► The best hybrid cars to lease right now
► From hatchbacks to grand tourers
► Get the best of both worlds
The seemingly inevitable leap to EVs (Electric Vehicles) is getting closer by the day and while UK car buyers are opening up to the idea of electric cars, more still are reluctant to take the plunge. But as drivers become more environmentally aware, hybrid cars can make an excellent stepping stone towards a fully electric car.
Hybrid cars blend the traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) with EV tech to remove the range anxiety associated with fully electric vehicles while still offering lower emissions than regular petrol and diesel cars. There are different types of hybrid available. The list below includes fully hybrid electric vehicle (FHEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
EDITOR’S PICK: All the cars on this list are brilliant. But the 3 Series is our pick. It deftly combines clean running with BMW dynamics, plus the saloon and estates are easily picked up on the leasing market.
The best hybrid cars to lease in 2023
Best for those who want a car first and a hybrid second
Pros: Great fun, but still comfortable and economic
Cons: Options do make it pretty pricey
The 3 Series has long been the go-to junior luxury car and the plug-in hybrid model brings with it a new degree of power and economy. It combines a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a 111bhp electric motor and a battery big enough for up to 37 miles of emission-free motoring, making it one of the best hybrid cars to lease at this time.
It’s available as a saloon or estate (although boot size is reduced because of the battery gubbins) and the XtraBoost feature boosts power to 289hp for short periods. And best of all this extra weight and complexity does nothing to dial down BMW’s trademark handling.
Read the full BMW 330e review
Mercedes E 300 de
Best for motorway drivers
Pros: Delicious interior, high mpg
Cons: Not as fun as a BMW
There are petrol and diesel PHEVs to choose from in the E-Class range, but we recommend the unusual black pump option. It might seem like an odd combo but it results in a claimed 34-mile electric range when you’re pottering around town (more like 25-30 in real-world conditions) and 60-ish mpg when you’re cruising down the motorway, even with an empty battery.
Inside, it’s well-measured and tech-heavy with an iPad-like touchscreen, yet, it never feels overtly gauche like an EQE.
Read the full Mercedes E-Class hybrid review
Best for people who don’t want to plug in
Pros: Easy to live with, practical
Cons: Rear headroom is tight
The award-winning Honda Civic will cover 0-62mph in less than 8 seconds, easily do 60mpg day-in day-out and you don’t need to plug it in. Put simply, the hybrid powertrain is one of the best in the business. It’s quiet, smooth and goes about things with minimal fuss.
It’s pretty light on its tyres and feels lighter to drive than its kerbweight would let on, has a generous helping of standard features and it’s family friendly with a large boot too.
Read the full Honda Civic review
Best for comfort lovers
Pros: Big Citroen does big Citroen stuff
Cons: Transition between electric and petrol could be smoother
Comfort is very much key with the Citroen C5 X. Cars costing three times as much simply can’t offer as much suppleness and support. We recommend a PHEV model as they come with hydraulic bump stops that reduce shocks at the limit of suspension travel.
It’s a long car too, meaning seating in the rear is ample for adults and the boot is massive too.
Read the full Citroen C5X review
Best for mini cabbers
Pros: Clever hybrid system and lots of tech
Cons: Quite boring and dark inside
Toyota has long been associated with making the BTCC a bit greener with its hybrid powertrains. And finally, the Corolla is actually good to drive. Not like an Alpine A110, but the clever Toyota is quick enough even with the smaller 1.8-litre engine and the ride is exemplary even with 18-inch wheels.
Available as an estate car too, if you really do want the extra legroom and bootspace.
Read the full Toyota Corolla review
Best for the luxury minded
Pros: Opulent interior, excellent on road, excellent off it
Cons: Starts from £100,000
Simply one of the finest cars on the market, the Range Rover is the king of the luxury off-roaders thanks to its masterful mixing of old-school luxury and up-to-date tech.
The PHEV version helps it put even more miles between it and the competition. They can do around 50 miles on electric power, and unlike with most hybrids, can be rapid charged too.
Read the full Range Rover review
Best for city dwellers
Pros: Easy-to-drive and effortlessly economical
Cons: Interior feels pretty basic
While it’s not as headline grabbing as the GR Yaris, the standard Yaris is a stylish, well-made supermini capable of up to 68.9mpg.
It’s also one of the smallest and cheapest hybrids on sale today, comes with a ten-year warranty and is forever being flogged by leasing companies.
Read the full Toyota Yaris review
Best for families who like a bit of lux
Pros: Build quality, choice of different hybrids
Cons: Not all that brilliant to drive
Lexus has established itself as a top dog when it comes to luxury hybrids and the RX is no exception. The fit and finish is beyond what the Germans can do and all of the reassuring hallmarks – such as the door thud – is exceptional.
There are a pair of PHEVs (302bhp + 366bhp) as well as a regular (242bhp) hybrid. We reckon the 302bhp PHEV is the sweet spot in the range, providing both punch and economy.
Read the full Lexus RX review
Best for those in need of a seven-seater
Pros: Seating configurations, space
Cons: Looks like a van
Need seven seats? A boxy MPV is still the most sensible way to do it, and the Multivan is the best van with wheels on the market. Surprisingly posh too, with a load of different seating configurations. Plus it’ll fit seven adult-sized passengers.
The eHybrid uses the same PHEV powertrain as many other VW products. So it’s capable of around 29 miles of electric driving and it’s economical even when there’s no battery left.
Read the full Volkswagen Multivan review
Best for sports car drivers
Pros: Beautiful design
Cons: Not as good to drive as V8 version
Infusing coupe style with a hybrid drivetrain, the Lexus LC 500h is an attractive, if slightly left-field grand tourer choice. It utilises a 3.5-litre V6 and a 177bhp electric motor to make the LC a superbly refined car.
The interior is as fantastic as it is infuriating, but its build quality is unparalleled.
Read the full Lexus LC review
What is car leasing?
If you’ve searched for the best hybrid cars to lease you probably already know what leasing is. But did you know it’s also referred to as PCH (Personal Contract Hire)? No matter what you call it, it’s important to remember that it is essentially a form of long-term rental. You pay an initial rental fee and a series of monthly payments before giving your car back at the end of your lease.