5 Chevy Malibu Hybrid (26 City / 24 Highway) – Average Price: $22,000-25,000
The Chevy Malibu Hybrid ceased being manufactured in 2009 but you can still find them on the lots if you are lucky. While the price listed is what you could have purchased a Malibu Hybrid for new, we’ve seen used ones on sale for far, far less. The Malibu may be the cheapest hybrid you can find but it’s also not too exciting and underpowered. In fact, getting behind the wheel of one makes you realize why they didn’t continue production on these cars. However if you want a cheap hybrid, you’re in luck — though you may find a used Insight or Prius for just a bit more and much, much higher MPGs.
4 Honda Insight (41 City / 44 Highway) – Average Price: $19,000-24,000
Affordable, dependable, and complete with high MPGs, the Honda Insight is a pretty awesome car for the cash. The Insight brings consumers one of the cheapest Hybrids money can buy so it’s really made for those looking to save pennies on both overall price and gas. Of course, with such a low price tag you will suffer a seemingly cheap feeling interior and some cramped cabin space, not to forget an engine that feels like a typical underpowered hybrid machine. Not to worry though, because overall you won’t feel ripped off, because the Insight is a great deal for what you are paying.
3 Toyota Prius (51 city/48 highway)- $24,000-30,000
The Prius has had hard competition in these recent years. Even though the era of the Prius as the champions of hybrids wanes, doesn’t mean it’s still not a great, reasonably priced choice. Looking past the typical Prius design, and the sometimes wonky play between engine and driver input (which has gotten better over the years since the first generation of Prius), this car still offers plenty of passenger space and comfort. The Prius V model takes passenger and cargo space even further, if needed. Every generation of Prius gets a little better, and that’s good because competition from the C-Max is going to be rough for Toyota in the coming years.
2 Honda CR-Z Hybrid(31 City / 37 Highway) – Average Price: $21,000-25,000
The Honda CR-Z drives like a charm, is quite comfortable all around, and even looks like it drove straight out of a sci-fi film. But all of this comes at a bit lower MPG count than most are looking for in a small hybrid. Still, the Honda CR-Z is sporty and gears itself towards the crowd looking for faster, more fun drive. Another drawback? It only fits two people with small amounts of cargo space. But we still think all this just adds up to a car that is a joy to drive —and that’s hard to find a hybrid with such low pricing.
1 Ford C-Max Hybrid (47 City / 47 Highway) – Average Price: $26,000-29,000
Just a little pricier than a Honda Insight, the Ford C-Max offers so much more. First things first, Ford has made a hybrid that is not only great on MPGs and easy on the wallet, but has engineered something that is fun to drive too. The C-Max has plenty of pep in it, and has been designed exclusively under Ford’s roof without outsourced pieces of tech from other companies. This all means a better battery (compact air cooled lithium ion) and a 2.0 liter engine along with a Ford transmission all made and assembled right in Michigan. Add in 188 horses and a sleek look andyou can see the future of American hybrids in the C-Max.
The time has come when hybrid vehicles have become affordable even for those looking to keep the cost of their car price tag low. The fierce competition amongst companies has created some pretty stellar choices for smaller, cheaper hybrids that still retain high quality engineering and drivability.