Best hybrid cars 2023
Everyone from Toyota to Porsche sells hybrids these days, but which models are best and which should you avoid? Here's our list of the top 10 hybrid cars...
Previously the reserve of budget-conscious minicab drivers and city dwellers, hybrid cars are now a mainstream alternative to conventional petrols and diesels thanks to the promise of lower fuel bills. Many people prefer them to electric cars, too, because there's no range anxiety.
The thing is, though, knowing which to consider and which to avoid can make the difference between a fuel-sipping investment and a costly mistake. So, here we reveal the top 10 you can buy – as well as the hybrid car we think it's best to avoid. It's important to note that we're combining both plug-in hybrids and hybrid cars that you don't have to plug in on this list, so whether you have access to a charging point or not, you'll find something that meets your needs.
If any of the models on the list take your fancy – including the Honda Civic, which tops our list as the best hybrid car you can buy – just click on the relevant link to find out more or see how much of a discount you could get by using our free New Car Buying service.
Please note that the prices you see here will in some cases reflect the non-hybrid version of the car – we've noted the prices for hybrid versions as of the time of writing alongside each car, but you can find the by following the links through to the relevant model.
Learn more about how we test cars, or see the best and worst hybrid cars below
Our reigning Family Car of the Year is also the best hybrid car on the market. The Honda Civic is a highly efficient hatchback, easily capable of returning 49mpg in ordinary driving. Sure, the Toyota Corolla is even more frugal, but the Honda more than compensates in other areas.
Performance is impressive by class standards; the Civic can dash from 0-60mph in 6.8sec, meaning it’s faster than not just the Corolla, but also rivals such as the Ford Focus Ecoboost Hybrid 155 and Volkswagen Golf TSI 130, too. Good grip and precise steering help make the Civic fun to drive, although it can’t quite match the Focus for sheer driver enjoyment.
Read our in-depth Honda Civic review
- Impressive fuel economy
- Big boot
- Lots of luxury and safety kit
- Quite pricey
- Rear head room isn't great
- Road noise intrudes
If you’re a company car driver, on the hunt for a large SUV with a premium badge, the Mercedes GLC 300e will surely appeal. Its official electric-only range of 80 miles means monthly payments are lower than for the Lexus NX 450h+ (which can officially only travel 45 miles on electric power alone).
Plug-in versions of the GLC come with rear air suspension as standard, which helps hide the weight of the batteries, resulting in a composed ride. All versions of the GLC get a spacious and stylish interior, but the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 feel more solidly built.
At the time of writing, prices for the GLC 300e start from £63,210.
Read our in-depth Mercedes GLC review
- Well equipped
- Plug-in hybrid has impressive electric range
- Spacious interior
- Slightly firmer ride than rivals
- Stylish interior doesn't feel the most sturdy
- Petrol engines need working hard
The latest Lexus NX is one of the most compelling reasons to go green that we've seen. The 45-mile electric-only range of the plug-in hybrid variant puts it in a lower company car tax bracket than an equivalent Audi Q5 or BMW X3.
It’s good to drive, too; the hybrid system in the PHEV produces 305bhp, allowing the NX 450h+ to outsprint the Mercedes GLC 300e from 0-62mph by half a second. And, while the NX is far from being a sports SUV, it corners with precision.
Inside, the NX is hard to fault. The interior strikes a great balance between build quality and plushness, and feels well able to withstand the rigours of daily family use.
At the time of writing, prices for the NX 450h+ start from £53,463.
Read our in-depth Lexus NX review
- Strong performance
- Promise of stellar reliability
- PHEV has an impressive electric range
- Petrol engine isn’t the smoothest
- Choppy high-speed ride on F Sport versions
- Takumi versions are pricey
The Honda Jazz is the small car to beat for passenger and luggage space, while its unique and incredibly flexible rear seating only adds to its practicality. Visibility is excellent, too: the tall windscreen, narrow front pillars and deep side and rear windows help make the Jazz easy to manoeuvre and park.
It is rather expensive, but it makes up for this with generous standard equipment and strong resale values, as well as low running costs thanks to its fuel-sipping hybrid system. It’s neither as fun to drive nor as comfy as some other small cars, but it still comes out on top overall.
Read our in-depth Honda Jazz review
- Very spacious with great seating flexibility
- Lots of standard equipment
- Slow depreciation
- Pricey by small car standards
- Not the quietest cruiser
- Disappointing infotainment system
The plug-in hybrid system fitted to the Mercedes C-Class C300e is the best you’ll find in an executive car. The C300e can officially travel 30 miles further on electric power alone than the equivalent BMW 3 Series (the 330e), and the punchy electric motor means the C-Class can get up to motorway speeds comfortably without the engine needing to cut in.
As in the GLC 300e, standard-fit rear air suspension disguises the added bulk of the PHEV’s batteries, although the C300e still isn't quite as capable around corners as the BMW 330e.
Unfortunately, interior quality in the C-Class is poor. The dashboard is littered with cheap plastics which wouldn’t feel out of place in a small car, a far cry from the top-notch materials found in an Audi A4.
At the time of writing, prices for the C300e start from £52,025.
Read our in-depth Mercedes C-Class review
- Plug-in hybrid has an impressive ride
- Fuel economy and emissions compare well with rivals
- C300e has a very low company car tax rate
- Disappointing interior quality
- Not as much fun to drive as a BMW 3 Series
- Some road noise
If you’re in the market for a relatively compact plug-in hybrid with a premium badge on its nose, we’d recommend taking a look at the Audi A3 40 TFSIe. Its strong performance and engaging handling make the plug-in A3 one of the best PHEVs to drive, while its official electric-only range of 40 miles keeps company car tax bills low.
Yes, a Mercedes A-Class A250e has a slightly cheaper purchase price and a marginally better electric-only range, but it’s not as refined, it doesn’t handle as well and at times its ride is more fractious.
At the time of writing, prices for the 40 TFSIe start from £33,974.
Read our in-depth Audi A3 review
- Sharp handling
- Excellent driving position
- Strong and frugal engines, including the excellent plug-in hybrid
- Interior quality is good but could be better
- Fiddly infotainment system
- Audi's unimpressive reliability record
If you’re looking for a combination of plug-in hybrid efficiency and supreme luxury, you’ll be pleased to know that, as well as being one of our favourite hybrids, the Range Rover Sport P460e is our reigning Luxury Car of the Year.
Its interior is covered in the same sorts of premium materials you’d find in the bigger (and much more expensive) Range Rover, and the Sport cossets its occupants with standard air suspension which isolates them from bumps in the road.
The plug-in hybrid system makes the Range Rover Sport a sensible company car option, too: the P460e’s 31.8kWh battery (which is bigger than the batteries in some small electric cars) provides an official electric-only range of 75 miles.
At the time of writing, prices for the P460e start from £89,980.
Read our in-depth Range Rover Sport review
- Offers lots of Range Rover qualities for a lower price
- Incredible ability off-road
- Fantastic range on the PHEV model
- Cheaper than a Range Rover, but still very expensive
- Rivals are sharper to drive
- Land Rover’s reliability record is a concern
While the Toyota Corolla isn’t quite as brilliant as the Honda Civic, it’s still a remarkable hybrid family car. Its 1.8-litre hybrid system returns excellent fuel economy (it managed 50.5mpg in our real-world test), and has more than enough performance for everyday driving.
The Corolla is also well equipped, and feels solidly built, however its interior looks a little conventional next to some rivals’ more outgoing designs. Space for rear passengers is disappointing, so anyone who regularly carries six-footers in the back might be better off looking elsewhere.
Read our in-depth Toyota Corolla review
- Low CO2 emissions and great fuel economy
- Comfortable ride
- Loads of standard kit
- Cramped in the back
- So-so infotainment system
- 12.3in digital instrument cluster could be easier to use
The Range Rover Evoque is a stylish and well-equipped SUV, and the P300e plug-in hybrid is our pick of the range. It offers the best performance – it’ll do 0-60mph in 6.1sec – and is very smooth and fairly hushed. It has an official electric-only range of 38 miles, meaning most typical journeys can be made on electric power alone (as long as you charge it regularly).
The interior has a premium look and feel to it, and the driving position is excellent, too. There’s plenty of space for six-footers in front and rear, although you can fit less in its boot than in a BMW X1 or Volvo XC40.
At the time of writing, prices for the P300e start from £47,899.
Read our in-depth Range Rover Evoque review
- Great driving position
- Slow depreciation
- Limited boot space
- So-so fuel economy and emissions
- Land Rover’s reliability record
In conventional petrol-powered form the Kia Sportage is the best family SUV you can buy. This hybrid variant brings both extra performance and improved fuel economy, making it an excellent electrified alternative to the standard car.
The Sportage is very spacious, meaning it’s prepared for the various demands of family life, and the interior feels well-screwed together. It’s not quite as comfortable as a Volvo XC40, and is pricier than the Hyundai Tucson, but the Kia still makes the best all-round package.
A plug-in hybrid Sportage is also available, but the increase in performance is minimal, and the added cost means it’s only worth considering as a company car.
At the time of writing, prices for the hybrid versions of the Sportage start from £33,806.
Read our in-depth Kia Sportage review
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- Lower spec models are great value
- Smart interior
- Generous rear leg room and boot space
- Hybrid petrol engine sounds strained
- Rear head room compromised with panoramic roof
- No clever rear seat functions
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