4. Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Hybrids work best in town, so it’s a bit surprising that there are so few hybrid small cars around. The Toyota Yaris is the best of them, though, and is usefully economical and very cheap to run. A tacky interior lets it down somewhat, and it isn’t quite as comfortable or as fun to drive as the best small cars, but light steering and good visibility make it a doddle to park, while the smooth hybrid powertrain makes it a cinch to drive.
We found: 2014 Trend, 17,500 miles, £10,350
3. Volkswagen Golf GTE
Intended to be a sporty hot hatch in the vein of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but with the added bonus of hybrid power, the Golf GTE is a great option for the hybrid buyer. It’s a plug-in, so you can run it purely on electric power if you choose; what’s more, it’s good to drive, is endowed with a great interior and offers all the other good points of the regular Golf. The only downside is that it isn’t all that cheap to buy – but if you can stretch to it, the GTE is worth the premium it demands.
We found: 2015 GTE, 21,000 miles, £21,250
2. BMW i3 Range Extender
Rather than a conventional hybrid, the BMW i3 is a range extender – which means it’s an electric car with a petrol engine that serves as a back-up generator when the batteries run out. That makes it very cheap to run, and thanks to its tall profile, it’s remarkably spacious for its size. It’s lightweight, too, so it's both fast and good fun to drive, and as a used buy, it’s surprisingly good value. Only a firm ride and tricky-to-use rear doors dampen its appeal, but otherwise this is a clever, efficient and environmentally friendly car that looks and feels special and works as family transport.
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