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Best small hybrid cars to buy in 2024

If you're not quite ready to go fully electric, a hybrid hatchback is a great way to get a taste

What are the best small hybrid cars in 2024?

Hybrid city cars are all well and good, but sometimes you want something just a little bit bigger, which is why you might want to turn to a hybrid hatchback. 

There may not look like much of a difference between the two, but you’d be surprised how much more stuff you can fit in a hatchback when compared to a city car

On top of that, there’s the use of hybrid power, which offers extra poke upon acceleration and increased overall fuel efficiency.

Here are our top hybrid hatchbacks to buy in 2024:

an orange renault clio driving on a road

Renault Clio E-Tech

Renault has been selling the Clio since 1990, and it’s been one of its most popular models ever since.  

But what makes this one different – despite looking the same as the standard one – is that it features hybrid power. 

Speaking of which, power comes from a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a solid self-charging hybrid system operated by a small 1.2kWh battery, which is enough to help the engine out and to set off in pure electric mode at the start of your journey. 

Inside, the E-Tech is just like any other Clio you can buy, which is why it’s so popular. It’s the familiar aspect of the car that most of the buyers like and one of the reasons why it’s on this list. 

a grey toyota corolla driving on a road

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

The Toyota Corolla is one of those cars that will keep going forever and ever – a cockroach car, if you will. But what makes it even more appealing for city dwellers is that it offers a splendid hybrid system.  

Power options for this Toyota comprise of two hybrid units. The first is the cheaper 1.8-litre hybrid that produces 122hp, and the second is a larger 184hp 2.0-litre petrol hybrid system that might be the better choice if you need that little bit more power. 

There’s also plenty of space inside – and we know that because of how many taxi drivers use and love them. There’s enough room for five people as well as a decent-sized boot. 

A grey Cupra Leon

Cupra Leon PHEV

At first glance you may think that the Cupra Leon is just any other hatchback, but you’d be mistaken. This is actually part of a new breed of plug-in hybrid hot hatches – one of the first of its kind.  

It’s similar to the Volkswagen Golf in that it’s powered by a 150hp 1.4-litre petrol engine mated to a 114hp electric motor that produces a combined 245hp. 

Being a plug-in hybrid, the Cupra Leon is capable of travelling up to 37 miles on a single charge, which places it near the top of its class.  

Other than that, it’s more or less just a SEAT Leon or Volkswagen Golf underneath, so everything else should be quite familiar and straight-forward.

Like the look of the Cupra Leon? Take a look at our Cupra Born review

a blue audi a3 hatchback driving on a road

Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e

Despite having one of the most unnecessarily long names in the world, the Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e is a superb hybrid hatchback and one that's familiar, yet from the future. 

We mean this because Audi doesn’t currently make an all-electric hatchback, so this is the closest we will get for a few years.  

Sitting under the bonnet is pretty much the same layout you’d find in a Cupra Leon PHEV, which includes a 150hp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a 110hp electric motor.

This is all pumped through the front wheels via a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  

You might also be able to secure extra tech and features on a higher-spec model if you opt for a used Audi, as these are often more affordable than brand-new options.

a red toyota yaris driving on a road

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

The whole point of buying a hybrid is to ensure you’re being as fuel efficient as possible, and that’s precisely why you buy a Toyota – and more specifically, a Yaris Hybrid. 

Toyota’s Yaris is a hatchback that’s been around for decades, so why should you care about this one? Well, it’s because you can now get a hybrid one, and it’s ideal for those who enjoy driving and appreciate efficiency. 

Power comes from a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor that both produce 116hp. This should get you up to 68.8mpg, which is very impressive. 

a light blue honda jazz driving along a river

Honda Jazz

You can only buy a new Honda Jazz as a hybrid now, but that isn’t a bad thing. The Honda Jazz has been a popular car among the British people for years – just ask your nan, she’s probably owned one.  

The Jazz is only offered with one engine option now, and that’s a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to two electric motors and Honda’s e:HEV battery pack, creating a total of 109hp. 

Despite not being a plug-in hybrid, the Jazz can still travel short distances on electric power alone, but it will always favour what’s best for overall economy – which could mean over 60mpg. 

a white Volkswagen Golf GTE driving on a road

Volkswagen Golf GTE

In a world where electric cars are slowly taking over, it was only going to be a matter of time before Volkswagen updated its longest running model: the Golf. 

In 2016, VW sold its first Golf GTE hybrid model and has gone on to sell thousands, even after the all-electric ID.3 came out.  

It’s powered by the same 1.4-litre petrol engine you’d expect to find in a standard Golf, but now features a 116hp electric motor, resulting in a total power output of 245hp. 

This isn’t just another hybrid system, however, because this one’s really clever. So clever in fact that judging by the sat-nav, the car knows when to change into electric-only mode, which would be when driving around a city or town. 

VW claims you’ll see a return of up to 176.6mpg, which we don’t doubt, provided you keep the hybrid part of your car charged.  

Plus, used Volkswagen models aren't as pricey as brand-new options.

a red toyota prius parked

Toyota Prius 

Like the two aforementioned Toyota models above, the Prius is a very efficient and well-put-together hybrid hatchback that sits near, if not, at the top of its game. 

Under the bonnet lies a 1.8-litre petrol engine mated to a small electric motor that produces a combined 122hp and a claimed return of 94mpg. 

This self-charging hybrid vehicle means that driving slowly around a town or city is ideal because the car will effortlessly and silently drift along in EV-only mode. 

You may wonder why you should opt for one of these over any other hybrid, but all we’ll say is this. It is the preferred vehicle among taxi drivers – the drivers who favour fuel efficiency the most. 

a grey lexus ux parked on a drive outside a large house

Lexus UX

The Lexus UX is more of a small SUV, but we still think it’s very welcome in the hatchback family because it’s relatively compact, has a cracking onboard hybrid system, and is ideal for someone looking to enter the hybrid electric world without compromising on size. 

The most popular model available in the UK is the UX 250h. Power comes from a large 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor to put out a combined 178hp, offering up to 50mpg in the real world. 

Outside of performance, the UX is a very spacious and comfortable small SUV/large hatchback and offers the latest and greatest technology, displayed on a minimalist dashboard. 

a grey hyundai ioniq driving on a road

Hyundai IONIQ

The Hyundai IONIQ hybrid is one of those cars that offers everything a family could want from a hybrid in such a well-sized package, while still being big enough for five people. 

The IONIQ hybrid is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor that work together to power the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.

On the plug-in hybrid models, Hyundai claims you will get up to 39 miles on a single charge using electric power only, and a total of 74.3mpg when both the engine and motor work simultaneously. 


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