Cheap hybrid cars are in high demand right now and it’s easy to see why.
With fuel costs and living expenses skyrocketing, many Aussies are looking to dip their toes into the hybrid electric market, saving money and helping to lower emissions while they're at it.
The beauty of hybrid vehicles lies in their combined fuel consumption. This means you can use both electricity and petrol/diesel to get you from A to B. To spare you all the boring details, it’s essentially when the car’s battery-powered electric motor and internal combustion engine work together.
Because these efficient vehicles aren’t powered solely by electricity or petrol, you don’t have to worry how the Australian government is going to cap fuel costs—you can get the best of both worlds with the cheap hybrid cars that have an excellent fuel economy.
So, what is the cheapest hybrid car Australia has to offer?
While the models we’re about to mention are some of the most affordable options, they’re not necessarily the most luxurious or high-performance.
If you’d like to see our overall picks, check out our post on The Best Hybrid Cars In Australia! If an SUV is more your style, our post on the Top Hybrid SUVS in Australia might be more up your alley.
1. Toyota Corolla Hybrid Ascent Sport
Yours from $27,395 plus on road costs.
- Affordable model for those looking to switch to a low-running cost vehicle.
- Sporty and stylish look.
- Excellent fuel efficiency with regenerative braking.
- Boot space leaves a lot to be desired.
The Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport is perhaps the cheapest hybrid on the market. But don’t let the word cheap fool you. This vehicle has been crafted with care.
The Ascent Sport is not only a stylish car, but it’s also a safe one. While you enjoy low running costs or you’re able to comfortably say you’re driving a safe vehicle that looks as good as it drives. The combined fuel efficiency is 3.6L/100KM.
Overall, you’re getting a vehicle that’s ready to get you where you need to be without breaking the bank. The design offered is compact with a five-door hatch. While the boot isn’t massive, it’s a small price to pay for getting such an affordable hybrid vehicle.
2. Toyota Yaris Cross GX Hybrid
Yours from $28,990 plus on road costs.
- Great safety technology including adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.
- Such a popular vehicle services are extremely affordable.
- Excellent entry hybrid price point.
- Doesn’t have LED lights.
The Toyota Yaris Cross GX Hybrid is a unique car for Toyota’s hybrid line. It’s not only the smallest vehicle in their range, but also it’s their first light SUV. With the Yaris Cross GX, you’ve got 3 equipment levels which are GX, GXL, and Urban.
These options are available in all or front-wheel drive. When it comes to power under the hood, you’re looking at a 1.5L three-cylinder engine partnered with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Beyond power, it’s also got style and comfort. It’s roomy inside this vehicle, with the driver having both the chair and steering wheel adjustable. With the Yaris Cross GX Hybrid, you’re getting just about everything you’d need from a car without the high cost of running the vehicle weighing you down.
3. Audi A1 30 TFSI Hybrid
Yours from $33,200 plus on road costs.
- The design of this car is stunning both inside and out.
- Agile handling.
- Dual zone climate control.
- The twin-clutch auto can be a bit jerky.
You’re probably a bit surprised to see an Audi making the list of cheapest hybrid cars in Australia, but it’s true. The A1 30 TFSI Hybrid is a stylish small hatchback that comes at a slight premium, but it’s worth it. The A1 30 TFSI Hybrid offers an agile feel while the car itself is compact with a luxurious interior that Audi’s known for having in their vehicles.
When it comes to fuel efficiency, you’ve got the 1-litre three-cylinder engine with fuel consumption at roughly 5.4L/100KM. Finally, the car offers some world-class technology making this a well-equipped car that offers a full experience. Overall, if you’re looking to drive in style while saving the planet and some money, then consider the Audi A1 30 TFSI Hybrid.
4. Toyota Camry Hybrid Ascent
Yours from $33,490 plus on road costs.
- Comfortable to drive.
- The cabin is spacious.
- Fuel consumption is exceptional.
- A full safety suite is unfortunately reserved for pricier models.
The Toyota Camry Ascent Hybrid has been around since 2017, and while the exterior hasn’t evolved much, the inner workings of this car have. Toyota’s worked hard to improve upon one of its signature vehicles, and we’d argue it’s been a success.
Featuring 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol and electric motor, which together produce 160kW power. The fuel consumption of the Camry Ascent is noteworthy, considering its 4.7L/100km. This is extremely impressive for a hybrid and makes a solid case for why you should take this car seriously when considering hybrid alternatives. Overall, Toyota has done it again with another solid hybrid option, and it’s not even the last one we’re going to mention.
5. Subaru XV Hybrid L AWD
Yours from $33,490 plus on road costs.
- The handling and overall ride quality are great.
- The quality of the cabin and insulation is impressive.
- Won’t find a more competitive AWD price point among hybrids.
- The all electric driving range could be improved upon.
Subaru is also trying to make a name for itself in hybrid cars, and the XV Hybrid L all wheel drive is their entry-level model. First off, this is a stylish SUV. But beyond great exterior looks is a cheap and fuel-efficient vehicle ready to be your on-the-road companion.
The XV Hybrid L AWD is a 2-litre four-cylinder boxer engine and electric motor, which make for a smooth driving experience. Beyond the mechanical parts is a great interior, and ample space. Overall, it’s not the best hybrid model, but it’s still a great offering from Subaru.
6. Toyota RAV4 GX Hybrid
Yours from $36,800 plus on road costs.
- The rear and boot are spacious.
- This car is extremely stylish.
- Great standard features.
- Dated infotainment.
It’s not really a question as to who’s currently winning the hybrid war in Australia - the answer is inarguably, Toyota. The RAV4 GX is yet another testament to the car makers' commitment to variety and affordability in their regular hybrids. The RAV4 GX is a medium-sized SUV and has already earned a reputation for being one of the most popular vehicles in Australia.
It has excellent fuel consumption at 4.7L/100KM, 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine for extra power, and a bigger battery than most hybrids. When it comes to style, this car has it in abundance. With a comfortable interior, great safety features, and a decent infotainment centre, it’s got just about everything it needs. Overall, the RAV4 GX is smooth to ride and easy to enjoy. Best of all, you do it all while driving in style.
7. Subaru Forester Hybrid L
Yours from $ 41,390 plus on road costs.
- Great price for what you’re getting.
- The technology in the car is easy-to-use.
- The Interior is beautiful and spacious.
- Small fuel tank.
When it comes to being a reliable SUV, the Subaru Forester is known for being just that. So when they made a hybrid version, it was sure to be something families wanted for their households. The Forester Hybrid L doesn’t disappoint. It’s a good-looking vehicle with a well-sized and stylish interior.
In terms of driving, the Forester Hybrid L features a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre petrol engine and, of course, an electric motor. While this is a great vehicle, it’s worth mentioning that the engine isn’t perfect. It delivers decent power and is fairly responsive, but it’s not known for being particularly fast - don’t expect a record breaking top speed from this hybrid. But, overall, while imperfect, it’s a great car for the family to enjoy while cruising the city streets.
Ready to drive your new hybrid?
If you’re ready to get behind the wheel of one of these affordable hybrid models, then it’s time to figure out how you’ll finance your new car. Thanks to Driva, you’ve got a ton of options!
With Driva, you’re able to find a green car loan by simply entering your information and your chosen vehicle details into the Driva Dash to get a personalised quote in minutes.
It’s quick and easy and won’t impact your credit score, so what are you waiting for? Get options from over 30 lenders today!
Learn more: How Much To Spend On A Car - A Complete Guide
Are hybrid cars worth it?
This depends on your view of worth it. If you're looking for a way to save money on fuel or potentially looking to lessen your own carbon footprint, then yes. Right now, fully electric vehicles are expensive. While we all want to reduce our impact on the environment, it's difficult to just go out and get a fully-electric car. So, hybrids offer a great alternative due to their relatively reasonable prices.
Will hybrid and plug in hybrid cars get cheaper as electric motors improve?
Yes, of course. As the world continues to shift to a greener existence, we are producing more alternative products to the already massed produced ones. As the production increases to meet the demand, the prices will only get better. On top of the initial price of the vehicle from car makers, we've got more and more tax incentives becoming available to incentivise moving to hybrids and electric cars.
What is the most popular hybrid car in Australia?
As it stands, the most popular hybrid car in Australia is the Toyota Camry. In fact, Toyota is Australia's leader in hybrid car sales overall. It took the car makers 17 years just to get 100,000 of their hybrids on the road, but only a further 3 to achieve the next 100,000! The Camry made up 75,998 of 210,817 hybrid vehicle sales.
Are electric vehicles cheaper to run than a car with a petrol engine?
Yes. The most expensive part of electric motor vehicles is the vehicle's initial cost. The reason why electric motors are cheaper is due to the cost of electricity versus petrol. Over the last few years, we've seen the effects of production shortages, demand increases, petro-nation conflicts, and shipping constraints, which have resulted in the price of petrol exceeding acceptable levels. While governments can better control the cost of electricity, they've got little control when it comes to the price of oil.
What is an internal combustion engine?
Internal combustion engines (ICE) operate when fuel ignition and combustion occur within the engine to burn that fuel, allowing the vehicle to travel. Engines consist of a moving piston and a fixed cylinder to convert energy. The traditional car engine is an internal combustion engine.
What is the difference between a hybrid car and a plug in hybrid car?
A plug-in hybrid is different to hybrid vehicles in the sense that the electric battery power is the primary power source for a car. When the battery pack runs out in plug in hybrids, the petrol engines kick in and take over. In a full hybrid however, the battery only gives the car power when cruising at slow speeds - the moment you go on a freeway for example, the petrol engine will take over.