Best hybrid estate cars to buy in 2021

Form and frugality combine with hybrid estate cars, which offer excellent mpg figures and large luggage capacity

BuyaCar team
May 28, 2021

Even eco-minded motorists want to go on holiday, buy flat pack furniture and then take it to the tip a few years later (to be recycled, of course).

That's why the hybrid estate exists, promising frugal fuel economy and low carbon dioxide emissions, which bring reduced company car tax - along with a vast quantity of storage space.

Hybrid cars use a battery and motor, in addition to a conventional engine, to recover energy that's usually lost during braking. It's then used to assist the engine, reducing the amount of fuel that it uses. For extra efficiency, plug-in hybrids have larger batteries that can be charged up, storing enough power to drive the car for 20 to 30 miles with barely any assistance from the engine. Most of these examples are plug-in hybrids.

In both cases, fuel economy will depend on how you drive: mpg figures tend to be impressive on shorter, slower journeys, but closer to a standard car on longer trips at steady speeds. The official figures will also change slightly depending on the wheels and equipment that you choose. Mild hybrids are excluded from this list, as they currently offer little benefit in terms of fuel economy, and cannot be run on electric power alone.

If you can charge up at home, then it's worth considering an electric car too, but many buyers still want the reassurance of a petrol and diesel engine for long distance driving without a lengthy stop to recharge.

Click the button above to search for all hybrid estates that are currently available on BuyaCar or scroll down for our pick of the best.

Best hybrid estate cars

1. Volvo V60

Best hybrid estate for good looks

Our pick Volvo V60 T6 AWD
Used deals from £10,490
Monthly finance from £229*
Fuel economy 157mpg
Emissions 41g/km CO2

Volvo's V60 isn't just economical; it's quick too. When the electric motor combines with the petrol engine, this family estate car will accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds. It's a car that's best driven smoothly, though, the unfussy and high-quality interior is calming and the car is much steadier when you're not trying to fling it round corners.

The plug-in hybrid version will run silently for around 33 miles in its electric mode before the battery runs low and engine takes over, but you're better off in hybrid mode for longer trips: this switches seamlessly between motor and engine (or a combination of the both) for maximum efficiency over long distances. Even so, fuel economy drops close to 40mpg if you're covering many motorway miles. There's a more powerful T8 version, too, but the T6 is plenty for most.

With a 529-litre boot, it's hard to recommend the larger and more expensive V90 (which has a 560-litre boot) over this. Even with the seats folded down, there's 1,441 litres on tap (vs 1,526 litres in the V90). 

VOLVO V60 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Skoda Superb Estate

Best hybrid estate for boot space on a budget


Our pick Skoda Superb 1.4 TSI iV
Used deals from £31,500
Monthly finance from £432*
Fuel economy 252mpg
Emissions 25g/km CO2

Want a large estate car, but don't want to pay the world for it? Skoda benefits from a cheaper price tag, but gets the best of parent company Volkswagen's equipment and engines. It's worth considering a more upmarket Volkswagen Passat Estate or the sleek and sporty Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake if you want something a bit more plush, both of which come in hybrid form.

The plug-in hybrid system used in each of these models is the same - a 1.4-litre petrol engine combined with an electric battery and motor, which can be charged up at home. Skoda claims 252mpg which is slightly more than its Volkswagen siblings, but to achieve anywhere near this you will need to charge the car and run it off electric power as frequently as possible. You should be able to expect around 30 miles of electric running on a single charge under normal driving conditions.

It's the boot that helps this car stand out, though. With the seats up, 510 litres is available which is more than larger and more expensive rivals like the Mercedes E-Class Estate and BMW 530e Touring. In fact, it's only the Volvos and the similarly affordable Peugeot 508 SW that can trump it on this list.

SKODA SUPERB BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Peugeot 508 SW

Best hybrid estate for style on a budget


Our pick Peugeot 508 SW Hybrid 225
Used deals from £24,211
Monthly finance from £362*
Fuel economy 235mpg
Emissions 30g/km CO2

The Peugeot 508 is another car that's suited to both motorway cruising and trips to a flat-pack furniture store. In fact, the hybrid version of the 508 has the same boot space as petrol and diesel models, because it was designed to accommodate each of the powertrains from the get-go; that's 530 litres, or 1,780 litres with the seats down.

Power comes from a 1.6-litre petrol engine most of the time, but the battery and electric motor are on hand to keep efficiency high. You can travel almost 40 miles on electric power alone according to Peugeot, and achieve 235mpg. All of this, from a 225hp family estate that rockets to 62mph in 8.3 seconds.

MORE ABOUT THE PEUGEOT 508 SW

4. Seat Leon Hybrid

Best hybrid estate for small size but large boot


Our pick Seat Leon Estate 1.4 e-Hybrid
Used deals Limited stock
Fuel economy 235mpg
Emissions 27g/km CO2

Like Skoda, Seat is part of the Volkswagen Group. That means high quality equipment and a strong selection of engines. The Leon Estate performs well with Seat's range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, some of which offer mild hybrid technology, but it's the plug-in powertrain you'll want if numbers are important to you.

You should be able to achieve around 30 miles of electric-only driving, but push the accelerator to the floor and the 1.4-litre petrol engine will spring into life. You'll have 204hp, which is plenty - especially for a small estate based on a family hatchback.

Don't think space is compromised, though. You'll get a spacious 470-litre boot, that's far more than the BMW 330e Touring and Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake which belong to a class of car that is both larger and more expensive.

MORE ABOUT THE SEAT LEON

5. BMW 3 Series Touring

Best hybrid estate for having fun


Our pick BMW 330e Touring
Used deals Limited stock
Fuel economy 202mpg
Emissions 32g/km CO2

Motorway cruisers and company car drivers like the BMW 3 Series, and it's clear why. Petrol models are fun to drive, and diesel models are very efficient. The plug-in hybrid offers the best of both worlds, but be aware, the heavy estate can prove costly to run if not plugged in frequently.

The 330e Touring uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine to get to most places, but a battery pack is on hand for up to 37 miles of emission-free driving. It's quick, too - 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds, but don't expect to return 202mpg if you drive it like that. For a little more cash, BMW will also sell you an all-wheel drive version of the 330e, known as xDrive, which should provide more grip when conditions get poor.

The 410-litre boot isn't especially large, but 1,420 litres with the seats folded should be enough for most people's needs. It's worth noting that four-wheel drive models don't take a hit, too.

BMW 3 SERIES TOURING BUYERS' GUIDE

BMW 330E SALOON BUYERS' GUIDE

6. BMW 5 Series Touring

Best hybrid estate for grown up fun


Our pick BMW 530e Touring
Used deals from £47,950
Monthly finance from £709*
Fuel economy 188mpg
Emissions 35g/km CO2

While the boot may not be much larger than that of the 3 Series - 430 litres and 1,560 litres with the seats down - the space inside is much better equipped for larger families.

This, too, uses a 2.0-litre petrol-hybrid setup. Being a larger car, it can tow 750kg unbraked or 1,700kg braked. A four-wheel drive xDrive model raises this figure to 2,000kg - both versions of the 330e Touring are capable of 1,500kg. Because it's a heavier car, it's not as quick as the 330e Touring, but it's not slow, either - 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. The electric range is less, too - 32 miles.

BMW 5 SERIES TOURING BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Mercedes E-Class Estate

Best hybrid estate for luxury


Our pick Mercedes E300de Estate
Used deals Limited stock
Fuel economy 202mpg
Emissions 36g/km CO2

If you want all-out luxury, very few come near to the Mercedes E-Class. This model gets technology filtered down from the range-topping S-Class - the new MBUX system used on the media display is one of the best available.

It goes head-to-head with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant, and while it may not be as fun to drive as the BMW or as affordable as the Audi, it could be the most practical. It has the biggest boot - 460 litres - and offers the most space with the seats down - 1,660 litres.

The plug-in hybrid estate promises a 33-mile electric range, but when that's run out, it should be the most efficient of the bunch. That's because it uses a diesel engine, rather than petrol, which is better suited to efficiency on longer journeys. 

MORE ABOUT THE MERCEDES E-CLASS

8. Audi A6 Avant

Best hybrid estate for affordable badge appeal


Our pick Audi A6 50 TFSI e
Used deals from £35,253
Monthly finance from £429*
Fuel economy 217mpg
Emissions 30g/km CO2

This is Audi's answer to the E-Class Estate and 5 Series Touring, and it's the latest to get a plug-in hybrid option.

Expect a 405-litre boot: smaller than both its rivals. It does come with Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, though, which provides reassurance in slippery conditions.

When the 41-mile electric range runs out, the car relies on a 2.0-litre petrol engine. You should be able to complete most journeys on electric power alone, though - Audi pomises the car can reach motorway speeds without the engine needing to kick in at all. Expect 217mpg only if you plug it in regualrly and drive cautiously.  

AUDI A6 AVANT BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Best hybrid estate for performance


Our pick Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo 4 E-Hybrid
Used deals Limited stock
Fuel economy 135mpg
Emissions 49g/km CO2

None of these cars are particularly slow - they're generally faster than their petrol and diesel counterparts thanks to the additional power provided by the electric motor. But for real performance, you may want to consider a more powerful petrol engine.

The 4 E-Hybrid uses a 3.0-litre V6 engine to supplement the electric power, for a 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds. The more powerful 4S E-Hybrid manages this in 3.7 seconds. A range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid uses a larger 4.0-litre V8 to produce a combined 700hp - this model can sprint to 62mph in 3.2 seconds. Despite these figures, you should be able to travel up to 30 miles or so on electric power alone, and return as high as 100mpg. Petrol versions of the Panamera, by comparison, sit around the 20mpg mark.

Its 418-litre boot is better than an Audi A6 Avant or BMW 330e Touring, but with the seats folded down it offers the least amount - 1,287 litres.

PORSCHE PANAMERA BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Best hybrid estate for families without access to a charger


Our pick Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid Touring Sports
Used deals from £18,495
Monthly finance from £255*
Fuel economy 58mpg
Emissions 112g/km CO2

The Corolla Touring Sports is the only estate on this list that doesn't feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which makes it the cheapest option. 

It's available with a 1.8-litre or 2.0-litre petrol engine, both of which combined with electric power promise over 50mpg. The smaller 122hp option makes the most sense for families, but the 184hp model at least provides a second option, and for not much more money. 

It replaces the Auris, so is a rival to the likes of the Seat Leon Estate and other non-hybrid options like the Volkswagen Golf Estate. Boot space for the 1.8-litre model is 598 litres, but the larger 2.0-litre engine meant Toyota's engineers had to move its battery resulting in a smaller 581 litres.

TOYOTA COROLLA BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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