Best Long Distance Hybrid Car – 10 Best Hybrid Cars to Buy 2023 As more and more cars get the hybrid treatment, here are the 10 best hybrid cars to buy now…
Electric cars are becoming more common on our roads due to political and environmental pressure. Hybrids in lightweight, standard and plug-in forms are increasingly seen by drivers as a ‘best of both worlds’ approach to environmentally friendly motoring. As the technology affects more models, the choice is wider than ever, with the best hybrid cars from superminis to family utility vehicles.
Best Long Distance Hybrid Car
It’s not hard to see the appeal. Conventional hybrid technology is able to improve the fuel efficiency of many car types, which means real financial savings to be made. Hybrids also make a lot of sense for lower mileage or city-based private buyers, and fleet users looking to reduce their company car tax bill. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) need to be plugged in regularly to perform at their best, but they can offer a true electric range of 30 miles or more.
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Mild hybrid vehicles will appeal to those who don’t want to worry about charging because they have a small electric motor that is only used to assist the engine and does not operate independently of it. Mild hybrids are usually the cheapest way to own a hybrid, but there is no pure electric drive.
As manufacturers find an ever-improving balance between performance and efficiency, hybrids of all kinds play an important role in bridging the gap between internal combustion and all-electric cars.
The latest Toyota Yaris is one of the smartest superminis on the market, and it’s hard to fault its mix of virtues. The only engine available in the regular car is a 114bhp 1.5-litre petrol with Toyota’s own ‘self-charging’ petrol-electric hybrid technology. This arrangement could be more at home in the city, but it will also hold on the highway. It is versatile – just like the car itself.
The Yaris is not only stylish on the outside, but the equipment is also quite affordable, with the base model having 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, air conditioning, a reversing camera and multifunction leather. – finished steering wheel as standard.
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The latest Honda Civic is discreet and understated compared to its flashy predecessor, but hides a handsome, well-engineered feel under the skin. For the 11th generation of its Volkswagen Golf rival, Honda limits the Civic to a single-engine option, and a rather unusual 2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid setup.
The petrol engine is used as a generator to power the battery, which in turn powers the electric motor, but it can also drive the wheels directly at higher speeds. The result is a quiet and relaxed power delivery that rarely stresses the combustion engine, while offering good performance with a claimed 60.1mpg. With its spacious, high-quality cabin and fresh dynamics, the Civic has never been stronger.
Available in hybrid, PHEV and pure electric form, the Kia Niro’s impressive technology, cabin space and mature dynamics shine in whichever version you choose. The hybrid is based on the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine found in the original Niro, but the second-generation model feels fresh in every way.
Kia’s compact SUV rides on the company’s K3 platform, and while the hybrid isn’t the easiest performer, it offers strong efficiency and the Niro is more relaxed to drive. It adheres to all but the roughest surfaces, and because of its boxy shape, there’s plenty of room for passengers to relax. The Niro’s fast and feature-rich infotainment setup – inherited from the EV6 – is among the best in its class.
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Not everyone will enjoy its bold styling, but the Hyundai Tucson’s deep qualities as a family utility vehicle cannot be denied. In fact, it’s so good that we named it our 2022 Mid-Size SUV of the Year. The hybrid model uses a 1.6-litre electric-assisted powerplant with 230bhp, and its efficiency figures are reasonable for a machine as spacious and packed with technology.
Like the Kia Sportage, which shares its underpinnings with the Hyundai, the Tucson drives with finesse without leaning towards sportiness, and its relaxed ride makes it a pleasant companion for long drives. Inside, the liberal use of track-prone trim makes for a well-built and attractive cabin, affording a cheap level of standard equipment.
The fourth and fifth models on this list are almost interchangeable, so the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson are close matches. The Hyundai is a touch more affordable and a little softer over bumps, but for some of the Kia’s radical design and more sophisticated interior it’s worth the extra cost.
The Sportage isn’t particularly exciting thanks to an adaptive suspension setup and light steering, but rear-seat passengers will appreciate its impressive cabin space, and those up front are welcomed by a pair of impressive 12.3-inch infotainment screens. It offers access to Kia’s industry-leading suite of technology, including sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
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On the outside, the latest Renault Clio is an evolution of its predecessor, but major changes under the skin have brought it to the sharp end 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 achieves more than 60mpg and sprints from 0-62mph in less than ten seconds, and the rest of the package is a significant improvement over the old car. The Clio is quite engaging through twisty roads, and the well-judged suspension offers a good mix of precision and comfort. Cabin quality is also very strong, with the five-door hatchback on its own offering plenty of rear space for adults and a large 391-litre boot.
Once a heavy and strong 4×4, it has transformed into a sophisticated and economical SUV in its latest generation. With the recent rise of SUVs, it’s no surprise that the Toyota RAV4 has become a sought-after hybrid model that moves the game up from its predecessors. In fact, it’s available exclusively in electric form, with a ‘self-charging’ hybrid version using a 2.5-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor.
Driving the RAV4 is surprising for such a long and relatively heavy vehicle, but while the hybrid setup can deliver more than 50 mpg, it delivers its performance in a noisy manner thanks to its CVT transmission. Still, the RAV4 is a practical machine despite its onboard electric gabions, and fit and finish are solid. The dated infotainment system slows it down a bit.
Best Cars For Long Distance Driving
Overtaking BMW in the premium SUV segment is no small feat, but that’s what Lexus has done with the latest NX. The firm has always attracted customers with exceptional comfort, build quality and a great dealer network, and the NX includes these qualities in a package that surpasses the X3.
The NX 350h returns the latest Toyota RAV4 powertrain technology into a more luxurious and refined SUV, and although it is objectively the better car, the more affordable Toyota is a better value. Still, buyers will appreciate the NX’s quiet road manners and plush interior, which has the slickest suite of technology we’ve seen in a Lexus yet. With the optional 14-inch touchscreen setup, you definitely won’t need more pixels.
Just like its Yaris and RAV4 siblings that also appear on this list, the Corolla is another model that is now powered by Toyota’s ‘self-charging’ petrol-electric hybrid technology.
The British-built hatchback is available in 1.8- and 2.0-litre models, both of which automatically switch between the two power sources, using the car’s petrol engine to charge the battery. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) replaces the traditional automatic transmission, and helps to make the most of the driving power.
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Those with a little more flair can opt for the top-of-the-line 2.0-litre hybrid model. With 177bhp on tap, 0-62mph takes just 7.9 seconds; fuel consumption and emissions suffer slightly, but this model still offers a good balance between performance and low running costs.
As the only seven-seater among our ten favorite hybrid cars, the Kia Sorento is the most versatile of the bunch. It’s also the most expensive, but the Sorento backs up the high price with good equipment levels and well-balanced dynamics. The hybrid version is built around a 1.6-litre petrol engine, which is quite smooth if not pushed hard, and does a good job of shifting the Sorento’s mass. It’s not a sports car, of course, but the Kia’s seven-seater feels at ease in corners while isolating its occupants from most bumps and bumps.
Higher-end cars get a 10.25-inch touchscreen inside, and heated seats, a heated steering wheel and intelligent cruise control are standard across the range. Despite some low-rent plastics around the cabin, the Sorento’s interior is quite pleasant, with plenty of storage cubbies and plenty of room for five adults and two children in the third row.
Choosing a hybrid car of any kind over an alternative that is often powered by humans doesn’t have to be a big decision.
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As with any new vehicle purchase, it is wise to determine and estimate your annual mileage