Since the very early 2000s and late 1990s, hybrid vehicles have made some absolutely enormous strides on the open market. Today, they are far cry from the rare and anomalous road-feature they were back then — in fact, there are dozens and dozens of hybrid models out there, and they are a mainstream fixture on pretty much every road in America.
From a consumer standpoint, picking out the perfect hybrid can leave you looking at a lot of different variables, but likely what most people are concerned with is fuel economy. Though hybrids don’t stack quite up to their all-electric cousins in terms of all-out fuel savings, they do present a big advantage over their gas-only rivals. With help from hybridcars.com, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 hybrid vehicles, ranked according to their combined fuel economy. Pure EVs and plug-in hybrids — models that can operate on electric power alone — were left out.
20. Ford Escape Hybrid
The Escape Hybrid is the lone SUV to show up on the list, and it earns its spot thanks to its excellent efficiency. Blasting through the miles at roughly 32 per gallon combined, the Escape Hybrid, although a couple of years out of production at this point, still maintains a spot within the top 20.
19. Infiniti Q50
Infiniti actually offers its Q50 luxury sedan as a hybrid with a variety of different options. There is a fairly high barrier to entry, however, as prices start well into the $40,000 range. For that price, however, consumers do get a sleek, sexy luxury sedan that offers around 32 miles per gallon combined.
18. Nissan Altima Hybrid
For a more consumer-class hybrid sedan, Nissan’s Altima Hybrid is a very on-point choice. This variant, which takes the increasingly-popular Altima sedan and gives it some augmentations as far as fuel economy is concerned, can achieve roughly 33 miles per gallon on both the highway and on city streets, and costs significantly lower than its rivals in the luxury segment.
17. Honda CR-Z Hybrid
The CR-Z is a new twist on the hatchback concept from Honda. This car is relatively new to the scene, and comes in a couple different trim options. The pricing is relatively low, as a new CR-Z can be purchased for a hair over $20,000. For that price, you get a car that can easily tackle 37 miles per gallon combined in fuel economy.
16. Kia Optima Hybrid
Another hybridized version of a popular commuter car, Kia’s Optima Hybrid delivers a potent dose of excellent fuel economy, all at a fairly low asking price. The 2014 models start at around $25,000, and are able to get around 38 miles per gallon combined from a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine.
15. Acura ILX Hybrid
The ILX Hybrid from Acura is sadly saying goodbye for the 2015 model year, although you will likely be able to find them for a little while yet. This is a pretty cost-conscious luxury hybrid, with a sticker price of just over $27,000, though that may fall as they leave the market. The ILX can achieve 38 miles per gallon combined.
14. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Another car that gets about 38 miles per gallon combined is the hybrid version of the Hyundai Sonata. Like many other hybrid versions of cars in its class, the Sonata Hybrid is able to take the things people love about the original versions and build on them, mostly affordability and efficiency — it hasn’t yet gotten the update that the rest of the Sonata range has, but we’re willing to bet it will soon.
13. Lexus ES Hybrid
For those with a bit more refined taste, the Lexus ES Hybrid will deliver killer efficiency for a tick over the $40,000 mark. You’ll get 39 miles per gallon combined from behind the wheel, and do so in the lap of luxury, which is expected from a Lexus sedan.
12. Toyota Avalon Hybrid
If there’s one company that has become synonymous with hybrid vehicles, it’s Toyota. One of the company’s range-toppers is the Avalon, and it too received the hybrid treatment. The Avalon Hybrid comes in a few different trim levels, all with a price between $35,000 and $42,000, and delivering around 40 miles per gallon combined.
11. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
A lot of people may be surprised to see a Lincoln model on the list, but hey, it is Ford we’re talking about here. And Ford has been making hybrid vehicles a priority for a while now. The MKZ Hybrid outdoes many of its luxury car competitors in terms of fuel economy, and starts at only $35,190.
10. Ford C-Max Hybrid
Many people are still getting acquainted with Ford’s C-Max, but let it be known that the hybrid version has been able to ascend all the way into the top ten in terms of fuel economy. The C-Max has two hybrid versions, both of which achieve around 40 miles per gallon. There’s a plug-in variant as well, which bumps up efficiency levels to the extreme.
9. Toyota Camry Hybrid
Few cars are as popular as the Toyota Camry, and it only goes to follow that the Camry Hybrid should be just as popular. The hybridized Camry, which gets a bit more than 41 miles per gallon combined, also delivers 200 horsepower, making it an economical, yet not entirely gutless hybrid commuter sedan.
8. Honda Insight
The Honda Insight is another model that we are unfortunately close to saying goodbye to. Though 2014 is its last year in production, consumers still have some time to track one down, although it’s a slim window. During its 15 year reign, the Insight allowed consumers to achieve around 42 miles per gallon, from a car that costs a paltry $18,725.
7. Lexus CT200h
We’ve cracked the top ten, and at the number nine position, the Lexus CT 200h comes in with fuel economy rated at a bit over 42 miles per gallon combined. It’s also pretty cheap for a Lexus, with a starting price of around $32,000. For performance-minded drivers, there’s a sport version available as well.
6. Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Yet again, we meet an old friend with a new twist. Volkswagen’s Jetta — one of the more popular cars in the world — comes in a hybrid version that achieves a whopping 45 miles per gallon combined. The price is a bit steeper than some of its competitors, however, starting at $27,645.
5. Honda Civic Hybrid
Yet again, a small, foreign, popular sedan that has been given the hybrid treatment. In this case, it’s the Honda Civic Hybrid, which for the 2015 model year is rated at between 45 and 46 miles per gallon combined. It starts at a price of under $25,000 as well, giving it an edge on competitors like the Jetta Hybrid.
4. Ford Fusion Hybrid
Ford strikes again, this time with the Fusion Hybrid. Reports put the Fusion’s fuel economy in the range of 47 miles per gallon, making it one of the most efficient hybrid cars in the world. The Fusion has been a godsend for Ford, giving it a real competitor to keep up with the Hondas and Toyotas of the world as well. For an all-American hybrid sedan, the Fusion is the way to go.
3. Honda Accord Hybrid
What beats out the Jetta, Civic, Camry, and even the Ford Fusion hybrids? It’s the Honda Accord Hybrid, in all of its efficient glory. The Accord Hybrid can get close to 48 miles per gallon combined, putting it right near the top of the heap in terms of efficient hybrids. It does come with a price bump over the Civic, costing just over $29,000.
2. Toyota Prius Liftback
Finally, we arrive at the top two hybrids in the world. Taking second place is the Toyota Prius, the ‘liftback’ variant to be precise. The Prius truly is the car that started it all, blazing a trail for all other hybrids to follow. It still sits right near the top in terms of efficiency as well, achieving 49 miles per gallon combined. The question is, what could possibly beat that to top the list?
1. Toyota Prius C
The only thing that can beat a Prius is, well, a Prius. The Prius C, a subcompact version of its older brother, barely squeaks out a win in terms of efficiency to top our rankings, with fuel economy rated at 50 miles per gallon. It also starts at under $20,000, making this the ultimate money saving machine.