What is the best plug-in hybrid car to choose in 2023?

The popularity of plug-in hybrid cars is growing and this is easy to understand, since motorists are increasingly concerned about the environment and the efficiency of their vehicles. 

By combining the advantages of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, these cars offer not only significant fuel economy, but also nice performance. Wondering what really sets the best plug-in hybrid cars apart?competition in 2023? 

In this article, we take a look at the benefits of plug-in hybrid cars and bring you the 10 best cars in this category in 2023.

Whether you’re looking to save money on your fuel budget, reduce your carbon footprint or enjoy driving that is both pleasant and quiet, this article will answer all your questions!

What are the benefits of plug-in hybrid cars?

Plug-in hybrid cars , also known by the acronym PHEV (for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), can be described as combining the advantages of electric vehicles with those of petrol or diesel cars. 

Indeed, plug-in hybrid cars operate using one or more electric motors as well as a conventional thermal block , allowing drivers to benefit from the energy efficiency of an electric car, while retaining the possibility of making longer journeys without having to worry about recharging the battery .

In concrete terms, one of the most striking advantages of plug-in hybrid cars is the fuel savings they generate compared to an equivalent internal combustion-only model. 

In fact, by using an electric motor for short journeys, it is easy to understand that these vehicles consume less fuel than their thermal counterparts. 

Admittedly, it is difficult to communicate on the percentage of this reduction, since it will depend both on the model considered and on the behavior specific to each motorist. 

However, for someone who lives about twenty kilometers from work and drives within the speed limits, it is not impossible to achieve fuel economyaround 50% , which is obviously not negligible! 

In addition, since PHEVs have smaller batteries than 100% electric models, recharging times are reduced and are therefore less restrictive on a daily basis.

Along with this reduced fuel budget , PHEV vehicles also emit less exhaust than traditional petrol or diesel cars. Since these cars, unlike simple hybrids, can drive several tens of kilometers in zero emission mode, their CO2 and NOx emissions are considerably reduced. 

And if you are able to recharge your Plug-in hybrid from a carbon-free and/or renewable energy source, the environmental impact of your motorized journeys will be even better.

Pug-in hybrid cars and their top notch performance

Additionally, plug-in hybrid cars are frequently touted for their top-notch performance. Indeed, as a reminder, electric motors are able to provide their maximum torque almost instantaneously , which translates into faster and smoother acceleration at low speed than with an equivalent thermal vehicle. 

In fact, internal combustion engines develop the maximum of their power by climbing in the towers and the contribution of an electric motor to support it from the lowest revs is therefore welcome. 

If the driving sensations are more dynamic with a PHEV hybrid, a vehicle of this type will also be able to provide appreciable driving comfort .

when the electricity fairy is called upon, the car moves, for example, in such silence and with such gentleness that one is surprised to practice eco-driving for the simple fact of prolonging this serenity.

Moreover, since it is a question of peace of mind, let us emphasize that in comparison with 100% electric cars, plug-in hybrids logically make it possible to obtain a much greater autonomy and without the stress of the breakdown of electricity. 

Moreover, if you are looking for a plug-in hybrid car with the best autonomy , our ranking should interest you! 

Plug-in hybrid cars ant the networtk of charging stations

At present, the network of charging stations is developing rapidly, but it is still too patchy to easily envisage long-distance journeys, and all the more so if the journeys in question are made during periods of heavy crowds.

For example, if you are on the road for the long holidays, in July or August, and you need to recharge your electric car at a terminal in a rest area, keep in mind that the more there will be vehicles to use the same generator, the longer it will take to recharge each car. 

If a terminal can deliver enough power for a vehicle to regain 80% autonomy in 30 minutes, but 2 terminals use the same generator, the time required drops to 1 hour…

And in this case, you will be happy to simply being able to refuel in moments at the gas station thanks to the versatility offered by a PHEV hybrid .

Finally, the vast majority of plug-in hybrid models entitle you to a reduction or free registration . And then, of course, these vehicles have a Crit’Air sticker 1 , which opens the doors to urban centers for many years to come, even as more and more ZFEs (Low Emission Zones) will be implemented in the short term.

Our selection of the best plug-in hybrid cars in 2023

First of all, it should be noted that this classification contains an element of subjectivity, all the more important as the number of possibilities has continued to grow in recent years, to the point that today we almost always find a PHEV version of each new model marketed. 

In addition, we have selected a ranking of the best plug-in hybrid cars in 2023, but when it comes to vehicles belonging to various categories, we will not present them in competition with each other.

Read also Hybrid car: How to choose the right one?

Alfa Romeo Tonale

best plug-in hybrid car

We can now start with a compact SUV , but not just any, because it is perhaps the one that presents the most elaborate design in its category, with resolutely modern lines, certainly, but which also pay homage to some of the most emblematic models of the biscione brand . 

Alfa Romeo aficionados will have spotted the allusion to the transalpine manufacturer here, and will probably have deduced that we are talking about the Tonale, In its Plug-in Hybrid Q4 version , developing a whopping 275 horsepower . 

In addition to class-leading performance, this all-wheel-drive SUV can travel more than 55 kilometerswithout emitting CO2 or consuming the slightest drop of fuel.

Audi A3 40 TFSI e

Audi A3 Sportback-best plug-in hybrid car

Then comes the Audi A3 40 TFSI e , a more complex name that is ultimately less remembered than its previous name, e-Tron. Anyway, within a generation, the battery capacity has doubled, reaching 13 kWh . 

Autonomy, in the urban cycle, can be around 75 kilometres , which is all the more remarkable since this A3 not only retains all the versatility of the base model, but also reveals substantial power. 

In fact, this compact has 204 horsepower, allowing it to go from 0 to 100 km/h in just over 7.5 seconds, and to exceed 225 km/h. So these are statistics that a GTI would not deny, but with a combined consumption approved at only 1.3 l/100 km. 

It should be noted that this system is used on other models of the VAG group , such as the Cupra Leon.

Audi A3 Sportback-best plug-in hybrid car

BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series-best plug-in hybrid car

Another almost unavoidable Germanic model, the BMW 5 Series stands out in this ranking with a hybrid system honoring the reputation of engine manufacturer of excellence which is often given credit to the Bavarian manufacturer. 

Thus, the 545e xDrive is not just a comfortable family sedan , capable of traversing Europe in the comfort and opulence of a state-of-the-art BMW cabin. 

No, it is also a real sports car , whose 394 cumulative horsepower is transmitted to the road, with formidable efficiency, by a controlled all-wheel drive. 

In addition, this 545 can exceed 50 kilometers of autonomythanks to the fairy electricity, which translates into an average approved consumption of 1.6 l/100 km.

DS 4 E-Tense

DS 4 E-Tense-best plug-in hybrid car

Let’s continue this overview with the one that was voted “Most Beautiful Car of the Year 2022” , namely the athletic DS 4 . 

Indeed, it is possible to order it in a 225 hp PHEV version called E-Tense, in connection with the brand’s commitment to electrified motor racing. 

We then obtain a Crossover with a sporty look , capable of traveling more than 45 kilometers in 100% electric mode, and which offers a very special atmosphere in the passenger compartment, perfectly embodying the French Premium .

Ds DS4-best plug-in hybrid car

Ferrari 296 GTB

Ferrari 296 GTB-best plug-in hybrid car

Completely unreasonable, the Ferrari 296 GTB could not however be ignored, because it is also, and perhaps even above all, through these exceptional vehicles that the plug-in hybrid gradually acquires its most beautiful letters of nobility.  

In fact, here is a supercar struck by the prancing horse, which can move about 25 kilometers in the greatest silence, but while retaining its almost bestial charisma intact. 

And then, when the opportunity arises, the V8 responds, for a cumulative 830 horsepower(!), and above all an incredibly reasonable consumption of approximately 6 liters per 100 kilometers. 

Only about ten years ago, this figure corresponded to an average petrol city car, but certainly not to an ultra-sporty one with more than 800 equines.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson-best plug-in hybrid car

As far as family SUVs are concerned , the Hyundai Tucson undoubtedly deserves a closer look at the services they offer, and this for a very competitive price . 

In fact, if it is neither the most powerful, nor the most agile, nor the most spacious, nor even the one with the greatest all-electric autonomy, here is a model that can do it all. 

However, although he does not excel in anything, he is convincing in all areas, which is ultimately a small feat. 

Concretely, this 4.50 m long SUV (with a 1,800 l trunk) develops 265 hp in the HTRAC BVA6 plug-in hybrid version , and it can travel around fifty kilometersin zero emission mode.

Let’s not forget either that it is offered in generously equipped versions, with a technological content that has nothing to envy to the references of the segment.

Hyundai Tucson-best plug-in hybrid car

jeep grand cherokee

jeep grand cherokee-best plug-in hybrid car

Then let’s stop for a moment on another SUV , even more out of the ordinary, but also much more efficient in off-road . 

Indeed, the imposing Jeep Grand Cherokee has also converted to the Plug-in hybrid, through a 4xe version that has not finished making people talk about it, and for good! 

For a long time, the Grand Cherokee only targeted a limited clientele, blown away by the off-road capabilities of this family SUV, as well as its price, which was more competitive than that of a Land Rover, but which had to deal with an appetite for ogre and an image of an American gas-guzzler. 

Today, the Grand Cherokee 4xe remains true to its roots, and its 380 horsepowerpropel it both on the road and off the beaten track with the same ease, but it has been able to take the turn of eco-responsibility. 

In fact, it can travel more than 40 kilometers in electric mode , for a combined consumption of around 3.5 l/100 km. The Wrangler , even more pure and hard, adopts the same PHEV system.

jeep grand cherokee-best plug-in hybrid car

Mercedes C-Class Break

Mercedes C-Class Break-best plug-in hybrid car

The following vehicle, which comes to us from the brand with the star, has two notable particularities within our ranking: firstly, it is a station wagon , and secondly, its hybrid technology is not based on a gasoline but diesel heat engine ! 

Yes, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class SW 300comes to prove that fuel oil is not dead and buried, contrary to what some Cassandres have been claiming for some time now. 

In addition, just take the wheel to see how the association of a diesel engine with an electrical system makes sense. 

Peugeot had also tried it in its time with the 508 (I) and 3008 (I) Hybrid4. Anyway, the C-Class SW is not only beautiful to look at, it also knows how to be practical, as you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz station wagon, and sober, with a consumption of 1.4 l/100km. 

However, do not believe that this model is winded; on the contrary, since it still develops 306 hp , and a torque worthy of a truck!

Peugeot 508 PES

Peugeot 508 PES-best plug-in hybrid car

Undoubtedly, rechargeable hybridization has enabled certain manufacturers to offer more powerful models than usual, and this is particularly the case for Peugeot through the 508 (II) PSE sports sedan . 

Bearing the acronym of Peugeot Sport Engineered, this 508 has recently been restyled, for even more charisma, and its all-electric autonomy has also been improved; it is now possible to exceed 50 kilometers without consuming fuel . 

In parallel, the power did not move, but with 360 horsepower, and a chassis of formidable efficiency, there is already plenty to have fun. Note that this system is also found under the hood of the DS 7, DS 9, or even the 3008 (II).

Peugeot 508 PES-best plug-in hybrid car

Renault Captur E-Tech

Renault Captur E-Tech-best plug-in hybrid car

Let’s finish this Top 10 by staying with a French manufacturer, but this time focusing on one of the Diamond brand ‘s proposals , with the Renault Captur E-Tech . 

Indeed, this urban Crossover impresses both with its punch, which it owes to its 160 horsepower , and with its all-electric range of around sixty kilometres . 

Habitability is also one of its strengths, as is the volume of the boot (standing at more than 420 dm3), even though its limited exterior size makes it a star in the urban jungle .

Renault Captur-best plug-in hybrid car

The main thing to remember

In summary, plug-in hybrid cars offer a credible and relevant alternative to traditional cars, by combining the advantages of an electric motor and a heat engine. 

They are therefore an increasingly attractive option for drivers concerned about reducing their carbon footprint and therefore participating in the oh so essential fight against global warming. 

It is enough to browse the conclusions of the latest IPCC report to understand how the slightest tenth of a degree more or less, compared to the beginning of the industrial era, can have a significant impact on our living conditions in the scale of only one or two decades.

That being said, it seems to us that the main important points to remember are the following:

  • Plug-in hybrid cars offer better fuel efficiency than thermals, hence a lower fuel budget, alongside extended range compared to pure electric cars.
  • PHEVs are more environmentally friendly and emit fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants, while offering a comfortable and quiet ride typical of a 100% electric vehicle.
  • The Top 10 that we have established demonstrates the diversity of the offers currently available on the market, from the urban crossover to the family SUV, through sedans, station wagons, or even sports cars.

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