Ultimate PHEV guide: every plug-in hybrid electric car and SUV you can buy in New Zealand

David Linklater
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New CX-60 is Mazda's first-ever plug-in hybrid.

Electrified vehicles are a hot topic in New Zealand, thanks to rising fuel prices, increasing climate change awareness and a Government Clean Car Standard that still requires importers to bring in lots of hybrid and electric vehicles. 

DRIVEN Car Guide 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.

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.

The fuel economy of a PHEV really depends on how often you charge it.

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.

MG HS PHEV

MG NZ changed the name of its plug-in midsizer from a slightly misleading "Plus EV" to simply "PHEV". That's better, because that's what this HS is.

MG HS PHEV.

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 $52,990-$57,990 Powertrain 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four with 17kWh battery, FWD Power 189kW/370Nm (combined) EV range 63km 0-100km/h 6.9 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the MG HS Plus EV

MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS PHEV

Mitsubishi has cleverly transferred the powertrain of the best-selling Outlander PHEV into the smaller Eclipse Cross, with perfect timing for Kiwi buyers to take advantage of the Clean Car Discount. Result: best-seller status.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV

Now that there's an all-new Outlander, 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 Mitsubishi's excellent twin-motor Super All Wheel Control (S-AWD) system.

Price $52,990-$59,990 (special offer at time of publication) Powertrain 2.4-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 94kW/199Nm, EV range 55km

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.

Kia Niro PHEV.

The latest model, heavily updated and completely restyled, features the same 1.6-litre petrol engine as the hybrid version, but matched with an 11kWh plug-in battery to give a claimed 59km EV range.

Price $55,690-$69,690 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol four with 11kWh battery, FWD Power 134kW/265Nm (combined) EV range 58km

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. 

Ford Escape PHEV.

The PHEV is the most eco-friendly of an expanded Escape range for NZ: there is also a range of full hybrid ("FHEV" in Ford-speak) models. Note that the PHEV remains FWD only, while the other powertrains are also available with AWD.

Price $62,990-$68,990 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, FWD Power (combined) 167kW EV range 56km 0-100km/h 9.2 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the Ford Escape PHEV

MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV

The Outlander is arguably the model that has introduced more NZers to plug-in motoring over the past decade than any other - not least because it packages EV technology in a practical family SUV package, at mainstream prices.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

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 $62,990-$75,990 Powertrain 2.4-litre petrol four with 20kWh battery, AWD Power 98kW/195Nm (petrol), 85kW/255kW (front electric), 100kW/195Nm (rear electric) EV range 84km

CUPRA LEON SPORTSTOURER V E-HYBRID

Available exclusively in the wagon version of the Leon for NZ, the e-Hybrid powertrain matches a small-capacity petrol engine with a plug-in battery for nearly 60km electric range - and a decent boost in performance.

Plug-in hybrid powertrain available exclusively in wagon form for Leon.

The Leon Sportstourer is also notable for being an extremely spacious (and stylish) station wagon. The e-Hybrid is 109 litres down on the ICE model, but boasts a useful 470l - and very long load area.

Price $81,500 Powertrain 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four with 13kWh battery, FWD Power 180kW/400Nm EV range 58km 0-100km/h 7.0sec

JEEP RENEGADE 4xe

Jeep's Renegade compact-SUV is the most European American car you can imagine: it's actually built in Italy, under the Stellantis umbrella (which includes Jeep and the likes of Fiat).

Jeep Renegade 4xe.

It's been absent from NZ since 2017, but Renegade is back exclusively in PHEV form, with a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor at the back. So it's rear-drive in full-electric mode, but retains AWD in hybrid operation.

Price $69,990 Powertrain 1.3-litre turbo-petrol four with 11kWh battery, AWD Power 132kW (petrol) and 44kW (electric)/270Nm (combined) EV range 49km (AER)

SKODA OCTAVIA WAGON iV

Skoda's ubiquitous mid-sizer offers PHEV power. The focus is on the popular wagon with the new model - the liftback is still produced by the factory, but has been quietly moved off the Kiwi price list.

Skoda Octavia iV.

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 $71,990-$76,990 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

Read DRIVEN's review of the Skoda Octavia iV

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.

Mini Countryman Hybrid.

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 $74,790 Powertrain 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four with 10kWh battery, FWD Power 165kW/385Nm (combined) EV range 42km 0-100km/h 6.8 seconds

PEUGEOT 308 GT PHEV

You might find it hard to spot the plug-version of the Peugeot 308 GT: save an extra flap on the side, it looks identical to its ICE-powered equivalent.

But there's a lot more going on underneath. The PHEV really ramps up the power, to 165kW (the petrol engine alone is 132kW, the electric 81kW), making it the fastest 308 you can buy in NZ. The opportunity cost is a high price (over $20k more than the standard GT) and an extra 345kg, but it's still a sporty drive.

Price $74,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four with 12kWh battery, FWD Power 165kW/320Nm (combined) EV range 61km 0-100km/h 7.5 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the Peugeot 308 GT PHEV

JEEP COMPASS 4xe

Jeep's Compass small-medium SUV has been around for some time in petrol form (and still is), but it has also now stepped up to plug-in power with the new 4xe model (that's "4 by e", a reference to Jeep's 4x4 ethos).

The Compass picks up the PHEV powertrain from the smaller Renegade, with a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor at the back. So it's rear-drive in full-electric mode, but retains AWD in hybrid operation.

Price $77,490 Powertrain 1.3-litre turbo-petrol four with 11kWh battery, 6-speed automatic, AWD Power 179kW/270Nm (combined) EV range 49km (AER) 0-100km/h 7.3 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 $11k over - 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 $77,490-$92,490 Powertrain 1.6-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 195kW/350Nm (combined) EV range 57km

Read DRIVEN's review of the Kia Sorento PHEV

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 $77,800 Powertrain 1.3-litre petrol four with 14kWh battery, FWD Power 118kW/250Nm (combined) EV range 76km 0-100km/h 6.6 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the Mercedes-Benz A 250 e

OPEL GRANDLAND SRi

Grandland is the oldest model currently offered by Opel NZ, but the "Hybrid" (actually a PHEV) is a relatively new addition to the range - even if it's not around long, with the distributor likely to phase it out in 2024.

The Hybrid offers substantially more power than the standard ICE model, with a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine (1.2-litre in the ICE) and plug-in battery pack combined to give 165kW. Specification is virtually identical between the two SRi versions, although the PHEV does lose 124l in bootspace to accommodate the electric hardware.

Price $77,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four with 13kWh battery, FWD Power 165kW/360Nm (combined) EV range 67km 0-100km/h 8.9 seconds

BMW 225e ACTIVE TOURER

The SUV-cum-MPV 2-Series Active Tourer has been quietly representing PHEV power for BMW since way, way back in 2016. The latest model simply carries on the tradition, albeit in a much busier EV market and with the brand's latest technology.

As always, the 2-Series' clever powertrain has the petrol engine driving the front wheels and the electric motor at the back, meaning it can operate in front-drive, rear-drive or AWD depending on which components are active. The powertrain is shared with the Mini Countryman Hybrid.

Price $78,500 Powertrain 1.5-litre three-cylinder with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 180kW/477Nm (combined) EV range 87km 0-100km/h 6.7 seconds

VOLKSWAGEN MULTIVAN T7

Hang on, isn't this a van? Well yes, but mostly no. Volkswagen's Transporter series is splitting into different model lines and the all-new Multivan T7 is very much designed as a passenger vehicle; it's even based on the company's MBQ platform, the same as a Golf or Skoda Octavia.

Know the Skoda Octavia iV? Well, that's where the Multivan gets its PHEV powertrain from, bringing a 1.4-litre petrol engine together with a modest 13kWh battery for 50km electric range. VW NZ worked hard to get the entry Multivan under $80k to secure the $5750 Clean Car Discount, but there are also mid-range Life and limited-run flagship Energetic (that's the one with the fancy two-tone paint) versions.

Price $78,800-$106,000 Powertrain 1.4-litre turbo-petrol four with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 160kW/350Nm (combined) EV range 50km

Read DRIVEN Car Guide's review of the VW Multivan T7

MAZDA CX-60

The Mazda CX-60 is part of a whole new model line for Mazda, part of a "Large Platform" group of SUVs that also includes the larger CX-90.

However, the CX-60's claim to fame is that it's Mazda's first-ever PHEV, the 2.5-litre petrol engine matched to a large battery that provides a claimed 63km EV range. It's fast, too: 0-100km/h in 5.8sec. 

Only the entry Touring is under the $80k Clean Car Discount Cap. There's also the sports-themed Homura and flagship Takami.

Price $78,990-$90,990 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four with 18kWh battery, AWD Power 241kW/500Nm (combined) EV range 63km

Read DRIVEN Car Guide's review of the Mazda CX-60

CITROEN C5 AIRCROSS PHEV

The C5 Aircross is Citroen's first-ever electric vehicle of any kind for the NZ market - although there are certainly many more to come. It's an electrified version of the brand's familiar medium-sized SUV, with a modest-but-decent 47km zero-emissions range.

There's a single specification and while it's a relatively expensive proposition at $21k more than the equivalent ICE version, it does (just) duck under the $80k Clean Car cap to secure a $5750 rebate for buyers.

Price $79,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four with 13.2kWh battery, FWD Power 168kW/360Nm (combined) EV range 47km

Read DRIVEN Car Guide's review of the Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV

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 $79,990-$83,990 Powertrain 1.4-litre petrol four with 15kWh battery, FWD Power 160kW/400Nm (combined) EV range 62km 0-100km/h 7.8 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the Skoda Superb iV

HYUNDAI TUCSON PLUG-IN HYBRID

Hyundai's Tucson medium SUV has diversified into electrification substantially in recent times. Formerly an ICE-only model, it's now available in a variety of hybrid configurations, both HEV and PHEV, FWD or AWD.

The PHEV is exclusively AWD, but comes in Entry or Elite specifications. No luck for those looking for the $5750 PHEV Clean Car Discount, though; while the Tucson has traditionally been a very mainstream SUV, in plug-in guise even the entry version falls just over the $80k price cap.

Price $83,990-$89,990 Powertrain 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four with 13.8kWh battery, FWD Power 195kW/350Nm (combined) EV range 50km

CUPRA FORMENTOR V E-HYBRID

The same plug-in petrol-electric powertrain as the Leon Sportstourer, but in a more style-focused SUV-coupe kind of body shape: that's the Cupra Formentor V e-Hybrid.

Formentor has always been a hero model for Cupra.

Formentor also has the distinction of being something of a hero model in Cupra's history - the first to be designed exclusively for brand, with no equivalent in the (now-defunct for NZ) Seat brand.

Price $84,500 Powertrain 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four with 13kWh battery, FWD Power 180kW/400Nm EV range 54km 0-100km/h 7.0sec

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

Read DRIVEN's review of the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

HYUNDAI SANTA FE

The Santa Fe is 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

LEXUS NX 450h+

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 $111,100 Powertrain 2.5-litre petrol four with 18kWh battery, AWD Power 227kW (combined)/227Nm (combined) EV range 87km 0-100km/h 6.3 seconds

MERCEDES-BENZ C 350 e

The pure-electric EQ models have had most of the glory so far, but Mercedes-Benz has offered a range of PHEV models for some time now. The all-new C 350 e - the first plug-in to be based on the latest-generation C-Class - has some specs to really shout about.

For a start, it's substantially quicker than any other mainstream C-Class, with 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds. But it also boasts one of the biggest EV ranges of any PHEV, with a claimed 100km on a full charge (DC charging is also available). It can even be driven in BEV-style "one pedal" mode.

Price $111,200 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 25kWh battery, RWD Power 230kW/550Nm (combined) EV range 100km 0-100km/h 6.1 seconds

AUDI Q5 50 TFSI e S LINE 

It looks pretty much like the Audi Q5 we've all known for so long, but this new "e" model has some of the cleverest plug-in hybrid technology in the business.

The TFSI e can decide how best to use the available charge on a journey (based on the sat-nav) and even give the driver prompts on how to deal with the driving situation. The "Ultra" quattro system uses data from sensors all over the car and can even decouple the rear wheel axle to save fuel.

Price $114,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 14kWh battery, AWD Power 220kW/450Nm (combined) EV range 59km 0-100km/h 6.1 seconds

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE P300e

This generation of "baby" Rangie embraced mild-hybrid technology at launch, but it's since gained full plug-in power by combining a small-capacity 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 15kWh battery pack, to give 55km electric range and brisk performance in hybrid mode: 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds.

The P300e is actually the most powerful Evoque you can buy, by some margin: up 43kW up on the P250 turbo-petrol. With that and the extreme fuel economy potential of PHEV technology in mind, the $5k premium doesn't look bad at all.

Price $118,900 Powertrain 1.5-litre petrol four with 15kWh battery, AWD Power 227kW/540Nm (combined) EV range 55km 0-100km/h 6.4 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 $120,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo and supercharged 2.0-petrol four with 19kWh battery, AWD Power 233kW/400Nm (petrol), 107kW/309Nm (electric) EV range 54km 0-100km/h 4.8 seconds

RANGE ROVER VELAR P400e

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 $147,900-$164,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 17kWh battery, AWD Power 297kW/640Nm EV range 53km 0-100km/h 5.4 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the Range Rover Velar P400e

MERCEDES-BENZ E 300 e

It's now somewhat overshadowed by the longer-range PHEV version of the latest C-Class, but those that want a plug-in Benz sedan with more presence and space, the familiar E 300 e four-door continues.

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 $149,900 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 Recharge 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. A recent update has increased the battery size, resulting in 77km EV range.

Price $149,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbocharged 2.0-petrol four with 19kWh battery, AWD Power 233kW/4000Nm (engine), 107kW/400Nm (electric) EV range 77km 0-100km/h 5.3 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 $152,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 17kWh battery, AWD Power 297kW/640Nm EV range 53km 0-100km/h 5.3 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the Jaguar F-Pace P400e

JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SUMMIT RESERVE 4xe

Jeep's hero SUV, the Grand Cherokee, has finally arrived in NZ in 4xe PHEV form. The plug-in powertrain is only available in the five-seat model (not the seven-seat L that led the launch of the latest generation) and only in flagship Summit Reserve specification.

It's part of the same 4xe PHEV family as the Renegade and Compass, but the Grand has a different electric drive system: rather than having a separate electric motor driving the rear axle, it's integrated into the transmission, which means a more traditional driving experience and the ultimate in off-road ability, whether the car is in EV mode or not.

Price $154,990 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four with 17kWh battery, 8-speed automatic, AWD Power 280kW/637Nm (combined) EV range 52km (AER)

LAND ROVER DEFENDER P400e

Yes, even Land Rover's highly functional 4x4 hero can be had with PHEV power now. As with so many Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plug-ins, it matches a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol with a plug-in battery pack and brings DC fast-charge capability. See also Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace.

Land Rover is very firm on its PHEVs being just as capable off-road as their conventional stablemates and it's impressively quick. The P400e looks almost identical to any other Defender too, although there are a couple of compromises with electric power: you can't have the P400e as a short-wheelbase 90, there's no room for third-row seating and the electric Defender is 500kg on tow capacity. But can still haul an impressive 3000kg. 

Price $156,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre petrol four with 15kWh battery, AWD Power 297kW/640Nm (combined) EV range 44km 0-100km/h 5.6 seconds

BMW X5 xDRIVE50e

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 has stepped up from a "45e" to the new 50e, with more power and a bigger battery that dramatically improves the range - to a claimed 110km. Think of the X5 xDrive50e as more of a "performance hybrid", with the battery pack matched to a grunty 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine and AWD.

Price $175,400 Powertrain 3.0-litre turbo-petrol six with 26kWh battery, RWD Power/torque (combined) 360kW/700Nm EV range 110km 0-100km/h 5.6 seconds

PORSCHE CAYENNE E-HYBRID

It doesn't look a whole lot different, but the latest Porsche Cayenne "facelift" is in fact a massive technological step up from the previous model, with major chassis changes and a new Taycan-inspired Porsche Driver Experience cabin, with a mix of digital and analogue controls.

The E-Hybrid PHEV has benefitted from a new V6 engine, more powerful electric motor and a much bigger battery, giving a maximum EV range of 90km. The plug-in powertrain is available in both SUV and coupe - but expect even higher-performance versions to follow, as is Porsche tradition.

Price $182,500-187,200 Powertrain 3.0-litre turbo-petrol V6 with 26kWh battery, AWD Power 346kW/650Nm (combined) EV range 90km

MERCEDES-AMG C 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Goodbye V8, hello phenomenal hybrid power for the Mercedes-AMG C 63. The new hand-built 2.0-litre engine matches the previous eight-pot for power, but the addition of a plug-in hybrid system takes it above and beyond.

Half the number of cylinders but power is pushed to extremes for the new C 63 S E Performance.

It's a very small battery, offering just 15km EV range. Because it's there to provide maximum power rather than make this AMG a green commuter (although it can do a bit of that). In fact, you don't need to worry about plugging it in too much: the turbo engine is very good at replenishing the battery when required.

Price $199,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol 4-cylinder with 26kWh battery, AWD Power 500kW/1020Nm (combined) EV range 15km 0-100km/h 3.4sec

MERCEDES-AMG GLC 63 S E PERFORMANCE

See above, but as an SUV! The ultimate GLC picks up the new AMG four-cylinder PHEV powertrain from the C 63 and as almost as fast: down just 0.1sec on the 0-100km/h sprint.

GLC SUV is almost as quick as the hero C 63 sedan.

As with the regular GLC, the 63 is also available in an SUV-coupe body shape: bit more style, bit less space... and a slightly price.

Price $199,900-$206,900 Powertrain 2.0-litre turbo-petrol 4-cylinder with 26kWh battery, AWD Power 500kW/1020Nm (combined) EV range 15km 0-100km/h 3.5sec

RANGE ROVER SPORT P440e/P510e

The all-new (full-sized) Range Rover has embraced electric power like never before - keep reading for that one - so it's only natural that the smaller Range Rover Sport, based on the same platform and electronic architecture, should follow.

The Sport PHEV arrives in NZ with a choice of two hybrid powertrains, both with Land Rover's Ingenium six-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet. As with the larger Rangie, both have  massive (for a PHEV) 32kWh battery: enough for 88km of "real-world" driving says Land Rover, or an official 113km. DC fast charging is standard.

Price $214,900-$244,900 Powertrain 3.0-litre turbo-petrol six with 32kWh battery, AWD Power 324kW/620Nm or 375kW/700Nm (combined) EV range 113km 0-100km/h 5.5-5.2 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. Word to the wise, though: the current Panamera is now a step behind the just-refreshed Cayenne (the two share a platform), so if you're looking at the V6, it might pay to check out the Cayenne first. 

Price $234,700-$392,400 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

RANGE ROVER P510e

The all-new fifth-generation Range Rover is doing all kinds of new things, including bringing electric power into the powertrain mix for the first time. And doing it in comprehensive style, across short and long-wheelbase, HSE, Autobiography and SV models.

The new plug-in powertrain pairs a six-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a monster 38.2kWh battery to give a claimed EV range of 100km, or 80km “real world” – enough to cover 75 per cent of all Range Rover journeys, based on the company’s owner-data from the previous model. To put that battery size in perspective, a Mini Electric has a 35kWh unit – and that’s a pure-electric vehicle. Luckily, the PHEV battery is also DC charge-compatible.

Price $274,900-$364,900 Powertrain 3.0-litre turbo-petrol six with 38kWh battery, AWD Power 375kW/700Nm (combined) EV range 100km

BMW XM

Believe it or not, the huge XM SUV is only the second bespoke BMW M car (the first was the M1 in 1978) in the brand's history. It's impossible to ignore, with undeniably over-the-top styling and a rorty V8 twin-turbo V8 engine.

The standard XM is joined by an even more extreme XM Label Red model, which ups the bold design, technology and power - with an incredible 1000Nm on tap and 0-100km/h in less than four seconds.

Price $334,900 (Label Red, standard model TBA) Powertrain 4.4-litre turbo-petrol V8 with 26kWh battery, AWD Power/torque 480kW/800Nm or 550kW/1000Nm (combined) EV range 25km 0-100km/h 4.3-3.8 seconds

FERRARI SF90

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 735kW/800Nm (combined) EV range 25km 0-100km/h 2.5 seconds

Read DRIVEN's review of the Ferrari SF90

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