Kelley Blue Book Checks Out Hot 2018 Plug-In Hybrids


What makes these 2018 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) so hot?

Kelley Blue Book gives us a brief look at some of today’s top PHEVs. The publication does a nice job of comparing models, while not focusing on competition. This is because, for a variety of reasons, a good choice for one car shopper may be a bad choice for another. Why rank them and tell people what’s best when their priorities surely differ?

Related: 10 Most Efficient Plug-In Hybrids

Watch This: Top 6 Plug-In Hybrids Ranked By Electric Range

The video compares four 2018 plug-in hybrid models: the Hyundai Ioniq, Honda Clarity, Toyota Prius Prime, and Chevrolet Volt.


2018 Hyundai Ioniq ($23,835)

  • $4,500 EV tax credit
  • Industry-leading warranty
  • EPA-estimated 29 miles of electric range (KBB achieved 38.4 miles in mixed conditions)
  • 52 mpg combined
  • Lackluster engine
  • Smooth-shifting standard 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Driver’s seat could be more supportive
  • 7-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

2018 Honda Clarity ($34,290)

  • $7,500 EV tax credit
  • EPA-estimated 47 miles of electric range (KBB achieved 56.2 miles in mixed conditions)
  • 42 mpg combined
  • High horsepower rating compared to rivals
  • Adequate acceleration due to heavy weight
  • Best regen of all cars tested
  • Nice, roomy cabin
  • “Normal” sedan size and feel
  • 8-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

2018 Toyota Prius Prime ($27,995)

  • $4,500 EV tax credit
  • EPA-estimated 29 miles of electric range (KBB achieved 26.2 miles on the freeway)
  • 54 mpg combined (best of all cars tested)
  • Best for those that want hybrid efficiency over electric range
  • Ride quality and handling (more than acceptable)
  • Only four seats
  • Tepid acceleration
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • Optional 11.6-inch touch screen can reflect light toward the driver’s eyes
  • “Styling that you will love unless you hate it”

2018 Chevrolet Volt ($34,095)

  • $7,500 EV tax credit
  • EPA-estimated 53 miles of electric range (KBB achieved 53 miles in mixed conditions)
  • 42 mpg combined
  • Very nice car overall
  • Handsome interior
  • Smart, intuitive cabin controls
  • 8-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Multiple infotainment system crashes during testing
  • Rear middle seat is not practical (it’s a bump!)
  • Pricey

Video Description via Kelley Blue Book on YouTube:

KBB’s team of experts take a look at some of the hottest Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) on the market today. Featuring cars from Hyundai, Honda, Toyota and Chevrolet, we compare them side-by-side to see what they have to offer. Which one would you plug in?

*Our comparison tests are different from most in that we keep the focus on comparison, not competition. We don’t pick winners and losers because the right choice for one buyer is the wrong choice for another. Our goal here is not to tell you which car to buy, but to make it easier for you to decide which is best for you.

Categories: Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Videos

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19 Comments on "Kelley Blue Book Checks Out Hot 2018 Plug-In Hybrids"

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No Praise that the Volt is the fastest of the bunch compared to the rest.

Voltec is still the gold standard in PHEV powertrains 8 years later in my opinion but Honda is at least close with the Clarity PHEV now. Still hoping GM will put Voltec into more vehicles, specifically the Equinox.

The Volt is “pricey” and the Clarity isn’t?

For the size, yes.

It’s Kelly Blue Book. It took a while, to stop being negative on batteries.

But they did mention in their testing that the bigger more comfortable and higher quality Clarity got the same MPG, better AER, and seemed more worth the money compared to the Volt. Sounds like Honda is the clear winner here.

For the average family, yes, I agree the Clarity is the clear winner. The Volt wins for people who care more about performance and style and are willing to sacrifice interior space and expected reliability.

With no PTC electric heater or heat pump, the Hyundai is a no sale for me.

whats a PTC heater?

Positive temperature coefficient heater. You have one in your Chevy Volt.

Without it or a heat pump, the car needs to run the gas engine to heat the interior of the vehicle. This takes the EV out of the PHEV in the fall, winter and spring in much of the USA.

It’s not for long duration though. When comparing features, you have to factor in the price as well. A $24k sticker price (minus $4500 tax credit) still makes it a really compelling option.

I just received my 2018 Volt Premier 2 weeks ago. I spent almost 7 years with my 2012 Volt and loved it and the Gen 2 is faster, slicker and better all around. Reading almost 100 kms range. I would have taken a base Model 3 but this is a good choice for now!

My 2012 had 119,000 miles on it and was still perfect but I decided to get a new 2018 Volt Premier anyway. I have no problem getting 65 miles electric range with it. Great car!

I actually have the 2018 Volt. I love it, and I am actually getting consistently 62 Miles per Charge on the EV. On a long distance drive of 300+ miles, I got 38.2 MPG on the gas. For other trips in town, I do usually get a combined value of between 50 and 70 MPG, depending on distance (trips of 50+ miles one way) and how much is highway.

If there was something I would complain about is the blind spots in the car. The rear view is set so high that distance is impossible to gauge, and short cars almost disappear. I love the Android Auto and have never had the Infotainment center crash yet on me. The phone Bluetooth does appear to have some issues connecting, but has not been a major issue for me.

Why no mention of the Fusion, Sonata and Optima? It’s not like you listed only cars that are new format 2018.

Not sure how you peeps review stuff. So which of these cars can drive between 47 and 65 miles on battery?? Let’s see, my 2017 volt can and non of the other can. My commute is 47.5 miles and I average 1500 miles on a tank of gas( going home is up hill) my record is 2239 miles on 8 gallons. Please if an owner of the other non volts can come forward with true miles both electric and gas. So far I’m willing to bet that non of those other “greater” cars can achieve this.
Oh and let’s race for pinks, I need the extra cash haha

I filled up my C-Max Energi twice last year for 7000 miles. Distance between fill-ups has a weak dependence on AER.

Volt is the better car IMHO.
Let’s see. I have the volt premier. Steering wheel heater, all 4 seats have seatheaters, leather, lane keeper, self parking both driver and passenger side parallel parking and both driver side and passenger side back in parking. Wireless charging, alloy wheels and like I said between 47 and 65 miles on battery only.
All this for 36k tax and license.7500 tax rebate and 1500 cash back from CA. Sure might be more than the others but it drives like a dream unlike the Prius which drives worse than a Hugo.
It’s a better value than a Tesla 3.

5.7 mi/kWh is what I saw on my most recent commute home from work in my Prime, with the A/C running!

That’s value most people… even some plug-in owners… don’t recognize the significance of yet. Anyone can brag about EV range from a larger battery-pack, but it’s how that electricity is actually used is what really matters.

Admittedly, I don’t see efficiency that high routinely. But for the month of May (so far) here in Minnesota, my average is currently at 458 MPG. So, even when the freakishly efficient gas engine starts, there isn’t a major impact to overall results.

As for what makes a “hot plug-in hybrid”, all you have to do is answer the unsolicited questions people ask when you are using the free chargers at the local grocery store. The most common are “How long does it take to recharge?” and “How many miles will it go on electricity?” Upon providing the answers, slipping in a “Sticker-Price starts at $27,100” stirs further inquiry… rather than the instant dismissal you get with more expensive offerings. It’s very clear ordinary consumers are looking for a balance, not an emphasis on range or power.