With the large and diverse mid-size SUV segment, this year we’ve selected hybrid models that give them a chance to shine.
Mid-size SUVs are among the most popular in Australia. This is also why most brands start their journey by creating a mid-size SUV and then soon add smaller and larger ones.
Consider them the breadwinner of the family. The category is huge, too, with over 50 different titles divided into three categories for 2023 drivers: best midsize SUV, best luxury midsize SUV, and best midsize hybrid SUV.
As a new category for 2023, there is no previous winner of best hybrid midsize SUV. However, the winner of the best mid-size SUV category from 2021 is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which is also Australia’s best-selling hybrid model. The combination of smart fuel economy, drivability, practicality and value makes it a finalist in this new category.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2023, Ford Escape PHEV 2023 and Haval H6 Hybrid 2023 will join the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 2023 in the launch of this upcoming vehicle.
Let’s see which one is at the top.
Winner: Mitsubishi Outlander
The first feeling after the steering wheel Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire PHEV 2023 is quality. In fact, everything Outlander does is good, with a much higher quality than its price tag.
The interior is beautifully presented, minimalistic and above expectations. Even our mid-size Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire PHEV wowed the judges as we got to know the cabin, and it’s great to see the brand offering plug-in models in four different trim levels – printed on the Outlander line (ES, Aspire, Exceed and Exceed Tourer).
After you start driving, this quality experience will continue. The ride was light, but sure and safe, even as we took a quick rural detour. The cabin is quiet thanks to plenty of good soundproofing and our midsize Aspire rides well on 20-inch alloy wheels (on Exceed and Exceed Tourer models).
The off-center steering is a bit vague, but that’s really bad. In addition to good drivability, it was also very economical during testing, with fuel consumption of about 3.4 l/100 km, all-electric time and using a “regular” hybrid powertrain. “. You have to commit to giving it full power, but it should handle most of your daily rides without using the petrol engine.
The second row is also decent and the compact third row could be the ideal card you need in case of an emergency at school. It offers versatility at the right price and looks like the most complete mainstream PHEV we’ve come across to date. In addition to excellent off-road and off-road performance, it is also the most agile vehicle on winding roads and responds well to maneuvers, exits and skids.
So cutting-edge electric technology in a family car with great functionality makes the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV the ideal step into the future for many Australian buyers.
|Mitsubishi Outlander showroom
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2022 Excellent review
Mitsubishi Outlander 2022 price and specifications
Second place: Toyota RAV4
The team was the favorite for Driver of the Year and runner-up by just one vote.
Unfortunately, the Toyota RAV4 2023 has not won another silver title this year. Judges praised its ability in the slalom and people appreciated the balance between ability and driving comfort.
What it offers in terms of fuel efficiency and simplicity is also commendable. As a closed-circuit hybrid system, the Toyota RAV4 only needs fuel to get the job done, generating its own charge from wasted energy, eliminating the need to connect to an outlet for charging.
Sure, it uses more fuel than the Outlander, but there’s no denying that it’s an easier car to own. However, the powertrain is showing its age compared to rivals like Mitsubishi, who can drive electric vehicles for more than 50km and fuel consumption is also lower.
To help get the job done, the petrol engine is also noisy at start-up. The game is clearly over and the 2023 Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid is the best choice right now.
|Toyota RAV4 showroom
Check out Toyota RAV4 GX FWD 2022
Toyota RAV4 2023 price and specifications
Finalist: Ford Escape
The Ford Escape PHEV has some great expectations.
Our previous experience with Ford’s range of SUVs in the Driver of the Year competition has been excellent, with the brand’s Puma compact SUV impressing us last year. Ford’s ST-Line version is also a highlight, with great dynamics and a sporty exterior that doesn’t consume much fuel.
The Ford Escape PHEV 2023 is fun to drive but too busy on Australia’s back roads. The car bounces and shakes a bit, and it could certainly do if the steering and handling were a bit softer. Steering is also a bit average as it lacks an eccentric bite and feels oddly heavy.
The powertrain is the easiest to get through, but the petrol engine is tuned to suit and hides behind thick firewalls. The interior is also spacious and there’s plenty of storage space around the cabin to store your belongings.
Parents of young children will appreciate it. The second row can recline as your child grows up and out of the booster seat, and features rear air vents and rear USB-A and USB-C ports – the standard we’ve come to expect for a booster seat. this class.
However, the perceived quality is not the best in the segment as both Japanese models offer more value in terms of technology and equipment.
|Ford Escape Gallery
Check out the Ford Escape plug-in hybrid 2022
Ford Escape PHEV 2022 price and specifications
Finalist: Haval H6
There are 0 options
$33,990 to $45,990* MRLP
Something we love
- –The second line is empty
- –Affordability and value
- –Looks great
Something we don’t have
- –Don’t believe in yourself like everyone else
- –Not as complicated as the competition
- –Tire quality and traction problems
Despite being a newcomer to hybrid technology, Haval H6 2023 took fourth place. It is praised for its value for money; however, it failed during dynamic testing and on a clear roundabout near Orange, NSW.
The tires are the biggest weakness of the pack and a good set of rubbers should help remedy any shortcoming in its dynamics. However, if you turn off the power, you will find its performance is actually quite good.
It spins very quickly, and if you appreciate under-the-pedal performance, you’ll love the acceleration. But you pay for it; The Haval has the worst fuel economy of our four finalists.
In addition, the judges appreciated how spacious the cabin and the amount of technology you get for your money is huge.
In addition to the heated seats and the usual trim, there are many active safety systems on board. The Haval H6’s low-speed ride quality is also excellent and better than the Ford Escape when selected separately.
However, he finished fourth for some reason and unfortunately he was feeling a bit weak ahead of this year’s tough competition.
|Haval H6 Gallery
We ‘bought’ Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid
Haval H6 2022 price and specifications
You can read about all other 2023 driver categories and winners here:
Category Driver of the Year and Winners
Note: All vehicle specifications on options are tested as part of the DCOTY evaluation program.