Most (and least) reliable electric and hybrid cars

Electric and hybrid cars offer low running costs, but they can be expensive to buy so they need to be dependable to keep owners happy. Which are the most and least reliable?...

Most and least reliable electric and hybrid cars - Lexus RX

Electric and hybrid cars are still relatively new to the mainstream, and this might leave you worrying about whether their technology can be depended on. Fortunately, we can help answer that.

Using feedback from nearly 13,000 car owners, we've rated 175 models from 31 brands, based on the number of faults suffered in the previous 12 months, how long each problem kept the car off the road and the cost of any repairs.

Here, we've used that data to name the most and least dependable electric and hybrid cars, aged one to five years old.

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


The 10 most reliable electric and hybrid cars

10. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014-present)

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Reliability rating 97.8%

Although 14% of Outlander PHEVs suffered a fault, most of these were minor niggles relating to bodywork, interior trim and non-engine electrics. All cars could still be driven and a third were repaired in a day or less, with two-thirds of work done for free under warranty. Some owners were charged up to £750, though.

Read our full Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review >>

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8=. BMW i3 (2013-present)

BMW i3 2018 front cornering

Reliability rating 97.9%

Just under 13% of i3s have caused their owners trouble in the past 12 months, with these mostly suffering from problems with their infotainment/sat-nav systems and interior trim. All of the affected cars could still be driven, with a third fixed in less than a day, but another third took up to a week and the rest more than a week to put right. At least all repairs were done under warranty.

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8=. Honda CR-V Hybrid (2018-present)

Honda CR-V Hybrid

Reliability rating 97.9%

Only 8% of CR-V Hybrids went wrong and non-engine electrics were the only problem area. All cars could still be driven and were fixed the same day under warranty. 

Read our full Honda CR-V review >>

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7. Toyota Corolla (2018-present)

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Reliability rating 98.4%

Just 5% of Corolla owners reported a fault with their car and the only problematic area was the 12-volt battery. Although all cars were off the road for more than a week, all work was done for free. 

Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh

Reliability rating 98.5%

Just 7% of Kona Electrics went wrong, with the ancillary battery being the only area affected. All of those cars could still be driven and the repair work was done under warranty, although this took more than a week in each case.

Read our full Hyundai Kona Electric review >>

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5. Lexus RX (2016-present)

Lexus RX L

Reliability rating 99.1%

A mere 4% of the RX Hybrids we were told about had developed a fault in the previous 12 months. Non-engine electrics were the only issue and all work was done for free, in most cases in a day or less. 

Read our full Lexus RX review >>

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4. Toyota RAV4 (2019-present)

Toyota RAV4

Reliability rating 99.2%

Toyota is renowned for its reliability, and the latest RAV4 shows why; just 7% of cars went wrong, with the battery being the only area that was affected. All of the cars could still be driven and were repaired in a day or less, and all work was carried out for free.

Used Lexus NX 14-present

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 the cars remained driveable and were put right in a day or less, with the cost covered by the warranty.

Read our full Lexus NX review >>

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2. Tesla Model 3 (2019-present)

Tesla Model 3 front

Reliability rating 99.4%

Tesla's newest model is not only the most dependable executive car but also the highest-scoring electric car. Just 5% of cars suffered a fault, according to owners. What's more, they could all still be driven and were fixed in a day or less at no cost to owners.

Read our full Tesla Model 3 review >>

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1. Toyota Yaris Hybrid (2011-2020)

New Toyota Yaris Hybrid vs Renault Zoe

Reliability rating 99.5%

As reliable as the Model 3 is, it's beaten to top spot by the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. This small car is incredibly dependable, with a mere 5% of the cars we were told about having suffered a fault. Again, all of the affected cars could still be driven and were fixed in a day or less for free.

Read our full used Toyota Yaris review >>

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