Best And Cheapest Hybrid Cars – 10 Best Hybrid Cars to Buy in 2023 With more and more cars getting the hybrid treatment, here are the 10 best hybrid cars to buy now…
Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly common sight on the roads thanks to political and environmental pressures. Hybrids in mild, standard and plug-in forms are increasingly popular with many drivers as a “best of both worlds” approach to green cars. As this technology is applied to more and more models, there is more choice than ever with the best hybrid cars, from superminis to family SUVs.
Best And Cheapest Hybrid Cars
It’s not hard to see the charm. Existing hybrid technology can improve the fuel economy of many vehicles, which means real financial savings. Hybrids also make a lot of sense for car owners looking to reduce their corporate tax bills, as well as individual buyers with low fuel economy or city needs. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) need to be plugged in regularly to perform at their best, but can offer true electric-only range of 30+ miles.
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Light hybrid vehicles appeal to those who don’t want to worry about cargo because they incorporate small electric motors that do not operate independently of the engine and are only used to assist the engine. Mild hybrids are generally the cheapest way to own a hybrid, but there is no pure electric drive.
Hybrids of all types play a key role in bridging the gap between internal combustion vehicles and fully electric vehicles as manufacturers continue to improve the balance between performance and efficiency.
The latest Toyota Yaris is one of the most affordable superminis on the market, and the combination of talents is no mistake. The only engine available in the standard car is a 1.5-litre 114bhp petrol unit with Toyota’s proven ‘self-charging’ petrol-electric hybrid technology. This setting is probably closer to home in the city, but is maintained on the highway. It’s an all-in-one smartphone, just like the car itself.
Not only is the Yaris stylish on the outside, even the base model comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, air conditioning, a rearview camera and a multifunction leather steering wheel.
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The new Honda Civic is understated and unassuming compared to its flashy predecessor, but hides a powerful and well-engineered feel under the skin. As for the 11th-generation Volkswagen Golf Rival, Honda has limited the Civic to just one engine option, and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid setup is somewhat offensive.
The gasoline engine is used as a generator to power a battery that drives an electric motor, but it can also power the wheels directly at higher speeds. The result is a quiet and comfortable power delivery that puts little stress on the combustion engine, delivering decent performance and fuel economy of 60.1mpg. With a spacious, high-quality interior and sharp dynamics, the Civic is stronger than ever.
Available in hybrid, PHEV and all-electric guises, the Kia Niro’s exceptional technology, interior space and mature dynamism shine through whichever version you choose. The hybrid is based on the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine sourced from the original Niro, but the second-generation model feels fresh in every other way.
Kia’s compact SUV uses the company’s K3 platform, and while the hybrid isn’t the lightest performer, it offers strong efficiency, and the Niro is comfortable to drive most of the time. It is suitable for all the roughest surfaces, and thanks to the shape of the box, there is a lot of space for passengers to relax. Derived from the EV6, the Niro’s fast and rich infotainment setup is also top notch.
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Its bold styling may not be to everyone’s taste, but the Hyundai Tucson’s status as a family SUV is undeniable. It’s so good, in fact, that we’ve named it our 2022 Midsize SUV. The hybrid model uses a 230bhp 1.6-litre electric drivetrain, and its efficiency figures are commendable for a spacious, loaded machine.
The Tucson doesn’t strive for sporty styling like the Kia Sportage, which shares the Hyundai Motor Company’s underpinnings, and it rides gently, and its quiet ride makes it a pleasant companion for long trips. Inside, liberal use of fingerprint-prone gloss black trim mars a well-built and inviting cabin thanks to a generous level of standard kit.
The models in the 4th and 5th places on this list are quite interchangeable, so the closest models are the Kia Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson. The Hyundai is a little more affordable and has a bit more cushioning over bumps, but for some, the Kia’s radical design and much more advanced interior make it worth the extra cash.
The Sportage isn’t particularly attractive thanks to its full-suspension setup and easy ride, but rear-seat passengers will appreciate the impressive interior space, while front passengers will be greeted by a pair of infotainment screens. An impressive 12.3in. This gives you access to Kia’s technology suite, which includes navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
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From the outside, the latest Renault Clio is very similar to the evolution of its predecessor, but internally it has undergone major changes to reach the top of the supermini market. Unlike rivals such as the Skoda Fabia and Hyundai i20, the Clio offers a full hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to generate 143bhp.
The hybrid gets more than 60 mpg, sprints from 0-62 mph in less than 10 seconds, and the rest of the package is a significant improvement over its predecessor. The Clio is relatively engaging through twisty roads, and the well-judged suspension provides the right balance of precision and comfort. Interior quality is also particularly strong, with the five-door body offering enough rear-seat legroom for adults and a large 391-litre boot.
The once bold and rugged 4×4 has been transformed into the latest generation of frugal luxury SUVs. Given the recent rise of SUVs, it’s no surprise that the Toyota RAV4 has become a desirable hybrid model that ups its game from its parent. In reality, it’s only available in electric form, with a plug-in hybrid variant featuring a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor.
The RAV4 is surprisingly strong to drive such a tall and relatively heavy vehicle, but the hybrid setup can return more than 50mpg, but thanks to the CVT box, it delivers performance in a noisy manner. Still, despite the electric power on board, the RAV4 is a useful machine, and the form and finish are solid. But the old infotainment system is a little disappointing.
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Beating BMW in the premium SUV segment is no mean feat, but Lexus has achieved just that with its latest NX. The company has always attracted customers with its exceptional comfort, build quality and comprehensive dealer network, and the NX embodies these qualities in a package that surpasses the X3.
The NX 350h wraps the latest Toyota RAV4’s powertrain technology into a lighter, more refined SUV, and while it’s objectively the superior car, the cheaper Toyota offers better value. Still, buyers will appreciate the NX’s quiet road manners and quiet interior, which features the most elegant technology package Lexus has ever used. With the optional 14-inch touchscreen configuration, you won’t want more pixels.
Like its Yaris and RAV4 cousins that also appear on this list, the Corolla is another model now powered by Toyota’s proven gasoline-electric hybrid technology.
The UK port is available in 1.8 and 2.0-litre models, both of which automatically switch between the two power sources and use the car’s petrol engine to charge the battery. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) takes the place of a conventional automatic transmission and helps make the most of the transmission’s power.
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Those craving a bit more punch can opt for the range-topping 2.0-litre hybrid model. With 177bhp on tap, 0-62mph takes just 7.9 seconds. Fuel economy and emissions take a slight hit, but this model still has an excellent balance of performance and low running costs.
As the only seven-passenger among our 10 favorite hybrid cars, the Kia Sorento is easily the most versatile. It’s also the most expensive, but the Sorento backs up its high price with decent equipment levels and well-rounded dynamics. The hybrid version is built around a 1.6-litre petrol engine and is relatively refined when not pushed hard and changes the Sorento’s mass accordingly. It’s no sports car, to be sure, but the seven-seater Kia feels composed in corners while insulating its occupants from most lumps and bumps.
Higher specification vehicles come with integrated 10.25in touchscreens, and heated seats, heated steering wheel and intelligent cruise control are standard across the range. Despite the cheap plastics scattered throughout the cabin, the Sorento’s interior is quite pleasant, with ample storage space and plenty of room for five adults and two children in the third row.
Opting for a hybrid car of any kind over a conventional alternative doesn’t have to be the big step many may fear.
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As with any new vehicle purchase, it makes sense to estimate and invoice in a thousand years.