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Best Hybrid Vehicles
Modern hybrid cars have come a long way since the Toyota Prius launched here in 2000. Now several manufacturers make a gas-electric version of their bestselling sedans and SUVs, from the Toyota Avalon sedan to the Chrysler Pacifica minivan to the lavish Porsche Cayenne.
Not so long ago, hybrids were the reserve of environmentally conscious school run mums, people living or working under the London congestion charge, and minicab drivers looking to save a bit of money on fuel. Toyota is an old hand when it comes to hybrids, and the Yaris Hybrid is easier on the pocket than its Prius big brother. It’s highly efficient, well equipped and compact yet roomy inside. The ride can be a bit frenetic, however.
However, with an ever-growing number of hybrids on the market, they are increasingly becoming a mainstream alternative to conventional petrol and diesel models.
Knowing which to consider and which to avoid can make the difference between a fuel-sipping investment and a costly mistake. So, here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the hybrids that are best to steer clear of. Hybrid cars are a great fit for drivers who want to do their part to limit carbon emissions without the fear of running out of juice on a long trip.
They combine an electric motor with a gasoline engine, switching from one power source to the other depending on the need. At a time where batteries are expensive, purchasing a long-range electric car can be costly. But hybrids offer a more cost-effective way of reducing emissions while increasing fuel economy.
Kelley Blue Book rounded up the 2017 hybrid cars that will give you the best bang for your buck.
Hybrids offer tremendous energy efficiency with an electric motor that augments the gas engine. Most hybrids get upwards of 40 mpg overall.
- Honda Accord Honda Accord is not new to India, it was introduced to the country back in 2001. The new Accord is the ninth-generation model which made its way to India. The Accord was launched as a hybrid unlike the previous model in the country. The new Honda Accord is powerful and efficient with its two-motor hybrid system which produces a massive 212bhp, while the 2.0-litre petrol mill develops 143bhp. There is also an electric motor producing 182bhp.
- Toyota Prius hatchback It’s become almost synonymous with hybrids over the years and this latest generation of the Toyota Prius is the best model yet. Its looks could best be described as ‘divisive’, but there’s no denying it’s an impressive feat of engineering. It’s capable – according to official claims at least – of returning nearly 95mpg. Meanwhile, its CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km make it exempt from the London Congestion Charge, making it the weapon of choice for minicab and Uber drivers in the capital. The Prius is also makes it popular with company-car drivers, thanks to its super-low 11% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating. Despite all this, the latest Prius is the best one to drive yet, while its interior quality is impressive, as is its modern interior design. Combine this with generous equipment and an impressive five-year/100,000-mile warranty and you have a very good all-rounder indeed.
- Kia Niro SUV One of the more practical hybrids available, the Kia Niro combines an SUV body style with a hi-tech hybrid system. Granted, it’s not quite as efficient as some others on this list, but it’s the way the Niro makes hybrid motoring so ‘normal’ that impresses. A conventional body shape and un-flashy styling, as well as a regular dual-clutch automatic gearbox make it feel more familiar from behind the wheel than the likes of the Prius. Make no mistake: this is a practical family car that happens to be a hybrid, rather than a hybrid that happens to be a practical family car. As we’ve mentioned, it’s not the most efficient hybrid available – 74mpg economy and CO2 emissions of 88g/km are good, but not exceptional these days, and higher-spec models don’t even dip below the 100g/km of CO2 barrier. That said, the Niro is quiet, refined and decent to drive, plus it comes very well equipped and has Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty.
- Mercedes E350e hybrid The latest Mercedes E-Class is a fine executive saloon and despite its somewhat steep asking price, the E350e plug-in hybrid version is very impressive, too. You get all of the regular E-Class’ strong points – a cosseting ride, opulent interior and luxurious rear seats – along with staggeringly low running costs. Official tests say it’ll return around 134mpg, while CO2 emissions range from 49 to 57g/km depending on whether you go for 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels. This is thanks to a plug-in hybrid system that allows all-electric driving for a maximum of 20 miles. The E350e is exempt from the London Congestion Charge and it sits in one of the lowest Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax bands, too. This should make it very popular with inner-city company-car drivers, as well as upmarket private-hire cab companies looking to waft their clients around in luxury without breaking the bank.