You’ve probably noticed gas prices have reached historic highs. So now might be a good time to purchase a hybrid. Nearly every automaker produces at least a few hybrid cars, including SUVs and even pickup trucks.
And if you’re looking for the cheapest hybrid, sedans often offer the best value. Recently, three tied for first place in U.S. News’ hybrid car rankings: the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Toyota Camry. Let’s look at the winners to help you decide which model is right for you.
1. 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid
Many critics agree that the 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid offers the best performance of the three models. It produces 212 hp from its two electric motors and four-cylinder engine. The Accord Hybrid quickly leaps off the starting line, the ride is smooth, and the steering wheel provides good feedback.
The Accord Hybrid’s fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 47 mpg combined city/highway. However, U.S. News cautions that this number trails behind a few rivals. Reviewers were also disappointed at how the car’s acceleration quickly diminishes at highway speeds.
Out of the top three hybrid cars, U.S. News calls the Accord Hybrid the best for families. There’s plenty of space in both rows for adults or growing kids, and the LATCH system for child seats is easy to use. Plus, the trunk has 17 cubic feet to spare for everyone’s belongings.
The interior — featuring brushed aluminum and wood accents in the highest trim — is among the best in the segment. The infotainment interface is easy to understand and complemented by physical controls. According to U.S. News, the average buyer pays $27,320 to $37,190 for this hybrid.
2. 2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
The 2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s trim lineup is slightly less expensive than the Accord’s — the range-topping Limited model starts at $35,550. This hybrid Hyundai has only one electric motor, paired with a four-cylinder engine, making 192 hp. Acceleration is modest, but it remains consistent at higher speeds.
Also, handling isn’t overly sporty, but the ride stays smooth and comfortable on most surfaces. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue trim gets the best mileage: 52 mpg combined city/highway.
Reviewers say this sedan is one of the quietest hybrids available — until you switch between gas and electric power. Doing so results in a disturbing jolt from the six-speed automatic gearbox. The regenerative braking system also needs some refining.
Besides those minor flaws, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid offers excellent value overall. The base-model Blue provides a good array of safety and convenience features in a premium cabin.
3. 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Harnessing 208 horsepower, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is nearly as powerful as the Honda Accord Hybrid. The Camry has plenty of passing power and offers a composed ride, but some reviewers say its steering feels too vague. The continuously variable transmission can also be unpredictable, either extremely buzzy on the highway or pleasantly quiet.
The standard Toyota Camry Hybrid trim gets 52 mpg combined city/highway. On higher trims, the number drops to only 46 mpg city/highway.
Though the Camry Hybrid LE trim is the most efficient, critics say it uses way too much plastic in the cabin. The higher trims are more luxurious and offer unique driving elements, such as a sportier suspension, rear spoiler, and paddle shifters. Ventilated seats and a JBL audio system, available in the Camry Hybrid XSE, also sweeten the deal.
However, the infotainment screen in the more expensive models doesn’t have the best resolution. Still, the Toyota Camry’s lineup offers a competitive price range of $27,480 to $32,920.
If fuel efficiency is your priority, a cheaper Toyota Camry Hybrid or Hyundai Sonata Hybrid model is probably your best bet. Some drivers might not mind sacrificing a few fuel-economy points for the Honda Accord Hybrid’s improved performance. Overall, because all three are great cars, you can’t go wrong either way.