Top 10 best hybrid cars to own 2023
We've ranked the best hybrid cars to own in 2023... as chosen by YOU!
If you’re not ready to commit to a fully-electric car, then a hybrid could be your best bet. With rock-bottom running costs, plus a petrol engine for longer trips, they can be the perfect stepping stone to electric living in the future.
But which models should you choose if you’re after a pain-free ownership experience? The results from our most recent Driver Power survey reveal all…
1. Hyundai Ioniq
It’s a win for the Hyundai Ioniq – more specifically, the ‘self-charging’ hybrid version. Although this is a model that was launched over six years ago, those who own one are enthusiastic about every aspect of it.
The Ioniq HEV is ranked the best-value car in the survey, and takes a category win for infotainment, thanks to its high-quality touchscreen, reliable sat-nav and connectivity, as well as general user-friendliness. No other car is more practical for its size, owners say, with the Ioniq boasting versatile seating, a large boot and plenty of cubbyholes. With top-rated safety features too, it’s a worthy winner.
One satisfied customer told us: “I like the physical controls, which make it easy to reach the desired function. Once there, the touchscreen is responsive.”
Read our full review of the Hyundai Ioniq...
2. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester always excels in Driver Power, and the hybrid version keeps up the tradition. In this survey owners gave the crossover SUV the highest rating of any model in a string of categories, including the interior, and chassis dynamics. Practicality and boot space were also highly rated, and drivers say the Forester makes a fine family car, with a top spot for its family-friendly features.
Only a few areas seem to concern owners enough to give below-average scores. Gearbox smoothness is ranked 18th, and drivers suggest the safety systems could be easier to operate. More surprising is an 18th place for reliability.
One owner said: “It is a proper SUV that can be used off road, but at the same time it offers car-like comfort on the road, where I am most of the time.”
Read our full review of the Subaru Forester...
3. Lexus UX 250h
Owners tell us they really enjoy driving their UXs, with high scores for ride and handling, including top rankings for the steering and brake responsiveness. They’re also impressed by the styling and quality, both inside and out. Front-seat comfort gets particular praise, taking the top spot in the entire survey. A fourth rating for reliability is also admirable.
But the UX doesn’t seem to quite cut it as a family car – rear legroom is considered below average in 18th place, and the UX’s lowest scores are for the luggage space (24th) and for the provision of child-friendly features; in this category, the Lexus came last in the entire survey.
But it seems the positives outweigh the negatives, with one owner telling us: “It’s comfortable over long distances, and in fact pretty much drives itself while on the motorway. Couldn’t be easier!”
Read our full review of the Lexus UX 250h...
4. Kia Niro PHEV Mk1
All three versions of the previous-generation Kia Niro feature here in our top 10 hybrid and electric cars list; the electric e-Niro is the fourth most satisfying EV to own, while the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) finish fourth and fifth in this list. Owners of the Niro PHEV seem to have the strongest opinions of the lot, and there are plenty of high scores, including a first place for the fuel economy and second for the sat-nav.
On the downside, owners tell us that front-seat comfort is less than impressive, with a 23rd placing in the survey. They’re also nonplussed by the ride and give below-average scores for the powertrain. This pulls down the driving enjoyment score to a lowly 23rd place.
Use the car as intended an you could save a pretty penny on fuel, as one owner told us: “Most of my trips are local, and I only use electric. Haven’t needed to fill up with petrol for months.”
Read our full review of the latest-generation Kia Niro PHEV...
5. Kia Niro HEV Mk1
The only version of the Niro that doesn’t take any of its power from a plug is generally well rated by owners, with a string of top-10 places in the individual sections of the survey. The engine and gearbox combination is praised, with the impressive fuel economy being singled out as a particular highlight.
Credit is due to Kia’s aftersales operation, too, because the Niro’s servicing costs get the highest rating in the entire survey. The heating and ventilation system also gets the best score of any car. However, Niro HEV drivers don’t rate the styling and find it tricky to operate the safety systems.
One owner commented: “The fuel economy is fantastic. I get 600 miles-plus out of a tank of fuel that costs £50.”
Read our full review of the latest-generation Kia Niro Hybrid...
6. Toyota C-HR
Toyota's bold-looking C-HR has plenty to recommend it, say owners. Amongst the highlights are top-10 rankings for the exterior styling, interior quality, overall driving pleasure and safety features. Low servicing costs and fuel economy are also praised, while the boot capacity and storage availability are both good enough for second places overall.
The engine and gearbox combination disappoints, however. Owners told us they found the noise, acceleration and gearbox smoothness below par, and the brakes scored lower than average, too. The tech was generally well regarded, except for smartphone connectivity being rated in 21st place.
A happy C-HR customer said: “I love the style of the C-HR, and it is extremely smooth around town, very easy to drive and economical.”
Read our full review of the Toyota C-HR...
7. Subaru XV
There is a real mixed bag of results for Subaru’s compact crossover, but it still slips into the Driver Power top 10 hybrids list. On the positive side, drivers rated the number of safety features as the best of any car in the survey. The tech seems to impress as well, in particular the built-in sat-nav. It seems to be considered a comfortable car for the front passengers, too, and owners enjoy the way the XV handles, with the steering receiving particular praise.
The powertrain is not so well regarded, however, with low scores for acceleration, engine noise and fuel economy. Perhaps the most surprising result is the reliability score; the XV ranked 26th, just one place from the bottom in our HEV and EV combined rundown.
Those safety aids are worthy of mention, according to one satisfied XV owner: “Excellent safety features that I would miss if I didn’t now have them, particularly the adaptive cruise control.”
Read our full review of the Subaru XV...
8. Toyota Corolla
The first of three Toyotas propping up our hybrid top 10, is the Corolla. Not a name synonymous with driving excitement, yet it seems no one has told owners of this model’s latest generation; they scored it highly enough to take a top-10 position for overall driving pleasure. Less surprising is a second place for overall reliability, while owners also loved the visibility and exterior quality.
Generally, the technology was appreciated, too, with only the built-in sat-nav getting a below-average score. The Corolla’s worst rating was for rear-seat legroom. And while it scored highly for fuel efficiency and servicing prices, it was given a poor 20th place for other running costs.
One owner said: “The best thing about my Corolla is the ease of driving; it makes any trip a pleasure.”
Read our full review of the Toyota Corolla...
9. Toyota Yaris
The latest hybrid-powered Yaris has some admirable traits, according to the owners who responded to the survey. It took the overall third place for reliability and a fourth for value. Engine sound is good enough to scrape into the top five, while front-seat comfort is considered above average. Fuel economy impresses, too, with a score that places the little Toyota third in this category.
However, owners told us this is outweighed by other running costs, such as insurance and servicing. Luggage space seems to be much improved on this later model, with an above-average rating, but rear legroom is still considered to be an issue.
Seems the tech offering could use some work, however, as one owner detailed: “My Yaris won’t connect with my Android smartphone even when using a USB cable. I don’t know what the reason is.”
Read our full review of the Toyota Yaris...
10. Toyota RAV4
Last but not least in our Driver Power-populated top 10 hybrids list is the current-generation Toyota RAV4. Owners say it makes for a fine family car, with high rankings for its practicality and boot space, including particular praise for its rear-seat legroom and child-friendly features. Respondents also told us they like the gearbox smoothness, fuel economy and reliability; all had scores high enough to place the RAV4 in the top 10 of these categories.
But there are plenty of irritations that have dragged its ranking down. The tech appears frustrating, with low ratings for the touchscreen, audio, phone connectivity and sat-nav systems. The safety kit and styling also fail to impress.
The above is reflected in one owner’s comments: “Toyota’s built-in sat-nav system is awful,” they told us. “My car can’t connect using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto."
In This Review
- 1Driver Power: The best electric and hybrid cars to ownDrivingElectric’s very own customer satisfaction survey ranks the very best EVs and hybrid cars, as voted by you
- 2The best electric cars to ownWe've ranked the best electric cars to own in 2023... as chosen by YOU!
- 3The best hybrid cars to own - currently readingWe've ranked the best hybrid cars to own in 2023... as chosen by YOU!
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