Expert Insights

Best Plug-in Hybrids for Families

Dave Nichols
Jul 2023
Families looking for a new plug-in hybrid are hoping for plenty of room, lots of safety features, and great fuel economy. The following list of PHEVs handle all of those needs and more.
Family enjoying the outdoors by their car

Plug-In Hybrids: Safety, Reliability, and Comfort

When it comes to buying a new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for the family, safety and reliability come first, followed by ample room and plenty of modern safety features. You want a vehicle that is well-engineered with safety in mind. The majority of American families look for a midsize SUV that includes lots of airbags, seat belts and head restraints. You want a crossover or SUV that takes high marks in crashworthiness tests. Handling, strong braking, performance, and stability control in a crossover that will transport its passengers safety.

Today’s PHEVs also include the latest driver assist features such as rearview cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and more. The following list of best plug-in hybrids for families will transport you and your loved ones in comfort, with great safety, and do it all while saving you money at the pump.

What Are Today's Best Family-Friendly PHEVs?

Our list of best family-friendly plug-in hybrids are listed in alphabetical order by automaker.

Audi Q5 TFSIe front exterior view by garage

Audi Q5 TFSIe

Audi takes its luxury crossover to the next level with an EPA estimated 61 MPGe in the Q5 TFSIe. The plug-in hybrid is faster than its gas-only brother, with a smooth seven-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. It will take your family 23 miles on electric power alone and when aided by its hybrid system, can take you 390 miles on a tank of gas.

MSRP starts at $55,695

BMW X5 xDrive 45e charging exterior view

BMW X5 xDrive 45e

The popular BMW X5 crossover adds a PHEV powertrain with 54 more horsepower to its 389-horsepower turbocharged inline-six and electric motor combo. It will take you 25 miles on electricity alone and delivers an EPA rated 46 MPGe. Both the Audi and BMW PHEV are luxury crossovers that feature all the latest driver assist bells and whistles.

MSRP starts at $64,695

Blue Chrysler Pacifica PHEV side profile exterior

Chrysler Pacifica PHEV

The Chrysler Pacifica can run family errands for 32 miles on electric power only. It’s the only PHEV minivan offered today. Its 3.6-liter V6 gas motor works with a 16 kWh battery and electric motor to take you 566 miles on a tankful. It features more cargo space than a full-size SUV and boasts three rows and 81 different seating configurations.

MSRP starts at $46,760

Ford Escape PHEV blue trunk view by a home and family

Ford Escape PHEV

This compact crossover will take your family a generous 37 miles on electric power alone before engaging its hybrid system. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor produce 221 – horsepower for a range of 530 miles. The SEL trim level includes heated front seats, and Ford’s excellent Co-Pilot Assist+ driver assist features includes adaptive cruise control.

MSRP starts at $33,075

Man charging his Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV

Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV

The sporty crossover offers plenty of room for you and your family and will take you 30 miles on electric power only. Its 177-horsepower hybrid system offers 260-horsepower. All trim levels include Hyundai’s Smart Sense safety and driver assist features as well as an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen to keep the family entertained.

MSRP starts at $39,250

Kia Niro PHEV side profile view in blue

Kia Niro PHEV

The Niro will take you 26 miles on electric power before engaging its hybrid system. The EPA fuel economy rating is an amazing 105 MPGe and the Niro is the most affordable plug-in hybrid crossover on the market today. Driver assist features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and more.

MSRP starts at $30,805

Subaru Crosstrek PHEV driving through path with bikes attached to hood

Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

The Crosstrek gets the NHTSA’s 5-star safety rating taking five out of five stars. EPA estimated fuel economy is 90 MPGe combined and comes with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive as standard. A suite of driver assist features include blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. Infotainment is provided by Subaru’s Starlink 8.0 Multimedia Plus.

MSRP starts at $36,845

Toyota RAV4 Prime in red 3/4 view

Toyota RAV4 Prime

Many consider the RAV4 Prime as the perfect family plug-in hybrid. It combines superior ride, handling, and comfort with 42 miles of all-electric range. Its 302-horsepower hybrid powertrain will take you 600 miles on a tank of gas and all-wheel drive is standard. Toyota Safety Sense driver assist tech includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane keep assist, and more.

MSRP starts at $39,800

All ranges and mileage are EPA estimated. MPGe is MPGe is the EPA-equivalent measure of gasoline fuel efficiency for electric mode operation.