This is a guest post by Edward Pacheco of Automotive.com.
Hybrid cars have in many cases become the wave of the future. The trend with hybrids started a while back and has been steadily gaining momentum thanks to advances in technology, manufacturing and end-user friendliness. What most adore about hybrid vehicles is that they are better for the environment and they can save you money on gasoline to boot. The downside is that they will cost you more upfront. You can expect to pay around 10%-25% more for a hybrid car as compared to a gasoline powered alternatives. However, the money you spend upfront will be saved over time as you will not have to spend as much on costly gasoline (believe us, it will go up to $5/gallon and more in the near future).. In addition, since hybrids have a smaller carbon footprint many people feel the need to act more responsibly and catalyses them to fight for the environment. It is estimated that the sale of hybrids is going to continue to grow exponentially over the next ten years. With the introduction more advanced technologies hybrids will be able to get even better gas mileage and be sold at a more affordable price. That being said, just about every manufacturer has introduced at least one hybrid offering. Expect this number to rise.
The Toyota Prius is the most popular hybrid vehicle on the market today. Motor Trend Magazine calls it the “King of the Hybrids.” The Prius retails for around $25,000 and gets upwards of 51-miles per gallon. The Prius set the standards for all other hybrids on the market today. In fact, the engine and design of the Prius has been duplicated by other major manufacturers in an effort to create something that can compete with it. The 1.8 horsepower gasoline engine combined with the electric motor components create a total of 134-horsepower, which actually feels more like 200hp due to the nature of electric propulsion. Besides the decent power, the other nice thing about the Prius is that it comes in several different trims. You can choose the base model if you are interested in paying a lower purchase price but you can also upgrade to a higher level trim package that will give you more options and a more luxurious ride.
The Honda Insight is the second most popular hybrid behind the Prius. It retails for a lower price starting out at about $20,000. Similar to the Prius, the Insight also gets great gas mileage (though not as good). On the highway you can expect about 43-MPG and in the city you can expect roughly 40-MPG. For the price, it’s not a bad tradeoff. The Insight looks and drivers sportier than the Prius, but is a bit rough around the edges. We love the interior of the Insight though; much more upbeat and sporty compared to the Prius.
Ford Fusion Hybrid
A similar but larger car is the Ford Fusion hybrid. It’s is the best selling mid-size hybrid sedan in the U.S.. This vehicle provides people who need a bit more space the option of having that space along with the luxury of a hybrid’s MPGs. The Fusion hybrid gets around 41-MPG in the city and 36-MPG on the highway. Not bad considering the size and class of this vehicle—it’s far superior to its gas-powered competitors. The price is a bit high on this car but it is worth it considering the size, luxury and mileage. MSRP is right around $28,000. (Click here for Ford Fusion Hybrid Price.) The ride is powerful, considering the 2.5 liters plus electric motor that’s powered by a nickel metal hydride battery.
Lexus RX 450h
Want complete luxury but a car that’s also hybrid drive? The Lexus RX 450h is one of the most popular hybrid sport utility vehicles on the market today. It retails at about what you would expect for a luxury SUV: starting at about $43,000. Not a bad deal considering it’s a top-notch luxury SUV along with a reputation of Lexus being one of the most reliable and classiest manufacturers in the world. What’s the gas mileage? 32-MPG in the city and 28-MPG on the highway.
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Source: Motor Trend magazine