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Are Hybrid Cars Good for Long Distance Road Trips?

When we think about the ideal types of cars that are good for long distance driving, we often think about larger, low slung cruisers that pack a little bit more weight and power, which typically provide better stability and a larger torque band, which help such cars handle the long distance. However, hybrid vehicles, which are petrol powered vehicles with a hybrid battery attached to the drivetrain, are becoming increasingly popular for their fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. These could take the form of a mild hybrid, a self charging hybrid, or a plug in hybrid. While hybrid vehicles are generally known for their city driving capabilities, many people don't realise that they are also quite well equipped to take on long distance driving as well. We take a look at some pros and cons of using hybrid cars for long distance road trips.


The main advantage of taking a hybrid car on your next long distance road trip is the excellent fuel economy it offers. While traditional vehicles may require frequent stops for refuelling, hybrids are designed to conserve fuel over much longer distances. This means you can drive further and even save money in gas costs versus an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle.

In addition, hybrids generally produce fewer emissions than other automobiles due to their unique combination of electric and gasoline power systems. This makes them much better for the environment than gas-only vehicles, providing peace of mind when traveling in areas with stricter emissions regulations.


On the flip side, hybrid cars may not have the same level of power or performance as traditional vehicles. Most hybrids have smaller engines which can affect acceleration and top speed, making it more difficult to navigate highways or steep inclines during your journey. Additionally, some models may not have enough cargo space to accommodate all you need for a long trip such as luggage or camping gear.

Finally, while most hybrids come with reliable warranties that protect against mechanical failure, if something does happen while you’re on the road you may be faced with higher repair costs due to specialised parts or labor that comes with these newer technologies.


Overall, hybrid cars can make great choices for long distance road trips thanks to their fuel economy and emissions benefits; however there are still some tradeoffs that should be considered before making this decision such as engine size and additional repair costs if something were to go wrong while on the road. Ultimately no matter what kind of car you choose, safety always comes first so make sure your vehicle is properly loaded up and maintained before heading out on any excursion.

Check out this video from 2022 when we embarked on the inaugural Toyota Hybrid Challenge - in an exclusive partnership with Borneo Motors Singapore. For the trip, we drove a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid from Singapore to the Southern Tip of Thailand and back into Ipoh on just one tank of fuel and still had a quarter tank leftover.

Here are some notable hybrid vehicles with excellent fuel economy:

- Toyota Sienta Hybrid


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