2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid
There are many reasons to recommend a hybrid car--the easy driving experience, the gas mileage, even the shove of an electrically-assisted engine in some sportier models.
But it's reassuring to know they make equally good used buys as they do when brand new, whatever your budget.
The latest list of Consumer Reports' best used cars features no fewer than five hybrids in various different classes and at several price points.
As well as good gas mileage, it's the hybrids' reliability that guarantees them on the list of best used cars. Any vehicles scoring poorly on the group's Annual Auto Survey are given a "steer clear" tag--including a handful of EcoBoost-powered Fords and the popular Chevy Cruze 1.8.
For budget buyers though, the inclusion of Toyota's Prius as a best used car in the under-$10,000 small cars group is great news.
Specifically, the 2004-2007 models make a great used buy, praised for having "plenty of room" and a "nice ride". Reliability has also been "first-rate", and buyers won't complain much about the potential for 46 mpg combined.
Move up to $15,000-$20,000 sedans and another Toyota hybrid makes the cut, along with its regular counterpart--the 2010-2011 Camry Hybrid. Once again it's comfortable, reliable and has great economy--officially 33 mpg combined, but Consumer Reports managed 34 mpg in its own testing, and 41 mpg highway.
The 06-07 Lexus RX makes an appearance in the SUV category of the same price segment, and at $20,000-$25,000 the 2008-2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is also a great bet.
It's not all Toyota products though--in the same price bracket, the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid is well worth a look. CR extracted 34 mpg in testing (next to an official 39 mpg combined) and its handling, ride and reliability all factor into its inclusion.
So if you're looking into buying a used hybrid vehicle, chances are it'll make a pretty good purchase--and don't forget to check out our own guides to the best hybrid and electric vehicles on sale, both used and new.