• Best Hybrid Cars: Our Top Picks for Hybrid Harmony
  • Best Hybrid Cars: Our Top Picks for Hybrid Harmony

Best Hybrid Cars: Our Top Picks for Hybrid Harmony

Discover the top 10 self-charging hybrid cars and benefit from a more economical daily drive

A hybrid car can offer the best of both worlds by blending power from two or more sources. Compared to conventional combustion engine cars, hybrids produce less emissions and are generally considered more economical to drive. Not to be confused with a battery electric vehicle (BEV), we reveal the best hybrid cars in the UK. Read on to find out more…   

What is a hybrid car?

A hybrid (HEV) car - also known as a self-charging hybrid or full hybrid - is powered by an internal combustion engine with the added support of an electric motor (although there can be more than one). A battery is also included and its purpose is to collect and store energy produced during everyday driving.

In most cases, hybrid cars are fitted with petrol engines, but there are a handful of models that rely on diesel fuel alongside the electric motor. Unlike EVs and plug-in hybrids, standard hybrid cars don’t need to be plugged into a power source - instead, they rely on a ‘self-charging’ element to generate energy. This is usually collected through a process called regenerative braking when the vehicle decelerates. 

Compared to a mild hybrid, full hybrid cars can run on electric-only power for limited periods, which will vary between models.   

How does a hybrid car work?

Standard hybrid cars have two main energy sources which is why they are a step up from mild hybrid models. Firstly, the petrol (or in some cases - diesel) engine can act as a generator to power the electric motor, or the vehicle benefits from regenerative braking. 

When it comes to the daily drive, there are three ways in which a self-charging hybrid car can be powered; 1) it will work using the engine alone, 2) for short periods it can rely on just the electric motor, and 3) both sources of power can work together in hybrid harmony. 

Top 10 hybrid cars

As we accelerate towards a world with electric-only cars, hybrids have become an increasingly popular option among motorists. There are many fantastic models available to buy which are chosen for their fuel-efficient and eco-friendly benefits. Below, we share our list of the top 10 best hybrid cars (in alphabetical order):

  1. Honda Civic e:HEV Hybrid
  2. Hyundai SANTA FE Hybrid
  3. Hyundai TUCSON Hybrid
  4. Kia Niro Hybrid
  5. Lexus NX Hybrid
  6. Nissan Qashqai with e-POWER
  7. Peugeot 3008 Hybrid
  8. Renault Austral E-TECH Full Hybrid
  9. Renault Clio E-TECH Full Hybrid
  10. Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Honda Civic e:HEV Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £34,995
  • Range: Up to 521 miles
  • PROS: Very comfortable, good to drive, and a large boot space 
  • CONS: The interior isn’t particularly exciting, and fairly pricey from new

Crowned ‘Best Hybrid’ at the Carbuyer Best Car Awards 2024, the Honda Civic e:HEV Hybrid is now in its 11th generation of design. The full hybrid hatchback is teeming with technology and can run on pure electric power for a short period of time. Not always everyone’s number one choice, the Honda brand does tend to get overlooked in comparison to its competitors.

Hyundai SANTA FE Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £40,740
  • Range: Up to 566 miles
  • PROS: Fitted with state-of-the-art safety systems, benefit from a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty
  • CONS: Falls behind rivals where fuel economy is concerned 

If you’re looking for a large hybrid car, then look no further than the Hyundai SANTA FE Hybrid. Stylish, sophisticated and built for bigger families, this 7-seater SUV (sports utility vehicle) is available with a hybrid powertrain for optimal performance. Hyundai’s hybrid technology is designed to increase power when it's needed most, as well as being extremely fuel-efficient. It can travel on electric-only power for up to 30 miles distance in one go.  

Explore our Hyundai SANTA FE Hybrid offers available here at Wilsons Epsom. We’re an official Hyundai stockist and proudly boast the latest models in the range.  

Hyundai TUCSON Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £33,799
  • Range: Up to 507 miles
  • PROS: Packed with technology, plenty of room inside, ideal for long trips
  • CONS: Not as smooth to drive as competing models

As a top-selling mid-size SUV, the Hyundai TUCSON Hybrid is a reliable family car. Its hybrid powertrain makes the model a preferred choice for eco-friendly drivers who want to reduce their carbon footprint. All Hyundai cars come with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty and five annual vehicle health checks as standard, which is bound to save you a pretty penny. It can travel for up to 38 miles on electric-only power. 

Discover the latest Hyundai TUCSON Hybrid offers here at Wilsons Epsom. As an official Hyundai retailer, we are the number one choice for new models in the South of England.

Kia Niro Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £37,295
  • Range: Up to 560 miles
  • PROS: Relaxing and straightforward to drive, best-in-class infotainment system
  • CONS: Not as smooth on the road as other hybrid competitors  

Now in its second generation of design, the Kia Niro Hybrid feels remarkably fresh both in looks and performance. The family-friendly Niro is a compact crossover filled with smart tech to improve the overall driver experience, with a 7-year manufacturer warranty as standard.  Using electric-only power, the hybrid can perform for 30 miles at a time.  

Lexus NX Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £44,430
  • Range: Up to 590 miles
  • PROS: Great build quality, exceptional on-board comfort 
  • CONS: The on-board controls can be confusing to operate, expensive to buy

Lexus is really making a name for itself in the hybrid car market and the self-charging Lexus NX Hybrid is gunning for BMW in the luxury SUV segment. A leader in hybrid technology, Lexus models have great acceleration rates and can perform on battery-only power for distances of at least 40 miles - making them a top contender.   

Nissan Qashqai with e-POWER

  • Starting Price: From £31,656
  • Range: Up to 656 miles 
  • PROS: Plenty of room inside, extremely practical, great choice of trim levels
  • CONS: Less boot space than expected, could be more economical

A crossover with an engine complemented by a high-output battery, the Nissan Qashqai with e-POWER is not only segment-defining but equipped to deal with modern-day driving. As the UK’s number one crossover car, the Qashqai has a lot going for it; from great looks on the outside to a premium feel on the inside, we can see why this model proves so popular with customers. 

Explore the latest Nissan Qashqai with e-POWER offers at Wilsons Epsom, where you can also benefit from a £1,000 manufacturer deposit contribution. As an official Nissan stockist, we can provide test drives on all our latest models.  

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £32,131
  • Range: Up to 700 miles
  • PROS: Very economical on fuel, looks good, a great ‘halfway house’ option 
  • CONS: Can feel heavy to drive

Peugeot’s popular SUV now comes with a self-charging powertrain that boasts the brand's award-winning PEUGEOT i-Cockpit technology. The Peugeot 3008 Hybrid is a perfect family-sized car that oozes style and provides exceptional levels of comfort for all on board. Depending on the trim level chosen, drivers can expect to achieve between 25-40 miles on electric power alone.

Discover the latest Peugeot 3008 Hybrid offers at Wilsons Epsom in Surrey - including favourable deals on Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) finance agreements. As an official Peugeot stockist, you’re always guaranteed a good deal when you buy from us.     

Renault Austral E-TECH Full Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £33,545
  • Range: Up to 683 miles
  • PROS: Brimming with safety systems, efficient and economical, bold styling with great trim options
  • CONS: The gearbox can be clunky, not the quietest on the road

As an innovative full hybrid SUV, the Renault Austral E-TECH combines petrol power paired with battery technology alongside an extensive list of advanced driver assistance systems. The car is a replacement for the manufacturer’s previous Kadjar model and is slightly bigger, meaning it can offer more cargo space in the rear. Not to mention the class-leading CO2 emission reduction and an impressive 60.1 miles to the gallon.

Explore the latest Renault Austral E-TECH full hybrid offers at our Wilsons Epsom dealership. We have a rich history of stocking the renowned Renault brand and as such, are trusted by customers all over the UK when it comes to purchasing a new or used model.

Renault Clio E-TECH Full Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £20,520
  • Range: Up to 550 miles
  • PROS: Surprisingly spacious, great interior quality, affordable price bracket
  • CONS: Could be more comfortable, can lag at times

Undergoing a recent facelift, the Renault Clio E-TECH Full Hybrid is revolutionising the supermini market, and guess what, it’s friendly on the purse strings too! This new version of an iconic hatchback boasts a redesigned front end and sharp styling features throughout. Having sold over 1 million models in the UK, the Clio steps up a gear with full hybrid petrol/electric technology that can produce up to 67.3 mpg. 

As one of the oldest Renault dealerships in the country, here at Wilsons Epsom we can offer a favourable deal on the new Renault Clio E-TECH Full Hybrid model. Why not book a test drive today to see what all the fuss is about.  

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

  • Starting Price: From £22,125
  • Range: Up to 447 miles
  • PROS: easy to drive and perfect for parking 
  • CONS: Cheap interior, short on space in the rear seats 

It’s hard not to like the Toyota Yaris self-charging hybrid which is packed full of personality and prepped for city life. It’s a great all-round performer that combines a number of safety features as standard. To shake off dull perceptions of the brand, Toyota has brought the Yaris bang up-to-date in a bid to appeal to a more modern market. 

What hybrid should I buy? How to choose a hybrid car:

With so many great hybrid cars on the market, it can be hard to choose which one would be the ideal model for you. To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve listed the main things to look for in a self-charging hybrid car, and also highlight what to avoid!

What to look for in a hybrid car - 

  • A model that has an efficient return on MPG
  • A model that can travel a decent amount of miles on electric-only power
  • A model that cleanly transitions between both the fuel and electric modes
  • A model where the battery doesn’t take up too much boot space
  • A model that can be switched into Eco mode to provide the most economical performance

What to avoid in a hybrid car -  

  • A model that isn’t efficient and does fewer miles to the gallon
  • A model that can’t travel far when in electric-only mode
  • A model that is clunky when switching between fuel and electric mode
  • A model where the battery eats into the interior space
  • A model that doesn’t have an Eco mode setting 

Should I buy a hybrid car? 10 Reasons to choose a self-charging hybrid:

  1. It’s ideal for commutes with lots of stop/start traffic
  2. Available in a variety of different body shapes and styles 
  3. Lower road tax rate
  4. More miles to the gallon
  5. Can be driven on electric-only power for short periods of time
  6. Could reduce your fuel costs
  7. Better performance on the road
  8. Hybrid components are designed to last the car’s lifetime
  9. No need to access a charging point
  10. There are no concerns about ‘range anxiety’ as when the electric power has depleted, the fuel engine kicks in

How does a hybrid car differ from a plug-in hybrid?

A full hybrid car uses self-charging technology to generate a small amount of electric power, whereas a plug-in hybrid is powered using a charging point or electrical socket. Both types of hybrids can travel on electric-only power for limited periods of time, but cannot be relied upon exclusively for EV performance.  

FAQs and Answers

We hope that from our hybrid car guide, you have now gained a better understanding of how self-charging hybrids work, and what the benefits are. If you still have a question, then refer to our FAQ section below to find out the answer: 

Is it worth buying a hybrid car in 2024 UK?

If you’d like to reduce your monthly fuel costs and benefit from a more economical daily drive, then buying a hybrid car could be a great investment. A self-charging hybrid is also an ideal halfway house before committing to a fully electric vehicle.  

Read more about why should you buy a hybrid car here.

What are the advantages of a hybrid car?

There are many advantages to owning a hybrid car, starting with the variety of options available; including a mild hybrid, self-charging hybrid, or plug-in hybrid. Many manufacturers now offer a hybrid option, so there is also a large choice of vehicles on the market. Hybrid technology can increase MPG, reduce fuel costs, and make for better performance on the roads. 

What is the downside of hybrid cars?

Compared to a conventional combustion engine vehicle, hybrid car repairs can be more costly if something goes wrong. 

What are the different types of hybrid cars?

There are three main types of hybrid vehicle technology available, these are: 1) mild hybrids - these use a small amount of regenerative power to boost overall performance, 2) self-charging hybrids - these produce even more regenerative power which means they can be driven in EV mode for short periods, and 3) plug-in hybrids - these rely on being plugged into a charging point to be driven in EV mode for short periods of time. 

How do hybrid cars work?

Hybrid cars rely on a trio of power sources in order to function. They are mostly powered by an internal combustion engine which will be fuelled by petrol or diesel, that works in partnership with an electric motor, and a small battery to store regenerative energy. 

Is hybrid better than petrol?

What’s important to remember is that hybrid cars depend on fuel, such as petrol. However, a hybrid petrol engine can offer the best of both worlds and switch between using fuel or relying on electric-only battery power for limited distances. 

Do hybrids hold their value?

Due to the popularity of cars fitted with hybrid technology, these types of vehicles are now sought-after when it comes to the used car market, thus making them valuable at resale. 

New and used hybrid cars for sale

If a new hybrid car or a used hybrid vehicle ticks all of your boxes, then we’d love to welcome you to Wilsons Epsom. We are a multi-franchise new and used car dealership based in Surrey - not far from London - and easily accessible to motorists who live and work in the South of England. 

Read our next article to find which are the best hybrid SUVs or learn more about our top mild hybrid cars recommendations.

As experts in hybrid and electric vehicles, we have a huge passion for battery-powered technology and proudly stock the latest and greatest models from world-renowned manufacturers. We are open seven days a week and our friendly team is always happy to help answer any questions you may have about hybrids.

Transport For London

Cars need to meet minimum emission standards when travelling in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the daily charge must be paid.

Minimum emission standards

Petrol: Euro 4
Diesel: Euro 6

The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age. However:

Information from Transport For London

Check this car on the TFL website before purchasing: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/

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