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What is the longest-range plug-in hybrid car?

Want a PHEV that can go the distance? Here are 10 of the best you can buy on the used car market

a grey polestar 1 driving on a countryside road

If you’re not quite ready for owning and living with an all-electric car, then the best introduction to electrifying your life on the road is with a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV).

They offer the excitement and boost of an electric motor but with the flexibility of an internal combustion engine, which can be refuelled much quicker.

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Of course, the range on electric power alone isn’t anywhere near as much as with an electric vehicle (EV), but it’s still plenty for most people’s daily commutes.

Here are 10 of the longest-range plug-in hybrid cars that you should consider buying.

Longest range plug-in hybrid cars:

  • Skoda Octavia

  • Audi A3

  • Mercedes A-Class PHEV

  • Suzuki Across PHEV

  • Toyota RAV4 PHEV

  • BMW X5

  • BMW 2 Series

  • Mercedes C-Class PHEV

  • Mercedes GLE PHEV

  • Polestar 1

Skoda Octavia iV – 34 miles

A white Skoda Octavia iV Estate driving on a road next to a wind farm

In its standard form, the Skoda Octavia is a brilliant car. It offers great practicality, comfort, tech and looks. It also comes as a plug-in hybrid – and that’s the real star.

Sitting alongside the 1.4-litre petrol engine is an electric motor that Skoda claims will give you up to 34 miles of electric-only driving.

This means that most town and city driving can be done on electric power alone, which is great if you regularly drive in a congestion zone.

Inside, the Octavia is a pleasant place to be, with high-quality soft-touch materials, a great infotainment system and comfortable seats.

It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too, if you don’t fancy using the onboard Skoda Connect system.

Our motoring editor, Sam Sheehan, rates the Octavia for its usability. He says: "Spacious, understated and sensible, the Octavia’s the perfect practical family car."

Audi A3 TFSI e – 40 miles

a dark blue audi a3 driving on a country road

If you’re after a more premium hatchback for your longest-range plug-in hybrid, there are very few options more attractive than the Audi A3.

Now available as a plug-in hybrid, it makes perfect sense for city-dwellers because you get up to 40 miles of electric range from its onboard 13kWh battery that’s backed by a reliable 1.4-litre petrol engine.

With it being a used Audi, you do get a great selection of standard features including a navigation system, digital driver’s display, dual-zone climate control, and USB phone chargers.

Sam says: "Audi’s hatchback does all the practical things the Golf does, but with an extra smattering of pizzazz and quality.

Audi has perfected the chic, classy styling it has become renowned for."

Mercedes-Benz A250e – 44 miles

a silver mercedes a-class plug-in hybrid driving over a bridge in europe

It took a while for plug-in hybrid technology to reach Mercedes’ baby A-Class range, but it’s here and it’s here to stay.

The A250e’s 75kWh onboard e-motor offers up to 44 miles of range and can be fully charged using any 7kW wall box charger in less than two hours. It's one of the longest-range plug-in hybrids on the market.

It’s quick too, producing 217hp. This doesn’t make this used Mercedes quite as sporty as the top-spec A45 AMG model, but it also doesn’t mean you’ll be left behind at the lights either.

Sam has labelled it a "great-looking car that oozes class and prestige" - so it gets the cinch approval.

Suzuki Across PHEV – 46 miles

a red suzuki across parked on tarmac

Based on the popular Toyota RAV4, the used Suzuki Across is a family SUV designed to undercut its rivals including used Skoda, used Mazda and used Peugeot models.

With an excellent 46-mile range from its 18.1kWh battery, the Suzuki is efficient and economical – everything its Toyota relative stands for. This makes it one of the longest-range plug-in hybrid options.

It’s also very practical, with a 490-litre boot and ample rear legroom. Speaking of the interior, it’s packed full of tech and standard features, so you don’t need to worry about missing out.

Toyota RAV4 PHEV – 46 miles

a grey Toyota RAV4 PHEV driving in the British countryside

The RAV4, other than displaying the Toyota badge, is in every way identical to the aforementioned Suzuki.

This means you’re getting a comfortable and practical interior, a big boot, lots of tech thrown in standard models, and a great onboard hybrid system.

The RAV4’s onboard 18.1kWh electric motor, which has a range of 46 miles, is reliable, hard-wearing and tried and tested, meaning you don’t need to worry too much about anything going wrong.

After all, Toyota does stand for reliability, and more than 80 years of making cars can testify to that.

Sam says: "No matter which version of the Toyota RAV4 you’re looking at, you won’t go far wrong."

It’s a lovely family SUV that will get on with the business of taking you from A to B securely and with little fuss."

BMW X5 xDrive45e – 54 miles

A blue BMW X4 parked on a rooftop parking lot in a city

Driving on electric power alone is a standard feature for plug-in hybrids but being able to manage the two simultaneously is less so – but the BMW X5 xDrive45e nails it.

By using the navigation, it’s able to determine the best fuel for your journey, so if you’re in a city it’ll switch to electric-only, but on a motorway, it’ll balance the two to be as efficient as possible.

On battery power alone, the used BMW X5 hybrid can manage up to 54 miles, but when that runs out you still have a reliable and powerful 295hp straight-six petrol engine to back you up.

It's one of the longest-range plug-in hybrid cars on the market, and Sam praises it for being "spacious, luxurious and ideal for taking the family on a road trip".

BMW 2 Series 225e – 56 miles

A grey BMW 2 Series Active Tourer parked next to the sea

Posh MPVs don’t come around all that often, but when something like the BMW 2 Series hybrid shows up, it gives families another option apart from an SUV or estate car.

Its 54-mile range works best in city environments because it means you can drive through almost any city in silent electric mode and avoid any nasty congestion charges.

The interior is where it really shines, and if you’ve ever been in a BMW before then you’ll know what to expect. From plush leathers to a large infotainment screen, the 2 Series has got it all.

Sam says: "All 2-Series Coupés feel far more expensive than their price tags would have you believe. All the items you touch on a daily basis feel genuinely plush and operate with a smooth, consistent weight".

There’s plenty of room for up to five people too, if you opt for the larger Active Tourer trim.

Mercedes-Benz C300e – 62 miles

a dark blue mercedes c300e driving on a road

Low running costs and efficiency are two terms that will put a smile on anyone’s face, so it’s a good thing the Mercedes C300e has both.

This Mercedes saloon offers an impressive 62-mile all-electric range that makes its BMW 330e rival look a little bit inferior. It's easily one of the longest-range plug-in hybrid cars out there.

This is thanks to its onboard 25.4kWh battery pack and electric motor, which alone produces 130hp.

But to help it along and replace it when the battery runs out is a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 204hp and is reliable and efficient, thanks to many years of being tested across the model range.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de – 66 miles

a red merceded gle driving on a motorway

Most PHEVs are powered by an electric motor and a petrol engine, but what makes the Mercedes GLE hybrid different is that it has a diesel engine instead.

Not only does this mean it’s got increased torque to pull this SUV around, but it also offers greater fuel economy.

When the engine isn’t working, you’re able to get up to 66 miles of electric range from the 31.2kWh battery pack, which produces 136hp on its own – a grand total of 320hp when the engine chips in.

Inside, it’s as luxurious as any other Mercedes model thanks to its comfortable leather seats, large screens covering the dashboard, and excellent build quality.

Polestar 1 – 93 miles

a grey polestar 1 driving on a countryside road

One car you may not have ever seen on the road before is the very rare and sought-after Polestar 1 – a plug-in hybrid coupé GT from Volvo’s spin-off electric car manufacturer.

This sleek beauty is powered by a 2.0-litre engine that’s both turbocharged and supercharged, pushing all its 609hp through all four wheels.

Helping it is a 34kWh battery pack that means the ‘1’ can travel up to a staggering 93 miles on a single charge – doubling the figures of its competitors and making it a serious contender for longest-range plug-in hybrid.

With a starting price of £144,000 this isn’t a cheap option, but as time goes on more used examples should start cropping up on the market.

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