Toyota Prius PHV vs Kia Optima PHEV vs Volkswagen Golf GTE

The Toyota Prius is a great hybrid, but is the new plug-in version even better? We compare it with the VW Golf GTE and Kia Optima PHEV

Electric car sales are slowly increasing, but for many buyers range anxiety remains a big hurdle. So plug-in hybrids could be the perfect answer; they combine the eco-friendly benefits of zero emissions motoring with the confidence-boosting fallback of a conventional fuel engine.

The latest model to join the fray is the second-generation Toyota Prius PHV, which follows hot on the heels of the more conventional petrol-electric model. Featuring bespoke looks, bigger batteries and an electric range that’s twice as long, the newcomer has all the on-paper credentials. Yet plug-in models are proving more popular, so before the Toyota can celebrate, it must face a pair of tough rivals.

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The Volkswagen Golf GTE is the ultimate mean green machine, mixing EV capability with hot hatch pace, plus it benefits from the same facelift and improvements as the standard Golf. At the other end of the scale is the Kia Optima PHEV, which packs big saloon comfort and refinement with a claimed 33 miles of all-electric running.

So which plug-in contender charges to victory in this encounter?