3 plug-in hybrids to choose with your eyes closed


3 plug-in hybrids to choose with your eyes closed
Written by madishthestylebar

Presented as the best of both worlds by manufacturers or the worst of both worlds by its detractors, the rechargeable hybrid is debated. What is indisputable, however, is that by making good use of this technology, the benefits are real. Indeed, with their batteries located in 12 and 30 kWh capacity, PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) are indeed capable of driving on electric power for several tens of kilometres, including at high speeds, often limited to 110 or 130 km/h. Obviously, it is not on the highway that this hybridization is relevant, but for all other types of journeys, it can be virtuous. The imperative is to recharge your plug-in hybrid as much as possible so as not to drive empty battery. This is where fuel consumption soars since you have to tow 200 kg of additional batteries without benefiting from electric propulsion.

A use to be determined before buying a plug-in hybrid

Concretely, if you travel less than 50 km per day and you have access to a socket at your home or workplace, the plug-in hybrid makes perfect sense. It is then quite possible to never start the combustion engine for the work week while keeping the same car for the holidays. Certainly, consumption is then higher, but the stabilized speed on the highway helps to maintain a perfectly acceptable appetite. What to make profitable the undeniable additional cost to the purchase, even if it will take several years before recouping its costs. If the rechargeable hybrid is indeed a transition technology to all-electric and its CO2 emissions condemn it, in any case, in the long term, it can be an excellent choice if the use and the infrastructure allow it. If so, here are 3 models that will not disappoint you! The electrical autonomy and consumption mentioned here are those verified on our Montlhéry base.

1. The Renault Captur plug-in hybrid 160 hp

The Renault Captur E-Tech is a plug-in hybrid.©Renault

If the Captur’s small 9.8 kWh battery seems modest, it is enough for everyday life with a range of 47 km in town and 36 km on the road. Enough to consider home-work journeys without burning unleaded during the week, provided you plug it in. When its battery weakens, the Captur E-Tech switches to hybrid mode and remains reasonable with, according to our measurements, 6.3 l/100 km claimed on average. To drive, with its good compromise between comfort and handling, the machine seduces. Only grievance, its box inflicts a few jerks and is sometimes a little slow to downshift. But the tone is there, thanks to the reinforcement of the two electric blocks which allows effective reminders. A few downsides, however: a trunk that loses volume (220 dm3, against 320 dm3 on non-hybrids) and a slightly less dynamic behavior due to weight. And, on the price side, even if it is reasonable for a rechargeable, it starts at €36,950.

2. The Peugeot 308 plug-in hybrid 180 hp

The Peugeot 308 PHEV 180 hp is more than enough.
The Peugeot 308 PHEV 180 hp is more than enough.© Peugeot

Spectacular inside and out, the new Peugeot 308 is also very pleasant to drive and of course has modern mechanics. Including two plug-in hybrid variants. If the very expensive GT 225 hp (43,710 €) acts as a standard bearer, the 180 hp version is more than sufficient. The two cars also share their mechanics, a 110 hp electric motor integrated into the gearbox, powered by a 12.4 kWh battery and associated with the same 1.6 turbo petrol, deflated here at 150 hp (compared to 180 hp on the GT 225). The electric autonomy ensures daily trips (45 km in town) and, once its battery is exhausted, this Lioness is more reasonable at the pump than its big sister (7.2 l/100 km on average, i.e. 0.8 l less). Finally, it is more accessible, with a price starting at €37,310.

3. The Citroën C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid 225 hp

The Citroën C5 Aircross restyled in 2022.
The Citroën C5 Aircross restyled in 2022.© Alex Krassovsky

If it is neither the most sober nor the most efficient or efficient of plug-in hybrid SUVs, the C5 Aircross really deserves attention. Because it is undoubtedly the most comfortable specimen of its kind and one of the best price-performance ratios in the category.. Recently restyled, with the most notable changes being a less plump front end and, on board, a larger multimedia screen with a modernized interface, the tricolor SUV combines, in PHEV, a 180 hp 1.6 PureTech with an electric block of 80 kW (110 hp), housed at the input of the 8-speed automatic transmission. With 225 hp of cumulative power, it offers a good level of performance. Thanks to the 13.2 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery, it offers a sufficient radius of action for everyday life. Finally, note that the French offers a minivan functionality at the rear with three practical individual rear seats.

Published on 29/10/2022 Updated 29/10/2022 François Lemaur and the editorial staff

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