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Published: Apr 26, 2023 7 min read
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Once premium-priced outliers in the world of cars, today's hybrid vehicles are now in the automotive mainstream. The best hybrid cars match their traditional cousins for comfort and handling, and come with the latest technology and safety features.

Yet these dual-engine vehicles — which switch between battery and gas power, depending on driving conditions — now cost just a few thousand dollars more than comparable gasoline-powered models. You should be able to close that price difference through lower fuel bills, since a new hybrid will run for between 40- and 50-plus miles on a gallon of gas, depending on the car and the driving conditions.

We compared the growing number of hybrid cars now on the market on attributes including performance, safety, and value for money. Below are our five top choices, with explanations on how each stands out from the pack. The specs listed below each review are for the trim level we assessed, which is the one we judged offered the best value for money.

Our Picks for the Best Hybrid Cars of 2023

Toyota Corolla Hybrid — Best Value
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid — Best for Features
Toyota Camry Hybrid — Best for Performance
Honda Accord Hybrid — Best for Safety
Toyota Prius — Best for Technology

Reviews of the Best Hybrid Cars

Best Value: Toyota Corolla Hybrid

  • Base model is low in price, high in features
  • Low cost of ownership
  • Small cargo hold
  • Lower horsepower than some competitors

Starting at $21,550, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, a compact car, undercuts the price of other models on this list by a full five figures. And the base model (and step-up Hybrid XLE, with more features) beats all cars in the category but its Prius brandmate on fuel costs as well, delivering 53 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway. You’ll also pay less in depreciation, repairs and maintenance compared with most other hybrid cars.

This affordable car comes well-equipped with the latest driver assistance technologies, such as dynamic cruise control and road sign assist. Though its interior has a bare-bones look and feel, the Corolla Hybrid does come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Best for Features: Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

Courtesy of Hyundai
  • Rich in standard features
  • Good fuel economy
  • Slower acceleration than some competitors

The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is well-equipped, even in its base model, which boasts heated front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8-inch touch screen, as well as a slew of safety features.

In the Limited version (priced below), the Elantra feels truly like a luxury car, with its heated and ventilated front seats and leather upholstery. This trim also upgrades to a 10.25-inch touch screen from the base model’s 8-inch screen and adds wireless device charging.

While classified as a compact car, the Elantra is roomier than many competitors in that category. The Elantra Hybrid falls short when it comes to acceleration, though. It takes nearly 10 seconds to travel from 0 to 60 mph — the slowest pickup in the group.

Best for Performance: Toyota Camry Hybrid

Courtesy of Toyota
  • Powerful engine
  • Long list of safety features
  • Smaller screen than most in the group

The midsize Toyota Camry Hybrid delivers a lot for the money. Powered by a 208-horsepower engine, the performance of even the base LE Hybrid outshines the competition, including its compact cousin, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid. The Camry’s hybrid version zips from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Outstanding for the segment, that pep allows it to merge onto the highway and pass slower cars with aplomb.

The step-up SE Hybrid Nightshade model, priced below, comes with leatherette-trimmed seats. All models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the Camry Hybrid’s 7-inch touch screen is smaller than you’ll find in competing cars.

Best for Safety: Honda Accord Hybrid

Courtesy of Honda
  • Headlight safety
  • Large screen
  • Low fuel economy, even for a mid size hybrid

A Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Honda Accord Hybrid garners high safety ratings across the board, including for nighttime visibility, which is where many vehicles come up short.

All models of the car come with advanced features such as traffic jam assist, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. The Accord Hybrid also boasts the roomiest trunk with 16.7 cubic feet of space, as well as a 12.3-inch touch screen, which is the largest in the category by far.

The most-popular Sport-L trim’s 204-horsepower engine is among the most powerful on this list. Unsurprisingly, that muscular mill gives the model the lowest fuel economy of the group, especially in highway driving.

Best for Technology: Toyota Prius

Courtesy of Toyota
  • Long list of tech features
  • Optional large screen
  • Small standard screen

Once the pioneer of the hybrid segment, the Toyota Prius continues to lead the way with a long list of standard technology and safety features. All models come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as wireless smartphone charging. Most models come with an 8-inch touch screen – a typical size for a midsize car — but buyers can upgrade to a larger, 12.3-inch screen.

The Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite of safety features comes standard and includes road sign assist, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control and proactive driving assist. (The latter uses sensors to detect curves or objects in the road and provide gentle steering or braking support when needed.)

Toyota offers a range of connected services that allow you to seek emergency or roadside help, monitor the health of your vehicle or access cloud-based navigation. (These are also offered on the Camry and Corolla hybrids.)

Jaclyn Trop is an award-winning journalist who road-tests and reviews vehicles, in addition to covering automotive news. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fortune, Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report, among other publications.