Best Hybrid Cars You Can Buy
So you’re in the market for a new car and you’ve been thinking that you should do your part to reduce your carbon footprint. Maybe you watched Al Gore’s documentary or maybe you’re just from California, either way, you’re ready for a Hybrid. You just need to know the best hybrid car you can get.
I’m guessing you hit the internet in search of the best hybrids and were sorely disappointed when you found out that most automakers pay to have their shitty cars placed on some list that get’s a bunch of traffic. The good news is you found your way here, the bad news is…I don’t get paid to provide these recommendations.
Therefore, it’s my civic duty to represent my choices fairly and from the perspective of someone who doesn’t just love cars, but also loves driving.
2018 is a great year for Hybrid vehicles of all kinds, and as you will see there are some surprisingly sporty vehicles on the list as well as some luxurious ones and even one that is economical for a pack of children or a couple of Labradoodles.
That being said, here are the best hybrid cars made so far by mankind:
- Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
- Volvo S90
- Cadillac CT6 Plug-In
- Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
- Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
- Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
These aren’t your average hybrids. These represent the best the segment has to offer.
All are stylish, sporty, fun to drive, and will have even the most ardent anti-tree-hugger considering a plug-in to save the earth.
The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
I have a real affinity for the boys in Stuttgart and after having the luxury to drive several Porsches on and off the track I can attest that they really are amazing vehicles. Nothing quite compares to the handling of a Porsche and the overall beauty of the cabin.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid is certainly no exception. Those who know Porsche understand that the company’s primary objective is performance with an overtone of luxury. It’s a beautiful combination that just works brilliantly.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid is a five-door SUV plug-in Hybrid powered by a 3.0 Liter turbocharged V6 mated to a 100kW electric motor that provides immediate power. The end result is a fantastic 455 bhp and 516 lb. ft. of torque. The sprint from stopped to 60 mph is an incredible 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 157 mph all topped off with a combined 22 mpg and 46 mpge.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid is a real deal sport SUV with all of the responsibility and Hyper-Hybrid technology you could want. It’s one of my top picks for anyone seeking a hybrid alternative to a Tahoe and is surprisingly within the same price range starting at 79,999.
The Volvo S90
The Swedes just have a way of doing things that really jives with me. Case in point, the Volvo S90 is by far one of the most luxurious and beautiful sedans on the road today. This plugin Hybrid is a direct competitor of the Audi A6 and BMW 5-Series and brings a lot of firepower to the gauntlet.
Powered by what the company calls a “T8 Twin Engine”, it is actually a 4-Cylinder that is both supercharged and turbocharged married to a pair of electric motors. The result is a crisp 400 combined bhp pushed through a pretty good AWD system and a nice smooth 8-speed automatic transmission.
Volvo’s have been known historically for their ridiculous reliability. I mean there’s some Russians driving around right now in the snow with Volvo’s they bought when the company started I’m sure. The interior design of the S90 is very pretty and worth a look if you want a full-size luxury sedan that will last through the apocalypse. Starting price is $63,650, but the car is eligible for $5,002 federal tax credit.
The Cadillac CT6 Plug-In
A lot of people don’t know that Cadillac was once considered one of the most luxurious brands in the world. Back in the days of the long-nose Cadillacs like the Eldorado, they were second only to brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce. More importantly, Cadillac has long been associated with GM, but it wasn’t always that way either. Cadillac is the United States second oldest car company and was founded from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company.
I’ve always loved Cadillacs and the new ones are no exception. They really are beautiful. The CT6 is the brand’s flagship sedan and is by far its most luxurious. Amazing passenger amenities like dual 10-inch retractable screens, massaging seats, and an optional audio input jack with two sets of wireless headphones coupled with sophisticated styling make the CT6 a very comfortable place to be.
It is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to a two-motor electric variable transmission to put out a combined 335 bhp and 432 lb-ft of torque. Cadillac boasts a combined mpge of 62 with an all-electric range of 31 miles. Pricing starts at $75,695 and qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit. The CT6 Plug-In proves that you really can teach an old dog new tricks.
The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
This German outfit has sort of a rocky history with U.S. consumers that goes back to the early 1990’s. It’s a polarized brand; it seems people either love them or hate them. However, in recent years Audi’s reputation has done a total 180 and the company is now increasingly known for its reliability and quality.
Quattro, the all-wheel-drive system Audi is famous for deploying, has remained a common fixture in the majority of its vehicles. However, the A3 Sportback e-tron is a front-wheel drive car powered by 1.4 L Turbocharged motor tied to a “liquid cooled, permanent-magnet-driven” electric motor. The combined power output of 204 bhp and 258 lb-ft of torque is more than ample for the little hatchback.
A high-class interior, coupled with beautiful styling and a great deal of flexibility as a hatchback, the A3 Sportback e-tron achieves a combined 83 mpge and is perfect for commuting and daily driving. The A3 Sportback e-tron starts at $38,500 and caps off at $48,100. It’s versatile enough to take the kids to the day-care or the dog park, depending on what kind of kids you currently have.
The Winner: The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
462 bhp and a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds. I could easily stop there, but there’s more to cover. The Panamera is Porsche’s four-door executive pavement killer. The 4 E-Hybrid features and advanced all-wheel-drive system and enough power to make you salivate at the thought of a morning commute. The car is better known as belonging in the garages of well-to-do stay at home moms, but trust me, this thing was born on a racetrack.
Available in several trims the maxed out Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo (yes that is it’s full, exceptionally German name) comes with a brain-melting 680 bhp and a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds. The price? A cool $188K will get you into the driver’s seat, but don’t be discouraged the base model starts at a modest $99,000. Electric seats not included. Unfortunately, EPA estimates are not available for the vehicle yet, but let’s be honest does it really even matter?
The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
My Japanese brand loyalty has always stood firmly with Subaru. However, the RLX is somewhat of an overlooked gem. In fact, it’s so overlooked that in 2017 more Americans bought Ferrari’s than they did RLX’s. Ouch. That’s like taking a back seat to the Tap-Out wearing Guido at the mall. But honestly, I didn’t even know that many American’s could afford Ferrari’s.
That’s not to say that Ferrari’s are better though. The fact is the RLX might be missing some of the charm of it’s more luxurious competitors, but it’s still worth a look. If you’re shopping for a classic looking vehicle with plenty of performance, comfortable interior and some pretty decent driving assistance the RLX might be for you.
The RLX hybrid utilizes the same Hybrid powertrain developed in for the NSX supercar, an engineering fact that really adds the sauce to my pork chops. Rated at a combined 377 bhp and paired with all-wheel drive the RLX is capable of a 0-60 sprint in 4.9 seconds and a combined 28 mpge. Pricing starts at $61,900 and comes standard with all of Acura’s premium features offering a solid value.
Aside from supercars and ultra-hybrids, the list of high-quality hybrids is somewhat short. The market is riddled with low-cost options like the Camry (which is pretty good), but these options leave drivers craving something. The objective of a Hybrid shouldn’t be to maximize fuel economy at the expense of sportiness, it should be to blend the two.
One of the biggest no-brainers in automotive performance is the ability of Hybrid powertrains to walk their petrol counterparts. Electric motors offer instantaneous torque, but leave the driver wanting more. What’s worse is that most electric vehicles are heavy and plow through turns like a college kid eating pizza rolls.
The solution is to maintain a balance of classic dino-powered V-shaped motors supplemented by a nice electric neighbor. The best hybrid cars accomplish this an so much more.
Any of the cars on this list are worthy of driving over their full petrol relatives. Especially that ultra-ridiculous and short named Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo.
Not looking for a Hybrid but still want something sporty and (somewhat) practical? See our post: Best Four-Door Sports Cars.