Environmentally-conscious consumers who also want luxury, performance and style can have it all with these Best Luxury Hybrid Cars. As always, shop for the best deal, and consider all your needs: space, towing, amenities, brand and image.
Our choices for Best Luxury Hybrid Cars include both car and SUVs. We’ve polled automotive experts for the pros and cons of each, as well as highlighted some of their comments.
- – HybridEdmunds says the 8-passenger 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid “is the only hybrid option on the market in the large-luxury-SUV segment…fortunately, it’s a winning choice.” Featuring GM’s Two-Mode Hybrid Technology, Escalade Hybrid pairs a 6.0-liter V-8 engine with two 60-kilowat motors governed by an electrically variable transmission. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated fuel economy is 20 miles per gallon (mpg) in city driving (compared to 12 in non-hybrid Escalade) and 21 mpg highway. Pros include “gorgeous cabin with outstanding build quality, comfortable ride,” while cons include pricey options and third-row seats that don’t fold flat and must be removed. U.S. News and World Report comments that the “Escalade Hybrid’s appeal is not in saving money on gas, but in the satisfaction of having a hybrid that makes few compromises when it comes to towing, seating capacity or luxury.”
- Lexus RX 400h – U.S. News and World Report hails the “rare combination of sport utility performance and Lexus luxury in a hybrid package,” and names the 2009 Lexus RX 400h (along with the gasoline counterpart version) “Best Luxury Crossover for the Money.” There’s no off-road capability with this model, and some owners report choppy braking, say U.S. News editors. The first luxury sport-utility hybrid (Escalade was the second), the Lexus RX 400h, according to Car and Driver, “supplies good scoot with commendable fuel economy” and “smooth, quiet and comfortable operation.” Power comes from a 268-hp 3.3-liter V-6 engine and front/rear high-output permanent-magnet electric motors. Redesigned for 2010 and renamed RX 450h, consumers can get good deals on 2009 and earlier RX 400h models. EPA-estimated fuel economy in 2008 Lexus RX 400h was 27 mpg city (2WD) and 26 mpg city (4WD).
- – EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2009 Lexus GS 450h is 22 mpg city/25 mpg highway. The only midsize luxury sport sedan hybrid, Edmunds says the Lexus GS 450h “delivers the performance of a V8-powered sports sedan while sipping fuel like a V6 family cruiser.” Pros include “seamless hybrid efficiency, exceptionally quiet ride, outstanding fit and finish,” while cons include “smallish trunk, brake modulation could be smoother, fuel economy below what many people expect” in a hybrid. Lexus GS 450h features a 340-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine and separate high-output electric motor, with a continuously variable transmission transferring power to the wheels. Hybrid Cars says “this gas-electric hybrid provides race-car-like acceleration and luxurious appointments in the same package.”
Other Best Luxury Hybrid Cars to consider include the Lexus LS 600h L.
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