Top five best hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars

Top five best hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars

From city cars to luxury SUVs


IT DOESN’T seem that long ago that the Noughties rolled in and some of Hollywood’s best-known A-listers tried their hand at environmental evangelicalism, warning whoever would listen of the effects of climate change. And to be sure they were seen to practice what they were preaching, giant gas-guzzling Hummers gathered dust in private garages and in their place came a small, odd looking car from Japan: the Toyota Prius.

Among other stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz both drove the earliest Toyota Prius. And the car featured in hit shows such as Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The West Wing. It was the start of a green-car movement.

Introduced at the end of 1997, it sparked an interest in hybrid technology and the ability to run on electric motors, at low speeds around the smog-choked streets of Los Angeles and Tokyo.


Browse NEW or USED cars for sale


Today, few mainstream car makers are without a hybrid, or plug-in hybrid, within their range. It means there’s now a hybrid for every purpose – from supermini to supercar – all using two power sources: an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Most will run for a certain distance on electric power, giving zero-emission motoring and improving fuel consumption, but with the added reassurance of the engine for longer journeys.

Since the government announced a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars, from 2040, more drivers are turning their attention to hybrid cars. These will continue to be sold beyond 2040. That’s unsurprising; electric cars are still limited by battery capacity, a poor driving range (compared with internal combustion engine cars) and long recharging times. So if you need hybrids remain the more practical choice, in the medium term, for most drivers who want to buy a new car that isn’t powered solely by petrol or diesel.

In a regular hybrid, the batteries are recharged automatically as you drive, but in a plug-in, the batteries are larger and you can charge them up from the mains or a dedicated charge point. Or you can use the petrol engine as a glorified generator and power-up the battery. That means plug-ins have a longer range on electric power and better fuel economy, but they tend to be relatively expensive to buy, and you’ll need to have easy access to charging facilities.

However, those who rack up more than ten thousand miles a year may find a diesel makes more financial and practical sense, even if questions hang over how secure used values of diesels will prove as 2040 creeps up on the car industry and drivers.

Whereas those that want to cut local emissions entirely from their driving should consider buying an electric car. Driving’s guide to five of the best electric cars to suit a wide range of budgets gives drivers a clear idea of what’s available – well in advance of the government’s intended ban on diesel and petrol cars.

Here are the top five hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars on sale, as recommended by 

 

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: the four-wheel drive family SUV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: the four-wheel drive family SUV

It’s not hard to see why this is the UK’s best-selling hybrid car: the Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) is spacious and practical, with a five-star safety rating and even four-wheel drive. And yet, its CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km bring all sorts of benefits, particularly for company car users.

Easy to drive and with a range of up to 30 miles on electric power alone, it’ll suit private buyers, too.

Read the full review of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

  • Model Outlander PHEV
  • Price range £34,304 – £46,055
  • Our pick Outlander PHEV Juro leather (£37,555)
  • Road tax free first year; £130 a year for next five years
  • Electric range 33 miles
  • Combined mpg | CO2 156.9mpg | 42g/km
  • Acceleration 0-62mph in 11sec
  • Top speed 106mph

Browse NEW or USED cars for sale

 

Toyota Yaris hybrid: the affordable small car

Toyota Yaris hybrid: the affordable small car

Combining a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, the little Toyota Yaris Hybrid juggles its two power sources smoothly and effectively, and is great around town.

Admittedly, this is an expensive model within the Yaris range, but it’s also the most economical (up to 85mpg), as well as very well equipped and backed up by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

  • Model Toyota Yaris hybrid
  • Price range £17,585 – £19,845
  • Our pick Yaris hybrid Icon (£17,585)
  • Road tax £15 first year; £130 a year for next five years
  • Electric range 1 mile
  • Combined mpg | CO2 85.6 mpg | 75g/km
  • Acceleration 0-62mph in 11.8sec
  • Top speed 103mph

Browse NEW or USED cars for sale

 

Volkswagen Golf GTE: the hot hatch with plug-in power

Volkswagen Golf GTE: the hot hatch with plug-in power

It’s no accident that the Golf GTE has been made to look like the Golf GTI, because this plug-in hybrid certainly has enough pace to keep up with genuine hot hatches. But, it has something that none of them have; average fuel economy of more than 160mpg and CO2 emissions of less than 40g/km.

Above all, you get all the class and quality that make any Golf such a desirable thing.

Read Dom Joly’s review of the VW Golf GTE

  • Model Volkswagen Golf GTE
  • Price range £30,630 – £32,135
  • Our pick Golf GTE (£30,630)
  • Road tax free first year; £130 a year for next five years
  • Electric range 31 miles
  • Combined mpg | CO2 166.2 mpg | 38g/km
  • Acceleration 0-62mph in 17.6sec
  • Top speed 134mph

Browse NEW or USED cars for sale

 

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine: the luxury SUV

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine: the luxury SUV

In Volvo-speak, “Twin Engine” means plug-in hybrid. It can travel nearly 30 miles on a single charge of the battery and has naturally relaxed driving manners. But what really sets this seven-seater apart are the superb quality and classy design inside, as well as the excellent safety features.

Read Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the Volvo XC90 Twin Engine

  • Model Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine
  • Price range £61,715 – £69,615
  • Our pick XC90 T8 Momentum Pro (£64,015)
  • Road tax free first year; £440 a year for next five years
  • Electric range 27 miles
  • Combined mpg | CO2 134.5 mpg | 49g/km
  • Acceleration 0-62mph in 5.3sec
  • Top speed 140mph

Browse NEW or USED cars for sale

 

BMW i8: the plug-in hybrid sports car

BMW i8: the plug-in hybrid sports car

Just look at the styling of the i8. And then, look at the vital statistics: 0-62mph in just over four seconds and a top speed of 155mph, and yet its official average fuel economy is over 130mpg and its CO2 emissions are just 49g/km.

What’s more, it’s just as impressive on the road. A supercar with a conscience – who’d have thought it?

Read Jeremy Clarkon’s review of the BMW i8

  • Model BMW i8
  • Price range £106,310 – £116,305
  • Our pick i8 (£106,310)
  • Road tax free first year; £440 a year for next five years
  • Electric range 23 miles
  • Combined mpg | CO2 134.5 mpg | 49g/km
  • Acceleration 0-62mph in 4.4sec
  • Top speed 155mph

Browse NEW or USED cars for sale

 

Driving Green: Homepage

читать дальше

узнать больше