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February
22
2016

Top 5 Least Expensive Hybrids

The current automotive market includes the latest technological developments in their designs. The hybrid models offer considerable advantages in relation to the conventional fuel-powered vehicles: they have two sources of energy. Therefore, you will notice how you save money on gas in the long term. In the past few years, the hybrid vehicles have developed greatly. Nowadays, these cars compete for toe to toe with gas and diesel vehicles; and electric cars, too. Therefore, they must offer clear advantages in order to shine on the international scene.

A hybrid car matches the perfect balance between gasoline/diesel vehicles and electric models. Do you consider there aren’t enough electric power stations for cars in your town? Do you need to move large distance where there are no reliable means to access to an electric plug? If this is your case, you should try a hybrid. On one side, you will rely on the fuel deposit to store enough combustible to complete your journey without any inconvenient. However, you will have more autonomy by having an electrical source of energy – the second engine – in the same vehicle.

Due to the development of the technology, this category of cars has become more affordable. Let’s take a look at the top 5 least expensive hybrids on the market at this moment.

1. Toyota Prius series

This is one of the most emblematic designs of the hybrid category; an authentic hallmark of the hybrid trend in the industry. The Toyota Prius is one of the most complete and developed designs of the automotive sector. In its origins, this car was presented as a compact sedan which received the highest rating in the USA due to the low emissions that its use releases. In fact, the 2016 year model of the Prius has surpassed all the previous records in gasoline efficiency among the unplug-in automobiles.

There is the wide range of prices in this series of hybrid vehicles; you can purchase this car for as few as $20 000 in the market – the Toyota Prius c, which is the smallest and most affordable car. The regular Prius version is valued in about $25 000, an average-priced car that offers appealing features for the users. On the other side, the highest-end design is the Prius v. In order to showcase the pros and cons of the whole Prius series, we will compare the models.

Toyota Prius Generations

The Toyota Prius changed the whole automotive sector when it was first launched in 1995; it was the first mass-manufactured hybrid powered with gasoline and electricity at the same time. Since then, the technology has developed to the great extent. The second generation was presented in 2003, which clearly improved the performance of the previous generation. What’s more, the components of this vehicle had an 8-year warranty of high efficiency. However, this car was not widely accepted at that time due to the relatively high price in relation to gasoline-powered cars.

In 2009, the third generation of this vehicle kicked in. For the second time, the vehicle was released at a more affordable price; it won the Car of the Year Japan Award for the second time due to the great performance of the car. Recently, the fourth generation showed up last year, in 2015. This version of the design is a middle-sized car with 5 doors and a lift back.

Prius Plug-in Hybrid

This model of the vehicle has a 4.4-kWh Lithium-ion battery that boosts the displacements in 23 km in full-electric use. For the time being, there is no release date for the second generation of this model.

Prius V

The largest and most roomy vehicle of this hybrid series has a lot to offer to the users. There are two rows of seats where a maximum of 5 passengers can travel comfortably.

Prius C

The smallest model of the Prius is also the most popular according to the sales figures. The affordable price and the performance on the road provide a high quality-to-price rate.

2. Hybrid Honda Civic

The Honda Civic series has some fascinating models in the roaster that range from compact to subcompact vehicles. During the past few years, these cars have developed to assure an up-market position in the sector. The hybrid electric powered model of these cars was released back in 2001 with a 5-speed manual transmission. Nowadays, the third generation of these vehicles is available in the international market, firstly presented in 2011 and rated to have at least 40% more fuel efficiency in relation to the non-hybrid counterpart. This kind of models can be purchased in a range of prices from $25 000 to $30 000.

The second generation of this car had some issues regarding the battery performance. For instance, some customers argue that the electric battery output was clearly more limited after a software update which boosted the reliance in the gasoline engine instead. However, this update was meant to increase the battery life on the bright side. Even with this update, there were clients who had to change the battery within the first year of use in the vehicles released from 2005 to 2008.

On a more recent note, the third generation vastly improved the battery capacity from 35 kAh to 100 kAh. The battery became lighter and was more powerful at the same time. In addition to the additional improvements in the design, the popularity of these vehicles rose among the users in the USA but did not meet the expectations of the company. On a recent announcement, Honda claimed that this model would be discontinued due to the lack of sales. Fortunately, nowadays you can still find affordable vehicles of this brand in car retailers, which could potentially save you some money on the next purchase.

3. Hybrid Ford-C Max

The Ford C-MAX is also known as Ford Focus C-Max in the automotive market. Ford released a hybrid and a plug-in design in 2012 exclusively in Europe but was also available in New Zealand. At this moment, the price of this vehicles ranges from $26 000 to $31 000 depending on the model, the options, and the equipment. The aim of the company is to create the most appealing and affordable hybrid in America, with a base price of $25 995 when it was first launched in this market.

Ford aimed to surpass the fuel efficiency by their top competitor, Toyota. Their vehicles were rated to reach from 47 mpg to 56 mpg depending on the model at the test. In the most optimal circumstances, the consumption was rated at 5L per 100 km in combined used (city and highway). However, the expected pre-release performance did not meet the real world economy of the cars. Therefore, the fuel consumption was revised and re-rated to be in the range from 45 mpg to 54 mpg (the average consumption being 5.2L per 100 km). As you can see, the difference in the ratings are a bit negligible overall but the latter numbers offer the most precise estimation of the fuel efficiency.
Furthermore, the top speed in full-electric use was tested to be from 62mph to 85 mph (100 to 137 km/h, respectively). From that moment, the use of this vehicle in highway was boosted, as the electric engine was capable of developing required speed. There were some controversies when the vehicles were first launched, some customers claimed to have surpassed the expected mileage but other stated the opposite. After lawsuit procedures and revisions in the designs, the conclusion by Ford was straightforward: driving styles, conditions and many factors cause mileage fluctuation. What is clear is that the price rivals toe-to-toe with other affordable non-hybrid cars in the current market.

4. Honda CR-Z

The Honda commentaries on this model, the CR-Z, state that is the result of combining the 1999-Insight and the 2nd-edition CRX. However, customers do not quite find the similarities as evident as they may expect. To begin with, a hybrid is another type of vehicle which forever changes your conception of driving. On the bright side, this model of cars prices as low as $20 000 in the market; their in-city and highway mileage ranges from 31 mpg to 39 mpg, respectively. In addition to this affordable price and acceptable mileage, we have to note that the cars can potentially reach 56 mpg in combined use when both sources of energy work in sync, on the paper – that is. Quite impressive, isn’t it?

Is this mileage real, though? The only way to make such fuel efficiency reliable was to use the adequate setting in the car. For instance, at low revolutions, the fuel engine is deactivated so that the electric source kicks in. On the highway, the fuel engine takes the lead instead for the most part whenever the displacement keeps a high velocity for a prolonged period of time. There are other features in the design which boost the fuel economy, such as the low noise which lowers the drag coefficient to increase the overall performance at high speed.

The Honda CR-Z is a sports hybrid coupé which develops a strong performance with an appealing price-to-mileage ratio. The marketing campaign adjusted the pricing to the circumstances of the worldwide regions. For instance, in Japan, this vehicle had a starting price of about $25 000. In North America, the price was lower, ranging from $19 000 to $23 000. The affordable prices competed closely with gasoline and diesel models after the releases. Nowadays, the Honda CR-Z remains as one of the most attractive vehicles in the category worldwide.

5. Hybrid Kia Optima

This is another attractive hybrid car which allows a lot of margin for customers regarding price, which averages $25 000 in the market. The mileage ranges from 36 mpg to 40 mpg in city and highway, respectively. When this model was first released back in 2010, there were some driving issues worth considering. Fortunately, the design has highly improved in the past few years so that customers profit from the series of developments that have been implemented at this moment.

On the bright side, there is a stylish look inside and outside this car with high-end interior decoration. About the performance, customer rating points out that highway rides are quite comfortable and mostly quiet. The most relevant problems regarding this vehicle had to do with the braking, the steering wheel, and the bipolar powertrain. In 2013, these issues were gently solved after the regular claims of the customers in order to reliably improve the experience while driving this hybrid.

After the updates, the Kia hybrid had a second first impression to provide to the users. This time, the test was more successful. Despite the skepticism that accompanied the start of this model, Kia has managed to make these vehicles more appealing to the average customer. However, there is yet a lot to improve in this category and the company is engaged in the ongoing work.

Conclusion

In conclusion, hybrid used to be considerably more expensive than regular cars but after years of non-stop work by the top companies in the automotive sector, the situation has improved drastically. Nowadays, the hybrid alternatives are completely affordable provided that there is no longer a real difference in the prices in relation to the no-hybrid versions in the market. What matters in the price is the overall performance of the vehicles and, as usual, the additional features that you pick in your brand-new vehicle.

In this top 5 list, we have displayed the most attractive vehicles which you should check before the upcoming purchase; or include in your wish list. These hybrid cars are highly competitive in every detail, from mileage to driving performance. Comfort is a major concern and so is safety. It is needless to say that the above-listed cars offer the latest measures and developments of the sector for your benefit. This category is highly recommended for most users who need to have a reliable car. So, what are you waiting for to get a hybrid of your own?

 
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