10) Chevrolet Volt
The Volt is a hybrid car with plug-in capability. It was first rolled out by GM in 2010. The primary driving force comes from two electric motors that work in unison to optimize efficiency and conserve electric charge. They also provide more than sufficient power and torque.
When the battery is depleted, the car’s internal combustion engine runs a generator to charge it. The 1.5 litre direct injected engine is highly efficient.
The car can run for 53 miles on electric power alone. With a full charge and a full tank of gas the car can run for 420 miles. Chevy expects that with regular charging, owners will be able to drive as many as 1,000 miles before each fuel stop.
The car also has regenerative braking to conserve energy and improve mileage, as well as range. Starting retail price in the US is $33,220.
9) Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
The e-tron is the plug-in hybrid version of Audi’s popular A3 series car. It was first unveiled in 2013 and is currently available in multiple markets.
The A3 Sportback e-tron is powered by a 1.4 litre TSI gasoline engine. This engine produces 148 bhp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The petrol engine is complemented by an electric motor which can produce 101 bhp. Both units are integrated into the car’s six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The e-tron comes with all the technology and features one may expect of an Audi. Keyless entry and start/stop, panoramic sunroof and xenon headlights are standard features.
The 8.8 kWh battery pack charges overnight and provides the car an all-electric range of 31 miles. The car’s charging socket is right behind the Audi logo on the front grille. US retail prices start from $38,900. Audi also offers home installation of solar panels coupled with the car’s home charger.
8) Ford C-Max
The C-Max has evolved from the Ford Focus platform to become the company’s first hybrid-only line of vehicles in their home market. First produced in 2003, the cars are now available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. US retail prices start from $24,120.
The C-Max makes plugging-in optional. When plugged-in the car’s battery pack will fully charge in about 2.5 hours, using the 240 volt home charging option. With the standard 120 volt convenience cord it would take overnight, or about eight hours.
The C-Max has an EV Mode which lets drivers choose between electric only, gasoline only, or a combination of gas and electric driving modes. The car’s workhorse is a 2.0 litre, Atkinson cycle inline four, gasoline engine. Electric motors run from a 7.6 kWh lithium ion battery pack. The combined gas-electric output is 188 hp. Top speed is 85 mph in pure electric mode and 115 mph in hybrid mode.
7) Honda CR-Z
Honda’s sport hybrid coupe is being offered in three variants, with US retail prices starting from $24,440. The car’s 1.5 litre, inline four cylinder, aluminum alloy, 16-Valve, SOHC, i-VTEC engine with MPFI and drive-by-wire throttle system produces a max power of 130 hp @ 6000 rpm when combined with the output of the car’s electric motor. The motors run from a 15 kW lithium ion battery pack.
The car’s gearbox is a six speed manual transmission with continuously variable transmission. Aspiring to be a true sports car, the CR-Z offers a 3-mode drive system with sport / normal / economy options. Honda claims that the car can get a city fuel economy of 31 mpg.
Other standard features expectable from a Honda include ABS, EBD with brake assist, tire pressure monitoring system, dual-stage, multiple threshold front airbags, and HID Headlights. The CVT model of the car also has steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
6) Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai’s midsize electric hybrid was unveiled as recently as 2016. The car will be offered in three variants namely all-electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Each variant is based on a dedicated platform with a view to optimize each car’s efficiency, comfort and handling.
Ioniq uses a combination of aluminum and high strength steel for body rigidity, structural strength and weight reduction. Multiple active and passive aerodynamic features give the car a drag coefficient of 0.24.
Hyundai also likes to pack its cars with features. Amenities include a power tilt and slide sunroof, heated front seats, and a 7 inch color touchscreen display audio with apple and android compatibility. Safety features consist of a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and many more.
The 60/40 split folding rear seatback creates versatile space. The car incorporates bio fabrics and creatively recycled plastics to minimize its ecological footprint
5) Lexus CT
With the new Lexus CT, technology inside the cabin gets nearly as much importance as the science under the hood. The car’s driver centric cockpit has been designed to retain all of the driver’s attention on the road.
Lexus mobile app, free for the first year, provides access to all the car’s necessary information and stats such as fuel level, mileage, maintenance alerts and vehicle health reports. It can also remotely start, stop, lock and unlock the car, and makes it much easier to locate the vehicle in a crowded parking lot. The app will send automated alerts to the owner in case a preset speed or distance limit is exceeded. This functionality is useful in case the car is loaned to another driver.
The CT’s 10-speaker premium sound system is meant to provide an immersive entertainment experience. The versatility of a customizable cargo area and five-door access is certainly an advantage as well.
4) Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is probably the best known of all hybrid cars, and has been around for a long time. The 2017 Prius is in its fourth generation. US retail prices start from $24,685.
Toyota’s design improvements for the fourth generation Prius will mean a lower center of gravity and a more rigid car body. These features will translate into better handling and better ride quality. Toyota has even improved the already exceptional aerodynamic qualities of the car, making the external shape slightly different.
The car has also been made lighter. Toyota achieved this by using higher power density batteries, smaller electric motors and advanced gasoline engine technology which improved engine efficiency.
Prius’ fuel economy has improved with every generation. The car is now estimated to get an outstanding city fuel economy of 50 mpg. Prius now also features Toyota’s updated safety features, sensors, monitors and alerts.
3) Toyota Prius C
The ‘C’ denotes city. It means this variant of the Prius costs less than the regular version and still gets better fuel economy during city driving. After verifying this claim in the US by through testing, the EPA ranked the Prius C as the most fuel efficient compact car, save for plug-in hybrids. US retail prices start from $20,150.
The car’s 1.5 litre, aluminum, DOHC, 16 Valve, inline four cylinder engine with variable valve timing produces 73 hp @ 4800 rpm. The engine features sequential multi point EFI with electronic throttle control system, and can be run in EV or ECO modes.
A 25.9 hp sealed nickel-metal hydride battery pack runs the car’s 60 hp electric motor. The combined maximum output of the gas electric hybrid system is 99 hp. The power goes to the front wheels via Toyota’s electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.
2) Toyota Prius Prime
The second generation Prius Prime was unveiled in 2016 and is poised to lead the hybrid car market in the US. Retail prices start from $27,100.
The Prime is powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) powertrain. The primary participant in this system is a 1.8 litre gasoline, port injected, inline four-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine. The sidekick is a dual motor generator drive system. The latter feeds off of an 8.8 kWh lithium ion battery pack.
The Panasonic batteries are cooled by ambient air. Full charge can be achieved in 5.5 hours from a standard 120 volts charging point. Charging from a dedicated 240 volts outlet can be much quicker. The car is capable of running in all-electric (EV) mode wherein the second generator motor can work as a supplemental traction motor.
In the EV mode the Prius Prime’s electric motor generates a maximum output of 68 kW. The car’s all-electric range is about 25 miles. Maximum all-electric speed is 84 mph. With a full gas tank and a full electric charge the car can run for as many as 640 miles.
1) Toyota Prius V
Known as Prius+ in Europe, the Prius V is the US version of Toyota’s full hybrid gasoline-electric compact station wagon. Retail prices start from $26,675.
The powertrain is identical to other Prius models. It’s the 1.8 litre aluminum, DOHC, 16 Valve variable valve timing, gasoline engine with sequential multi point electronic fuel injection and electronic throttle control system. The gas engine produces 98 hp @ 5200 rpm and 105 lb-ft of torque @ 4000 rpm.
The Prius V is packed with a range of safety and comfort features including tire pressure monitor system, vehicle proximity notification system (VPNS), hill start assist, lane departure alert and engine immobilizer.
The car offers ample space for passengers and cargo. The Prime’s combined gas-electric powertrain produces a bit less power than some other hybrids in its class. The positive end of the tradeoff is exceptional fuel economy for a car of this size.