Among Canada’s most popular hybrid cars, there are three Toyotas, a Honda and a Ford. The list includes the Toyota Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid SUV as well as the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV.
Toyota Prius has been the number one selling hybrid in the world for several years, and it also tops the list in Canada. The Prius is a 1.8 liter, I-4 that gets 98 horsepower. Its hybrid drive with a 202V nickel metal hydride battery increases horsepower to 134. This year a smaller hatchback, the Prius c, and an all-electric model joined the Prius line-up. The Prius offers a 6.1 inch audio/navigation display, Bluetooth capability, and Integrated XM Satellite Radio. The Prius has unique features including side-window defoggers, an all-electric rear-window defroster with a timer, and solar energy absorbing glass to protect occupants from UV rays. It offers exceptional safety equipment and always ranks high on government and insurance safety crash tests. Safety equipment includes front seat frontal-impact bags and seat-mounted side-impact airbags as well as first and second row overhead airbags. The Prius also offers a rear camera for parking. The Prius gets an average fuel economy of 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers or 73.8 miles per gallon.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
The Camry Hybrid offers more horsepower and more room, but the fuel economy hasn’t yet caught up with the Prius. The 2.5 liter, I-4 generates 156 horsepower which jumps to 200 with the addition of the 245-volt hydride battery. It offers the same audio equipment, standard navigational systems and safety equipment as the Prius. The Camry gets an average fuel economy of 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers or 60 miles per gallon. It too scores well on crash tests.
Honda Civic Hybrid
The Honda Civic Hybrid is a four-door sedan that offers a fuel economy of 4.3 liters per 100 km. The 1.4 liters, four cylinder engine works with the electric motor to produce 110 horsepower. The Civic offers similar airbags to the Prius and has one of the highest ratings ever in crash tests. It offers a full navigation system, powerful stereo and infotainment screen as standards.
Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid SUV is a logical choice for Canadians. It has fuel economy that is better than most cars, and it has a super-spacious SUV interior with ample room for five. The 2.5-liter gas engine generates 133 horsepower. This rises to 155 horsepower when combined with the Escape’s electric motor. This gives it almost as much performance power as the V6 non-hybrid Escape, and, of course, the Hybrid manages to do this while still conserving fuel. The Escape Hybrid boosts the gas mileage from 23/28 to 34 city/31 highway. It offers multiple airbags, side intrusion door beams and traction control electronic crash prevention systems.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Highlander Hybrid SUV is the biggest hybrid vehicle on the list. It seats seven or eight, depending on the model. It has a big engine for a big vehicle. It has a 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder, 24-valve engine that features Hybrid Synergy Drive. With better fuel economy than the average SUV and the benefits of four-wheel drive, it is a natural for Canadians who need something to help overcome weather-related road problems. With its much higher price tag, it offers more technology and more luxury than the others.
Joel McClure is a freelance writer and automobile enthusiast from Vancouver, British Columbia.