full hybrid, such as the Prius, is able to operate using a combination of power from the electric motor and the engine, to deliver the best efficiency for a given situation. The more expensive plug-in hybrids sit somewhere closer to a full electric car. They can be charged at home or from a charging station. They will typically have larger batteries and further range in electric-only mode than a regular hybrid. read more...
The Toyota Prius is probably the most recognisable and well-known hybrid vehicle. Released in the UK in 2000, it’s now in its fourth generation, meaning that it’s possible to pick up a vehicle which still delivers strongly on the emissions and economy front at a lower price than the newer cars on this list.
The second-generation Prius (2003-2009) is a five-door hatchback with good performance – it’s handling isn’t too different to rivals with conventional engines, but the Prius returns 65.7mpg.
It’s the third-generation Prius (2009-2016) that we’re recommending, though. It returns 72.4mpg whilst its CO2 emissions are 89g/km, making it incredibly cheap to run. Importantly, it also increased the size of the Mk2, with great rear leg room and a 446-litre boot.
The electric motor is combined with a 98bhp 1.8-litre petrol engine to deliver a total of 134bhp – what’s noticeable is that the Prius doesn’t feel like you’re driving a hybrid car. Despite this, it is possible to drive the car by electric motor alone up to 30mph.
You get Toyota’s great build quality across the Prius range. Even the basic Prius has excellent safety features, such as eight airbags and Toyota’s vehicle stability control.
The result? A used Prius is a great choice not just for an iconic hybrid vehicle, but also for those who want a spacious, cheap to run family car.
Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 (2012-)
The Citroen DS range is Citroen’s top of the range offering, which offers more upmarket vehicles with unique styling. The DS5 is the top spec car within the DS line.
The DS5, unlike the Prius, isn’t a solely hybrid car, but is available as a hybrid variant. Indeed, if you’re looking to combine a hybrid engine with luxury and style, then this is the car for you. It’s got a plush, comfortable and hi-tech interior, and on the outside, the stark metal blades sweeping up from the headlights are truly unique.
The 160bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine is connected to a 40bhp electric motor, which controls the rear axle. This combination returns 74.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 91g/km. The 2013 model combines a 161 diesel engine with a 36bhp electric motor on the rear axle, delivering fairly strong performance overall.
Elements of the dashboard are more akin to an aircraft, with switches mounted on the roof; individual sunroofs for the front and rear are a nice and luxurious touch. Both inside and out, the styling of this car is undeniably unique.
For heaps of character, luxury and style, combined with great fuel economy and low carbon emissions, the DS5 Hybrid4 is a fantastic choice.
Lexus CT200h SE-I (2011-)
Representing a hybrid vehicle from one of the premium brands, the CT200h is a vehicle which competes with the likes of the BMW 1 Series, but with low emissions and great fuel economy too.
Available only with a 1.8-litre petrol engine which combines a hybrid electric motor with a CVT gearbox, the Lexus has the same drivetrain – indeed, it shares many of the same parts – as the Toyota Prius.
This is not a bad thing: at entry level, the Lexus emits just 82g of CO2 per kilometre, putting it in the lowest bracket of company car tax. The running costs are low, too, as the Lexus can return up to 78mpg.
Although this is a premium vehicle, you may get the sense that the central console, full of switches and buttons, is a bit cluttered. The velour seats at entry level also seem a bit outdated (but are nonetheless very comfortable).
Similar to Toyota, you get great reliability from the brand. With a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, this is a premium hybrid vehicle that delivers on many fronts.
The Outlander plug in hybrid electric vehicle is the first plug in hybrid SUV, and one of the few hybrid SUVs out there. With that in mind, it’s appealing to those who are interested in a hybrid vehicle but don’t want to compromise on size.
Launched in 2013, the Outlander PHEV had a facelift in 2015, which gave us some design tweaks and an improved cabin.
Despite being an SUV, the Outlander delivers great fuel economy and has low emissions: its claimed fuel economy is a whopping 148mpg, and its CO2 emission level is 44g/km, meaning you won’t be paying any VED. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine which is complemented by one 60kw electric motor for the front axle and one for the rear.
As a plug-in vehicle, the Outlander can be charged from a normal home mains socket, which will take around five hours for a full charge. If you use the full-electric mode, the range is 30 miles, so is suitable for driving around town without using any fuel.
Other than its hybrid engine, this hybrid is similar to the regular Outlander. It has the same tough styling, and the interior is little different, apart from the noticeably quiet drive.
This hybrid car also got five Euro NCAP stars, thanks in part to its raft of technological safety features such as lane departure warning, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.
The Yaris Hybrid was launched in 2012 and utilises Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive. It combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 59bhp electric motor via an automatic gearbox, and does have the option of a sub-40mph electric only mode – perfect for city driving. Due to its size and power, this is a vehicle best-suited for driving in town, as it does struggle at higher speeds.
CO2 emissions are likely to be a key concern if you’re considering a hybrid – the Yaris will emit 79g of CO2 per kilometre, which is a competitive figure.
The interior is noticeably roomy, and the Yaris Hybrid is available in five trim levels. For a small city car which delivers green credentials – as well as 85mpg – and the Yaris Hybrid is a great Hybrid addition to the supermini range.
Hybrid vehicles no longer need to necessarily be just for those looking to display their green credentials. The range of hybrid vehicles now spans SUVs, family cars, luxury vehicles and small city cars, so whatever used car you’re after, the fantastic fuel efficiency and low emissions of a hybrid vehicle are worth considering.
On Carsnip, we have a great selection of all the above vehicles available for great prices. Get browsing today and find the perfect used hybrid car!