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Best hybrids for 2016

By raccars Published

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2016 is shaping up to be the year of the alternatively fuelled car, with hybrids still the most practical option for many. Which are the best hybrids for 2016?

The AFV sector's best hybrids

Incentives such as tax benefits and low running costs have taken alternatively fuelled vehicles from a niche purchase to the fastest-growing element of the market. The AFV sector includes all electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen fuelled cars but for most buyers who want to drive clean and green, hybrids are still the most practical choice. At one time the obvious and only real choice was the Toyota Prius but the hybrid market has expanded significantly and now contains a number of smart looking and smart driving cars. Here are some of the best hybrids for the new year.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Bringing hybrid technology to the small car sector, the Yaris Hybrid can boast 85.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 75g/km. It is powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine, accompanying the electric motor and a CVT automatic gearbox. It's a smooth and relaxing drive but is rather expensive for a small car, starting a £15,295 for the entry level, rather basic model.

Ford Mondeo Hybrid

Ford is about to invest substantial sums into the research and development of new electric car technology, but in the meantime one of its few offerings in the sector is the Mondeo Hybrid. Only the saloon model can be bought in hybrid format, which is less practical than the hatchback and estate formats. It's also a louder and clumsier ride than a petrol or diesel Mondeo. However it's a good choice for company car drivers, with 67.3mpg, CO2 emissions of 99g/km and respectable if not exciting performance. Prices start at £25,295.

Toyota Prius

The world's first mainstream hybrid has been refined significantly over the years and remains one of the best choices on the market. It's now better looking and more economical than ever, with the latest version offering 85mpg and 75g/km in CO2 emissions. It's set to reach forecourts in March 2016, with prices starting at about £23,000.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Outlander is the current best-selling hybrid and is a very practical car. It's spacious, user friendly and particularly economical. As a plug-in hybrid it's particularly suitable for those covering smaller distances on a regular basis, but unfortunately the rather mean fuel tank makes it less practical for long distance cruising. Its vital statistics include fuel economy of 156.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 42g/km, for a price of £29,295.

Lexus IS 300h

Lexus has plenty of hybrid experience and nowhere is this more evident than in the smooth riding, sharp looking IS, a very credible clean and green alternative to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or the BMW 3 Series. It's well built and comfortable but the infotainment system is less than intuitive and it's slightly lacking in refinement under pressure. But it can offer 67.3mpg, 97g/km in CO2 emissions and a starting price of £26,495.

Mercedes Benz C-Class 300 h

This executive model uses a large diesel engine with its electric motor for plenty of power and CO2 emissions of 94g/km. For 78.9mpg, you also get from 0-62mph within 6.4 seconds. The range also includes a plug-in hybrid variant, the C 350 e, but as with many plug-ins this is more practical for shorter journeys, while long distance cruisers are better off sticking with the diesel hybrid. The C 300 h starts at £34,770.

Volkswagen Passat GTE

Given the recent rush of adverse publicity, it would be easy to forget that VW produces alternatives to diesel, including the plug-in hybrid Passat GTE, accompanied by a 1.4 litre petrol engine. It can travel 31 miles on a full charge so as with most plug-ins performs at its best in urban environments. Official performance figures state 176mpg and 39g/km in CO2 emissions. Priced from £37,500.

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