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Holy Hybrids! Raising the Bar on Eco-Luxury Vehicles

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- 1784 days ago -
When luxury manufacturers introduce hybrid cars, be prepared to exclaim: "Holy Hybrid!" Great features, great mileage and green --but do these qualities support the hefty price tag?

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Sue Matheson (79)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 5:32 am

Kit B (276)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 5:32 am
Photo: Living Green Magazine

By definition, a luxury car denotes not only top-of-the–line quality, but also a high price point and the air of exclusivity.

When luxury manufacturers introduce hybrid cars, be prepared to exclaim: “Holy Hybrid!” Great features, great mileage and green —but do these qualities support the hefty price tag?

Let’s take a look at four green luxury cars to find out which features and amenities may justify the price.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7 Series

At just over $60,000, the 2011 ActiveHybrid 7 Series is one the greenest BMW offerings. Although the car is a hybrid, it has greater power and fuel efficiency than the gasoline model 7 Series that was this vehicle’s inspiration. But with a TMV from $60,816, its purchase price is considerably more than its gas-powered sibling.

Compared to the regular 750, drivers will enjoy a burly hybrid power plant that delivers better fuel economy. The ActiveHybrid 7 Series includes more standard features than a gas-powered 750, including an exceptional interior and enough technology in the cockpit to make you feel like you’re driving a spaceship.

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

Reviewers are gushing about the 2014 Panamera Hybrid. This luxury hybrid sedan has an entry price of $95,000, but seats four in unrivaled comfort and a wonderfully- outfitted cabin. A hybrid Porsche may sound like an oxymoron, but even hardcore Porsche enthusiasts are impressed with the gasoline-electric power train that has an electric motor and an 8-speed, supercharged V6 gasoline motor. Combined, this power plant pushes 375 ponies that pull the car during car from 0-60 in only 5.7 seconds and delivers 53 mpg, according to Clean Technica (2).

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

When it comes to hybrid luxury cars, Hyundai Motors is proving that luxury is not always costly. U.S. News and World Report (4) ranks the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid number five for affordable midsize cars. The car is a traditional hybrid with an electric motor, four-cylinder gas motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle has received rave reviews such as this one from Kelly Blue Book (5) “The 2013 Sonata Hybrid represents the pinnacle of Hyundai fuel efficiency with its 40-mpg highway rating and lifetime-warrantied hybrid battery.” A standard gas model Sonata starts at about $21,000, but a hybrid is more costly with a starting price of around $25,000.

Tesla Model S

The 2013 Tesla Model S is not actually a hybrid but rather the proof that a completely new, all-electric car can succeed. When Consumer Reports conducted its stringent testing, the Tesla S scored 99 out of 100 points. According to testers, the car would have scored perfectly if it did not have to stop occasionally to recharge its batteries. The car tied for the quietest car ever tested and had enviable scores for acceleration, ride quality and braking. Only one other car has ever scored this highest—the Lexus LS460 in 2009.

The S has a driving range of between 208 and 265 miles. Recharge takes approximately six hours from a standard 240 volt outlet.

The full-sized car seats seven comfortably in a well-appointed interior with leather seats and a stylish 17-inch touch-screen.

Luxury and prestige have entered the world of quality, hybrid machinery. From state-of-the-art engines, stylish design and impressive price tags, the motor industry is getting a face lift, and it’s looking really green these days.

By: Justin Houston | Living Green Magazine |

JustinHouston is a mechanic and freelance writer who shares his tips and ideas on how drivers can save money and energy by switching to alternative fuel vehicles.


Kit B (276)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 5:33 am


JL A (281)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 9:09 am
Glad some more affordable options were included for contrast and comparison--lifetime battery warrantee should probably become industry standard IMO

Jamie Clemons (282)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 1:40 pm
The Geo Metro XFI could get 80 mpg back in the 80's so tell me why I should get all excited about a hybrid with all this technology that only gets 50?

Marty P (151)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 4:44 pm
I was just watching Top Gear UK testing the BMW electric supercar. I want one lol

Robert O (12)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 5:47 pm
Thank you Kit.

marie C (163)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 5:53 pm
Thanks Kit

Lona G (80)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 3:47 am
Good to see the 1% get a chance to do their bit for the environment ;-)

Birgit W (160)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 2:10 pm
Thanks Kit,

Sheila D (194)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 3:35 pm
If I was a car buyer, I'd go for the drivers license and Waaaaa...aaaaay out of my budget.
Noted with thanks.

Sherri G (128)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 9:21 pm
I am fortunate that since retirement I don't drive my 2001 DTS enough to justify buying another car. I bought it new and only have 40K miles on it and still looks new. Sounds like the Hyundai is the best value though based on this article Kit if it is mechanically sound. TY for posting Kit Noted.

Sergio Padilla (65)
Sunday August 4, 2013, 1:10 pm
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