If you travel a long distance on a day-to-day basis, chances are you drive a diesel, but if you travel short to medium distances opting for a hybrid model can help ease fuel costs while reducing your carbon footprint. As the motor industry is slowly phasing out production of diesel engines and moving towards fully electric vehicles, hybrid cars currently sit at the forefront of affordable, environmentally friendly vehicles.
The styling of these vehicles varies drastically between manufacturer, with the likes of Volvo and Volkswagen sticking to their understated design, whereas Toyota and BMW have opted for a more futuristic, almost concept car like designs. In this blog we look at some of the latest and greatest hybrid models available on the market today and whether they look as attractive as the MPG they provide.
The Yaris is the entry-level hybrid model available on the market and depending on which trim level you choose it's by far the most cost effective. The recent face-lift offers a sporty looking bi-tone colour scheme and increasingly modern styling. While the Toyota Yaris is a small economical car, it is not exempt from the London congestion charge unless you opt for the 15 inch alloy wheels, reducing the Yaris' CO2 output to 75g/km and producing a potential average MPG of 85.6. One of the best parts about the Yaris is that it isn't a plug-in electric vehicle, so you don't have the inconvenience of having to recharge every few days, the car will recoup energy from your braking and recharge itself, along with a generator which is powered by the petrol engine.
Following on from the Yaris, the Toyota C-HR is Toyota's first attempt at a cross-over SUV. It's well equipped and is capable of a whopping 74.3 MPG from its 1.8L engine. Out of every reasonably priced hybrid model available, the C-HR has the most futuristic styling and unlike most manufacturers Toyota haven't strayed far from their original C-HR concept car design.
One of the more understated hybrids is the newly introduced Volkswagen Golf GTE, it's the Golf GTI and GTD's frugal brother and gathers an absolutely Goliath average MPG of 156.9 (manufacturer figures, of course). Due to popular demand the model is currently closed for ordering however the more luxurious Audi A3 E-Tron is a similar alternative.
Volvo is one of the manufacturers that are slowly phasing out production of the diesel engine, by 2020 Volvo aims to have a hybrid option for every single vehicle in their range. The XC90 is a luxury SUV with only one hybrid option in the range, the huge T8 plug-in hybrid petrol engine capable of an optimistic 134.5 mpg (manufacturer figure) however realistically you would average around 49mpg. The latest model shares similar face-lift features the rest of the Volvo range is currently undergoing, featuring the updated LED headlights and sleeker body design. Land Rover have provided a very similar methodology to their Range Rover marque, with top-spec models featuring plug-in hybrid options.
While not the most practical hybrid vehicle, the Lexus LC500h has an absolutely stunning design and with the extra fuel efficiency a hybrid provides, this could be among one of the ultimate GT cars, offering a combined average mpg of 44.1. The model features a 10-speed Multi Stage Hybrid 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine, it goes without saying that this isn't on the economical side of hybrids out there however a typical non-hybrid performance car of this calibre would generally average around 22mpg.
Lastly, the car you may have seen on the driveways of the entire Leicester City football team - the BMW i8. One of the most ultra-modern, futuristic hybrid models to date, the i8 is in a league of it's own. After receiving a slight face-lift, BMW now produce the i8 in both Coupe and Roadster format, both capable of 149.8mpg and 134.5mpg respectively.
All in all, hybrid vehicles offer a great opportunity to both save money on fuel costs and look stylish at the same time. While the price point is quite high at the moment, as manufacturers invest into the technology we will hopefully see a reduction in cost over the next decade.