True MPG: most efficient hybrid cars 2019

What Car?'s independent fuel economy tests show what MPG you can really expect from a car. Here, we reveal the best and worst performing hybrids we've ever tested...

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What Car? team
04 April 1972

True MPG: Most efficient hybrid cars

The official government MPG figures published in sales brochures can tempt you into buying a particular car, but those results are often misleading. So, What Car? has its own  True MPG and Test Range figures which reveal what fuel economy you can expect in the real world.

To ensure accuracy and repeatability, we use strictly controlled conditions, with the tests simulating a mix of town, rural and motorway driving.

As a result, they reflect what's achievable if you’re driving gently and sticking to speed limits but aren’t resorting to any unrealistically slow acceleration or special 'hypermiling' techniques.

Below we count down all of the hybrids we've tested that you don't have to plug in, from the least to the most efficient.

9. Lexus RX L 450h

Lexus RX L

Test MPG 33.3mpg

This luxury SUV comes very well equipped, and while the fuel economy we got out of it isn't particularly impressive by the standards of hybrids, it is comparable with the figures of diesel rivals. Instead, it's the extremely cramped third row seats and mediocre driving experience that most let the RX L down.

Toyota RAV4

True MPG 37.1mpg

The previous-generation RAV4 makes quite a bit of sense as a used buy, because it's practical, well priced and has an excellent reliability record. Just bear in mind that it handles more like an old-school 4x4 than a Mazda CX-5 of the same vintage.

Read our full Toyota RAV4 used review


7. Toyota RAV4 2.5 Hybrid 2WD

2019 Toyota RAV4 front

Test MPG 42.3mpg

To drive, the latest RAV4 is nothing remarkable, while its infotainment system is as slow as it is fiddly. However, when you factor in its low company car tax bills and impressive kit tally, plus Toyota’s stellar reliability record, there's still plenty to recommend it.

Read our full Toyota RAV4 review or see what discounts are available


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