Plug-in hybrids – or PHEVs – have grown in popularity over recent years. Why? Well, these battery-assisted models allow you to pootle around on electric-only power for short journeys. But they also have the safety net of a petrol or diesel engine that can be used for longer trips.

As their popularity has grown, more plug-in hybrids have been created and, as a result, there are loads to choose from if you’re looking to buy a used one. So if you want a car which can help to reduce your fuel bills each month, the choices in this article could be a great place to start.

There’s a plug-in hybrid to suit nearly all budgets and requirements. In this list, we’ve checked out all types of PHEVs from a variety of carmakers to find one which will work for you. This list of the best used plug-in hybrids has some models from brands you may not expect. Let’s take a look at some of the best used plug-in hybrid cars:

1. Mitsubishi Outlander - (2014-2021)

The Outlander is often seen as the car which sparked the plug-in hybrid revolution. It presented itself as a practical, well-finished and solidly-made SUV. Plus, its low rate of tax – when it was first released – meant that it was a solid-gold hit with business users. Naturally, this popularity means that there are loads of options when it comes to used Outlanders.

Inside, the Outlander does feel a bit dated but it’s jam-packed with features while its boxy design means that there are good levels of headroom available for all those inside. Mitsubishi also has a great reputation for reliability and this was no different with the Outlander. So don’t be afraid of higher-mileage models, providing they’ve been well maintained and looked after.

Best Features

  • The Outlander PHEV is a great ‘everyday’ plug-in hybrid thanks to lots of space and a decent boot capacity
  • It has an impressive electric-only range of around 30 miles
  • Full of loads of kit including air conditioning, Bluetooth and parking sensors
  • Things to consider

    • PHEV Outlanders are five-seater only – ‘regular’ versions get seven seats
    • Its electric range can be less in winter
    • The interior plastics can feel cheap

    2. Toyota RAV4 PHEV - (2019-present)

    Toyota’s RAV4 has a backstory as a no-nonsense SUV but it has become more premium and – in the case of this PHEV version – more electrified, too.

    Large, practical and comfortable, the RAV4 follows the classic SUV design but has good levels of technology and in-car features. Remarkably, it performs well thanks to the electric motors and petrol engine. The RAV4 PHEV develops just over 300bhp – which is the same as many hot-hatches.

    Despite this, it should be able to return around 40 miles of electric-only running. This means that you’ll be able to cover some longer journeys on battery power alone. Add in Toyota’s ability to create cars that remain reliable no matter the mileage and you have a very impressive package in the RAV4 PHEV.

  • The RAV4 PHEV delivers excellent running costs compared to a ‘traditional’ large SUV
  • Best Features

  • The RAV4 PHEV delivers excellent running costs compared to a ‘traditional’ large SUV
  • Lots of space inside for occupants and luggage
  • Good amount of electric-only range
  • Things to consider

    • Can feel quite unsettled and sharp at low speeds
    • Only five seats available
    • The petrol engine can be quite vocal when you accelerate hard

    3. Volkswagen Golf GTE - (2015-2019)

    The Golf is often seen as the ‘go-to’ hatchback all-rounder, providing space, comfort and a well-built interior wrapped up in a design which rarely looks out of place. With the introduction of the GTE, that list of attributes grew with the addition of low running costs.

    Integrated into the seventh-generation Golf, this GTE model delivers excellent value for money as a used purchase. It’s largely the same as the standard car on the outside, yet you could get around 30 miles of electric-only running. So it’ll be a lot cheaper to run if you do local journeys on battery power alone.

    Having ‘GT’ in the name means that the GTE has a hint of the sporty driving that you’d get from the GTI, making this a good-to-drive – yet very efficient – plug-in hybrid.

    Best Features

  • Has all the same great plus-points as the ‘standard’ Golf
  • Engine setup delivers a good blend of efficiency and performance
  • Lots of kit included, such as climate control, LED headlights and cruise control
  • Things to consider

    • Feels heavier to drive than the ‘regular’ Golf due to the batteries
    • The boot is smaller than the standard car
    • The engine can feel breathy once battery power is gone

    4. Mini Countryman S E 4ALL - (2017-2024)

    There was a fair bit of controversy stirred up when Mini released an SUV. Yet the Countryman has given buyers who want all the style of the standard hatch a far more practical option.

    The plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman – called the S E 4ALL – adds to this spaciousness with some good fuel-saving features. Like others here, the blend of petrol and electric power gives the Countryman all-wheel-drive. Mini claims that you could get up to 25 miles of electric-only motoring.

    As with other Mini models, there are loads of packs and colours to choose from, so it’s a great used plug-in hybrid for those who like to stand out. It’s well made inside, too, with good materials and a generally robust level of build quality.

    Best Features

  • The plug-in hybrid is just as good to drive as the rest of the Countryman range
  • Boxy design means there’s a decent level of headroom inside
  • All versions get plenty of equipment as standard
  • Things to consider

    • Low-speed ride is quite firm
    • Rear seats aren’t as spacious as other cars on this list
    • Minis continue to command a premium, so expect to pay slightly more for a good Countryman

    5. BMW 330e (2019-present)

    If you’ve seen a BMW 3 Series on the motorway lately, we’d bet that it was a 330e. Beloved by business car users for its low rate of tax, the 330e is a common sight on the used market. This makes it a great buy if you’re after a comfortable and refined plug-in hybrid that feels like a ‘normal’ saloon or estate.

    This third-generation 330e delivers more electric range than its predecessor – around 40 miles in all. Plus it delivers the same refined, comfortable approach as the regular petrol or diesel model. Remember, too, that the 330e is available as both a saloon or a practical touring – or estate – model, with the latter being particularly good for families.

    Best Features

  • Great to drive and really comfortable over long distances
  • Well-made interior and equipped with lots features and standard tech
  • Doesn’t look too ‘different’ to the standard 3 Series
  • Things to consider

    • The 330e’s boot isn’t as large as those on standard cars
    • Charging speed isn’t that quick
    • The 330e will cost more to purchase than other PHEVs

    6. Audi A3 e-tron - (2014-2018)

    Before Audi started using the term ‘e-tron’ as a sub-brand for its electric cars, it had kicked off by applying it to its hybrid models. A key member of this group was the A3 e-tron, a plug-in hybrid version of the firm’s ever-popular hatchback.

    As with other Audi models, the A3 e-tron is built to a high standard with loads of excellent materials used throughout. It’s also put together solidly, just as you’d expect from an Audi. While its electric-only range of around 20 miles may not be the longest, it’s still usable for those shorter trips around town. Refinement is just as good as in the ‘regular’ A3, too, so when you do stray away from local roads it’s still quiet and comfortable.

    Best Features

  • Classy design and well-made interior with good materials
  • Feels refined and quiet when you’re travelling at motorway speeds
  • User-friendly controls are easy to get up to speed with
  • Things to consider

    • More weight means that the e-tron isn’t as sharp to drive as the standard A3
    • Boot loses out on 100 litres over the regular A3
    • Cost more than other PHEVs owing to the Audi badge desirability

    7. BMW X1 - (2020-2022)

    If you like the idea of the 330e but want something a little more high-riding, then the X1 could be a great alternative. The plug-in hybrid arrived later on in the X1’s lifecycle, bringing the combination of petrol and electric power that can deliver up to 31 miles of electric-only range.

    This generation of X1 is a great option for drivers who want a ‘Goldilocks’ car. It’s not overly large like other SUVs, but still gives that confidence-inspiring driving position and well-sized boot that you’d expect. Plus, with high-quality materials and a great level of build quality throughout, the X1 is a car which feels as though it was built to last. So a used example will have stood the test of time.

    Best Features

  • The X1 feels well-made inside, making it a great choice for families
  • Electric-only range is good enough for those shorter trips
  • Practical inside with good levels of head- and legroom
  • Things to consider

    • Will be more expensive to purchase due to good residuals
    • Expect higher costs for tyres and regular maintenance
    • There’s quite a lot of road and tyre noise generated, making the cabin quite noisy

    8. MG HS PHEV - (2019-present)

    MG may be known in the UK for its classic sports cars, but this Chinese-owned firm has shown dominance in creating low-cost but good-value electrified models. The HS is the largest SUV that it offers. It is a great choice for drivers after plenty of in-car space and this PHEV version has lower running costs too.

    With up to 32 miles of electric-only range, the MG HS PHEV is great for the school run. When topped up it also proves a lot more efficient than petrol versions. That said, you still have a 1.5-litre petrol to fall back on when the electric is all gone. Inside, there are bags of equipment while all models get leather upholstery and adaptive cruise control.

    Best Features

  • All versions of the HS get loads of high-end features as standard
  • Good to drive and comfortable when driving around town
  • Plenty of space and a well-sized boot make the HS a practical choice
  • Things to consider

    • Some interior plastics feel cheap and scratchy
    • Extra weight of the batteries makes the HS less exciting to drive than ‘regular’ versions
    • Residuals aren’t the best – but this means there’s a chance for real savings

    9. Ford Kuga PHEV - (2021-present)

    Ford’s Kuga is one of the Blue Oval’s most popular models. Smartly designed, well finished inside and practical enough for even the most demanding of families, the Kuga is a great multi-tool car.

    The PHEV version joins traditional diesel and petrol models in the Kuga range, promising improved efficiency and the chance to cover 42 miles on silent battery-only power. Luckily, the plug-in hybrid setup doesn’t diminish the Kuga’s usually sparkling characteristics. It’s still just as spacious and usable inside, while even with battery power fully depleted it should still deliver reasonable consumption figures. However, one of the Kuga’s real plus-points is the way it drives, making this an SUV that still feels great to take down your favourite twisty lane.

    Best Features

  • Great driving dynamics make the Kuga fun to drive
  • Lots of space inside and robust materials used throughout
  • The Kuga PHEV’s powertrain is still reasonably efficient even without battery power
  • Things to consider

    • Some interior plastics aren’t that high quality
    • Boot capacity isn’t as generous as others on this list
    • Infotainment doesn’t offer as many features as rival setups

    10. Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 - (2015-present)

    If you’ve been looking for a large, comfortable and well-made seven-seater SUV, then we’re sure that the Volvo XC90 has already been on your radar. However, while the diesel and petrol versions are good in their own right, it’s the plug-in hybrid – or Recharge T8 – which could prove the most cost-effective, particularly if you’re going to be using the XC90 for the school run.

    Managing the 0-60mph sprint in just over 5.5 seconds means that the XC90 T8 is no slouch, yet it should manage around 32 miles on battery power alone. Keep it topped up and there’s little reason why you’ll need to trouble the petrol engine, though it’s a smooth and refined unit to fall back on should you need to.

    Best Features

  • Interior is brilliantly ergonomic with lots of user-friendly touches
  • Seven seats make the XC90 very practical
  • T8 version is surprisingly brisk for a car of this size
  • Things to consider

    • T8 XC90 models carry a premium, so expect to pay slightly more
    • Used XC90s are often subject to a hard life so look out for interior scratches and damage

    What you need to consider before purchasing a used plug-in hybrid

    One of the biggest things you’ll have to think about before plug-in hybrid ownership is charging. PHEVs are at their most efficient when fully charged so, in order to get the best from them, you’ll need to keep them topped up whenever possible. If you’re not able to have a charger installed at home, then you’ll need to consider how you’ll access charging.

    If you’re often doing longer journeys, then you might want to think about whether or not a PHEV is for you. Over long distances, PHEVs can’t deliver the same efficiency as a ‘standard’ petrol or diesel, so make sure that you’re picking a car which is right for you.

    Also, outright spaciousness is another consideration. Many PHEVs on this list suffer a space penalty owing to the fitment of batteries, so consider whether this could be a deal-breaker for you.

    Popular plug-in hybrid brands


    Mitsubishi’s Outlander was one of the cars which kicked off the real demand for PHEVs. This is why the firm shot to prominence after years of creating more rustic models. While it may not have a new-car presence any more, the popularity of the Outlander means that it still has a lot of weight in the used market here.


    BMW is a household name and with the growing demand for electrified vehicles, it’s little wonder why this car maker has started creating more and more PHEVs. It has a fine range of plug-in hybrid models, while older versions are still tremendous options thanks to excellent build quality.


    Volvo has already committed to going all-electric within the next few years and plug-in hybrids are seen as a stepping stone towards that goal. It’s why in Volvo’s new-car line-up you’ll find very few non-hybrid models. The PHEV cars in its range deliver some of the most refined driving experiences around.


    Toyota isn’t a newcomer to the PHEV scene – it has been using this technology for a long time. As such, it’s got loads of learnings in this area and can offer some of the best possible technology for prices which are often lower than rivals.