Whether you’re looking to maximise fuel efficiency or just want a quieter and smoother drive, there are many benefits to leasing a hybrid car.
Bridging the gap between a conventional fuelled car and a fully electric car, hybrid cars offer an appealing blend of efficiency, range, power and low emissions, making them a popular lease choice with motorists up and down the UK. But with more hybrid cars on sale today than ever before, what hybrid vehicle is right for you?
To help make choosing your next hybrid car easier, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has put together a list of the top 10 hybrid cars on the market in 2021. The hybrids featured in this article include:
With a 1.4-litre petrol engine, compact electric motor and the same mechanics as the Audi A3 e-tron, the Volkswagen Golf GTE is a plug-in hybrid version of the popular Golf family car. To maximise every type driving environment, you can choose to one of four driving modes in the Golf GTE – pure electric, hybrid, GTE and ‘battery charge’. The latter acts like a generator, charging the battery to give you the option of running in pure electric mode without plugging the car in.
As the case with any plug-in hybrid, you’ll need somewhere to regularly charge the GTE to reap the benefits from its batteries and electric motor but the battery will only take three to four-hours to fully charge from a domestic three-pin socket. Volkswagen claim the Golf GTE has a maximum pure electric range of 31-miles with an instrument panel behind the steering wheel displaying the battery range and power source for driver convenience.
In regards to practicality, the petrol tank reduces the boot space to 272-litres and because the batteries are stored underneath the seats, you can’t drop the rear seats completely flat. That said, on the whole, the Golf GTE boasts a spacious and practical cabin with passengers both big and small enjoying an all-round comfortable experience.
With a 28-mile electric range, two battery-driven electric motors and a 2.4-litre petrol engine, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV more than earns its place on our best hybrid list. As with many plug-in hybrid cars, you have various driving options to choose from to get the best economy and make the best use of the batteries. You can choose drive mode, or allow the computer to dictate between using the electric motors to power the engine or as generators to charge the battery. When you want full acceleration, the new 2.4-litre petrol engine is also much quieter than the old 2.0-litre, making every day driving much more relaxing.
What really makes the Outlander PHEV stand out from the crowd is its technology. To make driving –and parking – easier than ever before, the Outlander PHEV is available with rear parking sensors, blind spot warning lights and overall visibility is good thanks to its large door mirrors and high driving position.
In terms of practicality, there’s space enough for adults in all five seats and despite the battery pack taking up some room, the boot is still pretty spacious, with its wide opening door making loading and offloading easier than ever before.
Next up is the Mercedes-Benz E Class Saloon E300 de, a worthy alternative to its sister petrol-electric E 300 e. As expected from a Mercedes-Benz, premium expertise is at the heart of the E 300 de, both in the mechanics as well as the interior design. Under the bonnet, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel electric engine is paired with a 13.5-kWh lithium battery to produce an impressive 191-bhp, 400-Nm of torque and a 34-mile pure electric range.
Thanks to its neat charging socket integrated into the rear bumper, the E300 de is a doddle to plug in and charge. A full charge from a 7.4-kW power source will take 1.25-hours or five-hours via a three-pin household plug. The E300 de also matches the E300 e’s Benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax but the long-distance cruising strengths of a diesel making it a popular choice with business users.
Practicality isn’t bad either with room enough for four adults to travel long distances and a strong focus on comfort with high quality materials throughout. The only design flaw is the raised boot floor which restricts the items you can load and offload, but even then there is enough space for a couple of decent-sized suitcases and an overnight bag.
Designed to seamlessly fit into everyday family life, the MINI Cooper Countryman PHEV is not only desirable but economical too. Powered by an automatic, three-cylinder petrol engine with an 86-bhp electric motor, MINI claim the Countryman Plug-in Hybrid has a pure electric range of 26-miles, making it for short urban commutes in stop-start traffic where you can utilise the electric motor by charging over night or at work.
Driving wise, the Countryman PHEV is unsurprisingly quietest when it’s running in electric or combined mode and front visibility is good. The instant boost from the electric motor gives it a surprising turn of speed, especially around town. The handling is pretty agile too, making the Countryman one of the most fun PHEVs you can get your hands on.
As the battery pack does take up some room in the back, storage space is limited but the wide body allows for a roomy cabin and the high roof and low seating mean the Countryman boast enough room for even the tallest of adults. There are rear parking sensors as standard and the 6.5-inch infotainment system – complete with sat-nav – is controlled by a rotatory dial ensuring easy navigation. Plus, Isofix child seat mountings also come as standard so even the smallest members of your family can enjoy this MINI.
If you’re in the market for a luxury saloon with plenty of kit as standard and surprisingly low running costs, look no further than the BMW 5 Series Saloon 530e. Offering near to silent motoring, the 5 Series 530e combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor to produce an impressive 248-bhp with CO2 emissions of just 46g/km.
With a full charge, the 5 Series 530e boasts a 29-mile electric range with the battery taking less than five-hours to charge from a domestic plug socket and under three-hours from a home fitted, 3.7-kW i Wallbox or a public fast charger. There’s also three driving modes – Max eDrive, EV and hybrid eDrive – to ensure maximum comfort.
Inside, the 5 Series 530e boasts the quality expected from a BMW – from the dashboard display to the helpful storage space. There’s 410-litres of flat floor boot space to ensure loading and offloading is super easy. For your absolute peace of mind, the 530e has also been rewarded a 5* NCAP safety rating so you can rest assured that you and your family are in safe hands.
Combining performance and driving pleasure with efficiency and impressive interior and cargo space, the Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid is one of the best hybrid cars on the market. No wonder it was named What Car? ‘Car of the Year 2019 Plug-in Hybrid’.
Featuring a powerful XC90 T8 twin engine, XC90 T8 PHEV offers three driving modes - pure, hybrid and power - to make the most of this high-performance luxury SUV. In electric-only mode, the XC90 can travel up to 75mph, taking just four hours to fully charge. For many people, a fully charged battery will get them to work fuel free and exhaust emissions free.
Despite being a hybrid vehicle, cabin space in the Volvo XC90 hasn’t been sacrificed for the electric battery. This is great for big families, tall adults or those who need a lot of load space. The boot space is impressive, even when all seven seats are in use, let alone when the third-row seats are down. Plus, there’s underfloor storage too. Visibility is great thanks to the large windows and for even more driver convenience there’s front and rear parking sensors as standard.
If the XC90 doesn’t take your fancy, the Range Rover Sport P400e HSE is certainly worth a look. With a 2.0-litre petrol engine, 30-mile electric range and CO2 emissions of 69-g/km, this PHEV is in a calibre of its own. It may be more expensive than other suggestions on our list, but its running costs are exceptionally low.
Thanks to the fusion of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a 105-kW motor, the P400e has amazing 404-bhp. It’ll take seven-hours for a full charge with a 3-kW charger but if you want the freedom to use public chargers, you’ll have to buy the charging accessory cable. Thanks to regeneration braking however, the electric range can be extended by over 10% under the right conditions.
Inside, the P400e’s cabin is as beautiful as ever, with plenty of space in the back for both adults and children. Its commanding view of the road extends to those in the rear, who are treated to all the same high-quality materials as those riding up front. Unfortunately, PHEV buyers aren’t offered the third row of seats available elsewhere in the Sport range.
No ‘best hybrid’ list would be complete without the Toyota Prius. Developed over two decades ago, the Prius is ahead of the times and is still redefining what it means to be a hybrid today. The latest model was also named 2019 ‘Car of The Year’ gold winner at the Auto Express Driver Power Award proving that Toyota still have the edge in this increasingly competitive market.
Combining a 1.8-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, the Toyota Prius is a full-hybrid (also known as a self-charging hybrid), meaning you don’t need to plug it in to take advantage of its electric power. When its electric motor’s battery is sufficiently charged, the Prius can drive at up to 36mph on electric power alone.
Now in its fourth generation, the Prius promises enough interior space for most families. It is also packed to the brim with driver convenience and safety features – from a reversing camera, lane departure alert with steering control and road sign assist to a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and Toyota Safety Sense. What more could you possibly want?
Next up is another award winner – the Hyundai Ioniq. Recently named 2019 What Car? Car of the Year, the Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid delivers everything you expect from a conventional car, but with all the environmental and economic benefits that come with electrified driving.
Designed with a specially calibrated 1.6-litre GDi internal combustion engine to deliver an impressive 105-PS, the Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid is exceptionally efficient. The 42-PS electric motor – with a focus on high torque and high efficiency – delivers superb acceleration when starting and can add extra power at higher road speeds. Even more noteworthy, it has a 0.24-coefficient drag, 78.5-MPG fuel consumption and 1.5-KWH battery capacity, delivering CO2 emissions of 84-g/km.
Inside, the IONIQ is as roomy as a traditional family hatchback and a boot considerably bigger than that of a Prius. All models also have a 7.0in digital instrument cluster for all the information you need at your fingertips.
Sitting below the Sportage in Kia’s crossover line-up is the all-new Niro – the first Kia hybrid to be available in the UK. This self-charging, small SUV hybrid vehicle incorporates a petrol engine and electric battery for improved fuel efficiency without compromising on style or substance.
Designed for busy family life, the battery in the Niro can be found underneath the back seat, so no space is lost in the boot or back seats. There’s a lot of handy storage options throughout the cabin and thanks to the decent suspension the car, it is a comfortable ride, as well as quiet when at low speeds.
You’ll be pleased to know visibility is good, there’s a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, plus you can take full advantage of the colour touchscreen infotainment system. It’s complete with Kia’s Connected Services that includes traffic updates and speed camera warnings as well as Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB radio.