Expert Insights

Best-Selling Hybrid Cars

Laurance Yap
July 11, 2023
Hybrid vehicles offer a great compromise, significantly reducing fuel consumption compared to pure internal combustion, while continuing to provide the flexibility and spontaneity desired by American drivers. Which ones are the most popular? Read on to find out.
woman walking to her parked car

What Are the Best-Selling Hybrid Cars?

Given the rising price of fuel, is it any surprise that sales of hybrid vehicles hit record highs in the U.S. in 2021? Year-end totals showed more Americans than ever purchased hybrid or plug-in hybrid models – even as many automakers are pushing towards full-electric.

There’s good reason for this. While charging infrastructure continues to improve across the country, many Americans still don’t have access to home charging, or their driving habits require quick fill-ups – an area where electric cars still falter.

For these drivers, hybrid vehicles offer a great compromise, significantly reducing fuel consumption compared to pure internal combustion, while continuing to provide the flexibility and spontaneity desired by U.S. drivers.

Given Toyota’s history with hybrids in the U.S. – the first Prius hit our shores almost 25 years ago – it should come as no surprise that four of the top-selling hybrid vehicles are Toyotas.

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid on a dirt path

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota’s RAV4 was one of the first SUVs to be based on a car platform. Its combination of tall ride height, quality, and fuel economy have made it a sales leader, with each generation growing in size and presence. The latest version is the most butch-looking RAV4 outside, but inside, it’s still well-made, thoughtfully-designed, and easy-to-use – and more spacious than ever.

The RAV4 Hybrid features a 2.5-liter engine and electric motors producing 219 horsepower, and on-demand all-wheel drive gives you excellent all-weather security. We also like the simple controls and strong tech. The RAV4 Hybrid includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 driver assists. This means active cruise control, pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, road sign recognition, and automatic high beams are all standard.

  • Starting MSRP: $29,575
  • EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 41/38
Toyota Highlander Hybrid aerial shot in driveway

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Available with either front- or all-wheel drive, the Highlander Hybrid is a great road trip vehicle, and the best-selling large hybrid SUV. Its 2.5-liter engine is paired with two electric motors, producing 243 horsepower. Interior refinement is excellent, and family-friendly safety features abound thanks to the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system.

Highlander Hybrid’s long wheelbase not only ensures each of its three rows of seats are roomy; you also get a large, versatile cargo area. Luxury features include three-zone automatic climate control, LED lighting, available wireless phone charging, available quilted synthetic suede-and-leather trim, an awesome audio system, and a 12.3-inch infotainment system with CarPlay, Android Auto, and Alexa.

  • Starting MSRP: $39,555
  • EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 36/35
Man standing by the back of a Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

What more can we say about the Prius? It’s one of the original hybrids, and set the template for every hybrid to come, with a teardrop shape, hatchback body, and exceptional fuel economy. The latest version is even better. It has an stylish, high-tech interior, with plenty of room for a growing family, as well as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa.

There’s nothing revolutionary about the Prius’ drivetrain, but its 1.8-liter gasoline engine and electric motor produce 121 horsepower, enough to feel eager and responsive on city streets and freeways, while also delivering a 56 combined EPA MPG. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 features include active cruise control, lane assist, automatic braking, and pedestrian detection.

  • Starting MSRP: $25,075
  • EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 58/53
Toyota Camry Parked in the City

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota’s Camry has been one of the best-selling sedans in America for almost 40 years. It combines a spacious, practical interior with Toyota durability, quality, and resale value. The Camry Hybrid features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor that produce 208 hp; both city and highway EPA fuel economy ratings top 50 MPG – impressive for such a large vehicle.

The latest Camry Hybrid is available in a wide range of trims, from basic to sporty to luxurious. All of them have a spacious interior packed with features and technology. We particularly like the excellent seats and the easy-to-use interfaces for infotainment and climate controls. Equipment includes Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of active driver assists, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and more.

  • Starting MSRP: $28,080
  • EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 51/53
Hiker opening trunk of Honda CR-V Hybrid in a park

Honda CR-V Hybrid

A close competitor to the RAV4 Hybrid, the CR-V hybrid is built on a similar philosophy, combining space, performance, driving fun, and economy. What distinguishes the Honda is its more involving driving experience.

The CR-V Hybrid gets 40 MPG in the city, thanks to its 2.0-liter engine and electric motor that produce 212 combined horsepower. You can select economy, sport, and even full-electric drive modes for zero-emissions commuting. All-wheel drive is also standard, meaning excellent stability and traction. Standard tech includes a touchscreen audio system, and available wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A wide-view camera and radar, traffic jam assist, low-speed braking control, and traffic sign recognition are also standard.

  • Starting MSRP: $32,010
  • EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 40/35
Ford Escape Hybrid parked outside a diner

Ford Escape Hybrid

Starting at just over $30,000, the Escape Hybrid is an appealing package, combining a powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a 96-kW electric motor to produce fine power and performance while delivering 44 MPG in the city. All-wheel drive is an option.

We like the Escape’s sleek good looks, as well as its roomy interior – it seats five and has more legroom than either the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V. Ford’s available Co-Pilot 360 system includes the latest driver assistance technology, and the Sync infotainment system can be operated with a convenient dash-mounted touch screen or even with voice controls. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa are all standard.

  • Starting MSRP: $30,185
  • EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 44/37
Ford Escape Hybrid

Honda Accord Hybrid

Always one of the top-selling sedans in America, the Accord combines frugality with luxury and a fun, sporty driving experience. While the hybrid Accord posts impressive fuel economy numbers (almost 50 MPG for both city and highway), it doesn’t give up its fun-to-drive nature.

Power from the 2.0-liter engine and twin electric motors totals 212 hp, and the suspension tuning makes the Accord Hybrid a great car to drive as well as a great family vehicle. We also like the luxurious cabin, which is beautifully finished and has a perfect combination of analog controls and digital screens. The standard Honda Sensing safety suite includes blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, automatic pre-collision braking, and more.

  • Starting MSRP: $27,720
  • EPA Estimated City/Highway MPG: 48/47