Best hybrid cars 2019

Everyone from Toyota to Porsche sells hybrid cars these days, but which models should you consider and which should you avoid?...

Best hybrid cars
Author Avatar
What Car? team
7 Nov 2019 18:20

Not so long ago, hybrid cars were the reserve of environmentally conscious school run parents, people living or working in London's congestion charge zone and minicab drivers looking to save a bit of money on fuel.

However, with an ever-growing number of hybrids on the market, they're increasingly becoming a mainstream alternative to conventional petrol and diesel models, with many preferring them to fully electric cars 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 count down the top 10 – and reveal the hybrid that's best steer clear of.

And remember, if you decide any of the cars in the top 10 are right for your needs, you could potentially save thousands without the hassle of haggling by using our New Car Buying service.

10. Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Save money on a new Toyota Yaris with What Car? >>

2016 Toyota Yaris Hybrid review

Like all Yaris models, the hybrid has light controls and a tight turning circle, so parking or negotiating narrow city streets is a doddle. However, thanks to bespoke suspension it's more comfortable than conventional petrol variants, soaking up bumps and controlling body movements well. To top it all off, the Yaris Hybrid has the best town True MPG figure of any car we’ve tested. This makes the scratchy plastics and dated infotainment system easier to forgive.

Read our full Toyota Yaris review >>

9. BMW i8

Save money on a new BMW i8 with What Car? >>

BMW i8 front

While most of the models in this list are practical choices, the BMW i8 shows that hybrids can also be fun to drive and hugely desirable. It's a high-performance plug-in hybrid sports car that uses a range of cutting-edge technologies to deliver serious pace and low emissions. Think of the i8 as an efficient alternative to models such as the Audi R8 and Porsche 911.

Read our full BMW i8 review >>

8. Audi Q5 TFSIe

Save money on a new Audi Q5 with What Car? >>

Audi Q5

Its ride and handling may be ordinary, but the RAV4 is a large and practical SUV that comes very well equipped and benefits from Toyota's stellar reliability record. What's more, it makes plenty of financial sense if you're a company car driver, thanks to its low CO2 emissions.

Read our full Audi Q5 review >>

7. Toyota Prius

Save money on a new Toyota Prius with What Car? >>

Toyota Prius Hybrid

The Prius is one of the founding fathers of low-emissions motoring, and in its latest form, it can compete directly with conventional family hatchbacks rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. It's even more fuel efficient than its predecessor, its interior is both roomier and better finished, and it's now better to drive than ever before.

Mercedes S-Class saloon

Why not combine low emissions with luxury car comfort? The S560e keeps everything we love about the regular S-Class, such as its long-distance cruising capability and stunning interior, and adds a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine under the bonnet working in conjunction with an electric motor. You can travel for around 30 miles on electric power alone – or use the electric motor to boost acceleration.

Read our full Mercedes S-Class review >>

5. BMW 530e

Save money on a new BMW 5 Series with What Car? >>

BMW 530e front

We're big fans of the BMW 5 Series: it's our favourite luxury car and was even our overall Car of the Year in 2017, having beaten rivals such as the Audi A6 and Jaguar XF. The plug-in hybrid 530e version can cover about 20 miles on electricity alone in real-world conditions before switching to petrol power, so it's a great option for those living in the city. It's also officially the most frugal 5 Series model, as well as the cheapest to tax.

Read our full BMW 5 Series review >>

4. Hyundai Ioniq

Save money on a new Hyundai Ioniq with What Car? >>

Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium

The Ioniq has long been one of our favourite hybrids, because it combines low running costs and a relatively low price with a reassuringly normal driving experience, plus it's more practical and smarter inside than its main rival, the Toyota Prius. Hyundai offers conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions, although it's the former that we rate highest.

2019 Honda CR-V front

Honda's latest CR-V SUV offers excellent space for both passengers and luggage, and the hybrid version – which combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor – provides plenty of poke. It's also the most efficient and refined CR-V you can buy, so makes a great family car.

Read our full Honda CR-V review >>

2. Volvo XC90 T8

Save money on a new Volvo XC90 with What Car? >>

2018 Volvo XC90 T8

The T8 version of the XC90 hides an ace up its sleeve: it's the only plug-in hybrid seven-seat SUV on sale today. As if that weren't enough, it's also the quickest XC90 by some margin, and yet it doesn't compromise what made the biggest Volvo appealing to begin with: its classy and flexible interior.

Read our full Volvo XC90 review >>

1. Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Icon Tech

Save money on a new Toyota Corolla with What Car? >>

The Toyota Corolla is the best hybrid car you can buy right now. Even the lesser 1.8-litre model offers adequate acceleration for most situations, while the 2.0-litre is properly punchy. Add in a cosseting ride, generous standard spec and super-low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions that make it an excellent choice for both private and company drivers, and it really stands out in this class.

Read our full Toyota Corolla review >>

And the one to avoid...

Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

Infiniti Q50 3.5h

The hybrid version of Infiniti’s Q50 executive saloon puts performance before maximum efficiency, and with a combined output of 359bhp from its V6 petrol engine and electric motor, it’s certainly fast. Unfortunately, the ride is too firm and the Q50 isn’t anywhere near as much fun to drive as its rivals.

Read our full Infiniti Q50 review >>

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more: the best and worst electric cars >>

Page 4 of 4

Related cars