If you’re looking for a new vehicle and aren’t interested in another environment polluting gas guzzler, but still can’t see yourself driving in a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV) just yet, then a plug-in hybrid is your best bet.
Now, don’t confuse a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with a traditional hybrid vehicle (HEV). Plug-in hybrid vehicles have several advantages over pure gas or pure electric vehicles and even traditional hybrid vehicles. While the powertrain in a plug-in hybrid vehicle is relatively similar compared to a traditional hybrid vehicle in that it combines both a gas engine and an electric motor, the battery is often larger so you get more electric range and there’s also plug-in functionality so you can charge your vehicle at home, at work, or at your favorite destinations where chargers are available. Depending on your commute, you can potentially go full electric and skip the range anxiety of having an electric vehicle on longer drvies.
Now that you have an idea of what a plug-in hybrid is and why it would make sense to go with a plug-in hybrid vehicle over a traditional hybrid vehicle, let’s go ahead and take a look at what we believe is the best plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market today.
Best Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Toyota Prius Prime
You simply can’t look at hybrid vehicles without first starting off with the Toyota Prius. The Toyota Prius is easily the most iconic hybrid vehicle on the market having been introduced all the way back in 1997.
The Toyota Prius Prime is the plug-in hybrid version of the Toyota Prius which was first introduced back in 2017. The Toyota Prius Prime brings a larger battery, longer electric only range, and of course the plug-in capability. According to the EPA, the Toyota Prius Prime offers 25 miles of pure electric range and up to a maximum of 640 mile range making it one of the longest range vehicles in any class. The Toyota Prius Prime also scores 133 MPGe fuel/electric efficiency rating and 54 MPG when utilizing only the gas engine.
The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime currently starts at $27,750 and qualifies for up to a $4,500 federal tax credit as the onboard battery pack isn’t large enough for the $7,500 tax credit unlocked for full electric vehicles with larger batteries.
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid
If you’re looking at plug-in hybrids, the Hyundai Ioniq should definitely be a vehicle to take a close look at. The Hyundai Ioniq comes in three trim flavors – gas, electric and plug-in hybrid with the plug-in hybrid being clearly the best vehicle of the bunch.
The Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid has an EPA estimated all-electric range of 29 miles, which is a longer pure electric range than the Toyota Prius Prime although the total range of the vehicle is 630 miles, which is just 10 miles short of the Toyota Prius Prime. EPA estimated fuel/electric efficiency of the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid is 119 MPGe and 52 MPG combined when driving on gas only.
The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq starts at $26,500 and qualifies for up to $4,500 in federal tax credits. It also carries Hyundai’s 10-year, 10,000 mile warranty on the powertrain, so if you’re the type who only makes a vehicle purchase once a decade, the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid is an excellent bet.
2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
If something with a little bit of room is what you’re looking for, you’re in luck as the Chrysler Pacific Hybrid just so happens to be one of the best plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market and it’s a minivan.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid seats 7 passengers and features a 16 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery allowing it to achieve an astounding 33 miles of all electric range and a total hybrid range of 570 miles. EPA estimated fuel/electric efficiency rating of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is 82 MPGe which is very good for a larger vehicle.
The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid starts at $39,995 and qualifies for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits due to the massive size of its battery. It’s definitely a bit more expensive than something like the Hyundai Ioniq, but if you want a 7-seater option, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is worth taking a look at.
2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
Honda hybrids hasn’t really enjoyed the popularity that Toyota Hybrids have enjoyed over the years, but Honda has been in the hybrid game for a long time and their Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid is an excellent example.
The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid features an EPA electric/fuel efficiency rating of 110 MPGe and a gas efficiency rating of 42 MPG. It also features a pure electric range of 47 miles and a total combined hybrid range of 340 miles. While the hybrid range is short compared to others like the Toyota Prius Prime or the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid, the longer electric only range of the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid means you can potentially go fully electric if your daily commute is 47 miles or less.
The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid starts at $33,400 and because of the large onboard battery, it qualifies for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits making it one of the best deals for a plug-in hybrid. You’re also getting Honda’s legendary reliability as well as an 8-year battery warranty as well for that extra peace of mind.
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
If you’re looking for versatility and a crossover SUV is what you’re looking for, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will likely fit the bill.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV features an EPA estimated electric/fuel efficiency rating of 74 MPGe and 25 MPG when operated in gas only mode. It features a fully electric range of 22 miles and has a total gas/electric hybrid range of up to 310 miles.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV starts at $36,295 and qualifies for up to a $5,836 federal tax credit due to its 12 kWh battery. It also features a 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain and battery warranty for peace of mind.