Have you ever wondered why there never seems to be many green coloured cars (not talking hybrid car) traversing our roads today? Due to an old superstition, green is considered to be an unlucky colour for travel and therefore not a manufacturers first choice of palette when deciding on the paint finish.
These days, the word ‘green’ denotes our obsession with all things clean, environmentally responsible and economical to run. Hence the introduction of the ‘hybrid car‘.
With its low-carbon emissions, fuel economy and cheap road tax, previously hammered road users, sick of increasing petrol costs, blighted by unfilled pot holes and slammed each year by rising road tax duty, are turning to these cost-effective cars in the fight to get the pleasure back into driving. But are these cost friendly vehicles cutting the mustard on our roads or are they Jeremy Clarkson’s worst nightmare?
First up for a written test drive is the new Toyota Auris Hybrid Car. Retailing at around £20,145 depending on the spec, the new Auris has a host of new features guaranteed to make your gas guzzling neighbours jealous.
For a sporty look, go for the Auris Hybrid T4 which adds, as standard, 17” alloy wheels, an engine including hill start assistance and a gorgeous Liquid Crystal Display Audio.
Also included are push button start, blue tooth connectivity, cruise control and a rear view camera for assisted parking control. Pay no road tax and get an amazing 736 miles on just one tank of petrol. A perfect car for city driving and busy mums.
Next on my list is the Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech S 5dr Diesel Estate Hybrid Car. You pay £30 a year road tax on this model but it is a small price to pay for Volkswagon’s expertise.
The interior includes an impressive exterior temperature gauge with frost alarm, service interval indicator, seatbelt unfastened warning buzzer and multi-function computer.
As standard are 16” alloy wheel with anti theft lock bolts and an anti fatigue detection device. Fuel economy is 61.4 mpg and the CO2 emissions are measured at 120 g/km. I have always driven a Volkswagen so I have to say this is my favourite for a family car.
And lastly, BMW may not be synonymous with fuel efficiency but they have pulled out all the stops with the BMW 3 Series 320d Efficient Dynamics 4dr Diesel Saloon Hybrid Car. With fuel economy at 68.9 mpg and CO2 emissions of 109 g/km, road tax will cost you a mere £20 a year. They have also concentrated largely on the safety aspects of this car. Features include anti whiplash head restraints, rear child proof door locks, front and rear head airbags and they also provide you with a free warning triangle and first aid kit.
Other extras include a reach and rake adjustable steering column, brake pad wear indicator and push button start. But what’s it like to drive? Well I was lucky as a friend has one and allowed me a test drive. Super smooth and noiseless purring engine, this hybrid could convert the most dedicated petrolhead.
With so many hybrid cars on the market it is becoming hard to choose the best car for your driving needs but whichever one you do choose, you can be sure you’re doing your bit for the environment.