Gasoline cars offer easier and faster refueling, near-infinite range with gas, and all the sensations you’ve grown accustomed to from years of driving.
But did you know there’s a third option that combines the best of both worlds? Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a gasoline powertrain and an electric powertrain. It will travel a certain distance on electric power alone (30-40 miles for most of his PHEVs on the market this year) and will use the petrol engine when the battery dies.
Owning one is like owning an electric car for getting around town and a petrol car for longer trips without the hassle and expense of maintaining two cars. In 2023, the best PHEV on the market is the Kia Sportage PHEV.
Kia Compact SUV Wins PHEV Best Buy Award.
300+ vehicles tested
There are also many new car awards. But nothing beats the annual Best Buy He Award.
Many publications attach ribbons to their most impressive new cars. But they tend to value cars as a piece of engineering and give awards to cars that perform well.
Award a car that will be a good decision for the buyer.
Our editors drive over 300 new cars each year. They look for cars that are fun to drive, comfortable, offer intuitive entertainment and information systems, and have a long list of the latest safety technology. We also factor in depreciation, resale value, insurance, maintenance, financing, fuel, fees and taxes to calculate purchase and ownership figures for each vehicle.
It takes all year. Ultimately, though, our editors find the vehicle that strikes the best balance between driving fun, features, and long-term affordability.
Sportage is a total package
The editors found that among PHEVs, the Sportage offers the best balance of properties at an affordable price.
Starting at $38,690, it feels like a luxury car. It’s also thanks to the stunning interior design. The central touchscreen and driver’s instrument screen are mounted together like one wide, curved screen, much like products from BMW and Mercedes. Materials with a soft texture are used throughout, giving a sense of quality that is a step above the rest.
There are also thoughtful touches, such as an audio system that automatically lowers the volume when shifting into reverse.
An electric motor and a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine combine to produce 261 horsepower. Standard all-wheel drive adds winter grip, and 34 miles of all-electric range means you can get most commutes and everyday errands done on cheaper power.
A plug-in hybrid is a great solution for many buyers. But the increased complexity of the two powertrains could mean more potential problems. That’s the real value of Sportage. A 5-year (60,000-mile) bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year (100,000-mile) powertrain warranty give you peace of mind for the long haul.
These days, there are many PHEVs that meet your needs. Jeep builds the Wrangler 4xe for the off-road crowd. Subaru makes a small Crosstrek PHEV for those who don’t need a lot of cars. BMW will soon produce a gorgeous 7 Series PHEV for those who want it all in their car.
But our editors think the 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV is the best buy of its kind thanks to its amazing balance of features.