Best Plug-In Hybrid SUVs 2023: The Top 10 Complete Guide For The UK

Range Rover Plug-In Hybrid



Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we would recommend a read of the following articles:


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Overview


There is no doubt, in that, the surge in the popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Another popular trend in the global automotive sector, is the migration to electric driving, to include, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Automotive manufacturers have been quick to capitalise on these two major global trends, introducing a number of environmentally-friendly plug-in hybrid SUVs for all price segments!

For those new to electric cars, a battery-electric vehicle (BEV), is more commonly referred to as a pure electric car. A BEV is ‘pure’, in that, the electric vehicle (EV) only uses electric power for propulsion i.e. a BEV does not have an internal combustion engine (ICE). It is easy to recognise these zero-tailpipe emission green cars, as these vehicles are silent (except for the artificial noise), and do not have a tailpipe! 

In comparison, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), combines the technologies used in both, a pure electric car and a conventional internal combustion (ICE) vehicle, to increase vehicle efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions. A PHEV incorporates an electric motor, an onboard EV battery and an internal combustion engine (ICE), to propel the electric vehicle (EV). Like in a BEV, the onboard EV battery in a PHEV is charged by using an external power source, like a dedicated EV charger.

Like BEVs, PHEVs have also improved considerably in performance and capability. The latest generation of plug-in hybrids offer more electric range and lower tailpipe emissions, compared to previous generations. A good example is the premium Range Rover plug-in hybrid SUV, which has tailpipe emissions as low as 18 – 21g (CO2/km) and an emission-free electric range up to 70 miles (WLTP).

In our list of the best plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUVs, we have considered a number of factors, to include: tailpipe emissions, vehicle efficiency, onboard EV battery size, pure electric range price, practicality, build quality, driving performance and more! Though assessing affordability has been a key criteria, we have also paid special attention to tailpipe emissions and electric range. Bottom-line, to gain from the benefits of driving a PHEV on electric mode, a real-world useful emission-free electric range is imperative!

Though PHEVs vary in tailpipe emissions, we encourage customers to choose plug-in hybrid SUVs with tailpipe emissions lower than 35g CO2/km. Of course, when a plug-in hybrid is driven on e-mode, the tailpipe emissions are zero!

In our list below of best plug-in SUVs, it is worth noting the increase in size of the onboard EV battery. Again, the Range Rover PHEVs lead the pack, with a 38.2 kWh onboard EV battery for both, the Range Rover PHEV and the Range Rover Sport PHEV. In fact, the average of the size of the EV batteries listed below is 22.75 kWh. Let’s put this in perspective. The first-generation Nissan Leaf pure electric car incorporated a 24 kWh EV battery!

It is also worth highlighting the Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid SUV. A compelling proposition, combining, affordability, practical electric range, low tailpipe emissions and overall performance. The Toyota plug-in hybrid SUV has a 18.1 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified zero-emission electric range up to 46 miles. Both the EV battery size and the claimed emission-free electric range, are above average, when compared to other PHEVs in this segment.

The performance of the Toyota RAV4 is decent. The electric vehicle (EV) combines a 2.5-litre hybrid AWD-i petrol engine with an onboard electric motor, powered by the EV battery. Despite the additional weight of the EV battery, the RAV4 SUV PHEV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.0 seconds. This performance is not shabby! The Toyota plug-in electric car delivers 306 HP maximum power and 270 Nm torque. Top speed is 111 mph. Of course, on the pure electric mode, the drive is more refined and quieter. Company-car drivers can take advantage of the lower Benefit-in-Kind (BiK-8%) tax rate for the PHEV, given the lower tailpipe emission of the PHEV (22g CO2/km).

The Lexus NX PHEV SUV also offers value for money. The Lexus PHEV has a respectable 18.1 kWh onboard EV battery, with a claimed zero-tailpipe emission electric range up to 40 miles (WLTP certified). The all-wheel drive NX PHEV pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine (4-cylinder) with an electric motor. The electric motor is placed at the rear of the electric vehicle (EV), enabling all-wheel drive (AWD). On EV mode, the e-SUV can achieve a top speed of 83 mph. The NX 450+ plug-in SUV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds (maximum power: 306 hp). The top speed on the EV is 124 mph. As is the case with electric vehicles, the NX PHEV benefits from instant torque. The SUV has tailpipe emissions between 21 – 25g CO2/km.

The UK government does not offer any grants/ incentives for the acquisition of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. To read a more detailed review of the PHEVs, simply follow the links below!



Best Plug-In Hybrid Electric SUVs 2023


BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid, Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid, Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Lexus NX Plug-In Hybrid, Mazda CX-60 Plug-In Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 de Plug-In Hybrid, Range Rover Sport Plug-In Hybrid, Range Rover Plug-In Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid, Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid 


Top Reasons To Buy A PHEV SUV


To Reason To Own A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Reduced tailpipe emission: improved local air quality.
Cheaper to drive on electric mode: 5 pence to 10 pence per mile.
Improved fuel efficiency i.e. higher mpg!
Higher vehicle performance (instant torque and acceleration) and smoother drive.
Lower noise in electric mode.
Smoother drive in electric mode.
Easy to charge at the convenience of your own home or office.

Best Plug-in Hybrid Electric SUVs 2023: Top 10


Brand/ ModelBattery Size (kWh)Electric Range (WLTP)Tailpipe Emissions (CO2/km)
BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid22.29 kWh50 – 54 miles31 – 27g (CO2/km)
Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid13.8 kWh43 miles25g (CO2/km)
Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid11.1 kWh40 miles23g (CO2/km)
Lexus NX Plug-In Hybrid18.1 kWh40 miles25 – 21g (CO2/km)
Mazda CX-60 Plug-In Hybrid17.8 kWh39 miles33g (CO2/km)
Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 de Plug-In Hybrid31.2 kWh54 – 58 miles20g (CO2/km)
Range Rover Sport Plug-In Hybrid38.2 kWh71 miles20 – 18g (CO2/km)
Range Rover Plug-In Hybrid 38.2 kWh70 miles21 – 18g (CO2/km)
Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid18.1 kWh46 miles22g (CO2/km)
Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid 18.8 kWh48.5 miles25g (CO2/km)

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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