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A Green Facade: Eco-Unfriendly Hybrids

Hybrid vehicles are released with the expectation of astounding mileage and environmental advantages, but some hybrids are a downright opposition to the eco-friendly transportation movement.

For environmentalists and drivers seeking better mileage, the Motor Trend Auto Show in Phoenix and other cities across the globe will reveal a new array of hybrids. For example, Arizona Chevrolet dealerships like Freeway Chevrolet will stock the new Volt, and Ford dealerships will carry the new C-Max, where they will be available to test drive.

2012 Lexus HS 250h

The 2010 HS 250h was the first “dedicated” hybrid by Lexus to hit the market. Compared to the Prius—the hybrid benchmark that all hybrids inevitably draw comparison to—the 2012 HS 250h weighed 700 pounds more. This excess weight caused the vehicle to earn only a 35-mpg EPA combined gas mileage rating, 15 mpg less than the Prius, according to FoxNews.com. It contained an engine that screamed during acceleration and felt heavy and sluggish to drive.

2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 7

The ActiveHybrid 7Li drives at an EPA 20-mpg combined and is estimated to be no better than the conventional 740Li model, a less-powerful car from the same year. FoxNews.com says that the 15-kilowatt electric motor couldn’t power the luxury sedan on its own.

“There’s a perceptible second phase of recharging in which the car slows even quicker,” FoxNews.com stated while testing the vehicle.

2007 Honda Accord Hybrid

The Honda performance hybrid has no hybrid drive train—no electric motor drives the vehicle. Its poor gas mileage at a combined 25 mpg, according to greencarreports.com, and a $31,090 price tag didn’t persuade drivers to get behind the wheel of this “mild hybrid.”

2009 Saturn Aura Hybrid

The midsize Saturn Aura Hybrid has the same gas mileage as the conventional engine in the Kia Spectra and is about $6,000 more, reports Forbes.com. Its low fuel efficiency of 27 mpg makes GM’s model less than desirable for drivers looking for impressive gas mileage.

2007 GMC Sierra Classic 1500 Hybrid

With 16 mpg, one mile per gallon above the non-hybrid version, the Sierra Classic 15 Hybrid is hardly worthy of its name. This GMC vehicle’s weight of 5,000 pounds and its V-8 engine contribute to the poor mileage, according to Forbes.

2013 promises to bring impressive new hybrids to the table and put these under-performing hybrids to shame. The Chevy Volt boasts an EPA-estimated 38 miles, and its onboard gas generator produces electricity allowing your 380 total miles of travel with a full charge and full tank, as stated on Chevy’s website. The hybrid hatchback Ford C-Max is set to impress with a EPA 47-mpg combined rating. Its power train outshines the Prius by 54-hp to boot. Look for the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid and Tesla Model S among a new fleet of heart-stopping hybrids.

Hannah Simpson: Hannah learned everything she knows about buying cars by hanging out with her father at his small used car lot in the Twin Cities area. She writes advice columns for women to help them shop and negotiate for cars.

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