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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