Hybrids are the in thing these days. A hybrid car operates with 2 engines — one using traditional fuel, and the other energy from a rechargeable battery. With the influx of hybrid cars in the market, one cannot simply take advertisement and supplier claims for their word. After all, it is every hybrid car manufacturer’s duty to sell. So, how do we sift through the multitude of brands, then?
The simplest way is by reading consumer reports on hybrid cars.
There are lots of information available about hybrid cars. Data from the manufacturer’s website are good sources of needed preliminary knowledge on hybrid cars. However, we may be able to glean a much more honest report on the ins and outs of this new revolutionary vehicle by consulting consumer reports.
What consumer reports say about the reliability of hybrid cars
“These hybrid systems have been very reliable,” according to Consumer Reports’ senior director for auto test centers David Champion. Mr. Champion said that around 94% of Toyota Prius owners would definitely buy another Prius and are very happy and satisfied.
Findings like this one can prove valuable to a consumer, because aside from taking individual consumer reports on certain hybrid car models, it also provides comparison on certain features.
However, this doesn’t really show that consumer reports agree with other opinions, as some automobile experts and analysts have criticized the hybrid car as flamboyant because of the fact that two engines are being used for one purpose. Several consumer reports argue explaining that the electric motor adds power to the engine.
Consumer reports often say that they are for the protection of environment, asserting that they are supportive in the burning of less fossil fuel. This is in lieu of opinion from experts that hybrid drivers are paying too high for an automobile that offers only marginally better fuel efficiency than the other economy cars already on the road.
At one point, consumer reports compared the 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid car, which consumes 36 miles per gallon and worth $21,000, with the 2003 Honda Civic EX, which consumes 29 miles per gallon and worth $18,500 a unit on the average. Interested to know the results? The tax break excluded, it would take a consumer 21 years in fuel savings to cover the earlier expense for buying hybrid.
So many information, right? The fact of the matter is, consumer reports only serve as a healthy guide for people planning on buying hybrid cars. It takes rigorous tests on the products itself, using the expertise of its well-appointed staff and crew, and hopes that the consumer will be able to discern for himself if the product is worth buying or not.
In the end, after all the consumer reports that have been released and published about hybrid cars, it is still the buyer’s decision that will prevail.
Some consumer reports say hybrid cars are practical; some don’t. Some say only specific models are recommendable; others argue against them and sing praises about others. The bottomline is, consumer reports are exactly what they are: consumer reports. Their findings are based on their experience and opinions of the their own set of experts. How you respond to them, however, is a different story.