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Top 5 Hybrids On the Market

September 17, 2013

While there are a number of possible solutions on the horizon for the world’s looming oil crisis, none of them are entirely easy options right now. But there is one aimed at those looking to save themselves some money as well as saving the environment which is growing in popularity – hybrids.

Hybrids work by combining petrol or diesel engines with electric motors – typically using the latter at lower speeds, and the former when an extra burst of speed or power is required. When the traditional engine is in use, this also allows the batteries powering the electric motor to be charged, providing maximum fuel efficiency. While the electric range and fuel economy of hybrids is highly dependent on driving style, they can still offer significant advantages over traditionally powered vehicles.

Not only are hybrids good for the environment, but they can be good for your wallet too. As well as saving you money at the petrol station by allowing each gallon of fuel to go further, the UK government will even offer you a grant to cover 25% of the purchase price of plug-in hybrid cars up to a maximum of £5,000 (20% for vans up to a maximum of £8,000) as long as the vehicle in question meets certain basic eligibility criteria.

Thankfully, for those of us interested in more environmentally friendly vehicles, the days when an eco-conscience meant having to sacrifice style and comfort are long gone. The following are some of the smartest and sexiest offerings currently on the market.

 

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Long the gold-standard of hybrids, the Toyota Prius has recently been overhauled, giving us the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. This new Prius has the same slightly fusty look of its predecessors, but a larger battery capacity and the ability to recharge its battery from a domestic power supply makes this new and improved Prius a more versatile machine.

Price: From £28,245 (after government plug-in grant)

Released: 2012

Engine: 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve VVT-i producing 98hp and dual electric motors giving 56hp

Electric Range: 10-15 miles

Fuel Economy: 112m/g

Top speed: 112m/h

Acceleration: 0.62.1m/h in 10.7 seconds

CO2 output: 49g/km

 

Vauxhall Ampera

Effectively a restyle of the Chevrolet Volt for the UK market, the Vauxhall Ampera is one of the most fuel-efficient petrol-driven cars around. The European-styled body of the Ampera has a much more futuristic aesthetic than its American cousin, and was voted European Car of the Year 2012.

Price: £29,995 (after government plug-in car grant)

Released: 2011

Engine: Naturally aspirated 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor producing 149hp

Electric Range: 25-50 miles

Fuel Economy: 60m/g

Top speed: 100m/h

Acceleration: 0-60 in 9.2 seconds

CO2 output: 52.5g/km

 

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

When a high-end manufacturer like Porsche gets on-board with a piece of technology, you can be pretty confident that any previously ‘uncool’ stigma is well in the past. The hybrid version of the Panamera is just as slick and sporty in appearance as its more traditional brothers and sisters – and, although on the expensive side (it’s still a Porsche after all), if you’re after an eco-friendly machine you can still show-off, the Panamera S Hybrid takes some beating.

Price: £60,272 – £123,776

 

Released: 2011

Engine: Supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 328 hp and an electric motor producing 46 hp

Electric range: 11-22 miles

Fuel Economy: 39.8m/g

Top speed: 167.8m/h

Acceleration: 0-62.1m/h in 6.0 seconds

CO2 output: 159g/km

 

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4

Peugeot’s 3008 Hybrid4 has the distinction of being the world’s first mass-produced diesel-electric hybrid. While about £10k more expensive than the cheapest petrol alternative, it’s one of the more powerful hybrids out there and produces a respectable 88g/km of carbon dioxide, making this a good choice for those looking for a little extra oomph from their hybrid without increasing their carbon footprint.                                                                          

Price: £26,995

Released: 2012

Engine: 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine producing 161hp and an electric motor developing 36hp

Electric Range: 2.5 miles

Fuel Economy: 83.1m/g

Top speed: 118m/p (limited)

Acceleration: 0-60mph in 9.1 sec

CO2 output: 88g/km

 

Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid

With an all-electric range of only 0.6 miles, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid from Mercedes-Benz definitely belongs in the category of hybrids which need to use their two power sources simultaneously, rather than individually. It’s also one of the more expensive hybrids on our list, but with a top speed of 150m/h and all the style and luxury you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz, this is a solid mid-level option for those who see hybrids as a way to improve their normal driving experience, rather than those looking to radically change their driving habits.

Price: From £39,645

Released: 2012

Engine: Twin turbocharged four cylinder 2.1 litre diesel engine producing 204hp and an electric engine producing 27hp

Electric Range: 0.6 miles

Fuel Economy: 65.7m/g

Top speed: 150m/h

Acceleration: 0.62.1p/h in 7.5 seconds

CO2 output: 109g/km

 

Hybrid vehicles aren’t the technology of the future any more, they’re the technology of today. If you don’t want to wait to get your hands on one, check out The Car Loan Warehouse. They’ll help you find the car finance to see you in your own hybrid vehicle as soon as possible.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.