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Best hybrid cars 2023

If electrification looks scary a plug-in hybrid could be the ideal first step into a brave new world – here are the best ones headed our way

Hannah Hill

Words by: Hannah Hill

Dan Trent

Additional words by: Dan Trent

Last updated on 16 January 2023 | 0 min read

If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge of going pure electric, a hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle where the petrol or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) works in partnership with an electric motor might just be the perfect compromise to help the transition. Not only do hybrid vehicles improve fuel efficiency but, when charged and used properly, they can be more affordable to run, especially for those who tend to cover shorter distances or stick to city driving. Tax incentives for PHEVs based on their lower CO2 emissions can also make a big difference to monthly motoring costs for company car drivers, too.
On average, these plug in hybrids (PHEVs) are capable of around 30 miles of electric-only driving, which for some might even cover daily commutes or frequent shorter trips. If charged regularly, you may not even need to tap into the petrol or diesel engine, so running costs can be greatly reduced if you use hybrids in the most effective way. And, as hybrid technology has developed to become available across more of our favourite models, the range of choices is endless – from SUVs to hatchbacks and even supercars there’s an electrified car to suit all needs. Here’s our selection of the best hybrid cars to look out for in 2023.


Mixing BMW M division's high-performance with plug-in hybrid technology unleashes a mighty 653 horsepower in the unapologetically assertive looking XM. Reaching 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds, this super-SUV has suitably uprated driving dynamics, so you’re not only travelling efficiently and in style, but with a mighty punch too. It can drive in pure-electric mode for up to 55 miles, which can be maximised in Comfort mode where the electric motor is prioritised, or in conjunction with the petrol engine in Hybrid, Sport, or Sport Plus. The interior is just as plush as it looks on the outside, with vintage leather, an illuminated headliner, a large, curved display, and lounge-like, one-piece rear seating area.
Max pure electric range: 55 miles Read more about the BMW XM here

Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance

AMG’s high-performance C-Class returns with plug-in hybrid power, supercar performance and electrified technology, including an electrically assisted turbocharger. This Formula 1 inspired saloon makes an impressive 680 horsepower and hits 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds, which is far quicker than the previous combustion engine model. Inside the cabin you’ll find a complex infotainment system that can provide various AMG and hybrid specific displays and functions. These include eight drive modes, four levels of regenerative braking and numerous steering calibrations for road and track. While there is a nod to efficiency the C63’s primary focus is using hybrid power to improve performance, hence it only managing a token eight miles of electric-only driving.
Max pure electric range: 8 miles Read more about the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E here

Vauxhall Astra GSe

With its GSe electrified performance sub-brand (it stands for Grand Sport electric, apparently) Vauxhall is merging plug-in hybrid efficiency with sporting advances. From its a lower ride height, sharper handling and a more athletic look, the otherwise sensible Astra is about to get a little more spirited. Vauxhall has fitted the hot hatch with an array of visual upgrades like 18-inch alloy wheels, restyled bumpers and GSe branding inside and out. Alcantara-trimmed sports seats speak to the Astra GSe’s performance oriented package, combining ride comfort with sporty handling for a more exciting drive.
Max pure electric range: 30 miles Read more about the Vauxhall Asta GSe here

Aston Martin Valhalla

Signifying Aston Martin’s switch from internal combustion engines (ICE) to hybrid and full electrification, the Valhalla is the company’s first V8, mid-engined, hybrid supercar. Looks-wise the Valhalla closely follows the Valkyrie, together with a chassis set-up inspired by Formula 1 cars. A carbon fibre structure and aerodynamic bodywork assists in producing the ultimate set-up, the hybrid system delivering an incredible 937 horsepower and 0-62mph in just 2.5 seconds. With these jaw-dropping stats and stirring design it looks like Aston Martin is ready to take on hybrid supercar rivals from Ferrari and McLaren and move the game on yet further.
Max pure electric range: 9 miles Read more about the Aston Martin Valhalla here

Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV

The electrified Tonale signifies Alfa Romeo’s move into the hybrid world, the addition of a full plug-in version with increased electric range and power realising the potential in this sharp-looking crossover. With 276 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and the promise of over 40 miles of pure electric driving it’s got an important job translating the traditions of this proud sporting brand into the hybrid era. Used properly, plug-in version of the Tonale could essentially be enjoyed like an EV, proving very efficient on short distances but with more performance when required.
Max pure electric range: 43 miles Read more about the Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV here

Toyota C-HR

For a company traditionally thought of as deeply conservative Toyota took an especially bold direction with its C-HR hybrid crossover, bringing concept car looks to this hugely competitive corner of the market. It clearly worked, and the original C-HR has been hugely popular among buyers. Now there’s a new one coming and, while it sticks to a similar formula, it’s arguably even more dramatic, with its dramatically contoured bodywork, new ‘hammerhead’ grille design and additional bronze trimming to go with the black rear quarters. True, the version we saw was officially a design study and not the finished car. But given the C-HR’s mould-breaking looks has been such a strong selling point we’d expect the new one to carry this look through to production.
Read more about the new Toyota C-HR here

Dacia Jogger Hybrid 140

The most accessible seven-seater family car on the market has been electrified, hitting the market as the cheapest hybrid on sale in the UK. Dacia’s relationship with Renault means access to the ‘E-Tech’ system used models like the Clio hybrid we ran as a long-termer, the Jogger adapting this system to its own ends for a claimed 40 per cent improvement in efficiency over the purely petrol-powered models in the Jogger range. It’s quite a bit more expensive, though you should be able to claw some of that back with the cheaper running costs while enjoying the ability to do many of your urban miles on electric power alone.
Read more about the Dacia Jogger here Check out Rory Reid’s video review of the Dacia Jogger

Nissan X-Trail E-Power

The electrified X-Trial is Nissan’s largest SUV, offering the flexibility of five- or seven-seat interiors and an innovative hybrid platform for that added bit of fuel efficiency. As already seen on the Qashqai, Nissan’s e-Power hybrid system utilises both a petrol engine and battery that work together to power an electric motor, so cable-free motoring can be enjoyed without the stress of range anxiety. The X-Trail benefits from a well-equipped, modern interior and every version has plenty of standard safety gear – an important factor for family buyers. The e-4orce branded all-wheel drive version of the hybrid meanwhile offers both improved performance and the reassurance of all-weather traction.
Read more about the Nissan X-Trail here