For many, plug-in hybrids are a great first step into electrification – bringing drivers up-to-speed with charging a battery-powered car, while also delivering an ‘electric-only’ range that’s ideal for local zero-emissions journeys, while allowing the use of a petrol or diesel engine for really long journeys.
They’ve become more and more popular, as the range of models has increased, and the range of the batteries within them. However, there can be quite a difference between the best and the worst when it comes to how far they can travel on electricity alone.
So if you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid with a good electric range, here are five great choices.
BMW was one of the earlier manufacturers to begin offering plug-in hybrid powertrains, and it’s now making the most of its expertise with models like the X5 xDrive45e – a plug-in hybrid version of one of the brand’s largest SUVs.
Thanks to a large 24kWh battery, this BMW is able to travel for up to 54 miles on electricity, and offers some impressively low running costs if you’re able to charge regularly – BMW claiming it can return more than 200mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 31g/km. A 7% benefit-in-kind also makes it a very attractive company car.
Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid
Toyota has been developing hybrid powertrains for more than 20 years, and its latest electrified models are a far cry from the brand’s original Prius – in a good way. And while you’re able to get the largest RAV4 SUV as a self-charging hybrid, the new plug-in option is the star of the show.
It packs a generous 18.1kWh battery that allows for an impressive 46 miles on electricity, and very low running costs in the process – 282.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 22g/km being claimed by Toyota. Like the X5, it also sits in a very low company car tax bracket too.
Skoda Octavia Plug-in Hybrid
Skoda is rapidly developing its range of electrified models, with the arrival of the new Enyaq iV as the brand’s first EV, and also with a range of plug-in hybrid options that are rather impressive. One of which is the Octavia iV – a PHEV version of this hugely popular family car.
Available as both a hatchback or an estate, the Octavia uses a smaller battery than others on this list – 13kWh, to be precise – but is highly efficient with its use, and allows for an electric range of up to 43 miles. A fuel economy figure of 188.3mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 22g/km means that this could be a very efficient model to drive, providing that you’re able to charge it regularly.
Plug-in hybrid powertrains have typically been used in larger cars, such as big SUVs and estates. But there are exceptions to the rule, and a particularly good option, if you’re looking for a compact PHEV, is the Mercedes A250e.
Based on the regular A-Class, which is a superb premium hatchback thanks to classy styling and a show-stopping interior, the A250e uses a relatively sizeable 15.6kWh battery. If you drive efficiently, Mercedes claims it can travel for 45 miles as an EV, delivering a fuel economy figure of 282.5mpg, with low CO2 emissions of 24g/km. Swift performance and plenty of standard equipment also add to the appeal of this hybrid.
Any Volkswagen Golf Plug-in Hybrid is a good choice, but we particularly like the GTE. When you think of Volkswagen’s ‘GT’ models, it’s probably the Golf GTI that comes to mind, yet this classy hatchback is also offered as a sporty plug-in hybrid model. And it actually offers a broadly similar powertrain to the Octavia, mentioned above, but with a stronger focus on performance.
Yet that’s not at the expense of efficiency, with Volkswagen claiming this Golf is good for 40 miles on electricity, while also returning seriously impressive efficiency figures – 246.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 26g/km being claimed. As it sits near the top of the Golf line-up, you also get loads of standard equipment too, to make this an excellent choice.
Find the perfect car for you
If none of these plug-in hybrids feel right for you, then don’t despair, you can use our EV finder tool to put in your preferences and get your very own custom list! Have a play around to see what things are important to you, and compare and contrast the choices that you’re presented with, and if you find something you like then you can delve into model detail on each car’s individual page, and we can arrange a test drive or a quote for most models.