Electric Car Awards 2023: Best hybrid family car

With electrified cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best hybrid family car...

WINNER: Best hybrid family car

Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe Sport

Electric Car Awards 2023 logo

If you want a premium product, you need to spend premium money, right? Well, not if the premium product you’re looking at is the Audi A3 40 TFSIe, because it will actually cost you less to own than most plug-in hybrid (PHEV) rivals.

Take, for example, the Peugeot 308 Hybrid 180, which matches the A3’s 40-mile official electric range; it will cost you almost £100 per month more on a PCP finance deal. Then there’s the Mercedes A-Class, which is available with plug-in hybrid power only if you choose the saloon variant and ends up costing a hefty £159 more than the A3 per month. Even if you’re looking to buy outright, the A3 still looks fantastic value.

And that’s before we come to benefit-in-kind tax. No other family car can beat the A3 Sport’s low, 8% rating (courtesy of its long electric range and CO2 output of just 26g/km). Company car drivers in the 40% tax band will pay just £95.60 per month – the kind of money you might spend if you had a speciality coffee every day.

Best hybrid family car 2022 - Audi A3 40 TFSIe side

But it’s not just in terms of numbers that the A3 appeals. For starters, the plug-in hybrid’s 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor produce a punchy 201bhp when working together, and in all-electric mode there’s more than enough grunt to cope with urban traffic.

While the A-Class is even more forgiving over potholes and sharp bumps in the road, the A3’s ride is never uncomfortable, and it beats its Mercedes rival hands down when it comes to driving enjoyment. With well-weighted steering and plenty of grip, the
A3 is among the best-handling PHEVs on sale.

Of course, a family car has to be practical too, and the A3’s boot is just as useful as those of the 308 and Volkswagen Golf GTE; each can take five carry-on suitcases. A pair of six-footers will be perfectly fine in the A3’s rear seats, and although other rivals such as the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia offer even more stretching-out space, neither of those cars is available in plug-in hybrid form.

Best hybrid family car 2022 - Audi A3 40 TFSIe dashboard

For drivers, the A3’s standard front armrest and highly adjustable seat and steering wheel mean that finding a comfortable position is easy, and a configurable 10.25in Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel puts a host of information in your line of sight.

Stepping up to S line trim ups the price and takes the A3 into a higher tax band (12%), so we wouldn’t bother; the Sport has all the kit you need, including dual-zone climate control, part-leather upholstery, 17in alloy wheels and a 10.1in infotainment touchscreen.

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

See all of our Electric Car Awards 2023 winners >>