True MPG: most efficient hybrid cars
What Car?'s independent fuel economy tests show what MPG you can really expect from a car. Here, we reveal the best performing hybrids we've ever tested...
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 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
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.
8. Toyota RAV4 2.5 Hybrid
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.
7. Toyota RAV4 2.5 Hybrid 2WD
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.
6. Honda CR-V 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid
Test MPG 43.3mpg
The main reason for not choosing the RAV4 is that Honda's CR-V Hybrid offers similar strengths, along with better comfort, refinement, passenger space and real-world economy.
5. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
True MPG 49.2mpg
The Yaris Hybrid's average True MPG is good rather than great for a small car, but it has the best urban figure of any model we've ever tested: 80.0mpg. Throw in light controls, a tight turning circle and a supple yet well controlled ride, and it makes a fine city car.
3. Kia Niro Hybrid
True MPG 50.1mpg
We're huge fans of the Niro's fully electric sister car, the e-Niro, naming it our overall Car of the Year in 2019. But the hybrid version doesn't make as much sense because it costs more than conventional rivals and isn't as practical or good to drive.
2. Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i
True MPG 50.5mpg
The Prius is the most famous hybrid of them all, and offers slightly better real-world economy than its main rival, the Ioniq. However, overall we rate the Hyundai slightly higher, because it's quicker, better equipped and more fun to drive.
1. Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid
Test MPG 60.6mpg
If you're in the market for a new family car, the Corolla should definitely be on your shortlist, regardless of whether or not you're specifically looking for a hybrid. It's more efficient in the real-world than many diesel rivals, comes loaded with safety kit and offers a very comfortable ride.
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