Sure, hybrid cars are hot nowadays. And sure, this is not only a fad that would lose its appeal later on, because of the technology, gas mileage, and overall environmental concerns that it simultaneously tries to resolve.
So before you rush to your dealer, try researching on the different hybrid cars available in the market today. At the very least, compare hybrid cars using several factors.
We can start with some of the hybrid cars models currently available and are worth comparing. There is the Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight, the Honda Civic Hybrid, and the Honda Accord Hybrid. These are the four major hybrid cars available at dealers in your place today.
Your choice is also much improved with the availability of the Ford Escape Hybrid. This was the first hybrid SUV available. But you also have a choice with Lexus RX 400h, Toyota Highlander and the Mariner Hybrid.
First consideration is the mileage
Vehicles sold in the United States to day, on the average, gets a combined highway and city EPA fuel usage estimate of some 20.4 miles per gallon (mpg). All hybrid cars, hard as you compare, have EPA number well above than what specified earlier.
Honda Insight was particularly manufactured to obtain the best mileage, making it the undisputed leader in terms of gas mileage. The traditional manual transmission hybrids have EPA estimates of 60 mpg in the city and 66 mpg on the highway. The automatic version on the other hand has transmission rated slightly lower at 57 city/56 highway.
The second best choice is the newest version of the Prius at 60 city/51 highway. It can be seen that the city estimate is higher than the highway estimate due to this hybrid car’s capacity to operate on battery power alone at low speeds.
The 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid was available with a manual transmission that was rated at 46 city/51 highway; the automatic at 48 city/47 highway. Hybrid sedan is rated at 25 city/28 highway.
Compared with other hybrid cars, SUV’s, like GS450h, get the lowest gas mileage of the hybrid vehicles. The Ford Escape on he other hand is rated at 36 city/31 highway. This is much better than a non-hybrid Escape that is only rated at 22 city/25 highway.
Size does matter
Another point to consider if must compare hybrid cars is the size. With earlier models, hybrid cars only came in two sizes. First is the small sized vehicle. The second is the much smaller one. But hybrid manufacturers are learning to respond with the consumer’s specific needs. And because these manufacturers somehow know that the consumers had learned how to compare hybrid cars, all of them are putting some improvements.
But let’s go back to the size consideration. When considering size of a particular hybrid car number of passengers and typical loads you may be transporting.
The Honda Civic Hybrid is a compact sedan. It has five seats and has a general is outside look comparable to that of non-hybrid Civic. The interior is the same size, although the trunk of this hybrid is slightly smaller to accommodate the battery. For 2006 edition, it was redesigned, and now has a more slender and sporty overall look.
The Prius 2000-2003 models have 5 passenger compact capacity, and was redesigned in 2004 and evolved into a mid-size category car. This comparatively larger edition includes a versatile hatch back.
For price, below is a means to compare currently available hybrid cars. It’s not a clear-cut pricing table, but at least you have an idea.
> 2006 Toyota Prius, $21,2745
> 2006 Honda Insight, $19,330 manual transmission; $21,530 for automatic
> 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid, $21,850
> 2007 Lexus GS 450h, $54,900
> 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid, $25,900
> 2006 Honda Accord Hybrid, $30,140
> 2006 Ford Escape hybrid begins at $27,515 for the two-wheel drive version and $28,595 for four-wheel drive.
> Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid SUV (summer 2006) $23,995.
> 2006 Lexus RX400h $49,060.
> 2006 Mariner Hybrid $29,840
> 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid $33,030 for the two-wheel drive; $34,430 for four-wheel drive.
The last consideration is the appearance. You can choose a hybrid car that looks like the other available models, or you may want to be totally different. Anyway, this one of the few reasons why hybrids are hot today and was able to penetrate the American market successfully within a short period of time.