Best hybrid vehicles for 2022

With gas price having reached record highs in recent months, you may be considering switching to a hybrid vehicle. There’s a huge selection of hybrid models on the market right now, and all of them will help you make fewer stops at the pump and keep more money in your pocket. Below, in no particular order, are some of the CNET Cars team’s favorite hybrids currently on the market.

Toyota

First, a Toyota, but probably not the model you’re thinking of. Did the Prius come to mind? Instead of this revolutionary model, we chose the Highlander hybrid. A great three-row multi-purpose utility vehicle, this thing has a premium interior, lots of high-tech goodies and plenty of refinement. Of course, it also offers incredible fuel economy. The front-wheel-drive model stickers at 36 miles per gallon combined. That’s crazy for something that seats up to eight people.

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Now is the time for a plug-in hybrid and a luxury model, no less. Porsche offers two different gasoline-electric powertrains in its Panamera. There’s the 4 E-Hybrid and the Turbo S E-Hybrid. Every powertrain is offered in the standard sedan, stretched Panamera Executive, and even Sport Turismo wagon body styles, because it’s not confusing.

Anyway, the less powerful of these two powertrains is equipped with a twin-turbo V6 augmented by an electric motor. This package develops 455 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The beefier variant is built around a twin-turbo V8 that’s also beefed up with an engine. This setup gets you 690 hp and 641 lb-ft of torque! Either way, a 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery provides an electric range of 17 to 19 miles. When it comes to fuel efficiency, expect around 50 MPGe for each powertrain, less than half when running on gasoline alone.

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Toyota is the automaker best known for building hybrids, but Ford has also sold more than its share of gasoline-electric vehicles. Now you’d never know that based on the new Explorer Hybrid, which isn’t great, but its little brother, the Escape Hybrid, is actually super fun to drive. Its boosted powertrain is smooth and reasonably powerful, delivering 200 horsepower. Fuel economy is, naturally, a strong point. Sticker front-wheel-drive versions at 41 mpg combined, and that’s hard to argue. For even more efficiency, a plug-in version of this vehicle is also in preparation.

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Ford, along with other automakers, is rapidly moving away from sedans. But what if you want a fuel-efficient vehicle that isn’t a crossover or SUV? Well, Toyota will gladly take your money in exchange for an Avalon hybrid.

This large four-door is plush and comfortable, with a large interior and a lot of refinement. Under the hood, you’ll find a 2.5-liter gasoline engine complemented by a few electric motors. This team delivers 215 hp and up to 44 mpg combined.

The XLE version serves the basic service and starts at around $38,000 including destination charges. Just be grateful that they don’t charge based on the square footage of its grille. If they did, Jeff Bezos couldn’t even afford that car.

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Much like the Toyota Highlander mentioned earlier, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a large and useful vehicle with tons of interior space for passengers, packages or both at the same time. With a plug-in powertrain, it’s also super economical, returning a combined 82 MPGe when running on electricity.

Under the hood is a 3.6-liter V6 and a pair of engines that, among other things, work as a continuously variable transmission. The total power of the system measures 260 hp. With a 16kWh lithium-ion battery on board, it offers a range of around 32 miles in electric-only mode.

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The Honda CR-V Hybrid builds on the overall excellence of the standard CR-V utility vehicle by offering significantly improved fuel economy and better refinement.

With standard all-wheel drive, its smooth-running two-motor hybrid system gives you 212 hp to play with, a nice upgrade over the regular model’s 190. As for fuel economy, expect 38 mpg combined. When you factor in this Honda’s versatile cabin and standard driver-assist tech, it’s easy to see why it’s a CNET Cars favorite.

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One of the finest plug-in hybrids available today is the Volvo V60. And damn it, that’s reason enough to include it in this list. In the top-of-the-line Polestar Engineered version, this Swedish long-roof features a turbocharged, supercharged four-cylinder engine complemented by a rear-mounted electric motor. All that jazz gets you 415 horsepower and just under 500 lb-ft of torque. Sure, the performance is stellar, but so is the efficiency. With a fully powered battery, you should get around 22 miles of electric-only range and 69 MPGe combined. Once that reservoir of electrons is depleted, expect around 30 mpg in mixed driving while running on gasoline.

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Finally, there is an exotic hybrid worth mentioning. It has 600 hp on tap and can hit 60 mph in around 3 seconds. It’s easy to forget that the Acura NSX is a hybrid, but it’s one with three electric motors for extra punch and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. Efficiency isn’t one of this car’s strong suits, expect 21 mpg in mixed driving, but it goes like the stink and gets plenty of attention wherever you take it.

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