Many of the new cars rolling out of factories in 2011 will be hybrids. Hybrids are growing in popularity as more drivers want to do more for the environment than use eco-friendly engine oils, and as high gas prices persist. Hybrids are also becoming more affordable, but whether you want middle class or luxury, there’s always car financing available.
With a hybrid, when you get a car inspection, you’re certainly not going to fail the emissions test. Hybrids offer high fuel-efficiency, fewer emissions and, overall, they save you money on gas. Here’s our list of the top hybrid cars of 2011.
2011 Toyota Prius
At 50 miles per gallon, the best rating in its class, the Prius continues to set high standards for hybrids. This third version comes with 22 percent more power and, of course, better fuel efficiency than the previous model. The various driving modes allow the driver to control fuel consumption and throttle response, and for greater fuel efficiency, the Prius system returns part of the gases that didn’t burn back into the combustion chamber.
2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
Kia’s first ever hybrid comes racing into the market at full speed. With an estimated 40 mpg and a lithium polymer battery, this car is up to competing in the fight for top hybrid.
The Optima hybrid comes with a fully electric, zero-emission mode and an automatic engine shutoff to eliminate unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions. These features, as well as high fuel-efficiency and a sleek look, put the KIA Optima in the top five.
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Hyundai was the first auto maker to integrate a highly efficient lithium polymer battery pack, and the Sonata Hybrid puts out 37 mpg — not the highest miles per gallon by any means, but it’s competitive.
The Sonata Hybrid is affordable and seems to be in its own class for style. Hyundai has put a lot of effort into styling and it shows, so this Sonata isn’t just good for the environment — it looks good too.
2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
A bit more expensive than the other hybrids on our list, the MKZ is definitely worth the price if you like cool features. Drivers get real-time feedback about their level of fuel and battery use, and a program lets the driver see how their driving habits affect the vehicle’s fuel economy.
Surprisingly, the MKZ hybrid has the same $35,000 base price as its V6 gas engine counterpart. At 41 mpg and with 191 hp, this car gives good mileage with a notable kick. Its smooth ride and luxury features place it in hot competition with other 2011 hybrids.
2011 Honda Civic Hybrid
At 41 mpg and with one of the lowest base prices, the Civic Hybrid has styling and features very similar to those of the Civic sedan. Tight handling and smooth driving allow it to keep up with other cars in its class.
Under certain circumstances, the Civic Hybrid can turn off all of its cylinders and run on only the electric motor. Although it doesn’t completely shut off its engine like some other hybrids, through this feature it nonetheless saves around the same amount of fuel.