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The best hybrid cars for 2018 in the UK

  • Parkers pick of the best hybrid cars to buy now
  • Models to suit most lifestyles
  • Wide range of budgets covered
  • Parkers pick of the best hybrid cars to buy now
  • Models to suit most lifestyles
  • Wide range of budgets covered

The UK Government recently announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040, so understandably the move to a hybrid car is worth considering. 

Many hybrid cars have sufficiently low emissions to quality for lower BIK costs as well, minimising or even reversing the increase in list price. This means that in the current market conditions, where diesels are being placed under close scrutiny, more and more people are looking at hybrid hatchbacks, SUVs and saloons.

What are the best hybrid cars in 2018?

We’ve chosen our favourite hybrid cars available for you to buy now, both new and used, from a range of budgets and suiting a variety of lifestyles. Whether you’re looking for a small hybrid car, or a large SUV hybrid, we’ve picked the best ones for you to consider investing in. 

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Parkers picks: Small hybrid cars

If you’re looking for a small hybrid car as a runaround or if you mainly do city driving, then these three are great options. 

Toyota Yaris (2011-)

Toyota Yaris - the best hybrid cars

The Yaris remains popular, coming in behind competent rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, and Volkswagen Polo

What’s appealing about the Yaris? Its spaciousness, reliability, and the ease-of-use and urban efficiency of the petrol-electric hybrid powertrain are all reasons to love the Yaris. 

You can’t even get a diesel version any more - it’s just available in the hybrid or petrol versions, and with five doors, not three. 

New price: £15,995-£20,495
Fuel economy: 80-85 mpg
CO2:
75 g/km
Insurance group:
2-12

View the latest Toyota Yaris cars for sale


BMW i3 (REX) (2013-)

BMW i3 REX - the best hybrid cars

A ground-breaking car for the German manufacturer, you can also buy the i3 as a pure electric model as well as this range-extender version. The REX adds 180 miles of range to the electric version’s clamied 80-100 miles between charges. 

The i3 manages to blend efficiency with desirability. The i3 has two pedals - a throttle and a brake - but can actually be driven in normal conditions using just the accelerator pedal. This is due to the effect of the car's energy regeneration system, which will slow down the car when the driver comes off the throttle.

Steering is light but sharp, and the i3 is more fun to drive than you might expect. 

New price: £33,070-£38,220
Fuel economy: 150 mpg
CO2: 14 g/km
Insurance group: 21-23

View the latest BMW i3 cars for sale


Used: Honda Jazz (2008-2015)

Honda Jazz - the best hybrid cars

The previous generation Jazz was available with two petrol engines and the hybrid, instead of a diesel. The hybrid isn’t available, sadly, on the newer model (from 2015 onwards), but you can still find a good used Honda Jazz for sale. 

This model is spacious and practical, comfortable and quick around town, and of course easy to manoeuvre in tight spots. 

For a small car the interior is really spacious, suitable even for a young family. 

Used price: £2,170-£12,275
Fuel economy: 50-62 mpg
Road tax cost: £10-£115
Insurance group: 13-19

View the latest Honda Jazz cars for sale


Hybrid family cars

With more and more car manufacturers offering hybrid cars these days, there are plenty of family cars with hybrid engines to choose from. Here are our favourites. 

Toyota C-HR (2017-)

Toyota C-HR - the best hybrid cars

The C-HR is one of our favourite Toyotas - in fact, it won Car of the Year in our New Car Awards 2018.

It has an excellent ride, supportive seats, quiet cabin, plus a stand-out design and loads of practicality. Although It’s certainly quirky this isn’t a novelty car, and although other rivals are more practical, it's a great all-rounder. 

The engine is borrowed from the Prius, so you might wonder how enjoyable it is to drive - the C-HR has an involving, enjoyable setup as it’s been engineered with European driving in mind. 

New price: £21,065-£29,680
Fuel economy: 74 mpg
CO2: 86 g/km 
Insurance group: 14-16

View the latest Toyota C-HR cars for sale


Toyota Prius (2015-)

Toyota Prius - the best hybrid cars

The original faces lots of hybrid car rivals these days, but the fourth-generation of the Toyota retains its familiar looks and class-leading efficiency. 

The cabin is comfortable, as is the ride, although enthusiastic drivers won’t be too keen. 

Toyota has relocated the battery under the rear seat to liberate more boot space, and it recharges 28 percent quicker than previously. 

New price: £24,115-£33,895
Used price: £16,110-£24,200  
Fuel economy: 85-85 mpg
Insurance group: 14-22

View the latest Toyota Prius cars for sale


Volkswagen Golf GTE (2013-)

VW Golf GTE - the best hybrid cars

Volkswagen is hoping that Golf GTE will revolutionise the plug-in hybrid market in much the same way as the GTI did the hot hatch sector back in the 1970s and '80s. It's a technological tour de force, but non of its kit is intimidating to use, and off-putting in any way.

They may well have succeeded, too - as for now, the order books are closed due to unprecedented demand and excessive delivery times as a result.

It drives pretty much like any other Golf, although the performance uplift you get from hitting the GTE button is only significant with a fully-charged battery.

Speaking of which, the battery range in the real world runs to 15-20 miles, but as a hybrid, it works extremely well, feeling brisk and responsive, and only dropping to GTI-levels of fuel consumption with the battery completely flattened.

Downsides are that you need to park nose-in – the charge socket is behind the grille badge – and the boot is considerably smaller than a standard front-wheel drive Golf.

Finally, its refinement is excellent as when it's on electric power it's near enough silent. There's a button to get the GTE to make some noise, though, so you don't run the risk of pedestrian collisions in the work car park. 

New price: £17,765-£34,650
Used price: £5,125-£30,195
Fuel economy: 37-83 mpg
Insurance group: 7-39

Read our Volkswagen Golf GTE long term test here

View the latest VW Golf cars for sale


Hybrid SUVs

If you’re looking for a larger car to cope with the practicalities of a big family, plump for an SUV – there’s an increasing range of hybrid SUVs to choose from these days. 

Range Rover P400e

Available in Range Rover Sport and full-size models, the P400e petrol hybrid is a class-leading setup, with impressive fuel economy and emissions figures for the size of vehicle. Company car drivers will also appreciate the significant saving in BIK tax, where the premium paid for hybrid is recovered twice in savings over three years.

All of the Range Rover's imposing image and luxury remains intact, as does much of the performance - though the soundtrack from the 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine and electric motors is somewhat different to the V8's classic growl. When you're saving this much, it's hard to see the sense in the traditional powerplant.

New price: £70,785 (Sport SE P400e) - £113,050 (Autobiography LWB P400e)
Fuel economy: 101 mpg
CO2:
64g/km
Insurance group:
50

View the latest Range Rover cars for sale


BMW X5 (2013-)

BMW X5 - the best hybrid cars

The X5’s massive dimensions suggest eye-wateringly expensive running costs, and while versions such as the high-performance X5 M remain thirsty, the balance is redressed by the plug-in petrol-electric hybrid xDrive 40e.

This is a luxury SUV, but very practical too - there is an optional third row of seats, to which access has improved, and comfort for driver and passengers is very high. 

New price: £55,810 
Fuel economy: 85.6 mpg
CO2: 77g/km
Insurance group:
37-50

View the latest BMW X5 cars for sale


Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class (2015-)

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class - the best hybrid cars

It’s the first Mercedes SUV to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Combining 436bhp with CO2 emissions of just 78g/km, the part-petrol part-electric GLE 500 e 4MATIC can be topped up at a charging station, or by using a wallbox charger or conventional power outlet in as little as two hours.

It promises 85.6 mpg (on paper) and can be driven for 18.5 miles using electricity alone (again, in theory).

The GLE-Class is really comfortable and great off road (possibly better than on-road), however some of its rivals are more enjoyable to drive.

New price: £66,675-£75,970
Fuel economy: 76 mpg
CO2:
84g/km
Insurance group:
49

View the latest Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class cars for sale


Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2012-)

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - the best hybrid cars

The Outlander PHEV qualifies for the Government’s plug-in grant of £5,000 and taking that into account is priced either the same as the diesel or very close, depending on which trim level you chose. Ownership costs are compelling: zero road tax and a claimed 148mpg average. 

It has a spacious interior with lots of practicality; the third row of seats is ideal for children (although perhaps a bit snug for adults on long journeys), and the handling is pretty good given its size. 

New price: £34,805-£46,055
Fuel economy: 156.9 mpg
CO2: 41 g/km
Insurance group:
24-27

View the latest Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV cars for sale

*Prices correct at time of writing


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