enthusiasts in shock when they announced they’re planning on using the Mustang name for one of their upcoming all-electric crossovers a while back but they obviously weren’t joking. The forthcoming 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E already promises to become one of the best, if not controversial electric crossovers of 2021.

Although the all-new EV adopts one of the iconic pony’s most iconic badge names, the Mustang pony and the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover are otherwise completely unrelated. Aside from some styling cues that the new car has adopted from its unassuming muscle car role model (hallmark three-slat tail-lights and some parts of a frontal fascia). In other words, this is basically a marketing stunt which has a goal to raise the interest in still slow-selling all-electric vehicles. And Mach-E will need all the help it can get since it’ll be pitted against the hot favorite Tesla Model Y.

The Mustang Mach-E uses a 75.7-kWh battery pack paired with electric motors which generate 255 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque in the most basic of forms. The most basic bit translates to a rear-wheel drive whereas all-wheel drive models will squeeze 417 lb-ft out of the same setup. That’s not all since blue oval is also planning on offering the performance-oriented Mustang Mach-E GT models which would use both a larger 98.8-kWh battery and electric motors for 459 ponies and 612 lb-ft of torque.

The most capable of models should be able to provide around 300 miles of range on a single charge. Speaking of which, the Mach-E charger will be able to provide as much as 47 miles in 10 minutes of charging.

The base models start from $43,895 prior to $1,100 destination charge, but they’ll only arrive at a later date. Initially, FoMoCo will only offer the First Edition and range-topping Premium models which require $59,900 and $50,600 respectively. The last-arriving Ford Mustang Mach-E GT will retail from $60,500. Oh, and don’t forget that, unlike Tesla, Ford is still eligible for up to $7,500 returns in federal tax credit.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

06. 2021 Tesla Model Y

The latest addition to the Tesla lineup aims to round off the EV manufacturers’s portfolio. Unveiled in March 2019, Model Y’s deliveries are expected to commence in late 2020 as 2021-year models. The affordable crossover slots below the more upscale and much more expensive Model X, and is expected to push Tesla’s sales through the roof alongside the Model 3 sedan which has already done something similar.

The 2021 Tesla Model Y boasts similar interior arrangement as its Model 3 relative. There’s a large touchscreen display in the middle and very little else in terms of bits and pieces with tendency for sticking out. Don’t let this minimalist approach fool you, though. The Model Y comes with a wide array of convenience and tech gear regardless of chosen trim.

Speaking of which, $61,000 Performance and $48,000 Long Range models will be the first to arrive, with affordable Standard Range units following sometime during 2021. You’ll remember that the company’s launched the Model 3 using the same strategy. The most affordable Model Y will be available from under $40,000, with optional third row of seats requiring additional $3,000.

Much like it is the case with pretty much everything else, the all-new Model Y will also incorporate Model 3’s powertrains. Available with a single electric motor driving rear wheels and a 50-kWh battery pack, the Standard Range models will be able to provide up to 230 miles of range.

The Long Range and Performance models utilize a larger 74-kWh battery and provide 280 miles of range when paired with a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup. Although Performance models come with mandatory dual electric motors, Long Range units can still be obtained in rear-wheel drive configuration. That way you’ll save $4,000 and squeeze the maximum 300 miles of range out of them.

2021 Tesla Model Y

05. 2021 BMW iNEXT

BMW was the quickest of all German luxury car makers to adopt electrification when its i3 and i8 arrived a few years back. Now, their all-electric “i range” is expanding to crossovers and SUVs. After the iX3 was scheduled to appear in 2020, its larger sibling the iNEXT is set to arrive in 2021.

Obviously, the production model will first have to be renamed. The Vision iNEXT concept which made its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show will likely be called the iX5 by the time it becomes production-ready. Test mules have already been caught testing, and although they’re quite different than the concept vehicle itself, it would appear that they’ve managed to adopt a few cues from it regardless. Higher “kidney” grille and thinner headlights are the first that come to mind.

At the time of iNEXT’s presentation, the Germans had promised Level 4 autonomy by the time it translates into a production model. However, initial models will most likely boast Level 3 autonomy, with potential for higher tier autonomous driving beyond 2021. Expect the new range-topping electric SUV from BMW to command a high price tag of at least $80,000 or thereabouts.

Details behind the iNEXT’s powertrain are still stingy, but we do know that it’ll be different than what the Bavarian company is offering at the moment. Unlike a separate battery, electric motor and transmission units, the newest addition to the BMW electric family will incorporate all three pieces into a single unit.

What’s more, the electric SUV that’s about to evolve from the iNEXT concept could be able to provide around 400 miles of range on a single charge. That’s a lot even by today’s standards and MY 2021 isn’t that far away. No doubt the Germans will also offer some sort of a fast charging solution which should be able to fill large chunk of iNEXT’s battery within minutes.

We’ll probably know more at some point in 2020.

BMW iNEXT test mule

04. 2021 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD

Ever since it arrived back in late 2014, the second-generation XC90 has been a benchmark model for the future Volvo lineup. Not only that, but it’s also been one of the best vehicles in its class thanks to its wide array of technology and convenience gear, meticulous styling, and a range of diverse powertrains which includes a powerful hybrid as a range-topper.

The Volvo XC90 is heading towards a major makeover in 2021 when third-generation models are expected to arrive. No one has managed to catch a test mule yet, hence we still don’t know how much their design will change.

We do know that the upcoming 2021 Volvo XC90 will boast Level 4 autonomous driving technology, but only as an expensive option. This will allow its owners to get from point A to point B without ever having the need to interfere with the steering wheel. At least in theory. Furthermore, Volvo has always been one of the leaders in the field of safety innovations, and that won’t change now.

Volvo’s modular 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has revolutionized the way the Swedish automaker has been marketing cars in recent years, but the next-gen Volvo XC90 is bringing something new to the table. The mentioned engine is expected to carry over with its highest output again remaining reserved for the T8 eAWD plug-in hybrid models, but Swedes are also planning on offering a full-electric model.

In fact, Volvo’s new strategy of breaking up with the internal combustion engine is set to be tested right here in their flagship model, hence all future XC90’s will be exclusively hybrids or EVs.

More details are expected to follow as we zero in on the next-gen’s official reveal date. The third-gen XC90 will be produced in Volvo’s Ridgeville, South Carolina assembly and promises to be one of the best 2021 hybrid SUVs.

Volvo XC90 will be one of the best 2021 hybrid SUVs
Current-generation Volvo XC90 pictured

03. 2021 Rivian R1S

Despite the fact they’re evidently growing in numbers, there still aren’t that many rugged-looking plug-in hybrid and all-electric SUVs. The relatively unknown car maker Rivian aims to rectify that issue by offering the R1S which clearly hearkens back to the golden age of boxy SUVs. At least in terms of styling. It’s contemporary powertrain is anything but classic, but we’ll get back to that later.

The R1S is the Michigan-based company’s second production vehicle after the R1T electric pickup truck with which it shares pretty much everything. Unique design language is just the tip of the iceberg here as the entire interior, tech features list, and powertrain are all shared between the two.

The most advanced piece of R1S’s technology has to be the Level 3 autonomous driving capability. Aside from this, the electric SUV also sports a standard an adjustable air suspension, abundance of leather, wood, and touchscreens, and a comfortable third row of seats. All this comes at a price, however, as even the entry-level Rivian R1S won’t be available for less than $70,000.

Rivian’s powertrain consists of four electric motors (one upon each wheel) which allows for independent control of the amount of torque going to each of four wheels. Also available are three different battery pack capacities: 105-kWh, 135-kWh, and 180-kWh. The smallest of them is good enough for up to 240 miles of range, while the largest allows for a whopping 410 miles on a single charge (mid-range models provide up to 310 miles and 754 horsepower).

Regardless of a model of your choice, every Rivian R1S will be able to tow up to 7,716 pounds of trailer which is another one of its nifty feats. Finally, don’t forget that the R1S is more affordable than its only real competitor at the moment, the Tesla Model X, and that it offers pretty much everything its future arch rival does (plus it’s eligible for federal tax credit which Tesla isn’t any more).

The Rivian R1S deliveries are scheduled to commence in early 2021 if everything goes according to plan, and what you see in the picture is pretty much the final product.

2021 Rivian R1S all-electric SUV

02. 2021. Polestar 3

Love them or hate them, but coupe-like crossovers are here to stay. Polestar’s third production model aptly named Polestar 3 will be exactly that. It’ll also be an all-electric model but that doesn’t come as a surprise considering how Volvo’s newfound separate division has actually spun-off from the main brand with this in mind.

Unlike the Polestar 1 which serves as automaker’s range-topping, and Polestar 2 which is an entry-level model, the “Three” will slot somewhere in between (much like the number 4 that’s slated to arrive last – for now). The Polestar 3 should be made available in the second half of 2021, and it’s debut will likely be tied to the Geneva auto show like it was the case with previous models.

Price range still hasn’t been disclosed, but Polestar isn’t planning on doing anything Polestar 1-like ($150,000), but at the same time, looks to remain on the sensible premium end of the market. With that in mind, price tag in the region between $60,000 and $70,000 looks like a possibility.

Although their halo Polestar 1 model is actually a plug-in hybrid, all subsequent Polestars will be exclusively EVs and automaker is promising zero tolerance on diverting from that goal. With that in mind, the forthcoming Polestar 3 is expected to most likely borrow the range-topping Polestar 2’s powertrain which combines a 78-kWh battery pack with two electric motors for a combined output of 500 horses and up to 275 miles of range on a single charge.

As mentioned above, more will likely be known after one of major car shows in 2020.

 

Polestar 2 previews the all-new Polestar 3
Polestar 2 pictured

01. 2021 Audi e-tron S

Audi e-tron hybrids have been available across the automaker’s range for a while now, but it wasn’t until the pure EV aptly named e-tron model’s debut in late 2018 that the Germans have started fielding dedicated electric SUVs. The original e-tron mid-size luxury electric SUV is now getting a performance version donning the “S” suffix.

The Audi e-tron S is actually scheduled to arrive in the first half of 2020, but will likely be marketed as a 2021-year model. What’s more, it’ll be virtually carried over into MY 2021, and despite doing so without any significant changes, should still be one of the best hybrid or all-electric SUVs 2021 will have to offer.

The last in the line of Audi EVs will sport a standard set of upgrades usually associated with the S badge. Sportier seats, some carbon trim, different exterior details, and unique wheels is what we can expect to see. While the regular e-tron starts from around $75,000, expect the S version to command a higher price tag starting from anywhere north of $80,000.

There still are no exact details about the upcoming e-tron S’ powertrain, but it’ll naturally be more powerful than that in the conventional model. The regular e-tron uses a dual-motor setup (one upon each axle) in combination with a 95-kWh battery pack for a combined 402 horsepower and 0 to 60 sprint in 5.5 seconds.

The Audi e-tron S is expected to retain the same battery pack (which should result in loss of total range), but could end up squeezing another electric motor at the back for a higher output, possibly reaching as much as 500 horsepower. This would trim its 0 to 60 time to around 5 seconds.

We expect to find out more as early as in late 2019 as test mules have already been caught on the streets. Regardless of what happens, the new Audi e-tron S will be one of the best 2021 hybrid and electric SUVs.

Audi e-tron







Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!