Best Hybrid Cars

8 minutes Published: 12/03/2020

'Self-driving cars'. 'Autonomous vehicles'.

Boring. Where are the flying cars the 80s promised us?! I want a DeLorean that runs on garbage! 

These days, car manufacturers are focused more on developing more efficient and larger electric car batteries than figuring out how to undertake futuristic voyages. 

It seems the dream of passing your driving test and immediately flying through the air in a hovering Corsa straight to a McDonalds drive-thru will have to wait another century. Shame.

While not quite as exciting, electric cars do have some incredible features. With great fuel economy and a low environmental impact, they seem like the future of motoring. 

It's still early days though, and a lot of us aren't prepared to go full electric, so a hybrid option is an excellent option. Offering a much better fuel economy than a petrol, but making sure you don’t need to search for a charging port, a hybrid is a perfect compromise! 

Not ready for a hybrid? Have a look at our best low emission cars. If you’re ready to make the electric switch, make sure you read our best electric cars blog!

1. Toyota Yaris

RRP: £12,820 - £25,740
  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 1.8
  • Fuel: P, D, H
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 75 - 170g/km

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap to run.

  • Spacious for a small hatchback.

Cons

  • Drab interior.

  • Boring to drive.

The latest Toyota Yaris Hybrid has a much sleeker look than previous models. It’s hardly a fast car, but you're not buying a Yaris for the sport performance. 

You’re buying it for reliability, and for that high MPG! Toyota has always been renowned for their excellent reliability, and the Yaris is no different. 

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Toyota's interior has been stuck in the early noughties for a while now, and the Hybrid Yaris is no different. It feels considerably less refined when compared to other small hatchbacks, such as the Seat Ibiza or Volkswagen Polo. 

2. Hyundai Ioniq Hatchback

RRP: £19,940 - £32,195
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 1.6
  • Fuel: H
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: 26 - 85g/km

Pros

  • Dual clutch control works great.

  • MPGs are particularly good for such a big car.

Cons

  • Uncomfortable ride, particularly for rear passengers.

  • Overall styling of the car won't be to everyone’s tastes.

Hyundai has made a serious splash with their Ioniq hybrid. You get what you expect from a Hybrid. Great fuel economy and an acceptable but overall 'meh' inducing design.

What you might not expect, however, is that the Ioniq Hybrid is actually really nice to drive! Without the typical boring CVT automatic gearboxes that accompany most hybrids, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid has a highly functional and responsive dual-clutch unit.

Combined with a punchy petrol engine to help out with the electric power, you have a car that's more fun than you might think.

3. BMW I8 Coupe

RRP: £99,790 - £115,050
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 1.5
  • Fuel: H
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: 42 - 49g/km

Pros

  • The i8 is stupidly fast.

  • Stunning appearance with a futuristic design done right.

Cons

  • Eye-watering price makes driving the i8 a pipe-dream for most of us.

  • Poor visibility - you would not want to crash this car.

With the i8, BMW proves that hybrid cars aren't just for company-car-loving commuters or Uber drivers. 

Reaching 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds, the i8 Coupe can challenge most petrol supercars. This incredible performance is due to the i8’s innovative petrol-electric hybrid engine, which uses a 231bhp petrol engine to power the rear wheels, and a 143bhp electric motor powering the front-wheel drive.

There’s a few annoying niggles about the i8, which are justified when you’re paying 100k for a car. 

The screen pillars make it so you have to move around in your seat to see behind you into your windows and mirrors. There are also no rear-parking cameras, which is disappointing for the price.

4. Toyota Prius

RRP: £23,240 - £34,040
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 1.8
  • Fuel: H
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: 28 - 104g/km

Pros

  • Finally, a Toyota with a great interior.

  • Still has an incredible fuel economy, providing a seriously high MPG.

Cons

  • Unattractive body style.

  • People will enter the back of your car and demand you take them to work.

We'll try and resist the overwhelming temptation to insert an Uber joke here, but no promises...

The Prius has a troubled image. Economical and practical on the one hand, but as boring as your old history teacher on the other. 

The Prius plug-in is the world’s best-selling hybrid car for a reason. It's delightfully cheap to drive, with an outstanding fuel economy. It’s also ultra-safe, featuring Toyota’s 'safety sense' features, which uses 22 sensors around the vehicle that alert you to any potential hazards.

Combine this with some decent tech, a big interior, and the Prius is a winner. 

5. Volvo Xc90

RRP: £45,550 - £73,775
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 4.4
  • Fuel: P, D, H
  • Body: SUV
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 322g/km

Pros

  • Gives you a luxurious hybrid SUV without sacrificing real-world MPGs.

  • Great to drive and a practical family car.

Cons

  • Volvo's impressive safety kit that we just praised doesn't come as standard on all trims.

  • Extremely expensive.

Volvo is associated with luxury and the XC90 is no different. This is a plug-in hybrid SUV that you can feel great (and perhaps a little smug) about driving. 

With 7 seats, and a gigantic boot space, the XC90 is perfect - whether it’s for a long commute, just dropping the kids off, or a weekend adventure. 

The XC90 can be specced to be seriously fast, proving once and for all that you can have your cake and eat it too - an attractive SUV body, the fuel economy of a hybrid system, and an incredible driving experience that doesn't compromise practicality.

6. Kia Niro

RRP: £21,240 - £31,890
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 1.6
  • Fuel: H
  • Body: SUV
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: 29 - 101g/km

Pros

  • Eerily quiet in town (maybe not a pro for the person that doesn’t hear you about to run them over - so drive carefully).

  • A lot of space, ideal for a small family.

Cons

  • Performance isn't great and overtaking on the motorway can be a chore.

  • Not quite as big as most hybrid SUV fans would like.

This Korean manufacturer has had an impressive decade. Once plagued with a reputation for poor build quality, Kia is now thriving in the UK market. With all models coming with a market-leading 7 year warranty, it's not hard to see why! 

The Kia Niro ticks a lot of boxes. It's a spacious crossover, it's equipped with a super-efficient hybrid powertrain so you have great fuel economy, and it's relatively affordable. While Kia also offers the E-Niro, a fully electric version, the hybrid version is a great way for those who are still not bought on fully electric vehicles. 

7. Toyota Corolla Petrol Hatchback

RRP: £21,080 - £31,210
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine:
  • Fuel: P, H
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 132g/km

Pros

  • Dirt cheap to run - 2.0 model is punchy.

  • A great looking car, especially compared to the Prius plug-in.

Cons

  • Less spacious than competitors.

  • Not as efficient as the Prius.

The Corolla Hybrid is one of the best selling cars of all time, with around 50 million sales over its 12 generations of production. However, you'd be forgiven for not being that familiar with the model. 

Since 2006, Toyota has sold the Auris instead of the Corolla in the UK. As of 2019,  the Corolla has returned to the UK as a self-charging hybrid, and it's an impressive comeback.

This generation looks better than ever, sporting an upmarket interior that looks more like a Lexus than 'just a Toyota'. All the available hybrid powertrains are incredibly efficient.

The Corolla Hybrid has the exceptional build quality that comes as a given when you buy a Toyota. While only time will tell, it seems a safe bet that this car will last you as long as you want it to! 

8. Mitsubishi Outlander

RRP: £24,799 - £46,005
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 2.4
  • Fuel: P, D, H
  • Body: Crossover SUV
  • Drive: A, M
  • CO2: 40 - 240g/km

Pros

  • Good economy in towns.

  • Easy to drive.

Cons

  • Interior is a bit dated.

  • Not as much of a 'redesign' as Mitsibushi led us to believe it would be.

With an appealing SUV body and at an attractive price point, it's no surprise that the Outlander has been the highest selling plug-in hybrid in the UK for the past three years. £20k less than the XC60, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is great value for money.

Mitsibushi definitely has some ‘Jurassic Park adventure’ vibes in contrast to the Volvo’s more classy air of urban refinement, so you can use that as some justification to save yourself 20 grand!

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV really is a fantastic car in its own right. The latest models' four-cylinder engine gives this car a phenomenal fuel economy and performance. You can’t go wrong with an all-wheel-drive SUV like this at this price point.

9. Porsche Cayenne Estate

RRP: £55,965 - £123,349
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 4.8
  • Fuel: P, D, H
  • Body: Crossover SUV
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 380g/km

Pros

  • The acceleration makes you feel like you’re going to take off into flight.

  • Handles corners like a sports car.

Cons

  • Extremely expensive - a lot of what you’re paying for is the Porsche badge.

  • The fuel economy is pretty poor for a hybrid car.

Who says hybrids are all about efficiency? With a V6 engine working in tandem with an electric motor, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid has a ridiculous amount of power. 

As it's a Porsche, it has all of the luxuries you'd expect - although the price tag definitely reflects this. Owning a Porsche comes with certain stereotypes, but at least the acceleration in this car is incredible - so you can get yourself down to House of Fraser faster than ever before.

The fuel economy suffers quite a bit due to the overkill performance, but if you're looking for a luxury hybrid that values style and ridiculous acceleration over efficiency and practicality, look no further than the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid!

10. Volkswagen Passat Saloon

RRP: £21,395 - £41,530
  • Doors: 4
  • Engine: 4.0
  • Fuel: P, D, H
  • Body: Saloon
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 317g/km

Pros

  • The plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) battery pack offers a great driving range.

  • Classy interior and exterior.

Cons

  • Much more expensive than Passats with traditional combustion engines.

  • It isn't the greatest looking estate.

If you’re after a hybrid estate, this is the car for you. The Passat is pretty ubiquitous when it comes to estates, and the quality of the electric hybrid models proves why the brand has been so successful in the class.

Blending the Passat's legendary practicality with enhanced fuel-efficiency, the Volkswagen Passat GTE features a nimble petrol engine combined with a super-quiet electric motor that's probably one of the best in the hybrid estate field.

Combine that with its spacious interior and state-of-the-art infotainment system, the Volkswagen Passat GTE adds a touch of refined motoring to the estate class.

Summary 

An obvious requirement for a solid hybrid vehicle is good fuel economy, and low emissions - so you can sleep well knowing your new car isn't destroying the planet and your wallet. 

Our Best Hybrid Cars offer something for everyone - whether you want the outrageous performance of a BMW i8 or a Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, or the practicality and efficiency of a Toyota Corolla or a Hyundai Ioniq. 

So, if you’re sick of lining up at the petrol station only to realise you’re at the wrong side (we know, the pump stretches...but no one wants to be that person), then consider picking up a hybrid for your next car.

Ready to go fully electric? Check out our best electric cars list. Making baby steps towards more eco-friendly motoring? Have a look at our best low emission cars list.  We want to make your search easy, so we've put all of our hybrid car lease deals and electric car lease deals in one place.