Most reliable hybrid cars - and the ones to avoid

In our annual Reliability Survey, we ask readers to rate the dependability of cars aged up to five years old. Here, we list the most and least reliable hybrid cars in the UK.....

Sportage vs Kuga vs Tucson hybrid reliability header

Hybrid cars have come a long way since the arrival of the quirky Toyota Prius in 2000. There are now hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of many new car models that have the potential to save money on fuel, particularly if you do mostly urban or short driving. 

The other plus point about hybrids is that they’re proving impressively robust in spite of the added complexity of dual power systems. In the latest What Car? Reliability Survey only 17% of the plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) reported on had any issues, and that percentage only rose to just 18% for regular hybrids. In comparison, 26% of diesel and electric models went wrong. 

How the research was carried out

To compile the latest What Car? Reliability Survey we asked 21,732 car owners to give us the lowdown on how reliable their car had been over the previous 24 months. First we asked them to tell us if the car had suffered any problems, and, if so, how much each one had cost to put right and how long it had kept the car off the road.

The survey, conducted in association with MotorEasy, was compiled using this information. It contains data on 178 models aged up to five years old from 32 different car brands.

The 2024 What Car? Reliability Survey is live, tell us about your car now

Most reliable hybrid cars 

1. Suzuki Vitara Hybrid (2015-present)

Red Suzuki Vitara front right driving

Reliability rating 100%

The Suzuki Vitara is available as a regular hybrid and a mild hybrid. While both are a great option if you’re after a dependable small SUV, it’s the pure hybrid that comes out on top. While the mild hybrid version scores a creditable 96.7%, the pure hybrid trumps it with a maximum 100% rating. That means not a single owner reported a fault with their car.   

2. Lexus NX (2014-2021)

Lexus NX

Reliability rating 99.8%

The larger 2014-2021 Lexus NX isn’t far behind the Vitara with a rating of 99.8%. Just 2% of owners said their cars had suffered any hiccups, and all issues were resolved in a day or less by dealerships at no cost to owners. That makes it the highest scoring family SUV for reliability. 

3. Kia Niro Hybrid and PHEV (2016-2022) 

Kia Niro Hybrid

Reliability rating 98.8%

There are two options if you’re considering a 2016-2022 Kia Niro hybrid, and owners say both the conventional hybrid and the plug-in hybrid are equally dependable. Just 5% of the hybrid models we were told about had any issues – that’s three times less than the pure electric Niro EV. 

There were a small number of issues with the 12-volt battery, interior trim and electric motor. However, all faulty cars were fixed in a day or less and all work was done for free.   

Least reliable hybrid cars

1. Range Rover Evoque PHEV (2019-present) 

Range Rover Evoque 2023 long-term urban driving

Reliability rating 58.6%

Plug-in hybrid versions of the Range Rover Evoque aren’t as robust as other variants because they suffer more faults that are time-consuming to put right. Two-thirds of the Evoque PHEVs in our survey went wrong, with electrical issues the most common complaint, followed by problems with the engine and bodywork. Although most (92%) of cars were fixed for free, three-quarters of faulty cars were in the workshop for more than a week.  

2. Volkswagen Golf PHEV (2020-present)

Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front right tracking

Reliability rating 79.3%

Plug-in hybrid versions of the Volkswagen Golf were marginally better for reliability than their petrol counterparts. Both variants have a fault rate of 48%, with lots of reports of electrical issues, and 47% of the hybrids took more than a week to fix. However, while some petrol Golf owners had to find more than £1500 for repairs, all hybrid models were fixed for free.    

3. Mercedes A-Class PHEV (2018-present)

Mercedes A-Class A250e AMG Line front

Reliability rating 87.5%

Plug-in hybrid versions of the Mercedes A-Class are a better bet than their petrol or diesel counterparts. Although all three variants have a fault rate in excess of 30%, 27% of hybrids remained driveable and were fixed in a day or less, while more than half of petrol and diesel models sat in the garage for more than a week. Not such good news is that 9% of hybrid owners had to pay more than £1500 for repairs, while repair bills were lower for petrol and diesel A-Class owners. 

To read the reliability data for other car classes follow these links:

All cars and SUVs here
Most reliable small cars
Most reliable family cars
Most reliable executive cars
Most reliable luxury cars
Most reliable small SUVs
Most reliable family SUVs
Most reliable large SUVs
Most reliable seven-seaters
Most reliable electric cars
Most reliable electric SUVs
Most reliable sports cars
Most reliable car brands
Most reliable diesel cars
Most reliable petrol cars

Reliability of hybrid cars aged up to five years old

Suzuki Vitara (2015-present) 100%
2014-2021 Lexus NX 99.8%
2016-2022 Kia Niro Hybrid / PHEV 98.8%
Lexus NX (2021-present) 99.4%
2011-2020 Toyota Yaris Hybrid 99.3%
2015-2022 Honda HR-V 97.4%
Volvo XC40 PHEV (2017-present) 99.2%
Honda Jazz (2020 -present) 98.4%
Lexus UX (2019-present) 99.3%
Honda CR-V (2018-present) 97.5%
2016-2022 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV  99.2%
Toyota Yaris (2020-present) 98.6%
BMW 5 Series PHEV (2017-present) 98.4%
Toyota RAV4 (2019-present) 98.7%
Toyota Yaris Cross (2021-present) 98.0%
2016-2022 Lexus RX 98.6%
Volvo XC60 PHEV (2017-present) 97.4%
Toyota C-HR (2016-present) 97.4%
Lexus ES (2018-present) 93.3%
Toyota Corolla (2018-present) 97.1%
BMW 3 Series PHEV (2016-present) 96.1%
Hyundai Tucson Hybrid / PHEV (2021-present) 95.5%
Kia Sportage (2021-present) 95.1%
BMW X5 PHEV (2018-present) 93.7%
Ford Kuga PHEV (2019-present) 88.2%
Mercedes A-Class Hybrid (2018-present) 87.5%
Volkswgen Golf PHEV (2020-present) 79.2%
Range Rover Evoque PHEV (2019-present) 58.8%

About the report author

Claire Evans has been a motoring journalist for more than 30 years, working on consumer issues for a great deal of that time. After a stint as the advice columnist for Carweek magazine in the 1990s, she also spent six years working on motoring content for Which?. It is here she oversaw the running of the charity's annual used car reliability survey.

Claire launched the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2017, and since then has helped thousands of buyers choose the most reliable new cars and SUVs, as well as the most dependable used cars.

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