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Today, the following is fast becoming a common dilemma: do I jump on the hybrid bandwagon or should I play it safe and stick with the popular diesel choices?
The hybrids – although there had been the odd one beforehand – all pretty much started with the Toyota Prius (which is still a strong contender), but now the whole class of car has evolved into something completely different.
Most recently, it has been Lexus trying to tempt us in with the Japanese luxury brand obviously very proud of their latest hybrid achievement the CT200h – the worlds’ first luxury hatchback hybrid.
Offering something in the region of 69 mpg, the CT200h’s figures do seem very alluring, but like most hybrids, the price can be pretty steep and the base car starts at just over £23,000 for what is in essence, still a hatchback.
Another con going against the CT200h is its enjoyability as a machine to drive, or rather lack of. The Lexus is a very plain car to handle at best, with numerous figures in the car industry disappointed with its steering capabilities and absence of speed – a plus 10 seconds to 62 mph.
For five grand less, you could pick up the very capable Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion, the complete hatchback more or less.
Yes it’s a little slower than the Lexus, but with a combined figure of just under 75 mpg and an equally pleasing nil tax cost, it’s almost a no brainer when choosing a frugal, efficient car of this class. It’s even a whole lot better to drive.
Something slightly bigger?
Moving up a size, Citroen have entered the field with their own offering, the DS5 Diesel Hybrid4.
With almost a shooting-brake design, the DS5 certainly looks the part with quite stunning visuals and even a touch of panache on the interior too.
Straight away though the price hits you in the face: £33,000 for the hybrid model of the DS5 and for that you do get a family sized car with plush details, but manages to stand on its own amongst the rest of such niche models because of its initial cost.
However, a number of around 74 mpg and zero cost for road tax, it’s still a decent option and you’ll be sure to stand out in the crowd.
BMW are yet to really enter the hybrid frame, plans are in place, but for now it’s their Efficient Dynamics models that are taking the world by storm.
The Munich based manufacturer’s latest offering, the 320d, looks to be the ultimate fleet car choice with economics such as 968.9 mpg and a CO2 level that allow it to qualify for a much lower rate of company car tax.
The 2.0 four cylinder motor is down on power by 20 bhp, but is still a very capable individual with rather elegant styling that makes for sensible choice for anybody who is no stranger to a fuel card.
For the individual with a bottomless wallet
In the land of the executives, however, Porsche are trying to up the game with their Panamera Hybrid, but at nearly £90,000 before options, the German producer immediately puts their example into an exclusive band of owners.
Also, with a figure of just under 42 mpg, is it really worth it? Well, with a 380 bhp V6 unit at your disposal it was never going to be the most frugal car here.
Mercedes example of such a car –the S-Class 350 Blueefficiency – starts at £62,290 and still offers 302 bhp from its 3.5 V6 petrol engine , but a slightly lower figure of 37.2 mpg and a higher tax band makes for greater running costs overall.
About the author: Sam Bisby is writing on behalf of business fuel cards from ukfuels.co.uk