Hybrids are quickly gaining in popularity, offering drivers a great way to improve day-to-day fuel economy while still being practical for long commutes. There are a range of options to choose from including plug-in, standard or mild hybrid, each coming with different pros and cons. For example, plug-in hybrids often offer a realistic commutable range solely on electric power, however, they are not practical for everyone; not all of us have somewhere we can plug-in a car to charge it. In this case, the best option may be a standard hybrid or mild hybrid (mhev).
Most standard hybrid and mild hybrid systems work by recuperating excess energy when the engine is running, as well as harnessing excess power through regenerative braking. This energy is then used to charge the battery, so it can either power the car solely for short periods during low power outputs (i.e. setting off), or can provide an extra boost of power while ensuring carbon emissions and fuel economy stay low.
To help make it easier to find the right hybrid for your requirements we've taken a look at five of our favourite non-plug-in hybrid cars currently on the market.
The new Kia Niro hybrid provides economical fuel efficiency with all the practicality of a small SUV. The parallel hybrid system combines a 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine with an electric motor. This delivers an impressive 139bhp while CO2 emissions are a mere 88g/km. The engine is teamed to a six-speed automatic gearbox which enables the car to switch between power sources almost imperceptively. This responsive and seamless system ensures great drive quality, while the cars practical size and conventional stylish design mean it’s ready for wherever your journey takes you.
Plus, unlike many non-plug-in hybrid cars, boot space isn’t compromised by the batteries either, as they are small enough to be housed under the back seat.
As with all Kia’s the equipment on offer is generous, including features like a colour touchscreen infotainment system that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so is sure to impress the most tech-savvy out there. In addition, the Niro comes with Kia’s unrivalled seven-year-warranty, for complete peace of mind motoring.
If saloons are more up your street, then the Hyundai Ioniq is your go-to choice. The well-equipped, practical and smart interior is combined with state-of-the-art hybrid technology ensuring you no longer have to accept compromise.
The petrol engine, electric motor and lithium-ion polymer battery function together to offer optimal efficiency. When setting off and travelling at low speeds, the battery can power the way and with no fuel engine kicking in, it offers almost silent motoring. However, when more power is required i.e. travelling at higher speeds or travelling uphill, the petrol engine and electric system work in combination to deliver consistent power. Finally, when decelerating the system recuperates energy through regenerative braking.
The interior is kitted out with plenty of stylish touches and incorporates everything you need to keep you connected. On top of this, the Ioniq won’t break the bank to own thanks to relatively low-cost price and low running costs.
For those who need something nippy around town then the hybrid Suzuki Swift is a sensible choice. The SHVS mild hybrid system has been specifically designed to help reduce emissions while improving performance. It’s a relatively small system, but it certainly gives the petrol engine a boost for more seamless acceleration, without compromising on efficiency.
Suzuki has kept the system lightweight to ensure it doesn’t add any extra weight to the vehicle. The belt-driven integrated starter generator assists the engine during acceleration while regenerative braking helps to reduce CO2 emissions.
The good news is that Suzuki’s SHVS technology is also available in Suzuki’s Baleno and Ignis models too.
Another great option for those looking for a classically styled saloon, the Ford Mondeo hybrid brings a new dynamic to a much-loved car.
The refinement of the Mondeo has been combined with Ford’s advanced hybrid system for better fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions. On the motorway, its distinguished manners make it a breeze to drive, which adds to its appeal as a fantastic company car.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine and batteries combined produce a powerful 190bhp. What's more, the electric motor can power the car right up to 85mph if you accelerate gently.
Inside it benefits from the same luxuries you’d find in petrol and diesel variants, however, boot space is slightly more limited in hybrid form.
When space for all of the family is at the top of your car buying needs list then the CR-V hybrid is ideal. As Honda’s largest SUV it offers ample space for the entire family to relax on their journey.
Honda’s Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver a diesel-like fuel economy. This innovative system has been designed to use fuel and electrical energy in the most efficient way possible. The engine supplies power to an electric generator which delivers power to the electric propulsion motor with any excess energy being diverted back to recharge the batteries.
You get the same accurate handling, comfortable driving position and range of technology available on conventionally-fuelled CR-V’s. So it really is a no-brainer.
So, there you have it five of our favourite mild and standard hybrid cars. So if you're keen to start seeing the savings hybrid technology can offer without the faff of charging, then why not contact us or find your local Stoneacre branch to find out more.
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