The Need for Hybrid
The level of pollutants being generated by automobile engines has been growing at top speed over the years. The carbon emissions by vehicles are contributing greatly to the greenhouse effect, Carbon Monoxide content from vehicles nears almost 75% of the total amount present in the atmosphere while nitrogen emissions stand at around 56%. This is not just burning a hole in the environment, but also in the pockets of automobile users, by the means of ever-rising fuel prices. More or less we can admit, the cost of maintaining an automobile has been harder than ever before on the user as well as the environment. This called for smarter and more lucrative options, and that’s where the Electric Vehicles concept began to gain popularity. Being charged by electric current and being non-polluting, this vehicle option became the best chance for the protection of the environment. The EVs though still had a few worrying points, such as an improper charging environment, or sustaining the long highway trips and that’s why the automotive industry had their one smart reply.
The introduction of Hybrid Cars. The ones which would run on a smart switch between electric and the petrol motor, be a safe option for the environment too without compromising driving pleasure. The hybrid motors are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, and the catch here remains, these batteries aren’t taken up for charging like the classic electric vehicles, they come with an electric generator which generates power through the wheel rotation when brakes are applied supplying energy back to the battery pack where it is stored for further usage. This way there’s a high level of fuel conservation, sustainable for the environment as well and does not compromise on power at all. Hence these hybrid technology cars are one smart option to consider buying.
We bring to you our selection of the Top Hybrid Cars in the market from which you can choose to make your next purchase!
1. Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota Camry has been a veteran sedan in the Toyota portfolio and its image has always been associated with being an executive high-range sedan. With the petrol model not clocking high sales, Toyota re-introduced a new avatar to the Camry, The Camry Hybrid!
The Camry comes loaded with a 2487 CC four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a Permanent Magnet Synchronous electric motor, a one of its kind. This 2.5-litre petrol-hybrid engine has a power output of 176 bhp and a torque output of 221 Nm. The electric motor-generator, however, can develop 118 bhp and 202 Nm of power figures bringing the total power output to 208 bhp. Back when the Camry was consisting only of a petrol motor its mileage figures were around the 8-9 kmpl mark, now with the hybrid system, Toyota claims a comfortable 23.2 kmpl.
It also comes along with shiftmatic paddle shifters at the steering for giving you a smooth driving experience while you enjoy its comfortable automatic gearbox. The car sports an elegant look with LED lightings and the right amount of chrome, along with having all the bells and whistles coming along with an executive sedan including the touch screen infotainment system, triple-zone climate control air conditioning system, touch screen controls on the rear armrest and of course, top-class security features with 9 airbags, ABS, EBD and brake assist, parking assist along with TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) and child safety seat belts. Priced at Rs. 39.02 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi the car does become a costly affair, however, this car makes for a luxury drive, just like its high-end German counterparts!
2. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Hybrid
Maruti Suzuki has been among the most trusted brands among Indian buyers, it’s always served reliability, low maintenance costs and claims to have among the best mileage in cars. And yet, with its SHVS technology it has now entered the Smart Hybrid Vehicles range, for its hatchbacks and more popularly for its premium sedan, The Ciaz.
The Ciaz has been a popular choice among the consumers in its petrol and diesel engine options, and now that Maruti brings the hybrid engine option to both the petrol and diesel variants, this makes for a very exciting prospect. Loaded with all the features present on the regular Ciaz, the hybrid variant adds up a 48V mild-hybrid system which churns up a max power output of 104.6 ps with 138 Nm of torque. One can choose with either the 6-speed manual gearbox or the 4-speed automatic. The petrol engine houses a slight change than the diesel, in the form of a dual battery arrangement which assists more as it gets charged up much quicker. All of this being at a starting price of Rs 8.72 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi presents an irresistible option for purchase!
3. Mahindra Scorpio Hybrid
The Mahindra Scorpio has always been known as a macho SUV meant for off-roading. And it does retain the same with great power as Mahindra adds an electric motor to the Scorpio’s variants as well! The all-new Intelli-Hybrid engine on the Scorpio assists the engine at lower revs to reduce engine load, making it fuel-efficient. Scorpio’s hybrid system makes use of self-produced electricity via a generator to recharge its batteries. The Intelli-Hybrid Scorpio with its powerful diesel engine boasts of a mileage of 14 kmpl which makes it really great considering the tall and bulky SUV’s 2.2-litre diesel engine which dishes out 280 Nm of torque at a max power of 121.6 ps. This SUV comes at a price point of Rs 14.4 Lakhs which makes it a nice option for those who wish to take their hybrid out and about on the highways or across any kind of terrain.
4. MG Hector Hybrid
Morris Garages entered the Indian markets with its SUV, The Hector, and gained immense popularity among the customers. Tagged as ‘The Internet Car’ this bold and sporty SUV, was now not just smart for its interiors, but also for the smart Hybrid engine option that it brought along! Being India’s first 48 V hybrid SUV, this car’s 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine when mated with the hybrid-electric generator system and 6-speed manual gearbox, ticks the entire checkbox of being environment-friendly, sporty looks and performance to tackle any road type. With its feisty engine producing 143 bhp of power with 250 Nm of torque and an additional 20 Nm with the electric motor, this car makes for among the most powerful hybrid SUVs in the offering. Along with high power figures, the MG Hector is designed to serve up low-end torque for start-stop traffic conditions to not just improve better acceleration but also bring a sharp mileage of 15.81 kmpl. And with a price offering of Rs 16.65 Lakhs, this makes for the best hybrid car on sale.
Yes, India is making great strides toward the future in the automotive industry. And the presence of good competition among electric vehicles is definitely a must in this scenario. And for that, the carmakers have given the right boost to the market, they’ve put out a car option for every budget, and especially the Hybrid options are the best bet here. Eco-friendly along with sheer driving pleasure makes for a perfect combination. To sum up, these four options that we find among the most attractive.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid brings pure luxury to the forefront, high-end features, comfortable interior ambience and a smooth driving experience, this is the car you wouldn’t mind being chauffeur driven or spending hours in the driver’s seat as well. The biggest drawback for this car however has been its hefty pricing, because spending nearly Rs 40 Lakhs, an Indian customer prefers to go for brands such as Mercedes – Benz, BMW, or an Audi instead.
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Hybrid is our favourite sedan in the range, price friendly, good quality and fairly low maintenance cost makes this a highly attractive option for those who are looking at budget options.
The Mahindra Scorpio Hybrid makes a good buy for those who aim for those long highway trips with fuel efficiency and enjoy the higher seating but falls short in the far more modern features on offer.
Undoubtedly, The MG Hector Hybrid stands out of all competition. Technology loaded to the brim, well-positioned in size and height, powerful SUV for city and highway driving and a fairly decent pricing strategy makes this our personal favourite!
The luxury car makers are producing high range Hybrid vehicles as well, there’s The Lexus range of hybrids, Audi’s upcoming lineup as well and many more, however, what matters is what the major chunk of the Indian population affords, and it will definitely be far more interesting to see newer cars showing up in this category.
Do let us know what you feel about these smart Hybrids in the comment section below!