Hybrid and electric cars are becoming popular in Australia. This is due to environmental concerns and government pressure.
But range anxiety remains an issue for electric cars. This means that motorists are not ready to give up on the internal combustion engine yet. Hybrid technology offers the best solution to the problem.
The good news is that manufacturers have stepped up the development of hybrid cars. Today, car buyers are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying the latest hybrid technology.
So here we are going to look at the 7 best hybrid cars available in 2022.
1. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Price: $41,390 plus on-road costs
The Hyundai Ioniq hybrid is the ideal runabout for budget-conscious families. The Ioniq is powered by a thrifty 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine backed up by a 32kW electric motor. This gives adequate power delivery and an impressive 3.5L/100km fuel consumption.
On the road, the Ioniq is easy to drive, but it doesn't quite have the dynamic performance of some of its rivals. There is also some noticeable noise from the hybrid drivetrain at motorway speeds. But if you can live with that, you’ll get a cheap family runabout that comes well equipped as standard and offers plenty of room for all the family.
1. Easy to drive
2. Cost-effective running cots
3. Budget price for a hybrid
1. Cramped back seats
2. Noisy hybrid drive
3. Some cheap plastics
2. Lexus NX450H
Price: $90,000 (estimated) plus on-road costs
The Lexus NX450H is based on Toyota RAV4 running gear which is no bad thing because this is one of the best hybrid platforms available. As a result, power comes from a 2.5-litre engine that offers 302 hp connected to a rear-mounted motor. This provides great performance and excellent fuel economy for a car of this size.
The looks of the NX450 carry on where the NX350 left off. The nose has a sleek futuristic look that gives it an aggressive stance on the road. Inside it has everything you would expect from a Lexus. The dashboard is well laid out and the seats are comfortable.
1. Nice to drive
2. Well equipped
3. Looks great
2. Limited luggage space
3. Slow compared to rivals
3. Toyota RAV4
Price: $45,000 plus on-road costs
The Toyota RAV4 is Australia's most popular vehicle. And it's not hard to see why. The car comes well equipped, looks great and has the dynamics of a car half its size. It also has plenty of room inside for all the family.
The hybrid model comes with the same 2.5-litre engine as the Lexus NX450 mentioned above. This is connected to a 45kw electric motor that drives the rear wheels only. On the road, this provides brisk if not ground break performance. But with a fuel economy of just 4.8L/100km, you won’t care much about that.
1. Excellent fuel efficiency
2. Great to drive
3. Affordable price
1. Dated interior
2. Not as fast as some rivals
3. Six-month waiting list
4. Subaru Forester Hybrid
Price: $44,000 plus on-road costs
The Subaru Forester is a direct competitor to the Toyota RAV4. Power comes from a 4-cylinder 2.5-litre engine backed up by a compact 12.3kW electric motor. This provides good all-around performance and excellent fuel economy. But it can’t quite match the performance or range of the RAV4.
Where the Forester excels though is off-road performance. The car's 220mm ground clearance ensures uneven surfaces can be dispatched with ease. While the X-Mode gearbox continually adjusts the gears and throttle on slippery surfaces.
No wonder the Forrester is the preferred choice for people living off the beaten track.
1. Roomy interior
2. Easy to drive
3. Great off-road ability
1. Underwhelming styling
2. Some cheap plastics
3. Overzealous safety systems
5. Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Price: $30,795 plus on-road costs
Not everyone wants or needs an SUV, for them, Toyota makes the Corolla Hybrid. Released in 2020 the new Corolla is a stylish family runabout that is as easy on the eye as it is on the wallet.
Prices start at $30,795. For that, you get a well-equipped five-door hatchback that promises low running costs.
The Corolla is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine that is an updated version of the 1.8-litre unit used in the Prius. This provides brisk performance on the road, but you won’t be winning any traffic drag races with it. Not that you’d want to, this is a family runabout after all. And that is a job this nifty runabout does supremely well.
1. Well equipped as standard
2. Attractive pricing
3. Good safety features
1. Small boot
2. Limited headroom in the back
3. Not as powerful as some competitors
6. Volvo XC40
Price: $69,760 plus on-road costs
The Volvo XC40 is the smallest of Volvo’s SUV range. It’s designed to be small enough to drive around town but provides enough space for a family of four. The interior feels light and spacious thanks to Volvo’s minimalist interior architecture.
And it’s practical too with plenty of storage bins and an oversized boot.
The little Volvo is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a 60kWh electric motor. This provides excellent performance without compromising fuel economy. Volvo says the vehicle returns 2.2L/100km combined (ADR). This is an impressive result for a car of this size and will allow you to benefit from extremely low running costs.
1. Comfortable to drive
2. Lots of space for all the family
3. Low running costs
1. Expensive to buy
2. Battery too small
3. The infotainment system needs an upgrade
7. Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Price: $29,020 plus on-road costs
We tried to fill this list with cars to suit everyone, from luxury SUVs to compact family runabouts. The new Toyota Yaris is our choice for the best supermini. This great-looking car drives as well as it looks. And with its 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and 9kWh electric motor. It has the performance to match.
The only thing that lets this little car down is the hefty price tag. At $29,020 plus on-road costs, It is more expensive than other supermini hybrids. While it does come well equipped it’s difficult to say it offers good value.
That being said it is still the best supermini to drive and it’s the best looking as well.
1. Great urban economy
2. Fun to drive
3. Well equipped
1. Expensive for a little car
2. Firm ride
3. Boot on the small side
A Hybrid for every budget
Hybrid cars used to be expensive compared to their petrol counterparts. Prices are coming down all the time. While they still cost more to buy, the difference is more than offset by lower running costs.
And with hybrids now available for all budgets. There has never been a better time to trade in your old petrol or diesel-powered motor.
What Is A Hybrid Car?
A hybrid car is a vehicle that combines a traditional petrol-powered combustion engine with an electric motor. There are different types of hybrid available, including parallel, series and plug-in variants.
How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last?
On average, a hybrid battery will last between 130,000 - 161,000km (80,000-100,000km). For most drivers, this will mean their hybrid battery will need replacing every 8-10 years.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Hybrid Car Battery?
A hybrid battery replacement costs somewhere between $2,000 and $8,000. Note that some manufacturers will replace a hybrid car battery up to ten years after purchase. If cost is a consideration, it's possible to get your hybrid battery reconditioned and/or repaired, extending its useful life.
What are the disadvantages of hybrid cars?
The main disadvantage is cost. Hybrid cars cost several thousand dollars more than their non-hybrid counterparts. Some drivers may not recoup the initial purchase costs through lower running costs.
Are hybrid cars environmentally friendly?
Hybrid cars produce fewer emissions than those powered solely by petrol or diesel. That said, hybrid batteries use valuable, finite elements such as nickel, lithium and cobalt. If the electricity that powers the car is produced using fossil fuels, a hybrid car will still have a larger carbon footprint.
Looking For A Hybrid? See The 7 Best Hybrid SUV's In Australia For 2022