Eight single, six three-way and six double cross hybrids were evaluated with a standard control to assess their yield potential and agronomic performance. The study was conducted in the field and greenhouse using a randomized complete block design with three replications at the University of the Free State during 2002/03. The three categories of hybrids performed differently and showed high variation for the majority of characters studied. Three-way cross hybrids showed better performance for days to flowering (70·9 days after sowing), fruit diameter (3·2 cm) and fruit weight (30·3 g/fruit). As expected, single cross hybrids were the most uniform followed by three-way cross hybrids. Three-way cross hybrids showed 36·1 and 13·6% heterosis for fruit yield and fruit length, respectively. Higher mean heterosis for fruit yield (35·6%), fruit number (24·0%) and fruit weight (16·9%) was also observed in double cross hybrid. This study shows that three-way and double cross hybrids can be used in pepper hybrid breeding. Selection of inbred lines for crossing from a similar market group can decrease heterogeneity in these categories of hybrids.