My Mom wants to replace her ES300h with a small hybrid SUV. Lexus makes two hybrid SUVs, but their infotainment system is literally the worst thing invented by humans since the bagpipes, so she’s never buying another Lexus. Unfortunately, all other manufacturers are switching to plug-in hybrids, which is a deal-breaker because: A) she is incapable of remembering how to plug in an electronic device, and B) our garage is full of plants, tools, lumber, Corinthian columns, bodies, etc.
Only Lexus still makes “normal” hybrid SUVs with the NX300h and RX450h. So what happens if she buys a plug-in hybrid (say a Volvo XC60 hybrid) and just never plugs it in? Will it behave just like a Lexus hybrid by using the engine and regenerative braking to recharge the battery? Or will it get the same abysmal fuel economy of a regular XC60?