Ultimate hybrid guide: every petrol-electric car and SUV in New Zealand
Search Driven for Toyota for sale
Electrified vehicles are a hot topic in New Zealand, thanks to rising fuel prices, increasing climate change awareness and the Government's focus on a Clean Car Standard that impacts both consumers and the industry. More buyers than ever want to move to electrified vehicles, but where do you start?
DRIVEN is here to help, with a complete guide to every electrified vehicle on sale in NZ. Below, we deliver the need-to-know information on every hybrid-powered vehicle currently available, arranged from lowest to highest price.
A hybrid (sometimes called a Hybrid Electrified Vehicle, or HEV) blends a combustion engine with a small battery pack and electric motor. It has the ability to drive on electric power alone, but usually only for very short distances: from a few hundred metres to a couple of kilometres. The rest of the time the battery/motor assists the combustion engine, reducing fuel consumption and boosting performance.
Note that you don't plug in a hybrid/HEV. The battery is recharged by energy recovered from braking and deceleration, or sometimes even from the combustion engine when driving conditions are suitable.
Hybrids are now included in the Government's Clean Car feebate programme, although unlike plug-in vehicles they do not benefit from a flat rebate.
Discounts are calculated on the CO2 outputs of individual models. Check out the DRIVEN Clean Car Calculator for specific rebates.
Note also that our guide doesn't include "mild hybrid" (or MHEV) vehicles, which have a similar ability to recover and store energy to reduce fuel consumption, but don't generally have the ability to drive on electric power alone. MHEV tech is highly effective and will become standard across much of the automotive industry in the years to come, but we reckon there's an important line to be drawn between that and hybrid/HEV models that have their own electric propulsion.
We've also created a guide to every electrified ute and van on the market.
Toyota's supermini-sized Yaris made several generational leaps when the latest model was launched in 2020, with a completely new platform lots of new technology and the additional of a hybrid powertrain option for the first time in NZ (although petrol-electric versions of previous models have appeared on the used-import market).
The hybrid matches a three-cylinder petrol engine with a lithium-ion battery pack, resulting in truly outstanding fuel economy figures. Toyota offers the hybrid in both entry GX and more luxurious ZR trims.
Price range N/A, out of stock Powertrain 1.5-litre petrol three-cylinder engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, FWD Power/torque 85kW (combined)/120Nm Consumption 3.3l/100km CO2 76g/km
TOYOTA YARIS CROSS
Ostensibly, the Yaris Cross hybrid is simply an SUV version of the Yaris hatch, with higher ground clearance. Same basic powertrain and platform.
But you can also think of the Cross as a completely different model: larger, more practical and with bespoke styling to set it apart. The powertrain technology package is the same across the brace of models: entry GX and more highly specified Limited.
Price range N/A, out of stock Powertrain 1.5-litre petrol three-cylinder engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, FWD Power/torque 85kW (combined)/120Nm Consumption 3.8l/100km CO2 86g/km
The C-HR is a step up in size from the Yaris Cross, but also aimed at a different kind of buyer: it's a more driver-oriented package, with coupe-like styling and less emphasis on rear-seat and luggage space. It also has a number of interior design elements that remain unique to the model.
But C-HR is also all about hybrid technology of course, which is available from an entry-level model through to the more luxurious Limited. There's even a mildly tweaked GR Sport version.
Price range N/A, out of stock Powertrain 1.8-litre petrol four-cylinder engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, FWD Power/torque 90kW (combined)/142Nm Consumption 4.8l/100km CO2 107g/km (3P-WLTP)
Toyota NZ's Corolla hybrid is now in its second generation. Launched in the previous model in 2016, the petrol-electric powertrain was improved and the model range expanded for the latest version from 2018: a bit less power, but better efficiency.
There's now a three-tier Corolla hybrid lineup, from the GX to the SX to the top-of-the-line ZR. The hatch remains the core body shape, but you can also have the SX hybrid as a sedan.
Price range $34,990-$40,990 Powertrain 1.8-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, FWD Power/torque 90kW (combined) Consumption 4.2l/100km CO2 97g/km
HONDA JAZZ E:HEV
The entry Life and SUV-like Crosstar versions of Honda's latest Jazz have conventional petrol engines, but the flagship Luxe model is powered by a very unusual hybrid powertrain that Honda calls "e:HEV".
You don't plug it in, so it's not technically an EV. But nor does the petrol engine drive the wheels like most other hybrids. Instead, it mostly acts as a generator to either feed power to the battery pack and/or drive the electric motor, which then drives the wheels.
Price range $35,000 Powertrain 1.5-litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine with hybrid electric system, continuously variable transmission, FWD Power/torque 72kW/131Nm (petrol), 80kW/253Nm (electric) Consumption 2.8l/100km (Japanese market test, NZ-specific figures to come)
The hybrid powertrain has quickly come to dominate RAV4 sales in NZ. Little wonder: not only is it the most frugal by far (under 5l/100km for a medium-sized SUV is impressive), it's also the quickest. The E-Four AWD system is clever, too, with the rear axle powered only by the battery, giving precise control.
In view of the hybrid's popularity, Toyota NZ recently expanded the range to include five separate variants; there's a new dressed-up XSE version to sit underneath the Limited and the off-tarmac-focused Adventure is now also available with hybrid power.
Price range N/A, out of stock Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 163kW (combined)/221Nm Consumption 4.8l/100km CO2 109g/km
How times change. Once upon a time, the Camry sedan was the default Toyota family-car choice, but in these days of SUVs it's almost a niche model.
Camry has now evolved into a hybrid-only concern, albeit with a broad choice of specification levels: entry GX, pseudo-sporty SX with sportier suspension/styling and the luxury ZR. It's surprisingly quick with a combined 160kW and has the latest lithium battery technology.
Price range N/A, out of stock Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, FWD Power/torque 160kW (combined) Consumption 4.2l/100km CO2 96g/km
KIA NIRO HYBRID
Kia's electrified-only compact SUV comes in BEV, PHEV or hybrid models. The latter makes a strong case in terms of sheer value for money, with prices starting at just over $40k (before Clean Car rebates) and four different models to choose from.
The Niro hybrid has a more conventional look than its BEV sibling, but as with sister brand Hyundai the petrol-electric powertrain gets a boost in terms of driver-appeal by employing a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Price range $40,990-$49,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, FWD Power/torque 104kW/265Nm (combined) Consumption 3.8-4.4l/100km CO2 97-112g/km
SUBARU XV E-BOXER
The e-Boxer powertrain is an undeniably mild application of electrification to Subaru's compact crossover/SUV. But the "motor assist" system makes it a full hybrid nonetheless and while it only offers small fuel-economy gains over the standard XV (about 14 per cent), we reckon it also makes for a better drive.
One of the key selling points around the XV e-Boxer is that it adds green credentials without taking away any of Subaru's character attributes: it still has a flat-four engine (of course, it's in the name) and the company's active torque split AWD system.
Price range $44,990 Powertrain 2.0-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 110kW/196Nm (petrol), 12kW/66Nm (electric) Consumption 6.5l/100km CO2 147g/km (NEDC)
HYUNDAI IONIQ HYBRID
Not to be confused with the all-new BEV-only Ioniq 5, the original Ioniq is still offered in three different versions: a BEV (yes, that's confusing, we know), PHEV and the model featured here, the hybrid.
Conceived as a rival to the Toyota Prius, the Ioniq hybrid is notable for offering a six-speed transmission in place of the usual hybrid-CVT, and for achieving outstanding fuel economy for a family-sized vehicle. Naturally, it's also the cheapest of any Ioniq by quite some margin; available in entry and Elite models.
Price range $46,990-$52,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, FWD Power/torque 77kW/147Nm Consumption 3.4-3.9l/100km (WLTP) CO2 102-105g/km
SUBARU FORESTER E-BOXER
The Forester e-Boxer employs the same hybrid powertrain as the smaller XV, with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and modest electric motor. That means a bit of step down from the standard Forester models in terms of engine capacity (they are 2.5 litres) and performance, for a modest nine per cent gain in overall fuel economy. Bu the hybrid tech makes more of an impact in urban driving, with a 19 per cent fuel economy improvement.
Subaru has spread the e-Boxer powertrain over two models: an entry version the Premium, which comes fully loaded in line with the rest of the Forester range.
Price range $47,990-$54,990 Powertrain 2.0-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 110kW/196Nm (petrol), 12kW/66Nm (electric) Consumption 6.7l/100km CO2 152g/km (ADR)
The UX compact SUV has just been launched with BEV power, but the mainstay models to date have been the 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrids, which continue in the current range.
There's no shortage of choice: you can have your UX with FWD or AWD, in entry, luxury Limited or slightly edgier-looking F Sport trim.
Price range $63,300-$76,300 Powertrain 2.0-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, FWD or AWD Power/torque 135kW (combined) Consumption 4.3-4.6l/100km CO2 103g/km 0-100kmh 8.4-8.6 seconds
KIA SORENTO HYBRID
Kia's seven-seat Sorento is somewhat unique in the mainstream market by offering nearly every powertrain under the sun: petrol, diesel, PHEV and this petrol-electric hybrid, in either 2WD or AWD configurations.
The battery tech is right up there (lithium-ion) and the AWD models even retain good off-tarmac ability, with Terrain Mode Select and a 50/50 lock for slippery surfaces.
Price range $63,990-$82,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, FWD Power/torque 169kW/350Nm (combined) Consumption 5.4-6.2l/100km CO2 132-136g/km
The Highlander seven-seat SUV has long been a family and fleet favourite in NZ, but it's taken until the latest generation (launched 2021) for a hybrid powertrain to become available to new-vehicle buyers.
But it's been achieved in fine style, with essentially the same powertrain as the smaller RAV4 giving the Highlander an excellent blend of performance (it has 20kW more than the RAV4) and economy. And the E-Four AWD is standard on all models.
Price range $67,990-$75,990 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 184kW(combined)/242Nm Consumption 5.6l/100km CO2 128g/km
LEXUS IS 300H
The Lexus has always been the Japanese maker's take on the traditional European compact-executive sedan: three-box design, rear-drive chassis, rather driver-centric.
While the brand still offers four and six-cylinder powertrains, the hybrid models have come to the fore in recent years. There's a broad range on offer, from entry-level to luxury Limited to F Sport (which also has a sportier chassis), but all with the same basic powertrain and performance.
Price range $76,200-$88,300 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, RWD Power/torque 164kW (combined)/221Nm Consumption 5.7l/100km CO2 129g/km (3P-WLTP) 0-100km/h 8.5 seconds
The ES luxury sedan has come a long way from the "Camry with a cellphone" jibes of two decades ago; although it still owes a lot to its mainstream Toyota sibling, being based on a similar front-drive architecture. It no longer comes with a wired-in cellphone though!
In look and feel, the ES aims to give a little taste of the super-luxury ambience of the larger LS. The hybrid powertrain (there are no conventional petrol models offered) is the same no matter whether you choose the standard, Limited or F Sport model.
Price range $78,100-$89,500 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, FWD Power/torque 160kW (combined)/221Nm Consumption 5.3l/100km CO2 131-121g/km (3P-WLTP) 0-100km/h 8.9 seconds
HYUNDAI SANTA FE
Long a leader in the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) arena, Hyundai NZ is expanding into a number of petrol-electric hybrid models.
The Santa Fe hybrid matches a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a hybrid system that makes a combined 169kW/350Nm, putting it in between the petrol V6 and four-cylinder diesel models in terms of performance. The hybrid is offered in both entry and Elite specifications, both with AWD.
Price range $88,990-$99,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine with hybrid electric system, 6-speed automated dual-clutch transmission, AWD Power/torque 169kW/120Nm (combined) Consumption 6.3l/100km CO2 142g/km
There's an all-new NX in town and it won't surprise you to learn to every version is electrified. The two core models featured here are petrol-electric hybrids with lithium-ion batteries, but there's also a flagship model with PHEV power.
The hybrids feature a clever E-Four AWD system (also used for the Toyota RAV4 and larger Lexus RX) that leaves the rear axle powered solely by an electric motor, giving very precise control in open-road or low-traction conditions.
Price range $92,700-$101,900 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 179kW (combined)/239Nm Consumption 4.3-4.6l/100km CO2 103g/km 0-100km/h 7.7 seconds
The RX was Lexus's original hybrid SUV, and a pioneering "performance hybrid" in its own right in the late-1990s. Four generations later, it's still available with conventional petrol power, but hybrid technology is very much at the forefront of the range.
The RX is primarily a luxury SUV, but Lexus offers it in a surprisingly broad range of styles: entry to plush Limited to F Sport, and more interestingly in standard five-seat length or stretched "L" seven-seater configuration.
Price range $116,500-$127,700 Powertrain 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 230kW (combined)/335Nm Consumption 5.7-6.0l/100km CO2 131-137g/km 0-100kmh 7.7 seconds
Lexus has gone to town on its GT-style coupe, the LC. It's been around for a while now, since 2017, but has lost little of its impact. It's available with both traditional V8 (coupe and convertible) and hybrid (coupe only) powertrains.
The LC's hybrid setup is worth a special mention. The "multi-stage" transmission is unique to LC and combines the usual CVT with a separate four-stage automatic transmission on the rear axle. The powertrain mixes and matches the two depending on the driving requirements, giving the car a very different feel to other Lexus petrol-electric models.
Price $215,500 Powertrain 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 264kW (combined)/348Nm Consumption 7.5l/100km CO2 169g/km (3P-WLTP) 0-100kmh 5.0 seconds
It was the super-luxury LS sedan that started Lexus off back in the 1980s, as a rival and wake-up call to the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The latest model still aims to be a showcase of quality and technology.
The hybrid model (there's also still a conventional petrol version) matches a 3.5-litre petrol V6 to a hybrid electric system, rear-drive with air suspension. It's certainly hard to beat the refinement of a hybrid powertrain in a super-luxury sedan...
Price range $225,900 Powertrain 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine with hybrid electric system, CVT, AWD Power/torque 264kW (combined)/350Nm Consumption 7.3l/100km CO2 167g/km 0-100km/h 5.4 seconds