It’s easy to get excited about hybrids. With their fuel-sipping powertrains, these vehicles provide eco-friendly transportation that saves money at the gas pump. And since they don’t have the range limitations that come with most electric cars, hybrids provide the go-anywhere versatility that’s a must for many car shoppers.
The first mass-production hybrids hit the market more than 20 years ago. The segment has changed a lot since then, in ways that are wonderful for car buyers. The pool of hybrid cars has grown exponentially; shoppers in this segment now have a broad range of choices to consider. From subcompact hatchbacks to roomy family haulers, there’s a hybrid to meet most needs.
Although hybrids sometimes cost slightly more than their gas-only counterparts, there are quite a few models on the market that come with very affordable pricing. To help shoppers find an accessibly priced model they’ll be happy with, we’ve listed 10 picks that we consider to be the best hybrid cars under $30,000.
We looked at several key factors when making our selections. Gas mileage was certainly important, but we also considered each model’s active safety features and crash-test scores. Finally, we gave some thought to reliability and overall value.
Our picks are listed in alphabetical order.
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
With its snazzy grille and a curvy, coupe-like roofline, the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid cuts a stylish figure. Its roomy cabin offers lots of space for singletons, couples, and parents, and this sedan’s powertrain impresses with its sprightly acceleration.
The Malibu Hybrid comes standard with essentials like keyless entry and ignition and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. It’s also equipped with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that can keep passengers connected when they’re on the road. Keep in mind, though, that cargo space is relatively modest, with the trunk offering just 11.6 cu.-ft. of room for your belongings.
Chevy’s Malibu earned a top score of “Good” in five out of six categories evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and it garnered a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention. According to the EPA, this 182-horsepower sedan achieves mileage of 46 mpg in combined driving (49/43 mpg for city/highway). Pricing starts at $29,095, including the $875 destination charge.
2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid
From its bulging hood to its sculpted side panels, the 2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid is dressed to impress. In addition to its head-turning exterior design, this sedan boasts an upscale cabin.
The Fusion Hybrid’s list of standard amenities is expansive enough to keep most shoppers happy. All models come with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, rear park-assist sensors, a blind-spot warning system, and a rear cross-traffic alert system. When it comes to cargo space, the Fusion Hybrid provides a relatively modest 12 cu.-ft. of room in its trunk.
For overall crash protection, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2019 Fusion Hybrid a perfect 5-star score. The EPA estimates this 188-hp sedan will achieve fuel economy of up to 42 mpg in combined driving (43/41 mpg for city/highway). Pricing kicks off at $28,550, including the $995 destination charge.
2019 Honda Accord Hybrid
With its smooth handling and roomy cabin, the Honda Accord has become synonymous with exceptional family transportation. The 2019 Accord Hybrid puts a green spin on this winning formula, adding a frugal hybrid powertrain to the midsize sedan’s list of features.
The Accord Hybrid offers just as much cargo space as the gas-only model: a generous 16.7 cu.-ft. And it comes standard with features such as a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and road sign recognition.
According to the EPA, the Accord Hybrid achieves fuel economy of 48 mpg in combined driving (48/48 mpg for city/highway). This 212-hp sedan earned a perfect 5 stars from the NHTSA for overall crash protection. Pricing begins at $26,215, including $895 destination charge.
2019 Honda Insight
Along with the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight helped introduce hybrids to mainstream audiences two decades ago. After a 5-year hiatus, the Insight is back for 2019, and it’s more appealing than ever.
The Insight comes with standard features that provide compelling value. All models are equipped with LED headlights, push-button start, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and a lane-keeping assist system.
There’s a generous amount of cargo space on board, since this sedan’s trunk can accommodate up to 15.1 cu.-ft. of luggage. And of course, the 151-hp Insight’s mileage is stellar. According to the EPA, it achieves up to 52 mpg in combined driving (up to 55/49 mpg for city/highway).
When it comes to crash protection, the 2019 Insight earned a perfect 5 stars from the NHTSA and was designated a “Top Safety Pick+” by the IIHS. Pricing starts at $23,725, including the $895 destination charge.
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Introduced for the 2017 model year, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is one of the newer gas-sippers on the market. Quirky, pod-like styling is part of the package with some hybrids, but this isn’t the case with the Ioniq. From its elegant grille to its fluid silhouette, this 4-door hatchback’s exterior design is sleek and conventionally handsome.
Offering 26.5 cu.-ft. of cargo space with all seats in place, the Ioniq Hybrid provides great utility. It also comes with a range of modern standard features, including automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.
The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq was named a “Top Safety Pick” by the IIHS for overall crash protection. According to the EPA, this 139-hp hybrid achieves mileage of up to 58 mpg in combined driving (57/59 mpg for city/highway). Pricing starts at $23,285, including the $885 destination charge.
2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Smooth handling? Check. Roomy cabin? Check. With these assets in its arsenal, the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has what it takes to provide comfortable transportation, and it sweetens the pot by offering strong fuel economy.
Base models come standard with appealing features like a blind-spot warning system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, automatic headlights, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. Cargo capacity, however, stands at a middling 13.4 cu.-ft.
Hyundai’s 193-hp Sonata Hybrid earned a perfect 5-star score from the NHTSA for overall crash protection. By EPA estimates, it achieves mileage of up to 42 mpg in combined driving (up to 40/46 mpg for city/highway). We expect pricing to start at around $27,000.
2019 Kia Niro
Need a small car that’s a comfortable fit in congested urban environments? Take a look at the 2019 Kia Niro. This small 5-door hatchback delivers consistently frugal performance, and its tiny footprint makes it an agreeable choice on narrow city streets.
The Niro comes equipped with amenities such as satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, and Bluetooth connectivity. With all seats in place, this Kia provides a generous 19.4 cu.-ft. of cargo space.
Kia’s Niro earned a “Top Safety Pick+” designation from the IIHS, and the EPA estimates this 139-hp car’s mileage at up to 50 mpg in combined driving (up to 52/49 mpg for city/highway). The Niro starts at $24,430, including the $940 destination fee.
2019 Kia Optima Hybrid
The 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid has a premium look both inside and out. It also provides the refined handling that’s desirable in a commuter car.
Kia is known for offering great value, and this is evident with the Optima Hybrid’s long list of standard features. All models come with leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, a blind-spot warning system, and a rear cross-traffic alert system. The Optima Hybrid’s trunk provides 13.4 cu.-ft. of cargo space, which can be expanded by lowering the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
When it comes to overall crash protection, the NHTSA gave the Optima Hybrid a perfect 5 stars. According to the EPA, this 192-hp sedan achieves fuel economy of 41 mpg in combined driving (39/45 mpg for city/highway). Kia’s Optima has a base price of $28,905, including the $925 destination fee.
2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid
With its sharp styling, the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid brings a distinctive look to the midsize sedan segment. It also offers lots of space for both passengers and luggage, and it provides pleasant handling that takes the edge off long commutes.
Base models come with useful amenities such as automatic LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, and a blind-spot warning system. In back, the Camry Hybrid’s trunk provides 15.1 cu.-ft. of cargo space.
The 208-hp Camry Hybrid treads very lightly at the gas pump, and the EPA estimates mileage of up to 52 mpg in combined driving (up to 51/53 mpg for city/highway). It’s also got the crash-test scores that parents value, earning a perfect 5 stars for overall crash protection from the NHTSA. Pricing starts at $29,070, including the $920 destination charge.
2019 Toyota Prius
Like a smart organism, the Prius keeps evolving to make itself stronger and more competitive in its environment. The latest change concerns all-wheel drive (AWD), which the Prius adds as optional equipment for the 2019 model year. This marks the first time AWD has been offered on Prius vehicles.
Of course, available AWD is just one of the Prius’ many compelling attributes. Though it’s a hatchback, the 2019 Prius delivers SUV-style cargo capacity, providing up to 65.5 cu.-ft. of room with the rear seats lowered. And on the value front, the Prius comes standard with an appealing range of active safety features, including adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection.
Pricing starts at $24,690, including the $920 destination charge. The EPA hasn’t yet rated the 2019 Prius, but Toyota estimates mileage of up to 58/53 mpg (city/highway). In NHTSA testing, the Prius earned a perfect 5 stars for overall crash protection.
The Bottom Line
Kind to both the pocketbook and the environment, hybrids are a smart bet, no matter how you slice them. The models listed above are both highly capable and accessibly priced. Happy green driving!