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Best luxury hybrid cars 2024

Published: 09 January 2024 Updated: 21 February 2024

► The best luxury hybrid cars
► From Mercedes to Ferrari
► Here’s our latest list

This list of the best luxury hybrid cars on sale in the UK is a clear demonstration that the best hybrid cars are in no way limited to small, eco-centric shopping chariots any more. These days, many buyers won’t touch anything at any level unless the vehicle has some hybrid capability to offset the environmental impact of their indulgence.

The systems available in the luxury sector run the full gamut of hybrid technology – from barely there mild-hybrid starter-generators to the kind of self-charging hybrids made famous by Toyota right through to long-range plug-in hybrids with chunky batteries and lengthy electric-only driving ranges. And don’t think for a minute you’ll be limited to some kind of lowly four-cylinder engine here, either.

The best luxury hybrid cars at a glance

We’ve rounded up hybrid luxury cars in a range of body styles for CAR’s list of the best. But if you already know you want a hybrid SUV you can check out our specific guide on those; similarly we also have round-ups dealing with the best hybrid estates and more affordable hybrid cars as well.

The best luxury hybrid cars 2024

Mercedes S580e L

Mercedes S580e L driving, elevated profile

Best for: Those who want the best luxury hybrid overall

Pros: Sonderklasse quality throughout, epic refinement, premium interior
Cons: The BMW 7-Series might be a bit better…

You’ve been able to buy a plug-in Sonderklasse for a few years now, but the current generation has taken a sizeable step forward. Combining a powerful yet smooth six-cylinder engine with a powerful electric motor boosts performance, and it has a truly massive battery to help everything along.

With a claimed 65 mile electric-only range it’ll go further than almost any other PHEV, and it’s quick to charge, too. While most plug-ins take hours to top up, DC charging means it takes just 20 minutes to get from 10-80%. It certainly betters the Audi A8 TFSIe, although we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the plug-in BMW 7 Series.

Read our full Mercedes S-class review

BMW X5 50e

BMW X5 50e driving on a straight road

Best for: Those who want a hybrid with luxury and strong dynamics

Pros: Winning combination of performance, good economy, strong dynamics
Cons: Not the most attractive car

We’re big fans of the BMW X5 45e, but a 2023 facelift has increased both power and electric range enough for a new name, the X5 50e. Although the cake tastes slightly different this time around, the ingredients are much the same, with a turbocharged straight-six petrol engine doing the duties when you’re not running on volts.

It’s a combination that we put above the gruffer Mercedes GLE 350de, although that car does have much better fuel economy thanks to its smaller diesel engine. However, the X5 is plusher inside, better to drive and still usefully practical. Those that want seven seats will need to look elsewhere, though.

Read our full BMW X5 review

BMW X5 xDrive lease Deals VIEW OFFER

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid cornering at low speed

Best for: Those looking for luxury and performance in equal measure

Pros: Sophisticated exterior, incredible interior, refinement throughout
Cons: The electric range isn’t great

Yes, even Bentley is getting in on the hybrid game. Although a Bentayga Hybrid is available, it feels a little weak for a modern Bentley and can’t even manage 30 miles of electric-only running. Thankfully the Flying Spur Hybrid doesn’t use an Audi-derived PHEV system that’s also found in the Volkswagen Touareg of all things.

Instead, you get a similarly sized but far more potent twin-turbo V6 that’s also found in the nose of the Porsche Panamera. The electric range still isn’t amazing, but it goes like a proper Bentley and feels more like one should inside.

Read our full Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid review

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S front cornering

Best for: Those who appreciate an engine

Pros: 600bhp on tap, high comfortable cabin, it has a V8
Cons: Not the best for efficiency, poor CO2 figures

Unlike the AMG E63 S, the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in the GLE 63S gets a mild hybrid boost to help improve efficiency and performance. The improvements are indeed as mild as the name suggests, with CO2 figures that’d get you on the wrong side of Greta Thunburg.

Similarly, the performance improvements are as slim as you’d expect from an electric motor with around 20bhp. Still, with over 600bhp from the engine, it’s not like the GLE needed a great deal of help here. Rivals include the more engaging but less comfortable BMW X5 M, while the bonkers Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is faster still and even more efficient, if far pricier and less engaging than lesser Cayennes.

Read our full Mercedes-AMG GLE review

View Hybrid Mercedes lease Deals VIEW OFFER

Lexus LC500h

Lexus LC500h driving in profile

Best for: Those who want a combination of style, performance and luxury

Pros: Space age looks, unusual but premium interior, uncommon on the roads
Cons: The hybrid is fast and clever, but the V8 is faster and… a V8

Yes, the 5.0-litre V8 is quicker and sounds fantastic, but your bank balance will prefer the more frugal LC500h. Sadly only available as a coupe, it combines a 3.5-litre V6 engine with an electric motor, compact battery and a gearbox so complicated, we simply don’t have the space to explain it in this article.

The result? 354bhp, potentially over 30mpg and CO2 figures that are far easier to swallow than the glamourpuss looks suggest. Just bear in mind that the Porsche 911 will be receiving some electrification by mid-decade, and we wouldn’t bet against it being even more fun.

Read our full Lexus LC500h review

View Lexus LC lease Deals VIEW OFFER

Volvo XC90 Recharge

Volvo XC90 static rear

Best for: Those with big families who need lots of space

Pros: Great family car, strong safety, masses of space
Cons: There’s an all-electric EX90 on the way

Although there are many SUVs that are available with seven seats or PHEV power, there are shockingly few that combine both. If a Hyundai Santa Fe or Kia Sorento just isn’t posh enough for you, then we’d point you towards the Volvo XC90.

Yes, it’s been around a while and yes, there’s an all-electric Volvo EX90 coming, but the XC90 Recharge is still as relevant as ever. A 2022 battery upgrade greatly improved the range and BIK rating, while the interior is still an oasis of calm with a third row some adults will even fit in.

Read our full Volvo XC90 Hybrid Recharge T8 review

Volvo XC90 lease Deals VIEW OFFER

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Stuttgart’s luxury saloon is still a contender

Porsche Panamera driving profile - best luxury hybrid

Best for: Those who want a Porsche but need more than the 911’s practicality

Pros: Porsche performance, luxury cabin, surprising space
Cons: Looking older now, and the Bentley outclasses it

Think of this as a cheaper, racier Flying Spur Hybrid and you won’t be a million miles off. Both share a hybrid system and platform, with the Panamera forgoing a bit of luxury and comfort for performance and handling.

We’d stick to the S E-Hybrid rather than the ridiculously powerful Turbo S E-Hybrid as it’s nimbler and plenty fast enough. Besides, if you want a truly unhinged PHEV five-door coupe, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E-Performance has over 800bhp, where the Porsche can’t even hit 700bhp. What a time to be alive.

Read our full Porsche Panamera hybrid review

View Porsche Panamera lease deals VIEW OFFER

Lexus NX

Lexus NX450h driving on a straight road - best luxury hybrid

Best for: someone who wants something a little different

Pros: Lexus quality, great interior, unusual looks
Cons: Not many – some may not like the exterior design

Although the pricier and posher Lexus RX exists, it’s the smaller NX that’s the better car. Available with full and plug-in hybrid powertrains, it utilises the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine for both. Shared with the Toyota RAV4 PHEV, its slightly gruff edge sits more comfortably in this class than the one above.

That’s one of our few complaints, though. Interior quality impresses, it’s practical enough while the PHEV has a much longer electric range than the BMW X3 30e, and drives better than the Mercedes GLC 300e.

Read our full Lexus NX review

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Range Rover

Range Rover charging - best luxury hybrid

Best for: Those who are style-conscious

Pros: New look is even better, figures impress too, iconic exterior
Cons: Some may prefer the mild-hybrid diesel

Whether you pick the full-sized Rangey or the smaller Range Rover Sport, the mild and plug-in hybrid engines are very impressive. Arguably the one to go for is the mild-hybrid D350 diesel, a powerplant that’s delightfully smooth, capable of in excess of 35mpg and much cheaper than the P440e PHEV.

Not that the PHEV isn’t deeply impressive. With a class leading electric only range and standard DC rapid charging capabilities, you can rarely bother the straight-six petrol engine under the bonnet. Regardless of engine, it’ll go places where few others can. If you need more ability from your hybrid, you’ll be looking at the Land Rover Defender.

Read our full Range Rover review

Range Rover PHEV lease Deals VIEW OFFER

Ferrari 296 GTB

Ferrari 296 GTB oversteering. Rear shot. best luxury hybrid

Best for: Those who want thrills and a highly-strung V6

Pros: Ferrari looks, Ferrari performance, far more enjoyable than its SF90 sibling
Cons: Super impractical

Have we saved the best until last? Quite possibly, as the 296 GTB proves a plug-in hybrid can still deliver a thrilling driving experience in the bends as well as a straight line. Combining a turbocharged V6 with a chunky electric motor gives 819bhp and a sub-3.0 second 0-62mph time.

It’s not the only PHEV supercar, either. Ignoring limited-run hypercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918, there’s also the McLaren Artura which follows a similar path to performance as the 296.

Read our full Ferrari 296 GTB review

What are the differences?

When looking at a luxury hybrid car, it’s best to work out what you want from it. If you’re a company car user, a plug-in (PHEV) can massively reduce your BIK bills, in some cases to well below far cheaper conventional cars. The best luxury hybrid cars, such as the Mercedes S580e are now also able to run for long distances on electric, potentially offering cheaper fuel bills, too.

If you’re unable to plug in or are buying privately, a full or mild hybrid may be a better bet. A full hybrid such as that available in the Lexus NX and RX SUVs is usually a cheaper option than a PHEV. Even so, it’s still able to give a hearty economy uplift thanks to its ability to store otherwise wasted energy to use later. This is why they’re also known as self-charging hybrids.

A mild hybrid is a surprisingly Ronseal term. Instead of having a big electric motor and moderately sized motor that’s able to power the car for a mile or two, they generally have a much smaller motor that’s used to start the engine smoothly and give a little power boost to help performance and efficiency. Many BMW engines now come with this feature, while Mercedes motors with EQ Boost are as well.

We’ve also produced a guide on the pros and cons of hybrid cars, if you’re still not sure which powertrain to choose in 2024.

Which luxury cars have hybrid models?

Luxury cars may exist in their own rarefied atmosphere when it comes to price and exclusivity, but they can’t escape the march to electrification. That means more luxury cars are moving towards hybrid power or even electric power. Just a few years ago the list above would be impossible to make, but as emission laws continue to strangle the V12s and V10s traditionally found in luxury cars, the more sophisticated hybrid barges we’re going to get.

Curtis Moldrich is the digital editor of CAR magazine, and has worked on the brand for six years. He’s driven every car in our electric car guides and driven many more hybrid and ICE cars too. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes