Looking to get into hybrid vehicles? Check out these used hybrid cars and SUVs.

Top 10 Hybrid Cars of 2016 | CarMax

It’s tough to dispute: hybrid cars and electric vehicles are very popular these days.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, commuters spend nearly an hour in their cars round-trip, on their drives to and from the workplace. Maybe you’re one of these drivers. Maybe you’re looking to “go green” yourself. If so, used hybrids and electric vehicles may be a cost-saving way of getting behind the wheel of one of these cars. In our 2017 survey of hybrid and EV drivers, participants noted that cost-savings was a key reason to buy. And, more drivers are choosing hybrid cars than ever before.

Hybrid and electric car technology is improving every year, and more drivers want to know what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle. Hybrid vehicles can really help you get more miles per gallon — and pay less for fuel — during your drives!

One of our sales consultants in Nashville, TN explained why his customers look at hybrid vehicles. “They want a vehicle that’s comfortable and gives them great gas mileage on their commutes or road trips,” he notes. “Many of my customers say they prefer the peace of mind a hybrid vehicle provides when compared to an all-electric, battery-only vehicle. A hybrid gives you both — a small gas engine and an electric motor.” They also want a good amount of interior space and plenty of optional features, he told us.

If you’re considering a used hybrid car for sale, we recommend starting your search with these 10, CarMax recommended options (in random order). 


Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Toyota Avalon Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 54 City & 50 HWY (2016 Prius Two)**
Drivetrains: FWD 
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 1.8L Four-Cylinder Hybrid CVT Automatic
Horsepower: 185 HP
Average Price: $17,506*

The Prius plug-in is one of four Toyotas on this list. That’s a lot of Toyotas! Each offers varied experiences to different customers, but the 2016 Toyota Prius 2 Plug-In Hybrid leads the fuel economy list—it is estimated to give drivers 50 mpg in city and 54 mpg in highway driving.**  This particular Prius doesn’t depend solely on a gas engine for recharging its batteries; it can be plugged into a regular 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt Level 2 charger to top off its battery. Level 2 chargers are available from a variety of companies and are designed to dramatically reduce the charge time.

The 2016 and new models of the Prius plug-ins feature LED headlights and remotely-operated AC (handy on those really hot days when you have a lot of parking lot to cross with all your groceries). This hatchback model has an extra-roomy interior, and it gives a comfortable ride without an extravagance of gadgetry or over-the-top luxury design. 

Our sales consultant says the Prius Plug-in is popular with customers because it doesn’t depend on the gas engine to recharge the battery. “It’s the perfect mix of fuel economy and the ability to plug in,” he says, “and the sweeping rear hatchback silhouette gives drivers lots of rear visibility and a large amount of cargo space.”

One of our senior hybrid buyers in Salt Lake City singles out the Prius because of the nifty interior cooling feature on some models. When the interior temperature rises above 68 degrees, exterior air is pulled into the cabin to cool things down; this ventilation operation is managed by a solar array on the car’s roof. Many customers seek out this feature, he says, which works automatically as long as it’s switched on in the cabin. 


Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Toyota Avalon Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 40 City & 39 HWY (2016 Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus)**
Drivetrains: FWD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 2.5L Four-Cylinder Hybrid CVT Automatic
Horsepower: 200 HP
Average Price: $24,254

Hybrids are famous for their smooth, quiet rides, and the Avalon delivers overall. Its continuously variable transmission (CVT), available in other Toyotas, changes gears quietly and eliminates traditional gearboxes’ jumpy shifting. Its engine is a bit buzzy on acceleration, but this helps keep some of the Avalon’s original character intact. Regardless, the 2017 Avalon has an updated interior that’s upscale and roomy with features that include front and rear seat heat and a large, prominent navigation screen. For a full-sized sedan, with seating for five and ample luggage space, the Avalon hybrid delivers an impressive combined mileage of up to 40 mpg. 


Ford Escape Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Ford Escape Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 34 City & 31 HWY**
Drivetrains: FWD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 2.5L Four-Cylinder CVT Automatic
Horsepower: 177 HP
Average Price: $14,384

The last Ford Escape hybrid came out in 2012, and the vehicle is still known for excellent fuel economy in an SUV package. Like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (see below), it is very spacious inside and although it’s not as powerful an SUV (performance is traded for a combined fuel economy of 32 mpg**), the Escape exceeds most expectations for a vehicle that weighs 3,600 pounds. Chrome detailing inside creates an elegance that’s not expected in a hybrid SUV, and the feature-packed cabin surprises further with standard, yet innovative features like an audible sync system that lets passengers control their cell phones and audio with voice commands.


Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Toyota Highlander Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 27 City & 28 HWY (2016 Highlander Hybrid Limited)**
Drivetrains: AWD
Seating: 7
Engine & Transmission: 3.5L V6 Hybrid CVT Automatic
Horsepower: 280 HP
Average Price: $30,740

The all-wheel drive Highlander Hybridis a good-sized SUV, with a strong V6 of nearly 300 hp that moves up to seven passengers in comfort. This Toyota exceeds standards of comfort and roomy accommodation, with the all-wheel drive option, drivers experience additional possibilities for enjoying on- and off-the-road driving. The Toyota Highlander checks lots of boxes on the family vehicle checklist, with upgraded handling and elegant interior and exterior design. Of course, it’s tough for a vehicle of this size to compete with the hyper-economical 40 mpg numbers that compact hybrids deliver; on the other hand, most of these same compacts can’t compete with the Highlander’s storage capacity and on- and off-road capability. Most hybrids can’t tow up to 1,000 pounds, either, like this Highlander can.

Our Highlander Hybrid purchaser points out that hybrid SUVs like the Highlander Hybrid do a good job of keeping cargo space similar to the gas-engined counterparts. “While the hybrid components don’t take up that much space, they can give you another handful of miles per gallon, depending on how you drive.

“Owning a hybrid SUV like the Highlander makes sense for drivers with families who want to go green,” he says, “and who are passionate enough to want to be seen as early adopters of the platform.”


Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Lincoln MKZ Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 41 City & 39 HWY (2016 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid)**
Drivetrains: FWD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 2.0L Four-Cylinder Hybrid CVT Automatic
Horsepower: 188 HP
Average Price: $21,690

The Lincoln MKZ is all about elegance and style. Note its sophisticated lines and distinctive body touches like the futuristic grille and integrated twin exhaust; the MKZ has Lincoln’s signature looks in spades. Add to this the fact that it’s a hybrid, and you’ve got a distinctly unique vehicle. Newer models (since 2014) and trim levels offer a sophisticated look, with power-assisted trunk lid, lots of front and rear legroom, and both front- and rear-seat heat for up to five passengers. Lots of goodies are here in the MKZ, including an impressive 41 mpg in city driving.**

The MKZ is a standout with hybrid customers because it’s probably the most luxurious hybrid on this list. “This is the hybrid for drivers who want great gas mileage and options like a power liftgate, leather, cooled front seats, and a sunroof,” our sales consultant says. “The sleek, stylish looks don’t hurt, either.”



Kia Optima Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Kia Optima Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 36 City & 40 HWY (2015 Optima Hybrid LX)
Drivetrains: FWD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 2.4L Four-Cylinder Hybrid 6-Speed Automatic
Horsepower: 199 HP
Average Price: $16,742

Drivers who spend lots of time behind the wheel should consider the Optima hybrid; its mix of lower sticker price and strong fuel economy** make it a great choice for the budget-conscious commuter. CarMax customers love the Optima’s interior roominess and comfortable, and its acceleration gets high grades too. Interesting features include a backup camera, push-button start, panoramic sunroof, and front seats that circulate air to help keep passengers cool. Our 2013 models and beyond offer oversized alloy wheels and sleek design, the Optima hybrid delivers great looks along with its 35 city/38 highway mpg.

One of our sales consultants singled out the Optima Hybrid for its sportiness. “It’s got a lot of power under the hood when compared to other hybrids,” he says. “Customers praise this Optima because it doesn’t feel like a hybrid when it comes to performance and road manners.”


Ford Fusion Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Ford Fusion Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 43 City & 39 HWY (2016 Fusion Hybrid S)**
Drivetrains: FWD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 2.0L Four-Cylinder Hybrid CVT Automatic
Horsepower: 188 HP
Average Price: $17,831 (includes the Fusion Energi and Fusion Hybrid)

Ford’s hybrid Fusion has the kind of performance that makes it a very capable competitor in the hybrid market. With a four-cylinder engine that’s capable of 188 hp, the Fusion is powerful—and with the electric motor in play, it’s capable of very impressive fuel economy.** This American manufacturer maintains the Fusion’s famous boxy hood and sleek exterior, making it one of the more stylish vehicles in its class. Newer models (since 2016) are fitted with a completely new grille and headlights that add to its upscale look.


Honda Civic Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Honda Civic Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 44 City & 47 HWY (2015 Civic Hybrid)**
Drivetrains: FWD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 1.5L Four-Cylinder Hybrid CVT Automatic
Horsepower: 110 HP
Average Price: $14,678

The Honda Civic comes in many variants and offers lots of features, making it a versatile and customizable option for people who want to drive a car that caters to their individual tastes. The Civic hybrid does not offer the space and expansive storage capacity of some other hybrids; however, our 2015 models deliver up to 44 city/47 highway mpg** with mixed gas and electric driving—quite miserly for a non-plug-in vehicle. The fuel economy makes the Civic hybrid a strong choice for environmentalists and thrifty money savers alike. It trades its limited interior space for an elegant, coupe-like exterior design that gives a luxurious feel. 


Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 36 City & 40 HWY (2015 Sonata Hybrid Limited)**
Drivetrains: FWD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 2.0L Four-Cylinder Hybrid & 6-Speed Automatic
Horsepower: 193 HP
Average Price: $16,579

Hyundai continues to challenge competitors with its hybrid Sonata, which offers drivers an impressive estimated 36 city/40 highway mpg.** Unlike the all-gas compact sedan, the Sonata’s interior is spacious; it’s also kitted out with comfortable leather seats and new technological features like an updated audio system that keeps passengers entertained with high-quality tunes for the road and a crisp, seven-inch touchscreen monitor that now comes standard.


Toyota Camry Hybrid

Research or Buy a Used Toyota Camry Hybrid | CarMax

Fuel Economy: 42 City & 38 HWY (2016 Camry Hybrid LE)**
Drivetrains: 2WD
Seating: 5
Engine & Transmission: 2.5L Four-Cylinder & 6-speed ECT-i
Horsepower: 200 HP
Average Price: $17,247

Hybrid vehicles’ impressive fuel economy doesn’t pack the same “wow factor” punch that it had several years ago, but occasionally a vehicle exceeds consumers’ expectations. One such car is the Toyota Camry hybrid, a nearly silent, 38 highway/42 city mpg** vehicle with 200 horsepower. The Camry’s ample storage capacity and smooth driving characteristics set it apart from previous models. The Toyota excels in the style department, too; the Camry’s sleek design and polished features create a luxury feel that is only just being introduced in cars of its class. 


*Prices reflect average price of vehicles available on CarMax lots on August 2, 2017.

**Range and mileage are based on EPA estimates for vehicles when sold as new. Range will vary based on, among other things, battery age, vehicle condition, and driving conditions. Battery range may decrease with time and use. See store for details.

Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third party sources, including manufacturer information.  Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.