Why go hybrid?
With electric vehicles becoming more of a common sight on UK roads, many may be tempted by the emissions-free driving they have to offer. But the current infrastructure may not be suitable for those who clock a load of miles.
This is where hybrids come into their own, making for a great way to enhance fuel economy without the worry of running out of battery juice.
If you're thinking of swapping your traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) for a hybrid powertrain, you won't be limited for choice. Many of the world's top automotive brands have top-notch hybrid hatchbacks that can be picked up on the used market.
In recent times, Hyundai have upped their game and are now well-known for manufacturing top quality cars such as the i30 and Kona. But it's the highly-rated IONIQ that we'll be focusing on, thanks to its versatility.
Available as a HEV or a PHEV, the IONIQ can travel a total range of up to 625 miles (over 660 with a PHEV as well as an all-electric driving mode range of 32 miles). This is due, in part, to its class-leading drag coefficient which maximises efficiency.
Because the batteries are located underneath the seats, as opposed to in the boot like many other hybrids, the IONIQ offers an impressive 443 litres of boot space which is enough for a few bags of luggage. From new, IONIQs also came with an unlimited mileage warranty for five years, so cars under five years old will be covered for the remaining period should anything go wrong.
When you think of luxury cars, Mercedes-Benz are sure to be one of the first brands that come to mind. You'll be glad to know the German outfit have maintained this reputation with the PHEV variant of their A-Class hatchback, the A 250 e.
The boffins at the Mercedes-Benz headquarters had a few tricks up their sleeves to ensure the A 250 e can compete with its rivals. For example, you'll be able to drive in an all-electric mode for up to 45 miles, which should cover the daily commute for most.
It's also good fun to drive too, thanks to a total power output of 215bhp and a 0 to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds. But when you just want to relax, sit back and enjoy the luxurious interior the A 250 e has to offer.
One of the most popular hatchbacks out there, the fifth generation of the Renault Clio offers a hybrid variant, badged the E-Tech. Most impressively, the Clio E-Tech can run on pure electric power for up to 35 miles, something that MHEV rivals such as the Ford Fiesta cannot do.
When you do use the petrol engine, you'll be able to achieve 64.2mpg WLTP combined, which is actually more than what some top diesel cars have to offer. On the outside, you wouldn't be able to tell it's any different to a regular Clio, meaning you'll still get the stylish exterior styling you can expect from a French-designed car.
The entry-level Iconic specification comes with rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard, but searching the used market for a better specification such as the R.S. Line may be worthwhile as you'll get satellite navigation and sporty R.S. Line styling.
A direct rival to the previously mentioned Hyundai IONIQ, the Toyota Prius has been in the hybrid game long enough to know a thing or two about being the best, hence why it's a popular choice for many taxi and Uber drivers around the UK.
Available as either a HEV or a PHEV, the Prius is highly efficient and comes loaded with a range of equipment such as adaptive cruise control and a navigation system. Interior space is generous also, allowing occupants to ride in comfort. The only drawback with the interior is that taller individuals may struggle with headroom when sat in the rear due to the Prius' sloping roofline.
HEVs can achieve up to 62mpg, while PHEV variants offer between 188 and 235mpg when the batteries are fully charged, as well as up to 34 miles of pure electric driving.
A 'best hatchback' list wouldn't be complete without a trusty Volkswagen Golf appearing somewhere, but the hybrid variant of the Golf is definitely here on merit.
The PHEV Golf GTE offers up to 237.8mpg when the batteries are fully charged as well as an all-electric driving range of up to 40 miles for you to enjoy. It also has performance figures not too dissimilar to the GTI, meaning it could threaten some hot hatchbacks when pushed. A more tame eHybrid powertrain is also available.
As you'd expect from any Volkswagen, the Golf is very well-built and comes with bundles of technology such as a 10-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Used examples do come with a more expensive price tag than some rivals however.
On the topic of hot hatchbacks, the CUPRA Leon is one of the sportier options on this list. CUPRA are one of the newest kids on the block and their cars often come with impressive performance figures and aggressive styling.
If you need something more economical than a traditional hot hatch, but aren't ready to let go of mood-boosting performance, then the Leon may be right up your street. The PHEV powertrain generates a total power output of 242bhp allowing the car to go from 0 to 62mph in 6.4 seconds, while an all-electric driving mode can be utilised for up to 32 miles of range.
It's also practical when it comes to interior space too. All occupants are blessed with plenty of head and legroom, allowing them to travel in comfort. If you do need to leave the hot hatch lifestyle behind; the SEAT Leon also has a hybrid variant and is based on the same platform as its CUPRA cousin.
The Lexus CT200H is designed to rival the likes of the BMW 1 Series but has the advantage of offering an efficient hybrid powertrain. Lexus have also developed a reputation for providing high-quality, luxurious interiors within their cars, with the VT200H fitting the bill in this department.
HEV powertrains have also been used by Lexus for a while now, and the CT200H often ranks well on driver satisfaction surveys when it comes to reliability, so used examples are just as appealing. The car will also automatically switch between all-electric and normal driving modes dependent upon traffic conditions.
It isn't as good to drive as some hybrid competitors, but they can often require a larger budget. Whilst the CT200H is being discontinued in the UK, plenty of excellent used examples can still be found, allowing you to enjoy what it has to offer.
Another name that's well-known by many, the Ford Focus has been a go-to hatchback for well over a decade thanks to its practicality and excellent value for money. MHEV powered Focus' are now starting to emerge on the used market that are ideal if you're after maximum efficiency.
The award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine has been paired with an electric motor to generate a total power output of either 123 or 153bhp and up to 51.4mpg.
This generation of the Focus has been applauded for its driving dynamics and stylish exterior, especially in ST-Line trim as you get sporty extras. Being so popular, you'll be able to find plenty of excellent examples on the used car market.
Toyota have invested a lot of time (and money) into the development of their hybrid powertrains, so it probably comes as no surprise to see another one of their cars on this list in the form of the Corolla.
After a short time away, the Corolla was relaunched in the UK in 2018 and came with uber-efficient HEV powertrains that increase economy. Whilst the powertrains aren't quite as dynamic as others on this list, they are super reliable and can achieve up to 62.7mpg.
Inside, the dashboard is well laid out and built to a high standard. Equipment such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and heated front seats come as standard, but go for a higher specification and you'll be able to enjoy ambient lighting and a leather interior. There's no wonder the Corolla is one of the world's best selling vehicles.
Kia have also thrown their name in the hat for the title of 'best hybrid hatchback' with their well-known Ceed. Available with a MHEV powertrain, the Ceed can achieve up to 64mpg if you go for a diesel (slightly less if you go for the petrol MHEV).
The Kia Ceed also has strikingly good looks thanks to its signature 'tiger-nose' grill and distinctive paint schemes, allowing the car to be 'Ceen'. You'll get an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto on entry-level examples, but stretching your budget to get a better specification grants a larger 10.25-inch system as well as satellite navigation.
The Ceed also has a Sportswagon variant available that offers a PHEV powertrain, if you need more space.
Discover hybrid with Evans Halshaw
In recent years, hybrid cars have become increasingly popular with individuals whose lifestyle doesn't suit an all-electric vehicle, but still want a car that's better for the environment than a traditional ICE. There's plenty of excellent hybrid hatchbacks that can be found on the used market, but if you need something bigger, hybrid powertrains can also be found in larger cars too.
For more car buying tips, and general motoring advice, feel free to head over to our blog section, which is updated frequently with fresh content.