Hybrid Cars: Ratings of Sources
Total of 22 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Top Picks 2012
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org performs comprehensive tests of most new models on the market, and makes its top picks for the year in its April "Auto" issue. This free article names the top picks for each category, including the Toyota Prius as the top green car and Toyota Camry Hybrid as the top family sedan. ConsumerReports.org not only road tests most models, but also provides owner satisfaction data and survey-based reliability predictions. Other hybrids are given the coveted Recommended designation that indicates a model is an all-around good performer. A subscription is required for access to many of ConsumerReports.org's findings.
2012 Hybrid/Electric Buying Guide
by Editors of Edmunds.com
Our AssessmentEdmunds.com is consistently one of the best resources for car research, as editors test and publish comprehensive buying advice on nearly every car available. In their 2012 Hybrid/Electric buying guide, they discuss the best hybrid options and give their top recommendations in three price ranges: under $30,000 (Toyota Prius and Ford Fusion Hybrid), under $40,000 (Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt) and over $40,000 (Infiniti M35h and Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid). Links for each vehicle bring up full reviews for each model, including complete specifications and driving impressions.
Comparison Test: 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid vs. 2011 Toyota Prius Five
by Mike Magrath
Our AssessmentThe Toyota Prius's smooth powertrain and useful hatchback shape lift it past the Honda Civic Hybrid in this comparison test -- but the new Prius v wagon falls to the clean-diesel Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI in another head-to-head test. Editors also compare the 2012 Infiniti M35h with the Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec (the Infiniti wins). In their long-term test fleet, editors currently have three hybrids/electrics (the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Toyota Prius C) and they just wrapped up a 15,000-mile test of the Chevy Volt.
Comparison: 2011 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2011 Nissan Leaf SL vs. 2011 Toyota Prius III
by Kim Reynolds
Our AssessmentKim Reynolds says the Toyota Prius will suit some buyers best, while others will prefer the Nissan Leaf -- but he personally prefers the Chevy Volt, which was Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 2011. He likes that it "drives like a regular car" and (unlike the Leaf) can drive long-range, and will work even if you forget to charge it.
2012 Alternative-Fuel-Vehicle Buying Guide
by Editors of ConsumerGuide.com
Our AssessmentConsumerGuide.com provides a brief overview of the hybrid and electric vehicle markets, along with links to more details on notable new models. ConsumerGuide.com also tests all new models on a set of comprehensive criteria, and then it bestows a Best Buy or Recommended rating on models that are at the top of their class or perform above average overall, respectively. The hybrid buying guide notes that the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid are likely to save consumers money over their gas counterparts, though no concrete evidence is given to buttress that claim.
Comparison Review: Mercedes S400 Hybrid vs. Lexus LS 600h L
by Alex L. Dykes
Our AssessmentThis comparison pits two luxury hybrid sedans that hover in the $100,000 range and spare no expense, the Lexus LS 600h L and the Mercedes S400 Hybrid, against one another. The Lexus wins this battle. In the reviewer's eyes it seems to epitomize the traditional luxury sedan virtues of being fast, cosseting and generally luxurious, and he says it "deliver[s] the pinnacle in isolated transport." This website also reviews new cars as they come onto the market, with recent reviews of hybrid and electric cars from Fisker, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Infiniti and Chevy.
by Editors of Autos.ca
Our AssessmentOn this page, Autos.ca (formerly CanadianDriver.com) collects editors' in-depth model reviews spanning all types of hybrids, whether they be sedans, SUVs or otherwise. Although the reviews are of the Canadian market versions, these are almost always fundamentally identical to their U.S. counterparts. The site also does have a few long-term test cars, and they give their impressions in an extended evaluation.
10 Best Green Cars of 2012
by Editors of Kelley Blue Book
Our AssessmentKelley Blue Book compiles a list of 10 of its favorite green cars, including many hybrid models. The Lexus CT 200h, Honda Civic Hybrid, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius c all make this list for their green credentials and impressive attributes for practicality, driving dynamics and even good looks. Links lead to full, test-based reviews for each model.
Top Safety Picks for 2012
by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Our AssessmentThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent nonprofit organization, determines the crashworthiness of many new vehicles based on a battery of tests measuring front, side, rear and roof strength attributes. Each year the IIHS selects the models that have performed best, achieving the highest rating of Good in all four areas of testing, and places them on a Top Safety Pick list. In cases where models can have gas or hybrid/electric drivetrains, only the gas version is tested for crashworthiness, but the results still apply to the hybrid/electric versions because the safety equipment and structural designs are identical. For 2012, 17 models that are hybrid/electric or are available as hybrid/electric make the list.
5-Star Safety Ratings
by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Our AssessmentThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the government-run body concerned with automotive safety and regulations. The Kia Optima Hybrid is the only hybrid/electric car that earns perfect 5-star ratings in all government crash tests. However, about half of the hybrid/electrics on the market either haven't been fully crash tested or don't have crash ratings listed here at all.
by Editors of InformedForLife.org
Our AssessmentThis nonprofit group considers not only crash-test scores (which judge cars only against other cars their size), but also a vehicle's weight (as people in heavier vehicles are less likely to die in multiple-car crashes). Unlike NHTSA and IIHS (above), InformedForLife.org's "risk index scores" allow you to compare vehicles of different sizes -- for example, to figure out whether an SUV is really safer than a family sedan. Very few vehicles ace all of InformedForLife.org's criteria, but the pricey BMW 5 Series (including the BMW ActiveHybrid 5) comes close, landing in the top 3 percent of all 2012 vehicles for safety. The Chevrolet Volt makes the top 10 percent, while the Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry -- all of which have hybrid versions -- land in the top 15 to 18 percent.
2012 Most and Least Efficient Cars
by Environmental Protection Agency
Our AssessmentThe electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf are the most fuel-efficient cars in their respective size classes -- but when you exclude electric cars, the various Toyota Prius models get the best gas mileage, according to two tables compiled by the EPA. The Honda CR-Z is the most efficient two-seater.
Best Hybrids for the Money, 2012
by David Thomas
Our AssessmentCars.com scores hybrid vehicles based on mpg per dollar paid, picking the thriftiest one or two in nine categories (compact, midsize, etc). David Thomas notes that this particular rating doesn't consider things like quality -- just price and mpgs. However, Cars.com also fully tests and reviews the quality of most cars on the market.
Editors' Choice Awards 2012: The Best Cars, Trucks, Crossovers and More
by Editors of Car and Driver
Our AssessmentCar and Driver editors test most cars on the market -- from the driving enthusiast's perspective, and they are usually less than enthusiastic about hybrids. Only one hybrid/electric makes their Editors' Choice picks for 2012 -- the Chevrolet Volt , which held its rating for the second year running. "It's an expensive way to save gas, but despite the innovative technology, the Volt works a lot like a normal car," the editors write. The Toyota Prius and Ford Fusion Hybrid were not able to maintain their Editors' Choice standing this year, though the Fusion did secure a "one to watch" rating in the "Budget & Green Fuel Sippers" category.
by Editors of Car and Driver
Our AssessmentCar and Driver editors test most cars on the market -- from driving enthusiast's perspective, and they aren't usually crazy about hybrids. Only three hybrids/electrics make their Editors' Choice picks -- the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Chevrolet Volt -- and the Volt loses a recent comparison test to the cheaper gas-powered Chevy Cruze Eco. The two cars get nearly identical gas mileage on a mostly highway trip, and tester Don Sherman complains that the Volt "is an automatic gas-saving appliance that never hugs its driver."
Auto News - Hybrid
by Editors of Autoblog.com
Our AssessmentThis source points directly to Autoblog.com's hybrid car news and reviews. Aside from keeping readers up to date on hybrid news and trends, Autoblog.com also road tests many cars including hybrids. Reviews are detailed, and come in the form of quick drives, full road tests and long-term evaluations.
Best New Cars of 2012
by Aaron Gold
Our AssessmentThe About.com Cars site, edited by Aaron Gold, provides reviews on many new cars, including hybrid models, as well as other car-related articles. This collection of best new cars in 2012 includes the Toyota Prius v wagon, and he also calls out the Honda Civic's hybrid version as a good choice. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study Results
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentTo find the most reliable cars, J.D. Power and Associates surveys more than 31,000 people who bought new cars in 2009 to see how they've held up over the past three years. The Toyota Prius is the most dependable compact car -- and the only hybrid to win a dependability award here.
2012 Best Overall Value of the Year Awards
by Editors of IntelliChoice.com
Our AssessmentIntelliChoice.com uses a number of criteria to predict which vehicles will have the lowest cost of ownership and then names the best values in its Best Overall Value of the Year Awards. For the seventh consecutive year, the Toyota Prius is named the best passenger car value. Other hybrid winners are the Honda Insight (compact passenger car) and Toyota Prius v (crossover/wagon). We appreciate this site's careful analysis, but award categories could be easier to navigate.
14 Most Fuel-efficient Car Values, 2012
by Jessica L. Anderson
Our AssessmentKiplinger.com editors pick the best 2012 cars in various price ranges. In this list for the best new car values for fuel-efficient models, each car Kiplinger.com editors pick is "the least thirsty in its class based on annual fuel cost." The editors provide some information on the testing methodology and the how the award is determined. Other details like pricing, five-year service cost estimates, and insurance costs are included as well.
Greenest Vehicles of 2012
by Editors of GreenerCars.org
Our AssessmentGreenerCars.org considers pollution emissions and fuel economy to determine the greenest vehicles of the year. The Toyota Prius and Prius c, Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda CR-Z, Honda Insight, Toyota Camry Hybrid LE, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf and Lexus CT 200h are all in this list of 12 models, sharing the space with new and efficient gasoline- and natural gas-powered models.
Best Hybrid Cars
by Wayne Cunningham
Our AssessmentTech review site CNET does occasionally have automobile reviews, though they put a heavy emphasis on features and available in-car technologies. This list is a compilation of hybrid, electric and fuel-efficient gasoline models that they have rated highly, with links to full reviews that discuss the technology offerings at length. All of the cars on this list earn at least a 3.5-star "very good" rating, except for the Honda CR-Z, which earns just an "OK" 2.5 stars.