Best hybrid cars 2020

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

Best hybrid cars
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What Car? team
14 Dec 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 model on the market, they're increasingly becoming a mainstream alternative to conventional petrols and diesels, with many people 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. Audi Q5 TFSIe

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Audi Q5

The Q5 has long been one of our favourite large SUVs, thanks to its hushed cruising manners, comfortable ride and classy interior. And while, this plug-in hybrid version is considerably more expensive than a diesel Q5 to buy, it compensates with far more performance and significantly cheaper BIK tax bills.

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.

Read our full Toyota Prius review >>


8. Mercedes S560e

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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 >>


7. BMW 530e

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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.

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.

Read our full Hyundai Ioniq review >>


5. Honda CR-V Hybrid

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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 >>


4. Volvo XC90 T8

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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 >>


3. Skoda Superb iV

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2019 Skoda Superb front

In iV form, the Superb combines a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a battery big enough for an electric-only range of 34 miles. It's essentially the same guts that you get in the Volkswagen Passat GTE , yet the Superb is just as comfortable and even more spacious, particularly in the back.

Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Icon Tech

Even the lesser 1.8-litre Corolla 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 Toyota's latest family car really stands out.

Read our full Toyota Corolla review >>


1. BMW 330e

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BMW 3 Series 330e driving

The thing that makes the 330e so special is that, aside from a shallower boot, it's much like any other 3 Series, meaning great fun to drive. There's simply nothing in the way it handles to suggest you're carrying around enough batteries for 36 miles of zero-emission motoring. What's more, every material feels suitably expensive, the infotainment system is a cinch to use and there’s a decent amount of space in the back. The 330e is a truly great car.

Read our full BMW 3 Series 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 >>


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