What's it like to drive a hybrid car?

Find out what to expect when you get behind the wheel of a hybrid car and how it differs from petrol or diesel vehicles.

Driving experience

Reassuringly familiar behind the wheel

For the most part, driving a hybrid car will feel just like driving an ordinary automatic. But what sets them apart from petrol or diesel cars, is the hybrid’s responsive electric power creates smoother acceleration and a quieter ride.

Responsive electric power

Ultra-smooth acceleration

Most hybrids use their electric motors to assist from a standing start. This provides maximum torque so there’s no delay in sending power to the wheels. It means they can pull away from junctions or traffic lights quicker than many conventional vehicles. 

Noise reduced motoring

Ultra-quiet ride

When driving on electric power, a hybrid is much quieter because you’re not using the petrol engine. This is especially true of plug-in hybrids because they can drive for extended distances on electric power.

Regenerative Braking

Capturing energy as you drive

Hybrid cars use a process called regenerative braking to charge their batteries by capturing kinetic energy when the car is braking. In some hybrids this can be set to different strengths to control whether you coast or slow down when releasing the accelerator.

Plug-in hybrid driving

Perfect synergy of electric and petrol

Plug-in Hybrids provide an even more seamless driving experience. The larger capacity battery allows the car to switch from electric to petrol and back again on the fly so that whether your goal is efficiency or performance, the car adjusts for your driving style.

Driving a plug-in hybrid

What’s the best way to drive a hybrid car?

Here’s a few habits to get into which will help you get the most out of a plug-in hybrid:

  • Try to use electric power only (EV mode) when moving off from standing starts. This means you rely on the petrol engine less often and will save you money.
  • Use electric power for short or low speed journeys.
  • Keep your acceleration light. If you go for more determined acceleration, the internal combustion engine will kick in.
  • Get into the habit of charging overnight, so it’s always fully charged by morning.

The ultimate plug-in hybrid

Efficient in the city. Confident in the wilds

A hybrid without compromise, the Outlander PHEV is responsive and yet effortless to drive on roads, but can also cope with conditions off it. Whether for work or play, you’ll find the Outlander can tow, cope with all weather and tackle some light off-roading too.