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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.

Kia Niro Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid - May

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

Though the Niro has been available with these powertrains in overseas markets for quite some time, the version that landing in local showrooms is the updated and facelifted form.

The Hybrid is 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 range of 42km.

Kia Niro

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

Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid - Third quarter

The new-generation Kia Sorento is going plug-in hybrid in the third quarter of 2021, while a 'self-charging' alternative is due in 2022.

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 bolstered its crossover line-up with the new MX-30 that arrived in Australian showrooms from April, with the mild-hybrid powertrain launching ahead of its all-electric sibling.

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 arrived in April.

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

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

Toyota Kluger Hybrid - June

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

Launched in June, the Kluger uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors to produce 179kW/237Nm.

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

BMW X3 xDrive30e - Fourth quarter

BMW will rollout its X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2021, in line with an update to its mid-size SUV range.

A new front grille, revised headlights and updated wheels headline the exterior changes to the new X3, while the cabin is fitted with a digital instrument cluster and BMW's iDrive 7 multimedia system.

Powering the xDrive30e is a 215kW/420Nm petrol-electric powertrain, while its 12.0kWh battery will serve up about 50km of tailpipe-emissions-free driving.


Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Lexus NX Hybrid - November

Not content to let Toyota hog all the hybrid glory, the new-generation Lexus NX will land in November 2021 to appeal to those with deeper pockets and more premium tastes.

Don't expect a RAV4 clone, though, as the second NX differs slightly from its cousin car in a number of key areas that should translate to better dynamics and a quieter ride.

Petrol-electric hybrid variants are expected to be the best-sellers here, but don't count out the plug-in hybrid flagship arriving in Australia at a later date.