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.