Every day we are witnessing a growing number and an expanding range of hybrid cars making their way onto our roads. This is primarily due to increasing social and political pressures on car manufacturers to develop alternatives to traditional fuel-powered, combustion engine vehicles. At Hippo Leasing, we often get asked: what are the best hybrid cars to lease right now?
As a result of the demand, we have seen a boom in newly designed, eco- friendly, hybrid cars, becoming available to motorists. As time has passed, many of these options have become more affordable – opening a whole new and thriving segment in the automotive industry.
Here, we reveal the 8 best hybrid cars to lease right now, but first let’s look at what hybrid cars are exactly, as well as the different types available.
Full hybrid vehicles are equipped with both a petrol engine and an electric motor. These cars have been designed to run for extended lengths of time and distances on pure electric power – especially at lower speeds. There are two main types of full hybrid powertrains namely Parallel hybrids and Series hybrids.
The engine of a Parallel hybrid can be powered in three different ways
1. Directly by the petrol engine
2. Directly by the electric motor
3. By both systems working in conjunction with one another
A Series hybrid is powered exclusively by the electric motor. The petrol engine works like a generator, providing power for the electric motor, without ever powering the movement of the car itself. The electric motor is also charged through a process called regenerative braking.
The constant evolution of hybrid technology has led to vehicles being developed that combine the above two full hybrid types – namely series-parallel hybrids. In these models, an on-board computer selects and applies the most efficient power option at any given time.
The “mild” hybrid system is amongst the most recent innovations in hybrid technology. Mild hybrid vehicles are also equipped with both a petrol engine and an electric motor. As the name suggests, the electric motor only plays a supporting role to the petrol engine, and is never solely responsible for powering the vehicle.
Its main responsibilities include assisting the petrol engine during acceleration from a full stop, and easing the strain that power-sapping systems like air conditioning places on the petrol engine.
Never needing to be plugged in, the electric motor is charged through a combination of the petrol engine and brake regeneration.
Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)
At the centre point between fully hybrid and fully electric vehicles is the plug-in hybrid. The primary difference between plug-in hybrids and the options above is that plug-in hybrids can be charged at external power points, as well as internally. This means that plug-in hybrids produce a considerably greater fully electric driving range.
Electric vehicles with range extender hybrids
Some all-electric vehicles come with a small petrol engine as an emergency backup for when the electric motor runs out of power. This gives the driver time to get to an external charging point to replenish the vehicle’s electric reserves. The petrol engines of these range extender hybrids will either charge the battery, or power the electric motor for a limited number of miles.
A combination of environmental concerns, a substantial increase in car prices, along with growing petrol costs, has created the perfect storm for the rise in popularity and production of hybrid vehicles in the UK.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reveals that plug-in vehicles account for 16 per cent of new car registrations in the UK during 2022. Additionally, fully electric models account for 12 per cent of new car registrations this year. Overall, renewable categories of cars have risen by more than 60 per cent when compared to the same period during 2021.
Four benefits of driving a hybrid car
Opting to purchase a hybrid car comes with several notable benefits.
Hybrids can save you money at the pump
In these expensive times, saving money on petrol is a huge benefit, one that is synonymous with driving a hybrid car. With the electric motor taking on much of the heavy work, petrol power plays less of a role in most cases, thereby reducing the amount required to spend at the pump.
Hybrid cars are often constructed out of lighter weight materials and aerodynamically designed. Both of these factors further contribute towards reducing petrol consumption.
Hybrids can produce less pollution
As hybrid vehicles combine both petrol and electric power, this leads to less fuel consumption and thus less harmful CO2 emissions. Hybrid cars can often generate their own power through regenerative braking, further reducing petrol usage and carbon dioxide production.
Hybrids can offer a greater driving range
With the electric motor powering a hybrid vehicle much of the time, petrol consumption is greatly reduced. The combination of a petrol engine and an electric motor, along with energy production through regenerative braking, often means a hybrid vehicle has an extended driving range, sometimes over 600 miles, depending on the make and model.
Plug-in hybrids can still be used during petrol shortages or power outages
Plug-in hybrids are a safety net during uncertain times. In the event of a major petrol shortage or exploding petrol costs, a hybrid will allow you to continue on your way through the use of the electric motor.
Alternatively, in the event of a blackout, a plug-in hybrid with a depleted battery will still receive power through the petrol engine, providing mobility for the duration of the power outage.
8 best hybrid cars to lease right now
Hippo Leasing can help to find the right hybrid car for you. We have a wide range of new and approved used hybrid vehicles for you to choose from. Our specialised team are dedicated to finding the right hybrid car for your personal circumstances.
To aid you in your decision making, Hippo has compiled a list of the 8 best hybrid cars for you to lease right now.
Mazda2 Hybrid Hatchback
First on our list is the Mazda2 hybrid hatchback. This is the first Mazda model featuring a hybrid electric powertrain. Capable of delivering outstanding fuel efficiency and greatly reduced CO2 emissions, the Mazda2 will save you money on petrol and produce less air pollution.
In addition to its efficient and clean nature, the Mazda2 boasts a sporty exterior along with a handcrafted, highly refined interior, and is packed with desirable features. On the entry level model, these features include a gloss black roof spoiler, 15-inch steel wheels, a black fabric seat trim, full smartphone connectivity, all-round electric windows, an EV drive mode, climate-control air conditioning, and Halogen headlights. Several safety and driver assistance features have also been included.
Hyundai Ioniq Hatchback
Next up is the remarkably fuel efficient Ioniq hatchback. This four-door Hyundai comes in three variants – a pure electric, a Plug-In Hybrid and a Hybrid powertrain option. Here, we will focus on the latter.
The Hybrid is the baseline model and requires no outlet. With an EPA estimate of 59mpg combined, the Ioniq is amongst the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. Standard features on the baseline trim level include 15-inch wheels, six-way adjustable seats, a large cargo area, an eight-inch touchscreen, full smartphone connectivity and a host of driver assistance systems.
Powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine coupled with a petrol-electric hybrid system and a six-speed automatic transmission, the Hyundai Ioniq Hatchback is responsive, user-friendly and easy to drive.
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
The Corolla hatchback comes with an option of two zippy hybrid engines – a 1.8-litre and a 2.0-litre version, both paired with an excellent CVT automatic gearbox – equipped as standard. These hybrid powertrains are ‘self-charging’ which means no external charging outlet is required. The 1.8-litre version offers a fuel economy of 62.7mpg, whilst the 2.0-litre version offers 57.6mpg.
The spacious Corolla Hatchback is a solidly built car with a comfortable interior environment. It houses an eight-inch touchscreen, a second multimedia information display in the instrument panel, DAB radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, voice activation, full smartphone connectivity, ambient lighting and upmarket upholstery – all fitted as standard.
This impressive hybrid has received a five-star Euro NCAP rating and features a range of standard safety equipment.
Peugeot 3008 Estate
The Plug-In Hybrid 225 version of the Peugeot 3008 Estate is powered by a turbocharged inline 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre engine coupled with a hybrid system featuring a lithium-ion battery pack, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The powertrain of this all-wheel-drive premium SUV delivers up to 36 miles of all-electric driving range, and enables the 3008 to accelerate from 0 – 62mph in a respectable 8.7 seconds, and to achieve a top speed of 140mph.
Complimenting the visually appealing exterior design of the five-seater 3008 is its luxury interior – packed with high-quality features. These include a multifunctional steering wheel, a ten-inch HD touchscreen, stylish chrome Piano Keys and an impressive head-up display.
An extensive suite of safety and driver assistance technologies along with a five-star Euro NCAP rating, add to the appeal of the Peugeot 3008 Estate Hybrid.
Ford Kuga Estate
The five-seater Ford Kuga Estate is a well-equipped family SUV that comes in both a standard hybrid and a plug-in hybrid version. Both models use a 2.5-litre petrol engine coupled with an electric motor and a battery.
The standard hybrid uses the power of the engine as well as kinetic energy to charge the battery, whilst the PHEV model needs to be charged at home or at a public charging point. The latter model has all-electric driving range of 35 miles and an impressive fuel economy of over 200mpg.
This high-quality hybrid comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen, full smartphone connectivity, DAB radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav, wireless phone charging and up to 1,534 litres of cargo room, with the rear seating folded flat. Additionally, the Ford Kuga Estate boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and includes a host of safety and driver assistance technologies – all fitted as standard.
Honda Jazz Hatchback
Next up is the Honda Jazz. This compact hybrid hatchback is powered by a 1.5-litre engine and two electric motors connected to a lithium-ion battery pack. The battery is charged through energy produced by the electric engine and regenerative braking. This fuel-efficient configuration is capable of delivering 61.4mpg and emits a mere 100g/km of CO2.
The Jazz comes in four trim levels – the SE being the baseline version. This entry point model features LED headlights, 15-inch steel wheels, heated door mirrors, climate control, Bluetooth, a uniquely designed two-spoke steering wheel, and up to 1,205-litres of cargo space. The easy-to-use infotainment system is operated through a nine-inch screen and offers full smartphone connectivity.
A five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and Honda’s ‘Sensing’ suite of driver assistance and safety systems ensure that this Hybrid hatchback ticks all of the right boxes.
Suzuki Vitara Estate
The Suzuki Vitara Estate Hybrid is now powered by a new 1.4-litre, turbo petrol engine, combined with 48-volt mild hybrid technology, connected to a 6-speed manual gearbox. This arrangement enables the Vitara to accelerate from 0-63mph in 9.5 seconds and to achieve a top speed of 188mph. The Estate’s fuel consumption is around 5.7 litres per 62 miles and releases 128g/km of CO2 emissions.
The Vitara, with its light steering and responsive handling, is surprising agile for a compact SUV – a driving experience that is enhanced by the elevated driving position. Standard features of the baseline model include LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a range of safety equipment, along with ample head, shoulder, leg and cargo room.
Renault Clio Hatchback
The Clio E-Tech is an affordable hybrid that houses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, two electric motors and a 1.2kWh lithium-ion battery. Energy acquired through regenerative braking is stored in the battery and used to power the hatchback at speeds up to 40mph. The Clio has an all-electric mode that is best used for inner city driving at lower speeds, along with a ‘B’ mode that significantly boosts the regenerative braking capacity of the car.
The Clio’s updated interior is well-equipped, and now features a 9.3-inch portrait infotainment screen and a freshly designed instrument panel. Satellite navigation and smartphone connectivity are included in the setup. Additionally noteworthy features of the Clio include LED headlights, folding door mirrors, climate control, and up to 1,069-litres of cargo space.
An impressive standard safety kit featuring autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, and lane keeping assist, helped to earn the Clio Hatchback a five-star Euro NCAP safety score.