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Top 10 best plug-in hybrid cars 2024

Here are our top picks of the best plug-in hybrid motoring options you can buy in the UK right now

If you want to drastically reduce your fuel and company-car tax bills, but you don’t feel ready to make the switch to electric just yet, then a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is a great option. Plug-in hybrids pair a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor and battery pack, so they’re able to drive on electric power alone, the engine alone, or a combination of the two for maximum efficiency.

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The main thing to remember with a plug-in hybrid is that you need to plug it in and charge regularly if you want to get the best fuel economy and electric driving range possible. Some are able to self-charge to an extent with regenerative braking technology but you really have to top the battery up with a plug to get the best fuel economy returns. 

If you’re able to park in a spot with a charger – at home or at work – then you can potentially use electric power for the vast majority of trips, only falling back on the engine for longer-distance runs. If you’re not able to charge regularly, then a non-plug-in hybrid – also known as a 'full hybrid' or 'self-charging hybrid' – might be a better option.

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But you think a PHEV is right for you, then here are our top picks for the best plug-in hybrid cars on the market right now:

1. Mercedes C 300e

The latest Mercedes C-Class saloon and estate are both available with plug-in hybrid power, offering no-compromise solutions for those not ready to make the switch to electric. The C 300e saloon and estate are both capable of more than 60 miles of electric running on a charge, returning over 400mpg and with CO2 emissions as low as 13g/km, they promise rock-bottom running costs for most motorists. Mercedes has also swiped the best elements of its flagship S-Class and EQS’ cabins to give the new C-Class an exceptional interior. 

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Read our full review of the Mercedes C 300e to find out more.

2. Kia Sportage PHEV

The latest Sportage combines striking exterior styling with a spacious, tech-filled cabin and superb quality interior. It's also the first Sportage to be available with a plug: this petrol-electric version will do 43 miles without touching a drop of fuel and promises fuel economy north of 250mpg if you remember to keep the 13.8kWh battery topped up. It's pricey for a private buyer, but company-car drivers will be laughing all the way to the bank.

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Read our full review of the Kia Sportage PHEV to find out more.

3. Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid

Previous generations of Tucson took a 'solid and sensible' approach to family motoring, but could hardly be called exciting. However, Hyundai has switched it up with the latest generation of the mid-size family SUV, which boasts a well equipped and well thought-out interior, not to mention the fact it’s one of the most striking-looking family cars we’ve seen in recent years. The Plug-In Hybrid version adds superb efficiency to this already appealing package, with a promise of over 200mpg fuel economy and nearly 40 miles of electric range.

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Read our full review of the Hyundai Tucson Plug-In to find out more.

4. BMW X5 xDrive50e

The latest BMW X5 xDrive50e stands out as a luxurious family SUV, boasting a refined plug-in hybrid powertrain. With an upgraded 194bhp electric motor and a bigger 25.7kWh battery, it now delivers an impressive combined 483bhp and a quoted electric range of up to 67 mile. While testing the car we achieved 50 miles per charge in cold conditions. It has a commendable fuel economy with an official 353mpg on the WLTP combined cycle. 

Inside, the X5 charms with its superbly crafted interior, advanced technology, and commanding driving position. While on the road, it offers exceptional refinement, comfort, and a delightfully smooth 6-cylinder engine.

5. Lexus NX 450h+

The latest iteration of Lexus' popular mid-size SUV is the first available with plug-in hybrid power. The NX 450h+ boasts an impressive 40-mile electric range; when this is depleted, the Lexus SUV turns into a regular self-charging hybrid in order to maintain strong fuel economy. To top it all off, the NX 450h+ gets typically angular Lexus styling and rock-solid build quality, as well as an all-new touchscreen infotainment system. If you'd rather sit and relax instead of attacking the bends like a BMW driver, the NX 450h+ could be just the ticket.

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Read our full review of the Lexus NX 450h+ to find out more.

6. Toyota RAV4 PHEV

Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid technology for years, and it seems to have perfected the formula for creating exceptional hybrids, with the plug-in hybrid RAV4 being no exception. The RAV4 impresses with its official WLTP economy of 282.4mpg and we were able to consistently averaging over 60mpg in real-world conditions. With a robust 305bhp engine, it accelerates to 60mph in under six seconds.

Toyota states that drivers should achieve a 46-mile electric range, ideal for daily commuting. The vehicle's simple interior design and user-friendly technology that anyone can use without any lessons, ensures a stress-free driving experience. Offering a spacious boot and  having convenient charging options, the Toyota RAV4 PHEV emerges as a practical and efficient choice for families.

7. Range Rover Sport PHEV

By far the most expensive entry on this list, the plug-in hybrid version of the latest Range Rover Sport is also the most refined and relaxing model to drive in the luxury SUV’s line-up. The electric motor provides a truly serene driving experience, with the Range Rover Sport PHEV able to cover up to 70 miles on battery power alone, according to Land Rover. The ride is comfortable, as you’d expect, but that doesn’t mean the car can’t handle a corner or two. In fact, thanks to four-wheel steering it's surprisingly agile, even around town. Pair all that with a modern-looking cabin filled with impressive technology and the Range Rover Sport PHEV elevates this already exceptional SUV to new heights. 

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Read our full review of the Range Rover Sport PHEV to find out more.

8. Mercedes A 250 e

Now available only in saloon form, the Mercedes A 250 e features a 15.6kWh battery that'll return up to 44 miles of electric range; handily more than most people drive in an average day. As such, running costs should be suitably low, with a full charge from a home wallbox costing just a few quid. In electric-only mode, the A 250 e will manage up to 87mph, so it won't be hampered by stints on the motorway, and when you do run out of juice there's a very capable 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 158bhp to fall back on. With the A-Class hatch no longer available as a PHEV, options like the GLA and CLA are worth considering if you need a more practical boot.

Read our full review of the Mercedes A 250 e to find out more.

9. Kia Niro PHEV

The new plug-in hybrid Kia Niro improves on what was already a great family car by adding bold styling, class-leading tech and even better fuel economy than before. In fact, Kia claims the Niro PHEV can return up to 280mpg, and cover 40 miles without using a drop of petrol. The Niro PHEV’s 348-litre boot offers similar luggage capacity to a hybrid Peugeot 308 or Volkswagen Golf, while its ride is probably the most comfortable of the entire Niro line-up. The fully electric Niro EV is only a little more expensive and should cost less to run – especially if you charge at home via a wallbox – but if you’re not quite ready to commit to an electric car, the Niro PHEV can provide a glimpse at the EV driving experience.

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Read our full review of the Kia Niro PHEV to find out more.

10. Peugeot 308 Hybrid 180

Two plug-in hybrid versions of the Peugeot's family hatchback and SW estate (above) are available, both with a zero-emissions driving range of 37 miles, and official fuel economy figures well over 250mpg. The new 308 is also a pretty sharp looking family car that gets plenty of kit as standard. Some of its rivals may attract an even lower Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rate as the 308 PHEV, but its 12% tax rate is still impressive, plus it’s less expensive to buy than its Mercedes, Audi or Volkswagen alternatives.

Read our full review of the Peugeot 308 hatchback here, as well as our in-depth review of the plug-in 308 estate here.

Curveball: Mazda MX-30 REV - new

The Mazda MX-30 plug-in hybrid is a left-field choice we had to feature, thanks to its stylish design and innovative tech. Offering a fun driving experience and a 5-star Euro NCAP rating, it truly stands out in the small SUV class where PHEV options aren’t plentiful. The distinctive rear-hinged doors add a bit of flair to the car, creating a pillarless cabin - although rear legroom isn’t great. 

With a quoted electric-only range of 53 miles from a 17.8kWh battery and a combined range of up to 400 miles with its 50-litre fuel tank and rotary engine, it showcases great efficiency. Despite its somewhat limited rear passenger space, the MX-30 offers excellent value and safety for a family SUV.

Best plug-in hybrid cars to buy now

  1. Mercedes C 300e
  2. Kia Sportage PHEV
  3. Hyundai Tucson Plug-In
  4. BMW X5 xDrive50e
  5. Lexus NX 450h+ 
  6. Toyota RAV4 PHEV
  7. Range Rover Sport PHEV
  8. Mercedes A 250 e
  9. Kia Niro PHEV
  10. Peugeot 308 Hybrid 180

Make sure to check out the winners of the 2024 DrivingElectric Awards and our list of the best electric cars as well to see what’s impressed us the most over the past year – and don't forget to follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest news and reviews.

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Content Editor

Hello, I'm George Armitage. I joined the DrivingElectric team in 2024 as a content editor and I also contribute to Auto Express. Formerly, I restored classic cars and worked in car sales. Starting with freelance writing, I progressed into automotive journalism, fuelling my passion for storytelling and connecting with audiences to explain the amazing world of EVs.

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