Best Hybrid And Electric Cars – Top 10 Best Plug-in Hybrids to Buy in 2023 The plug-in hybrid market has grown rapidly in recent years. Here are our favorites
Not everyone is ready to make the leap to a fully electric vehicle, which makes plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) the perfect ‘stepping stone’. What’s more, with more manufacturers joining the PHEV arms race, there’s now a wide variety of models to choose from – whether you’re looking for an SUV, saloon, estate or hatchback, there’s an option for you, according to our list. The best plug-in hybrid to buy has been confirmed.
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There are many reasons to reduce your carbon footprint, take advantage of government incentives, lower tax rates, or simply switch from a plug-in, internal combustion engine car to a hybrid. Love this drive. Hybrid car.
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The sheer number of vehicles now offering plug-in hybrid capability means there are PHEV options for buyers in many markets. This means buyers are having a tough time choosing the best plug-in hybrid car for them. On this page, we aim to help you by explaining the market and making a decision on the best plug-in hybrid you can buy.
So which PHEV do we recommend? With so many on offer now, we’ve rounded up our top 10 options, scroll down to see our favourites.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the ultimate executive saloon with an emphasis on comfort, refinement and refinement. It may not be as sporty as some rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE, but it feels more special inside. This is especially true for the PHEV, which is quieter when powered by a 127bhp electric motor.
And to answer those who believe plug-in hybrids don’t go far on a single charge, Mercedes has fitted a 25.4kWh battery – more than the original Nissan Leaf. The C 300e has enough fuel to give it an official EV range of over 60 miles, making 40-50 miles of zero-emission driving realistic in most situations. Importantly, it’s not only more than adequate for daily driving for most people, but it can also handle long journeys well.
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The electric motor is paired with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 201 bhp for a total of 308 bhp. It’s reasonably quick, hitting 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds, but the C300E only feels good in a straight line. The engine is quiet on entry and easily drowned out by the Burmester hi-fi.
One of the few downfalls is the price – like many Mercedes models recently it has risen significantly, meaning you need to pay around £50,000 before options and/or packaging are added.
Since the BMW 3 Series is already a top choice among family and company car drivers, a plug-in hybrid version will always be a logical step forward. BMW intended to launch the current generation car as a plug-in from the start, so the platform was created on the powertrain.
Passenger space suffers slightly as a result, but boot capacity drops to 375 liters against the standard saloon’s 480 litres. If you want more space, it’s worth noting that, unlike the previous generation, the 330e is now available in Touring Estate guise for the first time. Plus, the latest facelift means the 330e is better than ever, although it’s a little jarring to see the climate controls migrate to the new touchscreen infotainment system.
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As seen in the current gen version’s life, the key to BMW’s appeal is its excellent chassis. Sure, the PHEV powertrain adds extra weight, but the 3 Series still handles well and the ride is smooth.
Buyers of the company’s cars enjoy lower costs thanks to emissions of 37g/km. BMW claims a range of 36 miles on electricity alone, and charging from a three-pin socket takes five and a half hours.
There was a time when spending more than £40,000 on a Kia seemed odd, but the Sportage PHEV really justifies the price with great refinement, a strong tech offering and some style. And in any case for the company’s car selection, the electrified Sportage proves a very affordable option with an electric-only range of 43 miles and a CO2 figure of 25 g/km along with eight per cent benefit-type tax. . band, which is not managed by the closely related Hyundai Tuscon PHEV.
The electric motor, 13.8kWh battery and 1.6-litre inline-four petrol engine combine for good, if not very quick straight-line performance, with the 261bhp output getting the Sportage from 0-62mph in a relatively solid 8.2 seconds.
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As with all versions of the Sportage, the interior is the real highlight of the car. The two 12.3-inch displays – one for the flagship infotainment system, the other for the digital instrument cluster – sit side-by-side to give the impression of a room, while the material quality is superb.
With more space than its competitors, plenty of thoughtful features and a comfortable interior, the Skoda Octavia is one of our favorite cars. For the first time, this generation is available with plug-in power, a powertrain familiar to Volkswagen Golf GTE owners.
1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and a small electric motor group to produce 201bhp and 350Nm of torque. That’s good enough for a respectable 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds, but more important is the Octavia iV’s 34-mile EV range. This means the Skoda will haul four adults and all their luggage in and out of town with virtually no tailpipe emissions.
Official figures are 282mpg and 22-33g/km CO2, which will certainly appeal to company-car drivers looking for low-mileage-with-responsibility. For the 1.5-litre petrol engine, the equivalent Octavia costs almost half the bill.
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We found it easy to reach 30 miles in all but cold weather, and it only took three hours using the Wallbox to charge the battery. This makes it easy for most owners to start the day with a full range of EVs or charge up while driving home.
One thing to note is that Skoda has temporarily stopped selling this car due to backorders at the time of writing, so if you’re looking for a car, you’ll have to be patient.
BMW had an excellent 530e-badged PHEV version, but the arrival of the six-cylinder petrol engine in the 545e xDrive plug-in makes for an even more impressive machine. Not only is it more powerful, with a combined 387bhp and 600Nm of torque, but the smooth-smooth 3.0-litre petrol makes the transition between electric and internal combustion power seamless.
The 11.6 kWh battery is significantly less than what the C 300e offers, but still enough to give BMW 33 miles of electric power. This boosts fuel economy to 166mpg and, in the executive segment, cuts CO2 emissions by 40g/km.
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One benefit of smaller batteries is weight savings, because unlike many PHEVs, the 545e xDrive is still an impressive car behind the wheel. It feels like a well-balanced, stylish saloon, carefully tuned to ensure excellent body control without an overly stiff ride. There is a sweet noise from the engine when accelerating.
It would be tempting to put the new plug-in hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport on this list, but the Range Rover Sport’s sibling is less expensive to drive and a bit faster, while being more luxurious.
Like the full-fat Range Rover PHEV, the plug-in Range Rover Sport is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six petrol engine with a 38.2 kW (31.8 kWh) battery pack. Although we expect more than 50 miles in real-world conditions, this impressive theoretical electric range only yields 70 miles in lab results.
The PHEV can be seen in two states of tune – the P510 is good for 503bhp and 700Nm of torque, doing 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds, while the P440e still offers a healthy 434bhp which delivers a 5.8 second 0-to-time. 62 miles per hour image 62 miles per hour. However, be warned that, while less expensive than a ‘proper’ Range Rover, this is far from a cheap car. The much less powerful P440e starts at around £100,000 and most go past that mark once it’s optioned.
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This plug-in hybrid version of the NX is mechanically identical to the Toyota RAV4 PHEV, with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, two motors, and an 18.1 kWh battery pack. The Lexus deserves a premium, however, thanks to its impressive interior.
The cabin offers more space than its German rivals and the new infotainment setup is a big step up from the easy-to-use trackpad control setup. It is also a smart looking car from the outside.
The engine, motor and battery produce 305 bhp, enough to accelerate the NX from 0-62 mph in just 6.3 seconds. Meanwhile, electric-only reaches up to 40