Plug-in hybrid SUVs, or PHEVs, fit the middle ground for those who want some of the benefits of an electric SUV, but also don’t want to worry about not being able to find a charger in the wild. With a PHEV, you can charge it, but you don’t have to, but you can also run it on gas. Because they prioritize the EV side, they get excellent gas mileage. These are the only two SUVs to break the 100 MPGe barrier.
But, only these two SUVs get over 100 MPGe.
What does MPGe mean?
Most people see the “e” and assume it stands for “electricity.” But, it actually means “equivalent,” so MPGe stands for miles per gallon equivalent. Measures the efficiency of electric cars. However, instead of just measuring how much gasoline your car uses, MPGe can measure any fuel, weather it’s hydrogen, electricity, diesel, fairy dust, or any combination of these, just like in a PHEV. Basically, the US government wants you to know how efficient your vehicle is, so the new system converts it.
A gallon of gasoline generates 33.7 kWh or electricity. So the simple math means that if a vehicle can go 100 miles and only uses 33.7 kWh of juice, then it gets 100 MPGe. It also works on a PHEV that uses gas and electric power if you use 0.5 gallons of gas and 16.9 kWh of electricity to go 100 miles, you get the same 100 MPGe.
Ford Escape PHEV breaks the 100 MPGe barrier with 105 MPGe
According to the EPA, the 2022 Ford Escape FWD PHEV wins 105 mpg set. If you use regular gas, you get 40 “regular” MPG combined. It has an all-electric range of 37 miles. There’s a new 2023 Escape PHEV on the way, but it hasn’t been rated by the EPA.
The Ford Escape isn’t particularly exciting to drive, but you don’t drive this car for the thrill. However, it seats five comfortably, holds plenty of cargo, and with Ford’s Sync system, diver aids and navigation are easy to access. The 2022 Ford Escape PHEV starts at $35,455, but then again, a new one will be on the way soon.
Kia Niro PHEV is also new for 2023
The 2022 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid also gets 105 MPGe, but handles it differently. It has a smaller gas engine, a 1.6-liter, and gets 46 mpg on gas. It has an all-electric range of 26 miles. The 2023 Niro Plug-in Hybrid starts at $33,740.
The Niro is also all-new for 2023, but unlike the Ford, they’re just now starting to show up on dealer lots. The new Niro has interesting side “blades” behind the rear doors that are painted in a contrasting color. It also comes well-equipped with dual-zone climate control, CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as smart cruise and a suite of driver aids.
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