If you want a hybrid, where’s the best place to put your money?
More and more Brits are considering hybrids for their next new car. But if you’re eager to buy one, which are the best models you should be looking at?
Here, sector by sector, we run through the top three models that should be on your shortlist. If you’re in the market for a family, SUV, executive or performance hybrid, then read on…
Best family hybrid
1. Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GDi Hybrid
The Hyundai Ioniq is competitively priced, but there’s more to it than just low costs. In practice, it manages to serve up diesel-like economy on the motorway, and it’s pleasant to drive with good ride and handling. Add in an extensive list of standard equipment and it’s easy to see the appeal.
2. VW Golf GTE
Sales are strong for Volkswagen’s ‘hybrid GTI’, the Golf GTE, thanks to a well-developed petrol-electric drivetrain that both performs strongly and proves good on fuel. It will go for more than 30 miles solely under electric power and its roomy interior is practical.
3. Audi A3 E-Tron
The Audi A3 E-Tron is the upmarket alternative to the Volkswagen Golf GTE. It costs more but a higher quality interior and classier image soon show where the extra spend goes. Besides, ultra-low emissions mean it is very competitive in terms of company car costs.
1.Audi Q7 E-Tron
Turning the Q7 into a hybrid turns it from a seven-seater into a five-seater, but otherwise it’s big fat ticks across the board. It’s smooth and fast to drive, has an excellent infotainment system and, despite its substantial size, will run for over 30 miles as a pure EV.
2. Volvo XC90 T8
Volvo combines a turbocharged, supercharged petrol engine with an electric motor to create the XC90 T8. It’s a potent performer, but also one good on fuel, with very low official CO2 emissions of 49gkm. Unlike the Audi, it will also seat seven people – not many hybrids can do that.
3. Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4
The first plug-in Mini has sporty handling (and a sporty ride) plus fun performance from its petrol-electric engine. Squeezing in the batteries does cost it some boot space, but they compensate with an electric-only range of 26 miles.
1. VW Passat GTE
A great everyday hybrid, the Passat GTE will run for over 30 miles as a pure EV, then more than 500 miles more on a full tank of fuel. It’s uncompromised over a regular Passat too, seating five in comfort and offering a big boot. You can even get a super-practice GTE estate version.
2. BMW 3 Series 330e
The fun-to-drive BMW 330e has a great drivetrain, blending electric assist with petrol power to serve up a smooth, sporty drive. It handles as well as any other 3 Series and will go for 25 miles in pure electric mode.
3. Mercedes C-Class C300h
The classy C-Class hybrid has ultra-low CO2 emissions of 94g/km, despite not being a plug-in hybrid. It’s convenient to use, feels luxurious inside and makes a great company car choice thanks to its relatively competitive list price.
1. BMW i8
There are few more head-turning four-seat supercars than the BMW i8, and its plug-in hybrid specification is just as eyebrow-raising: three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, powerful electric motor and high-output lithium ion batteries. It combines explosive performance with exceptional economy, meaning it costs pennies to run despite its million-dollar styling. It’s a genuine landmark BMW.
2. Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
Porsche proves you can have sporty performance and svelte four-seat luxury combined with zero-emissions electric drive with the plug-in Panamera. It’s a wonderful car to sit in and drive, and wins even more points by being nearly £9000 cheaper than the ‘normal-engined’ Panamera 4S. It’s almost a no-brainer.
3. Honda NSX
The radical Honda NSX is a next-generation supercar with an ingenious hybrid drivetrain that lets it drive as a pure EV and perform almost like a racing car (albeit not at the same time…). It’s terrific fun to drive, and the capabilities of the multi-motor drivetrain are vast: like the 1990s original, this is a genuinely epic Honda.