How to Choose a Car That Is Easier on Your Wallet and the Environment

Hybrid car batteries

Hybrid vehicles are unique in the automotive world. They are certainly not like your traditional car, which requires gasoline to run, nor are they like electric vehicles that need to be plugged in to gather and store energy. Hybrids are somewhere in the middle, using gasoline primarily, but then also using that energy to keep an internal battery charged, and switching occasionally to that electric power to both reduce harmful emissions, and also to conserve gasoline.

A hybrid requires less gasoline in order to run, and therefore is an attractive option for anyone that finds each visit to the pump to be a painful experience. Add to that benefit that some vehicles come with tax incentives in the U.S., worth upwards of $3,000. Purchasing a hybrid is a great choice financially, and for the environment, but if you really want to get the most out of your hybrid, then you will need to choose a vehicle with excellent fuel economy.

When it comes to hybrid vehicles, what cars have the best MPG?

The Honda Insight hybrid is one smart option.

The 2014 Honda Insight hybrid has an MPG rating of 41 in the city, and 44 on the highway. Hybrid fuel economy is by and large better than what can be accomplished in a traditional vehicle, with official MPG ratings being on the conservative side for some efficiency-minded individuals.

Like the 2014 Insight, the 2012 Insight officially rates at 41 MPG in the city, and 44 on the highway, but there is more data from drivers of the 2012 model to show how, on average, users report a 50.6 MPG efficiency. According to the United States Department of Energy, on the low end users have reported 39 MPG, and on the high end, averaged from seven vehicles, users report 63 MPG.

The Honda Civic hybrid is an efficient choice.

The Honda Civic has a slightly larger price tag, but it boasts a 44 city and highway MPG rating. When you factor in what you will save on fuel costs, and how the environment will be better off for the decreased greenhouse gas emissions, the true value of a hybrid vehicle can be difficult to calculate.

So, ultimately, what cars have the best MPG? To a large degree, fuel efficiency depends on the construction of the vehicle. However, a car that is driven with the goal of maximizing fuel efficiency in mind will realize better MPG than one that is driven like a sports car. Hybrid battery power also plays a role. If you are driving an older model, you may want to consider remanufactured hybrid batteries to improve on the amount of power that your battery is able to contribute to the engine. Batteries don’t last forever, whether they are in your remote, your smartphone, your radio, or your car. Most hybrid owners will need to replace their battery at some point, typically between six and ten years of the purchase date.

To get the best MPG out of your hybrid, the United States Department of Energy recommends observing the speed limit, removing excess weight from storage in the vehicle, and not idling. Don’t forget to consider testing your battery pack when it comes closer to it’s warranty expiration, so that you can be sure the car is performing at peak condition. Remember, what cars have the best MPG is largely determined by their make, but it is also influenced by driving habits and battery power.

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