The UK is making the switch to hybrid and electric vehicles. Manufacturers are now offering wide choices of mild hybrids, self-charging hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric models.
Hybrids offer huge improvements in efficiency – particularly for plug-in models – but don’t have the same compromises or requirements as an EV, to rely on electric charge alone. This is very handy for family vehicles, especially if you use the car for longer journeys for holidays away or to visit family,
And whether you’re looking for a hatchback, estate, or an SUV, there are plenty of hybrid family cars that fit the bill. Here are 10 models that you might want to consider.
BMW 3 Series Touring Plug-in Hybrid
BMW’s 3 Series has been around for several years as a saloon, but it’s only in the latest generation that the Germans have introduced a more practical Touring estate model, which is better-suited to family car duties.
It’s still impressively spacious, with a large boot capacity. And with a pure electric range of up to 27 miles, there’s the potential for very low running costs.
Skoda is renowned for producing brilliant family cars, and one of the most popular options is the seriously spacious Octavia. Now the brand has introduced a new plug-in hybrid, and thankfully it remains a very roomy car.
Available as both a large five-door hatchback or an estate car, this plug-in hybrid can travel for up to an impressive 39 miles on electricity alone and could be very affordable to run, too.
When it comes to a large family SUV, the Audi Q7 is one of the leading models you can choose, with its vast interior and quality making it a step above the rest. No available as a petrol plug-in hybrid.
While not cheap, it offers strong performance and a pure electric range of 27 miles – ideal for smaller trips and the school run, for example. Just be aware that, unlike the regular seven-seat Q7, the hybrid is only available as a five-seater.
You might not think of a Mini when it comes to choosing a family car, but thanks to the Countryman, the brand has proven its ability to produce surprisingly spacious and practical models.
The Countryman is now available as a punchy and efficient plug-in hybrid, which offers similar performance to the Cooper S model. With a 20-mile pure electric range, it should mean you can complete many day-to-day journeys without troubling the petrol engine at all.
The Passat has long been a popular family car choice and that continues to be the case, with this executive model known for its huge boot and impressive rear space.
And now you can choose the Passat Estate Plug-in Hybrid, which combines that roomy interior with the ability to travel on pure electric charge for 32 miles. Compared to its predecessor, that’s an impressive 40 per cent increase. Both saloon and estate models are available, too.
If you want a seven-seater plug-in hybrid, the Volvo XC90 is one of very few options on the table. That’s because, thanks to clever packaging, the batteries can be stored in a way that doesn’t impact on the passenger space.
With an extremely luxurious interior and vast amounts of space, this XC90 is a wonderful family car choice, though it does come at quite a steep price for such a great example of both functionality and form.
When it comes to hybrids, Toyota is one of the leading car brands, having produced self-charging hybrids models for years, and more recently developed a whole range of PHEVs. We could have picked any of the brand’s models, but it’s the Corolla that gets the nod here, with an exceptionally good target price of just under £20k for the saloon, and just over £20k for the estate.
This UK-built Toyota hybrid is self-charging, which means it’s not as efficient as a plug-in model, but it doesn’t require you to charge via the mains. Therefore it’s convenient for those who can’t fit a charge point at home, and for those who just don’t want to. With a big boot capacity across the range, it’s a very appealing family car choice.
Peugeot is ramping up its electrified range, with plans to offer each of its cars in an electric or hybrid choice. As such the popular 3008 SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, which brings efficiency and cost-savings to this stylish and spacious model.
The 3008 has also recently had a facelift – bringing with it a more prominent design and more technology to this impressive PHEV.
Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid
When it comes to a large spacious SUV, Kia has long had one of the best models in the class with the Sorento. And now the model has returned for a fourth generation model that’s even more upmarket and bold in its styling.
The seven-seater Sorento is available as a regular self-charging hybrid, or as an efficient plug-in hybrid option too.
The idea of a hybrid Jeep might seem strange, but this legendary 4×4 maker is increasingly turning its focus to electrified models, with its first attempt being the excellent Renegade Plug-in Hybrid.
This funky crossover brings with it plenty of standard equipment, a surprisingly roomy interior, and a strong combination of driving performance with low running costs. These hybrid models come with four-wheel-drive too, so they’re no less capable off-road than the standard counterpart either.
Find the car that’s right for you
These are just some of our picks of popular and accessible hybrid family cars. However, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s a multitude of hybrid cars available in the UK market now. You can use our ‘Find the best EV for you’ search tool, to select the size(s) of the car that you’re interested, and any other key preferences (such as hybrid car, electric car, or both), and it will then create a bespoke list of options just for you, so you can look at every relevant model, see our target prices, book a test drive, and get the latest quote and offers from dealerships in your area.