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Best hybrid cars and PHEVs 2022

Published: 22 March 2022

 The best hybrid cars on sale in 2022
 Our pick of the best part-electric buys
 PHEVs, plug-ins and ‘self-charging’ hybrids

You might be thinking every man and his dog is embracing this mandated electric future with pure electric ambitions, but Mazda and Nissan are amongst the brands showing there’s still a healthy appetite for hybrid cars. The message is loud and clear; if you’re not yet convinced by the capabilities of pure electric, or have doubts about the charging infrastructure but nonetheless want to capitalise on inherent cost-savings, go hybrid. 

While the choice of pure-electric sports and performance cars also continues to grow and get an abundance of cabin and safety technologies, hybrids still make a great choice since the government ban on fossil fuel-based drivingextends the validity of hybridised cars to 2035.

Hyundai Tucson

Are they cheap to run? 

The government’s Plug In Car Grant is no longer applicable to hybrid cars and recent changes to ULEZ criteria now excludes hybrids from being exempt, but cost savings can still be made.

Buying hybrid means you avoid the high purchase price of a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV) and potentially benefit from less expensive company car tax, VED and Congestion Charge tolls. Hybrids can carry lower insurance premiums too.

But how cheap you can make driving, depends on whether you opt for a plug-in hybrid. Since these tend to offer 30-40 miles of emission-free travel, they can reduce multiple monthly trips to the fuel station. Yet, if you opt for a mild or self-charging hybrid, you won’t incur the additional costs associated with installing a charging point. 

The best hybrid cars to buy in 2022

If you already know which type of UK hybrid you’re interested in, click on the links below to jump to our pick of the cars on sale in each sector (some more popular sectors such as hybrid 4x4s have been hived off into their own separate pages):

If you mostly drive around town, why not consider a pure electric car which now make up more than 5% of UK new car registrations? But if your typical driving falls somewhere between these extremes – as it does for many UK motorists –  a hybrid may be just the answer you’re looking for.

Best hybrid family cars

1. Toyota Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid

Priced from around £28,000, you can pick up the wagon bodystyle in the Corolla Hybrid to electrify your family lugging duties. Toyota claims up to 55mpg and CO2 emissions stand at 112g/km to trim your running costs. Toyota’s hybrid car knowledge, specs and experience all wrapped up in a surprisingly practical bodyshell. The icing on the cake? It’s made in the United Kingdom, so you’ll be doing your bit to support local manufacturing.

On test: the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid

View Toyota Corolla lease deals

2. Skoda Superb Estate iV

Skoda Superb Estate iV

The Skoda Superb has long been the go-to estate car for those wanting towering space, decent value and the slick execution that VW’s ‘budget’ brand now promises across the board. Adding hybrid powertrain to the mix only makes it more compelling. The iV badge denotes this is the plug-in hybrid version, matching a 1.4 TSI petrol engine with a 85kW electric motor aiding the front wheels. Result? Skoda quotes CO2 emissions below 40g/km, a 7.7sec 0-62mph time and electric-only running of up to 37 miles. It’s a tempting combination. 

On test: our Skoda Superb review

View Skoda Superb lease deals

3. BMW 330e

BMW 330e

A classic of the breed, the BMW 3-series hybrid adds an 87bhp electric motor to the familiar 2.0-litre engine, bringing a theoretical 25-mile electric range and some attractive tax breaks. So appealing that BMW has confirmed 25% of 3-series sales are hybrid. Saving company car drivers a good couple of hundred pounds a month, it’s now available as a five-door Touring estate as well as the four-door saloon. Little surprise it’s Parkers Company Car of the Year 2022.

BMW 330e hybrid review

View BMW 330e lease deals

4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300e

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300e

If you’re after a plug-in hybrid to save the planet or a few pounds, it’s hard to ignore the C300e’s numerous charms. In its natural environment of the motorway it’s a more accomplished cruiser even without fancy adaptive dampers, and the real world electric range is astonishingly good. Battery capacity is up from 13.5kWh to a far more serious 25.4kWh, enough to lift range to a WLTP certified 62 miles, far more than the BMW 330e and pretty much every other plug-in out there. 

Our Mercedes-Benz C-Class review

View Mercedes-Benz C-Class lease deals

5. Land Rover Defender PHEV

Land Rover Defender PHEV

We’ve gathered our favourite hybrid SUVs in a separate guide here, but if you’re shopping for a plug-in off-roader there is now a lot of choice – and the new Land Rover Defender hybrid is among the front-runners. The new Defender P400e mixes the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with a powerful electric motor, giving a combined 398bhp system output – and enough range to drive 27 miles on electric power. Land Rover quotes CO2 emissions of just 74g/km and 85.3mpg combined economy.

Land Rover Defender review

View Land Rover Defender lease deals

6. Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson is an ambitious effort that isn’t going to be for everyone. Potential tech overkill balanced very finely with style and comfort, this is one car to either float your boat, or sink your deflated dinghy. That said, the model has global popularity, to the tune of seven million units being sold. Offered in mild, self-charging or plug-in hybrid variants, the Tucson is definitely earning its green stripes. What you gain in electric-only range on the PHEV—claimed 31, but we reckon more like 20—you lose in boot space. But everything’s a compromise, right?

Read our Hyundai Tucson review

View Tucson leasing deals

7. Toyota Yaris Cross SUV

Toyota Yaris Cross SUV

It was an effort to decide whether the Yaris hatchback or newer Yaris Cross SUV would make this list because simply put, both are excellent choices. In fairness, they are very similar, both sitting on the same TNGA-B (GA-B) platform. The Cross SUV pipped it really for its SUV credentials, which give families more space and versatility than a standard hatchback. Easy-to-drive, with a performance that’s better in person than on paper, the Yaris Cross has you in electric mode for 60-75%, meaning you’ll be minting money soon enough.

Read the Toyota Yaris Cross review

View Yaris leasing deals

8. Ford Kuga Hybrid

Ford Kuga Hybrid

This Focus-inspired SUV hybrid has superior handling to its muse. Stylish outside, internally it’s got all the practical, family-friendly makings typical of Ford. With a choice of an EcoBlue mild-hybrid with a 48-volt system or a plug-in hybrid range-topper, which unusually is coupled with a 2.5-litre petrol engine, the Kuga’s green smarts are more than covered. Incredibly there’s only 32g/km output of CO2 emissions, which—given the bigger engine—is remarkable. 

Read our Ford Kuga hybrid review

View Ford Kuga leasing deals 

9. Renault Clio E-Tech hybrid

Renault Clio E-Tech hybrid

The Renault Clio E-Tech hybrid integrates F1-inspired tech, or at least so Renault claims. While we’re not 100% on board with that, we can’t deny the Clio’s fuel economy is great with a wee bit of hybridisation. Though there’s plenty of sophistication going on in the engineering of the E-tech, the Clio is a smooth experience—only bringing a driver’s desire for bite in Sport mode. In and around town, Renault reckons it runs 80% of the time in electric mode. Line up to line your pockets. 

Read the Renault Clio E-Tech hybrid review

View Renault Clio hybrid leasing deals

10. Lexus LC500h

Lexus LC500h

Good-looking? Check. Rare and exclusive? You betcha. The Lexus LC is available with pure V8 power, or as a hybrid – and you can’t go far wrong with the petrol-electric version. You forego a pair of cylinders, but the 3.5-litre V6 still has decent performance and Lexus quotes a 0-62mph time of less than five seconds while top speed is pegged to 155mph. Want to compare other sporty hybrids? You can do that here.

Lexus LC review

View Lexus LC lease deals

How do they work?

There are different types of hybrid car: some (especially Toyotas) are called ‘self-charging’ and never need plugging in, while other, newer models are often branded as plug-in hybrids (often shortened to PHEV for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle). We’ve a full tech explainer here.

In all hybrids, an electric motor will typically do a lot of the work driving the car – giving you clean and quiet running around town. Head further afield or apply some heavy acceleration, though, and the hybrid’s petrol or diesel engine will kick in, allowing you to drive for as long as you’ve got fuel in the easily refilled tank. Neat, huh?

Further hybrid cars reading

What is a hybrid car?

Fastest hybrid cars

The cheapest hybrid cars you can buy today