10 of the Best Hybrid Cars

Electric motoring is the future, but going all out still represents a challenge at the moment. That's where a hybrid comes in, bridging the gap between fossil fuels and a green future by allowing you to run on electric power but also have the backup of an efficient petrol engine. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) take this a step further, allowing you to charge the electric motor by plugging in. With more and more hybrid cars to choose from these days, other considerations come to the fore like style, comfort, fun and features. We've gathered ten of the best hybrid cars out there to help narrow your search.

Blue Toyota Prius

1. Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is the granddaddy of hybrid cars, and the Japanese manufacturer has been perfecting the technology for a very long time. The Prius has unique styling (that once defined all electrical vehicles), but moving quietly and calmly through busy cities is where it really shows its strength, and you’ll feel the benefit of the smooth drive. Fuel economy of over 80 mpg is claimed, and the plug-in model can also drive 30 miles on fully electric power. The Prius has a roomy interior with lots of standard equipment and a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2016 to boot.

Blue Hyundai ioniq

2. Hyundai Ioniq

Like the Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq has both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions and can achieve a similar 83 mpg. Another likeness between the two cars is just how easy they are to drive – again, you can’t find much better when it comes to navigating traffic at low speeds. They also share a five-star Euro NCAP rating from 2016, and the Ioniq is equally well equipped (if you don’t count the antiquated foot-operated handbrake). Unlike the Toyota though, it’s also available as a fully electric vehicle, so it’s even more of an eco-warrior.

Red Kia niro

3. Kia Niro

If you’re looking for styling that’s a little less obviously hybrid and you’re in the market for an SUV, the Kia Niro could be for you. The more standard looks are reflected the drive, which sometimes makes you forget it’s a hybrid: it’s smooth but with a pleasing amount of power. You won’t forget when it comes to fuel bills though, thanks to figures of 74.3 mpg. There’s also the option of a plug-in model that will let you run for around 35 miles on electric power alone. Just watch out for the ride quality, which can get a little hairy on uneven surfaces.

White Volvo XC90

4. Volvo XC90

If you need a bigger SUV and something a little more premium, the Volvo XC90 is about as good as it gets. It’s stylish, refined, spacious and well equipped. The interior materials are high quality, and the cabin is a relaxing place to be, whether you’re the driver or one of the other six passengers. If you go for the T8 plug-in hybrid model, it’s also blisteringly fast, pushing its sizeable form from 0-62 mph in just 5.8 seconds. For more sedate runs, it will waft along with supreme comfort and even run on full-electric power for 31 miles.

White Toyota Yaris Hybrid

5. Toyota Yaris Hybrid

The Toyota Yaris has got to be one of the best-looking superminis out there, both inside and out. It’s also a pleasure to drive thanks to the hybrid setup, which makes it nippy yet relaxing – it can make 0-62 in a very respectable 9.7 seconds. That same system will return 60 mpg and make for reduced tax bills due to the low emissions. If you’re still not convinced, keep in mind that the Yaris comes packed with lots of equipment and tech as standard.

Silver Toyota CH-R hybrid

6. Toyota C-HR Hybrid

Sleek, sloping design sets the Toyota C-HR apart from the crowd – its styling is truly unique, though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. What will be to most people’s tastes is the joyful driving experience on offer, plus how well equipped it is. To round things out, the handling here is also a standout in the segment, securing the C-HR’s reputation as one of the best hybrid cars on the market– you’ll be weaving around bends with ease and accuracy. The 1.8-litre petrol hybrid returns 72-74 mpg with emissions of just 86–87g/km, and the Japanese manufacturer also has an excellent reputation for reliability.

Black Mini Cooper Countryman Plug in hybrid

7. MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid

If you’re sold on the funky, retro styling of the MINI but want a bit more space and an elevated driving position, the MINI Countryman might be just the thing. It feels fairly close to a smaller MINI from behind the wheel, which you’ll know is great news if you’ve driven one. You can get this hybrid car in four-wheel drive if you feel so inclined. The numbers are what’s really impressive though: the plug-in hybrid (SE) will do the 0-62 mph dash in a mere 6.8 seconds, even with managing a claimed 134.5 mpg and emissions of just 49g/km.

Silver Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

8. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a good-sized SUV and one of the hybrid cars on the market offering plenty of space and practicality for families. It comes with tax breaks due to its low emissions and is capable of excellent fuel economy, as well as 25 miles of electric-only driving. Gliding along in such a weighty vehicle with the quiet grace of electric propulsion is satisfying, but it’s important to make sure you’re charging up at home to avoid overusing the engine and drastically reducing its efficiency.

Black BMW 330e

9. BMW 330e

Take the superb BMW 3 Series with its excellent driving experience, and then put a hybrid powertrain in – now you’ve got the 330e. It’s the same accomplished luxury saloon, but with a power output of 288 bhp, making it no slouch. It’s not the most graceful thing on four wheels, but it packs more of a punch than most on this list, so definitely warrants being called one of the best hybrid cars about – if performance and executive touches are for you, this might top your list. It can drive on full-electric power for around 35 miles and has emissions as low as 37g/Km, so it’s a very appealing option for company car drivers too.

Silver Mercedes a-class

10. Mercedes A250e

The final place on our best hybrid cars list goes to another premium offering, the Mercedes A250e. This way, you get to save the planet and still have that Mercedes kerb-side appeal. The extra weight of the hybrid technology does leave it lacking a little agility around corners compared to the regular A-Class. However, you might forgive that on the basis of its tax-saving emissions values and an impressive all-electric range of 44 miles – that’s higher than all the other cars on this list. That also equates to some staggeringly-high fuel efficiency, provided you remember to charge it up at home.

Hybrids offer the best of both worlds, and there’s now a huge range of styles and sizes on the market to suit most buyers. If we’ve whetted your appetite, why not check out the listings or read more in one of our reviews?

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