Best Hybrids & Electric Cars For 2021

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - February 10, 2021

In case you haven’t heard the news: hybrids and electrics are the future. More and more brands are jumping on the alternative-power bandwagon as electrified powertrains go mainstream. This is good news for buyers — charging infrastructure is improving, EV range keeps expanding, and models are growing more polished and diverse.

In addition to plug-in incentives and rebates, it also means that there are more choices than ever. These are our picks for the best hybrids & electric cars you can buy in 2021.

Best Electric Car: Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford Mustang Mach-E

Why it's a top pick: "Mustang" is not a nameplate that calls efficiency to mind, but Ford’s bold reincarnation of the iconic badge works better than you might expect.

It looks sharp, and it’s more comfortable and capacious than any Mustang of yore. EV competition is fierce, but the Mach-E is a decent value against established rivals. And yes — it’s still exciting to drive.

Worth knowing: The Mach-E hasn’t turned its back on the Mustang’s muscle-car heritage. The upcoming GT trim makes 480 horsepower and 634 pound-feet of torque, and it’s nearly as fast as the outgoing Shelby GT500.

Honorable mentions: Polestar 2, Tesla Model S

Best Hybrid Car: Honda Accord Hybrid
2021 Honda Accord Hybrid

Why it's a top pick: The Accord Hybrid improves on an already excellent formula. The Accord is a class leader for comfort and space, and the hybrid powertrain adds power (212 hp) while making it an efficient all-star (48 mpg combined).

Worth knowing: The base trim is a better value than ever, thanks to a newly-standard infotainment system. If you like a more luxurious ride, the EX-L trim is outfitted with leather upholstery for less than $35,000.

Honorable mentions: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Best Hybrid SUV: Toyota Venza
2021 Toyota Venza

Why it's a top pick: Think of the Venza as the RAV4’s preppy cousin. It shares the same crossover practicality but swaps the RAV4’s ruggedness for a suave exterior and an upscale cabin. 39 mpg combined is excellent for the class, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive.

Worth knowing: Though it shares most of its powertrain with the RAV4 Hybrid, the Venza gets a battery upgrade to modern lithium-ion cells. The base LE trim is the best value.

Honorable mentions: Honda CR-V Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid

Best Plug-In Hybrid: Toyota RAV4 Prime
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Why it's a top pick: The RAV4 was already a remarkably capable car, and the RAV4 Prime improves on it in almost every way. The plug-in powertrain offers the best of both worlds — it has 42 miles of electric range, but there's no need to worry about charging stations on road trips.

Worth knowing: The RAV4 Prime’s engine and electric motors combine for more than 300 horsepower. Short of the two-seater Supra, it’s the fastest model that Toyota sells.

Honorable mentions: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

, Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


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