Hybrids are a great choice for reliability, according to a the latest Consumer Reports survey, with the Ford Maverick, Toyota Corolla, and Lexus NX rated among the most reliable.
Hybrid cars and hybrid SUVs ranked first and third, respectively, in the nonprofit's Annual Auto Reliability Report, released Tuesday. The Maverick, Corolla, and NX all achieved high reliability ratings in that survey, which is based on responses from owners of vehicles from the last three model years between redesigns. And, of course, they deliver better fuel economy than their gasoline-only counterparts.
While hybrids carry an average price premium of $1,700 over non-hybrid internal-combustion vehicles, that can be offset by improved fuel savings, CR said, noting that in its testing most hybrid SUVs now get more than 35 mpg overall, while most hybrid sedans achieve 45-mpg average fuel economy. That could allow drivers to pay back the extra cost of a hybrid after four years, assuming $4-per-gallon gas and 12,000 miles driven annually, according to CR.
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid SE Infrared Edition
Based on that metric, the Lexus NX returns $650 in annual savings over a non-hybrid NX, according to CR. That's calculated from observed fuel economy of 38 mpg for the hybrid and 25 mpg for the non-hybrid. The EPA rates the NX 350h hybrid at 39 mpg combined, and the NX 250, which has the more efficient of the two non-hybrid powertrains, at 28 mpg combined.
CR observed 37 mpg with its Ford Maverick hybrid test vehicle and 23 mpg for the non-hybrid version, equating to $800 in annual savings for the hybrid. In this case CR matched the Maverick hybrid's EPA combined fuel-economy rating, but the gas-only version fell short of its 26 mpg combined maximum.
Finally, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid achieved 48 mpg in testing, while the non-hybrid version returned 33 mpg, which would save the hybrid driver $450 annually. The Corolla Hybrid is rated at a maximum 50 mpg combined in existing front-wheel-drive form, but for 2023 it gains an all-wheel-drive option that drops EPA fuel economy to a maximum 48 mpg combined.
2022 Lexus NX 350h
Interest in hybrids is growing, CR noted. The organization said 36% of prospective buyers in its latest survey said they were considering a hybrid for their next car or truck, up from 29% in 2019.
EVs proved more problematic in the latest CR reliability survey. In previous surveys, CR noted numerous problems with infotainment systems and other connectivity tech, which automakers tend to roll out in EVs before other models. Those problems remained in the most recent survey, but were accompanied by additional problems with EV components, according to CR. The Ford Mustang Mach-E in particular was singled out as having "declining reliability."