Compare the best plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUVs

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Best PHEV SUVs of 2024

You might think that buying a large SUV right now is a bad idea, because fuel costs are so high. However, there’s a cheeky loophole that can reduce running costs greatly – and that’s why our expert reviews team has put together this list of the best plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUVs you can buy in 2024.

Why are PHEV SUVs such a good idea? Well, while they do have a petrol engine that could cost you a fortune in fuel, they also come with large batteries that allow you to run them on electric power. If you can keep the batteries topped up, it means your cost per mile is massively reduced (assuming you’re charging at home and not at pricey public chargers, of course), and you have a backup petrol engine that will kick in on longer journeys.

Some PHEVs can now travel more than 60 miles on a charge, meaning most people could happily commute without ever calling on the engine. There are company car tax benefits, too.

Interest piqued? Here’s Carwow’s rundown of the best plug-in hybrid SUVs…

BMW X5

1. BMW X5

10/10
BMW X5 review
Battery range up to 45 miles
Range Rover
2024
Comfortable Cruiser Award
Highly Commended

2. Range Rover

9/10
Range Rover review

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Citroen C5 Aircross
2024
Family Values Award

3. Citroen C5 Aircross

9/10
Citroen C5 Aircross review
Kia Sportage

4. Kia Sportage

8/10
Kia Sportage review
Volkswagen Tiguan

5. Volkswagen Tiguan

8/10
Volkswagen Tiguan review
BMW X1

6. BMW X1

8/10
BMW X1 review
Jaguar F-PACE

7. Jaguar F-Pace

8/10
Jaguar F-PACE review
Volvo XC60

8. Volvo XC60

8/10
Volvo XC60 review
Battery range up to 28 miles
Toyota C-HR

9. Toyota C-HR

8/10
Toyota C-HR review
Cupra Formentor

10. Cupra Formentor

8/10
Cupra Formentor review

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Advice about PHEV SUVs

Plug-in hybrid SUVs FAQs

A plug-in hybrid SUV uses two power sources — a petrol (or very occasionally a diesel) engine and an electric motor, which is powered by a large rechargeable battery. The idea is that you can combine the best of both electric and petrol worlds.

The concept behind a plug-in hybrid SUV is that you use the electric motor and battery for your regular, daily commute (or shopping trips, school runs, etc). They work best if you have a driveway or garage with a charging point, or somewhere you can easily top up such as a work car park, as most plug-in hybrids can travel between 40 and 60 miles per charge, so you need to charge up frequently to reduce dependency on the petrol engine. Then, when you need to make a longer journey, you don’t have to worry about charging points — you just use the petrol engine and the fuel tank. The car will be thirstier on a long journey, of course, because it’s heavier (thanks to the battery and electric motor) but in theory, enough miles on electric power will more than balance out the extra thirst on longer journeys.

It will depend on the model. Older models, with smaller batteries, will generally manage around 30 miles. Never models with bigger batteries will go for between 40 and as much as 60 miles. The best, newest models can manage a claimed 70-plus miles.

From a home three-pin socket, you’re looking at around three-to-five hours to charge a plug-in hybrid with a notional 13kWh battery. From a 7.4kW charging point, that can fall to around two hours. Obviously, cars with bigger batteries will take much longer, but those with the biggest power-packs can often use fast 50kW DC public charging points, achieving an 80 per cent charge in as little as 20 minutes.

Currently, it’s very close between the Renault Captur and the MG HS, both of which start at around £32,000 for the plug-in hybrid engine. Of the two, the Captur is the better car, but the MG comes with an excellent warranty of up to seven years. That said, the Citroen C5 Aircross isn't much more expensive, and we love it so much it won the Family Values Award at the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year awards.