A few years ago this question wouldn’t have been very hard to answer as there were only a few hybrid models available. Today, however, many more car manufacturers have entered the market offering an increasingly broader range of vehicles leading many to wonder which model best fits their needs. Although hybrids are becoming more available in most vehicle classes, there are enough models in the sedan, SUV, and compact car market segments to do a reasonable comparison.
Best Sedan Hybrid
Along with being one of the first car makers to enter the hybrid market, Honda also has the distinction of being recognized as offering the best sedan hybrid. The Honda Civic Hybrid offers a the same sleek and sporty look as the gas only model and is difficult to distinguish the standard Civic. The sedan market is one of the more competitive markets for hybrid cars so coming out on top here is a significant achievement.
Best Sport Utility Vehicle Hybrid
The sport utility vehicle arena is the fastest-growing market for hybrids especially considering the emergence of the crossover SUV as one of the most popular market segments over the past couple of years. Combining the utility of a full size SUV with the sporty look of a sedan, the hybrid crossover market is big with consumers and the Ford Escape Hybrid tops the list.
The Ford Escape Hybrid was not only the first SUV hybrid it has also successfully fended off challenges from more established hybrid makers Toyota and Lexus (a Honda company). Although the fuel economy gains of hybrid SUVs over standard SUVs don’t approach those of hybrid sedans, the ten or so miles per gallon boost provided is more than enough to push the Escape Hybrid to the top of consumers preference lists.
Best Compact Hybrid
The compact market has traditionally been the home of the hybrid due to its preference for economy over style and utility. Although compact hybrids do cost more than standard compacts, the eye-popping 70+ miles per gallon many compact hybrids boast has been enough to coax the extra dollars out of consumers pockets.
In the compact market, the Honda Insight comes out on top offering the best combination of styling and fuel economy even though it does sacrifice some comfort and engine power to maintain its eye-popping mpg values.
As with most consumer goods, which hybrid car is best depends a lot on personal preference and, in the case of a car, family budget. But, with the increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles, there’s a good chance that there will be a viable hybrid option available the next time you shop for a car.