2021 Toyota Venza XLE ・ Photo by Toyota
Electric vehicles are absolutely necessary to improve the health of our planet and reduce emissions, but they aren’t quite practical for every driver just yet. If you drive extended distances or live in a rural area with few to zero public charging stations, an EV could be a stressful choice. Hybrids have been around for a long time at this point, and they offer a viable alternative to EVs for many buyers. There’s no electric range or charging to worry about, and most people will find that hybrids deliver far better fuel economy than their standard gas cars. We’ve researched all the new and existing hybrid models for 2022 to rate the 10 best. Let’s get started.
It should come as no surprise that one of the best sedans in the world just happens to be one of the best hybrids in the world. The Accord Hybrid is spacious, shockingly quiet and comfortable, and somewhat fun to drive. The car comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that combines with two electric motors for a total of 212 horsepower. A CVT and front-wheel drive are standard. Though acceleration is tepid at best, Honda’s transmission tuning produced one of the best and most responsive CVTs on the market. In addition, the Accord Hybrid returns up to 48 mpg in the city, while the Sport and Touring trims are rated at 44 mpg in the city.
Photo by Honda
Many people assume that hybrids are boring, or that they are significantly weaker than their traditional gas-powered counterparts. But that’s not the case with the CR-V Hybrid. It’s one of the rare exceptions that is quicker and more fun to drive than the normal version. It’s also blessed with a premium-feeling interior, generous cargo space, and road trip-friendly seats that will keep the family happy for hours on end. The CR-V Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine for a total of 212 horsepower. All-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission are standard. On top of all that, the SUV returns up to 40 mpg in the city.
Photo by Honda
The Sorento Hybrid debuted as an all-new vehicle in 2021, but there are still notable changes to the vehicle for 2022. There's now a new PHEV model, though Kia also made all-wheel drive standard for the regular hybrid model. The Sorento Hybrid represents a good value in its segment, with a decent starting price and solid standard equipment. The SUV is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The base Sorento Hybrid returns up to 36 mpg in the city, which is a stellar number for a vehicle with the spaciousness of the Kia.
Photo by Kia
The Highlander has long been Toyota’s SUV for people who need a minivan but refuse to buy one. The family-friendly three-row vehicle offers a cushy ride, upscale interior, and plenty of desirable features out of the box. The hybrid powertrain moves the Highlander with ease and delivers a solid 36 mpg rating in the city. Under the hood, the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 243 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a continuously variable transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Though CVTs tend to let the engine drone on, especially under hard acceleration, the Highlander Hybrid’s gearbox stays mostly out of the way until it’s pushed.
Photo by Toyota
The RAV4 Prime is another example of a hybrid vehicle that outperforms its gas-powered siblings. After the Supra, an extremely powerful sports car, the RAV4 Prime is Toyota’s quickest vehicle. It also offers great electric range from its PHEV powertrain, a much-improved infotainment system, and a comfortable cabin. The Prime comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor that make 302 horsepower combined. All-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission are standard. Plug-in hybrids offer the ability to drive on electric power alone, and the RAV4 Prime’s range is impressive at 42 miles. When running on gas, the SUV returns 38 mpg combined, and recharging the batteries takes around 12 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet.
Photo by Toyota
The Elantra has become a far more premium and fun car than anyone expected. It was all new in 2021 and arrived with sharp styling and an upscale interior. Though the busy design may not please all eyes, there’s no denying that Hyundai set the Elantra up to stand out from the crowd. The Elantra Hybrid expands on the standard car’s successful formula with lively acceleration and great fuel economy. The car is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Combined output lands at 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai gave the Sonata a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, making it fun to drive and responsive. The base Elantra Hybrid Blue is rated at 53 mpg in the city, and the top Limited trim returns up to 49 mpg.
Photo by Hyundai
Toyota resurrected the Venza after a few years off the market. The new vehicle returned in 2021 as a hybrid only and continues into 2022 unchanged. That means the Venza still offers a stylish cabin, great ride quality, and solid fuel economy. The Venza gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors that make a combined 219 horsepower. All-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission are standard. The Venza returns up to 40 mpg in the city and up to 37 mpg on the highway. Hybrids don’t typically offer as much of an efficiency bonus on the highway, due to the already higher mpg cruising speeds.
Photo by Toyota
If you’re seeing all the Toyotas on this list and are wondering what’s happening, there’s nothing wrong with your screen. Toyota focused heavily on hybrid tech in the early days and does them as well as anyone. The Prius was at the forefront of the automaker’s push into electrification, and it remains one of the best hybrids on the market today. The Prius Prime takes the formula a step further with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that offers up to 25 miles of all-electric range. Overall fuel economy comes in at 53 mpg on the highway and 133 MPGe combined. Charging takes up to 5.5 hours when using standard household power.
Photo by Toyota
The Ford Escape was completely redesigned in 2020 with new, refined styling, better tech, and more safety features. The Escape Hybrid builds on that formula with great fuel efficiency, a comfortable interior, and decent acceleration. Under its hood, the Escape Hybrid carries a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor that make a total of 200 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive are standard. The Escape Hybrid returns up to 37 mpg on the highway and up to 44 mpg in the city.
Photo by Ford
Hyundai overhauled the Sonata in 2020 with striking style and forward-looking tech. The Sonata Hybrid adds to that attractive package with stellar fuel economy and great value for the class. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor that produce a combined 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Sonata Hybrid gets a real-deal six-speed automatic transmission instead of a CVT, which gives it a unique and engaging driving experience that many other hybrids can’t replicate. Front-wheel drive is standard, but no all-wheel drive option is available.
Photo by Hyundai