The 21 Best Plug-In Hybrids of 2019

2019 Porsche Panamera
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These Are the Best Mainstream and Luxury Plug-In Hybrids on the Market

A plug-in hybrid is one of the smartest types of green cars you can buy. These vehicles are typically more fuel-efficient than a traditional hybrid. This translates to higher fuel savings and a further reduction of your carbon footprint. Most plug-ins are also eligible for tax credits and incentives, which traditional hybrids are not typically eligible for. Lastly, there is less range anxiety, thanks to the combination of gasoline and electric power. 

The technology powering a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) looks very similar to a traditional hybrid. It pairs a gasoline engine with one or more electric motors and a rechargeable battery pack. This last component is the biggest difference: A plug-in hybrid’s battery is usually much larger and requires plugging in to a wall outlet to get a full charge. The benefit is you can drive further on electricity alone, using less fuel. Sometimes, however, this larger battery pack infringes on cabin space. In comparison to their gas-only counterparts, plug-ins often have less cargo space and occasionally a smaller back seat. 

You’ll also see a different fuel economy rating from the EPA for plug-in hybrids, labelled MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). This rating applies when the battery has a full charge. We further explain what MPGe is here to help you understand the math behind this rating, and how to estimate your actual fuel and electricity expenses. 

The final price of a plug-in also appears to be more complicated. These types of vehicles come with the possibility of tax credits and incentives that lessen the blow of their higher price tags. This perk doesn’t usually act like bonus cash that directly reduces the cost when you buy. For more information, read our article on how the plug-in hybrid tax credit works.

Right now, almost two dozen vehicles with plug-in hybrid powertrains are on the market. We’ve collected these in two different lists – mainstream brands and luxury brands – and scored them based on MPGe, all-electric range, current U.S. News score, and other metrics. Each vehicle’s overall score represents their base model. Keep in mind that a vehicle’s overall U.S. News score may change over time as we receive updated crash test results, predicted reliability data, and expert reviews. 

Our list starts with the 11 best mainstream plug-in hybrids, and then covers the 10 best luxury plug-ins. Can you guess which vehicles are at the top of the podium?

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