10 Best Used Hybrids and Electric Cars Under $20,000
Buying a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric vehicle is a great way to save money at the pump. Hybrids let you go a lot further before having to stop for gas, and EVs let you skip the gas station altogether. They have been a reliable, well-established part of the automotive world since the early 2000s, which means there are plenty of choices out there for buyers who are looking at a used model. If you do your homework – we recommend you start with our Top 5 Tips for Buying a Used Electric Car – you can find a reliable used fuel sipper – or fuel skipper -- that’s within your budget. Here are 10 standouts you can buy for less than $20,000.
Hyundai’s first foray into the dedicated hybrid market, the Ioniq is one of the most fuel-efficient hybrids on the market, and it offers more passenger and cargo volume than the Prius.
Fuel economy: 58 mpg combined (57 city/59 highway)
Total range: 690 miles
The entry-level Lexus combines style and practicality in a good-looking package. Built on the same reliable foundation as the Toyota Prius, the CT 200h is a stylish and sporty hatchback with the added appeal of Lexus luxury.
Fuel economy: 42 mpg combined (43 city/40 highway)
Total range: 500 miles
This model year marks the start of the second-generation of the Volt, Chevrolet’s excellent plug-in hybrid. The 2016 model is more efficient, more practical, and better outfitted than its predecessor, and offers room for five people, as well as 420 miles of range.
First 53 miles: 106 MPGe combined
Next 367 miles: 42 mpg combined
Total range: 420 miles
Those who are looking for Prius-like efficiency and reliability but want more room for gear should look at the Prius V. It has more cargo volume than any other Prius and some small SUVs, making it an appealing choice for families and those with active lifestyles.
Fuel economy: 41 mpg combined (43 city/39 highway)
Total range: 488 miles
From our Nissan Leaf Expert Review: “If you drive less than 100 miles a day and want an electric vehicle (EV) at a mainstream price, the Nissan Leaf is about as mainstream as it gets for battery-powered cars. As the first major EV, it's also a known quantity.” Driving the Leaf can be a lot of fun, too, as there’s a lot of torque which makes this Nissan quick off the line.
Fuel economy: 112 MPGe combined (124 city/101 highway)
Total range: 107 miles
Lexus' best-selling sedan is just as comfortable and luxurious when equipped with fuel-efficient hybrid power. And as we explained in the ES Expert Review, “EPA estimates often fall short of real-world experience, but the 2015 Lexus ES 300h is an exception. Its 40-mpg combined average is easily attainable in day-to-day use, without even trying.”
Fuel economy: 40 mpg combined (39 city/40 highway)
Total range: 688 miles
The Honda Accord, a four-time KBB Midsize Sedan Best Buy winner, provides the strong foundation for the Hybrid model. The Accord Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan on this list. In addition to its highly efficient, well-integrated hybrid powertrain, the Accord Hybrid delivers all the comfort, convenience and excellent resale value of its more established sibling.
Fuel economy: 47 mpg combined (49 city/45 highway)
Total range: 743 miles
Ford's C-Max Hybrid combines standout fuel efficiency with hatchback practicality and a healthy dose of fun-to-drive personality. It isn't as efficient as its closest competitor, the Toyota Prius, but it does have more power.
Fuel economy: 40 mpg combined (42 city/38 highway)
Total range: 540 miles
Toyota started with its highly popular sedan and added 40-mpg fuel economy, to make this one of the most comfortable, roomiest ways to save money on gas. The Camry Hybrid is available in several flavors, including the most efficient LE model, and the sport-tuned SE and top-of-the-line XLE, which are still efficient, but cost a little more and lose one mpg of fuel economy.
Fuel economy (LE): 40 mpg combined (42 city/38 highway)
Total range: 680 miles
The Prius has been on the market for nearly 20 years. In that time, the competition has gotten stiffer, but the proven Prius remains king of the hybrids. If city/highway combined fuel economy of 52 mpg isn’t quite enough for you, the 2016 Prius is available in an Eco version that delivers 56 mpg combined. The refined, reliable Prius is also surprisingly agile, and as we explained in our Expert Review, “ride quality is smooth, and Toyota’s efforts at noise reduction have paid off in an exceptionally quiet interior.”
Fuel economy: 52 mpg combined (54 city/50 highway)
Total range: 588 miles