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Plug-in hybrids are the best of both worlds in many ways. They have better gas mileage than internal combustion engine vehicles and don’t have to completely rely on electricity. PHEVs also allow drivers to travel for a limited range using just electricity, so they have a taste of what EV ownership is like. Some plug-in hybrid SUVs are arguably even better deals than their gas predecessors.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is everything that the RAV4 isn’t

Toyota hit the nail on the head when it comes to naming its small plug-in hybrid SUV. The RAV4 Prime is a RAV4 and something different entirely at the same time. It’s the “prime” or best version of a RAV4 small SUV because of its powertrain system.

What does the RAV4 Prime have that the RAV4 doesn’t? Power. The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV in the world. It has reached such heights for a reason, but it has never been a particularly exciting SUV to drive. Models like the Honda CR-V have better driving dynamics.

The RAV4 Prime added a missing ingredient to the RAV4’s design language that many drivers didn’t think was possible. It makes an incredible 302 horsepower using a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors. That’s nearly 100 more horses than the gas RAV4. It has an electric-only driving range of 42 miles. The small plug-in hybrid SUV gets 94 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent).

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime starts at $42,340. If you consider its many standard features (including all-wheel drive), its incredible fuel economy, and its power output, the RAV4 Prime is a better buy for many drivers than the RAV4.

The Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid is surprisingly affordable

Hyundai won’t be left out of the race to produce the best small plug-in hybrid SUV. South Korean automaker Hyundai is producing some of the most notable SUV nameplates, including the Kona, Tucson, Ioniq 5, and Palisade. The Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid targets a new vehicle segment in between the small SUV and small electric SUV segments.

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid starts at $37,500. It makes 261 horsepower using a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The small plug-in hybrid SUV gets 80 MPGe. It can travel for 33 miles on just electricity.

The Tucson Plug-In Hybrid comes with heated front seats, wireless device charging, and a Hyundai digital key. It includes great tech and creature comforts, as well as all-wheel drive for a price that doesn’t break the bank. For many drivers, the Tucson PHEV is more appealing than the gas version.

The Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid’s driving range is bonkers

A gray 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid small plug-in hybrid SUV is driving off-road.
The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid

Midsize SUVs make great family vehicles. Some midsize SUVs have incredible driving range before needing to refuel due to their massive gas tanks. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid midsize SUVs take things a step further.

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid starts at $42,410. It gets 76 MPGe. The midsize plug-in hybrid SUV has an 18.8-gallon gas tank. It can also travel for 31 miles on just electricity.

The Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV can go the distance on a full tank. Its driving range is superior to most vehicles on the market. The Sante Fe is a great midsize SUV, but the Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid is ideal for drivers that want to travel for long distances without refueling. MotorTrend praises its refined interior, plentiful standard tech features, and decent electric-only driving range.


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