Best cars

Top 12 best Motability hybrid cars 2021

Mild, full and plug-in hybrids are all now offered on the Motability scheme, for those who are looking to reduce fuel consumption and emissions but can’t make the switch to electric yet

Renault Arkana E-TECH hybrid

The Motability scheme helps disabled people or those with reduced mobility to get into a new car, offering a range of practical and comfortable choices with reasonable running costs. The scheme works by diverting certain benefits into monthly payments for one of these pre-approved models. Leasing a car through Motability also lets you roll insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and maintenance into one package, with all of the above organised for you.

The numerous hybrid models now offered on the scheme are a great choice for those who want to keep running costs and fuel consumption low, but aren’t quite ready to make the switch to electric, or aren't able to get a home wallbox charging point, where you can top up your car’s battery when needed.

There’s a variety of hybrid models available on the Motability scheme, from full-hybrid coupe-SUVs to plug-in hybrid hatchbacks, many of which offer great practicality and larger boots suitable for carrying a wheelchair or other equipment. If you live in an urban area and do most of your motoring over shorter distances, one of the plug-in hybrid options featured below is worth a look. But, if longer journeys are more common, it may be worth looking at a traditional hybrid.

All prices mentioned below take the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA) into account – but these advance payments may vary if you receive one of the other allowances used on the scheme.

Read on for a run-down of our favourite Motability hybrid cars for 2021, but if the idea of an electric car does take your fancy, and you’re eligible for the Motability scheme, take a look at our list of the top 20 electric cars currently offered on the scheme for a few ideas on which models to shortlist. You can also find more information about the scheme here, too.

It's worth noting that drivers aged under 25 availing of the Motability scheme are restricted to cars that sit in insurance group 16 or lower, and have a power output of 120bhp or less.

Ford Kuga PHEV

Ford Kuga PHEV

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £4,195 (ST-Line), £4,695 (ST-Line X), £5,295 (Vignale)

The latest generation of the Kuga is better than ever, with a focus on fun handling and practicality. It's available on the Motability scheme with either a full-hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain. The plug-in version is the one we’d go for, as it can return over 200mpg and cover nearly 40 miles on electric power alone. Advance payments are extremely high, but the 581-litre boot and huge cabin offer a level of practicality many rivals can’t match. Worth noting, however, is that the Kuga's power output means it's not accessible to under-25 on Motability. Read our full review here.

Hyundai Ioniq hybrid

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0 (SE Connect), £299 (Premium), £999 (Premium SE)

While it’s not available in plug-in hybrid form on the Motability scheme, the full-hybrid Ioniq can still offer decent fuel economy and low emissions compared to its non-electrified rivals. Powered by a 104bhp, 1.6-litre petrol engine, paired with a 43bhp electric motor and 1.56kWh battery, the Ioniq Hybrid can return up to 63mpg. There’s space to spare for front and rear-seat passengers, and the boot is a bit bigger than that of a Toyota Prius, too. Unfortunately for younger drivers, it can’t be driven by under-25s on Motability. Read our full review here.

Kia Niro PHEV

Kia Niro PHEV

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £3,599 (Level 2), £3,899 (Level 3)

Offered alongside its conventional hybrid sibling on the Motability scheme, the plug-in hybrid version of the Niro is a strong choice and makes the most sense if you do most of your driving in built-up areas. A larger battery than the non-plug-in model brings a pure-electric range of around 30 miles, while there’s loads of space for passengers front and rear, along with large doors and a sensible ride height that make getting in and out easy for those with mobility issues.

You have to sacrifice some boot space to the PHEV’s larger battery – the 382-litre boot in the normal car shrinks to 324 litres in the plug-in. But, all things considered, it's a small flaw in this respectable family-friendly SUV. Like many of the other cars on this list, it can't be driven by under-25s on Motability. Read our full review here.

Renault Arkana E-TECH hybrid

Renault Arkana E-TECH

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £1,295 (Iconic), £1,495 (S Edition), £1,995 (R.S. Line)

If you’re after a hybrid SUV with stylish looks, the Arkana E-TECH is an eye-catching offering. It’s largely based on the Renault Captur E-TECH below, but is only available with its sister model’s full-hybrid powertrain, featuring a 1.6-litre petrol engine that can return up to 56mpg. The Arkana is certainly handsome, but it also has an upmarket interior considering the affordable price, plus lots of standard equipment. While it’s not as sharp to drive as it looks, or particularly fast, the Arkana is worth considering if you want a family-size SUV that looks smart and doesn’t require an enormous advance payment. Read our full review here for more details – and not that only over-25s can drive an Arkana on Motability. Read our full review here.

Renault Captur E-TECH Hybrid

Renault Captur E-TECH

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £2,595 (Launch Edition), £2,595 (S Edition), £2,995 (R.S. Line)

Unlike the Arkana, the Captur is available with both conventional hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with the latter boasting fuel economy of up to 188mpg, an electric range of 32 miles and CO2 emissions as low as 34-36g/km. The Captur is one of the smaller SUVs on the market, so can’t compete with the Niro or RAV4 on this list for sheer space, but if you’re after a high driving position, comfortable ride and low running costs, it ticks all those boxes.

If you don't want to deal with charging your car regularly – as you need to do with the plug-in – the small SUV is also offered on the scheme as a full-hybrid like the Arkana. Neither version of the Captur can be driven by under-25s on Motability, however. Read our full review here.

Renault Clio E-TECH hybrid

Renault Clio E-TECH

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0 (RS Line), £445 (S Edition), £545 (Iconic)

The Clio E-TECH is one of the more recent additions to the hybrid hatchback club, but unlike its Captur sibling, it’s not available as a plug-in hybrid. Instead, Clio uses a system coupling 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.

With excellent real-world fuel economy up to 66mpg, stylish exterior and interior, unchanged practicality from the purely petrol version and decent driving experience, the Clio E-TECH hybrid is a very strong contender compared to other superminis and small hatchbacks also available on the scheme. However, it’s not accessible to under-25s. Read our full review here.

SEAT Leon e-Hybrid

SEAT Leon e-Hybrid

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0-£2,399 (various spec/trim combinations)

A sister car to the Volkswagen Golf eHybrid, the plug-in hybrid version of the SEAT Leon is equally as practical and economical as its German counterpart, but has a smaller advance payment no matter which trim level you go for and still gets plenty of standard kit. The Leon is available in hatchback or estate form, for those who need extra space in the boot. 

The plug-in hybrid powertrain not only provides enough power for punchy performance, it can also return up to 235mpg and emits just 27-28g/km of CO2. Electric range is also good, with up to 40 miles of zero-emissions driving possible. Like nearly all the other cars on this list, it can’t be driven by under-25s on Motability. Read our full review here.

Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £1,095-£3,995 (various spec/trim combinations)

Toyota’s tried-and-tested 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol-electric drivetrains are used in the C-HR, a stylish SUV that’ll suit those who value a high driving position and sharp driving experience. Despite its chunky looks, the C-HR doesn't offer a four-wheel-drive option, but you do get claimed fuel economy of 50-59mpg, a 0-62mph time of 8.2 to 11 seconds and remarkably sharp handling for a car of this type. The C-HR is well built, refined, rides well and is genuinely fun on a twisty road.

The C-HR’s bold looks are what's most likely to make you choose it over the other cars here. They do result in sacrifices when it comes to practicality, but not unduly large ones. There’s good space in the rear despite the sloping roofline, although anyone over six feet tall may struggle. Thankfully, if you’re under 25, you can drive most versions of the C-HR on the Motability scheme. Read our full review here.

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0-£3,195 (various spec/trim combinations)

The Corolla Touring Sports is the estate version of the Corolla. It offers the same combination of a petrol-electric drivetrain, great build quality, practical specification and a focus on fuel economy and driving comfort, but adds a larger boot.

The standard Corolla hatchback has a 361-litre luggage capacity; the Touring Sports increases this to 598 litres. This makes it one of the best choices on this list if load space is paramount. The electrified estate is also available to under 25s – with the exception of the very top-spec versions.

It's also worth noting that the hatchback version is also available on Motability, and can also be driven by those under 25. Read our full review of the hatchback and estate models.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota RAV4

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £2,195 (Icon), £2,445 (2WD Design), £3,495 (Excel), £3,645 (Design), £3,645 (Dynamic)

The RAV4 is Toyota’s more rugged-looking SUV, and the latest version is the best yet. It also features the company’s “self-charging hybrid” powertrain, with the hybrid battery charged by the engine and regenerative braking rather than using a plug. The RAV4 is capable of returning 50mpg and emitting 126-133g/km of CO2. But it’s practicality rather than efficiency that many will go for, with up to 580 litres of boot space on offer and a roomy cabin. However, it can’t be driven by under-25s on the scheme. Read our full review here.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Volkswagen Golf eHybrid/GTE

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £2,795 (eHybrid Style), £3,295 (GTE)

Volkswagen is putting huge emphasis on fully electric cars like the ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 SUV (also available on the Motability scheme) these days, but the German brand still produces plug-in hybrid versions of its familiar Golf hatchback. The eighth-generation model is available with either a 201bhp 'eHybrid' plug-in powertrain, or in more potent 242bhp 'GTE' guise, both of which use a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. 

Both can also return nearly 250mpg, and cover around 40 miles on electric power alone. The Golf remains the car that can almost do it all, however neither version can be driven by under-25s on the scheme. Read our full review here.

Volvo XC40 Recharge T5

Volvo XC40

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £2,899 (T4 R-Design), £2,999 (T4 Inscription), £3,199 (T5 R-Design), £3,299 (T5 Inscription), £3,499 (T5 R-Design Pro), £3,699 (T5 Inscription Pro)

The XC40 is Volvo’s most compact SUV, and one of the pricier options on this list, but it boasts good fuel economy of up to 135mpg, can cover nearly 30 miles on electric power alone and has CO2 emissions as low as 47g/km. Both the T4 and T5 versions pair a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 10.7kWh battery and electric motor, with power going to the front wheels only through Volvo’s familiar seven-speed automatic transmission.

Regardless of which trim level you go for, the XC40 plug-in comes generously equipped with a nine-inch central infotainment touchscreen, leather and nubuck upholstery and 19-inch alloy wheels. While it requires a hefty advance payment, the XC40’s high driving position, styling and spacious cabin will make it worth shortlisting for some. Under-25s aren’t able to drive the XC40 on Motability, however. Read our full review here.

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