10) Toyota Prius V
The new Prius V has all the improvements one would expect in a 2017 Toyota hybrid. The car’s versatile interior boasts 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space with flexible seating and storage configurations. Extensive backseat leg space combines with the car’s height to make rear passenger comfort a priority. The rear seats can also slide and recline. A panoramic moonroof with power shades is available.
Prius V features eco friendly seat materials. The driver gets a heated, 8-way power adjustable seat, keyless entry and push-button start. Dynamic radar cruise control maintains constant distance from the car in front and maintains speed.
An array of available safety technologies includes the Lane Departure Alert (LDA) and Pre-Collision System (PCS). The latter works using forward facing laser radar and a scanning camera. The camera can also detect an oncoming car’s headlights to automatically switch between high and low beams. One of the best features is the available JBL audio with integrated navigation and app suite.
Feature Image © autoweek.com
9) Toyota Prius Prime
Among the best plug-in hybrid cars on the market, the Prius Prime gets a combined fuel economy of 54 miles per gas gallon. The car is currently being offered in three variants, the most feature-packed of which is the ‘Advanced’. It retail in the US starting at $33,100. This cost may be offset by $4,500 in tax credits.
The Prime Advanced keeps all the best features of its other variants and adds some of its own. It has a color head-up display (HUD), intelligent clearance sonar (ICS) with intelligent parking assist (IPA), blind spot monitor (BSM) and rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA). Also standard are integrated LED fog lights and LED accent lights.
The awesome efficiency of the car gives it a total maximum driving range of 640 miles. That means no weekend destination is too far. The Prime achieves this in part by using a dual motor drive system wherein two electric motors simultaneously power the car. This increases acceleration as well as efficiency at highway speeds.
8) Toyota Prius C
For 2017 Toyota offers three Prius c variants which are simply numbered from one to four. The Prius C Four brings in the top end of the range at a starting US retail price of $24,965.
The car’s many positive attributes include a premium audio system with integrated navigation and app suite, a power tilt and slide moonroof with sliding sunshade, integrated LED fog lights, heated front seats and 16 inch alloy wheels. Safety features such as (TSS-C), (PCS), (LDA) and an integrated backup camera are standard in all top end Priuses.
The car’s compact 3.5 inch TFT multi-information display is a most useful gizmo, which incorporates odometer, outside temperature, clock, fuel economy information, hybrid system information, cruising range, trip distance, hybrid system indicator and energy monitor.
Heated front seats, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, cruise control, push button start and remote illuminated entry are also standard on the Prius C Four.
7) Toyota Prius
The Prius is by far the world’s largest selling hybrid passenger car and an icon unto itself. Realizing the value and importance of the car, several governments around the world offer incentives or rebates on its purchase. Even insurance companies offer reduced rates and better deals on the Prius. For some time large corporations including Google offered incentives and rewards to employees who chose to buy Priuses.
The Prius packs a compact and lightweight engine with an impressive compression ratio of 13:1. It provides sufficient power for everyday use and couples with the car’s electric motor to generate more bhp when needed.
The interiors of the 2017 Prius leave little to be desired. Audio, navigation, wireless charging of devices, smartphone compatibility and even sonar are built-in. In addition to accommodating five passengers in ample comfort the car has sizeable storage space.
6) Lexus CT
The CT has the look and feel to qualify as a premium sport compact hatchback. It is also one of the most fuel efficient gasoline cars around.
In addition to its efficient engine and robust hybrid system the car has a number of useful interior features. Standard on the ‘F Sport’ variant, the built-in Lexus app suite provides access to the most used mobile applications using the car’s center console display. 3D city map views, up-to-date traffic info and real time weather reports can be accessed using voice commands. This system can map millions of points of interest and can work in three languages.
The CT offers a subscription-free traffic and weather service via HD Radio, which Lexus claims in an industry first. This feature can assist with the most recent information updates on road congestion and changing weather conditions displayed right on the car’s primary console screen
5) Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai’s first entry into the expanding hybrid compact car market runs on a 1.6 litre four cylinder Atkinson cycle engine. With 40% thermal efficiency this engine puts out a max power of 105 hp and max torque of 109 lb·ft.
Hybrid cars are already a step ahead of conventional vehicles, but Hyundai has endeavored to improve things further with amenities, safety features and design innovations. Some of the Ioniq’s features include a power tilt and slide sunroof, heated front seats, and 60/40 split-folding rear seatback. A 7-inch color touchscreen display audio with Apple and Android compatibility along with a rearview camera also comes in handy.
The car’s efficient shape optimizes airflow to improve active and passive aerodynamic features. Thanks to the Ioniq’s active aero front grille, wheel air curtains, rear spoiler and smooth underbody cover it has a drag coefficient of 0.24. An advanced design and the use of light materials further improve the car’s efficiency.
4) Honda CR-Z
The CR-Z EX-L Navi is the top end variant of Honda’s popular hybrid compact. It is sleek, efficient and practical. With a combined maximum hybrid system power output of 130 hp and features such as the drive by wire throttle system, 3-mode drive system, idle stop and CVT with paddle shifters, it is one of the most feature rich compacts on the market. US retail prices start at $25,090.
Safety enhancements consist of vehicle stability assist (VSA) with traction control, multi angle rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and dual stage, multiple threshold front airbags.
The car also looks good on the outside with HID headlights and fog lights. The driver’s life is made easier by remote keyless entry, illuminated steering wheel mounted controls, textured aluminum pedals, and a customizable 7-inch display audio with electrostatic touch screen. Leather trimmed seats and ambient console lighting add to the interior comforts.
3) Ford C-Max
Ford’s multipurpose plug-in hybrid compact version of the Focus is a versatile and spacious five seater family car that does not look like a futuristic gizmo on the outside.
The gas electric hybrid variant comes with an intuitive voice recognition system which responds to a range of commands. This system can monitor the car’s power flow status and display it on the screen to show how and why the power is being used. It can access charging specifications and use the navigation system to located the nearest charging station. The car’s smart screen has a multitude of customizable settings that can help the driver understand the effects of driving habits on the vehicle’s efficiency.
On the outside the C-Max has the standard 5-door MAV look of a Focus with LED signature lighting and some additional trims. Remote liftgate release and power liftgate features are now available. The available panoramic roof is fixed though, instead of tilting and sliding like in some of the other cars in class.
2) Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Audi’s e-tron is a sensible compact hybrid, even though it’s not the most cost effective option in its class. Being a plug-in, the car can be driven in pure electric mode, which is recommended for short hops. One can come back and recharge, or if the trip gets longer, it’s easy to switch to gas power.
The car’s ‘hold battery’ mode combines the best of both systems. In this mode the car runs on pure gasoline power, preserving the battery charge for later use. The e-tron’s customizable 12.3 inch digital display cluster integrates external devices and makes it a truly driver’s car. An additional 7 inch LCD display is retractable and is perfect for applications such as multimedia or navigation.
Owners can also get the optional ‘Audi connect’ system and integrate functionalities such as Google Earth with 3D satellite imagery for maps, a Wi-Fi hotspot with 4G LTE connectivity for up to eight devices, Twitter, local traffic updates, instant news and many more.
1) Chevrolet Volt
Chevy made the new Volt intelligent and intuitive, as well as efficient. The Volt is powered by two electric motors to optimize efficiency, power and torque.
The car’s ‘regen on demand’ feature can be engaged from a steering wheel-mounted paddle, and starts conserving stopping energy by sending it back to the battery pack.
Recharging the car’s fully depleted battery takes about 13 hours from a standard 120 volt portable charging cord. A better option is the Chevy installed 240 volt charging system, which can do the job in less than half the time.
The car’s intelligence manifests in its location-based charging feature, which uses GPS data to determine charging mode and keeps an account of off-peak utility rates to charge when it is most cost effective. Moreover Chevy’s mobile app allows owners to start, stop, lock and unlock the car from a mobile device. Owners can also remotely send destinations to the car’s navigation system, view vehicle stats and set parking reminders.