Hybrid market saturation is slowly starting to take shape, as such, there are many hybrids out there, and some of them are better than others. As much as almost 12 years ago now, the Chevy Volt became the very first production Plug-in hybrid in the US, and up until 2019, as much as 5.4 million hybrids have been sold.
Currently, 400 miles on a single is considered impressive for an EV, but a hybrid can go way past that. That being said, the Kia Optima Hybrid is rated for 713 miles while the Hyundai Ioniq Blue Edition which can go as far as 700 miles.
Behind the 700 mile club, trails the Toyota Camry Hybrid LE with a maximum of 689 miles while its Prius Eco brother is rated for 655 miles. The Chevy Malibu Hybrid is rated for 637 miles and the SUV with the longest range title goes to the Kia Niro FE which can do 618.8 miles.
It’s worth mentioning that these range estimates are mostly associated with city driving because hybrid cars tend to suffer on the highway. If you are wondering which hybrid has the longer Electric range, it’s the BMW i3 with a 153-mile range while the second-place Honda Clarity can do just 47 miles.
Kia Optima Hybrid
The Kia Optima Hybrid has only average hybrid EPA ratings with 39MPG in the city, 45MPG on the highway, and 41mpg combined, but where the Optima takes it is the 16-gallon fuel tank. Besides efficiency, the Optima offers several desirable comforts and luxury features for an affordable price.
Android Auto, Apple Car Play, a rearview camera, and a 7-inch touchscreen are available as standard while you are able to choose loads of additional equipment. Space is gracious both passenger-wise and cargo-wise, and the Optima also looks the part.
Honda Ioniq Blue Edition
The Hyundai Ioniq Blue is one of the most affordable hybrids on the market. While only offering a 12-gallon tank, the Ioniq offers 57MPG in the city, 59MPG on the highway, and 58MPG combined which enable the Ioniq to become the most efficient hybrid hatchback out of the entire IONIQ family.
The Ioniq Blue costs about $23k and it comes standard with dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, keyless go, and High Def radio. The Ioniq is a perfect hybrid for someone who wants a great city runaround for not all that much money.
Toyota Camry Hybrid LE
The Honda Camry Hybrid LE is one of the best hybrid cars for long-distance driving. With a 51MPG city rating, 53MPG highway rating, and 52MPG combined, the Camry LE is good for around 689 miles which makes it the best long-distance car Toyota currently makes.
If you pair that with standard safety packages that bundle features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane-keeping, pedestrian detection, and much more, the Camry is a great family sedan with an equally impressive long-distance pedigree.
Toyota Prius ECO
It’s impossible to talk about efficiency without mentioning the Toyota Prius. Even though the Prius is no longer the most efficient car in the US, it still earns a top-5 spot in almost every efficiency category. With a maximum of 58MPG and an 11.3-gallon gas tank, the Prius ECO is good for 655 miles.
The Toyota Prius is a car known to everybody for its reliability, efficiency, and boringness. So if that is something you are into, be sure to check out the Prius Eco.
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is one of the best US-made cars for long-distance driving because the Malibu Hybrid is estimated at 637 miles of range. The EPA ratings are 49MPG city, 43MPG highway, and 46MPG combined which make the Malibu a decent contender. You also have to consider the 13-gallon fuel tank though.
Besides efficiency galore, the Malibu is just like every other Chevy Malibu out there. That means that it comes standard with lots of useful equipment such as Android Auto, Apple Car Play, Wifi-Hotspot, and a newly redesigned 8-inch infotainment widescreen. As far as looks are concerned, the Malibu looks better than pretty much every other car on this list.
Are hybrids good for long-distance driving?
Hybrids are not good for long-distance driving because they offer smaller electric engines which should in theory take the strain of the combustion engine. However, a smaller electric engine is unable to propel a decently sized car for any amount of time of constant highway driving.
This means that the majority of the load is going to be on the combustion engine which will sacrifice efficiency. Furthermore, regen braking is virtually useless on highway driving, so is the electric-only mode too.
How to increase the range of a hybrid car?
In order to maximize the range of a hybrid vehicle, you have to drive smoothly at constant rates without hitting speeds above 60mph. You ought to maximize regen braking which means that you should engage the most aggressive regen braking mode and try to avoid using friction brakes if you are safe to do so.
Furthermore, you should use the A/C conservatively and try to keep the windows closed. Be sure to not overpack the car as increased weight is hard on efficiency. Replace your tires at the recommended intervals to achieve the best friction. Most importantly, be kind to your battery as battery degradation over time is extremely relevant.
Can you tune a hybrid car?
A hybrid car can indeed be tuned to offer more power, but this process requires a bit more delicacy and dedication. If you want to increase the power of a well-used, higher-mileage hybrid, the best thing to do would be to replace the batteries because batteries tend to degrade over time.
The electric motor itself can also be tuned, but this is not advisable as it can mess up the hybrid system if not done correctly. The easiest and least harmful way of tuning a hybrid is to tune the engine or to install a different remap on the ECU, but this will hinder efficiency.