Give me phev-er: The Irish Times guide to plug-in hybrid cars

Not ready to go full electric? A plug-in hybrid could be a low emission option

Skoda Superb.

Skoda Superb.

 

While electric cars – that is, those driven along solely by their batteries – get all the publicity, it’s arguable that, for many of us, a plug-in hybrid car makes more sense right now.

You can start racking up at least some zero-emissions kilometres, but you still have the reassurance and convenience of liquid fuel for when you need to make a longer journey. Irish buyers are finally catching on to these advantages, with sales of such vehicles up by 75 per cent so far this year.

Here’s our guide to the best of what’s on offer right now with both pump and plug, divvied up by price bands

Starting from €25,000 to €40,000

Citroën C5 Aircross
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 50km
Verdict: Franco-stylish mobile sofa with part-electric power.

Ford Kuga
Price:
€35,433
Range (electric only): 56km
Verdict: Stylish RAV4 rival that’s good to drive and surprisingly efficient.

Hyundai Ioniq.
Hyundai Ioniq.

Hyundai Ioniq
Price:
€34,995
Range (electric only): 62km
Verdict: As sensible as nuns’ shoes, but slightly more stylish than that suggests.

Jeep Renegade 4XE
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 50km
Verdict: Can part-electric power give Jeep brand much-needed CPR in Ireland?

Kia Ceed.
Kia Ceed.

Kia XCeed
Price:
€28,945
Range (Electric only): 58km
Verdict: Slightly Porsche-esque styling makes this a handsome plugin. Good value too.

Kia Niro.
Kia Niro.

Kia Niro
Price:
€32,995
Range (electric only): 65km
Verdict: Arguably the best all-round plugin-hybrid of all

Mercedes-Benz A250E
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 65km
Verdict: A-Class gets powertrain to match its high-tech cabin, and the same plug-in tech will spread to the CLA, GLA, GLB et al in the next year or so.

Opel Grandland X Hybrid D4
Price:
€36,645 to €47,415
Range (electric only): 56km
Verdict: Sporty to drive, but a touch plain inside for something this pricey. Frugal when running as a hybrid, though.

Peugeot 508 Hybird 2 PHEV
Price:
€38,895 to €47,995
Range (electric only): 62km
Verdict: Peugeot’s handsome fastback is as slick to drive as it is to look at, but the SW estate is the one to go for.

Peugeot 3008.
Peugeot 3008.

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid2 & Hybrid 4 PHEV
Price:
€37,995 to €49,400
Range (electric only): 64km
Verdict: An impressive pair of PHEVs. The 300hp Hybrid4 is properly quick and feels deft in spite of extra weight.

Renault Captur.
Renault Captur.

Renault Capture E-Tech
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 51km
Verdict: Captur plug-in uses a clever twin-motor electric system, supposedly inspired by Renault’s F1 engineers.

Seat Leone-Hybrid
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 60km
Verdict: Spanish style meets part-battery power. Hot Cupra plug-in model coming soon too.

Skoda Octavia IV & RS
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 59km
Verdict: Skoda’s new Octavia gets sensible and racy plugin versions

Starting from €40,000 to €60,000

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer XDrive 25XE
Price:
€40,415 to €42,715
Range (electric only): 40km
Verdict: Way more fun than you’d expect, but hardly a cutting-edge design now.

BMW 330E
Price:
€44,065 to €56,395
Range (electric only): 66km
Verdict: The best 3 Series of all. More affordable than most of the diesels, and a hugely accomplished all-rounder.

BMW 530E
Price:
€55,695 to €68,915
Range (electric only): 50km
Verdict: Sharp steering and impressive economy, but cabin starting to feel a touch tight compared to Audi’s A6 plug-in hybrid.

BMW X1 and X2 XDrive 25E
Price:
€42,545 to €47,365
Range (electric only): 57km
Verdict: Small but stylish, X2 is kinda pointless, but the X1 is likeable.

BMW X3 XDrive 30E
Price:
€56,335 to €59,845
Range (electric only): 54km
Verdict: Best all-round BMW X car? Hard to argue against that now that it has plug-in power.

Ford Tourneo
Price:
€51,743
Range (electric only): 56km
Verdict: Transit with a plug, and every bit as useful as that sounds. For taxi drivers mostly, but you could see its usefulness to big families with eco-consciences.

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque & Discovery Sport P300E
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 62-66km
Verdict: Slinky style (Evoque) or big and practical (Discovery Sport), now with electric power.

Mini Countryman.
Mini Countryman.

Mini Countryman Cooper SE
Price:
€42,950 to €45,730
Range (electric only): 41km
Verdict: Surprisingly good fun, but thirsty if you don’t keep it plugged in.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Price:
€40,400 to €48,250
Range (electric only): 45km
Verdict: Ageing now, but still useful as long as you plug it in regularly.

Skoda Superb IV
Price:
€40,770 to €50,270
Range (electric only): 63-70km
Verdict: Big smoothie Superb really suits plug-in hybrid powertrain. Refined and ludicrously competent.

Volkswagen Golf Style eHybrid
Price:
€36,570
Range (electric only): 71km
Verdict: Ec0friendly Golf that offers better range than its red-blooded sibling, the GTE.

Volkswagen Golf GTE
Price:
€42,330
Range (electric only): 52km
Verdict: Half-electric hot Golf should give the GTI a fright or two when it arrives later this year.

Volkswagen Passat GTE
Price:
€42,495 to €45,150
Range (electric only): 56-59km
Verdict: Sensible GTE has surprising turn of speed. Estate is best, as ever.

Volvo XC40 T4 & T5
Price:
€54,385 to €55,995
Range (electric only): 46km
Verdict: Cool-looking SUV expands into electric territory. More affordable T4 version comes next year.

Volvo S60 & V60 T8
Price:
€54,995 to €60,801
Range (electric only): 50km
Verdict: Immensely appealing half-electric Volvo. Get the estate (yes, we always say that).

Starting from €60,000 to €99,000

Audi A6 TFSIE Quattro
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 51km
Verdict: 367hp with minimal emissions and 4wd. Sounds good to us.

Audi A7 TFSIE Quattro
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 40km
Verdict: Same as the A6, but sexier and pricier.

Audi Q5 TFSIE Quattro
Price:
€64,200 to €73,500
Range (electric only): 40km
Verdict: Same system as the A6 hybrid, but somehow a less charming vehicle overall

Audi Q7 TFSIE Quattro
Price:
€86,600 to €99,000
Range (electric only): 40km
Verdict: Big bruiser, but loveable and luxurious.

BMW 545E Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 57km
Verdict: Like a 530e, but with six-cylinder refinement.

BMW 745e Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€95,935 to €110,335
Range (electric only): 50km
Verdict: Ahead by a nose, if huge proboscises are your thing.

BMW X5 xDrive45e Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€77,785 to €82,415
Range (electric only): 86km
Verdict: Smoother and more refined than old X5 40e plugin.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
TBA
Range (electric only): 50km (approx)
Verdict: Once a fast-seller in Ireland, can electricity jump-start F-Pace sales again?

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid.
Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid.

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€94,759 to €176,441
Range (electric only): 35km
Verdict: Rapid Cayenne gives you Porsche punch with green-salving plug power – an enticing mix.

Volvo S90 & V90 T8 Recharge Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€74,196 to €76,556
Range (electric only): 56km
Verdict: Big, comfy, kinda sexy. Again, go for the estate.

Volvo XC60 T8 Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€66,000 to €81,000
Range (electric only): 45km
Verdict: Standard model is staid; Polestar version is sparkling (manually adjustable suspension!). Pricey, though.

Volvo XC90 T8 Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€80,550 to €87,609
Range (electric only): 40km
Verdict: Imposing and lovely inside, but thirsty (like, 21mpg) if you’re not plugged in all the time.

Starting from €100,000 and upwards

Bentley Bentayga Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€280,000 (approx)
Range (electric only): 38km
Verdict: Who knew the One Per Cent had an eco-conscience? Ugly outside, but sybaritically slient within.

Land Rover Range Rover P400e Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€132,585 to €257,320
Range (electric only): 51km
Verdict: Range far and wide without the SUV-guilt.

Mercedes S560e Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€127,335 to €136,117
Range (electric only): 40km
Verdict: Electric silence suits the S-Class’ luxury demeanour

Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid Plugin-Hybrid
Price:
€115,877 to €196,936
Range (electric only): 51km
Verdict: Turbo S combines plugin saintliness with staggering 680hp punch. Enough thrust to make you lose your lunch in a straight line.

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