Top 10 best plug-in hybrid cars 2022
Plug-in hybrid cars are great for keeping fuel and company-car tax bills low. Here are the best ones to buy in the UK right now
If you want to drastically reduce your fuel and company-car tax bills, then a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is a great option. Plug-ins have a petrol or diesel engine plus 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.
The main thing to remember with a plug-in hybrid is that you need to plug it in and charge regularly to get the full benefit. 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.
But if a PHEV is right for you, then keep reading for the best plug-in hybrid cars on sale right now. Click through to our in-depth reviews to learn more – and follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest news on these and every other type of electric and hybrid car there is.
The 330e preserves all that's great about the standard-setting 3 Series and adds a petrol-electric drivetrain to the mix. A 12kWh battery gives up to 37 miles of electric range, with the electric motor capable of 68mph before needing assistance from the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. More impressive than that, however, is that the 3 Series is still great to drive: the weight of the battery hasn't dulled its performance in corners, and the engine is tuneful enough to put a smile on your face on a fast B-road. Read our full review.
BMW X5 xDrive45e
The big X5 boasts one of the longest electric ranges of any plug-in hybrid. It has a 24kWh battery that can return up to 54 miles of running from a charge; the car can also reach 83mph without assistance from the 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The six-cylinder unit is potent, and working in tandem with the electric motor it'll produce a whopping 389bhp for a 0-62mph time of just 5.6 seconds. Along with that performance, you get a roomy, luxurious and high-tech cabin, plus a handy 500 litres of boot space. Read our full review.
Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid
The Kuga has established itself as a favourite of both buyers and company-car users. This plug-in hybrid version will be of particular interest to the latter thanks to its very low 32g/km CO2 emissions and 35-mile electric range guaranteeing low Benefit-in-Kind tax. Apart from that, it counts on all the strong points of the mild-hybrid and full-hybrid Kugas: a spacious interior, the biggest dealer network in the UK and a great driving experience thanks to the involving handling we've come to expect from Ford. Read our full review.
Jaguar F-Pace P400e
The Jaguar F-Pace has long been one of the best large SUVs to drive, and some would say the arrival of plug-in hybrid power is long overdue. It was worth the wait, however: the additional bulk of the battery pack doesn't affect the car's great handling, and the same round of updates that brought electrification to the F-Pace also included a comprehensive revamp of its interior and infotainment system. Read our full review.
Mercedes A 250 e
The plug-in hybrid version of the A-Class is one of the best cars of its kind on sale right now. Available in hatchback and saloon form, the 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 likely to cost just £2. 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. Read our full review.
Peugeot 508 Hybrid
Many of those considering a plug-in hybrid saloon are likely to be company-car users. Their usual choices include the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Skoda Superb, but they can seem quite commonplace and ordinary. The 508 Hybrid is a good alternative, offering a stylish and refined take on the format. It's not as good to drive as the BMW, but it's quite well equipped, very comfortable and has a pure-electric range of up to 39 miles. Finally, CO2 emissions of just 29-33g/km ensure low Benefit-in-Kind tax. Read our full review.
SEAT Leon e-Hybrid
The Leon uses a similar 1.4-litre petrol-electric drivetrain to those found in the Skoda Octavia and Audi A3 plug-in hybrids. Its 201bhp output ensures peppy performance, while a pure-electric range of up to 40 miles means most shorter journeys can be completed fuel-free if you keep the 13.1kWh battery topped up. SEAT has always been more value-focused as a brand than its more prestigious stablemates, so the other good news is that the Leon e-Hybrid is one of the cheapest plug-in hybrids on sale. Read our full review here.
Skoda Superb iV
If you call a car 'Superb', it has to be good. Luckily for Skoda, the Superb is just that – especially in plug-in hybrid form. Using the same setup as the Volkswagen Passat GTE, the iV has a 1.4-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor for a 215bhp output. While it's not the sportiest of vehicles, the performance on offer is more than enough to get by with, and up to 37 miles of electric range means you can feasibly run the Superb iV in electric-only mode for most of the time. It's hugely practical inside, too. Read our full review here.
Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid
Toyota focused for years on conventional 'full hybrids' rather than plug-ins, with only the slow-selling Prius Plug-In breaking ranks in this regard. But with company-car tax skewed heavily in favour of models that can travel a significant distance on electric power, the brand has bowed to the inevitable and brought plug-in power to its RAV4 SUV. In the process, it has created one of the most powerful production Toyotas ever: the RAV4 makes 302bhp from its petrol engine and electric motor and will do 0-62mph in just six seconds. Read our full review of the RAV4 Plug-In here and check out its near-identical sister model the Suzuki Across here.
Volvo XC60 Recharge T8
The Volvo XC60 T8 ticks many boxes, promising to mix all the practicality of its SUV rivals with a more upmarket approach. An electric range of up to 32 miles is par for the course, but 385bhp and 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds is up there with the fastest plug-in hybrids on sale. A choice of R-Design and Inscription trim levels provides a high-quality interior finish and plenty of technology as well. Meanwhile, the ride is comfortable, and head and legroom are plentiful throughout. It's a seriously good all-rounder. Read our full review.
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