Best hybrid cars 2023
Everyone from Toyota to Porsche sells hybrids these days, but which models should you consider and which should you avoid? Here's our list of the best hybrid cars.....
Not so long ago, hybrid cars were the reserve of minicab drivers looking to save a bit of money on fuel, and people living or working in London's Congestion Charge zone.
However, with an ever-growing number of models on the market, they're now very much 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 car model we think it's best to avoid.
If any of the models on the list take your fancy, 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.
Top 10 hybrid cars
10. Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDi PHEV
If you're looking for a practical, five-seat SUV, the Tucson is well worth considering, because it gives occupants masses of space for their legs and luggage. Even the plug-in hybrid version, with a battery that's big enough for 38 miles of pure electric running, can take seven carry-on suitcases, while the regular hybrid has room for eight.
9. Hyundai Santa Fe 1.6 T-GDi PHEV 4WD
There are lots of impressive facts and figures associated with the Santa Fe plug-in hybrid. There's the 36 miles that it can officially cover before it needs to burn any fuel. Then there's the 173.7mpg and 37g/km of CO2 that it averaged in government tests. But perhaps the most significant number of all is seven, because it’s one of the few plug-in hybrids that can carry that many people.
8. BMW 530e
The 530e is another car that can complete many journeys without needing to wake its engine at all. But even when this smooth 2.0-litre petrol unit does fire up, the car is quiet enough to put full-on limousines to shame. Specify it with adaptive suspension for the best ride, and the 530e becomes the supreme luxury package, without the price tag to match.
7. Skoda Superb 1.4 TSI iV
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 VW Passat GTE , yet the Superb is cheaper and even more spacious.
6. Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD
The 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, which helps make it easy to manoeuvre and park, while generous standard equipment, strong resale values and low running costs offset its rather high list prices.
5. BMW X5 xDrive45e
BMW's plug-in hybrid X5 is every bit as comfortable and luxurious as the petrol and diesel versions, and you barely notice the extra weight of its batteries, even in corners. You can't have seven seats, but that's the only significant downside. Indeed, it has a much longer electric range than the rival Volvo XC90 Recharge T8, a far more user-friendly infotainment system and attracts significantly lower company car tax bills so, unless you need those extra seats, it's the better car.
4. BMW 330e
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 good amount of space in the back.
3. Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI iV Estate
The Octavia iV's official 282.5mpg shows what’s possible if you do lots of short journeys, while CO2 emissions of 31g/km drop it into the exceptionally low 6% company car tax bracket. Crucially, though, this is combined with a comfortable ride, loads of standard equipment and a boot that's big enough to build a barn in.
2. Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe
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. 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.
1. Lexus NX 450h+
The latest NX is one of the most compelling reasons to go green that we've yet seen, with a long electric-only range which should not only slash your running costs, but also makes for tempting company car tax rates. This large SUV is good to drive, too, and has an interior that's hard to fault in any respect. In short, Lexus has proved that driving an electrified car without accepting compromises need not be a fantasy.
And the hybrid to avoid...
DS 7 Crossback E-Tense
There are some versions of the DS 7 Crossback SUV that are worth considering, but the E-Tense is let down by sloppy handling and a crashy ride, while the integration of its motors and engine is anything but seamless.
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