2020 What Car? Reliability Survey: hybrid cars

In our exhaustive annual survey, we reveal how dependable cars up to five years old are, based on the experiences of 13,000 owners...

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Most reliable hybrid cars

1. Toyota Yaris (2011-2020)

Reliability rating 99.5%

What went wrong? Motor electrics 5%

The Yaris is a small and almost perfectly dependable hybrid. A mere 5% of cars suffered a fault, according to owners. Of the affected cars, all could still be driven and were fixed in a day or less at no cost to the owners.

Owner’s view "My car has been totally reliable and provides good fuel economy, which has kept running costs low"

2. Lexus NX (2014-present)

Lexus NX

Reliability rating 99.3%

Only 6% of NX owners reported a fault on their car, with issues with the infotainment/sat-nav being the most common, followed by the bodywork. All of those cars remained driveable and were put right in a day or less, with the cost covered by the warranty.

3. Toyota RAV4 (2019-present)

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Design 2.5 AWD Automatic

Reliability rating 99.2%

The latest RAV4 is one of Toyota's most dependable models. Only 7% of cars went wrong, with the battery being the only area affected. All of the affected cars could still be driven and were repaired in a day or less, and all work was carried out for free.

Least reliable hybrid cars

1. Toyota Prius/Prius + (2016-present)

Toyota Prius Hybrid

Reliability rating 94.6%

What went wrong? Battery 5%

None of the cars in the bottom three has a dubious reliability record; they're only here because their rivals are even more bulletproof than them. Prius owners reported a fault on only 14% of cars, rendering them undriveable for a week or more. Half of repair work was done for free and the rest cost £50 or less.

Owner’s view "The 12-volt battery has limitations for those doing low mileage. It went flat and the car could only be started using jump leads"

2. Volkswagen Golf GTE (2015-2020)

Volkswagen Golf GTE in town

Reliability rating 94.8%

Just 11% of Golf hybrid owners told us their car had suffered a problem, with issues split evenly between the exhaust, gearbox/clutch, infotainment/sat-nav and non-engine electrics. Three-quarters of the faulty cars could still be driven, but half spent more than a week in the garage. All work was done under warranty.

3. Toyota C-HR (2016-present)

Toyota C-HR 1.8 Hybrid Icon CVT

Reliability rating 95.6%

Only 13% of C-HRs suffered a fault, and the two most frequently cited areas were the battery and infotainment/sat-nav. There were also smaller percentages of issues with the engine, engine and non-engine electrics and fuel system. Although most of the affected cars could still be driven, two-thirds took more than a week to put right. All work was done for free.

The 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey is open; tell us about your car

Reliability for Hybrids aged up to five years old

Rank Make and Model Score
1. Toyota Yaris 2011-2020 99.5%
2. Lexus NX 2014-on 99.3%
3.  Toyota RAV4 2019-on 99.2%
4. Lexus RX 2016-on 99.1%
5. Toyota Corolla 2018-on 98.4%
6. Honda CR-V 2018-on 97.9%
7. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2014-on 97.8%
8. Toyota Auris 2013-2019 97.4%
9. Hyundai Ioniq 2017-on 97.4%
10. Kia Niro PHEV 2016-on 95.8%
11. Toyota C-HR 2016-on 95.6%
12. Volkswagen Golf GTE 2015-2020 94.8%
13. Toyota Prius/Prius+ 2016-on 94.6%