Top 10 Hybrid Cars in the USA
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UPDATED: Apr 25, 2022
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If you’re a fan of American car companies, you’ll be pleased to learn that they came back with a vengeance this year in the hybrid car category. Chevrolet and Ford produced the top-ranked hybrids in 2011, according to U.S. News and World Report.
As the highest-priced vehicles in the category, the Chevrolet Volt and the Ford Fusion aren’t winning any awards for value yet, but their very presence on this list is being celebrated by consumers who were torn between going green and buying American.
What are the Top 10 Hybrid Cars in the USA?
#1: 2011 Chevrolet Volt
With an MSRP of $40,280, the Chevrolet Volt costs over $10,000 more than the second-ranked Ford Fusion, but it delivers performance that some reviewers deem worth that extra cost.
Although it doesn’t have the best fuel efficiency on the list, getting 35 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, the Volt eliminates many consumers’ concerns about low power and limited range.
It delivers solid acceleration and responsive handling, to the point that reviewers like Edmunds describe it as “pretty darn normal.”
The Volt’s electric range is about 50 miles, which is plenty for most drivers, but when the battery runs out of juice, the car’s gasoline engine serves as a generator, providing additional power to the battery so that the car continues to run with no discernible difference in performance.
The car’s battery is also very easy and inexpensive to charge. The only complaint reviewers had about the car’s performance was the somewhat rough ride and braking.
#2: 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid
The 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid was the 2010 North American Car of the Year, and it easily beats the Volt on price ($28,340 starting MSRP) and fuel economy (41 mpg in the city/36 mpg highway).
Although the Fusion’s overall U.S. News and World Report performance rating is a bit lower than the Volt’s, the Fusion still delivers in terms of acceleration.
According to Ford, it actually goes from 0 to 60 in just 9 seconds, compared to 9.5 seconds for its gasoline-powered 4-cylinder cousin.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid doesn’t just deliver innovation under the hood, though. Inside, the car features SmartGauge, which monitors driving efficiency, and the SYNC system, which provides traffic updates and directions, and lets you control your iPod or MP3 players using voice commands.
#3: 2011 Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius has been on the U.S. market since 1997, and it has a well-deserved, loyal following. Although it wasn’t the highest-rated hybrid overall in 2011, it was awarded the honor of “Best Hybrid Car for the Money” by U.S. News and World Report.
At 51 miles per gallon in the city and 48 miles per gallon on the highway, the Prius’ fuel economy is far superior to that of any other hybrid, with a competitive price starting at $23,050.
The Prius also beats out the competition when it comes to interior and cargo space, but it lags in the performance category. Prius drivers can program the car in one of three modes, Eco, Normal or Power.
Reviewers comment that although the Prius delivers on fuel economy, this comes at the cost of power and acceleration.
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#4: 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid
The 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid offers solid but not overwhelming fuel efficiency at 31 city mpg and 35 highway, but this car could be a good choice for drivers who want to go a little greener without sacrificing power and acceleration.
With an MSRP of $26,675, the Camry Hybrid offers a “remarkably normal” driving experience, according to Forbes. Reviewers also generally approve of the car’s handling and braking, and note that the car delivers an exceptionally quiet ride.
#5: 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid
Critics laud the Honda Civic Hybrid stylish design, both inside and out, as well as its reasonable sticker price ($23,950 MSRP) and competitive EPA fuel economy ratings (40 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway). However, the Civic Hybrid’s performance fails to impress.
#6: 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid
Like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Nissan Altima Hybrid is shorter on fuel economy and longer on power. It only gets 33 mpg on the highway and the same in the city, but its performance, described as “agile” and “frisky” by Car and Driver, means that it could be a good choice for drivers who want to go green without going slow.
The Altima Hybrid also gets points from critics for its sporty exterior and its generous interior storage space.
#7: 2011 Honda CR-Z
The CR-Z is Honda’s attempt to overcome the performance/fuel efficiency trade-off that plagues the hybrid car class. While critics applaud the attempt, they worry that this compromise will end up satisfying no one.
The price is appealing, starting at $19,345, but with a fuel economy of 31 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, the Honda CR-Z doesn’t stand out. Similarly, the car is more powerful than most other hybrids, but won’t pass for a true sports car.
#8: 2011 Honda Insight
In terms of fuel economy and outward appearance, the Honda Insight is a close competitor with the Toyota Prius. It also offers a lower price tag ($18,200), good handling and smooth acceleration. However, critics complain that it has a very cramped back seat, and the interior materials are noticeably low-quality.
#9: 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Unreleased)
If you’re in the market for a hybrid, you might want to wait a few months for the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV to go on the market. Reviewers describe this small electric-only car as “cute” and much roomier than it appears from the outside.
Reviewers have also found the range to be only about 50 miles, far lower than the 80 miles advertised by Mitsubishi. However, if you’re looking for a futuristic car for gasoline-free city driving, the i-MiEV could be a good choice for you.
#10: 2012 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive (Unreleased)
Another upcoming future-car is the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, which will go up to 60 mph and has an advertised range of 82 miles. The vehicle will take 8 hours to charge, but if you’re in a hurry, it can be charged from 20 percent to 80 percent in just 3 hours when plugged into a 220-volt outlet.
Which Hybrid is Best for You?
The major trade-off you face when buying a hybrid is power versus fuel economy, but there is also quite a bit of variation in this class in terms of price. The #1-ranked Chevy Volt does the best job of minimizing this trade-off, but it comes with a price tag that brings its value into question.
If your main concern is fuel efficiency, the Toyota Prius and the Civic Hybrid are both good choices for you. If you’re a true pioneer, though, you might even go gas-free with the new all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV or the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.
If you find yourself balking at the price tags on the Prius and Civic Hybrid, you might also consider the Honda Insight, which offers similar performance and fuel efficiency for a bit less.
If you’re not ready to sacrifice performance on the altar of fuel efficiency, though, you still have some impressive options. The Volt is a great choice if you can afford it, but the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Nissan Altima Hybrid and the Honda CR-Z all deliver a fuel efficiency boost without taking all the fun out of driving.
Among these three, the CR-Z offers the lowest sticker price, but you’ll sacrifice some interior comfort to get it.
How much is car insurance for Hybrid Cars?
Auto insurance can depend on a number of factors but hybrid car owners can automatically earn a discount simply for owning a hybrid car. Companies like Travelers Insurance even have dedicated hybrid auto insurance products.
Always shop around for auto insurance and compare several quotes before choosing a provider and if you own a hybrid car make sure to speak with a car insurance company who provides discounts for your commitment to going green!