New York, NY (PRWEB) August 28, 2012
A new buying guide by Cheapism.com, a review site dedicated to finding quality low-cost products, identifies the best cheap hybrid cars. The top picks under $26,000 are the Toyota Prius C subcompact and the Toyota Camry Hybrid sedan. The Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata hybrid sedans occupy the second-tier spots. They trail the Toyota models when it comes to fuel economy but still earn solid reviews.
Hybrid electric vehicles cost more up front than their gas-only counterparts but save money on gas in the long run. Among Cheapism’s top picks, the Toyota Prius C boasts the most impressive fuel economy -- 53 mpg city/46 mpg highway -- while the Toyota Camry Hybrid gets 43 mpg city/41 mpg highway. The Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata claim 35 mpg city/40 mpg highway. Hybrids often sacrifice a bit of passenger room in the name of fuel economy, but the sedans offer ample leg- and headroom and even the smaller Prius C can carry five passengers. Hybrids also tend to come with more standard features at the basic trim level than traditional vehicles.
All the budget models on Cheapism’s list are gas-electric hybrids that combine an electric motor with a traditional gasoline engine. The report also takes a brief look at plug-in hybrid models such as the Chevrolet Volt, which use an electric motor as their primary power source and treat gas as a backup.
Hybrids lack acceleration and power compared with conventional cars (high horsepower generally doesn’t make for good gas mileage) and have a tendency to stutter when switching between electric power and gas. Hybrid reviews often note these issues and experts favor hybrids that drive the most like conventional cars, such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Reviewers note its acceleration and smooth transitions between gas and electric power. The Prius C doesn’t impress on those fronts but handles well and has by far the lowest price among Cheapism’s picks, starting at $18,950.
Called by The New York Times “a Consumer Reports for the cheap,” Cheapism.com is a review site that serves consumers on a budget who want the best value for their money. Cheapism is the only review site that focuses exclusively on low-price products, a part of the market often overlooked by experts.