Hybrids

  • 2018 Toyota Prius

    Cars with plugs may be the cleaner and greener future, but at the moment, they make up only about 1 percent of global sales approaching 100 million vehicles a year. That means that automakers continue to work ceaselessly on more efficient gasoline engines and lighter vehicles to put them in. Last week, Toyota summarized its plans in that arena and revealed some of the future powertrains we'll see in Toyota and Lexus vehicles over the next several years. DON'T MISS: Toyota Prius hybrid sales have tanked: here are 4 reasons why The new engines, transmissions, and hybrid systems are all...

  • 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, Dallas, Texas
    For six months, one in five Prius sales has been a plug-in hybrid

    A funny thing happened to Toyota Prius hybrid sales last month. Almost one in three Prius hybrids sold in the U.S. were the Prius Prime model—the one with a plug. Toyota may be the large automaker least friendly to cars that plug in, so what's that all about? DON'T MISS: Toyota Prius hybrid...

  • Lotus Safe & Sound noisemaker
    NHTSA finalizes quiet-car rule for hybrids, electrics, to take full effect in 2020

    The idea of adding noise-makers to vehicles that are "too quiet" didn't exist until the first hybrid-electric cars hit the market in 2000. Within a few years, however, organizations representing the blind began to raise alarms that cars operating at low speeds solely on electric power couldn't be...

  • Honda CR-V Hybrid introduced at 2017 Shanghai auto show
    Honda CR-V Hybrid to launch in Europe; still no word on US or Canada

    The Honda CR-V Hybrid, a more fuel-efficient version of the company's best-selling compact crossover, has been around for almost a year now. It's on sale in China, announced for Japan, and now, as of Tuesday, it's slated to arrive in European markets early in 2019. As for North America? The company...

  • 2019 Lexus UX
    Lexus UX smaller crossover peeks out before Geneva auto show

    The global new-vehicle market is moving toward crossover utility vehicles and SUVs, along with vehicles that look like them. Now the production version of another crossover, shown in concept form more than a year ago, will launch at the Geneva auto show—and Lexus has released one photo and a...

  • Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck fitted with XL Hybrids upfitted hybrid-electric powertrain
    XL Hybrids adds Ford F-250 hybrid to F-150 plug-in hybrid pickups; production to start in March

    The idea of a Ford F-Series hybrid pickup truck has now been around since August 2011, but its maker now expects to launch such a truck sometime during 2020. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Boston-based XL Hybrids unveiled both a Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup fitted with its XLH hybrid system and an F-150...

  • 2018 Lexus RX L, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

    Gas is cheap in the U.S. and has been for years. Hybrids are no longer a cutting-edge or cool technology; they're just another powertrain. The result is that hybrids have been quietly ebbing as a proportion of total vehicle sales. DON'T MISS: 2018 Lexus RX 450hL hybrid three-row SUV priced from $51,600 At their peak about five years ago, hybrids verged on 4 percent of overall sales; now they've fallen to about half that percentage. It's especially noticeable for the best-known hybrid on the market, the Toyota Prius, which reached 236,655 sales in 2012, but fell to just 108,661 Priuses last...

  • 2010 Toyota Prius
    Toyota Prius recall in 2014 failed to fix problem, lawsuit says, may have cut mileage

    Early in 2014, Toyota filed a voluntary recall notice with the NHTSA to fix a defect in roughly 800,000 third-generation Prius Liftback hybrids sold in the U.S. from 2010 through 2014. The company said it would make unspecified changes to software that controlled the vehicle's inverter, which...

  • 2018 Subaru Crosstrek first drive
    Subaru plug-in hybrid to use Prius Prime parts, coming in 2019

    When Toyota and Mazda said last September they would form a joint venture to produce electric-car parts, that answered the question of where Mazda's future plug-in vehicles would get their electric running gear. But it sparked another question: Where did that leave Subaru, another small automaker...

  • 2018 Toyota Prius
    Maine to hit hybrids, electric cars with fees higher than gas tax?

    Maine has become the latest in a growing string of states to propose adding registration fees for hybrid and electric cars to make up for tax revenue on the gasoline they don't use, or use less of. But it's also part of a much smaller group of those states in which the fees are punitive: drivers of...

  • 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
    2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid video preview

    As they say: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. The first Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, launched for 2011, wasn't one of the better examples of the class for drivability. But Hyundai has updated its mid-size hybrid three times since then, with each generation getting markedly better. DON'T...

  • 2016 Toyota Prius - first drive, Laguna Niguel, CA, Nov 2015
    Toyota Prius hybrid sales have tanked: here are 4 reasons why

    The Toyota Prius hybrid has been its maker's "halo car" and an example of its most advanced technology for two decades. Launched from an early-1990s project to halve the fuel consumption of a small car, its hybrid-electric powertrain pioneered mass electrification of passenger cars. But the sales...

  • 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

    What the auto industry calls a "mid-cycle refresh" can range from indistinguishable to very evident. The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid falls into the latter category, with new front and rear styling, changes to the interior and dashboard, and numerous added safety and connectivity features. The hybrid Sonata follows the updated conventional gasoline version by several months, as has often happened during its model life. DON'T MISS: Hyundai Kona Electric crossover teased before Geneva auto show reveal The 2018 Sonata Hybrid is the fourth generation of the model since Hyundai added a single-motor...

  • 2018 Lexus RX L, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show
    2018 Lexus RX 450hL hybrid three-row SUV priced from $51,600

    Lexus invented the idea of a luxury hybrid utility vehicle in a version of its RX crossover well over a decade ago, but sales haven't been strong of late. Cheap gasoline, better fuel efficiency from all types of vehicles due to rising CAFE rules, and a lack of interest in hybrids have all hurt the...

  • 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
    2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid winter gas mileage review

    Nearly a year ago, we published a gas-mileage review on the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, the South Korean brand's Toyota Prius challenger. We saw 49.5 miles per gallon over 565 miles of driving. Now, we've tested the Ioniq Hybrid in more extreme conditions, on the cold, wintry roads of Detroit, Michigan...

  • 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid
    2018 Kia Niro preview

    Most highly fuel-efficient dedicated hybrids are compact five-door hatchbacks, the most popular vehicle segment globally. When Korean maker Kia was drawing up plans for its first dedicated hybrid vehicle, it took a different path. The wagon it came up with—it calls the Kia Niro a crossover...

  • 2017 Bentley Bentayga
    Bentley Bentayga plug-in hybrid SUV to debut in March at Geneva auto show

    Unlike rival Rolls-Royce, which may go directly to an all-electric model in future, Bentley has set its sights on plug-in hybrids first—and the Bentayga luxury SUV will be the first one from the brand. The plug-in versions of the Bentley Bentayga is expected to debut in March at the Geneva...

  • Honda Insight Prototype, 2018 Detroit auto show
    2019 Honda Insight video preview from Detroit auto show

    Pickup trucks took the limelight this year, but a significant green car made a quiet debut. It's an interesting and handsome model that revives a familiar name for Honda. The 2019 Honda Insight is a compact premium sedan projected to get an EPA combined rating of 50 mpg or better. The new Insight...

  • Honda Insight Prototype, 2018 Detroit auto show

    At the 2018 Detroit auto show, the Honda Insight Prototype was unveiled Monday to preview a production sedan due later this year. Any new hybrid car from one of the pioneers of hybrid-electric vehicles is notable, and that's what Honda has delivered. Honda called the car at the auto show an "Insight Prototype," though it looks about as close to a finished production car as any concept we've seen. DON'T MISS: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid first drive Interestingly, the third-generation Insight appears to be a hybrid version of the latest Civic, launched for the 2016 model year. In other...

  • 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
    2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid debuts with more evocative style, promise of improved efficiency

    The 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid that debuted Monday at the 2018 Detroit auto show goes where no full-size sedan has gone before. Well, except for last year's Avalon Hybrid, anyway. For 2019, the Avalon rides on a new platform, has updated interior and exterior styling, and comes loaded with an...

  • Tesla Supercharger for city centers
    Electric cars will fail, but we'll build them anyway, say global auto execs: KPMG

    Juxtaposed against a growing electric-vehicle market in China and increasingly stringent global carbon-emission limits, a survey by KPMG has revealed a majority of global auto executives believe electric vehicles are a fool's errand. Those executives believe electric cars will eventually be...

  • Workhorse W-15 extended-range electric pickup truck
    Workhorse expands $1,000 preorders for plug-in hybrid pickup from fleets to public for $1,000

    After $300 million in claimed fleet preorders for its plug-in hybrid pickup truck, Workhorse will open its order books for everyone to claim a spot in the production schedule. The Workhorse W-15 will be the first publicly available vehicle from a company that began its electrification journey more...

  • 2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e
    2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid SUV: first drive review

    No doubt the hoi polloi are prepared for emissions-free vehicle zones, what with their bicycles and their little electric cars. But what is the aristocracy to do when its high-end luxury SUVs are banned from city streets in central London? Enter the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid...

  • Handing over car keys
    What will your next car be? Take our Twitter poll

    Seven years after the first mass-priced modern electric car was sold in the U.S., more car buyers than ever are at least dimly aware that such vehicles exist. Sales of cars that plug in have risen every year, with one slight dip in 2015, but they were still just 1 percent of the U.S. market of 17.5...