► Not all hybrid cars are hyper-expensive
► Electrified mobility from £21,295
► But are cheapest hybrid cars worth it?
Hybrid cars have been around in the mainstream for more than 20 years now and you can browse the best hybrid cars in our advice pages. And things have moved on a bit since the Honda Insight and original Toyota Prius – in 2023, hybrids come in all shapes and sizes. This list will focus on the cheapest hybrid cars.
EDITOR’S PICK: The Honda Jazz is the first car on this list, but still one of the most impressive. Sensibly styled, it offers a good amount of space paired with strong specs – and it’s extremely well-engineered.
The best budget hybrid cars on sale are no longer tin boxes with unconventional bodystyles, sluggish performance and weird images. In 2023, a hybrid is a perfectly conventional choice of powertrain, available in a wide range of cars from hybrid SUVs to hybrid 7-seaters, with a wide range available on the used market too.
Cheapest hybrid cars in 2023
The cheapest hybrid car is total bargain
PROS: Very clever, very cheap
CONS: You don’t get much as standard
The Honda Jazz seems a bargain on this list. Not only is it the cheapest full hybrid you can buy in the UK, it’s one of our favourite superminis because it’s genuinely amazingly clever. The Jazz majors on its flexible interior, with so-called ‘magic’ seats folding away flat into the floor or lifting up to accommodate taller items.
Its hybrid system functions as a range-extender around town with pure electric drive, so it’s zippy and efficient. While the entry-level model here is rather sparsely equipped, it’s so well-built and comfortable it hardly matters. Prices start at £21,295.
Parkers Best First Car several times
PROS: One of the best first cars you can get
CONS: The petrol Clio is a bit better, to be honest
An appearance of Renault’s E-Tech hybrid system. Here it’s fitted to the Clio, a genuinely good supermini that our sister title Parkers has awarded Best First Car several times over. While we prefer the petrol Clio, the hybrid model isn’t bad – it’s plenty powerful for this little car and offers strong efficiency. Prices start at £21,995.
Best for reliability and warranty
PROS: Toyota knows how to do hybrids – tried and tested tech
CONS: A bit sad inside
Toyota ought to know how to do a proper hybrid better than just about anyone, and it’s also responsible for the Yaris being the first proper hybrid supermini. While previous Yaris hybrids were pretty painful to drive this model is far superior – peppier, quieter and with a chassis that’s really rather good on a twisting road.
Cheap Yaris models are a little bit depressing inside but they come well-equipped, and though there’s not a lot of space inside you’ve the larger Yaris Cross (above) for that. Prices start at £22,110.
Best for no nonsense motoring
PROS: Great value
CONS: You don’t get much as standard
Another appearance of Renault’s hybrid system in this list, but it’s perhaps at its best in the Dacia Jogger. This is a lightweight car and it’s been tuned differently to its siblings, so while it’s not exactly seamless in operation it seems less offensive here.
Plus, the Jogger has many other brilliant attributes, from its cavernous interior to its no-nonsense dashboard. And the price tag, of course – seven seats for the price of a mid-spec supermini. Prices start at £22,595.
Best for cheap, honest motoring
PROS: Very cheap
CONS: The full hybrid isn’t great – get the Boosterjet
The Suzuki Vitara uses the same hybrid system as the S-Cross, and while it’s cheaper, it’s also smaller and feels less solidly built. We recommend the Boosterjet version – we do not recommend this full hybrid. Prices start at £23,249.
Toyota Yaris Cross
Best for Toyota’s trusty hybrid system
PROS: Great to drive, very economical
CONS: Not sporty or quick
The Yaris Cross is the lifted and SUV-ified version of the Toyota Yaris hatchback, the Yaris Cross is practical inside, great to drive, and fantastically economical.
It’s not exactly sporty, nor is it quick, but the Yaris Cross handles tidily and is very comfortable. Add that famed Toyota reliability and this is about as pragmatic as hybrid SUVs get. Prices start at £24,840.
Renault Captur Hybrid
Best for comfort
PROS: Tuned for comfort
CONS: Issues with hybrid system
The Renault Captur uses the same hybrid system as the Nissan Juke (above), with many of the same criticisms. At least here, it’s fitted to a more modern compact SUV – and we like the Captur’s interior, which feels high-quality and can be had with some fairly posh fittings on higher-spec models.
The Captur is tuned for comfort more than the Juke is, and we prefer it to drive – since neither car is actually sporty, why pretend? Prices start at £25,695.
Best for space
PROS: Hybrid system is great
CONS: …If not a little old
Despite Hyundai and Kia sharing many of their platforms and much of their technology the Kona Hybrid isn’t too closely related to the Kia Niro (which just missed out on this list). The hybrid system here may be getting on in years but it isn’t half bad – it’s plenty powerful in the compact Kona, and using a dual-clutch transmission means it’s acceptably smooth and responsive.
The Kona itself is pretty old too now, and due a replacement soon – but we can see why people might like its chunky SUV styling. And while it does miss out on the very latest Hyundai tech, it still comes with a great infotainment system and plenty of comfort features, especially if you spec it up. Prices start at £26,315.
Best if you get the Boosterjet…
PROS: Nice interior and no nonsense image
CONS: Get the Boosterjet, not the full hybrid
We genuinely like the Suzuki S-Cross for its practical interior, light weight and no-nonsense image, but that likability only exists when it’s fitted with the mild hybrid Boosterjet engine. This hybrid system may give it acceptable mpg and CO2 emissions, but it also endows the S-Cross with a desperately clunky drivetrain.
The S-Cross hybrid has about as much torque as a pedal car and pushes everything through an anaemic 48V hybrid system and godawful automated manual transmission. Don’t touch this one with a bargepole. Prices start at £27,249.
What is a hybrid car?
We won’t go into full detail here but, in short, a hybrid car is one that mixes power from both a combustion engine and one or more electric motors, and is capable of being powered by either or both of these power sources as the car sees fit.
We’re focusing this list on self-charging hybrids, rather than mild hybrids (which are barely electrified and don’t really count) or plug-in hybrids (which are much more expensive).
The cars on this list use a variety of different hybrid systems, but all have similar results.
Hybrid models typically offer low running costs, with cost-effective CO2 emissions making them good company cars and excellent fuel economy. And, unlike a diesel, they offer that economy on short runs – rather than just through extended cruising.
Why not buy an EV?
Electric cars dominate the headlines, but the price of purchasing a full EV – not to mention the potential faff of running one – means that they’re not for everyone yet. If you live rurally, or don’t have a home charge point, an EV can be more trouble than it’s worth, and relying on public charging could also mean you’re unlikely to save any money.
Below we’ve rounded up the cheapest hybrid cars on sale in the UK today. These are organised purely on list price – finance packages may make them more or less expensive. These aren’t necessarily models that CAR recommends, though some of them are very good. If you want our choice of the actual best hybrids on sale, you can read our lists of the best mild, best self-charging and best plug-in hybrid cars available now.