10 Cheapest Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) in Canada for 2022
If you’ve been thinking about getting a new or new-to-you vehicle you might have noticed a growing number of PHEVs (or plug-in hybrid vehicles) in listings and on vehicle manufacturer websites.
Just like battery electric vehicles (BEV), this emerging category of electrified vehicles is growing in popularity and it’s no surprise: they offer fantastic fuel economy and—in many cases—they’re eligible for some mouthwatering government rebates at both the federal and provincial levels.
Tired of emptying your wallet at the pump each week? You might want to consider trading your gas-guzzler in for a savings-friendly PHEV. We’ve done the research to find the cheapest PHEVs currently eligible for rebates in the Canadian government’s Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program.
But first, let’s quickly look at the nuts and bolts of why PHEVs are so enticing.
What is a Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV)?
PHEVs are similar to standard hybrids in that they use both electric power and a gas-powered internal combustion engine. Unlike a standard hybrid, however, a PHEV can be driven solely on battery power for upwards of 25 km before switching to gas when the battery is depleted. This gives PHEVs a much greater fuel economy than standard hybrids.
Additionally, where a standard hybrid recharges its battery as you drive the car using the internal combustion engine, a PHEV can be plugged in to fully recharge its battery when the car isn’t in use. This means you can drive fully on the battery until it runs out, use gas for the rest of your driving that day, and recharge the battery overnight (or while you’re at work if your workplace has a charging station) before your next trip.
This balance of battery power with a gas engine serving as a backup means PHEVs provide excellent fuel economy ratings. You won’t entirely eliminate your trips to the pump but they’ll be far less frequent.Learn more about what a PHEV is and how it works.
What are the most affordable PHEVs in Canada right now?
Hyundai IONIQ Plug-In Hybrid
Fuel economy: 2L/100 km
Range, battery only: 47 km
Hyundai has three different entries on this list, making them one of the leaders in affordable PHEVs currently available in Canada. With the IONIQ Plug-In Hybrid you have three trim packages to choose from—Essential, Preferred, and Ultimate—and each one is eligible for a $2,500 rebate from the iZEV program. Each trim provides similar overall performance with 164 hp, a top speed of 178 km/h, and a battery-only range of 47 km. Inside, the Preferred and Ultimate trim packages offer varying levels of comfort and convenience upgrades over the Essential model, while all three include a touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Toyota Prius Prime
Fuel economy: 1.8L/100 km
Range, battery only: 40 km
The Prius Prime was one of the first plug-in hybrids available when it first launched back in 2017. Five years later it’s still going strong with two builds to choose from, the base model or the Prius Prime Upgrade. Both deliver a somewhat mediocre battery-only range of 40 km but this is more than made up for with a fantastic fuel economy of 1.8L/100 km. When you run out of battery power, the Prius Prime will take your gas dollars farther than any other PHEV on this list. Both the base model and Upgrade model are eligible for a $2,500 rebate under the iZEV program.
Kia Niro PHEV
Fuel economy: 2.2L/100 km
Range, battery only: 42 km
If you’re looking for an SUV plug-in hybrid the Kia Niro PHEV might be the best bang for your buck. While a little on the small size for an SUV, it provides excellent fuel economy (2.2L/100 km) and a battery-only range of 42 km, making it great for commuting and family road trips alike. The Niro PHEV is available in three different models, all eligible for $2,500 in rebates under the iZEV program, with the SX Touring trim package offering a handful of extra niceties like leather seats and a larger touchscreen.
Ford Escape PHEV
Fuel economy: 2.2L/100 km
Range, battery only: 60 km
The Escape is already one of the most popular SUV series in Canada so introducing a plug-in hybrid version was a smart move. There are three different trim packages to choose from for the plug-in option—SE, SEL, and Titanium—and each one is eligible for a $2,500 rebate in the iZEV program. The biggest benefit with theEscape PHEV is has one of the longest battery-only ranges of 60 km, and follows that up with a highly impressive fuel economy of 2.2L/100 km. That’s better than nearly all comparable SUV plug-in hybrids by a wide margin.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Fuel economy: 9.1L/100 km
Range, battery only: 39 km
While it’s a little pricier than some of the other SUVs on this list, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV delivers a great combination of power, performance, and convenience with 126 hp, up to 680kg in towing capacity, and a battery-only range of 39 km. If there’s a knock against the Outlander PHEV it’s the disappointing fuel economy of 9.1L/100 km, which is significantly inferior to the rest of the SUV options on this list. The Outlander PHEV is available in four different trim packages, each eligible for a $2,500 rebate.
Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV
Fuel economy: 3.1L/100 km
Range, battery only: 48 km
Another popular SUV plug-in hybrid is the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV, available in two trim packages that are both eligible for a $2,500 rebate. With 230 hp and a top speed of 187 km/h, this is one of the more powerful vehicles on this list. Even still, it manages to deliver a wallet-friendly fuel economy of 3.1L/100 km. The battery-only range of 48 km is comparable to some of the hatchbacks on this list but falls short of most comparable SUVs in this same price range.
Toyota RAV4 Prime
Fuel economy: 2.5L/100 km
Range, battery only: 68 km
Like the Ford Escape, the Toyota RAV4 is already one of the most popular SUV series in Canada. The addition of a PHEV model with the RAV4 Prime was a no-brainer and, with a battery-only range of nearly 70 km and a fuel economy of 2.5L/100 km, it’s no surprise this SUV plug-in hybrid checks in at the top of many industry-wide “best of” lists. The goods news with the RAV4 doesn’t stop there, either. While most of the PHEVs on this list are eligible for a $2,500 rebate under the iZEV program, the RAV4 Prime is eligible for a $5,000 rebate under the same program. Combine that with provincial rebates that may be available where you live, plus the excellent battery range, and the RAV4 Prime might be one of the most cost-effective PHEV options currently available, even though its starting (pre-rebate) price is on the higher end.
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Kia Sorento PHEV
Fuel economy: 2.8L/100 km
Range, battery only: 51 km
As a member of another longtime popular SUV series, the Kia Sorento PHEV is a versatile option for families and those who need a little extra cargo space for road trips and weekends. With 227 hp it offers the kind of power you’d expect from an SUV yet it still manages to keep the fuel economy to a relatively low 2.8L/100 km and a battery-only range that stretches to 51 km. The Sorento PHEV is available in three trim packages, each eligible for a $2,500 rebate. Under the hood each trim is identical, while inside the higher end EX+ and SX models offer additional convenience and infotainment options.
Hyundai Tucson PHEV
Fuel economy: 2.9L/100 km
Range, battery only: 53 km
Equipped with a turbocharged 1.6L engine and offering 261 hp, the Hyundai Tucson PHEV is another plug-in hybrid SUV that delivers all the power and performance one would expect from a traditional SUV. It also sports a stylish exterior design that’s drawn comparisons to the Mazda CX series and Toyota RAV4, so if looks are important to you this might be one to put on your list. On the road, the Tucson PHEV provides a 53 km battery-only range and fuel economy of 2.9L/100 km. It comes in two trim packages—Luxury and Ultimate—and both are eligible for a $2,500 government rebate.
Fuel economy: 8L/100 km
Range, battery only: 51m
If more cargo space or extra seating are among your must-haves, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is for you. And don’t let the “Hybrid” in the name fool you—this is a plug-in hybrid minivan that offers seating for seven and hands-free dual power sliding doors for added convenience. With a fuel economy rating of 8L/100 km it falls far behind most of the other vehicles on this list, but the battery-only range of 51 km means this minivan will still take your gas dollars far. The Pacific Hybrid comes in three different trim packages and, like the RAV4, they’re each eligible for a $5,000 rebate under the iZEV program.
Find a great deal in the pre-owned market
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