It’s rare that you find a plug-in hybrid capable of matching its manufacturer’s claim, but these cars do just that. During our road test of the Suzuki Across, we were able to travel 48 miles on electricity before its hybrid powertrain sparked back into life – a seriously impressive feat. Provided you’ve got access to a home charger, it’s entirely likely that you’d barely ever use the petrol motor.
Do so, though, and you’ll find that it’s both impressively potent in terms of its straight-line punch, and surprisingly frugal, too. Even with the drive battery drained, it can still easily return an economy figure that reaches into the mid-40s. That it handles in a really assured, confident fashion and rides calmly are further strings to its bow.
Some might struggle to get their heads (and wallets) around their £45,000-plus prices, but a BIK rating of 8% should appeal to company car drivers. It’s worth noting, too, that while the RAV4 can charge at a rate of 6.6kW, the Suzuki is limited to 3.3kW.
Not only is the Hyundai Santa Fe an Autocar award winner, it’s available with one of the widest array of powertrains, including pure ICE, hybrid and plug-in options. Of the three, it’s the latter that best suits the character of a car that’s as likely to be attacking the school run as it mooching along motorways. With a combined output of 261bhp there’s just enough energy for brisk acceleration, while the accurate and assured handling is matched to a decent dose of comfort – few cars are as relaxing to drive. If there’s an issue then it’s the fact the Korean machine is limited to an EV range of just 31 miles, meaning it falls into a higher 12% BiK banding.