Electric and hybrid vehicles have become very popular in the USA and have subsequently become a lot more accessible in recent years. HEVs, such as the Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, and Chevrolet Volt have been around for a while and have managed to remain relevant by maintaining decently competitive HEV performance, while also becoming some of the more affordable options in the classification.
Just about anybody can get their hands on the steering wheel of an HEV for a good price these days, and while they won’t be the best on the market, they do offer exceptional value for the money. CarBuzz, a comprehensive site and app for all things motoring, lists the following cars as some of the best options for under $35k.
Offering a complete Buyer’s Guide and car comparison tool, consumers can also find comprehensive reviews of these cars on the CarBuzz website.
The Prius is a pioneer in the hybrid segment. Powering either its front or all-wheel-drivetrain is a 1.8-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that’s aided by a single electric motor. Combined outputs are rated at 121 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of torque, all of which are managed by a continuously variable automatic transmission.
Gas mileage figures come in at 54/50/52 mpg city/highway/combined in FWD or 51/47/49 mpg in AWD, although the base model is even more frugal at 58/53/56 mpg. The Prius hasn’t improved much over the years and it has been surpassed by many others in the class. It still has a lot going for it nonetheless, considering its starting price tag of under $25,000.
Kia Sorento Hybrid
The Kia Sorento Hybrid, a midsize crossover SUV, debuted as an all-new vehicle in 2021. The base model comes in at over $33,500 but as one of the highest-rated hybrid three-row SUVs out there, even that model is sure to pack plenty of value for the money. Powering the front wheels is a 227-hp 1.6-liter turbo-four unit paired to a sizeable electric motor and 1.5 kWh battery pack.
It scores EPA-derived fuel economy ratings of 39/35/37 mpg on the regular drive cycles which is impressive considering it’s a three-row SUV. It is, unfortunately, not available in AWD and it can only tow up to a maximum of 2,000 pounds.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
With an MSRP of less than $24,000 and gas mileage figures of 57/59/58 mpg, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid hatchback is a very attractive offer for the discerning young American family. The front wheels are imbued with 139 hp and 125 lb-ft ceded via a six-speed automatic gearbox. It comes outfitted with a good selection of creature comforts and conveniences as well as with appreciable driver-assist and safety technologies.
It also carries a decent amount of cargo space for a compact hatchback. All of its standout qualities make it an ideal daily runabout and family hauler.
Honda Accord Hybrid
If you like your sedans, then the Honda Accord is one of the only routes into the hybrid car realm at a price of under $35k. It’s a handsome four-door midsize cruiser with a modern exterior design completed with coupe-like styling. A 212-hp 2.0-liter inline-four hybridized engine does duty in all four of the models that make up the lineup, along with a CVT and FWD system.
The Accord is favored for its modern and commodious cabin interior that’s brimming with features and tech, and its trunk is surprisingly capacious, too. All in all, the Accord is an economical and practical everyday commuter.
The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid that was sadly discontinued after the 2019 model year, but it has the advantage of driving purely on electricity, or on electricity and fuel, and it can be charged at an EV charging station. With its 149-hp 1.5-liter inline-four hybridized unit and 18.4 kWh battery pack, it can drive a total 53 miles in pure EV mode and returns mileage estimates of 43/42/42 mpg.
It’s decently comfortable on the road and comes with a more than adequate amount of passenger considerations. Unfortunately, it’s a dated car, but that does mean there could be some good deals out there in the used-car market, though.