Not quite sold on the idea of electric power, then these top ten hybrid cars currently on sale may convince you that going green needn't be a chore
29 January 2018

Driven mainly by small petrol engines paired to an electric motor, hybrids provide drivers the instant torque of an electric motor but without the range anxiety that comes with EV ownership. And with more choices available than ever we pick out the top ten best hybrid hatchbacks currently on sale.

1. Volkswagen Golf GTE

The Golf GTE may have a sporty look mirroring that of its GTI and GTD siblings and it packs decent punch to live up to that bloodline, with 201bhp on offer.

And while it's not as enthralling to drive as the GTI, the best thing about the GTE is that it’s based on a Golf – and as hatchbacks go there isn’t a better basis to start from. 

2. BMW i3 Range Extender

The distinctive looking BMW i3 has been designed with premium buyers in mind, but those who want to ease their range anxiety fears by installing a two-stroke petrol engine.

It has a suave looking interior and a peppy performance, with the sporty i3S offering improved ride and handling characteristics. It is frightfully expensive however.

3. Toyota Prius/ Prius Plug-in

The granddaddy of hybrids further refinines the formula Toyota developed back in 1997 with its fourth-generation model. The latest version is built on a new platform and its tweaked 1.8-litre petrol engine has improved efficiency and performance.

Overall, the Prius remains as usable as before and genuinely frugal.

4. Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4

Mini is really maturing as a brand, evident in this second generation Coutryman which is more practical and grown-up than before and available as an excellent hybrid.

Like all Minis, it remains characterful and desirable, but with more space for passengers and luggage. The Cooper S E All4 also only comes fitted with four-wheel drive to give this small crossover a modicum of off-road ability. 

5. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid/ Plug-in Hybrid

Hyundai’s first steps into the electrification world saw a trio of cars launched under the Ioniq name – a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric only.

As first attempts go it is a pretty solid and stylish one. The hybrid versions earn their spurs by being practical, frugal and appealingly priced, but if it is a compelling drive you are after, look elsewhere as the Ioniq’s is fairly ordinary.

6. Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi lives up to its Vorsprug durch Technik mantra with the A3 Sportback e-tron.

It's a well-put together, stylish looking hatch with a supremely expensive looking interior. Match that to a slick hybrid powertrain and it is one fine car, the only drawback is that the e-tron is extremely expensive to buy.

7. Kia Optima PHEV

The Kia Optima mid-sized executive car is the first recipient of the Korean manufacturer’s hybrid powertrain.

The Optima is available in both saloon and estate form and both feel upmarket and refined. However, the PHEV lacks any real driving thrills and it isn’t fitted or finished quite as well as its German rivals. 

8. Ford Mondeo Hybrid

The Mondeo doing what it does best. The fourth generation car gives the big Ford a more striking look and a more impressive interior compared to previous iterations, although curiously the hybrid version is only available in saloon form.

Punching out a not insubstantial 184bhp, the hybrid Mondeo remains a competent car dynamically and dips below the 100g/km bar.

9. Lexus CT200h

Lexus loves a good ol’ hybrid powertrain, so it comes as no surprise that there is one fitted in the CT200h.

What is surprising is that it is the only option available with the luxury brand’s hatchback. Its cabin is a pleasant place to spend some time but it isn't a particularly engaging car to drive and we didn't get near its claimed 68.9mpg

10. Toyota Auris Hybrid

The British-built Toyota isn’t top of the list when it comes to the family hatchback segment, lagging behind on interior quality and practicality fronts.

The hybrid uses a similar powertrain as the Prius, which is competent enough, but don’t think for one moment that the electric powertrain adds any dynamic appeal to the small hatchback. 

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf GTE

The industry's biggest power makes a plug-in hybrid for the masses, but is the Volkswagen Golf GTE as sporty as its name suggests?

Find an Autocar car review

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