In these times of high gas prices people have been passing over traditional vehicles and opting for hybrid cars, because of the hybrid car MPG. Although hybrids are better for the environment, because they have a smaller carbon footprint, do they offer the better mileage that we have come to expect when compared to their diesel or unleaded counterparts.
Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid development ever since they introduced the Prius in 2000. They have extended the hybrid option to nearly all of their models including the best selling car in America, the Camry. When equipped with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, the Camry achieves 33 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. The city mileage is good when compared to the 22 MPG city of its unleaded cousin, but the traditionally powered Camry achieves almost the same highway mileage, coming in at 32 MPG.
Honda has been in the hybrid market for almost as long as Toyota, and is offering a hybrid version of its top selling Civic for the 2010 Model year. The hybrid version of the Civic is able to achieve 40 MPG in the city and 45 MPG on the highway. This is much better than the unleaded version, which comes in at 25 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway.
Fords entry into the hybrid market comes in the form of the midsize Fusion. In its hybrid form, the Fusion is able to achieve 41 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. The Fusion’s unleaded cousin achieves an expected 22 MPG in the city, but is very close to the hybrid’s highway mileage, at 31 MPG.
Chevrolet’s foray into the popular hybrid market is the Malibu. The hybrid Malibu achieves a disappointing 26 MPG in the city and an expected 34 MPG highway. The unleaded version is a close match to the hybrid with a 22 MPG city and 30 MPG highway. With the hybrid offerings form Ford, Honda, and Toyota achieving much better mileage in the city, and the unleaded version almost matching the hybrid’s fuel consumption, the Malibu doesn’t appear to be a good value.
Volkswagen doesn’t currently offer a hybrid for the American market, but they have been at the forefront of diesel development for more than thirty years now. For the 2010 model year, Volkswagen offers a diesel option on both the Golf and the Jetta, with both of them achieving 30 MPG city and 42 MPG on the highway. Their unleaded counterparts achieve class expected, 23 MPG city and 30 MPG on the highway.
The question of whether to buy a hybrid or not really depends more on where they are going to be driven the most. If purchasing a car that is going to see mostly stop and go city traffic, then the hybrids from Ford and Honda would be the better buy. If most of the driving is going to be on the highway, then the diesel offerings from Volkswagen come out on top. If fuel mileage is of no concern and the environmental impact of the vehicle is the main concern, then they best choice would be a hybrid.