Consumer Reports Says Hybrids Are The Smart Way Right Now, Here Are 3 Reasons Why | So Good News
Hybrid cars have come a long way since the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight before that. Hybrids are no longer the only option in the automotive market but they are front and center for every consumer.
With a battery pack and an electric motor to support the engine, it’s clear that the performance will pay off. However, there are many goals that hybrids fulfill that make them great cars. Using a Consumer Reports (CR) analysis, here are three reasons why hybrids are the best.
Hybrids get more fuel economy
While fuel efficiency may seem like a no-brainer, consumers may have a problem with the high sticker price. Most hybrid cars are still more expensive than internal combustion engines (ICE). However, higher initial costs will mean more savings down the road.
In 2015, Consumer Reports found that it took at least eight years for owners of hybrids to recoup their money. With oil prices high in 2022 and hybrids falling in price, they believe the timing is off. CR says the payback period is four years at $4.00 per gallon and 12,000 miles driven per year. At a dollar less per gallon, that time increases to five years. However, the more money is driven, the more money they save.
Integrated and easy to use
The popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing, but they need a car wash and time to build them. Unlike EVs, hybrids do not need to be recharged. They use the same fuel as ICE cars found at any gas station.
Many may think that hybrids are hard and easy to break, but this is a common mistake. For example, hybrid brakes generate electricity and less wear for longer brake life. While replacing the hybrid battery can lead to expensive repairs, the costs are going down. CarBrain says replacing the entire hybrid battery on a Prius C, including parts and labor, can cost up to $9,000. Regardless, it’s not much more expensive than replacing an ICE engine in other cars. Consumer Affairs reports that full engine replacement starts at $4,000 and can exceed $10,000.
The combination is good to drive
CR’s analysis shows that hybrid models of many vehicles have more power than gasoline-only vehicles and easier acceleration. Electric assist can fill gaps where the engine fluctuates between high and low RPM, such as between gear changes. Although the ICE engine does most of the work on the road, the hybrid system can increase the response, especially when stopping.
Hybrids also drive better because of their affordability. While they can pay back owners over time through fuel savings, some hybrids also have a lower cost. Fewer are less expensive than equivalents with only oil. For example, the Ford Maverick XL and XL Hybrid are priced the same at $22,195, CarBuzz reports. According to Lexus, the gasoline-only NX 350 starts at $43,100, while the hybrid version is only $42,700.
Once you switch to a fat-free product, you’ll never go back
Hybrid cars use energy that would otherwise be wasted in driving. Whether it’s through assisting the ICE drivetrain at low RPM or generating electricity through regenerative braking, it’s ultimately more efficient.
CR reports that many hybrid owners said they would buy the same car again. Regarding the CR test, they recommend 84% of the hybrids, compared to 53% of all tested varieties. So, if hybrids are good enough for professionals, easy to use, and easy to drive, what’s not to love?
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