It wasn’t that long ago that choosing a hybrid meant picking a Toyota Prius because you were ‘green’ and wanted to do your bit for the planet, regardless of just what that meant for your driving pleasure. Today hybrid cars are a very real alternative, providing style, practicality and ‘green-ness’ to boot.
But before you buy a hybrid car, it must be said that some are better than others, either in the way that they drive, or the mpg figures that they achieve. However, don’t necessarily take the official fuel-consumption figures as fact - some hybrids have been known to be around 63% down on their claimed mpg figures.
Putting that aside though, there are models which do way better than others. Take a look at our picks - these are some of the best to drive this year.
#1 Range Rover P400e
This hybrid Rangie loses nothing of its Range Rover pedigree thanks to its hybridisation. In fact, it can still wade in 900mm of water on electric power only (same as the regular Range Rover), drive up mountains and deliver an unmistakable presence in your rear-view mirror.
With the equivalent of 398 horsepower, and 472 lb/ft of torque, the P400e is all Range Rover, all whilst capable of offering just 64g/km of CO2.
#2 BMW i8
Read the official BMW UK website information regarding the i8, and it’s all jargon – Aero Curtains, dynamic stream-flow design, solid posture, you name it! But the fact is, the i8 is Europe’s best-selling sports hybrid, and it looks like it’s just come from the set of the latest big sci-fi movie.
With a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine coupled on to an electric motor, the i8 offers a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds. While producing just 49g/km of CO2, BMW claim a 134.5 mpg figure for the i8.
#3 Volkswagen Golf GTE
What would a list of Best Hybrid models be without the ubiquitous VW Golf? The Golf has been around in one form or another for nearly 45 years, and always features in any ‘Top XX’ car list thanks to its ability to just … work exactly as it should. And the GTE is the same.
The beauty of the Golf is that it says nothing about you – buy the i8 and people think you’re a show off, buy the Yaris and other assumptions are made, whereas when you buy the Golf, you’ve just bought a great car.
#4 Toyota C-HR
Perhaps the C-HR is more the sort of car aimed at the younger generation, thanks to its ‘funky’ styling, and whilst some may find it to be a bit too modern looking, the sculpted crossover look is definitely popular.
Winner of the 2018 Best Small Family Car and Car of the Year awards, the C-HR works on so many levels, the one thing to watch for though is fuel-economy. However, that’s only because Toyota are advertising it under the new WLTP regulations, which means a more realistic figure – up to 74.3 mpg and around 86g/km of CO2.
#5 Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Sometimes you don’t need a vehicle capable of towing a caravan, or moving a small army of children through their daily routine, you just need a small, practical car to get your jobs done, and the Yaris fits this bill perfectly.
With class-leading efficiency, the Yaris hybrid builds on the success of the 20-year-old Prius, and is one of the better hybrid super-minis.’ It’s extremely well equipped, great to drive, and of course it has the reliability that Toyota are famous for.
Best hybrid models
You can see from our choices, there’s a whole world of decent hybrid (and electric) vehicles available now – every manufacturer seems to have one in their line up, and whether it’s a super-mini, or SUV, you’ll find a hybrid that works for you.
Buying a hybrid is no longer purely about showing your green credentials, but a sensible choice to pay less tax, get more for your money, avoid congestion charges and get cheaper fuel bills. There are many different reasons as to why you should own a hybrid (if you can afford a new car), and thanks to developments, it doesn’t have to be a compromise on ‘driving pleasure.’ You’re buying a great car that just happens to be a hybrid, not because it’s a hybrid.
Yes, currently the prices are still a little higher than their regular counterparts, but it’s closer than you think, especially when you factor in buying schemes that give you discounts for choosing something other than regular old fossil fuels – prices will continue to fall in alignment with regular cars, now’s the time to start considering that next purchase.