The 13 Best Hybrid & Electric Cars to Buy in 2018

Nowadays, we’re all much more aware of the environmental impact our lifestyle choices can have – and for most of us, it’s our car that’s the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint. With this in mind, more and more motorists are choosing hybrid or electric cars.

The majority of these new zero- and low-emission vehicles are eligible for a plug-in grant which makes them more affordable to buy. And more public charging points are popping up all the time, which means that powering up your electric or hybrid car is as easy as filling up the tank (but considerably cheaper!)

Thinking of buying an electric or hybrid car yourself in 2018? There’s now more choice than ever, so here’s our guide to the very best models.

  1. £20k – £25k
  2. £25k – £35k
  3. £35k – £65k
  4. £65k+

Best Hybrid & Electric Cars: £20k – £25k

 

New Smart ForTwo Coupe Electric drive – from £21,275

Smart ForTwo electric car

Type: Electric
C02 emissions: 0 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 7 hours
Tax cost per year: £0

Smart were one of the first brands to invest in electric vehicles, and the ForTwo was introduced way back in 2007. The latest Smart Electric Drive models benefit from a more spacious interior, sharper styling and a more efficient battery – Auto Car have called it “a great city car” that offers “sprightly performance and outright manoeuvrability in congested city streets.”

New Kia Niro – from £21,365

Kia Niro hybrid

Type: Hybrid
C02 emissions: 88 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 2 hours 15 mins
Tax cost per year: £130

The Kia Niro has been praised by Auto Express for its “stylish SUV looks” and being “easy to drive.” First launched in 2016 as Kia’s first foray into the hybrid market, this well-equipped and spacious family crossover performs brilliantly and comes with Kia’s standard seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

New Smart ForFour Hatchback Electric drive – from £21,415

Smart ForFour electric

Type: Electric
C02 emissions: 0 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 7 hours
Tax cost per year: £0

As What Car? says, the Smart ForFour is ideal “for the style-conscious, city-bound driver.” A great choice if you like the ForTwo but are looking for a bit more space, this fully electric car keeps running costs super low, plus the latest versions charge almost twice as fast as their predecessors.


Best Hybrid & Electric Cars: £25k – £35k

New Volkswagen E-Up! – from £25,280

VW e-UP electric car

Type: Electric
C02 emissions: 0 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 12-15 hours
Tax cost per year: £0

Honest John has praised the E-Up! as being “surprisingly quick and enjoyable to drive.” There are three driving modes to choose from – normal, eco and eco plus – so you can select the level of energy being used, and you’ll find it’s especially well-equipped inside.

New MINI Countryman – from £31,575

MINI countryman hybrid

Type: Hybrid
C02 emissions: 126 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 2-8 hours
Tax cost per year: £140

MINI’s first plug-in hybrid is a big hit with Auto Express, who highlighted that it offers “a genuinely rewarding drive” and “represents undeniable appeal for town dwellers who want emissions-free driving in a desirable crossover body, with the added dependability of a small petrol motor.”

New Volkswagen e-Golf – from £32,190

VW e-Golf electric

Type: Electric
C02 emissions: 0 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 12-15 hours
Tax cost per year: £0

Awarded 5 stars and praised as “one of the most refined electric cars on sale” by What Car?, the e-Golf boosts all the benefits of your standard Golf but with added eco-credentials – its spacious, high-quality interior and generous boot make it both an appealing and practical choice.

New BMW i3 – from £33,070

BMW i3 electric

Type: Electric
C02 emissions: 0 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 12-15 hours
Tax cost per year: £0

Top Gear have called the BMW i3 “the most revolutionary mainstream electric car yet” and “as good to drive as a trad BMW should be” – high praise indeed, but this sophisticated, ground-breaking car measures up on all fronts, from the spacious interior to the impressive on-road performance.


Best Hybrid & Electric Cars: £35k – £65k

Kia Optima Sportwagon – from £35,145

KIA optima sportswagen hybrid

Type: Hybrid
C02 emissions: 33 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 4-6 hours
Tax cost per year: £140

Perhaps the newest car on our list, the launch of the Kia Optima Sportswagon in September 2017 is part of Kia’s strategy to reduce the overall emissions of its vehicles by 25% before 2020. Auto Car have noted that this compact executive saloon is “very refined” and that the “switch between electric and petrol is practically unnoticeable.”

New Audi A3 Sportback e-tron – from £36,030

Audi a3 sportback e-tron - hybrid

Type: Hybrid
C02 emissions: 38 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 5 hours
Tax cost per year: £130

Going green needn’t mean compromising on luxury… “You’ll struggle to find a premium family car that does so much, so well, as the Audi A3 Sportback,” says What Car? – you can run the e-tron version on the electric motor alone, or couple it with the 1.4 litre petrol engine when you’re after more performance.

New Mercedes-Benz C-Class – from £36,760

Mercedes C-Class hybrid

Type: Hybrid
C02 emissions: from 44 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 2-3 hours
Tax cost per year: £140

Available as both a diesel/electric and a petrol/electric hybrid, this small executive saloon has become a popular company car thanks to those low, tax-abating C02 figures. Auto Express says that the 350e version “offers a compelling mix of power and fuel efficiency” – which remains true across the entire range.


Best Hybrid & Electric Cars: £65k+

New Audi Q7 E-tron – from £66,500

Audi Q7 e-tron - hybrid car

Type: Hybrid
C02 emissions: 48 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 4-6 hours
Tax cost per year: £440

Highlighted as being “quiet, comfortable and supremely relaxing to drive” by Auto Express, the Audi q7 E-tron is one of the leading plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market. Audi has managed to up the Q7’s eco credentials without any noticeable loss of performance – although you do lose the third row of seats you’ll find in the standard petrol and diesel models.

New BMW i8 – from £106,310

BMW i8 hybrid

Type: Hybrid
C02 emissions: 49 g/km
Battery charge time (3 pin plug): 2-3 hours
Tax cost per year: £440

Offering supercar performance combined with incredible efficiency, this commanding plug-in hybrid sports car can sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds.  Auto Express says “it’s more stunning and more futuristic than anything else close to its price,” and you can run on electric power only for up to 22 miles at a time.


Still not sure which car’s right for you? Our team are happy to answer any questions you have about these or any other models – either call for a chat or drop into a dealership near you.

We also have a number of used hybrid and electric cars for sale – you can browse our current stock here.

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