In late 2010, the Chevrolet Volt became the first production plug-in hybrid sold in the United States. GM’s marketing team, which massively underestimated its importance, could have prevented the Volt from reaching its maximum potential. Unlike a traditional hybrid, you could drive 35 miles on electricity, and unlike a first electric vehicle, you could take a long highway trip without paying Tesla money.
Since the Volt, there have been many PHEVs to follow. Whether it’s something as pedestrian as the Hyundai Ioniq or something as eccentric as the BMW i3, there are plenty of used plug-in hybrids out there that are suitable for a variety of fields.
Vehicles over 4 years old or over 50,000 miles are not included in this list. This is to reassure potential buyers, as these vehicles should have around 4 years of battery warranty. Nevertheless, respect the used PHEVs with longer autonomy currently available.
The 2017 Sonata PHEV is a good option if you are looking for a used Sonata or Sonata Hybrid. Other than that, there is nothing too special. Its interior looks a bit dated and it offers 27 miles of range, which is good, but not remarkable. The Sonata PHEV is a direct competitor of the Fusion Energi, and its dimensions are very similar. It can go 5 more miles on a charge, but since it’s relatively hard to find and costs more, the Hyundai Sonata PHEV takes last place on this list.
Find used Hyundai Sonata PHEV near you.
EV range: 27 miles
Battery size: 9.8 kWh
Total range: 590 miles
Power: 202 horsepower
If there was a price for the most decent plug-in hybrid, the Ford Fusion Energi would take that place. It is mediocre; but if you are looking for a Fusion or a Fusion Hybrid it would make sense. Like the regular Fusion, it offers a comfortable interior and quite attractive exterior styling. With its meager 7.6kWh battery, the Fusion Energi can only cover 35km on a single charge, which is still handy, but the similarly priced Volt can travel twice the distance on a single charge.
Find used Ford Fusion Energis near you.
EV range: 22 miles
Battery size: 7.6 kWh
Total range: 610 miles
Power: 188 hp
The Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid is part of the Ioniq range of three vehicles. Hyundai offers an EV version, a traditional hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid is the happy medium between the two models. It offers 29 miles of electric driving only, but it can go 630 miles on a full charge and tank. It’s a good option, but the Ioniq PHEV will likely leave you wanting a little more for the price.
Find used Ioniq PHEVs near you.
EV range: 29 miles
Battery size: 8.9 kWh
Total range: 630 miles
Power: 139 horsepower
Honda has produced three vehicles in the Clarity lineup: a fuel cell, fully electric, and plug-in hybrid variant. While the electric-only variant had an ungenerous range of just 87 miles, the PHEV actually held up fairly well against its competition. It has more than enough range of 47 miles and it produces 212 peak horsepower, but since it weighs over 4,000 pounds, it’s not that fast. Overall, the Clarity is a decent option, but you’re probably better off looking at a Volt and saving the extra money.
Find used Clarity PHEVs near you.
EV range: 47 miles
Battery size: 17.0 kWh liquid cooled
Total range: 340 miles
Power: 212 horsepower
Cheeky and chic are two words that rarely collide, but the i3 is there to mix the two in weird ways. Unlike all of the other options on this list, the i3 is the only one to offer an RWD configuration and epitomizes a carbon fiber monocoque. Regardless of how you think about the look, the i3 is arguably the hottest of the bunch with coach doors, futuristic lines, and an interior and exterior that still hold up incredibly well eight years later. its creation in the American market.
Another advantage of the 2017 (and 2018) i3 is its liquid-cooled battery. The 33 kWh pack can go just under 100 miles on a single charge, making it the longest electric car on this list. The 170bhp rear-mounted motor of the i3 is paired with the battery, making it the most fun car to drive on this list.
For the gasoline engine of the i3, it uses a 0.65L 2-cylinder motorcycle engine. Unlike the Volt and Clarity, this is a true stock hybrid, using the engine to supply energy to the battery when it reaches a low percentage. It’s pretty quiet and the transition is smooth, but there are two drawbacks. The gas tank only holds 2.5 gallons (electronically limited to 1.7), and most i3s that have service issues are those equipped with the range extender.
Find used BMW i3s near you.
EV range: 97 miles
Battery size: 33.0 kWh liquid cooled
Total range: 180 miles
Power: 170 horsepower
For the 2016 model year, Chevrolet introduced the all-new Volt. Unlike the previous version, the new Volt had massive improvements across the board. Whether it was the new Volt’s 53-mile EV range or its much more attractive styling, the Volt 2.0 was (and still is) a winner. Although it is a mixture of parallel and series hybrid, it works all the time from electric motors. This means that even in “gasoline” mode, you will get smooth and quick electric acceleration.
The Volt is also the most proven option in the field of reliability. The Volt offers the largest charge pad on this list and the pack is liquid cooled. Considering the Volt’s battery capacity, replacements and battery issues are very rare. Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable, high-quality PHEV, the Volt is easily the “first” option.
Editor’s Note: I drive a six-year-old Volt (2016 Volt built in Fall 2015), and in summer weather with the A / C on I can still go about 60 miles.
Find used Chevrolet Volt near you.
EV range: 53 miles
Battery size: 18.4 kWh liquid cooled
Total range: 420 miles
Power: 149 hp