As the world continues to shift towards environmentally conscious practices, the automotive industry is following suit with the production of hybrid and electric cars. In California, by 2035, all vehicles sold will need to be electric-powered. But at this time, the car that is gaining popularity is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
I had the opporunity to drive most of the PHEV in the market and I am sharing what I believe are the better choices regardless of the cost.
PHEVs offer a compelling case for city driving due to their fuel efficiency. PHEVs use an electric motor and an internal gasoline combustion engine (ICE). The electric motor is powered by a battery that can be charged through a standard outlet or a charging station. The gas engine can be used to power the car directly or recharge the battery. This combination of motors allows longer driving distances without stopping and recharging the battery.
In city driving, PHEVs excel due to their ability to operate in electric-only mode for short distances. Like when you are in heavy traffic or on a busy freeway. These cars can run up to 25 mph so they can keep up with heavy traffic without problems in the electric mode. This reduces the fuel consumed and emissions produced, making them an environmentally friendly choice. Additionally, PHEVs can be charged overnight, taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates and reducing the strain on the power grid during peak hours.
Several manufacturers offer PHEV cars, each with unique features and benefits. The top five best 2023 PHEVs currently available are:
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: This is medium size SUV that has a premium interior and plenty of interior space. It even comes with three rows of seats. It starts at $39,845 and has an electric-only range of 38 miles. It has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, producing 221 horsepower. The AWD platform (all-wheel drive) gives it more grip and safety on all surfaces.
Toyota Prius Prime PHEV: an all-new design that comes as a 4-door sedan styling that is sharp and modern. It has the perfect size for daily commuting in Los Angeles. It starts at $32,350 and has an electric-only range of 40 miles. Power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, producing 150 horsepower.
Kia Niro PHEV: A compact SUV with significant design appeal and a roomy interior. Kids have good space in the back seats. I like the double display integration across the dashboard. Pricing starts at $33,800, and can have an electric-only range of 33 miles. It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor producing 180 horsepower.
Ford Escape PHEV: With a new look in front and back, new Sync 4 infotainment system, and many modern tech features are the best Escape ever. This compact crossover starts at $41,000 and has an electric-only range of 37 miles. It maintains a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, producing 221 horsepower.
Hyundai Tucson PHEV: Unique exterior design that makes it stand out. Very nice ride in the city with the best acceleration. Priced at $38,400, it has an electric-only range of 32 miles. The engine feels a lot bigger than what it is. A combination of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor makes a total of 261 horsepower.
PHEVs offer a compelling case for city driving due to their fuel efficiency and electric-only capabilities. The United States has several PHEVs available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Over the past ten years, PHEVs have experienced a steady increase in sales volume, and their price has decreased over time. As the world continues to shift towards environmentally conscious practices, PHEVs offer a viable option for drivers looking to reduce their carbon footprint while still enjoying the benefits of a traditional car.
As Driven by Ricardo Rodriguez-Long