Which Hybrid Vehicles Have All-Wheel Drive?

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Driving a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle can make you feel greener, but if you live where winter is more white than green, you might want to consider one of the hybrids that offer all-wheel drive.

Related: Which EVs Have All-Wheel Drive?

This list includes hybrid cars and SUVs — the most popular hybrids for mainstream use — that offer AWD as standard or optional equipment. Excluded are high-performance hybrids, as well as more expensive and sometimes off-road-capable plug-in hybrids, such as the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, and four-wheel-drive hybrid pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs. The list might grow throughout the year as U.S. specs for model-year 2024 are announced.

Model-Year 2023-24 Hybrid Cars and SUVs With AWD

  • Ford: Escape
  • Honda: CR-V Hybrid
  • Hyundai: Tucson Hybrid, Santa Fe Hybrid (2023 only)
  • Kia: Sorento Hybrid, Sportage Hybrid
  • Lexus: LS 500h, NX 350h, RX 350h, RX 500h, UX 250h
  • Toyota: Corolla Hybrid, Corolla Cross Hybrid, Crown, Highlander Hybrid, Grand Highlander Hybrid (2024 only), Prius, RAV4 Hybrid, Sienna, Venza

What Is AWD in a Hybrid?

2024 Lexus LS 500h Vehicle page 2 jpg 2024 Lexus LS 500h | Manufacturer image

Efficient AWD systems let you keep most or all of the vehicle’s fuel economy and gain traction for slippery conditions and limited soft-roading adventures. AWD systems for hybrids vary in design, with some having an additional electric motor or motors on the second axle to provide power to those wheels, as is the case for many Toyotas; others, including Hyundais and Kias, distribute power from their gas-electric hybrid system to the four wheels through a more conventional AWD system that is similar to the AWD setups used in their gasoline vehicles.

Most of these AWD systems are part-time, driving one axle (front or rear) most of the time for fuel economy and then automatically sending power to the other axle or even individual wheels when needed. The systems operate in the background with no driver control necessary, though some systems include a switch allowing you to force power to all four wheels. Some vehicles also have additional drive modes for more capability, such as for deep snow, as AWD modes can be just as important as proper tires for the conditions.

While the terms are sometimes muddled in advertising, AWD systems are not as robust or off-road-capable as the 4WD systems, with transfer cases and locking differentials, found on trucks and heavier-duty SUVs — even those with high-output hybrid powertrains such as the Toyota Tundra or Ford F-150 pickups. You can read more about the differences here.

What’s Not to Like About an AWD Hybrid?

Not much — and you might not have a choice. Many of these hybrids (or their trim levels) have AWD as standard equipment. However, some AWD systems offer reduced fuel economy compared to available two-wheel-drive versions in part from the added weight. AWD systems increase the complexity — and potential repair costs — of what are already more complex vehicles.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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