Used Cars: 13 Hybrid Family Sedans under $20k

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Used 2014 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid ($120k)
Used 2014 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid ($120k)

In an age when practicality is king, there is no better feeling than tooling down the lane with your family in your fuel conserving hybrid sedan. While hybrid technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, it sure hasn’t helped to drop the sticker price of a new hybrid gasoline/electric vehicle. You can save your bank account and fuel at the same time by utilizing used car websites, such as, to help locate and purchase a low mileage, high-quality used hybrid sedan.

There are three basic types of gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles. The first uses a gasoline powered internal combustion engine to produce primary power, while one (or more) smaller electric motors provide assistance when feasible. This system uses electrical power to increase fuel efficiency under low RPM conditions.

The second type uses an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack as the primary power source with a small gasoline powered internal combustion engine as a backup, only when battery power reaches a predetermined low. Kinetic energy is also frequently used to charge lithium-ion battery packs that provide power for the electric motor/s. Kinetic energy is created when an object in motion is slowed by a friction method, such as braking. The third type uses a gasoline powered internal combustion engine with a powerful lithium-ion powered electric motor (or series of motors) in conjunction; the gasoline motor powers one axle while the electric motor/s powers the opposite axle.

2011 Chevrolet Volt Hybrid Sedan

2011 Chevrolet Volt Sedan HybridThis five-door sedan with a rear hatch is more like an actual family car than a fuel saving transportation pod. All of the latest electronic and technological amenities are present on the inside with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, automatic dimming headlights, and a keyless entry/ignition system on the exterior. The Volt’s primary source of power is a 149-hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack, with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine as backup. The Volt is rated at 39mpg overall when the primary power source is depleted.

2010 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Sedan

2010 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan HybridThe Malibu is powered primarily by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor providing assistance. The Malibu is a mid-sized four passenger sedan that combines modern styling with old-fashioned common sense. Standard features include power accessories, cruise control, tilting steering column with steering wheel mounted audio controls, electronically controlled power steering, and rear defroster. The Malibu gets some pretty decent fuel efficiency numbers, rated at 26 mpg city/39 mpg highway.

2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid Sedan

2012 Ford fusion Sedan hybridThe Fusion sedan has garnered critical acclaim for giving consumers a comfortable ride and agile handling in a very attractive package. The hybrid powertrain adds outstanding fuel efficiency to the equation. As a five passenger mid-sized sedan the Fusion offers a comfortable riding experience combined with a fair degree of performance handling.  It utilizes a 2.5-liter four cylinder gasoline engine as the primary power source, with an electric motor providing auxiliary assistance, to deliver 191-hp while achieving 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway.

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid Sedan

2012 Honda Civic Sedan HybridMix the reliability of a Honda with the fuel saving potential of a hybrid powertrain and you have got a winner in the four-passenger family sedan category. Primary power is provided with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with auxiliary power coming from an electric motor to produce 110-hp. The hybrid power plants are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that aids the Civic sedan in achieving 44 mpg city/44 mpg highway.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan

2013 Hyundai Sonata Sedan HybridWhether you like them or hate them you can’t argue that Korean automobiles offer a lot of features for the money. Why not get all of those features and the added savings of a hybrid powertrain? As one of the most powerful hybrid sedans in this segment, the Sonata offers consumers the feel of a conventional family sedan with the savings of a hybrid. Powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Sonata is rated at 199-hp. It is also good for 36 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 0 to 60 mph in 8.5-seconds.

2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Sedan

2012 Kia Optima Sedan HybridI have got to admit that Korean cars have really come a long way from the first ones imported into the U.S. This Optima hybrid sedan is definitely the best hybrid sedan available for the money and quite possibly the best, period. Its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor combine for an impressive 206-hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque while achieving 34 mpg city/39 mpg highway with a 0 to 60 mph time of just 8.4-seconds.

2010 Lexus HS 250h Sedan

2010 Lexus HS 250HThis five passenger compact sedan offers a similar driving experience to that of a small sedan equipped with a conventional powertrain, the excellent fuel economy of a hybrid, and a luxurious interior, to boot. The 250 uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors to generate 187-hp combined with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 250, available in base and Premium trim levels, gets 35 mpg city/34 mpg highway.

2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

2012 Lincoln MKZ HybridThe MKZ is a mid-sized luxury hybrid sedan that comes equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to deliver 191-hp to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Despite bring a top-end luxury sedan, the Lincoln puts up some impressive fuel efficiency numbers of 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway with the capacity to achieve 0 to 60 mph in 8.7-seconds.

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid Sedan

2010 Mercury Milan Sedan HybridThe Mercury Milan is sister to the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ hybrid models mentioned earlier. While it shares many of the same features and characteristics, it has a more classic appearance than either. It too is equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline powered engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 191-hp and 166 lb.-ft. of torque with a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel efficiency rating of 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway.

2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid Sedan

2011 Nissan Altima Sedan HybridStandard equipment for the Altima hybrid includes full power accessories, tilting and telescoping steering column, dual zone climate control, and keyless ignition/entry. It is outfitted with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor that manufactures a combined 198-hp while earning fuel efficiency ratings of 35 mpg city/33 mpg highway. The hybrid Altima also uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a class leading 7.6-cseconds.

2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid Sedan

2011 Toyota Camry Sedan HybridAs America’s most popular sedan the Camry is a proven friend to families. As a hybrid fuel saver, the Camry offers a driving experience that is on par with conventionally powered four-cylinder sedans. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor put together a total of 187-hp which is routed to the front wheels by a specially designed continuously variable transmission (CVT). The hybrid Camry sedan earns impressive fuel economy ratings of 33 mpg city/34 mpg highway.

2012 Toyota Prius Hybrid Sedan

2012 Toyota Prius SedanAlthough the trendsetting Prius is not the most prolifically powerfully sedan, it does post some really impressive fuel efficiency numbers of 51 mpg city/49 mpg highway. The interior of the Prius is spacious and comfortable with all of the latest amenities, including a LCD monitor capable of displaying the car’s hybrid power delivery strategy in up to the second detail. It is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a pair of electric motors that pump out 134-horsepower, when used in conjunction.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid Sedan

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan HybridThe 2013 model VW Jetta hybrid sedan was offered in five trim levels, so there is one out there to suit your particular fancy. This family hybrid sedan put up some thrifty fuel economy numbers of 42 mpg city/48 mpg highway. Powered by the combination of a 1.4-liter four-cylinder petrol engine and a 20Kw electric motor, the Jetta hybrid can move from 0 to 60 mph in just under nine-seconds.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.