Best Plug-In Hybrid Cars – Top 13 PHEV’s of 2020

the best plug-in hybrids of 2020

What is the CHEAPEST way to NEVER burn a drop of fuel, WITHOUT going 100% electric?

It’s to have a plug-in hybrid.

When it comes to choosing the best plug-in hybrid, it usually boils down to your driving habits. Will it be just for casual around-town driving? Or, maybe its for your commute to work and back.

Whatever your driving style may be, I made sure to rank 13 of the BEST plug-in hybrids of 2020.

Most of these PHEV’s listed below are well-within the price range of the average consumer (with the exception of Fisker and Karma). In terms of driving range per charge, I made sure to include ONLY vehicles that get at least 20 miles. 

At a bare minimum, 20 miles should give you enough to drive to work. 

Here's the Top 13 PHEV's:

13. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (22 miles)

Outlander Plug-In Hybred
Ranking in the #13 spot is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV,  a hidden gem of the PHEV SUV world. Aside from being a good looking, it has impressive specs.
In the name of efficiency, Mitsubishi equipped the Outlander PHEV with only a 2.0 liter 4-banger. It can tow 1,500 pounds, seat up to 5 people, is all-wheel-drive, and has an electric driving range of 22 miles.
As far as I’m aware, this is the only plug-in hybrid which takes both J-1772 and a CHAdeMO plugs. The battery can charge to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. After the battery goes flat, the engine kicks-on.

12.Toyota Prius Prime (25 miles)

the best plug-in hybrids of 2020
Toyota managed to make their Prius even MORE efficient. The 4th generation Prius not only gets better fuel economy but also longer range. In 2012, Toyota released their Prius Plug-In which managed to get 11-13 miles on a single charge. 
On a good day, it would be closer to 15 miles.
Toyota released their redesigned and improved Prius Prime in 2017. The battery pack doubled from 4.4kW to 8.8kW, resulting in a range increase from 11-13 to 25-30 miles.

11. Kia Niro PHEV (26 miles)

Kia Niro PHEV
In many ways, the Kia Niro Plug-In is the crossover version of the Toyota Prius Prime. It wasn’t until now, when a compact SUV managed to get the same fuel economy as the most fuel efficient hybrids.
Kia wizened up in the last decade, making some of the most fuel efficient automobiles on the market. With the Niro in particular, they have THREE different types. You can get the regular hybrid, the plug-in hybrid, and the electric variant.
In this example, the plug-in hybrid version can get 26 miles on a single charge. While lacking the AWD system (like the Outlander above has), it still has decent ground clearance.
For anyone who needs to “sit-up higher” as they driver, the Niro PHEV is a perfect plug-in hybrid!

10. Kia Optima/Hyundai Sonata PHEV (27-29 miles)

Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata PHEV
In 2018, Hyundai and Kia refreshed the look of their flagship family sedans (Sonata and Optima). These great looking mid-sized family sedans were also available in plug-in hybrid variants.
While they both are identical twins, they do have some differences. The Sonata is viewed as the more affordable of the two and Optima the more premium.
Their mpg figures are respectable in both city and highway driving. Equipped with 9.8kW battery packs, a full charge can take them 27-29 miles.
One unique trait that many don’t have, is the ability to self-recharge their batteries. There’s a “Charge Mode” button which lets you put at least 50% back into the battery while you drive around.
On top of all that, you can grab one of these for less than $20K.

9. Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (29 miles)

Hyundai Ioniq PHEV
For the first time in a long time, the long-standing king of fuel efficiency (Prius) has been overthrown. The Hyundai Ioniq PHEV is the one with almost 60mpg in city and highway driving.
Its also, NOT an ugly looking car like some still are today. Getting inside, you’ll be surprised to see a standard looking interior. No fancy shapes or ergonomic gimmicks that look like “Hyundai tried too hard”.
It seats 5, has folding backs eats, and has a big enough batter where you can drive 29 miles on a single charge.
Give it a few more years, the price will be below $15,000. THAT is when the car will be a steal!

8. Cadillac CT6 PHEV (31 miles)

Cadillac CT6 PHEV
While the Cadillac CT6 PHEV had a short run but it’s a notable luxury vehicle with interesting specs. This full-sized sedan is rivaling the BMW 7 series, Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8, and many others.
The differentiating factor with the Cadillac is it has a battery. Being a plug-in hybrid, it can drive 31 miles on a single charge before the gasoline engine kicks-in.
BMW has their 740e which lets you drive 15-17 miles on a single charge, Mercedes recently came out with their too. All those cost 2-3x MORE, which puts the CT6 PHEV in the “budget friendly” space.
If you want a beautiful luxury automobile that can burn ZERO drops of fuel, this may be in your playing field.

7. Chrysler Pacifica PHEV (32 miles)

Chrysler Pacifica PHEV
I’m not sure why hybrid mini-vans aren’t catching on, but after the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV… things will begin to change. This is the very first family sized mini-van that has electric driving range.
I’m not talking about half-hearted attempts of making a PHEV. You can get 32 miles of pure electric range before the engine kicks-on.
While this mini-van might be too expensive for some. Brand new, this mini-van costs $40K+.
Inside, this mini-van has all the creature comforts you’d expect. It can seat at least 7 and has plenty of storage in the rear hatch.
It may only have level-2 charging, but setting up a home charging station will prove to be the best option. You can see our main buyer guide here

6. Fisker Karma (32 miles)

Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybird
Let’s be honest, the Fisker Karma was somewhat polarizing to the mass audience. Most have no idea how the car works and why its so special. Don’t get me wrong, the Karma is quick, has little to no cheap material, and can seat 4 people. 
Truth be told, the Fisker Karma has may resemblances to a Chevrolet Volt. There’s a small battery giving the car up to 32 miles of EV range. After that, there’s a small engine generating electricity to drive the electric motors.
While the Karma is priced more on the premium side, it’s by no means too expensive. In fact, the Pacifica mini-van costs more brand new than this does on the used market.

5. Cadillac ELR (35 miles)

Cadillac ELR
The Cadillac ELR may not be for everyone, but it DOES serve a purpose. When it was first introduced, it was a unique vehicle that resembled a “cruiser”. Two doors, leather seats, sleek styling, and chrome almost everywhere.
Inside, the car is very comfortable and feels very luxurious. Oddly enough, Cadillac decided to match this vehicle with a battery and turn it into a plug-in hybrid. Just like the 1st gen Volt, you can get 35 miles on a single charge. Once the battery drains, the engine kicks-on and you can continue driving. 
Today its still a bit pricey, but that’s because there’s very few example. 

4. Chevrolet Volt Gen 1 (35 miles)

Chevrolet Volt Gen1
One of the most popular plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market, if not THE most popular. The 1st generation Chevrolet Volt was a game changer for Chevy. It began dictating the new route Chevrolet should be going into.
The Chevrolet Volt was a futuristic vehicle, and still 8 years later, aged quite well.
The biggest highlight of the Chevrolet Volt, is the impressive 35 miles of electric range you can get. From tests some users have done, under conditions 25-40 mph, that range can be stretch towards 40-45 miles.

3. Honda Clarity PHEV (47 miles)

Honda Clarity PHEV
No one thought Honda would be showing up with an impressive plug-in hybrid automobile, but here we are. The Honda Clarity PHEV seems to be like the Chevrolet Volt was when it first introduced. The looks are very futuristic, the interior is very high quality, and the specs are noteworthy.
The electric range is 47 miles on a single charge. In most cases, people managed to break 50 to 60 miles doing simple “around town” type of driving, among one of the longest PHEV ranges available.
Brand new, it’s one of the inexpensive models. Even the touring model can be had for less than $30,000 with less than 30K miles.
In one to two years, the Clarity PHEV will be one of the best deals on the market.

2. Karma Revero (50 miles)

The Fisker released their Karma, they expected a bigger hit. Instead, it was a flop and forced them to go out of production for quite a few years.
During that time, the Fisker Karma depreciated quite a bit (as noted earlier). In 2017, Fisker was rebranded as Karma and did a “refresh” for their first ever production car. While looking exactly the same as the old Karma, its now called the Karma Revero.
The biggest difference with this one is instead of getting 32 miles of EV range, it can now get 50 miles. Almost double what the previous version had!

1. Chevrolet Volt Gen 2 (53 miles)

Chevrolet Volt Gen 2
The long standing champion of plug-in hybrid range is the Chevrolet Volt gen 2. What makes the Volt is nice is its ability to be cheap to buy and have impressive EV driving distance. In fact, some pure electric vehicles can’t even drive what this car can on a full battery.
The 2nd generation Volt is re-designed from the ground up. The interior and exterior looks more elegant and less sharp, and it also feels quicker.
The 1st gen felt quick, but this one feels even quicker. The whole system works the same, but there’s no a bigger battery which lets you drive 53 miles on a single charge, the longest PHEV range. After that runs dry, you’ll switch over to an engine which can drive 300+ more miles before empty.
The Volt is a SOLID winner in almost every respect!

Top Plug-In Hybrids by TYPE:

If you want to know what is the best plug-in hybrid car by each available category, continue reading below.

SUV (Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV)

While there’s plenty of plug-in hybrid SUV’s like the Mercedes GLC 350e and the BMW X5 eDrive, they aren’t as good. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the best plug-in hybrid SUV. It has reasonable EV range, takes a CHAdeMO plug, and is more reliable as a whole.

Mini Van (Chrysler Pacifica PHEV)

For now, the Chrylser Pacifica Hybrid is the best plug-in hybrid mini-van on the market. Aside from actually being a GOOD vehicle, there’s nothing else to compare it to. By default, its the best until it has some solid competition.

Family Sedan (Honda Clarity PHEV)

The Volt would be on this list, but it has a seating problem that the Clarity does not. The BEST plug-in hybrid family sedan is the Honda Clarity PHEV. It seats 5, has a smooth ride and drives 47 miles on a single charge.
The Clarity PHEV has one of the smallest fuel tanks in the industry (only 7 gallons).

Sports Coupe (BMW i8)

While not on this list, the BMW i8 is a perfect example of a plug-in hybrid sports car. It’s fast, has butterfly doors, and can get up to 18 miles of EV range on a single charge. 

Luxury Car (Karma Revero)

You could go for the cheaper Fisker Karma and get most of the same specs as you would with the Karma Revero. But if you want the most range, the Karma Revero is the vehicle for you. Its fast, has almost 50 miles of EV range, and unique in every sense. 

Cheapest (Chevy Volt gen 1 & Toyota Prius Plug-In)

If your commute is less than 5 miles each way, the Prius Plug-In could be the perfect car. It seats 5 comfortably, has great storage, and can be very reliable. 
If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit more seating space, the Chevrolet Volt gets 3x more EV range, and costs about the same. 

In Summary

If you are in the market to buy a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle, any of the 13 mentioned above would be perfect candidates. While I didn’t mention every single one on the market (there’s at least a dozen or two more worth mentioning with lower EV ranges. 

If you found this useful and want to see more, please feel free to browse 

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