Best-selling plug-in hybrids

We've managed to reveal the Top 10 biggest-selling new plug-in hybrids. Prepare for a few surprises...

Plug-in hybrids are a great introduction to electrified motoring – a stepping stone between conventional cars and fully electric vehicles.

Not only are PHEVs capable of running for at least 30 miles in pure electric mode (perfect for short commutes), but they also have a conventional petrol engine for longer journeys, offering potential fuel economy as high as 300mpg if you keep your battery pack charged up.

With low CO2 emissions, they are also appealing to company car drivers looking to make significant tax savings. In 2023, the UK new car market had its best year since 2019 with more than 1.9 million new cars registered.

Here’s how it panned out when it came to powertrains:

  • Petrol: 774,484 (40.7% share)
  • Mild hybrid: 362,129 (19%)
  • EV: 314,687 (16.5%)
  • Full hybrid: 238,942 (12.6%)
  • Plug-in hybrid: 141,311 (7.4%)
  • Diesel: 71,501 (3.8%)

So, as you can see, plug-in hybrids were by no means the biggest sector in 2023, but sales were up a massive 39.3% on 2022.

Drill down further into the data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), and we’ve managed to reveal the Top 10 biggest-selling new plug-in hybrids. Prepare for a few surprises…

Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid

1. Ford Kuga PHEV – 10,100 registrations

Launched in 2020 and updated for 2024 (pictured), Ford’s biggest-selling SUV offers a winning blend of practicality, performance and efficiency. The Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid pairs a punchy 2.5-litre petrol engine with a 14.4kW battery and electric motor, giving it a total output of 240bhp delivered via the front wheels.

It can hit 62mph from standstill in 7.3 seconds and Ford claims it can run in EV mode for up to 43 miles. Fuel economy is theoretically as high as 313.9mpg, while CO2 emissions are as low as 28g/km. What’s more, it offers an impressive towing capacity of 2,100kg, making it a good choice for caravanners.

Priced from £40,555, the 2024 Kuga also gets Ford’s latest SYNC4 infotainment system with a 13.2-inch touchscreen alongside a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

> Buy new Ford Kuga

BMW 330e

2. BMW 3 Series – 6,936 registrations

Priced from £46,985, the BMW 330e is a class act, delivering elegance, efficiency, comfort, driving dynamics and low running costs.

Available as a saloon or estate (Touring in BMW-speak) and with rear or all-wheel drive (xDrive), it matches a smooth 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine (181bhp) and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery, resulting in a combined output of 249bhp (or 289bhp for short bursts using the ‘Xtraboost’ feature hidden in the Sport driving mode).

It can run on battery power alone for up to 38 miles, while officially quoted CO2 emissions are as low as 37g/km. The 0-62mph benchmark can be reached in as little as 5.9 seconds, while top speed is 143mph and fuel economy could be as high as 217.3mpg.

> Neue Klasse is your future BMW 3 Series

3. Hyundai Tucson – 6,073 registrations

The good-looking Hyundai Tucson is one of the best mid-sized SUVs on the market and is available with a range of powertrains, including a 48V Mild Hybrid, Hybrid, 1.6 T-GDi standard petrol and Plug-in Hybrid.

Price from £41,930, the Tucson Plug-in Hybrid has a potential fuel economy of 202mpg and an electric driving range of 38 miles, thanks to a 13.8kWh battery.

That battery feeds a single electric motor that’s coupled with a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. The total power output is 261bhp, with 0-62mph taking 8.6 seconds, while drive is via all four wheels.

Spacious, well-equipped and easy to drive, it comes with Hyundai’s generous five-year warranty.

> Buy new Hyundai Tucson

4. Kia Sportage – 5,719 registrations

The UK’s fourth best-selling new car overall is also the fourth most popular plug-in hybrid.

A cousin to the Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage is priced from £40,575 and it’s one of the best-looking family SUVs on the market.

Blessed with Kia’s superb seven-year warranty, it uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a 13.8kWh battery and an electric motor, producing a combined 261bhp.

The all-wheel drive Sportage PHEV can accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, CO2 emissions as low as 25g/km and it has a 43-mile zero-emission range. In theory, it has fuel economy as high as 256mpg.

If you’re buying a plug-in hybrid, make sure you test drive the excellent all-rounder that is the Sportage.

> Buy new Kia Sportage

5. Audi A3 – 5,428 registrations

Launched in 2020, the stylish fourth-generation Audi A3 hatchback (Sportback in Audi-speak) blends driver engagement, refinement, comfort and top quality with the latest tech.

Starting at £36,975, the Audi A3 plug-in hybrid gets a gutsy 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, an electric motor and a battery pack, and is available with two power outputs (the 201bhp ’40 TFSI e’ and 242bhp ’45 TFSI e’).

Depending on which version you choose, the all-electric range is as high as 40 miles and fuel efficiency is up to 256.8 mpg, while CO2 emissions are as low as 26g/km.

The 0-62mph sprint can take as little as 6.8 seconds and the top speed is 144mph.

A pleasure to drive and boasting serious badge appeal, it’s no wonder the Audi A3 is selling so well.

>  Buy new Audi A3

6. Range Rover Evoque – 5,305 registrations

If you’re looking for a premium family SUV with a surprisingly dynamic driving experience and Land Rover’s legendary off-road capability, then consider the Range Rover Evoque plug-in hybrid (badged P300e).

The powertrain comprises of a 1.5-litre petrol engine, plus an electric motor and battery, giving a total of 305bhp. With an EV range of 39 miles, CO2 emissions are as low as 31g/km and the 0-62mph sprint takes just 6.1 seconds.

What’s more, the Evoque is rare amongst PHEVs because it has a fast-charging capability (a 0-80% boost can be achieved in around 30 minutes).

Priced from £46,995, the Evoque is an impressive piece of kit.

> Buy new Range Rover Evoque

7. Volvo XC60 – 4,524 registrations

The second generation XC60 was originally launched back in 2017. Treated to facelift in 2021, the plug-in hybrid version is known as the Volvo XC60 Recharge.

Starting at £54,375, it’s certainly a premium offering, but you are buying into the Volvo brand and everything that it offers, including comfort, refinement, safety and practicality.

The XC60 Recharge is equipped with a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine, an electric motor and 18.1kWh battery giving a total output of 345bhp via all four wheels. This all translates into a 0-62mph sprint time of just 5.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 112mph.

It can run electric-only for 51 miles, has a theoretical fuel economy of 313.9 mpg and CO2 emissions are as low as 22g/km.

OK, so the XC60 is starting to show its age, but it’s still a solid family SUV choice, and the updated infotainment system is now powered by Google, which is a big plus.

> Buy new Volvo XC60

8. Cupra Formentor – 4,485 registrations

SEAT’s performance-focused sister brand has crept into the Top 10 with its award-winning Formentor “coupe SUV”.

The plug-in hybrid version (marketed as the e-HYBRID), pairs a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with a battery and electric motor, offering two power choices (201bhp and 241bhp). Top speed is up to 130mph, while 0-62mph acceleration is as low as 7.0 seconds.

Just as importantly, it delivers fuel efficiency as high as 239.2mpg, CO2 emissions from just 28g/km, plus an EV range of up to 43 miles.

Priced from £39,895, the distinctive CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID isn’t just eye candy. It’s good to drive, sporty, well-equipped, classily trimmed and stands out from the crowd.

> Buy new Cupra Formentor

9. Volkswagen Tiguan – 4,373 registrations

The current version of Volkswagen’s best-selling model worldwide was launched way back in 2016, with the plug-in hybrid variant (badged eHybrid) joining the range in 2021.

New for 2024, the all-new, third-generation Tiguan eHybrid (pictured) gets more of an ID electric family look externally, plus all the latest tech inside.

Just as importantly, there will be a choice of two power outputs, plus an all-electric range of up to 62 miles (double the outgoing model’s) thanks to a larger 19.7kWh bat

tery.

Both eHybrids will feature the same battery and 113bhp electric motor, plus a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and six-speed automatic gearbox. Combined power outputs will be 201bhp or 268bhp. It will also accept rapid charging at up to 50kW, so a 10-80% boost will take around 25 minutes.

> All-new Volkswagen Tiguan with plug-in hybrid powertrain revealed

10. MG HS – 4,320 registrations

Priced from an affordable £31,095, the MG HS Plug-in Hybrid is updated for 2024 and uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine working in tandem with a 16.6kWh battery and an electric motor to give an EV range of 32 miles – plenty for a typical commute.

Producing a combined 254bhp, it’s quick off the mark with a 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 118mph. Fuel economy is as high as 155mpg, while CO2 emissions are as low as 43g/km.

The MG may not be as plush or exciting to drive as some rivals, but it’s well equipped, efficient, comfortable, safe, refined and well built – and offers peace of mind thanks to a generous seven-year warranty.

> Buy new MG HS

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