U.S. News & World Report has announced the 2022 Best Hybrid and Electric Cars. The publication evaluated 82 vehicles and selected winners in eight categories. “There’s been a significant increase in the demand for electric vehicles, and they have more appeal than ever as gas prices rise and consumers look for cars with a low carbon footprint,” said Jim Sharifi, the managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “The winners of the Best Hybrid and Electric Car awards deliver a rewarding ownership experience, as well as low emissions and fuel costs.”
Toyota took home the most awards with three if you include its luxury arm, Lexus. The Toyota Prius won the Best Hybrid Car, which is no surprise because the pioneering hatchback continues to offer more than 50 mpg on all of its versions. Best of all, the Prius starts at $25,650 and tops off at around $35,000. There’s also a plug-in hybrid variant called the Prius Prime that offers up to 25 miles of all-electric range.
Additionally, the standard Prius is also available with AWD in the LE and XLE grades. Another Toyota, the RAV4 Hybrid, Won the Best Hybrid SUV category. With 219 hp, standard AWD, and a 40-mpg EPA combined rating, the RAV4 Hybrid checks a lot of boxes. Additionally, it’s available in a myriad of versions including a sport-tuned XSE trim and comfort-oriented Limited grade. It’s also available as a plug-in hybrid in the form of the 302-hp RAV4 Prime.
The final Toyota product to take an award is the Lexus ES 300h, which is currently the only hybrid mid-size luxury sedan that doesn’t have a plug. It’s available exclusively in FWD and is EPA-rated at 44 mpg combined. For 2022, the ES 300h gets an F Sport version that adds extra cosmetic tweaks and mildly revised suspension.
Hyundai and Kia took home one award each. The former got the Best Plug-In Hybrid trophy for the Tucson PHEV, the most powerful variant of its compact crossover. With 261 hp, standard AWD, a long list of features, and a price tag that barely touches the $45,000 mark even when fully loaded, the Tucson PHEV offers a lot of value along with a great driving experience and an upscale cabin.
The all-electric Kia EV6 was chosen as the Best Electric Vehicle. Built on Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform, the EV6 is a dedicated battery-electric vehicle that can travel up to 310 miles per charge. It also features bi-directional charging so it can power appliances.
Tesla and Volvo each took one award in the luxury category. The Tesla Model Y won Best Luxury Electric SUV, fittingly since it’s now one of the most popular BEVs on the market. Long Range versions are good for up to 330 miles per charge when equipped with the standard 19-inch wheels and can seat up to seven with the optional third row.
Volvo’s S60 T8 took home the Best Luxury Plug-In Hybrid award. This model recently got an upgraded powertrain that uses a 2.0-liter turbo-four coupled to a more powerful electric motor, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and an 18.8-kWh battery with a usable capacity of 14.9 kWh. That bumps combined output to 455 hp and 523 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most powerful Volvo models to date. That’s not all, the S60 T8’s all-electric driving range also increases to 41 miles, which is now among the highest of any plug-in hybrid currently on sale.
Last but not least is the Best Luxury Electric Car award, which was won by a newcomer: the Lucid Air. This luxury sedan can travel well over 400 miles in every version. Certain iterations like the Grand Touring and the limited-edition Dream Edition R are good for more than 500 miles per charge. The Air also sports a 900-volt charging architecture, enabling it to regain 300 miles in 20 minutes when plugged into a 350-kW DC charger.