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Best hybrid car in 2024: which should you buy?

Straddle the line between petrol and electric power with a hybrid car

a grey Toyota RAV4 PHEV driving on a road through the countryside

Top picks for hybrid cars

Hybrid cars can be a great first step to those hesitant about going fully electric, as they use a combination of petrol and electric power to get moving.

You can choose from a plug-in hybrid model (PHEV), a self-charging hybrid (HEV) or a mild hybrid, with HEV and mild hybrid models not needing to be plugged in to charge up by relying on regenerative braking.

Plug-in hybrid models are the best option if you want more electric mile range, while mild hybrids offer an extra boost towards fuel efficiency. Both can be a great choice for a model that can help cut back on fuel costs.

Here are our top picks for hybrid cars:

Toyota Corolla

a white toyota corolla driving on a road surrounded by trees

The Toyota Corolla is a top choice for a practical hybrid car, especially if you want something that’s affordable to run and enjoyable to drive.

There’s no need to plug in your Toyota Corolla to charge up, but you can still do most of your town driving using the electric motor.

This makes for a clean and quiet drive that saves money on fuel thanks to regenerative braking.

Inside, the Corolla gets features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen.

The interior is plush and comfortable, rivalling models like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

It also gets a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, making this an ideal choice for a family vehicle.

Prices for a used Toyota Corolla start at around £16,450 for a 2020 model on our site, but this can change depending on the models in stock.

BMW 330e

a dark blue bmw 330e driving on a twisty road in the mountians

The BMW 3 Series has been an iconic car on the market for some time now, so the 330e gives it a modern touch with a hybrid engine.

As a plug-in hybrid BMW, the performance is as exciting as you’d expect. 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds is never boring, and 285hp from the XtraBoost driving mode is more than enough punch for most people.

BMW says you’ll get up to 41 miles of purely electric mile range, so can get that far without needing petrol at all.

This translates to a claimed 148mpg – seriously impressive for a sultry saloon like the 330e.

A used BMW 330e on our site will usually start at prices around £15,650 for a 2018 model, but costs will rise for newer options and depending on what’s in stock.

Kia Niro Hybrid

A red Kia Niro hybrid model driving on a road

The Kia Niro is a practical SUV that’s available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid model.

Lower running costs feel even better when you’re sat inside a car that feels premium while still being sensible, so the Niro is a great all-rounder.

The plug-in hybrid model has an official figure of 40 miles of battery power before the engine takes over.

This gives it a claimed 313.9mpg statistic, but real-world driving might humble that slightly while still giving a seriously efficient drive.

The styling of the Niro is particularly noteworthy as it really nails SUV trends while still feeling classic.

A high-tech cabin with options for a 10.25-inch infotainment screen is also a bonus, getting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Skoda Superb iV

A white Skoda Superb iV hatchback

The Skoda Superb iV has a reputation that matches its name – it's truly a superb hybrid car that offers space and style and is a pleasure to live with.

You’ll be able to get up to 35 miles of purely electric driving thanks to the 13kWh battery.

It will take around 3.5 hours to recharge using a Type 2 connector, allowing you to easily boost up and enjoy the claimed PHEV figure of up to 246.6mpg.

It’s a relaxing drive overall, with a cushy interior that feels well-built and looks decidedly premium.

The eight-inch infotainment screen is easy to use and is available as standard, and the optional 9.2-inch Columbus system upgrades get you extra tech like 3D navigation and gesture control.

The Superb iV is considered a reliable car as well, boasting a range of safety tech like parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.

Lexus NX 450h

a green lexus nx450h parked on a path

The Lexus NX 450h is a glamorous SUV that’s the brand’s first dive into the world of PHEVs. Offering up to 45 miles of electric driving, it’s an efficient car that’s easy on the eye and most motorists will find those 45 miles ideal for commuting and the school run.

If you are going to be travelling with kids often, the 520-litre boot is ideal and impressive for a hybrid model. Often with electric cars, you lose some storage space to make room for the tech.

The interior of the NX 450h is definitely a selling point – it's packed with tech like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto accessed through the 9.8-inch infotainment screen. You can even upgrade that to 14 inches if you opt for a higher trim level.

The entire Lexus NX lineup gets a full five-star Euro NCAP rating, making it a safe and reliable choice for a daily driver.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

A red Toyota RAV4 hybrid

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the one to pick if you need a spacious SUV that makes use of hybrid tech, offering a more efficient drive while not scrimping in other areas.

Hybrid models are standard in the RAV4 range, so you know the full focus has gone into nailing this tech.

Toyota claims you’ll get up to 46 miles of electric driving without needing to fall back onto your petrol safety net.

The space inside the RAV4 is impressive and will be ideal if you travel often with adult passengers. Head and legroom are spot on, and the 580-litre boot is nothing to be sniffed at.

For a used model on our site, you’ll be looking at prices around £19,995 for a 2017 model – depending on the cars we have in stock.

Skoda Octavia iV

a blue skoda octavia iv hatch driving on a uk road

Another great entry from the brand, the Skoda Octavia iV is available as an impressive estate or hatchback model. It’s a worthy rival to the SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf but is a more spacious alternative.

In fact, you’ll get a 640-litre boot in the Octavia estate and 450 litres in the hatchback – making it seriously roomy.

The Octavia estate PHEV offers up to 41 miles of electric driving before petrol power will need to step in, and the official fuel economy rating is up to 256.8mpg (but real-world driving will likely impact this significantly).

The Octavia range was awarded the full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with 89% for adult occupants and 81% for children. This makes it a model you know you can rely on.

Audi A3 40 TFSI e

A grey Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e

The Audi A3 is a firm favourite on UK roads for premium motoring that’s comfortable and high-tech, but the 40 TFSI e model offers some hybrid driving perks that are ideal for modern life.

This is an ideal option for a company car, with a refined feel and the option for benefit-in-kind bonuses. You’ll be able to cover up to 40 miles with just your electric power, thanks to the 13kWh battery.

Alongside that electric setup is a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine that has the typical used Audi finesse. It’s comfortable to drive and feels at home on the motorway and around town.

This hybrid car isn’t as spacious as some of the estate and SUV options on the list, with a 280-litre boot that will be better suited to a couple or solo driver.

Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV

a silver hyundai santa fe phev in a carpark

The Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV is a large SUV that you can also find as a self-charging hybrid. In the PHEV model, you’ll be able to cover up to 36 miles of electric-only motoring.

When it is out on the road, the Santa Fe PHEV feels smooth and not as chunky as an SUV of this size might lead you to believe.

The 571-litre boot is ideal for those who are against packing light, while the handling and acceleration of the Santa Fe don’t suffer under the weight.

The interior is comfortable as well, with a 12.3-inch digital display available in the flashiest trim models that keeps the driver updated with the car.

There’s also a 10.3-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus wireless phone charging on offer – making it a thoroughly modern SUV in all areas.

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