Best hybrid estate cars 2022

Best hybrid estate cars 2022
Before the arrival of SUVs, estate cars were the hardworking carry-alls used by families and professional drivers to maximise space for people, luggage – or both. 

High-riding SUVs may be more popular now, but if you want load-it-to-the-gunnels practicality, there are still a surprising number of excellent estate cars to choose from. 

Nearly all modern estates embrace hybrid power, too – either ‘self-charging’ technology that charges the battery as you drive, or plug-in powertrains that allow all-electric running, but have to be recharged from an electricity supply.

Here are our top choices of hybrid estate cars, including vehicles from BMW, Toyota, Peugeot, and Volkswagen. 

Family hybrid estate cars

Peugeot 308 SW Hybrid

The latest generation Peugeot 308 SW is as handsome as its hatchback sibling, with distinctive lines and edgy styling. However, it has an additional 187 litres of space – 548 litres in total – behind its rear seats. 

The interior of the 308 SW is just as striking as its exterior, and features Peugeot’s distinctive i-Cockpit with a 10-inch customisable digital driver’s display, plus a central high-definition touchscreen of the same size.

There are two plug-in hybrid powertrains to choose from. Both 180PS and 225PS models combine an 81kW electric motor with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, a 12.4kWh battery and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. You can expect up to 37 miles of all-electric range.

Read our Peugeot 308 SW review

SEAT Leon Estate e-Hybrid

If you’re after a family hybrid estate car with a hint of sportiness, the SEAT Leon Estate e-Hybrid could fit the bill. A plug-in hybrid, it is available in sporty FR guise, but there are also a pair of range-topping models offering more luxury and equipment.

Although its svelte lines and rakishly angled tailgate mean, at 470 litres, the SEAT has less luggage space than some rivals, its cabin features plenty of technology as standard, including a wireless smartphone charger. 

The powertrain of the SEAT Leon Estate e-Hybrid uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor and a 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery. Total output is 204PS and the pure electric range is up to 40 miles.

Read our SEAT Leon Estate review

Skoda Octavia Estate vRS iV

If you want a peppy plug-in hybrid estate car, the Skoda Octavia vRS iV might be for you. The sportiest Octavia hybrid, the vRS iV (‘iV’ denotes Skoda’s plug-in tech) has a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine.

Connected to an 85kW electric motor and a 13kWh battery, all-electric range is up to 39 miles, but there’s also 245PS and 400Nm of torque, which sees the Octavia vRS iV reach 62mph from rest in 7.3 seconds. Top speed is 139mph. 

Slightly larger than its SEAT Leon Estate cousin, the Octavia Estate vRS iV has 490 litres of space for all the family’s bits and pieces. This grows to 1,555 litres when the back seats are either removed or folded down.

Read our Skoda Octavia Estate review

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid

Toyota kicked off the hybrid revolution when it launched the original Prius more than 20 years ago. The petrol-electric technology has filtered down to all its models now, and the latest Corolla family gains hybrid powertrains as standard. 

The estate version of the Corolla has a rather fancier name. Toyota calls it the Touring Sports, and it admirably manages to retain the sharp styling of the 12-generation Corolla, but wrapped in a more practical package. 

A ‘self-charging’ hybrid estate car rather than one you plug-in, the Corolla’s battery is charged by the engine and through regenerative braking technology, which feeds energy back into the battery. Other bonuses include a 598-litre boot and a choice of 122PS or 183PS hybrid engines. 

Read our Toyota Corolla Touring Sports review

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Hybrid-e

Vauxhall calls its Astra estate the Sports Tourer, and with the latest generation comes the Hybrid-e version. A plug-in hybrid estate car, the 180PS Astra uses a similar powertrain to the Peugeot 308 SW e-Hybrid.

A 1.6-litre petrol engine is mated to an 81kW electric motor and a 12.4kWh battery, offering an all-electric range of up to 42 miles. Additional efficiency aids include an iBooster energy recovery system that recaptures power usually lost while braking and decelerating. It also works when you are coasting. 

The 2022 Astra Sports Tourer is the most stylish Astra wagon yet, adopting the same ‘Vizor’ face as its hatchback sibling, as well as Vauxhall’s ‘Pure Panel’ digital screen interior. With the back seats up, you’ll find 548 litres of luggage space.

Read our Vauxhall Astra Hybrid-e review

Premium hybrid estate cars

BMW 330e

The BMW 3 Series Touring has been a core member of the premium estate car club for more than three decades. And the powerful 330e is the plug-in hybrid version. 

Packing 292PS from its 2.0-litre petrol engine, 84kW electric motor and 12kWh battery, the 330e is available with rear-wheel drive or, for added traction and security, BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system. 

As per BMW tradition, the 330e Touring is sharp to drive, and can get to 62mph in around six seconds. There are 500 litres of luggage space and up to 35 miles of electric range. Inside, the latest 330e features a BMW Curved Display, which merges the 12.3-inch and 14.9-inch digital screens into one unit.

Read our BMW 330e review

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate C 300 e

Cars wearing the three-pointed star have always had a luxurious feel, and even though the C-Class is the smallest estate car Mercedes-Benz makes, it doesn’t fall short on equipment, comfort, or luxury.

A rakish rear window does mean the C 300 e’s boot only holds 390 litres of luggage with the back seats up. But elsewhere in the interior, you’ll be wowed by the 12.3-inch digital instrument display and the central 11.9-inch high-resolution touchscreen.

A plug-in hybrid, the 204PS 2.0-litre petrol engine is connected to a 95kW electric motor and a 25.4kWh battery. Total power output is 313PS, with up to 65 miles of all-electric range. If you want more style, Mercedes-Benz also offers a CLA Shooting Brake plug-in hybrid.

Read our Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate review

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Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate

Before the arrival of its ID series of electric models, Volkswagen made a mark for itself with its electrified GTE family of cars. These combine a petrol engine with plug-in hybrid technology for almost GTI-like levels of performance.

The Passat GTE Estate’s 13kWh battery, 85kW electric motor and 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine give it an overall power output of 218PS, as well as an electric range of up to 37 miles. Recharging the battery takes less than four hours on a 7.4kW home wallbox.

Its no-nonsense boxy shape means the Passat GTE Estate can carry 483 litres of stuff, but it’s not all so sensible. Press the car’s ‘GTE’ button and the engine and electric motor work together to produce maximum power and torque. There’s even a sportier exhaust sound.

Read our Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate review

Volvo V60 Recharge

Past estate cars from Swedish car maker Volvo were boxy with little style. How things have changed. The latest batch of Volvo load-luggers owe little to their predecessors, with sleek lines and the newest interior and powertrain technology.

They’re all hybrids, too. The V60 Recharge is the smallest, but even that has 519 litres of space within its classy looking rear. With an impressive 350PS, the V60 Recharge uses plug-in technology for its 18.8kWh battery, which provides up to 54 miles of electric range. 

Inside, there are high quality materials – including a crystal gear shifter – and a 9.0-inch portrait-oriented colour touchscreen with Google services built in. These include Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play apps. 

Read our Volvo V60 Recharge review

Performance hybrid estate cars

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo 4 E-Hybrid 

OK, we might be pushing it with this one. However, a 418-litre boot capacity does mean the Panamera Sport Turismo 4 E-Hybrid offers more luggage space than the Porsche Panamera saloon (not much, admittedly), which can be accessed via a practical hatchback. 

Its ‘4+1’ seating arrangement allows it to carry one more passenger than a regular Panamera, too – although this will only be for shorter distances, as the seat isn’t full-sized. 

Despite its nods to practicality, the Panamera Sport Turismo 4 E-Hybrid is very much a Porsche. Sports car performance comes from a choice of 462, 560 and 700PS models, the latter completing the 0-62mph dash in a scorching 3.2 seconds. There is also the option to travel up to 34 miles on electric power alone.

Read our Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo review.

The RAC is leading the way when it comes to supporting drivers in the switch to electric vehicles.

A growing number of our patrol vans have built-in emergency mobile charging systems that can give an out-of-charge electric car enough power to be driven a short distance home or to a working charge point.

Find out more about RAC EV Boost.​

Our All-Wheels-Up recovery system also allows our patrols to rescue electric cars safely with no need for a flatbed. Find out more about RAC Electric Car Breakdown Cover.

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