- Published 13 May 2020
- 7 minute read
- By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
There are many reasons why motorists are turning to hybrid cars rather than going all-electric. Some are as efficient as their diesel equivalents, while others offer significant tax benefits. Choose a plug-in hybrid and it might be possible to complete your daily commute without using a drop of fuel.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars to lease in 2020, with prices starting from less than £200 a month. A standard hybrid will use energy from the engine or brakes to charge the batteries, while a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) can be plugged in to deliver between 20 and 30 miles of all-electric range.
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Available to lease from £218 per month Lease Now
The Toyota Yaris is the only proper hybrid supermini you can buy, with power sourced from a petrol-electric powertrain. CO2 emissions of 82g/km make it the cleanest member of the Yaris fleet and, according to the official figures, 56.4mpg is possible with a light right foot.
With prices approaching £20,000, it’s a little on the expensive side for such a small car, but the monthly leasing rate is much more palatable, there’s a generous level of standard specification, and you can’t argue with the efficiency. There’s also room for four adults – five at a push – along with a decent-size boot.
Available to lease from £199 per month Lease Now
The Toyota Corolla offers the efficiency of a Prius with the styling and driving experience of a conventional hatchback. In fact, we’d argue that it’s one of the most stylish cars in its class, especially if you opt for the new GR Sport edition. It’s also outstanding value, especially compared with the smaller Toyota Yaris hybrid.
There are two petrol-electric hybrid powertrains available: a 1.8-litre lifted from the Prius and the more desirable 2.0-litre. The 1.8 claims to return as much as 57.6mpg, while the 2.0 is only marginally less efficient, at 53.3mpg. It’s for this reason that the Corolla makes more sense than a rival diesel.
Available to lease from £261 per month Lease Now
You can lease a Hyundai Ioniq with a choice of three electrified powertrains: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric. Although the Toyota Prius might grab the headlines in the hybrid sector, the Ioniq is arguably a better all-rounder.
The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid is more expensive than the Ioniq Hybrid, but it’s worth the additional outlay. Not only is it better to drive, it also offers up to 39 miles of electric range and the potential to cover 660 miles on a single charge and one tank of fuel. A recent update means more equipment, improved styling and a nicer cabin.
Mini Countryman PHEV
Available to lease from £347 per month Lease Now
Although an all-electric Mini is now available, the Mini Countryman PHEV makes more sense for those in search of an efficient family car. It’s arguably the best Countryman in the range, with the ability to travel 26 miles in electric mode and enough poke to hit 62mph in just 6.8 seconds.
The Countryman is like a supersize version of the Mini Hatchback, with the most desirable equipment pre-loaded and the added reassurance of four-wheel-drive. It’s the plug-in hybrid SUV that will please your head and your heart.
Honda CR-V Hybrid
Available to lease from £334 per month Lease Now
If you let your head rule your heart, you’re likely to end up with the Honda CR-V. It might lack the image and polish of the Mini Countryman, but it’s arguably the more sensible choice. The CR-V combines a petrol engine with a pair of electric motors to deliver a claimed 53.3mpg.
You won’t notice it switching between petrol and electric mode, and although it manages just a mile or so of all-electric range, you’ll be won over by the CR-V’s refinement. Four-wheel-drive is available as an option on all but the entry-level version.
Volkswagen Passat GTE
Available to lease from £458 per month Lease Now
The Volkswagen Passat GTE pairs a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver some thoroughly impressive performance and economy figures. Following a recent update, it’ll travel up to 31 miles in all-electric mode.
It’ll do its best to remain in electric mode whenever possible. Engage GTE mode, however, and it uses the full force of petrol-electric power to deliver enough performance to rival a super-saloon. Not bad for a car with official CO2 emissions of just 36g/km. An estate version is available if you want to take your dog along.
Mercedes-Benz E300 de EQ Power
Available to lease from £491 per month Lease Now
Diesel engines might be as socially acceptable as a plastic carrier bag, but the Mercedes-Benz E300 de EQ Power is a genuinely impressive plug-in hybrid. With a full charge, up to 34 miles of electric range is available in the saloon, which could be enough for your daily commute. Thanks to the 2.0-litre diesel engine, it’ll be just as useful when you want to travel further afield at the weekend.
Fuel economy figures of 188.3mpg to 217.3mpg need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but 50mpg should be achievable over long distances. Alternatively, the E300 e petrol-electric hybrid is only marginally less efficient, but more fun to drive.
Available to lease from £432 per month Lease Now
It’s not the cheapest plug-in hybrid you can lease, but the BMW 330e is one of the most impressive. It uses the familiar 2.0-litre petrol engine you’ll find in regular 3 Series models, but with the added benefit of an electric motor. A 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds and CO2 emissions of 39g/km suggest this BMW offers the best of both worlds.
Up to 41 miles of electric range is available, with the 330e capable of hitting 87mph in all-electric mode. Throw into the mix a long list of standard equipment and a high-quality interior and you’ve got the makings of one of the best plug-in hybrids you can lease in 2020.
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