Top 10 best hybrid estate cars 2022
The best hybrid estate cars you can buy right now in the UK save you money on fuel, but still have plenty of space inside. Here are our top picks
If you’re looking for a car that combines efficiency and practicality, but you also want it to be good to drive, a hybrid estate is a great choice. Estate cars aren’t as large and ungainly as SUVs, despite the latter being more popular these days, and we love them for their all-round ability. And since estates tend to be smaller and lighter than SUVs, they’re not only better to drive, but also more efficient and cheaper to run. Sometimes, they’re cheaper to buy than an equivalently sized SUV, too, so are good choices if you can live without the higher driving position.
Hybrid cars use a petrol or diesel engine, but also have a battery and one or more electric motors. Low company-car tax rates have boosted the popularity of these models and it has quickly overtaken the traditional favourite diesel as the powerplant of choice for cars of this type.
'Full hybrid' estate cars like the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports (also called "self-charging hybrids") use a small battery that’s charged by the engine and regenerative braking. They tend to be quite fuel-efficient all the time, rather than being ultra-efficient on some trips and not efficient on others (like a plug-in hybrid). They suit those who don’t have access to a charging point at home or at work, or those that spend reasonable amounts of time on the motorway.
Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) tend to have much larger batteries, and so can complete a modest commute – about 30 miles or more – without using petrol or diesel at all. Most of the cars on this list are plug-in hybrids. These also make use of regenerative braking and (occasionally) harvest electrical energy from the engine, although they're at their most efficient and cost-effective when charged using a cable. They make a good stepping-stone between a petrol or diesel car and a fully electric model. With just a couple of fully electric estate cars on sale, these hybrid estates could well be the best choice for space-focused buyers keen on having some electrification.
Read on to find out more about all the best hybrid estate cars you can buy – and follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest news and reviews on these and all other electric and hybrid cars.
Audi A6 TFSI e Avant
The A6 TFSI e Avant estate uses the same setup as the hybrid A6 saloon: a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired to an electric motor and 14.1kWh battery. Total power output is 362bhp, with Audi claiming CO2 emissions of between 44 and 48g/km and an electric range of nearly 32 miles. While the boot is bigger and more practical than that of the A6 saloon, it’s smaller than in the petrol or diesel A6 Avant. That’s because the batteries take up space; the standard car’s 565 litres shrinks by a surprising amount to 405 litres, but folding the seats down takes that back up to 1,535 litres. Read more here.
BMW 330e Touring
BMW has added a Touring estate version (as well as the option of xDrive four-wheel drive) to its 330e plug-in hybrid line-up. Being just as good to drive as the saloon, with the added versatility of the hatchback tailgate, makes the 330e Touring a winner. Potential buyers can expect a familiar blend of driver-pleasing handling, slick infotainment and super-low running costs – as well as an electric driving range of 34 miles. Boot space is compromised slightly, although 1,420 litres should be enough for most . Read more here.
Mercedes E 300 de Estate
Mercedes' E-Class plug-in hybrid is offered with either a petrol or diesel engine in four-door saloon form, but for the more practical estate model, it's diesel-electric power only. As with the saloon, boot capacity suffers somewhat due to a large box-shaped intrusion housing the hybrid system's batteries, but in all other respects this is a very fine car, offering excellent passenger comfort, smooth and strong power delivery in either electric or hybrid mode and that timelessly classy Mercedes image. Read our full review here.
Peugeot 508 SW Hybrid
If you need a practical hybrid estate but don't want to compromise on style, Peugeot's 508 SW should be top of your list. With bold, modern looks and compact-executive aspirations, the 508 is a great alternative to the more mainstream options here. Power comes from a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor, which together produce 222bhp, while the 11.8kWh battery allows for up to 39 miles of electric running. There’s even a hot PSE version, which prioritises power and performance over economy. The Skoda below is ultimately more practical, but there's still lots to like about the comfortable, refined and stylish Peugeot. Read our full review here.
The brand with the lion logo now offers the smaller 308 SW in plug-in hybrid guise, too, and it shares many of the positives of the 508, so it’s well worth a look. Read our review of the 308 SW PHEV here.
Skoda Superb iV Estate
Skoda has long been renowned for offering great value for money, and the plug-in hybrid Superb Estate certainly promises a lot of 'bang for your buck'. You get the voluminous passenger and luggage space that all Superbs are famous for, along with generous standard equipment and the ultra-low running costs brought by the Volkswagen Group's 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol-electric drivetrain. It's a fantastic all-rounder and one we’d recommend in an instant. Read our full review here.
SEAT Leon ST e-Hybrid
The SEAT Leon ST e-Hybrid uses the same 1.4-litre petrol engine as the Skoda Octavia plug-in hybrid and many other VW Group PHEVs, which means it’s efficient – yet thanks to the electric motor, it’s also quick in a straight line, so you have the best of both worlds. It has an electric driving range of 36 miles and company-car tax is low. The SEAT is practical too, thanks to a 470-litre boot and a good amount of space in the rear seats. There’s lots of kit thrown in as standard, including a large multimedia system, smartphone connectivity, air-conditioning, parking sensors and LED headlights as standard. Read our full review here
Toyota Corolla Touring Sports
If you don’t have the ability to plug your car in overnight, then a conventional hybrid like the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports estate might be the perfect alternative to a PHEV. Priced from just under £31,000, the Corolla will comfortably surpass 60mpg on the motorway and – depending on which engine you go for – provide close to 600 litres of boot space. Inside, it has been finished to a high standard, and it’s easy to find a good driving position, as the wheel can be adjusted back and forth as well as up and down. Read our review here.
Volvo V60 Recharge
The V60 used to be available with a choice of either T6 or T8 plug-in hybrid powertrains. These days the less powerful T6 setup is the only option, but with 345bhp, it should be more than sufficient for most drivers. If you need a reasonably sized runabout most of the time with scope for the odd longer journey, the V60 is hard to fault. Officially, it’ll return north of 300mpg fuel economy, although you’ll need to charge it regularly to get anything close to that figure. CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km, combined with a 50-plus-miles electric range, also make it very cheap to run as a company car. Read our full review here.
Volvo V90 Recharge
If the V60 above isn’t quite large enough for your needs, then there’s always the V90 Recharge. This larger estate comes with 551 litres of boot space, rising to 1,562 litres with the rear seats folded down; more than enough for carrying large items around, although the V90 isn’t quite a class leader in this department. It has the same battery as the V60, although it returns a little less electric range owing to its extra weight. The official fuel-economy figure is 105-313mpg, but after you’ve exhausted the electric-only range you’re more likely to see somewhere in the region of 35mpg from the 2.0-litre engine. Read our full review here.
Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate
The Passat GTE Estate seems like the ultimate all-rounder: 34 miles of electric range will be enough for most commutes, while 483 litres of boot space will serve most families well, even on longer trips away. The 1.4-litre petrol engine is smooth, too, making this a relaxing car to drive. Fleet operators and user-choosers are likely to be drawn in by the prospect of CO2 emissions in the region of 33-35g/km – leading to very low company-car tax. As an overall estate-car package, there are few better options. Read our full review here.
Want a more stylish package? The Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake is available with the same hybrid powertrain, although you’ll pay for the smarter styling with a higher initial price and a slightly smaller boot. Read our full review of the Arteon here.
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