Opting for a hybrid car may seem like a leap into the unknown, but integrating electric motors into a car can have profound benefits for fuel economy and performance – often in the same package.

Here are 10 of AutoeBid’s favourite hybrid cars for 2014, with most segments covered. Whether you’re looking for a frugal city runabout or a long-range cruiser with zero emissions capability, using our unique reverse dealer auction model can help you save costs on buying a new car as well as running it.

Toyota Prius


A new, fifth-generation Toyota Prius is expected late this year or at some point during 2015, but until then the current model warrants a considered look.

The iconic hatchback offers outstanding fuel economy – rated at 72.4mpg combined – and low carbon dioxide emissions of 89g/km in a practical, safe and reliable package. A list price of £21,995 may seem high, but payback is swift as the Toyota is one of the cheapest cars to run.

Vauxhall Ampera


A criminally under-rated car, the Vauxhall Ampera is one of the cleverest on the road. By using a large lithium-ion battery and a small petrol engine as a generator, it can manage nearly 40 miles range on electricity alone but has an overall autonomy of 300 miles. And how does 235.4mpg sound?

The only thing that has prevented the Ampera from being a hit is its price tag of £28,750 – even so, General Motors loses money on every example sold. Find for a bargain and it’s unlikely you’ll regret it.

Peugeot 508 RXH


The hybrid Peugeot family car does the basics well. For a car of its size a combined 68.9mpg and 107g/km are extraordinary figures, while huge boot space and a comfortable interior will appeal to those with long journeys in mind – the big Peugeot is a born cruiser.

The 508 RXH also comes loaded with kit, and compares well with offerings from more premium brands. Where is can’t compete is build quality and the driving experience, so if those are priorities then look elsewhere.

Infiniti Q50S Hybrid


Few cars have the capability to drive silently on the power of electrons alone one moment and then, quite literally, lay down thick rubber the next as overtly as the Q50S Hybrid. The new, aggressively styled saloon is the latest attempt from Nissan’s luxury division to take on the Germans.

A 3.5-litre V6 is mated to a small electric motor, resulting in either resounding straight-line pace or fuel economy the right side of 40mpg, depending on the driver’s mood. With a plethora of slick technology and plenty of leather inside the Q50S Hybrid makes for a convincing, if slightly left field, choice.

Lexus IS 300h


Another Japanese contender comes from Lexus, again with a striking design. The IS 300h is a little down on power against the Infiniti – its 2.5-litre engine and electric motor developing a combined 220bhp - but fuel economy is in a different league at 60.1mpg combined. Carbon dioxide emissions of just 109g/km also make it a popular company car.

As always with Lexus you’re buying into Toyota-derived reliability and excellent customer service, too. The IS 300h also comes with a healthy kit list and build quality is higher than ever before. Those looking for a driver’s car may be disappointed with the CVT transmission, but the Lexus’ blend of power and fuel economy will be good enough for most.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV


The big news about the latest eco-off-roader is that it costs roughly the same as the diesel-spec model. This kind of parity between regular and technologically innovative products in the same model line is so far unheard of, and it makes the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid worth a test drive.

Using two powerful electric motors mated with a frugal petrol engine, a zero emissions range of 30 miles is possible and the battery recharges to 80 percent capacity in around half an hour. If you run out of charge then there’s still a large fuel tank to fall back on, so range anxiety isn’t a problem. With tiny carbon dioxide emissions, if you pay company car tax and need to go off-road the Outlander PHEV could be a perfect fit.

Volvo V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid


We’ve never come across a car that can do so much. The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is faster than a Volkswagen Golf GTI, more frugal than a Golf BlueMotion and easily more practical than either. That it exhibits Volvo’s svelte modern design language is an added bonus.

Like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, its wide skillset stems from a unique powertrain, combining serious electric hardware with a potent but frugal diesel engine. This time, however, Volvo is making you pay for the privilege, and the V60 PHEV is suitably expensive. Find one for a deal, however, and it will probably be the most complete car you’ve ever owned.

Honda Jazz Hybrid


With a new Honda Jazz on the way dealers will be keen to shift remaining stock of the outgoing model, meaning buyers can pick up one of the most frugal hatchbacks for relatively little.

Combined fuel economy is 62.8mpg, which should be attainable on the urban routes that the car was designed for.

Toyota Auris Touring Sports Hybrid


The stretched Auris Hybrid is perhaps an uninspiring choice for drivers, but most will happily settle for rock-solid reliability and a real-world fuel economy comfortably in excess of 50mpg. That’s some way off the claimed 76.3mpg combined, but it’s sill impressive for a car with such load-lugging capability.

Practicality is the Toyota’s calling card and a boot floor that is 10cm lower than the hatchback means loading is easier. The rear seats also fold forward seamlessly, making the Auris Touring Sports Hybrid one of the easiest cars to live with.

Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid


Mercedes will offer a range of S-Class models with hybrid technology for the new generation car – including a plug-in hybrid – but it’s the powertrain in the S400 Hybrid that seems to suit the car’s ethos perfectly.

Its electric motor seamlessly integrates with a smooth 3.5-litre V6 engine to give it decent shove if the moment calls for it or devastatingly quiet – not to mention frugal – progress on stop-start urban routes. It’s expensive, but it really is one of the most refined and beautifully executed cars we’ve ever driven.

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