There’s a lot going for hybrid cars. As a rule, they’re cheaper to run than the average petrol or diesel car, and they don’t inspire the same levels of range anxiety as full-electric cars.
Hybrid cars are becoming an increasingly mainstream choice, and as such, there’s more choice on the market than ever. Here we look at some of the best hybrid cars available in 2020.
If you’re considering a fully-electric car (and there’s a lot going for them too), then take a look at our best electric cars of 2020 here
Charging hybrid cars in 2020
Hybrid cars come in two types: “self-charging" ones which use some of the petrol or diesel engine power to recharge and give you some electric-only driving, or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which charge via a plug, and are becoming more popular.
Most owners charge theirs at home overnight, or at work, using a special wallbox and lead supplied either by the car maker or one that is tethered to the wallbox (you can charge with a normal three-pin plug but it will take longer).
Hybrid car range 2020
Hybrids provide on average about 30 miles of electric-only driving, which means that if you rarely exceed that amount in a day, you won’t often have to use any of the fuel in your tank.
If, however, you don't recharge, you’ll be paying a lot in fuel costs for lugging round an electric system and not using it, so think about your driving habits before you buy.
Also consider that a smaller, cheaper PHEV will recharge more quickly than a big, heavy, expensive one, as the batteries are smaller, but may not have as much range. It all comes down to personal choice.
Here are our top hybrids for 2020
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine
A beautifully appointed, large, plush seven-seat family SUV with plenty of creature comforts and a large touch tablet controlling all on-board functions. Powerful and efficient, it allows you to choose the best combo of engine and battery for the conditions - it runs as hybrid in default.
Want to learn more? Read our first drive review here
Range Rover PHEV
In electric mode, the Range Rover seems even more luxurious than before, if that’s possible for what is essentially a super limo with a raised ride height. It’s called the Range Rover P400e, and is an overlooked choice for those with large wallets and an eco-incentive.
It will make sense for business users in particular, given the lower CO2 emissions, but not so much sense for those looking for a large boot, as the batteries take up space. But it feels gorgeous to drive, so we’ll forgive it.Read the full Range Rover Sport review
.Find a Range Rover PHEV on Auto Trader
Honda CR-V Hybrid
Outstanding reliability and engineering make this a contender for the medium-family SUV hybrid list. Good levels of safety kit as standard, decent leg room front and rear, and a typically refined ride from Honda.
It’s not cheap, but Honda residuals are generally strong, meaning you shouldn’t lose as much as you would with some competitors when you come to sell it on, or, if you’re on a finance PCP package, you won't be paying through the nose for depreciation.Read our Honda CR-V review
.Find your Honda CR-V on Auto Trader today
The original hybrid still has plenty to offer in this crowded market, and is available as standard or plug-in hybrid. The styling is still controversial, but the fuel efficient is impressive.
Offering 70g/km of CO2 puts this on fleet customer lists time and again, and it should be good for 35 miles on battery alone, before that quiet petrol engine kicks in smoothly. You need a very light right foot on the accelerator, however, to stop the engine kicking in.Read our full Toyota Prius review
.Find a Toyota Prius on Auto Trader today
Lexus NX 300h
This is a small SUV from Lexus, which sells only “self-charging” hybrids, as it calls the non-plug-in ones. While there isn’t a great deal of leg space in the rear, you do get a decent boot and premium interior, with the option of a vibrant red leather everywhere.
It feels substantially different from the normal German offerings to make a case for the higher price tag, and Lexus has spend years mastering its hybrid technology for the smoothest and most efficient drive possible.Read the full review
.Find a Lexus NX on Auto Trader
Mini Countryman PHEV
Plugging in a Mini looks and feels right: this is a brand which has placed itself at the cutting edge of urban design and technology for years now.
The Countryman is Mini’s small (although obviously large by Mini standards) SUV, with the same desirability as other Minis. Inside you get good BMW satnav, funky Mini styling, and the PHEV will go far.Read the full Mini Countryman review
.Find a Mini Countryman on Auto Trader
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Small, clean and cheap: the perfect hybrid package? An equipment boost for the newest version makes this a very temping package, and buyers can pick from one of six trim levels. We hear 65mph is eminently possibly in urban driving, where braking recoups most energy for the battery.Read the full Toyota Yaris review
.Find your Toyota Yaris hybrid on Auto Trader
Volkswagen Passat GTE
The German plug-in hybrid estate is back on sale in the UK after a period when it was withdrawn to sort out emissions. You couldn’t ask for more space for passengers and luggage, and we still favour an estate for everyday driving satisfaction over a high-riding SUV. You’ll get up to 34 miles on electric power before the 1.4-litre petrol engine kick in. Read the full Volkswagen Passat GTE review
.Find used and new Volkswagen Passat hybrids
Now here’s a plug-in hybrid we can all fall in love with. A good-looking, full-blooded sports car (0-62mph in 4.6 seconds), with all the excitement of a petrol sport car, even if some of the “engine” noise that provides the thrill is artificial.
The BMW i8 hybrid’s premium interior combines futuristic curves with everyday usability in the form of BMW’s exemplary infotainment system, iDrive. Read the full BMW i8 review
.Explore BMW i8 on Auto Trader
An unusual take on the grand tourer from the premium Japanese brand, in the form of a two-door, high-performance coupe with a V6 engine and electric motors. The cockpit is swaddled in soft leathers and there’s lots of space for passengers in this quiet, sumptuous environment that will leave you refreshed at your destination.Read the full Lexus LC 500 review
.Explore the Lexus LC 500 range on Auto Trader
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Historically the best-selling plug-in vehicle, the Outlander PHEV is a large family SUV with the option of two- or four-wheel drive, a high ride height, a practical interior with durable materials and loads of space. What’s not to like?Read the full Mitsubishi Outlander review
.Find used and new Mitsubishi Outlanders on Auto Trader
Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The power alone - 680 horsepower, and 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds - might be enough to tempt you. Or the neon brake discs which signal the hybrid nature of the beast. The sweet combination of Porsche sporty handling and dynamics with respectable fuel economy (about 52mpg) makes this one of the most desirable plug-in SUVs of 2020.Read the full Porsche Cayenne review
.Find used and new Porsche Cayenne on Auto Trader