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Buying guide: Top 10 most fuel efficient hybrids

Thinking of going hybrid? Read this first.


Hybrid car buying guide

IN LIGHT of expected government tax rises on diesel fuel (in case you missed it, politicians, who have been asking us to switch from petrol to diesel in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, are instead targeting diesels due to even more harmful exhaust pollutants), small, ultra-efficient petrol engines and, to a greater extent, hybrid cars could be about to see a sharp increase in popularity.

Hybrids combine electric motors with an internal combustion engine to increase fuel efficiency, and sometimes performance. Petrol-electric combinations are most common but there are also diesel-electric hybrids hitting the showrooms, too.

But what hybrids are available to buy right now? More specifically, if we’re talking fuel efficiency here, which are the hybrids at the top of the pile?

It’s a tricky question, but there is one metric that will answer it best. While official miles per gallon (MPG) figures are generally accepted as wildly optimistic and no reflection of real-world fuel economy, they are still pretty much the only way to compare cars for their fuel-sipping ability.

We have included CO2 figures in our list below, too, as that is still the metric by which our VED (road tax) is calculated.

 

Top 10 best hybrids for fuel economy

Hybrids include an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. In a “series hybrid”, the electric motor powers the wheels and the engine acts as a generator, while a second type called a “parallel hybrid” connects the wheels to both the electric motor and the engine.

These are the 10 most efficient hybrids, according to the official NEDC combined cycle test, currently on sale.

 

1. Citroën DS5 Hybrid4 (£29,100 to £33,700)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Citroen DS5 Hybrid4

Fuel type: Diesel-electric
Best fuel economy: 85.7mpg
Cost per mile (at 133p per litre): 7p
CO2 emissions: 85g/km

 Buy a Citroën DS5 on driving.co.uk

 

2. Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 (£27,245 to £28,245)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4

Fuel type: Diesel-electric
Best fuel economy: 85.6mpg
Cost per mile (at 133p per litre): 7p
CO2 emissions: 85g/km

 Buy a Peugeot 3008 on driving.co.uk

 

3. Toyota Yaris Hybrid (£16,195 to £17,695)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Fuel type: Petrol-electric
Best fuel economy: 78.5mpg
Cost per mile (at 128.70p per litre): 7p
CO2 emissions: 75g/km

 Buy a Toyota Yaris on driving.co.uk

 

4. Lexus CT 200h (£20,995 to £29,495)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Lexus CT 200h

Fuel type: Petrol-electric
Best fuel economy: 78.5mpg
Cost per mile (at 128.70p per litre): 7p
CO2 emissions: 82g/km

Buy a Lexus CT 200h on driving.co.uk

 

5. Mercedes-Benz C 300 BlueTec Hybrid (£34,630 to £38,120)

Best fuel economy: 78.5mpg | CO2: 94g/km

Mercedes-Benz C 300 BlueTec Hybrid

Fuel type: Petrol-electric
Best fuel economy: 78.5mpg
Cost per mile (at 128.70p per litre): 7p
CO2 emissions: 94g/km

Buy a Mercedes-Benz C-class on driving.co.uk

 

6. Toyota Auris Hybrid (£20,645 to £22,890)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Toyota Auris Hybrid

Fuel type: Petrol-electric
Best fuel economy: 78.5mpg
Cost per mile (at 128.70p per litre): 7p
CO2 emissions: 84g/km

Buy a Toyota Auris on driving.co.uk

 

7. Toyota Auris Hybrid Touring Sports (£21,745 to £23,990)

Best fuel economy: 76.3mpg | CO2: 85g/km

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Toyota Auris Hybrid Touring Sports

Fuel type: Petrol-electric
Best fuel economy: 76.3mpg
Cost per mile (at 128.70p per litre): 8p
CO2 emissions: 85g/km

Buy a Toyota Auris on driving.co.uk

 

8. Toyota Prius (£21,995 to £25,295)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Toyota Prius

Fuel type: Petrol-electric
Best fuel economy: 72.4mpg
Cost per mile (at 128.70p per litre): 8p
CO2 emissions: 89g/km

Buy a Toyota Prius on driving.co.uk

 

9. Peugeot 508 RXH Hybrid4 (£34,645)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Peugeot RXH Hybrid4

Fuel type: Diesel-electric
Best fuel economy: 70.6mpg
Cost per mile (at 133p per litre): 9p
CO2 emissions: 104g/km

Buy a Peugeot 508 RXH on driving.co.uk

 

10. Honda Insight (£20,475 to £23,595)

Most fuel efficient hybrids: Honda Insight

Fuel type: Petrol-electric
Best fuel economy: 68.9mpg
Cost per mile (at 128.70p per litre): 8p
CO2 emissions: 96g/km

Buy a Honda Insight on driving.co.uk

 

The rest…

Make Model Price Best combined MPG Best CO2 (g/km)
11. Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTec Hybrid £39,880 to £42,375 68.9 109
12. Toyota Prius+ £26,145 to £29,445 68.9 96
13. Lexus IS 300h £29,495 to £38,495 65.7 99
14. Honda Jazz Hybrid £17,150 to £20,245 62.8 104
15. Mercedes-Benz S 300 Hybrid £72,260 61.4 120
16. Lexus GS 300h £31,495 to £43,745 60.1 109
17. Honda CR-Z £21,575 to £25,120 56.5 116
18. Lexus NX 300h £29,495 to £42,995 56.5 116
19. BMW ActiveHybrid 3 £40,685 to £43,685 47.9 139
20. Lexus GS 450h £45,495 to £51,495 46.3 141
21. Audi A6 Hybrid £43,980 45.6 145
22. Audi A8 Hybrid £63,505 45.6 144
23. Infiniti Q50 Hybrid £39,995 to £41,640 45.6 144
24. Lexus RX 450h £44,495 to £55,495 44.8 145
25. Mercedes-Benz S 400 Hybrid £69,895 to £74,930 44.8 147
26. BMW ActiveHybrid 5 £47,790 to £50,625 44.1 149
27. Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid £100,350 44.1 169
28. BMW ActiveHybrid 7 £69,300 to £74,575 41.5 158
29. Infiniti Q70 Hybrid £43,235 to £47,205 40.9 159
30. Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid £59,875 34.4 193
31. Lexus LS 600h £71,995 to £99,995 32.8 199
32. Ferrari LaFerrari £1.15m 20.0 330

 

 

Enter the plug-in hybrids…

Plug-in hybrids are a step ahead in fuel efficiency. By incorporating a larger battery that can be charged via the mains, exhaust emissions are greatly reduced, too.

True, generating in power stations still burns CO2 but data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers states that under the current mix of power in the UK, it is still cleaner than burning fossil fuels in the cars’ engines. And as mains power generation gets cleaner, so do the cars. Expect to see a lot more of these over the coming years.

Another advantage of plug-in hybrids is that they generally qualify for the government’s plug-in car grant, which subsidises the cost of a car by £5,000 (or 25% of the cost of cars under £20,000). The prices below are shown without the grant applied.

Make Model Price Best combined MPG Best CO2 (g/km)
1. BMW i3 REX £33,830 470.8 13
2. Vauxhall Ampera £33,750 to £35,495 235.4 27
3. Audi A3 e-tron Sportback £34,950 176.6 37
4. Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid £49,975 to £51,675 155.2 48
5. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV £32,249 to £32,899 148.0 44
6. BMW i8 £99,845 134.5 49
7. Toyota Prius Plug-in £33,395 134.5 49
8. Porsche 918 Spyder £712,088 94.1 70
9. Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid £88,986 91.1 71
10. Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid £61,474 83.1 79
11. McLaren P1 £866,000 34.0 194

 


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