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Top 10 best used hybrid cars 2024

Read our guide to see the best used hybrid cars available to buy right now

The best used hybrid cars 2023

The used market has massively diversified over the years as more and more hybrid vehicles pass through the hands of new car buyers and into those after a second-hand bargain. What’s more, there’s now a never-ending choice of bodystyles to choose from when it comes to a used hybrid car, such as small, nimble hatchbacks, to large executive saloons and SUVs.

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Manufacturers have shifted their attention toward two types of hybrid: both 'self-charging hybrid' and ‘plug-in hybrid’ have become popular, although the differences between them are distinct. Many 'mild-hybrid' cars are now available too, although the electrical assistance they provide is minor; they can't run on electric power above low speeds. 

If you mainly drive short distances and are happy to plug in at home then a plug-in hybrid may suit your needs better than a self-charging hybrid that is unable to run purely off battery power for extended periods. Whatever type of vehicle you need should be catered for, and some manufacturers now offer even their very largest vehicles with some form of hybrid powertrain.

Many of these cars impressed owners in our latest Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, and some even come with the balance of the manufacturer’s warranty. Read on to see what our picks for the best used hybrid cars are, or check out our guides to the cheapest electric cars and best hybrid family cars.

Honda Jazz review – an easy-to-drive hybrid supermini

honda jazz ex style
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The Honda Jazz is the winner of our 2024 award for Best Used Hybrid because, while it’s certainly a great new buy, it makes even more sense as a second-hand car. Its hybrid system means that it’s frugal to run, and going for a used option makes it even more of a bargain.

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The Jazz comes with lots of clever interior features to make it particularly usable day-to-day, including its unique ‘magic’ rear seats, which flip up to allow you to slot in tall items such as plants or tall flat-pack furniture. Honda is known for its reliability, too, and that seems to translate over to the hybrid system of the Jazz, as it came in an impressive 15th place for reliability in the 2023 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. The Honda Jazz is the car you should go for if you want a used hybrid that’s cheap to run and particularly easy to live with.

Toyota Corolla hatchback review

Toyota Corolla
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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The Corolla name was revived in 2019 and arrived with a sharper, more purposeful design than ever before. Underneath was an engine and battery combo that has become common for Toyota; making the Corolla a self-charging hybrid and boosting the car’s efficiency, while maintaining low service costs.

Several different trims levels are available from base specification that offers the most affordability, through to the sportier specification that adds to the dynamic looks. Toyota now offers up to 10 year warranties from the date of registration if you service with them during your ownership.

Lexus UX SUV review – premium and efficient, but lacks boot space

Lexus UX 2024 front quarter dynamic
Carbuyer rating

3.9 out of 5

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If you need a small SUV then why not look at the company that started hybrid SUVs all the way back in 2004. Back then most manufacturers were far too concerned with improving their diesel range to think about hybrids, but Lexus went their own way and the Lexus RX gained hybrid power. The UX is the smallest car Lexus sells, however, inside there is still space for a small family and the interior has the same premium feel as any other prestige brand. 

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As a bonus to those that not only want the SUV shape and size but also need all-wheel drive, the UX is offered both in a more common two-wheel, as well as four-wheel drive option. Lexus also offers the same 10-year warranty from date of registration as Toyota, with the requirement that the vehicle is serviced with the main Lexus dealer.

Kia Niro SUV review (2016-2022)

Kia Niro SUV
Carbuyer rating

3.5 out of 5

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Hybrids really shine in our Driver Power survey; the Niro rounded out the top 10 in 2019. Buyers love the low running costs and the intuitive infotainment system, and reliability was good too. The Niro makes a great used buy, as Kia’s market-leading seven-year warranty means that most Niros ever produced are still covered (providing they’ve clocked-up fewer than 100,000 miles).

It’s a curious mix of hatchback and SUV, being quite compact but still offering decent practicality for a family. You’ll get similar economy and performance to a diesel hatchback, while there’s a plug-in model that’s capable of even lower running costs if you regularly recharge the battery.

Hyundai Tucson review - a great family car

Carbuyer best family car Hyundai Tucson
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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The Hyundai Tucson is an impressive family SUV and won our Best Family Car award for 2023. The Tucson makes sense as a used buy now because there are cheaper two or three-year-old used examples with plenty of equipment and lots of Hyundai’s long warranty left.

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The latest Tucson comes with a choice between a self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system. Both are fitted with a 1.6-litre engine and electric motor, though the latter is more powerful in the plug-in hybrid version. Driven gently and the self-charging hybrid version can stay in EV mode for short periods of time, although the PHEV model can do so for up to 30 miles, making it more economical for short trips around town.

Toyota C-HR SUV review (2016-2023)

Toyota CHR
Carbuyer rating

3.5 out of 5

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The Toyota C-HR combines the 1.8-litre hybrid engine from the Prius and a striking SUV appearance, so it’s bang on trend. Almost 60mpg is possible, so you get diesel-like fuel efficiency without straying from the petrol pump. The interior matches the eye-catching design of the exterior, and earlier hybrid models get an attractive blue splash across the dashboard and sat nav screen.

All are well-equipped and the boot is the same size as a traditional family hatchback, such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf - although other SUVs offer extra practicality. However, for many buyers, the coupe styling will be more attractive than a few extra litres of luggage space.

Volvo XC90 Recharge hybrid review

Volvo XC90 Recharge
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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The Volvo XC90 is a seriously luxurious SUV, rivalling the most expensive BMW, Audi and Mercedes SUVs, but used models can be picked up for about half the cost of a brand-new car. Sitting at the top of the range is the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, which is capable of a claimed 113mpg and over 28 miles of electric running — although, as with all PHEVs, this depends on keeping the battery charged and resisting the temptation to use the combined, huge hybrid power available.

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The T8 produces 390bhp and hits 0-62mph in just 5.8 seconds — the same as a Honda Civic Type R. The XC90 is a practical, family-friendly seven-seater, with space in the rearmost seats for adults and even a decent boot with all seats in place.

Toyota Yaris review - a frugal hybrid supermini

Toyota Yaris Carbuyer drive
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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The latest version of the Toyota Yaris will please many buyers with its attractive styling and, as it’s only available in standard guise as a hybrid, you can expect good fuel economy too. One of our only gripes with the Yaris was how expensive it was to buy new, but opting for a used version means that’s much less of an issue. With the Yaris having recently undergone a facelift, prices for pre-facelift secondhand examples will only continue to fall, making it more of a bargain.

All examples were fairly well-equipped, with an infotainment screen, reverse camera and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. For a little more sporty design flair, there’s the GR Sport model, while Excel models offer a more classy look. Toyota also offers an attractive 10-year warranty if you make sure to get it serviced annually (or every 10,000 miles) via an official dealer, so check this is the case when you buy.

MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid SUV review

MINI Countryman PHEV driving
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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Given the MINI Countryman is a fashionable SUV, it’s hardly surprising that it has been available as a plug-in hybrid since 2017. You might wonder why it has a Cooper S badge but the Countryman Cooper S E All4 can launch from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, thanks to a combined output of 221bhp and four-wheel drive.

Up to 32 miles from the battery is promised, and recharging from a standard three-pin socket takes just three hours. Despite the expected reduction in practicality, the Countryman PHEV is still a good family car, and comes with a lot of kit included.

Mercedes C-Class hybrid review

Best Plug-in Hybrid: Mercedes C-Class
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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The majority of PHEVs combine a petrol engine with an electric motor to give diesel-like fuel efficiency but Mercedes offers the C-Class with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. Aimed primarily at long-distance drivers, the C 300 de offers diesel fuel economy for long journeys and the ability to run on electric power for shorter distances of up to 35 miles.

This sensible car, available as a saloon or estate, has the same 302bhp output as the Mercedes-AMG A35 hot hatchback, and 0-62mph is dispatched in a speedy 5.7 seconds - although we feel the extra weight of the battery does blunt the car’s responses slightly.

Top 10 best used hybrid cars

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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