Insurantly Discusses Top Brands for Hybrid Cars

hybrid car 2015 best looking

The first hybrid car that used hub-mounted electric motors was called the Mixte and was the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche although around the same time another German, Henri Pieper, was hard at work trying to be the first to come up with a hybrid car.

Of course, even if these men were able to put together a working hybrid model, they could not put it into production because at that time, it was difficult to carry around fully-charged batteries.

Today, there are over 20 car brands with their hybrid line that range from sedans to sports cars and SUVs. The top brands though remain constant over the years like Toyota, Ford, Chevy, and several European brands.

 Picture taken from here.

What is a hybrid car? 

noun: hybrid car 

a thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture. “the final text is a hybrid of the stage play and the film”  a car with a gasoline engine and an electric motor, each of which can propel it.

plug in white hybrid car

A hybrid is a vehicle equipped with 2 means of propulsion’s or power-trains, which it can tap into to generate power. These 2 propulsions are electricity and fuel, gas or diesel.  Since it can consume less fuel, it is considered to be more environment-friendly and has lower CO2 emissions.

The government offers lower taxes for hybrid cars as part of a national campaign to improve the quality of outdoor air  and decrease congestion.

Here are 3 types of hybrid vehicles:

  1. Conventional Full Hybrid
  2. Plug-In hybrid
  3. Mild Hybrid or Start-Stop
What are Considered the Best among Conventional Hybrids?

One of the Best Conventional Hybrids – Toyota Prius

hybrid Toyota Prius hatch back

When thinking about possibly the best hybrid, one might argue that the Toyota Prius, a mid-sized hybrid hatchback is at the top of the list. With an endorsement from the California Air Resources Board and the EPA as being one of the cleanest against emission and smog in the United States this hybrid seems to stand out of the crowd.

The powertrains can work separately or together because at low speeds, it uses the electric motor, at medium speeds the car can switch to fuel, and at top speeds, both powertrains are working together. During the stages when there is excess power, it is diverted to charging the batteries.

The Toyota Prius is not the only hybrid that uses this system. Other Toyota hybrids like the Prius+ MPV, Auris and Yaris have it and top hybrid cars from Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Porsche, Volkswagen, Citroen, and Peugeot have it as well.

The Prius First Gen has a gal mileage of 42 mpg and by the third gen, mpg increased to 53 for city driving and 48 for highway. The third generation has an added feature that addresses the issue of being “too quiet” to alert pedestrians with its automatic activation system that alarms when too close to an object or person and cannot be manually shut off.

Among the top hybrid cars in the market today like the Ford hybrid cars and the Honda electric cars, the Toyota Prius has ample cargo space, passenger space and offers you a choice of a sporty hybrid or plug-in. If you want a used Prius, be on the lookout for a 2010-2012 model, which continues to enjoy high value and easy maintenance.

The Best Plug-In Hybrid

The difference between a conventional hybrid car and a plug-in is in the battery size. The plug-in has a larger battery and can run on all-electricity mode for up to 38 miles with the Chevy Volt. However, the 2013 Chevy Volt (98 mpg combined) is not the only plug-in hybrid that is getting the nod from car and engineering experts.

The others are the 2015 Ford Fusion (88 mpg combined), Honda Accord (46 mpg combined) , and the 2013 Toyota Prius (50 mpg combined) – all plug-in models.

Mitsubishi has the diesel Outlander PHEV which is a plug-in hybrid SUV with on-demand 4 wheel drive and gets high marks for being dependable, flexible, and practical. Another diesel hybrid is the Volvo V60 R-design (25 city, 37 highway mpg) which experts report to have more torque than the Corvette Stingray and the Ford F-250.

The 2.4 liter 5 cylinder engine powers the front wheel with a maximum hp of 215. The rear wheels have lithium-ion electric motors with 60 hp. Overall, the 2015 V60 is comfortable, a bit on the heavy side but able to drive well in snow.

Best Used Hybrid Cars 2014 and 2015

The best hybrid cars of 2014 include the Nissan Pathfinder with a combined mpg of 26 and with a better fuel efficiency than the Toyota Highlander even if it has a higher combined mpg of 28. Unfortunately, the gas-only crossover hybrid Pathfinder has no all wheel drive.

If you want an all wheel hybrid SUV, the Lexus RX 450h is the luxury hybrid great for long commutes. It has a combined mpg of 30, superb interior and handling. Of course, being a 2014 model, expect the price to have not dropped significantly from the original sticker price of over $47,300 and insurance rate close to that of a brand new hybrid car.

The best compact hybrid of 2014 is the Honda Civic with combined gas mileage of 45 mpg, affordable price, and good resale value. The cheapest hybrid cars would be the subcompact first gen Prius, the 2010 Mercury Milan, the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, and Honda Insight.

For 2015, a new hybrid car is relatively cheaper today because of lower fuel prices. However, you should expect to spend anywhere from $19,000 to over $25,000. The cheapest new hybrid in the market today that is getting good reviews is still the Prius followed by the Toyota CR-Z, Ford C-Max, Honda Civic, and the Prius Liftback.

Car Insurance for Hybrids

Aside from considering fuel efficiency, performance, and  gas mileage the cost of owning a hybrid vehicle should include maintenance, security features, comfort, and insurance. Thus, factor these in when computing your overall budget.

Discount auto insurance on Hybrid cars

As far as insurance cost is concerned, you will be happy to know that most insurance providers offer discounts of around 10% for hybrid car owners. This is not an automatic discount but will be based on your driving record and driving habits.

Owners of hybrid cars are generally assessed as “more careful drivers” according to repeated studies performed by insurance companies. One reason could be because hybrid car owners are aware of the high cost of repairs, which tend to be more costly compared to traditional cars.

Finally, be ready to discuss risk assessment with your insurance provider.  One tip to reduce the cost of insurance is to keep the list of allowed drivers for your hybrid to a minimum and include their names in the policy.

Owning a Hybrid Car surely saves on gas costs but what about auto insurance coverage?

Getting Discounts on Hybrid Cars

As mentioned above some of the larger insurance companies may support your hybrid car by offering a discount of 10% or more. Companies like Farmers and Travelers give discounts in addition to good driver and other common discounts.

Repair costs

Alternative fuel cars such as the Hybrid tend to have higher costs associated with replacement parts. Insurance companies love aftermarket parts but Hybrid owners tend to gravitate to the manufacturer. This drives of expenses and payouts on insurance claims.

Other car insurance rate factors on Hybrid cars

The vehicle. Insurance companies tend to begin base pricing off the premium cost of the car. If you compared a 2010 conventional car vs a 2010 Hybrid, it costs more to purchase the hybrid.

Technology. Hybrids use innovative technology for development. These parts cost more to replace and to repair. Just to replace a battery can cost well into the thousands of dollars.

The green lovin drivers. You know who you are. You are so excited about your hybrid that you spend as much time driving it as you can. guess what that does with how an insurance company assess risk? Yep it drives up your insurance rate.

What does car insurance coverage generally cost on a hybrid car?

Saving on fuel and perhaps being a responsible green good fella seems appealing but what about auto insurance costs on your hybrid? Well according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety alternative-fuel vehicles tend to cost more to repair and replace than conventional vehicles, which may cost you more in monthly insurance costs.

Watch out pedestrians! Hybrids are quiet cars and you will likely not see them coming. As a result there tend to more pedestrian related accidents that involve hybrid cars.

Furthermore, they also tend to me smaller and accident damage is more extensive thus incurring high costs. Insurance companies are all about risk assessment, and if these hold true that means more car insurance claims filed.



Get a car insurance quote on a Hybrid now

Let Insurantly help you compare auto insurance on your hybrid car. Start below and enter your zip code. Top car insurance companies will be listed on the results page. Make sure you compare multiple quotes as rates can vary greatly from carrier to carrier.


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