The hybrid market is growing every day with new models coming out constantly and even more in the planning stages.
Hybrid vehicles have now been on the market long enough for good ones to be available on the used car market.
Like many other types of vehicles, hybrids run the full gamut of sizes and market segments. There are small hybrids in the compact sedans and hybrids in full-size SUVs. It’s somewhere in the middle that most of the current hybrid models live.
Unfortunately, for those interested in moving into a hybrid, they do tend to cost close to 20 percent more than the gas version. There are some hybrids that start around $20,000 and they go up from there. Almost every auto maker has a hybrid out on the market or one coming out. This is good for the consumer in that as more vehicles become available, the price will drop making them more accessible to more people.
There are two types of hybrids - those that focus on performance and those that focus on fuel efficiency. The performance oriented hybrids do offer decent fuel economy – around 20-30 miles per gallon but the more fuel efficient variations offer between 35 and 48 mpg.
Due to the hybrid system, the interior of these earlier models were smaller and took up much of the back seat or cargo space. The new ones have improved somewhat although there is still room for improvement. Some of the hybrid vehicles are large and can carry up to seven passengers, like the Toyota Highlander. Then there is the Hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon, both of these vehicles can carry nine passengers. The cargo area is still not the same as the gasoline versions because the batteries require space. Because of the batteries, the rear seats can’t fold down the same in other vehicles and there is no under-the floor storage. The load that a hybrid can carry may be slightly less but is usually comparable to the non-hybrid version.
There’s been some concern over the maintenance costs of owning a hybrid. At this point, after eight years on the market, the hybrids are appearing to be on par with normal cars. Tires wear evenly and the oil changes and routine maintenance are the same. The one thing that is uncertain is the replacement cost of the batteries. As far as safety goes, hybrids appear to be as safe as gasoline vehicles.