Studies Show That Hybrids Continue to Be Much More Reliable Than PHEVs

Published by on . Updated on 15 Dec 2023

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1701757007391 Cvr+Img

This might be a difficult fact to accept, particularly for those who own plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), but the data speaks volumes. Consumer Reports (CR) indicates that hybrids significantly outperform PHEVs in terms of reliability. CR collects data from its members annually, detailing issues encountered with their vehicles over the past year.

This year, CR gathered information from over 330,000 vehicles ranging from 2000 to 2023 models, with some early 2024 additions. However, since this report is US-based, certain models might not directly correlate with the Malaysian market.

The primary comparison lies between traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles and electrified models, particularly hybrids, which have shown superior performance. Yet, the report also highlights the varying reliability of PHEVs across different models.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1701757025035 Img+1

The assessment covers 20 different problem areas across vehicle types, offering a detailed view of mainstream models. It spans from minor issues like squeaky brakes to major concerns such as engine, transmission, EV battery, and EV charging problems.

Consumer Reports adopts a meticulous approach, weighing each problem's severity to generate a predicted reliability score from 1 to 100 for every vehicle. This score significantly influences each major mainstream model's overall reliability rating, merged with track testing, owner satisfaction surveys, and safety data to compute the Overall Score.

Recognizing the industry's shift towards electrification, Consumer Reports expanded its evaluation to include hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs. To adapt to this change, three new trouble areas were introduced: electric motor, EV/hybrid battery, and EV charging.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1701757044262 Img+2

Breakdown of Problem Areas:

  • ICE Vehicles: Assessed across 17 potential problem areas covering engine, transmission, and minor issues.
  • EVs: Scrutinized in up to 12 areas, focusing solely on electric motor, EV/hybrid battery, and EV charging, excluding traditional ICE problems.
  • Hybrids: Evaluated in 19 areas, including ICE concerns and electric motor and EV battery issues.
  • PHEVs: Evaluated in all 20 areas, encompassing ICE concerns, electric motor, EV battery, and EV charging.


On average, hybrids display 26 percent fewer issues than their ICE counterparts. Notable reliable hybrids include Lexus UX and NX Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, and RAV4 Hybrid, benefiting from extensive testing and refinement due to their longer presence in the market.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1701757176540 Img+3

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs):

In contrast to hybrids, PHEVs show a more varied reliability scenario. On average, they exhibit 146 percent more problems than traditional ICE vehicles, indicating potential reliability challenges within this category.

Mixed Bag for PHEVs:

Several PHEVs fall short of reliability standards, such as Audi Q5 and Chrysler Pacifica, with the latter securing the lowest reliability score at 14.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1701757200657 Img+4

Notable PHEV Performers:

However, exceptions stand out, including Toyota RAV4 Prime and Kia Sportage, scoring well above the average reliability threshold. BMW X5, Hyundai Tucson, and Ford Escape PHEVs also achieve respectable reliability scores, aligning with industry standards.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1701757226318 Img+5

This comprehensive approach to evaluating reliability offers consumers a deep understanding of vehicle performance, addressing challenges posed by both traditional ICE vehicles and the complexities of electrified models. The goal is to empower informed decision-making, ensuring reliability remains crucial in the ever-evolving automotive landscape.

Original article and pictures provided by
Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1695179801547 1695179801547

I want to find the highest selling price for my car within 24 hours!

Download the Motorist App now. Designed by drivers for drivers, this all-in-one app lets you receive the latest traffic updates, gives you access to live traffic cameras, and helps you manage vehicle related matters.

Read More: Malaysia’s Mall Parking Rates 2023: Part 1