Is the Toyota Prius Still Top of the Hybrid Class?

For a growing number of drivers, being green matters more than anything else: more than performance, more than price tag, and more than personal tastes. It’s great if this is your priority, but let us tell you something really important: just because you’re committed to saving the planet, you don’t have to settle for a rubbish car.

We know, you’ve heard all of the horror stories, but modern-day hybrids just keep on getting better and better. With manufacturers all desperate to launch the greenest and most efficient electric and hybrid vehicles – ones that will wow consumers and have them flocking to buy them – there are plenty of good choices to choose from.

Here are the best of the best…

#1: BMW i3 Range Extender

Prius is to ‘hybrid’ what Kleenex is to ‘tissues’, so you might be surprised to find that the former no longer holds top spot in its class. That honour has been taken over by the BMW i3 Range Extender – a truly superb supermini. Offering a fantastic drive and plenty of power, sitting inside one is quiet, comfortable, and oddly refined. With a decadent interior design in keeping with the rest of the manufacturer’s models, it’s a truly delightful little car for helping you to navigate the suburban jungle.

#2: Toyota Prius

This list would not have been complete without the Prius, and although it’s no longer taking top spot, it’s not too far off the mark. The world’s best-selling hybrid for a reason, it offers drivers reliability, refinement, and incredible fuel economy. The latest incarnation is also pretty fun to drive, so that rather than being dull like previous versions, it now offers a punchy performance and plenty of mod cons to go with it, from keyless go to eco-driving displays.

#3: Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Hybrid number three is an offering from Volvo, and one of our favourites on the market. Not only refined and surprisingly fast, it also offers seven seats to help accommodate all of the family. A large SUV, it blows its many competitors out of the water, with plenty of space in the boot and cabin, and a pretty amazing price tag too. Able to travel 25 miles on a fully charged battery before the engine cuts in, it’s environmentally friendly and eminently practical to boot.

Who will be next to create a new and exciting hybrid to add to this list? Whether it’s a new offering from Peugeot or another take on the Prius, the sector is only set to keep getting better.

~ by velofinds on September 1, 2009.

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