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Best hybrid cars arriving in 2021

The Kia Sorento PHEV is due to land in Australian showrooms in the third quarter of the year.

There is no doubt electric cars are going to have a big year in 2021, with so many new options available to buyers at seemingly all price points.

For those not quite yet ready to make the leap to a tailpipe emissions-free lifestyle though, there are still plenty of tantalising hybrid options available, including parallel hybrids and plug-in powertrains.

Without long recharge times and range anxiety, a hybrid is arguably a better choice for most Australians, so these are the models you should have on your consideration list.

Ford Escape PHEV - Late 2021

Though the new-generation Ford Escape (known as the Kuga in Europe) mid-size SUV is already on sale in Australia, the plug-in hybrid electric version is not due to land until late 2021.

Combining a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, the front-drive only Escape PHEV produces 167kW, while also boasting an electric-only driving range of around 50km.

Ford Escape

Ford Escape
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid - Second half

Hyundai's significant midlife facelift for the current Sante Fe large SUV is made even more significant by the fact it will be the first iteration of the series to have a hybrid option.

Due in the second half of 2021, the 'self-charging' system pairs a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce a combined 168kW of power and make for a low-emissions seven-seater.

Kia Niro Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid - Second quarter

Not content with the all-electric Niro, Kia Australia will also introduced the Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid versions of its small SUV.

Though the Niro has been available with these powertrains in overseas markets for quite some time, the version landing in local showrooms from the second quarter will be the updated and facelifted form.

The Hybrid will be underpinned by 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor combo producing 108kW/264Nm, while the Plug-In Hybrid sports the same engine with a larger battery and more potent electric motor to deliver an emissions-free driving range of 42km.

Kia Sorento Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid - Third quarter

The new-generation Kia Sorento is going hybrid – twice – in 2021, with a plug-in option and a 'self-charging' powertrain set for the third quarter.

A single grade will be available from launch for both versions of the seven-seat large SUV, although an expanded line-up is on the cards if buyer demand continues to increase.

Kia Sorento

Kia Sorento
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Lexus LS500h - February

If a smooth and silent petrol-electric hybrid powertrain in a large and comfortable executive sedan sounds like the perfect match to you, then Lexus has the answer with its LS500h.

Launched in February, the LS500h uses 3.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor combo for 264kW, which is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission

It doesn't come cheap though, with the LS500h starting at $195,953 before on-road costs for the F Sport, while the Sports Luxury ups pricing to $201,078.

Lexus LS500

Lexus LS500
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Mazda MX-30 M Hybrid – April

Mazda will bolster its crossover line-up with the new MX-30 arriving in Australian showrooms from April, with the mild-hybrid powertrain arriving ahead of the full-electric.

The petrol-powered version uses a 2.0-litre engine and a 24-volt system to keep fuel economy down to 6.4 litres per 100km, while also delivering 114kW/200Nm to the front axle.

The interior is also kitted out in sustainable materials such as cork, recycled plastics and synthetic leather.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV - Third quarter

Not content with leaving its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology to its Outlander mid-size SUV, Mitsubishi will expand its electrified offerings with the updated Eclipse Cross in the third quarter of 2021.

Of course, a plug-in powertrain isn’t the only thing new to the Eclipse Cross, so expect to see reworked styling (taken from the e-Evolution concept of 2017) and updated equipment.

Exact pricing and specifications are still to be locked in, but if Mitsubishi can take advantage of Australia’s hybrid SUV appetite (as evidenced with the Toyota RAV4’s popularity), the new Eclipse Cross could be a runaway success.

Peugeot 3008 PHEV - Third quarter

Peugeot's 3008 mid-size SUV line-up will be bolstered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain option in the third quarter of the year.

Though whether Peugeot Australia takes on either the front- or all-wheel-drive version (or both) is currently unknown.

What we do know is that both will use a 1.6-litre petrol engine, with the former scoring one electric motor and the latter having two.

Peugeot 508 PHEV - Third quarter

No matter whether you choose the liftback or the wagon, you're getting a seriously stunning car.

Not content to have the 3008 SUV have all the limelight, the 508 mid-sizer will also score a plug-in hybrid powertrain later this year.

With a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor sending drive to the front wheels, the 508 PHEV outputs a combined 165kW, sports a 63km all-electric driving range and a fuel economy figure of just 2.1 litres per 100km.

Overseas markets offer this powertrain in both sedan and wagon body styles, so let's hope Peugeot Australia decide to offer both in showrooms.

Peugeot 508

Peugeot 508
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Toyota Camry Hybrid - April

Arguably the poster child for hybrid vehicles in Australia thanks to its ultra-frugal fuel economy figures, handsome styling and practical size, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is due for a refresh in April this year.

Small exterior tweaks denote the facelifted Camry Hybrid, but the 2021 model will be more expensive than before.

That's because it sports more standard gear such as a 9.0-inch multimedia touchscreen (across some grades), more advanced safety systems and a reworked dashboard design.

Toyota Kluger Hybrid - First half

The new-generation Kluger will follow on from the RAV4, C-HR and Yaris Cross as the next Toyota SUV with a hybrid powertrain.

Due to launch around the middle of the year, the Kluger uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors to produce 179kW/237Nm.

Of course, expect to see a raft of advanced safety features included as standard as Toyota puts forward its case for why the Kluger should be your next family hauler.