Expert Insights

Best-Selling Plug-In Hybrids

Laurance Yap
July 11, 2023
Sales of plug-in hybrid cars were actually slightly down in the first three quarters of 2022, but for many drivers they offer the best of both worlds: the ability to commute emissions-free on electric power, with the range and versatility of gasoline. Here are the 10 best-selling PHEVs.
woman loading groceries into trunk of car

Plug-In Hybrids: the Best of Both Worlds

As fuel prices rise, and as more of us look to reduce our carbon footprints, it’s no surprise that sales of electrified vehicles in America are rising quickly. What’s interesting is that, while sales of hybrid vehicles and pure-electric vehicles rose sharply in the first three quarters of 2022, sales of plug-in hybrid cars were actually slightly down. Improved charging infrastructure and longer-range options are making full-electric cars are a viable option for more drivers, while their price premium is also coming down.

Still, for many drivers who want the option of driving emissions-free, but frequently need to take longer trips, a plug-in hybrid vehicle offers the best of both worlds: silent, super-clean commuting on a daily basis, with the ability to lean into a gasoline motor when significant range is needed. There are many great options available. Here are the best-selling plug-in hybrids (all mileage mentioned are EPA estimates).

Lexus NX 450h+ Driving Through the Desert

#10 Lexus NX 450h+

Lexus’ compact luxury SUV, the NX, is available with a number of drivetrains, including a conventional gas engine (NX250), hybrid (NX350), and the new plug-in hybrid NX450h+. Not only is the all-wheel drive NX450h the most powerful version of the NX, with over 300 hp, it’s also the most efficient. Full-electric driving range is a very impressive: 43 miles; you will likely do most of your commuting without ever using the gasoline engine. Plus you get all of the usual Lexus goodies: a gorgeous, luxurious interior, edgy styling, and a great suite of safety systems to keep you and your family safe.

Starting MSRP: $58,655

EPA MPGe: 84

Kia Sportage PHEV Driving Through Mountain Highway

#9 Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid

Recently redesigned for 2023, the Kia Sportage is one of the best-looking, and most versatile, compact SUVs on the market. The regular Sportage is one of our favorite small SUVs thanks to its upscale styling, premium interior, and excellent technology and safety systems. A plug-in hybrid version is now available as well with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder combined with an electric motor. Total power output is an impressive 261 horsepower, and you also get 34 miles of all-electric driving range. Plus, you’ll have a lot of fun behind the wheel, as the Sportage is a very entertaining SUV to drive.

Starting MSRP: $38,690

EPA MPGe: 84

Hyundai Tuscon PHEV in Front of Water

#8 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid

Hyundai’s good-looking Tucson PHEV is one of the best compact crossovers as well as being one of the most affordable. Even in its least expensive SEL trim, it comes loaded with 19-inch alloy wheels, HTRAC all-wheel drive, and Hyundai’s BlueLink connected car system. The interior has a giant central touch screen, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless charging; and there’s plenty of space for your whole family and their stuff. A powerful 1.6-liter turbo engine and electric motor deliver 261 horsepower, and you can cruise on electric power alone for 33 miles.

Starting MSRP: $35,400

EPA MPGe: 80

BMW 330e in Front of Wind Mills

#7 BMW 330e

The BMW 3 Series is one of the best sport sedans on the market, a perfect combination of excellent chassis, luxurious interior, and sleek styling. The latest version offers an intriguing plug-in hybrid option. You get 288 horsepower, an all-electric driving range of up to 22 miles, and a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. Its chassis is magical in its ability to hold corners while maintaining an excellent ride. Inside the solid, thoughtfully-designed interior, you’ll find all the latest tech, including a digital instrument cluster and a large infotainment display that can be operated by touch or with physical controls. Standard safety equipment includes frontal collision warning and automatic collision braking.

Starting MSRP: $44,900

EPA MPGe: 75

Kia Niro PHEV in the City

#6 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Completely redesigned for 2023, the Niro is halfway between a car and a crossover – it has no pretentions of going off-road, but has a higher seating position and a roomy body for passengers and cargo room. A long wheelbase makes the rear seat very spacious, and you can actually slide and tilt the rear seats individually. Power is delivered by an efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor. Total system output is 180 hp, and the 11.1-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery provides an all-electric range of 33 miles. The tech is right up to date; you can use your phone to monitor your state of charge, lock and unlock, and even remote start. A standard 8-inch touch screen has wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and you can use your voice to operate most vehicle functions.

Starting MSRP: $33,840

EPA MPGe: 105

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Parked in Driveway

#5 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Don’t think the minivan is dead yet. The Pacifica is proof that for practicality and efficiency, it’s tough to beat a van. The only plug-in hybrid minivan on the market, Pacifica offers stunning fuel economy, as well as 32 miles of all-electric driving range. Plus it has similar interior room to some of the biggest SUVs, with a more compact footprint and big sliding doors. The interior is super-versatile, with a wide variety of seating configurations, and the cargo area is huge. Available Uconnect Theatre includes dual 10-inch touchscreens with Blu-Ray player, wireless streaming, and more.

Starting MSRP: $48,878

EPA MPGe: 82


#4 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius is one of the original hybrids and is still a leader in fuel economy and low running costs. In many ways, it set the template for every hybrid to come: sleek shape, hatchback body, compact drivetrain, exceptional economy. What the Prius Prime adds to the is the ability to plug in – and the ability to drive up to 48 miles on electric power alone. While the regular Prius can go only very short distances without the gasoline engine, you might be able to do your entire commute in a Prime. Combine that capability with Toyota’s traditional rock-solid build, amazing reliability, and high resale values, and you have a very intelligent buy in an all-new sleeker package for 2023.

Starting MSRP: $32,400

EPA MPGe: 133

BMW X5 xDrive 45e

#3 BMW X5 xDrive 45e

The BMW X5 is one of our favorite luxury SUVs. It has a great combination of space, versatility, performance, and handling wrapped up in a good-looking package with easy-to-use technology. Well-designed and well-made inside and out, it is not an inexpensive vehicle, but offers impressive value for money, and its cabin is one of the roomiest in its class. It’s also one of the most innovative luxury SUVs, with the availability of a plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines BMW’s smooth, powerful turbocharged inline-six with electric motor. 389 total horsepower is on tap, along with 30 miles of all-electric range. Standard all-wheel drive and BMW dynamics make it one of the best BUVs to drive along with being one of the most economical.

Starting MSRP: $65,700

EPA MPGe: 50

Ford Escape PHEV in the Forest

#2 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid

Ford’s versatile Escape is perennially a top-selling compact SUV, and it’s not hard to see why. It offers features, space, and tech in an attractive package at a reasonable price. The plug-in hybrid version has an impressive all-electric range of 37 miles thanks to its 14-kWh battery. It combines with a powerful but fuel-sipping four-cylinder engine, for a total range of 520 miles. Standard tech includes Ford’s CoPilot 360 advanced driver assistance suite with pre-collision assist, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and more. Inside, the Sync 3 operating system offers a digital instrument cluster, user-friendly touch screen, voice control, and Amazon Alexa.

Starting MSRP: $40,500

EPA MPGe: 100

Jeep Wrangler 4XE on Mountain Rock Formations

#1 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Is it surprising that the best-selling plug-in hybrid in America is a trail-ready, off-road focused jeep? It shouldn’t be: we Americans are SUV-mad, and the design of the Wrangler is truly iconic. The 4xe proves you don’t need to sacrifice green credentials even if you want to venture into the woods. In full electric mode, the Wrangler 4xe can travel up to 21 miles emissions-free, and when you need gasoline power, a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is there for you. Multiple driving modes let you cruise in full-electric, mix both engine and motor, and even use the engine to charge the battery. Plus, you get 375 total horsepower, 470 lb-ft of torque, and Jeep’s top “Trail Rated” 4x4 designation.

Starting MSRP: $54,735

EPA MPGe: 49