Once upon a time, the hybrid car was lauded for its ability to reduce the gas mileage for vehicles, but it was praised for little else. After all, they lacked the aesthetic allure of the sleek sports cars or the masculine appeal of large, tough trucks. However, many of today’s hybrids offer all the comfort and features of their full-sized gasoline counterparts on top of their unbelievable gas mileage. Moreover, the options have increased tenfold, providing consumers with the ability to capabilities to find the ecofriendly vehicle that best suits their lifestyles.
Before we dive into the specific models that are available, let’s address the elephant in the room; price. Yes, the initial price tag of hybrid cars tend to run higher than their gasoline-fueled colleagues, but you can actually save money in the long-run. Not only will you spend less on gas, but you can enjoy perks like discounted insurance and higher resale value; many states are providing additional bonuses, like rebates and tax reductions. You can put the money you’re saving towards paying off the initial auto loan, which is especially helpful if you are saddled with higher payments because of bad credit; sites like this will help you shop around for the best deal.
So, having established the practicalities, let the daydreaming begin! The following is a list of the top 5 hybrid cars of 2014:
2014 Toyota Prius V – Base MSRP – USD 26,750
The Toyota Prius V is totally different than its cousin, the Toyota Prius. They have different body styles and different materials. The Prius V is more spacious, and is more of a standard wagon/hatchback style. Granted, this appearance has a very specific kind of appeal that is a bit edgier than the other sedans in this list. Despite its unique aesthetic though, it offers gas mileage that is equal to other hybrids. The Prius V has exceptional gas mileage from its net 134 horsepower engine—at an estimated 44 city/40 highway; it is nothing to look down your nose at. Unfortunately, the spacious interior and excellent fuel economy are the only strong points of the Prius V. To put it nicely, the interior is…minimalist. Of course you can add upgrade packages, but the base models of the competition outclass the Prius V entirely. The steering, handling, and braking are predictable…but they don’t stand out. The Prius V is a great car for a family that wants to have an affordable vehicle, with great fuel economy, loads of space, and good safety features.
2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Base MSRP – Not Available
Pricing information for the 2014 Sonata Hybrid is not yet available but, to give you a general idea about what to anticipate, the 2013 Sonata Hybrid has a Base MSRP of USD 25,650. The 2014 model does have upgrades to fix some steering and handling issues found in the 2013 model; unfortunately, even the fixes are not enough to compete with in-class rivals. The handling is still bumpy on the 2014 Sonata Hybrid, and transitioning from stand-still is not as smooth as the competition. The Sonata Hybrid has more horsepower than rivals at 159 and performs well on the highway, especially in overtaking and passing situations. However, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid also falls short of rivals in fuel economy; rated at 36/40 MPG—the best in class is closer to 50MPG highway. The interior of the Sonata is nice, but again; it is outclassed by other cars on this list. In general, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a good car and a fair offering; but it is simply not as good as the competition in the areas that matter like fuel economy, performance, and interior.
2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid – Base MSRP – USD 26,950
The 156 horsepower 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid has great fuel economy at 43 city MPG and 39 highway MPG. Even better, the Camry actually does deliver that MPG in real life. Unfortunately, the Camry Hybrid falls short where the interior is concerned—it is more than serviceable, but just does not compare to the No. 1 & 2 picks. Additionally, the Toyota Camry is sluggish in handling and acceleration compared to the No.1 and No. 2 picks. But, the Camry absolutely excels in the standard by which all hybrids are judged—gas mileage. With the track record that Toyota has for building long-lasting and well-performing vehicles, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is definitely worth looking into.
2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid – Base MSRP – USD 27,200
The 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid has a very nice interior that sets it apart from most of the competition. The Fusion Hybrid is also lauded for its handling capabilities and its responsiveness on the road. This is particularly surprising when you consider that the Ford Fusion Hybrid has just 141 horsepower, a number that is significantly less than its rivals. However, this is not a perfect vehicle. One would expect that its small engine would receive stellar gas mileage; unfortunately the Fusion simply does not deliver the real-world gas mileage that other hybrids offer. Ford claims the Fusion offers 47MPG city AND highway miles.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid – Base MSRP – USD 29,155
The world champion of the internal combustion engine (in my opinion) has gotten hybrid engines right as well. Like the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Honda Accord Hybrid is packing a 141 horsepower engine; but the Accord Hybrid has better real world gas mileage (45 MPG City and 50 MPG Highway) than all the other contenders. The 2014 Accord Hybrid accomplishes the stunning fuel economy without sacrificing style, features or performance. Moreover, it has an interior that is every bit as nice as the Ford Fusion. For having all the function and aesthetic elements consumers have come to expect from a mid-sized gasoline Sedan AND being a very fuel efficient hybrid, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid won the Green Car Reports Best Car to Buy Award…and this will certainly not be the last award for. Honda Accord Hybrid.
Gone are the days of limited features, weird styling, and lacking performance in the name of great gas mileage. Today’s hybrids are CARS…in every sense of the word. They can go fast, they are strong drivers, and offer all the creature comforts that we expect. This list gives a good overview of the top hybrid models offered for the next model year and compares them. I hope it is helpful in choosing the right hybrid car for you. Happy hunting!