Finding affordable hybrid cars is not as difficult as it once was. Now that many car manufacturers are producing hybrids, the prices have decreased as the technology is no longer brand new. It is important to look into several factors than just the initial price of the car. While many hybrid vehicles are still more expensive than gas counterparts, the driver will save on gas and reduce emissions. The most affordable vehicles are those that manage to stay under $30,000USD.
The Honda Insight was first released in 1999 and is considered one of the most affordable hybrid cars available. The Insight was given the highest EPA rating for fuel economy that is currently available on the market, 70 miles per gallon. The Insight is a hybrid electric car as it runs on both gasoline and electricity. The 2011 model is currently selling at about $21,000USD. While the Insight has great gas mileage this is not the fastest hybrid vehicle available. Though Car and Driver magazine did prefer this hybrid for its fun to drive characteristics.
Honda has also produced two other hybrid vehicles: The Honda Civic and the Honda Accord. The Civic was the first hybrid vehicle to achieve Partial Zero Emission status. This five passenger car managed 50 miles per gallon and has a starting price of just under $24,000USD. The Honda Accord is considered one of the best performance hybrids available and is the second best selling hybrid car in the United States. This Civic is about $2,000 more than its gas counterpart and was estimated that it would take about five years to recover any costs.
The Toyota Camry hybrid stays under $30,000 with a base price of $26,500USD. This is a gas/electric vehicle that was introduced to buyers in 2006. Unlike other affordable hybrid cars the Camry Hybrid uses electric powered brakes, steering and air conditioning. The car can run as a gas-only vehicle, electric only vehicle or both. The dash provides information about power distribution and contains a fuel economy readout. Toyota has been trying to change to look of the hybrid so it can easily be differentiated form the gas only Camry. Gas mileage is only about 30 to 35 miles per gallon, quite a bit lower than other hybrids.
The first hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius is also an affordable vehicle with a price range of $22,000 to $28,000USD. This car gets excellent gas mileage with 51 miles per gallon city driving and 48 miles per gallon highway driving. Some fun features include voice activated navigation and traffic reports with the navigation system. One complaint is the lightness of the vehicle which can make driving in wintery or windy conditions very difficult.
The Ford Fusion hybrid has a base price of $28,000USD and if any extras are included then the car exceeds what may be considered affordable. It has an automatic transmission and typically gets 700 miles to a tank of gas. This is a popular hybrid vehicle that was awarded best in Show when it debuted in 2010. This was Motor trend’s Car of the year and considered one of the top 10 cars of 21010 by Car and Driver magazine. This vehicle created a new benchmark for hybrid cars. It linked the hybrid power train with a fun car that has excellent performance. It has quickly become the hybrid car to own, and is poised to edge the Prius and Insight out of the top spots.