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Most and least reliable hybrid cars

Hybrid cars are complex machines, but does all that technology make them unreliable? Here we reveal the most and least dependable models...

Most and least reliable hybrids 2021 - Toyota RAV4

If you choose a hybrid you get many of the advantages of a fully electric car, without the fear that you won't make it to the next charger. However, because hybrids combine a traditional engine with an electric motor, there's also more parts that could potentially go wrong.

You need to choose carefully, then. And that's why we've used the data from our 2021 Reliability Survey, conducted in association with MotorEasy, to reveal which hybrids should give you trouble free motoring and which are more likely to let you down.

We not only asked thousands of owners whether their cars suffered any faults or breakdowns in the previous year, but collected data on how long the faults took to fix and how costly those repairs were. We then used this data to give each model a unique What Car? Reliability Rating.

Below we countdown the 10 most dependable hybrids aged up to five years old, plus the three least dependable.

The 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey is now open. Tell us about your car for the chance to win a great prize in one of our monthly draws >>

The 10 most reliable hybrid cars

10. Volvo XC40 (2017-present)


Reliability rating 95.9%

Volvo covered the costs of fixing all 17% of XC40s that suffered a fault. Most hiccups were to do with non-engine electrics, and 50% of these cars were still driveable and were fixed within a day. Overall, 25% of faulty cars took up to a week to repair, while another 25% that were deemed as non-driveable were only in the repair shop for a day. 

Read our full Volvo XC40 review >>

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9. BMW 3 Series (2019 - present) 

BMW 3 Series 320d front

Reliability rating 96.1%

Only 8% of 3 Series owners told us they had experienced an issue with their BMW, mostly to do with their air conditioning system or the engine. Some complaints were also made regarding the gearbox and clutch. Unfortunately, 67% of these cars were deemed non-driveable and were off the road for more than a week, but all cars were fixed by BMW for free. 

Read our full BMW 3 Series review >>

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8. Toyota Yaris (2011 - 2020) 

New Toyota Yaris Hybrid vs Renault Zoe

Reliability rating 97.3% 

Only 14% of Yaris drivers encountered a fault with their vehicle (primarily to do with bodywork), and all cars were fixed for free with Toyota covering all bills. All cars were still driveable, but 50% took more than a week to repair while the other 50% were fixed within a day.

Read our full Toyota Yaris review >>

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7. Toyota Corolla (2018 - present) 

Toyota Corolla 2021 front tracking

Reliability rating 97.6%

Corolla owners told us that 12% of their cars had an issue, most of which concerned the battery and non-engine electrics. Out of these, 33% of cars were deemed as non-driveable, but they were all fixed in less than a day. Overall, only 17% of Corollas could still be driven, but they too were also put right in less than a day and all the costs were covered by Toyota. 

Kia Niro Hybrid

Reliability rating 97.9%

Only 8% of Kia drivers experienced a fault with their car, primarily surrounding the bodywork, followed by issues with the air conditioning and engine. All cars were still drivable, even though 37% took more than a week to be repaired. The majority of vehicles (80%) were fixed under warranty, at no cost to their owners, but 15% had to pay between £50 and £300 out of their own pocket. 

Read our full Kia Niro review >> 

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5. Hyundai Ioniq (2016 - present)

Hyundai Ioniq

Reliability rating 98.1%

Just 13% of Ioniq owners experienced an issue with their cars, mainly with the air conditioning and bodywork, but also including faulty interior trim, seats, non-engine electrics and sat nav systems. All cars were still driveable, but 20% of them took more than a week to repair. However, the silver lining for owners was that all costs were covered by Hyundai.

Read our full Hyundai Ioniq review >>

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4. Lexus UX (2019 - present)

Lexus UX

Reliability rating 98.4%

Only 5% of the Lexus UX owners we asked told us their cars had gone wrong; interior trim and seats were the main culpritw, followed by the engine electrics. Even better, all cars could still be driven and were repaired within a week – and all work was done at no cost to the customers.

Honda CR-V 2021 front cornering

Reliability rating 98.8%

Just 5% of CR-Vs misbehaved, the most frequent issues being battery-related. All of these cars were deemed as non-driveable, but all were fortunately fixed within a day and under warranty, so there were no nasty bills for owners.

Read our full Honda CR-V review >>

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2. Toyota RAV4 (2019 - present)

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Design 2.5 AWD Automatic

Reliability rating 99.1%

Only 4% of RAV4 owners encountered a fault with their car, mostly surrounding the battery and suspension. All cars that went wrong were fixed in less than a day, even though 50% were deemed as non-driveable. Half of the vehicles were repaired at no cost to the owners, while the other half required contributions of up to £50.

Read our full Toyota RAV4 review >>

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1. Lexus NX (2014 - present) 

Used Lexus NX 14-present

Reliability rating 99.8%

Just 2% of Lexus owners reported a fault with their NXs, primarily relating to bodywork and non-engine electrics. However, 100% with the cars were still driveable, with all issues fixed in less than a day and at no cost to owners.

Read our full Lexus NX review >> 

Find great deals on a Lexus NX >>