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The Most Reliable Hybrids

Lyndon Bell
by Lyndon Bell
June 8, 2015
5 min. Reading Time
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To compile this list of the most reliable hybrids, we consulted the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study rankings and included the models scoring four out of five stars or better. To make its determinations, J.D. Power reviewed dependability reports over the past three years of a given model to predict how the current model year’s offerings will fare going forward. In Power’s ranking system, five stars means the model is among the most reliable hybrids. A four star ranking means the product is better than most. Scoring three stars means the vehicle is about average. Anything scoring less than three stars is considered below average. Models are listed alphabetically here within their scoring range.

Lexus LS 600h L • 5 Stars

The most expensive car on the list is also one of the most reliable hybrids on the market. Scoring a solid five stars, the Lexus LS 600h L is also one of the most opulent mainstream production cars money can buy. Heavenly quiet, with excellent build quality and unrivalled comfort, the Lexus flagship epitomizes every asset of the brand. Power comes from a 5.0-liter V8 teamed with a pair of electric motors for a total system output of 438 horsepower. The all-wheel drive powertrain uses a continuously variable transmission. Pricing starts at $120,100.

 Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Lexus NX 300h • 5 Stars

While a newcomer to the market (the NX is all-new for the 2015 model year), the Lexus NX 300h uses a proven powertrain and so is expected to perform in the 5 star range of reliability. Engineered more with sporty driving in mind than the quiet reserve usually expected of Lexus models, the NX is the more youthful of the two Lexus hybrid crossovers. The handsome compact luxury crossover hybrid uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combined with a pair of electric motors for a system output of 194 horsepower. All-wheel drive is offered as an option. Pricing starts at $39,720.

 Photo by Toyota

Photo by Toyota

Lexus RX 450h • 5 Stars

The Lexus RX practically invented the luxury crossover genre, and as such is pretty much the benchmark for the class. It manages this with a compelling blend of craftsmanship, luxury features, comfort, utility, and yes – reliability. When it comes to the most dependable hybrids, the Lexus RX is indeed one of the best. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 teamed with a pair of electric motors. System output totals 295 horsepower, which is fed to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. All wheel drive is optional. Pricing starts at $47,620.

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Lincoln MKZ Hybrid • 5 Stars

Lincoln’s MKZ Hybrid is an exceptionally handsome car with a beautiful interior treatment, nice details, a comfortable ride, and a distinctive appearance. It’s also one of the single most overlooked models currently on offer. And yet, it is also ranked as one of the most reliable hybrids. Go figure. A 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder is mated to an electric motor to produce 188 horsepower. This is fed to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Interestingly Lincoln asks the same starting price for both the hybrid version of the MKZ and the standard version. Pricing starts at $35,190.

 Photo by Lincoln

Photo by Lincoln

Honda Civic Hybrid • 4.5 Stars

For a broad swath of the motoring public, Honda’s automobiles represent outstanding engineering, strong reliability, and a great deal of driving pleasure. The 2015 Honda Civic Hybrid lives up to all of those expectations. This handsome little Honda is also exceptionally well equipped with an interior treatment designed specifically with the driver in mind. Power comes from a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder teamed with an electric motor to generate 110 horsepower. The front wheels of the Honda compact sedan get this power through a continuously variable transmission. Pricing for this member of the most dependable hybrids group starts at $24,735.

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Lexus ES 300h • 4.5 Stars

Furthering the Lexus brand’s domination of this most reliable hybrids listing is the Lexus ES 300h. Among luxury brands, Lexus is unique in that it has two mid-sized sedans on offer. One biased more towards a plush ride and a serene cockpit, and another biased more towards performance. Remarkably, both are also offered with hybrid powertrains. This is the serene one. Propulsion for this plush mid-size luxury sedan comes from a 2.5-liter inline four and an electric motor combination good for 200 horsepower. This is fed to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Pricing starts at $40,580.

 Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Lexus GS 450h • 4.5 Stars

As we mentioned previously, Lexus has two offerings in the mid-size luxury hybrid category, one primed for peace, and the other passionate for performance. In this case, the hybrid powertrain is used to make the car go faster. A 3.5-liter V6 is hooked up with an electric motor to send 338 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission to drive the rear wheels. While still as plush as you expect a Lexus to be, the GS 450h also loves to attack corners and scream away from traffic signals; while treating you to a highly sumptuous cabin experience. Pricing starts at $61,330.

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Lexus CT 200h • 4 Stars

Yet another Lexus model on our roster of the most reliable hybrids is the Lexus CT 200h. This is the only model in the Lexus lineup without a standard counterpart. In other words, every Lexus CT you see is a hybrid – period. While the model has been consistently panned for its leisurely acceleration, it is universally acclaimed for how well it handles. The compact hatchback also offers a fair amount of utility to go along with the luxury you expect from a Lexus product. The CT 200h is also the least expensive Lexus hybrid. Pricing starts at $32,200.

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Toyota Camry Hybrid • 4.5 Stars

In an effort to maintain the model’s desirability, Toyota treated the Camry to a significant refresh for the 2015 model year – after having just completed a total redesign in 2012. One of the perennial best sellers of the automotive marketplace, Camry has a very strong following. Fans are rewarded this year with improvements in cabin quality, refined handling characteristics, and even styling updates. Power comes from a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine and an electric motor producing 200 horsepower in total. The front wheels are driven by a continuously variable transmission. Pricing starts at $26,790.

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Buick LaCrosse Hybrid • 4 Stars

Yes, it’s OK; we’ll forgive you if you didn’t know the base model Buick LaCrosse ran a mild hybrid powertrain. A 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine is paired with an electric motor to produce a total of 182 horsepower. This is fed to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Given all the trouble GM has had with reliability in the past, we’ll also forgive you if you’re surprised to see the LaCrosse rank so highly on this list of the most reliable hybrids. The full-size Buick sedan also rides quietly, smoothly, and features a nice cross section of cutting edge tech. Pricing starts at $31,065.

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