Expert Insights

Most Affordable Plug-In Hybrids

Dave Nichols
June 3, 2024
Plug-in hybrid technology gives you the best of both worlds – zero emissions and cheap running costs from electric and the flexibility and long-haul ability of gasoline. Learn more about the most affordable plug-in hybrids around.
Plug-In Hybrid Sedan charging

Affordable Plug-In Hybrids: The Best of Both Worlds

Driving a pure-electric vehicle isn’t the only way to save thousands on fuel and do your part for a more sustainable future. While full EVs offer zero emissions and the best performance and refinement, they aren’t the best fit for drivers that regularly travel longer distances, or that don’t have regular access to home charging. For those drivers, plug-in hybrids offer the best option – combining the ability to drive emissions-free in many circumstances with the flexibility and fast refueling times of gasoline.

A plug-in hybrid offers the best of electric driving for daily use – even the least expensive models have more than enough range to complete the average daily commute – with long-range capability and convenience catered to by efficient gasoline engines. And because their batteries tend to be smaller, they also tend to charge much more quickly than pure EVs.

Today's Most Affordable Plug-In Hybrids

If you want your next car to be electrified, but you’re not ready to dive into full electric, a plug-in hybrid may be for you. There are some remarkably affordable models available on the market, and their affordability is further bolstered by substantial federal and local incentives. We trawled the GreenCars Buyer's Guide for the five most affordable plug-in hybrids, and have also listed their pure-EV and total range numbers below. All ranges shown are EPA Estimates.

Red Ford EV charging at home

2024 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid

The Ford Escape is perennially a top-selling compact SUV, and it’s easy to see why. It offers lots of features, lots of space, and lots of technology in an attractive package at a reasonable price. In 2024, the most appealing Escape is the plug-in hybrid version, which has an impressive all-electric range of 37 miles thanks to its 14-kWh battery; combined with a powerful but fuel-sipping Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, total range is an impressive 520 miles. Standard tech features are impressive and include Ford’s CoPilot 360 advanced driver assistance suite with pre-collision assist, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and more. Inside, the Sync 4 operating system offers a digital instrument cluster, user-friendly touch screen, voice control, and Amazon Alexa functionality. The Escape plug-in is a looker, too, with Aston Martin-esque styling wrapped around its spacious cabin.

  • Total range: 520 miles
  • Electric range: 37 miles
  • MSRP starts at: $40,500
SUV charging at public EV charger

2025 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid

Some of the most popular plug-in hybrids these days are crossovers, which shouldn’t be a surprise – it seems like crossovers are taking over the world. The 2025 Tucson PHEV is one of the best compact crossovers as well as being one of the most affordable plug-in hybrid. Even in its least expensive SEL trim, it comes loaded with alloy wheels, all-wheel drive, and Hyundai’s BlueLink connected car system. The luxurious 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 turbo engine and electric motor deliver 261 horsepower and impressive performance, and you can cruise on electric power alone for 33 miles. The Tucson is an affordable package that looks and feels far more expensive than it is.

  • Total range: 380 miles
  • Electric range: 33 miles
  • MSRP starts at: $38,725
2024 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid charging

2024 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

If a crossover is halfway between a car and an SUV, the Niro is sort of halfway between a car and a crossover – it has no pretensions of ever going off-road but has a higher seating position and a boxier body for more passenger and cargo room. Niro’s long, long wheelbase makes the rear seat particularly spacious, and you can actually slide and tilt the rear seats individually. Redesigned for 2023, the Niro’s power is delivered by an efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor; the compact 8-kWh battery doesn’t eat up any space and delivers a useful all-electric range of 33 miles. As you’d expect, 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 touch screen has wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and you can use your voice to operate most vehicle functions.

  • Total range: 510 miles
  • Electric range: 33 miles
  • MSRP starts at: $34,390
Toyota Prius Prime plugged into charger

2024 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius was one of the original hybrids. Introduced in 2000, it has always been a leader in fuel economy and low running costs, thanks to the careful aerodynamic sculpting of its body and the relentless efforts of Toyota’s R&D department. In many ways, the Prius set the template for every hybrid to come: teardrop shape, hatchback body, compact drivetrain, exceptional economy. What the Prius Prime adds to the package is the ability to plug in and recharge a larger battery that gives significant electric-only range: while the original Prius could barely go a mile without needing to activate the gasoline engine, you might be able to do your entire commute in a Prime running on electrons. The Prime’s total range of a whopping 640 miles is an indication of just how efficient it is. Combine that capability with Toyota’s traditional rock-solid build, amazing reliability, and high resale values, and you have an incredibly intelligent buy.

  • Total range: 640 miles
  • Electric range: 44 miles
  • MSRP starts at: $32,975

*Updated 6/3/2024 to reflect current model year information and update vehicle images