The top 10 best petrol hybrid cars

If you think of a hybrid, you might imagine something small, economical and without much power. Things have changed in recent years, however, and you may be surprised to learn that manufacturers from Mercedes to Mitsubishi have been hard at work making vehicles that combine the economy of a hybrid with the usability of an everyday car.

We’ve put together a list of the top 10 petrol hybrid vehicles from a range of manufacturers and segments to help you pick the perfect one for you. If you’re looking for the most economical route into hybrid ownership, see our list of the cheapest hybrids or use our car configurator to get a great deal on your new car.

1 – Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers a good combination of practicality, low running costs and a high driving position. It’s been recently facelifted and now boasts improved fuel consumption (an impressive 156mpg) and more distinctive looks. CO2 emissions are limited to a minimal 44g/km of CO2 making it free to tax and congestion charge exempt.

The basic price for an Outlander PHEV is £33,304 but you can take £5,000 off thanks to the Government plug-in car grant and the price drops to the same as many conventionally powered SUVs.

Check out our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV configurator to see how much you could save.

2 – Volkswagen Golf GTE

The standard Volkswagen Golf is one of the most popular cars on sale in the UK, so what’s not to love about a version that returns up to 188mpg and emits just 35g/km of CO2? All the traditional Golf qualities remain intact – a premium interior, practical boot and classy looks but the Golf GTE goes one step further and returns near unbeatable running costs.

The only fly in the ointment is the price, a basic GTE costs £33,755 before the government grant. Considering its impressive performance, however, (0-60mph is covered in 7.4 seconds), it could be compared to the standard Golf GTI which uses considerably more fuel.

Our Volkswagen Golf GTE configurator will help you to get the most for your money.

3 – BMW i3 Range Extender

BMW’s first all-electric car, the i3, uses an optional petrol-powered range extender to add usable range to its futuristic looks. The brand’s styled the i3 to look like nothing else on the road – a stubby body, LED lights and reverse-hinged rear doors make it striking to say the least. Inside the compact body, there’s more space than a conventional supermini, even with the addition of a petrol engine.

The small two-cylinder unit helps give the i3 a range of nearly 200 miles, representing an amazing 470mpg. It’s expensive though – costing £33,380 before the government’s £5,000 discount, it’s outdone in the value stakes by other cars in our list.

4 – Lexus IS300h

The Lexus IS hasn’t always been able to attract the number of buyers as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, despite being a very capable car. The previous generation sported Lexus’ first diesel engine but, with the current car, it decided to use the same hybrid powertrain found in the Lexus NX crossover.

As the only traditional non-plug-in hybrid on this list, fuel economy of 67.3mpg and emissions of 97g/km of CO2 don’t sound that impressive, but they easily top those of a comparable petrol car and the IS is able to match the figures of many diesel engined competitors. Priced from £28,995, it’s decent value too, and owners will benefit from Lexus’ award-winning customer service.

Run the Lexus IS300h through our car configurator to see how much carwow can help you save on your new car.

5 – Volkswagen Passat GTE

Volkswagen’s Passat has always been one of the very best family saloons, with classy looks and an interior to rival those of more premium brands. Adding a plug-in hybrid variant therefore, makes the Passat even more tempting – it keeps all these strengths but offers fuel economy of 176mpg and low emissions to rival those of smaller plug-in vehicles.

It’s still an excellent motorway cruiser, too, but the expensive list price of £37,500 before the Government grant brings it into competition with machines that wear shinier badges on the bonnet.

Take a look at the deals currently available using our Volkswagen Passat GTE configurator.

6 – Mercedes C-Class Hybrid

The standard Mercedes C-Class is a very impressive vehicle, but this C350e plug-in variant turns things up a notch to provide us with one of the most interesting executive models on the market. A 2.0-litre petrol unit works alongside the electric motor to return fuel economy of 134.5mpg and emissions of 48g/km of CO2, meaning free road tax and congestion charge exemption, too.

At £38,270 before the government grant, the C350e isn’t cheap, but 0-60mph is covered in just 5.9 seconds – the same as a new BMW 330i saloon – a car that costs around the same yet returns just 46mpg.

The Mercedes C-Class Hybrid is available to configure with carwow now, so take a look and save yourself some money.

7 – Toyota Prius Plug-in

A new Toyota Prius has been revealed, and should go on sale next year, so there could be some great discounts available on this outgoing model. Fuel consumption for this plug-in version is as impressive as you’d expect offering up to 134mpg, and the tried-and-tested underpinnings will ensure reliability is strong.

It’s good value, too, with the price after the government grant being £28,395, making it one of the cheapest models on our list to buy. There’s also a seven-seat Prius+ version for those who need the convenience of a little extra space.

Give our Toyota Prius Plug-In configurator a go to see how much money carwow can save you.

8 – Mercedes S-Class Hybrid

The Mercedes S-Class is described by some as ‘the best car in the world’ and, although not everyone will agree, it’s undeniably very impressive. The plug-in hybrid version gives it some green credentials by adding an electric motor to its 3.0-litre V6 engine, resulting in fuel consumption of 100.9mpg. The electric motor ups the power to 442hp, although making full use of this potent drivetrain is likely to see fuel economy figures plummet.

At £89,290, the S-Class hybrid is one of the most expensive vehicles on this list so is out of reach for many buyers but, if you want the ultimate luxury vehicle, the S500e is the greenest way to do it.

carwow can help you save money by using the Mercedes S-Class Hybrid configurator on our site.

9 – Audi A3 e-tron

In theory, the Audi A3 e-tron is simply a reimagined Volkswagen Golf GTE. Indeed, it shares a lot of technology with the VW offering, and only new alloy wheels and a chrome grille help distinguish it from the standard A3. Audi has, however, tweaked the batteries meaning that the A3 e-tron has an increased electric range of 31.1 miles, and fuel economy of an impressive 176.6mpg.

Admittedly the smaller-than-normal boot of the e-tron is quite disappointing, and the price of £35,005 (before the grant) seems pretty high, but equipment levels are impressive and, for some, the classier image of the A3 will be worth the extra money.

The Audi A3 e-tron configurator is set up to help you get the best deal on your new car.

10 – BMW i8

The BMW i8 can stop traffic with fantastic looks, but costs no more to run than the average supermini. The three-cylinder engine is combined with an electric motor to give official fuel consumption figures of 134mpg and an electric range of 22 miles – it also can get from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds.

At £102,000 the i8 is an expensive machine but, when you look at rivals like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, it doesn’t seem bad value and, although not as fast as some rivals, it does manage to turn many more heads.

Save money on your new petrol hybrid car

If any models here look like your perfect car, our car configurator will help you to get it for the best price. If you haven’t made up you mind just yet, then our deals pages and car chooser are great places to start looking.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Hybrid power makes this a cheap-to-run 4x4
£34,304 - £45,554
Read review Compare offers

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Petrol-electric hybrid hatchback is as fast as it is frugal
£34,055 - £35,820
Read review Compare offers

Lexus IS

Small executive car with a comfortable ride
£26,505 - £39,035
Read review
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