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Hybrid cars are gradually becoming more popular in the UK as motorists search for greener alternatives and try to avoid extortionate prices at the pump.
Hybrid cars are a great option for families who are looking to reduce the day-to-day running costs of their main family car. The high mpg figures coupled with cheap tax rates and the fact the Government are currently offering a £5,000 grant for plug-in hybrids, are just some of the reasons theses cars are so appealing.
There are two types of hybrid car currently on the market. Hybrid cars that come with a small electric motor to improve the efficiency of a traditional engine, and the newer type of hybrid which uses a traditional engine to improve the range of the large electric motor that powers its wheels. The newer version can be plugged in at home to charge up the batteries and then driven on electric power alone, or be filled up at the pump, making it highly versatile for busy family life.
Below, Trusted Dealers take a look at seven of the best family hybrid cars currently available on the market.
If your budget will stretch this far, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid offers the ultimate in family travel. It’s extremely well-built and incredibly stylish while families can take great advantage of the electric-only range. To drive, the S E-Hybrid is refined and offers the maximum comfort to passengers. It’s perfect for short-journeys, but if you cover a lot of mileage it might be worth looking lower down the range.
The Citroen DS5 is the top model in Citroen’s DS range – a range produced by Citroen to appeal to those buyers seeking a more upmarket look and feel to their family car. Futuristic in looks, the Hybrid4 model mixes a diesel engine, which drives the front wheels, with an electric motor mounted on the back axle. It has excellent green credentials and is capable of achieving 74.3mpg on the combined cycle with low CO2 emissions of just 99g/km, meaning you’ll be exempt from road tax. To drive, the DS5 is refined and handles well – it also sports a well-built cabin so passengers can get comfy in the back. A five-star maximum crash test rating from Euro NCAP completes the package, making the DS5 a highly appealing family hybrid.
The Golf GTE is a great choice for those with small families. It can return a whopping 188mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 35g/km. Furthermore, it’s a fast car, capable of reaching 0-62mph in just 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 138mph – figures that do not differ greatly from the Golf GTI. For short trips, the GTE can run on around 30 miles of battery power alone, meaning families sticking to the school run and local trips in the car need never use any petrol. The best thing is that the GTE has all the great qualities we love about Volkswagen such as a comfortable, well laid out cabin, strong build quality and it’s a fun drive too.
The latest Prius Plug-In from Toyota has come a long way since the original Prius was launched and is now capable of returning 108.6mpg with emissions of just 59g/km. The new moderations are thanks to advanced batteries capable of carrying more charge than that of the standard car. Furthermore, the Plug-In version can drive up to 12.5 miles on battery power only, and at speeds of 62mph. In comparison to rivals, the Prius offers a significant amount of standard kit to include a sat-nav and leather upholstery, which when you take into account the £5,000 government grant, makes the plug-in Prius a very reasonable car to buy and own.
For the ultimate hybrid family car, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV fits the bill. It’s cheap, costing around the same as a conventional diesel Outlander once you’ve factored in the Government’s £5,000 grant. It’s petrol-electric, which means it can either run on fuel or electric power alone (a maximum of 32 miles for the latter), meaning short trips are achievable if you haven’t time to fill up the tank. Furthermore, the Outlander PHEV is exempt from road tax and thanks to its combined engine, offers excellent fuel economy of 148mpg and low CO2 emissions of just 44g/km.
The Volvo Estate is the ultimate family car, so it makes excellent sense that Volvo should bring out a Plug-In hybrid to compete against the growing list of family-orientated hybrid cars. The plug-in version of the V60 is capable of achieving a high 148.7mpg and emissions are as low as 49g/km. Furthermore, it can travel on battery power alone for around 30 miles – not bad credentials for an estate car! The V60 Plug-In is even more comfortable than the conventional V60 thanks to its silent electric motor, but luggage space in the boot will be compromised due to the car’s batteries. The drawback to the V60 Plug-In is its extremely high price tag – it’s expensive in comparison to many rivals.
If you’re looking for an upmarket hybrid car, the Mercedes C-Class is a great choice. It combines a 2.1-litre diesel engine with an electric motor to produce an impressive performance, accelerating from 0-62mph in just 6.4 seconds and with a top speed of 157mph. But despite its power, Mercedes remain confident the car can cover up to 78mph with emissions of 94g/km, although it’s worth noting that if you opt for the 19 inch alloys, emissions jump up to 104g/km meaning you’ll become eligible for road tax. Inside the C-Class 300 BlueTec, the cabin provides all you’d expect from this prestigious badge – plenty of equipment and maximum comfort for passengers, and the drive is smooth and refined, as you’d expect from this prestigious badge.