Hybrid vehicles that change our fuel efficiency standards

There may be more than 2.5 million fully electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in America today, but that pales in comparison to the amount of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that have hit the pavement over the decades. With more than 100,000 retail refueling stations across the country, as safe as electric vehicles are, they’re not as reliable as ICE vehicles. This relates to factors such as existing charging infrastructure and concerns about range, especially for long road trips.

Given this, there is an alternative in transportation that will likely be around for a long period of time, one that at least solves these issues. This is a hybrid car, which combines the benefits of ICE and EV technologies, and is particularly useful in the range department. There are three basic types of hybrid vehicles: parallel, series, and plug-in (PHEV). Parallels are the most common, where an electric motor is mated to a gas engine with a combined transmission, to blend the power. Hybrid series cars never have a mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels, and the gas engine only charges the electric motor, while the latter drives the wheels.

The plug-in is based on a traditional parallel setup, where a larger battery pack is used. Think of it like a long-term gas tank. This allows for a greater electric range, but it must be charged via a wire, like a full electric car. Once the electric range is fully exhausted, the car reverts to a conventional parallel vehicle. Since this significantly reduces fuel consumption, plug-ins are key here, giving a whole new meaning to efficiency.

This article derives most of its data from Car and driveralong with supporting information from dealer websites and Fuel Economy.gov.

Related: Why should your next car be a plug-in hybrid?

The “prime numbers” of the crop

Up to 40 miles of all-electric range


The Toyota Prius is often viewed as the first and exemplary hybrid car. Although it’s not the first overall, it is the first mass-produced hybrid car. Currently, it’s still one of the best hybrids available, which is a testament to its longevity. Today, we can take things up a notch with the Prius Prime, a car with 220 horsepower and an all-electric driving range of 40 miles. Considering that the best gasoline-only vehicles have a combined range of 33-39 mpg, being the most fuel efficient non-hybrid cars, this will be the norm for hybrids as well. However, remember that after plug-ins exhaust their entire electric range, they revert to basic parallel types, while still using less fuel.

The thing about the Prius, with 57 mpg combined, is that it’s expected to be efficient. However, there is another Toyota that one might not expect, which is the Toyota RAV4 Prime. This thing has the greatest electric driving range of any hybrid available, at 42 mpg. Not only that, it’s the fastest RAV4 ever, hitting 60 mph from a stop faster than a four-wheeled Toyota GR Supra. Thus, the brand created a compact SUV with utility, but with the acceleration of a sports car. Plus, it has enough electric range to theoretically handle most daily commutes without burning any fuel at all.

RELATED: 10 Hybrid Cars with the Worst Fuel Efficiency

Volvo’s quintet shows how it’s done

Up to 40 miles of all-electric range

Volvo has a range of game-changing vehicles using PHEV technology. Starting with the S60 Recharge and V60 Recharge, these are the most powerful versions of the brand’s sedans and wagons, respectively. Both have 455 horsepower, along with 40 miles of all-electric range. Other Recharge branded vehicles include:

  • Volvo S90 recharging
  • Volvo XC60 recharging
  • Volvo XC90 recharging

The S90 Recharge is a Swedish midsize sedan that also has 455 horsepower, but with a 38-mile electric range. Meanwhile, the XC60 and XC90 also have the same horsepower as all other Volvo Recharges, but since they’re SUVs, the electric range is 36 miles. All of these vehicles, with the exception of the S60 and S90, are considered some of the best hybrids available.

RELATED: 10 Hybrid Cars That Are Also Surprisingly Powerful

The SUV is all on its own

38 miles of all-electric range

White Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

If one wants to talk about utility, a great choice is the Ford F-150 Powerboost. Along with the Ford Maverick, these two vehicles combine the utility of trucks into hybrid platforms, and are also some of the best hybrids available. With the F-150, one gets all the gadgets that made it a best-selling vehicle, but with greater overall fuel range than any F-150 ever. With an estimated tank range of 700 miles, it will outperform an ICE F-150 equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and 36-gallon stretch tank.

Not only that, it uses the same twin-turbocharged engine, but with the alternator, it also has a Pro Power Onboard like the EV F-150 Lightning. Due to its ICE core, the Powerboost won’t suffer from poor range under heavy loads like the Lightning, however, as the latter’s 320 miles of range drops to just 100 miles with a 6,100-pound trailer attached. Therefore, the Powerboost can be used as a truck longer and more efficiently than ever before.

However, the Powerboost is not a PHEV, and that’s where the Mitsubishi Outlander comes into play. It’s a 248-horsepower PHEV that starts at $41,190 and has an all-electric range of up to 38 miles. It’s $10,000 more than the entry-level ICE Outlander, but its powertrain is superior, and it’s the only PHEV compact SUV to offer DC fast charging.

RELATED: 15 Hybrid Vehicles That Offer Amazing Fuel Efficiency

Different genes, but same efficiency

37 miles of all-electric range

Ford Escape’s four-cylinder engine with electric motor generates 210 horsepower. With an electric range of 37 miles, that’s enough for most daily commutes on just battery power. This also makes it the most expensive Escape model, starting at $41,995.

Meanwhile, the Lexus NX450h+ starts at $57,705. It’ll hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a full two seconds faster than the plug-in version. This SUV also has an electric range of 37 miles. Considering that neither of these vehicles is considered one of the best hybrids overall, perhaps it’s this similarity to the all-electric range that makes shoppers not ignore them.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why Your Next Car Should Be Electric or Hybrid

A hexagon of noteworthy hybrid cars

Up to 33 miles of all-electric range

Last but not least, we have six vehicles that can be considered among the best hybrid cars, five of which are SUVs, and one of which is a minivan. The reason they’re not listed before others is because they’re on the lower end of the all-electric range. They all have a range of 31 to 33 miles, which puts them below or even below the most fuel-efficient ICE cars in this sense. Of course, being a hybrid, it should be more efficient overall, and these additional components include:

  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • BMW X5 xDrive 45e
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Be Nero
  • Kia Sorento

Five of those six cars are SUVs, while the Pacifica is of course a minivan, the only plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in the segment. To give an idea of ​​how efficient these vehicles are, the Santa Fe can be used as an example. This car has 260 horsepower, an estimated 31 miles of all-electric range, but an overall rating of 76 mpg. The fact that we’ve seen a number of SUVs paving the way here is interesting. We also touched on sedans and trucks, including a minivan and a wagon.

The remaining hybrids are of interest

Make and type

Fully electric set

Plugin setup

Starting a management systems renewal project

BMW 330e

23 miles



Honda Accord

44 mpg



Honda CR-V

40 mpg



Hyundai Sonata

52 mpg



Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe

26 miles



Kia Sportage

34 miles



Land Rover Range Rover P440e

62 miles



McLaren Artura

11 miles



Mercedes-Benz S580e

40 miles



Cayenne Porsche

17 miles



Toyota Sienna

35 mpg



The table above shows the best remaining hybrids that have not been touched upon before. Range is either all-electric or combined mpg depending on whether it’s a PHEV or not. One can see that the range varies by car type, which also affects the cost, but they all go beyond the range of the best petrol-only rides. This list includes SUVs, hatchbacks, other pickup trucks, luxury and sports cars.

Despite having the lowest all-electric range on the list, the mid-engined Artura supercar achieves 39 mpg combined! With 671 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, this car hits 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph! Hybrids are definitely changing the way things are done! Other plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) include models from Audi, Bentley and even Ferrari. Although it’s not considered one of the best hybrids, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is actually the best-selling plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in America. In fact, on or off pavement, hybrids have an impressive impact.

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