Used Cars: The Most Satisfying 10-Year-Old Hybrids

Gas-electric hybrids have been around for a while, so there are plenty of used ones that we love

2012 Toyota Prius driving Photo: Toyota

Hybrids have been popular for more than a decade now, which means you’re likely to find plenty of older ones for sale among used-car listings—both dedicated hybrids like the Toyota Prius and hybrid versions of mainstream sedans and SUVs. Great fuel economy is their most notable feature, but hybrids come in many different varieties. They tend to offer trouble-free ownership and the versatility that comes from not having to plug in and charge batteries. 

Consumer Reports always recommends getting the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible, and hybrids usually get better gas mileage than similar gasoline-only models. As recent gas prices show, fluctuations in what you have to pay at the pump are unpredictable. These spikes make hybrids and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) attractive. The smarter investment is buying a used hybrid, and the best deals can be found among older models.

More on Car Buying

Hybrids use an electric drive that augments the gas engine. They can glide on electric power at low speeds, and they typically yield phenomenal fuel economy. Unlike plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, hybrids don’t need to be charged, so there’s no need to change your routine. The hybrid battery gets charged by the gasoline engine, as well as regeneration from coasting and braking.

To help guide members in their selection, we balance our own extensive testing with surveys in which we ask members to share their experiences with their cars. Many cars beguile when new, but will they hold that charm after several years of ownership? Reliability, comfort, and ease of use of the controls play a big role in how someone regards a car over time.

We combed through our data to find the 2012 models most people said they would buy again, including models in the small, midsized, and large sedan and SUV categories. We picked models known for strong reliability and fuel economy—those that are the most likely to provide years of relatively trouble-free service.

All of these models carry our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the list below is available to you. CR members also have full access to the results of our Annual Auto Surveys; first-drive reviews of the newest cars, SUVs, and trucks; our full road-test results; and exclusive ratings for each vehicle we buy and test.

If you’re not a CR member, click below to become one to access the list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.