2019 Honda Clarity (Plug-In, EV, & Fuel Cell)
At the bottom of the heap is the 2019 Honda Clarity. There are three different versions offered: a plug-in, a fully electric, and a fuel cell version. The latter is only available for lease in California. Though it brings over the best design features from its Honda siblings, the EV version suffers from a paltry 89-mile range. That's simply not doable for the vast majority of Americans. There's not really a reason to recommend it over the Plug-In model. At least then you'll have the gas engine to make up for the extra range. If you anticipate using gas often, however, we suggest opting for the Honda Insight instead.
2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid & Energi (Plug-in)
The 2019 Ford Fusion comes in two different hybrid options: a traditional hybrid and a plug-in version. Both suffer from a sluggishness that makes us wonder if Ford needs to sort out how the electric and gas engines take over for one another. Though, on the positive side, the Fusion's interior is quite airy and spacious (if not exactly upscale).
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
This is the last year for the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. Chevy isn't bringing it back for 2020 due to low sales, but that means that buyers can probably snag a leftover 2019 model at a pretty deep discount. The Malibu Hybrid has one of our favorite interiors. It's clean and intuitive, though it does feature some hard plastics (yuck). What pulls it down the list is a short list of additional features and a small cabin interior.
2019 BMW i3
The 2019 BMW i3 has great safety ratings and shows off BMW's impeccable build quality. However, buyers can find all-electric alternatives at a lower price point that still have some luxury features but travel a much longer distance. The i3 only goes 153 miles according to the EPA. That is unless you spring for the range extender which turns it into a plug-in hybrid. But that uses gasoline and...kind of defeats the purpose, right?
2019 Chevrolet Volt
Unfortunately, this is the last go-round for the Chevrolet Volt. This plug-in hybrid always received great consumer ratings from the buyers who chose it. But with sales low, the Bow-Tie company has decided to move all of its eggs into the fully-electric basket of the Bolt. The back seat could be a little tight, and the cabin has always looked like a child's plastic toy instead of an adult's car.
2019 Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is the granddaddy of environmentally friendly cars, but it's beginning to show its age. The sharp, angular lines of the exterior design aren't for everyone. Then again, that's always been the case with the Prius. Its styling has always been an acquired taste. On the inside, we like our cars to look like...well, cars. Not spaceships. But we do appreciate the available AWD, something that helps it stand out in the segment.
2019 Hyundai Sonata (Hybrid & Plug-In Hybrid)
Hyundai and its sister company offer great value by packing on the standard features. However, the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid still fall a little short when comparing fuel economy numbers. While it does have a comfortable ride, the Sonata suffers somewhat from a bland, boring design inside and out.
2019 Kia Optima (Hybrid & Plug-In Hybrid)
Kia offers lots of value with its Optima Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid models. They come loaded with tons of standard tech and safety features that undercut the competition. However, those competitors often have better fuel economy ratings, a more upscale design, and more interior and cargo space.
2019 Nissan Leaf
The 2019 Nissan Leaf is one of the most affordable fully electric vehicles on the market. That makes it a true EV for the masses (sorry, Tesla). But it's compact size can hold only so big of a battery. Because of that limitation, even the longer ranger "Plus" trims only max out around 226 miles according to the EPA. That's closer to competitors like the Chevy Bolt but still a little behind (granted at a lower price point).
2019 Hyundai Ioniq (Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, & EV)
The Hyundai Ioniq gets props for innovation. With three powertrain options, buyers can choose from traditional hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric versions. That probably makes things cheaper from Hyundai's corporate viewpoint. For buyers though, it makes things middle-of-the-road all-around. It features a numb, floaty ride along with a pretty bland interior. Nothing about it is terrible, but it won't blow your socks off either.
2019 Lexus ES Hybrid
The 2019 Lexus ES Hybrid sits at the middle of our ranking. Great handling and a supple ride are paired with great fuel economy—44 mpg combined. It has a large array of safety features, but they also come at a price. As is common in many Lexus vehicles, the interior cabin is unintuitive and busy. Frankly, we find the ES Hybrid dash downright ugly.
2019 Honda Insight
The Honda Insight nameplate is a historic one for green car-lovers. The first 3-door iteration of the early 2000s still remains the most fuel-efficient gas-only powered car. A revival in the early 2010s saw the Insight transform into something resembling a Toyota Prius. Now, the totally new 2019 Honda Insight looks like a traditional sedan with all the appeal of an Accord or Civic. This, finally, is what people want! An environmentally-friendlier option that looks like a car, acts like a car, and just so happens to achieve 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway.
2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid
The 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a traditional hybrid vehicle that operates on gasoline with the support of a range-extending electric motor. That means the Camry Hybrid LE squeezes 52 mpg combined out of its fuel. Like it's gasoline counterpart, we appreciated the large array of standard features, but we sometimes found it a little noisy in the cabin.
2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
The 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid lands on the list right ahead of the Camry hybrid. It's larger size makes it roomier and more stately to drive. Its fuel economy ratings are a whopping 69% improvement on the traditional gasoline Avalon. The larger size makes it less nimble, though, and we found competitor interiors that were more intuitive.
2019 Honda Accord Hybrid
The 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid is the highest-ranking car that still utilizes gasoline. The hybrid version of the Accord has a 45% improvement in fuel economy than its non-hybrid counterpart at 48 mpg combined. With an upscale and intuitive interior and a large trunk, it's the perfect family sedan. The only downside is that you're still using some gasoline...granted not as much.
2019 Chevrolet Bolt
With 238 miles of range, the all-electric 2019 Chevrolet Bolt is no slouch. That's third-longest among non-Tesla vehicles. Its hatchback design provides a raised driving position to give drivers a good view of the road. It also allows for a roomy, expansive interior cabin. One common complaint among Bolt owners, however, is the somewhat thin, narrow, and unsupportive front seat.
2019 Tesla Model 3
This is the Tesla for the masses! While it only briefly made it down to the promised base price of $35,000 (the current cheapest option online is $39,450), it's still a much more affordable option than any other Tesla offering. The range of 322 miles is second only to its larger sibling (the Model S), and the Model 3 features precision handling and peppy speed. It sometimes has quality issue problems to be a luxury offering, however.
2019 Tesla Model S
The 2019 Tesla Model S is the hybrid to beat. Yes, it has a high price, starting at just under $80,000. That's right—starting. But that will also get you the longest range of any fully electric vehicle on the market. The EPA estimates range at a whopping 373 miles for the Model S Long Range. Other pros include roomy seating, precision handling, and speedy acceleration. We still aren't the biggest fans of the everything-on-a-screen approach to the interior, however.