Plug-in Hybrids Recommended in Kiplinger’s 2013 Buyers Guide

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With so many new vehi­cles and stan­dard tech­nolo­gies that used to be reserved for lux­ury name­plates, com­pe­ti­tion is steep in the 2013 mar­ket. The Kiplinger 2013 buy­ers guide addresses and ranks cars by value, per­for­mance, and safety – and that includes look­ing at cars “leaner and greener” enough to move toward the 2025 fed­eral fuel econ­omy tar­gets. Plug-in hybrid elec­tric vehi­cles with their gasoline-engine and electric-motor com­bos could be a more palat­able choice for a lot of car shoppers.

They’re the sen­si­ble green option, accord­ing to Bill Vis­nic, senior edi­tor at Edmunds.com. The newest mod­els, such as the Ford C-Max Energi, and Fusion Energi, can get about 20 miles of elec­tric range and then oper­ate as tra­di­tional hybrids. The C-Max is avail­able in 10 mar­kets and will be sold in all 50 states by next year; the Fusion is sched­uled to debut soon.

Honda recently unveiled a plug-in model ver­sion of the Accord, but ini­tially it will be sold only in Cal­i­for­nia and New York. Tax cred­its are a perk for buy­ers of these plug-in hybrids. Ford plug-in buy­ers are eli­gi­ble for a credit of $3,751, and Honda Accord buy­ers can get a credit of $3,334.

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