It's too bad the marketing gurus at GM couldn't quite find the target when the Chevy Volt was first introduced a couple of years ago. It seemed the automaker spent way too much time telling consumers the Volt wasn't a hybrid than it did talking about more important matters, like fuel economy and good looks. Since the term "plug-in hybrid" has become much more popular, the automaker seems more content to let consumers call it what they may. Has Chevy finally got its act together for 2013 with this former Motor Trend Car of the Year? You be the judge.
Fuel Economy: 62 MPG-E
Acura has been going through a bit of an identity crisis the last few years, with more misses than hits and unfortunately, the ILX Hybrid is probably not going to save the day. With a MSRP of $28,000, Acura offers the ILX Hybrid at a price lower than a lot of competitors in the luxury hybrid arena and from that standpoint, it may be worth a look. But lackluster style and doggedness on the road way call into question whether this model lives up to its luxury price tag.
Fuel Economy: 39 city/38 hwy/38 combined
With its ever-growing Prius family, Toyota seems intent on creating a Prius for everyone. Looking and moving every bit like its fraternal twin, the Third Generation classic Prius, the 2013 Prius Plug-in gives Prius fans what many have suggested they've been missing: the ability to plug-in and drive all-electric. Targeting city dwellers who need to get from point A to point B to point C and home again, this Prius should have its owners avoiding the gas pump. If you plan to take longer trips on a regular basis, but still have your heart set on Prius ownership, you will probably be happier with another model, like the Prius v.
Fuel Economy: 95 est. mpge/50 estimated hybrid-mode mpg
Ford has announced its intention not to offer a non-hybrid version of its very popular C-Max Hybrid in the U.S. In an obvious move to improve its standing in an arena where Toyota casts a long shadow, Ford's emphasis on the C-Max Hybrid seemed well-placed as the vehicle quickly became the fastest selling hybrid in history. And although it hit a few bumps in the road when Consumer Reports presented it with the dubious honor of having the largest discrepancy between posted fuel efficiency and what is actually attainable, this versatile little five-passenger hybrid continues to attract a strong and loyal following, while Ford makes no bones about the fact it is pitting its C-Max up against the Prius. Looking for a plug-in version? Opt for the C-Max Energi.MSRP: $25,995
EPA Fuel Economy: 47 city/47 hwy
The 2013 Toyota Prius v is the big boy of the Prius family, with an expansive 67.3 cubic feet, giving it the edge for roominess over several small SUVs. That's enough cargo carrying capacity to handle nearly 100 grocery bags. All that room and impressive fuel economy makes the Prius v a strong competitor for families with a full social calendar. New Prius v owners are likely to be pleasantly surprised to find the Prius v's versatility is not confined to its cargo carrying capacity. In fact, this hybrid offers a surprising number of seating and cargo configurations.MSRP: $26,650
Fuel Economy: 44 city/40 hwy. estimated mpg