Petrol and diesel are here to stay for a good few years yet, but hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular in the UK. This isn’t surprising, as hybrid technology has made great strides lately. These models not only offer remarkable efficiency and greenness, but they’re also smooth and quiet to drive. So, what are our five favourite hybrids for 2018?
Range Rover hybrid
Yes, we do mean the proper, king-size Range Rover; rather than the Sport, Discovery Sport or Evoque. Not so long ago, the thought of such a large luxury SUV being offered in plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) guise would have seemed crazy, but it’s now a reality. The P400e - as it’ll be known - boasts theoretical fuel economy as high as 101mpg, CO2 emissions as low as 64g/km and an ‘on paper’ electric driving range of up to 31 miles. It’ll achieve this all while serving up a peak of 404bhp and sprinting to 60mph in an insane 6.4 seconds. You’ll be able to charge the Range Rover hybrid’s batteries up using a domestic plug socket, a wall unit or a public charging point; and its clever sat nav system will advise the optimum route to make best use of the hybrid technology. Its revered off-road capabilities won’t be dented, either. As soon as they appear in showrooms, why not book a test drive at Hunters Land Rover?
Starting out as the world’s first compact premium electric car, BMW then introduced a hybrid Range Extender version of the i3, which offered a very attractive real-world range. The new i3s, however, goes one further. Power has been upped to 181bhp, while this sport variant sits 10mm lower, has a 40mm wider track and is fitted with exciting 20-inch alloys. With the two-cylinder engine, electric motor and drive all positioned at the back, it certainly makes for a more engaging experience. Inside, drivers are treated to the latest version of BMW’s connected infotainment systems via a new 10.3-inch screen, and the interior remains as relaxing and futuristic as ever. Check it out at your nearest Inchcape BMW showroom.
New Lexus LS
It wouldn’t be right for our top five hybrids for 2018 not to include a Lexus. After all, the Japanese luxury brand was one of the first companies to pioneer the development of hybrid technology, which it remains at the forefront of. The new LS Saloon flagship is sleeker than ever and features the most visually arresting grille to date, along with the muscular side profile and powerful haunches, this give the fifth-generation LS superb road presence. Japanese craftsmanship shines through inside, the interior’s packed with cutting-edge technology amidst exquisite materials and appealingly curvaceous flair. The LS 500h will be equipped with the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid system, combining a smooth and potent 3.5-litre V6 dual VVT-I petrol engine with a pair of advanced electric motors, the powertrain completed by the revolutionary fourstage shift device promising rapid progress. Indulge in the new LS experience at Inchcape Lexus.
Offering practical, stylish and green motoring for those with more modest budgets, MINI’s funky and striking countryman SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid. Badged the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, 224bhp will be plentiful for most drivers, combined with four-wheel drive for added reassurance when the conditions get challenging. Placed in band C for road tax thanks to its low emissions of 49-52g/km CO2, this BMW-built SUV comes with that sought-after elevated driving position, making it a joy to ride in for its driver and passengers alike. The youthful and distinct interior with its circular infotainment fascia, highly customisable trim and plenty of sporty touches is sure to excite, while the 450-litre boot beats many rivals. The hybrid Countryman has a theoretical electric range of up to 26 miles, while the combined petrol-battery powertrain has a total range of 310 miles. Visit Inchcape MINI to sample it for yourself.
Volkswagen Passat GTE
While many people are aware that the popular VW Golf is available as a ‘GTE’ plug-in hybrid, it’s cool to think that the same eco-motoring advantages are available in the much larger and more practical Passat estate. Volkswagen has done a beautiful job of styling the exterior, which looks like it’s been chiselled from precious metals, with plenty of tasteful touches in blue, and C-shape daytime running lights giving it the same road presence as its Golf sibling. With a roomy, premium interior offering an abundance of space for five adults and mountains of luggage, the Passat estate is fitted with the latest safety technology along with gadgets to keep everyone entertained. In contrast with its practical image, it sprints to 62mph in just 7.5 seconds and on to a theoretical top speed of 139mph courtesy of 218bhp. Emitting just 40g/km CO2 and with a combined fuel economy figure of 156.9mpg on paper, the Passat estate GTE also boasts a huge range of 660 miles. It’s one of the best all-round hybrids available, and has been freshened inside and out to be even more special for 2018. The Inchcape Volkswagen team will be happy to explain the benefits of hybrid to you.