Top 10 best hybrid hatchbacks 2023
A hybrid hatchback is just as practical as a normal hatchback, but with even lower running costs. These are the best on sale in 2023
Not everyone is quite ready for a full EV and hybrid hatchbacks offer a great compromise between the low running costs of a car powered by electricity, and the familiarity of a petrol one. The best hybrid hatches should prove to be a great fit for family car buyers.
Whether you’re looking at a regular hybrid or a plug-in hybrid, both operate by using an electric motor and battery to help drive the wheels alongside a traditional internal combustion engine. The question of which type of hybrid is best for you will depend on the kind of driving you do on a day-to-day basis, your budget and if you have somewhere convenient to charge a car.
Plug-in hybrid hatchbacks can travel further on electric power than any other type of hybrid – often over 30 miles – and they can, in theory, return the highest fuel economy figures. However, they’re also quite expensive, and you need to plug them in regularly in order to achieve those high MPG numbers.
Regular o ‘full’ hybrid hatchbacks can’t travel as far on electric power, but they’re typically less expensive and still return superior fuel economy to most purely petrol-powered alternatives.
What are the best hybrid hatchbacks?
We’ve tested every plug-in hybrid and full hybrid hatchback on today’s market and come up with this handy list of the best hybrid hatchbacks on sale today to help you make the right buying decision…
1. Honda Civic
The Civic seems to have been around forever, and this 11th generation sees the model continue its tradition of successfully reinventing itself to stay relevant. Like the rest of the Honda range (including the Jazz below), it's now hybrid only, but instead of the plug-in setup with a fairly large battery favoured by many rivals, the Civic has a small battery that's constantly topped up on the move by both the engine and a regenerative braking system. An electric motor, rather than the engine, drives the wheels most of the time, resulting in a smooth, EV-like driving experience.
2. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is available in both hatchback and Touring Sports estate forms and was significantly updated for 2022. Buyers have a choice of an economical 1.8-litre powertrain that can return 64mpg or a 2.0-litre unit that offers identical fuel economy despite outputting a punchy 193bhp. All versions of the Corolla are great to drive - if you ignore the clunky CVT automatic gearbox - and standard equipment is strong across the range,too. We appreciate the revised Corolla’s 10.5-inch infotainment touchscreen that’s fitted to all cars and comes installed with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
3. Renault Clio E-Tech
The Clio E-TECH is one of the more recent additions to the hybrid hatchback club, but unlike its Captur SUV sibling, it’s not a plug-in hybrid. Instead, Renault has introduced a clever system that comprises a 1.6-litre petrol engine, two electric motors and a 1.2kWh battery; power makes its way to the road through a Formula 1-inspired automatic gearbox. It’s good at shuffling between power sources and will officially return up to 64mpg. A recent facelift for 2023 has revealed a sharp new front-end design, inspired by the fully-electric Renault Megane E-Tech, as well as a cabin redressed in high-quality sustainable materials.
4. Toyota Yaris
Yet another ‘self-charging’ hybrid Toyota, the latest Yaris comes with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine working alongside an electric motor. A power output of 114bhp means performance is reasonable, while scaled-down Corolla underpinnings ensure it’s good to drive and comfortable on the move. Plenty of standard kit and updated infotainment are also good news. If you like the idea of the Yaris’ low running costs, but fancy a high driving position and a little extra space, Toyota also offers the mechanically-similar Yaris Cross SUV, too.
5. Skoda Octavia iV
The Skoda Octavia has been a long-time favourite with buyers looking for a hatchback with saloon styling and which offers great value for money. The most recent iteration is available in plug-in hybrid form as the Octavia iV. This version uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor and 13kWh battery, offering a 43-mile electric driving range and low CO2 emissions of between 22-33g/km. Like most Skodas, the Octavia majors on offering a comfortable driving experience with supple suspension and light steering - if you're after something a little sportier, the Cupra Leon is also offered with plug-in hybrid power.
6. Mercedes A 250 e
If you fancy a touch of luxury without the bulk of the Mercedes S-Class, the latest A-Class offers a genuine alternative that’s surprisingly similar in terms of prestige, albeit in a more compact package. The interior of the A-Class is simply one of the finest that you can currently find in a small car, with sheer quality to be found throughout. The A-Class is practical, too, and will seat four in comfort. Opt for the A 250 e plug-in hybrid and while the boot space drops slightly from 370 to 310 litres, you get a claimed fuel economy of 282mpg. Admittedly, the real-world figure is very likely to be less, but Mercedes does claim its hybrid hatchback will be able to travel up to 45 miles on electric power alone.
7. Peugeot 308 Hybrid
Barely recognisable as a Peugeot, the latest 308 hatchback has undergone a sharp and aggressive visual transformation to become one of the most distinctive mainstream cars on the road. It also offers bang up-to-date plug-in hybrid engine options and will be available in fully electric e-308 form in the near future, too. It's pricey and perhaps not the most practical hatchback you can buy – the mechanically-similar Vauxhall Astra Hybrid-e is slightly cheaper – but many buyers will be won over by those looks alone.
8. Honda Jazz
The Honda Jazz has been electrified for its third generation and packs a lot of technology into a small yet clever package. Power comes from a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a pair of electric motors, linked to a small battery and a CVT gearbox. The drivetrain feels well engineered and is very refined, with a focus on efficiency that'll please private owners and company-car users alike. It's a little pricey, but you get a lot of practical hybrid supermini for your money, plus the Crosstar version even boasts fashionable SUV styling and a raised driving position.
9. Audi A3 TFSI e
The Audi A3 has been a company-car stalwart for years, but the formerly favoured engine choice, an efficient diesel, has now been usurped by this 'TFSI e' petrol-electric plug-in hybrid model. Promising ultra-low BiK tax along with strong performance and around 250mpg fuel economy, the TFSI e also offers the traditional plus points of the A3: five-door hatchback practicality (a saloon model is also offered) combined with a premium-car badge and high-quality interior.
10. DS 4 E-Tense
DS is the up-and-coming premium-car arm of the Franco-Italian Stellantis Group, and while some of its previous models have felt a bit too close to the Citroen brand it emerged from, the DS 4 is its most convincing effort to date. Sporting a taut, handsome design and efficient plug-in hybrid power under the bonnet, it sets itself apart with exceptional interior quality and a focus on comfort rather than sportiness.
Top 10 best hybrid hatchbacks 2023
Electric Peugeot E-308 costs more than a BMW 3 Series
BMW i4 facelift to topple Tesla with huge range and tech upgrades
We’ve had a ride in the new electric MG Cyberster and it’s NOT what we first thought…