Expert Insights

Most Fuel-Efficient Plug-In Hybrids

Dave Nichols
July 10, 2023
Yes, gasoline is expensive. In fact, fuel-efficiency is priority for consumers looking at buying a new vehicle. GreenCars has researched gas-saving plug-in hybrids and found the most fuel-efficient cars that fall into the popular crossover SUV segment. Let's take a look at the top five PHEVs.
woman on phone in charging car

More Savings with Plug-In Hybrids

High gas prices have consumers looking for new cars that will get them the most go for their dough. We have taken a look at America’s favorite and most popular type of vehicle, the crossover SUV, to find the most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrids currently on the market. These reliable and safe vehicles are perfect for the person who is not yet ready to take the all-electric plunge but still wants to save at the pump.

The following list of PHEVs offer the best fuel economy according to the EPA and the most fuel-efficient vehicle on our list only costs $950 per year to fuel. That’s a savings of a thousand dollars per year compared to the average gasoline-only vehicle. If you’re looking for great fuel economy for saving money, you’ve come to the right place.

Top Five Most Fuel-Efficient PHEVs

The following top five crossovers with the best gas economy are listed from most to least fuel used. All are available for under $40,000 MSRP. All mileage is EPA estimated. MPGe is the EPA-equivalent measure of gasoline fuel efficiency for electric mode operation. Annual fuel cost is based on EPA estimates. EPA assumes annual mileage of 15,000 miles. The price of gasoline listed on new vehicle labels is based on projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration for the applicable model year and is updated annually.


Kia Niro PHEV

The Niro combines a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor and six-speed automatic transmission to give you excellent fuel economy. The subcompact crossover offers more cargo space than many of its competitors with 63.2 cubic feet available. JD Powers calls Kia the number One Brand for Vehicle Dependability.

  • MSRP starts at $24,690
  • Annual fuel cost = $1,300*
  • 105 MPGe
  • 42 mpg combined
  • 26 all-electric miles
  • 560 miles on a tank of gas

Hyundai Tucson PHEV

New for 2022, the Tucson is a stylish crossover that boasts a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The EPA estimates you’ll get 33 miles of all-electric range and 420 miles on a tankful of gas at 35 miles per gallon combined. With 261-horsepower on tap, all-wheel drive comes as standard. The Tucson also comes with the latest safety and driver assist features and Hyundai’s industry-leading factory warranty.

  • MSRP starts at $35,400
  • Annual fuel cost $1,200*
  • 80 MPGe
  • 35 mpg combined
  • 33 all-electric miles
  • 420 miles on a tank of gas

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

First off, this adventure wagon is actually a plug-in hybrid with standard all-wheel drive. Its four-cylinder gas engine and two electric motors make 148 horsepower for peppy performance. It includes an 8-inch touchscreen for all your infotainment and driver assist needs and takes top safety ratings from the IIHS. Subaru’s SmartDrive tech gives you 90 MPGe.

  • MSRP starts at $35,645
  • Annual fuel cost $1,350*
  • 90 MPGe
  • 35 mpg combined
  • 480 miles on a tank of gas

Toyota RAV4 Prime

America’s favorite crossover, the RAV4 Prime will take you an impressive 42 miles on all-electric power. That’s more miles than most people drive in a day. All-wheel drive is standard, and it makes a whopping 302 horsepower from its 2.5-liter gas engine, electric motor and CVT transmission combo. It is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus with Toyota’s Safety Sense driver assist features.

  • MSRP starts at $39,800
  • Annual fuel cost $1,000*
  • 94 MPGe
  • 38 mpg combined
  • 600 miles on a tank of gas

Ford Escape PHEV

Our top contender for most fuel-efficient PHEV is the Ford Escape compact SUV. It will take you 37 miles on electric power only and fuel cost for an entire year is just $950! The combination of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine, electric motor and CVT with a 14.4-kWh battery pack will get you an amazing 105 MPGe and 40 mpg combined. Front-wheel drive comes standard though all-wheel drive is available. It includes advance driver assist features and a nifty hands-free power liftgate.

  • MSRP starts at $33,075
  • Annual fuel cost $950*
  • 105 MPGe
  • 40 mpg combined
  • 520 miles on a tank of gas
Smiling woman driving her EV late in the afternoon

Let GreenCars Help

Our five fantastic fuel-efficient plug-in hybrids are all great contenders for your gas saving needs. All are clever crossovers though the RAV4 offers a bit more room for families on the go. Find more info on all these cars and more right here at GreenCars.