The hybrid revolution is alive and well again, with buyers scouring the market for the best plug-in hybrid in 2022. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are a great option for people who want the convenience of full-electric driving plus the peace of mind of a gas engine for backup. Keep reading to learn about the top plug-in hybrids under $35,000, or check out all of the best electric cars in 2022 to see a full range of electrified options.
Is it worth buying a plug-in hybrid over a hybrid or EV?
Why choose a PHEV or a typical hybrid or an electric car? Plug-in hybrids are cheaper to run than a conventional gas car, and they offer a more flexible balance in power. Driving in full EV mode lets you enjoy the good feelings of eco-friendly cruising, but hybrid mode kicks in when the juice runs out. A PHEV is really the best of both worlds if you can’t commit to an EV.
5. The 2022 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid starts at $33,075
U.S. News score: N/A
EV range: 40 miles of all-electric range
The 2022 Escape PHEV is one of the plug-in hybrids with the best range. You should be able to cruise up to 40 miles on a full charge—as long as you listen to the right music. The Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid is sharp and comfortable, and it even qualifies for additional incentives. But, there are some questions about whether federal PHEV tax credits help everyone equally.
4. The 2022 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid starts at $29,590
U.S. News score: N/A
EV range: 26 miles of all-electric range
The 2022 Niro can be had in many forms, but the plug-in hybrid is possibly the most versatile. It offers a 26-mile EV range and a combined fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe (gas/electric). This is easily one of the best plug-in hybrids under $40,000 for convenience and affordability, but the back seats are tight and there’s not as much cargo space as you might like. Shopping for the Niro PHEV is also a great way to find some of the best plug-in hybrid deals.
3. The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid starts at $26,800
U.S. News score: N/A
EV range: 29 miles of all-electric range
The 2022 Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid sedan is the cheapest PHEV on this list and one of the most affordable PHEV cars you can buy. It’s the best small plug-in hybrid car in terms of gas mileage and EV range, but its handling leaves something to be desired. The Ioniq is good for 119 MPGe total and can cruise for 29 miles on just battery power. Overall, it’s one of the best values for a plug-in hybrid.
2. The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime hybrid-electric car starts at $28,220
U.S. News score: 7.7/10
EV range: 25 miles of all-electric range
Prius is the name of the game when it comes to electrification. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the 2022 Prius was named the best hybrid car in 2022 and the 2022 Prius Prime is one of the best plug-in hybrid hatchbacks. The Prime is slightly underpowered compared to the Toyota Camry Hybrid, but its ability to drive in EV mode for up to 25 miles sets it apart. Toyota’s electric hatchback is one of the most reliable plug-in hybrid cars for the money.
1. The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid starts at $34,900
U.S. News score: 8.9/10
EV range: 33 miles of all-electric range
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV received rave reviews and is #1 on U.S. News’ list of the best plug-in hybrids in 2022. USN also named Tucson the best plug-in hybrid SUV for the money, and it’s considered the best PHEV under $40,000. This crossover is nimble and fun to drive and uses high-end materials. The 2022 Tucson Plug-In Hybrid is the cheapest PHEV in the top five, which makes this SUV a great deal.
Looking for something cheaper? Consider a used hybrid, PHEV, or electric car
Supply chain issues, chip shortages, and natural inflation have led to rapidly rising new-car prices, so you may not be able to find any of these affordable plug-in hybrid vehicles for the starting prices listed here. However, not to fear—explore eight of the best affordable used electric cars to save on car prices and on gas.
RELATED: The 2022 Volvo S60 PHEV Nabs Best Luxury Plug-in Hybrid Award