What are the different types of hybrid vehicles?
When you hear the term 'hybrid' car, there is no longer just the one type of hybrid vehicle. In addition to the traditional, self-charging hybrid (HEV), manufacturers are also developing mild hybrids (MHEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).
No matter which type of hybrid vehicle you go for, it will be powered by either a petrol or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor.
What are the key differences between the different types of hybrid vehicles?
- MHEVs simply use the ICE as their main power source, but the electric motor assists the engine with an extra power boost.
- HEVs have the ability to drive in all-electric mode at slow speeds in stop-start urban traffic, but most of the time the ICE and electric motor work together to power the vehicle.
- PHEVs are powered by a combination of an ICE and an electric motor, plus the battery is larger than in HEVs; meaning the vehicles can travel further in pure electric mode. Once the battery is depleted PHEVs need plugging-in to charge their battery.
Jaguar XE - MHEV
The sleek and sporty Jaguar XE sports an advanced mild hybrid system, which uses a Belt-Integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) to harvest energy that is normally lost during braking. This energy is stored in a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and can be used to support the engine with acceleration.
Not all engines in the XE range are accompanied by MHEV technology so you will need to look for the 2.0-litre D200 Ingenium diesel engine with a power output of 201bhp and up to 57.7mpg, according to WLTP. This engine is mated with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and is only available as a rear-wheel drive.
As you would expect from a Jaguar car, the XE manages to impress with its handsome exterior aesthetic and its luxurious interior. Soft-touch materials feature within the extravagant cabin and the class-leading Pivi Pro infotainment system can be accessed through a crisp 10-inch central touchscreen.
Range Rover Sport - MHEV
Strong performance has always been delivered from the mighty impressive Range Rover Sport. Mild hybrid technology features on the diesel models that are badged D300 and D350 and the petrol P400, increasing the fuel efficiency and further enhancing the performance of the powerful engines.
Considered the next generation of Stop/Start technology, the ICE shuts down while the vehicle decelerates; ultimately reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel economy.
Choosing one of the diesel variants will provide access to either 296bhp or 345bhp and you should expect up to 29.8mpg in the D350 or up to 33.1mpg in the D300. Go for the P400, however, and you will have an almighty 395bhp to play with, whilst still managing a fuel consumption of up to 27.2mpg.
Plug-in hybrid models are mentioned further down this article, but to avoid repetition the Range Rover Sport is also available as the P400e PHEV model, providing the ability to drive up to 26 miles in pure electric mode with zero tailpipe emissions.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class - MHEV
Four bodystyles are available with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class; Saloon, Estate, Coupé and Cabriolet. Each of these are available with a petrol engine that is accompanied by EQ Boost mild hybrid technology.
Delivering improved efficiency and enhanced power, the EQ Boost system uses the electric motor and ICE in parallel.
Look out for either the C 200, powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine, or the C 300, with a 2.0-litre petrol unit, models as these feature an additional 14bhp EQ Boost. Delivering a total power output of 198bhp and 272bhp respectively, the C-Class MHEV variants are powerful yet efficient with up to an impressive 42.2mpg in the C 200 Saloon.
With a sophisticated bodystyle to suit everyone and a classy interior, which is often considered the epitome of luxury, you simply cannot go wrong with a C-Class MHEV. Ambient lighting, ergonomic switchgear and intuitive technology add to the overall refinement experienced when sat inside this German masterpiece.
Lexus NX - HEV
As the luxury division of Toyota, Lexus have developed some delightful vehicles such as the NX.
The luxurious SUV is available as the 300h self-charging hybrid. Used examples of the mid-size premium crossover date back as far as 2014, but you may be surprised at how futuristic even the older models are. Depending on your requirements you should be able to find both front or all-wheel drive variants in the used car market.
Combining a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an automatic (E-CVT) transmission and an electric motor, the latest generation NX 300h can spend up to 42 percent of its travel time in pure electric mode. There is no need to plug the vehicle in to charge the battery as the intelligent hybrid system charges the battery whilst you are driving through regenerative braking.
Premium design cues throughout the interior, intuitive technology to assist with day-to-day driving and an attractively bold exterior are hard to ignore in this stand-out SUV.
Lexus CT - HEV
Back in 2010 the Lexus CT 200h was the first full hybrid vehicle to be launched in the marque's premium compact segment. In 2017 the luxury hatchback received a significant update, including sportier styling, interior enhancements as well as innovative safety upgrades.
As a self-charging hybrid, the CT Hybrid's battery is consistently being charged by the Lexus Hybrid Drive's generator while braking so the vehicle does not need to be plugged-in to recharge the battery.
You can simply get behind the wheel and relax into the sumptuous leather seats and enjoy the wonderfully smooth drive, which is almost silent when in EV mode using no petrol and producing zero tailpipe emissions.
With a fuel consumption of up to 55.3mpg, the latest generation CT 200h combines a 1.8-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for power.
MINI Countryman - PHEV
With retro styling and an iconic go-kart like driving experience, the modern MINI is a runaway hit, especially with their characterful engine choices. But can a plug-in hybrid MINI be just as good?
The Countryman Plug-in Hybrid was the first model to be offered by MINI with electric power, and it is a rather good one too! Offered in the more spicy Cooper S guise means it is certainly not slow, hitting 62mph from a standstill in just 6.8 seconds. On electric power alone you can travel up to 29 miles, producing zero tailpipe emissions.
Being a Countryman means it is one of the most practical MINI cars and with SUVs showing no sign of their popularity slowing down, the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid is a superb used buy. You can find out what it is like to live with the PHEV version of the Countryman and decide if it is the right vehicle for you.
Land Rover Discovery Sport - PHEV
Sitting proudly as a premium compact SUV in Land Rover's range, the Discovery Sport Plug-in Hybrid delivers exceedingly low CO2 emissions but with the impressive performance, refinement and capability you would expect from a vehicle of this stature.
Powered by a combination of a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine and an electric motor, the plug-in hybrid model is badged P300e.
Not only does this vehicle impress on performance and efficiency, it also possesses Land Rover's competent all-wheel drive system.
Being the smaller sibling to the Discovery, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out the Discovery Sport is still super practical and some models even feature seven seats for those with larger families.
Plush materials and soft-touch plastics can be found throughout the cabin, which is also equipped with the latest innovative technology such as the Pivi Pro infotainment system.
BMW 3 Series - PHEV
Whether you go for the 3 Series Saloon or the more practical Touring, you need to look out for the 330e badge.
Combining an electric motor with a TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine the PHEV variants can travel up to 36 miles in pure electric mode. Both models are also available with BMW's intelligent all-wheel xDrive system.
Charging the vehicle is simple and can be done at home, work or at public charging stations. If you install a BP Pulse wallbox at home, the battery can be recharged to 80 percent capacity in just under two and a half hours.
At the end of the day this a BMW car we are talking about so you are guaranteed an impressive drive that is made even more enjoyable thanks to the inclusion of the intuitive BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
Porsche Panamera - PHEV
Available as either a Sports Saloon or Sport Turismo, the Panamera offers equally impressive performance and luxury.
Various hybrid models are included in the Panamera range and you can expect the sports car to be able to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.4 seconds or under.
Up to 35 miles can be driven in all-electric mode, depending on model, before either the mighty V6 or the monstrous V8 engines kick in to assist the electric motor.
Typical of Porsche, the interior is a rather astonishing place to spend time with sophisticated and luxurious features throughout.
BMW i8 - PHEV
The BMW i8 is one of the most futuristic-looking production cars ever made, and was first offered for sale in 2014.
Available as a Coupé or Roadster, which was made available in 2018, the i8 looks super space age in either guise, with dihedral doors.
The crazy part of this supercar/sportscar is that it is a hybrid. Using a 1.5-litre mid-mounted petrol engine producing 231bhp, it is accompanied by a 143bhp electric motor, too. The petrol engine drives the rear wheels, whilst the electric motor drives the front wheels.
The 0 to 62mph sprint takes just 4.3 seconds for the i8 Coupé and 4.5 seconds for the i8 Roadster, whilst this hybrid 'supercar' will also return up to an ultra-impressive 128mpg!
You can also experience full-EV mode for up to 25 miles on a single charge, enabling a smooth and silent, zero tailpipe emission driving experience.
Find your perfect hybrid vehicle at Stratstone
Whether you are interested in a mild, full or plug-in hybrid car there are so many used examples available.
We have plenty of used luxury and premium hybrid cars in stock at Stratstone, if none of the above appeal to you, why not explore our full range of used hybrid cars?
Perhaps you have decided you are not actually interested in a hybrid car and would rather buy a used battery electric vehicle (BEV), if this is the case we also have a number of used fully electric cars for you to browse, too.