Top 10 Cheapest Hybrids To Buy in 2020

Kshitij Sharma
by Kshitij Sharma

Hybrids have come a long way from being scoffed at and being labeled hipstermobiles.

In fact the humble hybrid has become essential for our traffic-infested cities to help keep our vehicular carbon footprint in check. Plus, now you don’t have to proclaim your love for the environment by buying a Prius or an Insight. You can be low-key about it and get a Corolla or a CR-V hybrid.

With so many options in the market finding the right car for you can be a challenge. But the cheapest options are also a good place to start. So which are cheapest hybrid cars you can buy today? Read on to find out.

10. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Starting price: $29,470

Kicking off the list is Toyota’s best-selling car, the RAV4, well, its hybrid version anyway. Though it is the most expensive hybrid on this list, it is possibly the most practical. Despite the addition of the electric motors and a battery pack, the cargo and cabin space on the hybrid is identical to the standard RAV4. In addition, Toyota offers AWD as standard on the vehicle.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review

The hybrid is also the most powerful in the RAV4 lineup. The 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder makes 219 hp combined, 16 more than the standard car. The electric motor itself boasts of an 118 hp and 149 lb-ft output. As for mileage, it can return 41 mpg in the city though the mileage does take a hit on the highway and drops to 38 mpg. Overall it will return 40mpg. Add to that the robust warranty and bulletproof nature of Toyotas in general and the RAV4 Hybrid is a deal that is hard to ignore.

09. Ford Fusion Hybrid

Starting price: $29,245

Although Ford has halted further development on sedans and other cars, the Ford Fusion Hybrid still exists (for now) and is one of the most affordable hybrids currently on the market. It is powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine making 185 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. The engine pairs with an eCVT gearbox that sends power to the front wheels. Also, it promises a frugal fuel economy of 43 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway

SEE ALSO: 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid vs Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Fusion Hybrid comes with the SYNC3 system standard along with Ford’s safety suite. Features like blind-spot detection with rear cross traffic alert however is available on the higher trims only. Though you also get things like climate control and a 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat and a lot of car for the money, the Fusion will not be our recommendation. The critical reason for that is; the car and platform is almost a decade old and there are no plans to develop a new platform for the car. Also, despite the promise of a frugal fuel economy, the Fusion is likely to feel low on power and grunt.

08. Honda CR-V Hybrid

Starting price: $28,870

Though late to the party, the Honda CR-V Hybrid debuted in the American market this year to take the fight to its arch-rival, the Toyota RAV4. Just like the RAV4, CR-V comes with AWD as standard too. And just like the hybrid Toyota, the Honda makes more power than its standard version. Where it differs is the engine. Compared to the RAV4’s 2.5-liter unit, the CR-V makes do with a 2.0-liter engine that, combined with a 1.4 kWh battery pack makes 212 hp of max power and 232 lb-ft of peak torque. An eCVT handles the transmission duties.

SEE ALSO: First Drive: 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Review

While the CR-V is more powerful than its standard version, the power is still less compared to the RAV4—even if by just a fraction. It is also less fuel-efficient than the Toyota as it returns 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway compared to 41 and 38 mpg for the RAV4. But where it lacks in frugality, it more than makes up in pricing and superior driving dynamics.

07. Toyota Prius Prime

Starting price: $28,855

Simply put, the Toyota Prius Prime is the plug-in hybrid version of the ever-popular and hybrid-car-flag-bearer, the Prius. The Prime essentially takes everything directed towards fuel economy from the Prius and turns it up to 11. The engine is the same 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder motor paired with an eCVT transmission to drive the front wheels. The electric motor setup is similar to the non-plug-in Prius but here, the dual-drive motor gets two generators, one to drive the wheels and one to charge the battery. Speaking of which, it is an 8.8kWh battery pack that allows for a range of 25 miles in pure electric mode. Add to that a 3.3kW charger and you can charge the battery in about 4.5 hours.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In Review

Needless to say, it is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market today. It returns 55 mpg in the city and 53 on the highway. Apart from the low fuel consumption you also get virtually no range anxiety. As for the cabin, it is identical to the one on the standard Prius. So the extra cost over the Prius is mostly for the enhanced electrification.

06. Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in

Starting price: $27,475

Hyundai has come a long way from secondary choice cars. Now the company is known to produce solid cars with packages and value for money factor that is hard to beat. The Ioniq Plug-in is just such a car. In a time when other automakers were still considering their electrification plans, Hyundai debuted the Ioniq hybrids and the electric. The Ioniq plug-in is the second plug-in on this list and also more affordable than the Prius Prime.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Updated

The Ioniq plug-in is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 104 hp and 109 lb-ft of torque. The engine pairs up with an electric motor which makes 60 hp and 125 lb-ft. The combined power output stands at 139 hp. Unlike a lot of the hybrids, the Ioniq employs a six-speed DCT instead of a CVT. The electric motor is hooked up to an 8.9 kWh battery pack that should enable the Ioniq to go 29 miles on pure electricity. If driven cautiously, the Ioniq claims a range of 630 miles with a full tank and battery. The battery pack can be charged using a 240 V charger in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Inside, you get an 8.0-inch touchscreen as standard along with a climate control system and a six-way adjustable driver’s perch. The electrically adjustable seat is available on the SEL onwards. The 10.25-inch infotainment screen is available only on the top Limited variant.

05. Honda Accord Hybrid

Starting price: $26,575

Back in 2018 Honda introduced two new trims for the Accord which let the Japanese brand lower the starting price of the Accord. It is also the chief reason that the Accord is more affordable than a plug-in Prius. At $26,575, the starting price of the Accord is almost $3,000 lower than its closest competitor, the Toyota Camry. Even at the price, you get 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, and Honda Sensing safety suite as standard.

SEE ALSO: 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid is More Affordable Than Ever

The Accord is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine which paired with an electric motor makes 212 hp of combined power. The powertrain is hooked up to a CVT gearbox that drives the front wheels. Finally, despite being a non-plug-in hybrid, the Accord returns nearly 50 mpg.

04. Toyota Prius


Starting price: $25,280

The Toyota Prius is the original hybrid and among the first cars to take an eco-friendly approach. The Prius is powered by the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine as its plug-in sibling, the Prius Prime. The engine output stands at 96 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque whereas the electric motors add 71 hp and 120 lb-ft to the mix.

Like most other hybrids, the Prius employs a CVT gearbox too. But as of 2019 model year it is also available with an on-demand AWD system. The car essentially works as a FWD car until it detects wheel slip and sends torque to the rear wheels. While starting off, all four wheels are engaged.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Toyota Prius AWD-e Review

The fuel consumption stands at 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. The cabin isn’t remarkably different from the previous generation, but you do get a massive 11.6-inch touchscreen in the cabin on the Limited trim. The Prius is quite uneventful to drive. It is quiet, comfortable and a frugal daily runabout vehicle and it does that perfectly. Expecting it to perform any better would be an unrealistic expectation.

03. Toyota Corolla Hybrid

{"attachment_id":"794830"}Starting price: $24,045

If you want a hybrid that does not look like a hybrid, your choices are limited. And if you want a Toyota, the Corolla is your only option, provided you want a sedan and not a crossover. The Corolla hybrid is as close as you can come to a hybrid that looks like a normal car. What’s more, you get the engine and fuel efficiency of the Prius but the cabin layout, comfort and the normalcy of the Corolla.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Review

Even the fuel efficiency figures of the Corolla Hybrid are almost identical to that of the Prius. And for a delivery price of $24,045 you get automatic climate control, tilt/telescopic steering, bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 complete with adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and lane departure warning.

02. Hyundai Ioniq

Starting Price: $24,175

The Toyota Prius might have been the pioneer of the modern hybrid car, but the Hyundai Ioniq seems to be catching up.It is the second cheapest hybrid on the market, even more competitively priced than the Toyota Prius. The trims and convenience packages are almost identical to its plug-in sibling. Both also share their powertrains but there are some key differences.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Updated

The hybrid’s motor is a 43 hp unit compared to the 60 hp unit of the plug-in. It also utilizes a much smaller 1.5kWh battery pack but the over all output is still identical at 139 hp. Also, there is no pure electric mode, though the fuel economy at 55 mpg in the city and 54 mpg on the highway is quite impressive. You also get regenerative braking but in all trims except the base.

01. Honda Insight

Starting Price: $23,885

Even though the Prius became a phenomenon in the American market, it was the Honda Insight that was the first hybrid to arrive on the continent. It was discontinued in 2014 amid slipping sales but then brought back to life. It is the most affordable hybrid on the list and also quite well equipped.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Honda Insight: Sedan is So Much More Than Just a Civic Hybrid

The 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine and twin electric motors dish out 151 hp, almost 30 more compared to the Prius. A torque rating of 197 lb-ft is more than adequate and higher than its competition too. It’s a unique car this, as it doesn’t have a transmission but uses a direct drive system. Being a hybrid, it has to be fuel efficient. According to our previous tests the Insight will return 52 mpg even with slightly spirited driving. The cabin is more like a car rather than a science experiment and will appeal to ardent Honda fans as it’s reminiscent of the Civic—which it shares its platform with. Unfortunately though, the base trim could be better equipped, but at $25,265 the EX trim is still affordable.

Kshitij Sharma
Kshitij Sharma

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