KBB’s 5 Best Used Hybrids and Electric Cars Under $20,000

As some of the previous best, used hybrids and used electric cars from a few years ago begin to show some age, owners are starting to trade them in for newer, more efficient models. Buying a used hybrid or used EV is an excellent option if you’re interested in owning a fuel-efficient car and reducing your carbon footprint without breaking the bank. Let’s look at five of the best, used hybrids priced under $20,000 according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB).

The best used hybrids, according to Kelley Blue Book

In the interest of full disclosure, the top five cars on KBB’s list are all hybrids, with the sole EV coming in eighth on the list, so we’ll review it last in a separate section. 

The 2015 Toyota Prius is among the best used hybrids

A red 2017 Toyota Prius parked, the Prius is among the best used hybrids
2015 Toyota Prius | Toyota

Introduced in 2001, the Toyota Prius paved the way for slightly unattractive, underperforming cars that achieved surprising fuel mileage. However, things have improved in the years between the Prius’ introduction and releasing the 2015 Toyota Prius. The 2015 Prius is no longer the ugly duckling of before. It gets a combined 48 mpg (571-mile range), and while it still won’t win any drag races, there are some features you’ll want to look for in a used 2015 Prius.

The base 2015 Toyota Prius Two features a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes to provide a custom fit for any driver, automatic climate control, and a 6.1-inch touch screen audio system with Bluetooth. Prius Plug-in Hybrids offer onboard navigation at no additional cost. 

Try to find an upgraded 2015 Toyota Prius Three, Four, or Five for more factory features. The 2015 Prius Five includes a power-adjustable driver’s seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, and the option for a pre-collision safety system, lane keep assist, and parking assist. Some 2015 Prius models even feature a solar roof that powers a fan to vent heat out of the cabin on hot days. 

The 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid combines efficiency and reliability

Combining the Toyota Camry’s legendary reliability and styling with Prius’ efficiency, the 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid is more stylish and comfortable than the Prius while still getting 40 mpg combined (680-mile range). 

The Camry enjoyed a suspension update in 2015 and an exterior update in 2017, but the dated interior needed some love too. Buyers seeking the best fuel economy should seek out the 2017 Camry SE model, complete with an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and sport-tuned suspension. 

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a fuel-efficient small SUV

Building on the RAV4‘s popularity and reliability, Toyota added a hybrid option to the 2016 Toyota RAV4 for the first time. This allowed the small SUV to obtain up to 32 mpg combined (474-mile range). 

A well-equipped 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid should include a power driver’s seat with memory function, Toyota Safety Sense, a premium audio system with a seven-inch touchscreen, Toyota’s optional Bird’s Eye View Camera for parking assistance, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid makes the most out of every gallon

A silver 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid parked by a fence
2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

The 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid also landed a spot on KBB’s list of the best used hybrids. The Highlander Hybrid is a three-row midsize crossover. It gets a combined 28 mpg (482-mile range) with its standard all-wheel drive and seating for seven. The 2013 Highlander Hybrid features a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Working with two 650-volt permanent magnet electric motors, it achieves 231 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque. 

One electric motor provides power to the rear wheels when needed for all-wheel drive traction eliminating the need for transfer cases and driveshafts to power the rear wheels as in traditional four-wheel drive configurations. In addition, savvy shoppers will find models with upgrades such as a rear-seat entertainment system, a power liftgate, and navigation.

The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid offers legendary reliability

Only one Honda made the top five on KBB’s list of the best used hybrids. That Honda model would be the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid. It features a combined 47 mpg (743-mile range) and legendary reliability. Standard 2015 Accord Hybrid features include a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, LED running lights, and LaneWatch. LaneWatch provides a view into the driver’s blind spot via a small video camera. The camera is mounted below the passenger side rearview mirror. 

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is the best used EV on the list


Is Buying a Used 2018 Nissan Leaf Worth It?

The only fully electric car to make the KBB “Under $20K” list is the 2018 Nissan Leaf. It landed at number eight on the list. The 2018 Leaf has a total range of 151 miles with a combined 112 MPGe. 

While 151 miles sounds low for a road trip, it is likely enough for most people’s daily driving. The 2018 Leaf enjoyed a complete makeover with updated styling and premium interior materials. Although the Nissan Leaf seats five, the rear center seat foot space includes an awkward hump. This can make it somewhat uncomfortable for anything more than a short trip. Leaf S and SV trims feature cloth seats, but upgrading to the SL trim includes leather upholstery.