Best Hybrid Cars

Toyota Prius

One of the main reasons to buy a hybrid car is the great fuel-efficiency. Rated by EPA combined mileage, the best hybrid cars are Toyota Prius C and Toyota Prius with 50 mpg. Next are Ford C-Max Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid with 47 mpg combined. The most fuel-efficient all-wheel drive (AWD) hybrid car is Lexus RX450h with EPA combined mileage of 30 mpg.

Classic hybrid cars can drive a few miles purely on electricity. Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REV) can drive even further using only the energy stored in the battery. The best car in this regard is Chevrolet Volt, delivering an EPA-estimated 38 miles of electric driving. Next is Fisker Karma with EPA's official all-electric range of 32 miles.

While hybrid cars can regenerate energy from braking, energy to overcome the resistance to motion through the air is forever lost. Especially on a highway, lower drag coefficient (Cd) means more fuel-efficiency. 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has the lowest Cd of 0.24. Next are Toyota Prius and Honda Insight hybrid with the drag coefficient of 0.25.

Consumer Reports asked hybrid cars owners "Considering all factors (price, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?" The best cars based on the "definitely yes" answer are Chevrolet Volt (93%), Lexus CT 200h (89%), Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (89%), Toyota Prius (85%), Ford Fusion Hybrid (85%), Lexus RX Hybrid (80%).

From the latest January 2013 hybrid car sales numbers in the U.S., Toyota Prius Liftback is the absolute leader with 9,685 cars sold. Second is Toyota Camry Hybrid - 3,826 and third is Ford Fusion Hybrid - 3,043 cars sold.

What is a hybrid car?

Hybrid cars pros and cons

How do hybrid cars work?