Smart Spending

Five Top Hybrid Electric Cars

Hybrid electric cars have become a common sight on American roadways. Most of these vehicles consist of combination gasoline-electricity hybrids. However, manufacturers have extended hybrids choices to include diesel-electric and all-electric hybrids. For hybrid vehicles, the electric motor increases the total power of the vehicle, which reduces the amount of fuel needed to travel a certain number of miles.

The primary components of a gasoline-electric hybrid include a traditional gasoline engine, fuel tank and transmission. The electrical aspects of the gasoline-electric hybrid systems entail an electric motor, generator, and batteries.

Most automobile manufacturers have committed to bring their own hybrid versions to market.  Electric hybrid automobiles give consumers 20 to 30 gallons more miles per gallon compared to conventional vehicles. With more choices, consumers can choose from sleek and sexy sport cars to luxury sedans. Some manufacturers offer trucks with electric-hybrid technology.

1) Toyota Prius

According to Edmunds, the Toyota Prius is the “standard-bearer when it comes to hybrid vehicles. The vehicle is in its third generation when other   manufacturers are still getting their gasoline-electric hybrids to market.  The Prius follows the tradition of Toyota other products for its reliability and durability.

The company’s   four-door model Toyota Prius (Prius lift back) has become popular with buyers for its high mileage, good acceleration and reasonable price point. Toyota also a version of the Prius hatch back (Prius), and Prius V wagon

2) Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

U.S. News ranks the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid as one of the top affordable mid-size vehicles.  The car appeals to budget-minded consumers because of a base price below its competition. The vehicle receives praise because it does not have a fall-off in performance when compared to its gasoline-only version. The Sonata hybrid has a top-line interior and accelerates well. In addition, Hyundai offers a comprehensive warranty plan to vehicle buyers.

3) Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

Volkswagen is scheduled to announce a hybrid version of the Jetta in the fall of 2012.  The sport hybrid will offer a 1.4 liter gasoline, turbo-charged 150-horsepower engine. The electric motor increase total horsepower to 177. Volkswagen says the new hybrid will average up to 42 miles per gallon.

4) Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford has scheduled introduction of the 2013 C-Max Hybrid in the U.S. market sometimes in the fall of 2012. The hybrid has a shape similar to the Toyota Prius. It has a four-cylinder engine and a light-weight lithium-ion battery pack. The C-Max Hybrid will get up to 44 miles an hour. Look for a plug-in model of the hybrid C-Max (Energi) early next year.

5) 2013 Chevrolet Malibu eAssist

This hybrid represents the introduction of an “all-new” Chevy Malibu. It is listed as a 2013 model with a sportier look and more efficient than the previous vehicle.  The car eAssit system hybrid technology consists of an electric motor, generator lithium-ion battery back. The regenerative braking system enhances fuel efficiency.  The car gets 37 mile per gallon in highway driving.