Ultimate PHEV guide: every plug-in hybrid electric car and SUV you can buy in New Zealand
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Electrified vehicles are a hot topic in New Zealand, thanks to rising fuel prices, increasing climate change awareness and the Government's focus on a Clean Car Standard that impacts both consumers and the industry. More buyers than ever want to move to electrified vehicles, but where do you start?
DRIVEN is here to help, with a complete guide to every electrified vehicle on sale in NZ. Below, we deliver the need to know information on every Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) currently available, arranged from lowest to highest price.
A PHEV is a car or SUV that combines plug-in electric power with an internal combustion engine. The battery is smaller than you'd find in a pure-electric car, typically designed for the daily commute after an overnight recharge: range could be anywhere from 30-100km.
When the battery is depleted, the vehicle operates as hybrid, meaning you can simply refuel with petrol or diesel until you have the chance to plug in again.
- Ultimate BEV Guide: every pure-electric vehicle you can buy
- Ultimate HEV Guide: every petrol-electric hybrid vehicle you can buy
- Ultimate electrified LCV Guide: every BEV, PHEV and hybrid ute/van you can buy
Note we haven't quoted overall fuel consumption figures for PHEVs, mostly because the official figures are hard to make sense of: they are calculated on a set cycle but take into account a full battery charge over 100km, so they tend to be extremely low: typically less than 2l/100km, which is not achievable in hybrid mode over longer distances.
So the fuel economy of a PHEV really depends how you use it and how often you charge; but check our individual reviews via the links for more information on the characteristics of each model.
Remember that any new PHEV sold under $80,000 also qualifies for the Government's $5750 Clean Car Discount, which goes straight back to the buyer after purchase.
We've also created a guide to every electrified ute and van on the market.
TOYOTA PRIUS PRIME
Toyota's mainstreaming of its petrol-electric hybrid technology into the likes of the Corolla and RAV4 has meant the end of the traditional Prius for the New Zealand market. But the iconic model survives in PHEV form, otherwise known as Prius Prime.
In fact the Prime is Toyota's only PHEV at the moment, and the cheapest way to get the technology on the new-vehicle market.
Price: $49,790 Powertrain 1.8-litre petrol four with 9kWh battery, FWD Power 90kW (combined) EV range 40-45km
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS PHEV
Mitsubishi cleverly transferred the powertrain of the best-selling Outlander PHEV into the smaller Eclipse Cross last year, with perfect timing for Kiwi buyers to take advantage of the Clean Car Discount. Result: best-seller status.
Now that the all-new Outlander has arrived, the Eclipse Cross is one step behind in PHEV technology. But it's also a lot more affordable, more suitably sized for urban buyers and still offers proven plug-in credentials, including Mitusbishi's excellent twin-motor Super All Wheel Control (S-AWD) system.
Price range: $50,990-$58,990 Powertrain 2.4-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 94kW/199Nm, EV range 55km
HYUNDAI IONIQ PHEV
While the new-generation Ioniq 5 is a BEV-only range, Hyundai has retained both PHEV and hybrid models in the original (and completely separate) Ioniq.
The PHEV matches a 1.6-litre petrol engine to a modest 9kWh plug-in battery that still gives a generous 50km-plus EV range. The model range is two-tier: an entry version and the more highly specified Elite.
Price range: $53,990-$59,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol four with 9kWh battery, FWD Power 77kW/147Nm (petrol) and 45kW/170Nm (electric) EV range 56km
MG HS PLUS EV
Despite the slightly confusing name, the HS "Plus EV" is indeed a PHEV, putting a petrol/plug-in powertrain into a medium-SUV family package.
Available only in Essence specification, the HS is notable for a generous electric-only range of 63km and a comprehensive list of active safety equipment. It's also the fastest MG you can buy and one of the most affordable PHEVs on the market.
Price: $54,990 Powertrain 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four with 17kWh battery, FWD Power 189kW/370Nm (combined) EV range 63km 0-100km/h 6.9 seconds
KIA NIRO PHEV
Niro is Kia's electrified-only medium SUV and the Korean maker pretty much has all those bases covered: it's available as a petrol-electric hybrid (no plug), a pure-electric BEV and the range you see here: PHEV.
The PHEV combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with plug-in battery pack and a wealth of specification choice: no fewer than four individual models (LX, LX Plus, Deluxe and Premium), all qualifiying for the Government's $5750 Clean Car Discount.
Price range: $55,990-$62,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol four with 9kWh battery, FWD Power 104kW/265Nm (petrol) and 46kW/170Nm (electric) EV range 58km
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV
The Outlander is arguably the model that has introduced more NZers to plug-on motoring over the past decade than any other - not least because it packages EV technology in a practical family SUV package, at mainstream prices.
The first complete model change brings a huge increase in electric-only range - a claimed 84km, putting the Mitsubishi right near the top of the PHEV market for EV capability. Another major change is the provision of seven seats in all but the base LS; previously, the PHEV missed out on the third row from the petrol/diesel Outlanders due to the packaging requirements of the electric powertrain.
Price range: $59,990-$72,990 Powertrain 2.4-litre petrol four with 20kWh battery, FWD Power 98kW/195Nm (petrol), 85kW/255kW (front electric), 100kW/195Nm (rear electric) EV range 84km
FORD ESCAPE PHEV
Ford NZ offers its Escape PHEV in two versions: an entry model and the ST-Line X. But both share the same powertrain essentials: a 2.5-litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine, supplemented by a 14kWh battery pack that gives 56km electric-only range.
The PHEV is a compelling alternative to the conventional petrol Escape: not quite as powerful (far from slow though) but vastly more economical, especially if you take maximum advatange of the generous EV range. The price premium for the top ST-Line X shrinks to just over $5k with the Government's Clean Car Discount factored in, although the PHEV remains FWD only, whereas the ICE-only equivalent is AWD.
Price range: $60,990-$66,990 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, FWD Power (combined) 167kW EV range 56km 0-100km/h 9.2 seconds
SKODA OCTAVIA iV
Skoda's ubiquitous mid-sizer has gained PHEV power for 2022. The focus is on the popular wagon with the new model (launched last year), although the sedan (it's a liftback, really) is also still on the books.
Significantly, Skoda is serving up the Octavia iV (the brand's badge for electrified models) as both a mainstream Style model and the high-performance RS.
Price range: $63,990-$72,990 Powertrain 1.4-litre petrol four with 13kWh battery, FWD Power 150kW/350Nm or 180kW/400Nm (combined) EV range 60km 0-100km/h 7.5-7.0 seconds
MINI COUNTRYMAN HYBRID
While Mini's BEV technology goes into the smallest three-door model, the PHEV duties are assigned to its largest: the Countryman small-medium SUV, which pairs the fizzy three-cylinder petrol engine with a plug-in battery pack.
The electric-only range is modest by modern standards, but sufficient for city commuting. And one of the big draws of the PHEV powertrain is performance and a clever AWD system, with the petrol engine driving the front wheels and the electric motor at the back (so yes, in EV mode this a RWD Mini).
Price: $68,290-$73,890 Powertrain 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four with 10kWh battery, FWD Power 165kW/385Nm (combined) EV range 42km 0-100km/h 6.8 seconds
SKODA SUPERB iV
Skoda's Superb became instantly famous when it was selected as the new petrol car for the NZ Police. And then again when the new PHEV version started a trial as part of the Police fleet.
While Team Blue sticks with the Superb wagon, the iV is available for non-law-enforcement buyers in both sedan (with a hatch) and wagon body styles. All have the same powertrain and 15kWh battery pack, giving a generous 62km EV range.
Price range: $72,990-$79,990 Powertrain 1.4-litre petrol four with 15kWh battery, FWD Power 160kW/400Nm (combined) EV range 62km 0-100km/h 7.8 seconds
KIA SORENTO PHEV
Kia has done a lot to advance the PHEV cause by offering a plug-in hybrid version of a vehicle type that Kiwis absolutely love: a seven-seat SUV, the Sorento. It even retains the AWD system of its petrol and diesel siblings.
The EX manages to duck under the $80k cap for the Clean Car Discount, while the Premium is $10k - but serves up a wealth of high-tech and luxury equipment, including remote parking (yes, from outside the car) and the Blind View Monitor system that gives you a high-res video of the side of the vehicle in the instrument panel when changing lanes.
Price range: $74,990-$89,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 195kW/350Nm (combined) EV range 57km
MERCEDES-BENZ A 250 e
Mercedes-Benz's EQ-badged BEVs are its glamour electric models, but the German maker also boasts a wide range of PHEVs. The entry point is a plug-in version of the A-class hatchback, matching the 1.3-litre petrol with a very generous battery for an impressive 76km EV range: small car, big PHEV capability.
DC fast-charging capability is far from a given with PHEVs, but the A250e is also available with this facility - albeit as an option at $1990 (including a five-metre cable suitable for public stations).
Price: $76,200 Powertrain 1.3-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, FWD Power 118kW/250Nm (combined) EV range 76km 0-100km/h 6.6 seconds
VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE
The PHEV version of Volvo's "tough little robot" might well be the most fun. It replaces the standard car's 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a 1.5-litre triple, matched to a plug-in battery pack for zero-emissions commuting.
There's a BEV version of the XC40 on the way (not to mention the new BEV-only C40). But for now the XC40 Recharge is flying the EV flag for Volvo's compact SUV.
Price range: $85,900 Powertrain 1.5-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder with 11kWh battery, FWD Power 132kW/265Nm (petrol), 60kW/160Nm (electric) EV range 48km 0-100km/h 7.8 seconds
PEUGEOT 3008 HYBRID4
Peugeot has a brace of rebate-friendly BEVs for NZ: the e-208 hatchback and the e-2008 compact SUV. Think of the 3008 HYbrid4 PHEV as a larger, more luxurious and more premium product. A faster one, too: it's the most powerful Peugeot ever sold in NZ and currently the quickest in the range, with 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds.
The PHEV power is complex but also multi-talented. There are dual electric motors for when maximum power/traction is required, although only the rear is employed in EV mode.
Price: $89,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four with 13kWh battery, AWD Power 220kW/520Nm (combined) EV range 50-60km 0-100km/h 5.9 seconds
FORD TRANSIT TOURNEO CUSTOM
Ford offers its plug-in Transit Custom as a traditional van - but also as a supersized eight-seat people mover, in Tourneo form. The company calls it a PHEV for simplicity's sake, and that's kind of correct. But it's more accurately a Range Extended Vehicle (REX) or Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV). It has a 13.6kWh plug-in battery that provides 53km pure-electric range, and when the range is depleted the Transit has a tiny 1.0-litre petrol engine as a backup.
But unlike most PHEVs, the petrol engine doesn't drive the wheels. Instead, it acts as a generator to produce power for the electric motor. Sounds complicated, but in many ways it's beautifully simple system and the powertrain offers the ability to use the petrol engine to charge the battery quite efficiently when you're running in low-stress conditions (motorway cruising for example).
Price $99,990 Electrification type PHEV Powertrain 1.0-litre petrol three-cylinder engine, 13.6kWh plug-in battery, single electric motor, single-speed, FWD Power/torque 93kW/355Nm Consumption/range 2.9l/100km, EV range 53km
LEXUS NX 450h+ F SPORT
For a long time Lexus has been all about hybrid vehicles. But now Toyota's luxury brand is starting to embrace plug-in powertrains: the compact UX300e BEV was first, and now have a PHEV version of the brand new medium-sized NX SUV.
Available only as a top-specification F Sport, the NX PHEV provides impressive power and is one of the new generation of plug-in hybrids that are offering greatly increased EV range - a claimed 87km for this model.
Price range: $107,900 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four with 18kWh battery, AWD Power 227kW (combined)/227Nm (combined) EV range 87km 0-100km/h 6.3 seconds
BMW X3 xDRIVE30e
BMW's medium-sized SUV has evolved into an incredibly diverse model: everything from entry models to performance to a pure-electric version.
The X3 PHEV goes for a blend of performance and economy, with a relatively powerful four-cylinder petrol engine and 12kWh battery that gives a claimed 41km EV running: average by segment standards but still suitable for the typical Kiwi commute. The X3 PHEV is also notable for retaining xDrive AWD (the BEV is RWD only).
Price $109,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 12kWh battery, AWD Power/torque (combined) 215kW/420Nm EV range 41km 0-100km/h 6.1 seconds
HYUNDAI SANTA FE
The Santa Fe might be substantially more expensive than its sister Kia Sorento model, but that doesn't stop it consistently being NZ's top-selling seven-seat SUV.
The Santa Fe PHEV shares its powertrain with the equivalent Sorento, offering over 50km of zero-emissions driving range on a full charge and sprightly performance when petrol and electric are working together in hybrid mode. It comes only in Elite specification, with AWD as standard.
Price $109,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four with 14kWh battery, AWD Power/torque (combined) 169kW (combined)/350Nm EV range 58km (WLTP) 0-100km/h 9.0 seconds
MERCEDES-BENZ GLC 300 e
Mercedes-Benz's ubiquitous mid-sized SUV covers many segments, from entry petrol to monster AMG V8 road rocket.
The 300 e PHEV aims to provide a balanced package of performance and eco-friendly motoring, with brisk acceleration (0-100km/h) and modest electric-only range that's still suitable for the daily Kiwi commute.
Price: $110,700 Powertrain 2.0-litre petrol four with 7kWh battery, AWD Power 235kW/700Nm (combined) EV range 42km 0-100km/h 5.7 seconds
VOLVO XC60 RECHARGE
The XC60 has long offered PHEV power, but the latest model has evolved into a high-performance, high-tech SUV.
Not only is the powertrain clever, with the petrol engine driving the front wheels and the electric motor the back, but the XC60 was also the first car in the world to have a fully integrated Google operating system.
Price range: $119,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo and supercharged 2.0-petrol four with 19kWh battery, AWD Power 233kW/400Nm (petrol), 107kW/309Nm (electric) EV range 53km 0-100km/h 4.8 seconds
RANGE ROVER VELAR P400e R-DYNAMIC
Land Rover offers the Range Rover Velar P400e in two specifications, SE and HSE, both with the same powertrain. A four-cylinder petrol engine is matched to a relatively large 17kWh battery; it's a very close relation to the Jaguar F-Pace P400e under the skin.
EV-only range is a competitive 53km, but the Velar's trump card is DC fast-charging capability with a maximum rate of 32kW, meaning you can "fill" the battery at a public station to 80 per cent or beyond in half an hour.
Price range: $139,900-$149,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 17kWh battery, AWD Power 297kW/640Nm EV range 53km 0-100km/h 5.4 seconds
MERCEDES-BENZ E 300 e
Mercedes-Benz New Zealand isn't yet offering a plug-in version of the all-new C-Class, so for now the sedan-PHEV duties fall to the familar E 300 e four-door.
The petrol engine is "only" a four-cylinder, but the combined outputs of combustion and electric power give this large car suitably brisk performance - and well as the potential for silent urban running that very much suits a luxury sedan.
Price: $146,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, RWD Power 210kW/700Nm (combined) EV range 50km 0-100km/h 5.7 seconds
VOLVO XC90 RECHARGE
The XC90 was the pioneer for Volvo's "Twin Engine" PHEV technology and continues to evolve.
The XC90 T8 puts plug-in hybrid power into a premium-feeling seven-seat family package. The petrol engine drives the front wheels, the electric motor the back, meaning it can operate as a FWD, RWD (when in EV mode) or AWD.
Price range: $146,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo and supercharged 2.0-petrol four with 19kWh battery, AWD Power 300kW/640Nm (combined) EV range 51km 0-100km/h 5.6 seconds
JAGUAR F-PACE P400e
The F-Pace P400e uses the same PHEV powertrain as the Range Rover Velar P400e (hence the shared nomenclature), but it starts in higher HSE specification - which means it starts at a higher price.
Performance and EV range are competitive with other modes in this segment, although as with the Velar, the Jaguar makes pure-electric driving a little more convenient with DC fast charging capability for the battery - so you can charge at up 32kW on a public station using its BEV-like CCS port.
Price: $149,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 17kWh battery, AWD Power 297kW/640Nm EV range 53km 0-100km/h 5.3 seconds
BMW X5 xDRIVE45e
The X5 was one of the original premium SUVs and continues to serve up a huge array of specification options: everything from sensible diesels to high-performance M-cars.
The latest X5 PHEV is notable for its large plug-in battery: at 24kWh it's double that of many other BMW PHEV models, resulting in a very impressive 77km EV range. You can also think of the X5 xDrive45e as more of a "performance hybrid", with the battery pack matched to a grunty 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine and AWD.
Price $161,900 Powertrain 3.0-litre turbo-petrol six with 24kWh battery, RWD Power/torque (combined) 290kW/600Nm EV range 77km 0-100km/h 5.6 seconds
PORSCHE CAYENNE E-HYBRID
Plug-in technology has broadened across the Cayenne SUV range to encompass two petrol engines (V6 and V8) and two body styles (the standard "wagon" and coupe).
The V6 variants put more of an emphasis on economy, while the flagship Turbo S E-Hybrid delivers the ultimate in perofrmance, with 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds (but can still offer 47km of zero-emissions driving).
Price range: $173,300-$313,500 Powertrain 3.0-litre turbo-petrol V6 or 4.0-litre turbo-petrol V8 with 18kWh battery, AWD Power 340kW/700Nm or 500kW/900Nm (combined) EV range 47km 0-100km/h 5.1-3.8 seconds
A luxury sedan is the perfect home for PHEV technology. While earlier plug-in versions of the BMW 7-series utilised a four-cylinder petrol engine, the latest model steps up to a six.
The BMW-standard 12kWh battery is good for 52km of urban running - perfect for gliding around hotel driveways or onto the executive parking floor.
Price $194,900 Powertrain 3.0-litre turbo-petrol six with 12kWh battery, RWD Power/torque (combined) 290kW/600Nm EV range 52km 0-100km/h 5.2 seconds
PORSCHE PANAMERA E-HYBRID
Porsche's luxury five-seater has long been a proponent of hybrid and plug-in technology. In the the current generation it includes both 4 and 4S models, in sedan or Sport Turismo (wagon) body styles.
It's not completely about economy. The E-Hybrid range is topped by the Turbo S, which rockets to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds and can hit 315km/h.
Price range: $231,000-$388,400 Powertrain 2.9-litre turbo-petrol V6 or 4.0-litre turbo-petrol V8 with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 340kW/700Nm, 412kW/750Nm or 515kW/870Nm (combined) EV range 53-56km
Ferrari's first-ever production PHEV (or EV of any kind) is also its most powerful road car and an unashamed technological showcase.
The SF90 is available in either Stradale (coupe) or Spider (convertible) models, both with an F8 Tributo-derived mid-mounted V8 and three electric motors: one at the rear and one for each front wheel. It's full of Ferrari-firsts (brake by wire, for example) and full of tech that'll be developed for future models elsewhere in the range. The company describes it as “midway between a racecar and spaceship”. We've tested it... we concur.
Price $910,000 (indicative only, POA) Powertrain 4.0-litre turbo-petrol V8 with 8kWh battery, AWD Power/torque (combined) 735kW/800Nm EV range 25km 0-100km/h 2.5 seconds