The best hybrid and electric cars to own: Driver Power 2020

The annual Driver Power satisfaction survey has revealed which are the best hybrid and electric cars to own, plus the top 30 manufacturers

Lexus RX 450h

The results of the annual Driver Power car owner satisfaction survey, published exclusively on DrivingElectric's sister site Auto Express, have been revealed – with a strong showing for both hybrid and electric cars.

In addition to the top 75 best new cars to own and run, the survey has also revealed a list of the top 30 manufacturers – as rated by you. The full results come from surveying real car owners, generating hundreds of thousands of data points across myriad categories and sub-sections.

Driver Power: Top 30 new car makers 

Lexus was named the best new car maker in the 2020 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey for the fourth year in a row. The manufacturer, which prides itself on its wide range of hybrid cars, will launch its first fully electric vehicle – the UX 300e – in 2021.

Just 11.1% of Lexus owners reported faults, praising their cars' reliability and build quality. Safety is another strong point, while Lexus drivers love their cars' ride and handling. Slightly high fuel bills were the only real black mark on the brand's score sheet.

Kia – another maker with a wide range of hybrid and electric cars – also performed well, finishing second overall. Subaru, which is just beginning its electric journey with the hybrid Forester and XV models, placed third, ahead of Mazda and Skoda.

The rest of the top 10 was completed by Toyota (sixth), Honda, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo and Volvo (10th).

Driver Power: Top 75 new cars

While the top prize in the new-car rundown was awarded to the diesel Kia Sorento, there were five hybrid models in the top 10. Topping the list of hybrid cars was the Lexus RX, third overall. This was followed by the Kia Niro (fourth), Toyota Corolla (seventh), Lexus IS (eighth) and Hyundai Ioniq (ninth).

Interestingly, the Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Superb, which also featured in the top 10, have both recently been fitted with plug-in hybrid powertrains, while the all-new, next-generation Kia Sorento will feature both hybrid and plug-in hybrid drive.

Family favourites like the Toyota Prius and Volvo XC60 also finished strongly in this year's survey, placing 16th and 30th respectively.

Driver Power 2020: Top 10 best new cars to own and run

  1. Kia Sorento
  2. Peugeot 3008
  3. Lexus RX
  4. Kia Niro
  5. Mazda CX-5
  6. Skoda Kodiaq
  7. Toyota Corolla
  8. Lexus IS
  9. Hyundai Ioniq
  10. Skoda Superb

The highest-placed pure-electric car in the top 75 rundown was the Nissan Leaf, which finished 24th overall. However, when filtering out results from owners of petrol and diesel models, the MG ZS, which is available with both petrol and electric powertrains, was crowned Best Electric Car.

MG ZS EV

Speaking of the MG’s success, Auto Express consumer editor Hugo Griffiths said: “The ZS EV manages this for a number of reasons, chief among which are rock-bottom running costs, highly regarded drivetrains and a series of fantastic marks in the ride and handling category. These are areas where the standard ZS does fairly poorly, so it seems switching to electricity brings with it greater ownership satisfaction.”

Hybrid and electric cars performed well across the board. Not only did the ZS EV top the electric-car segment, Best Compact Family Car was awarded to the Corolla, while the Lexus IS took Best Compact Executive Car.

Elsewhere the Volvo XC40, which was recently bolstered by a plug-in hybrid Twin-Engine model, won the award for Best Premium Small SUV. Best Small SUV was the Kia Niro, Best Premium Mid-Size SUV was the Volvo XC60 and Best Compact Family car was the Lexus CT.

BMW 530e xDrive

Best Executive Car was awarded to the BMW 5 Series, of which a large proportion of submissions came from owners of the 530e plug-in hybrid.

The Nissan Leaf came top in the running-costs category, with an overall score of 90.02%. The Nissan was followed by the Toyota Prius, Renault ZOE, Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq – all of which are either hybrid or fully electric.

Renault ZOE

The ride and handling winner was the hybrid-only Toyota Corolla, while the engine and gearbox category was, somewhat ironically, won by a car without an internal-combustion engine: the all-electric Renault ZOE.

The full results are available in this week’s Auto Express magazine – which is available to buy in shops and online now. You can also subscribe to the magazine and get six issues for £1 delivered straight to your door.