What is a plug-in hybrid?
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a car or van that's powered by a combination of either a petrol or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor.
PHEVs need to be plugged into a power source to recharge their battery pack, which enables them to be driven in all-electric mode for anything from around 20 to 50 miles, depending on model.
Charging is straightforward and can be completed using a 3-pin household socket, a dedicated home wallbox or at one of the thousands of public charging points located around the UK.
Plug-in hybrid cars have been around for some time now and are infiltrating the new and used car market. Here are 10 of the best plug-in hybrid cars on the market.
- Kia XCeed Plug-in Hybrid
- Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid
- Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid
- BMW 3 Series Plug-in Hybrid
- Volkswagen Passat GTE
- Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid
- MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid
- Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
- Peugeot 308 Hybrid
- Volvo XC90 Recharge
Kia XCeed Plug-in Hybrid
Joining the Ceed family with the hatchback, Sportswagon estate and ProCeed shooting brake; the XCeed is an SUV with coupé-like styling.
Combining a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and a battery, the XCeed Plug-in Hybrid produces a total power output of 139bhp and can be driven in all-electric mode for up to 36.6 miles on a single charge.
As it's a PHEV model, you'll need to plug the vehicle into a power source to recharge the 8.9kWh battery. It will take just over two hours to charge to full capacity when using a 3.3kW charger.
This hybrid car stands out against the rest as the battery pack doesn't take up valuable boot space and there's a dedicated space beneath the boot floor to store the charging cable. Furthermore, a Towing Pack is fitted as standard, allowing the XCeed PHEV to tow a braked trailer of up to 1,300kg.
Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid
The Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid also features in our best hybrid family cars article and it certainly deserves its spot in this blog, too.
With fuel consumption of around 201mpg achievable and an all-electric range of up to 35 miles, the PHEV SUV from Ford is a great option if you're in the market for a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Efficiency and economy aren't the only selling points with this motor though as performance is also something worth mentioning. A combination of a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor results in a total power output of 222bhp, which takes this SUV from 0 to 62mph in just 8.7 seconds. The PHEV variant is the only Kuga model that's available with four-wheel drive.
Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid
The Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid and Hybrid4 are excellent plug-in hybrid options.
Choose the Hybrid4 model if you want impressive performance, with a total power output of 296bhp (hot hatch territory) and all-wheel drive. The Hybrid variant combines the same 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors but is front-wheel drive, producing 222bhp.
You can drive up to 35 miles in 100 percent electric mode (WLTP) and you may be able to find a used model with the optional 7.4kW on-board charger that allows you to achieve a full charge in under two hours, when using a 7kW wallbox.
BMW 3 Series Plug-in Hybrid
Available as a saloon or a estate and badged as the 330e, the BMW 3 Series Plug-in Hybrid is stylish, powerful and efficient.
Up to 36 miles can be driven in pure electric mode in the saloon and up to 35 miles in the estate, whilst both derivatives have a combined range of 372 miles.
A total power output of 288bhp takes the saloon from 0 to 62mph in a speedy 5.8 seconds, meanwhile you can expect this executive car to return up to 217mpg. The estate is just one second slower in the 0 to 62mph sprint and returns up to a slightly less, but still impressive, 201mpg.
Both models make fantastic company cars with a Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rate as low as 11 percent.
Volkswagen Passat GTE
Firmly established as the ideal family all-rounder car, the humble Volkswagen Passat GTE is available in two bodystyles: Estate and Saloon.
Both the Saloon and the Estate have an exceptional all-electric 'e-mode' range of up to 40 and 38 miles (WLTP) respectively.
In just five hours the Passat GTE's battery can be fully recharged to full capacity, using a 2.3kW AC charger. Using a 3.6kW AC charger or a 1-phase 7.2kW AC charger, the charging time can be reduced to under four hours.
Along with the benefits of being a plug-in hybrid, you can relax knowing you're getting the reliability of a VW as well as the style and practicality you can enjoy from either model.
Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid
Being the most efficient and most dynamic Captur to date, the Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid is a fantastic family compact crossover.
School runs, grocery shopping and the average UK commute can be completed in all-electric mode thanks to the 30 miles of all-electric range. No fear though as if you need to travel a longer distance the petrol engine will engage and the Captur E-Tech will run on both the ICE and the electric motors.
Once the battery charge is depleted, it takes just over four hours to recharge at home using a 3-pin plug socket. If you'd like to speed up this time you can install a dedicated home wallbox, which will reduce the time to three hours. Public charging stations can also be used.
MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid
MINI in name but not in character, the Countryman is the popular brand's answer to a family SUV and there just so happens to be an efficient plug-in hybrid version, too.
Despite having a slightly smaller boot than its petrol and diesel counterparts, the Countryman PHEV still boasts a decent boot capacity of 405 litres; plenty of space for belongings, a weekly shop or the family dog.
Completing the 0 to 62mph sprint in just 6.8 seconds, the Countryman PHEV features the iconic MINI go-kart handling and is pretty nippy.
Intelligent ALL4 all-wheel drive will be a fantastic feature for adventurers wanting to head off-road, or for in the winter months when the weather conditions can impact the roads.
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
A common sight in British cities such as London, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid deserves its reputation thanks to exceptional fuel economy and decent all-electric range.
Whether you opt for the self-charging hybrid or the PHEV Prius, it's powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine with assistance from the electric motor. However, the key benefit of the PHEV is that you can drive in pure electric mode for up to 39 miles before needing to recharge the battery.
Low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions aren't the only reasons many drivers choose the Prius, it also achieved the top five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Peugeot 308 Hybrid
Peugeot have upped their game recently in terms of style and road presence, providing a futuristic range of new and used vehicles that stand out from their competitors in a league of their own.
The 308 brings with it a host of benefits, starting with efficient plug-in hybrid technology. It's available with two plug-in hybrid drivetrains, each connected to a petrol PureTech engine, which are renowned for their excellent efficiency.
Taking on daily commutes with ease, the 308 allows users to drive up to 37 miles on a full charge, and emissions are as low as 25g/km.
Volvo XC90 Recharge
Standing out in this list, thanks to its seven seats, the Volvo XC90 Recharge is a fantastic large family SUV that's also an efficient and powerful plug-in hybrid model.
The all-wheel drive model can be driven on electric power for up to 30 miles, with zero tailpipe emissions.
Being a model from the Volvo range, you can expect a high-standard of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems including Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), a 360-degree parking camera and Cross Traffic Alert.
An advanced air quality system also features in the XC90 Recharge, preventing up to 95 percent of hazardous PM 2.5 particles entering the cabin, ensuring all occupants can enjoy better and healthier air quality.
Find your perfect plug-in hybrid car at Evans Halshaw
At Evans Halshaw we have an extensive range of efficient and powerful new and used plug-in hybrid cars available across our nationwide dealership network.
If you're still unsure whether a PHEV is the right type of electrified vehicle for you, we have created plenty more handy buying guides in our blog section, including best used electric cars and best used self-charging hybrid cars.