Despite its futuristic wedge-shaped profile and combination of economy and pace, this hybrid 2+2 coupé didn’t really catch on in huge numbers.
Because it is hybrid, rather than fully electric, there’s no lengthy recharging to contend with — just short fill-ups at your local petrol station.
See Honda CR-Z for sale on PistonHeads
The 1.5-litre petrol engine is married to a small electric motor. Combined, they enable the CR-Z to cover 0-60mph in 9.1sec, return 56.5mpg and emit just 117g/km of CO2. More good news: it’s entertaining to drive, with good turn-in, lots of grip and little body roll.
Owners appear a happy bunch and report few issues. A 2010 Sport with 44,000 miles could be yours for £5750.
3. Nissan Leaf (2011–present)
If you want to turn over a new leaf (pun intended) and go electric for the first time, this Nissan is a great way to go.
The Leaf offers hatchback familiarity and practicality in an easy-to-drive and cheap-to-run package, although it isn’t exactly exciting to drive.
See Nissan Leaf for sale on PistonHeads
The Leaf’s range can suffer in colder weather and a full recharge from a household plug can take eight to 12 hours, although fast charging gives you an 80% charge within 30 minutes.
Owners have reported problems with the start-up battery going flat, but otherwise the Leaf appears reliable. We found an 80kW Visia Flex from 2014 with 4000 miles on the clock for just £6995, with its battery on Flex Lease.
4. Mercedes-Benz E 300 Hybrid (2013–2016)
Take a smooth-riding, quiet, comfortable and refined executive car, add an electric motor and the result is a more economical, quieter and cleaner car that’s great for touring.
Available in either saloon or estate form, the E 300 Hybrid has a 201bhp 2.1-litre diesel engine linked to a 27bhp electric motor. When fitted with 16in wheels, this combination can return 64.2mpg and emit 116g/km of CO2. Clever packaging ensures the hybrid kit doesn’t eat into rear seat or boot space, too.
See Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale on PistonHeads
After a few earlier gremlins, the E 300 appears as reliable as any other E-Class, with few electrical and engines issues being reported. We found a 2013 saloon with 62,000 miles on it for £15,795.
5. Citroën DS5 (2011–2015)
The UK doesn’t seem to like big Citroëns any more, which is a shame. The C6 became well known for its silky drive and quirky looks only after it went off sale, so perhaps the DS5 will head the same way.
It has stand-out-from-the-crowd styling - in a good way - and a hugely imaginative and intriguing interior.
See Citroen DS5 for sale on PistonHeads
The driver sits high in front of a cockpit-style fascia. However, the ride isn’t the best on broken surfaces. The 2.0-litre diesel and electric powerplants jointly develop 197bhp and return a claimed 74.3mpg and 99g/km.
Owners report many small gripes but nothing of particular note. An outlay of £11,995 can get you a 2012 DSign-spec car that has covered 38,000 miles.