Used plug-in hybrids that are stylish, luxurious and reasonably priced!
If you’re looking for exceptional acceleration and great fuel economy but dread the thought of driving something like a Prius, this is the article for you!
Hybrid cars don’t have to necessarily have to look dorky, they don’t need to be slow and the interiors don’t need to feel cheap and plastic. It’s time to open our eyes and realise there are plenty of (well, at least 5) hidden gems out there that elegantly combine luxury and style with hybrid technology.
Unfortunately, these cars just don’t get enough attention. A lot of people won’t even know they exist, which is probably why you see so many BMW i3’s and Toyota Auris hybrids on the roads instead of seeing any of these cars we’re about to talk about.
Mercedes C 350e
That’s right, Mercedes have had a hybrid C Class hiding under our noses the whole time! The C 350e has, in fact, been around since 2015. It pairs a four-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with a small 80hp electric motor. The battery is small at just 6.2 kWh and the car is said to be able to travel around 19 miles on battery power alone, however real-world tests show that figure to be closer to 12 miles.
It’s quick, like all of the PHEVs (plug-in electric vehicles) on this list, and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 5.9 seconds! In total, the car has 275 hp at its disposal which is pretty darn good!
Today, you can pick one up from the used market for as low as £13,000 with more moderate mileage examples costing around £16,000. The C 350e is also available in both saloon and estate configuration, which is great considering there is reduced boot space thanks to the room that the battery requires.
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine
If you prefer something bigger, the XC90 T8 is a hybrid castle on wheels that’s sure to fulfil your desire for a big car. Incredibly luxurious on the inside and handsome on the outside. Whether you’re a big-shot business person or a large family, this hybrid 7-seater is not only incredibly stylish but also very practical.
0-62 mph in a blistering (for an SUV) 5.6 seconds makes this car fast as well. The electric motor is 86 hp, the rather impressive 2.0-litre turbo engine produces 316 hp giving the car 402 hp in total! Volvo has named the car a ‘Twin Engine’ because technically, that’s the truth. It’s not an ordinary ‘hybrid’ setup because the electric motor drives the rear wheels and the petrol engine drives the front wheels.
The electric-only range is quoted to be 27 miles but will likely be around half of that, which is still pretty good. The XC90 T8 Twin Engine came out in 2016 and if you buy one new, it’ll cost around £66,645 but on the used market you can get a 2016 example for around £35,000.
BMW are known for building cars that feel great to drive and that’s still true with this hybrid 3 Series. While enjoying a dynamic and engaging drive in the 330e, you can enjoy it even more knowing that you’re saving money in fuel costs.
Released in 2015, the 330e features an 87 hp electric motor and a 182 hp 2.0-litre petrol engine and when used together can produce a maximum of 249 hp. It will do 0-62 mph in 6.1 seconds and has a quoted electric-only range of 25 miles. Even though it’s a hybrid, when revving hard the car will still produce a nice, hearty sound that will reassure you that the internal combustion engine is not dead yet!
Volkswagen Golf GTE
A hatchback not only for the people, but for the planet and your wallet as well! With a claimed mpg of 166 (although we know VW doesn’t always tell the truth) and a 0-62 mph time of just 7.6 seconds this hatchback is perfect for the frugal driver who hates slow cars.
A 1.4-litre 148 hp turbo petrol engine is mated with a 101 hp electric motor and when working together, produce a maximum of 201 hp. They cost around £33,000 new but shopping used will see examples as low as £12,000. With the agreeable styling of a Golf, this hybrid makes for a great fuel-efficient hatchback with no compromise.
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Here’s one that not a lot of people know about – who knew that Audi already had their fingers dipped in the hybrid market back in 2014?
The small 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and the electric motor produce 201 hp together, allowing the car to do a 0-62 mph sprint in just 7.6 seconds. Electric-only range is quoted at 31 miles, which is very impressive considering the A3 hybrid has been around the longest out of the cars on this list.
Still looking fresh today, the Audi A3 e-tron makes for a true bargain as it’s coming up to being 6 years old now. Owning one will also give you the joy of saying that you own an e-tron, a brand that is now becoming known as the name for very luxurious (and expensive) electric Audi cars. Look around enough and you can get an A3 e-tron for as little as £10,000!
Let us know if you know of any niche, cool hybrids that need to get more attention!
If you enjoyed this, you’ll probably like to read about the new green number plates that electric vehicles will soon have…
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