Sponsored Post: Top 10 Used Hybrid Cars That Still Pack a Punch

Sponsored Post: Top 10 Used Hybrid Cars That Still Pack a Punch

Better Fuel Economy & Lower Emissions Are an Affordable Option

You do not have to purchase a new car to reap the benefits from the higher fuel efficiency, lower emissions and lower operating costs of a hybrid. Indeed, go for a used hybrid. Many people still prefer buying used over new hybrids, and they find it a good option indeed.

But, with a wealth of different models and makes available on the market nowadays, choosing the hybrid vehicle is not easy at all. Here are our top 10 picks with key features.

1.  2013 Chevrolet Volt

2013-Chevrolet-Volt

2013 Chevrolet Volt offers great fuel efficiency

It seems that Chevrolet took a pretty aggressive tack with Volt in 2013. This amazing vehicle boasts a Hold driving mode, which lets you get optimal efficiency on the roads by saving the battery power. It comes with one-speed automatic transmission and 149-horsepower (hp) engine. Fuel efficiency: 101 city/93 hwy MPGe.

2. 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in

The 2013 plug-in Toyota Prius hybrid version is propelled by a powerful mix of a 1.8L I-4 gasoline engine and an electric motor. It comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, a electronicly controlled CVT transmission, 15-inch aluminum wheels, integrated navigation system, advanced cruise control and a whole lot of airbags. Fuel efficiency: 90 city/102 hwy MPGe.

3. 2013 Ford Fusion Energi

This vehicle is meant to provide customers with a mixture of the top-notch Ford Fusion hybrid parts with attributes of a completely electric car. The standard features include 17-inch aluminum wheels, automatic air conditioning, AdvanceTrac electronic stability and traction control. It is powered by an Atkinson-cycle 141hp, 2.0L four-cylinder engine that is combined with 7.6-kWh Li-ion battery pack. Fuel efficiency: 95 city/81 hwy MPGe.

Ford Fusion and C-Max

Ford has two fuel-efficient options–the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi

4. 2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Here’s another great blend of hybrid and electric car by Ford. It utilizes Ford’s 2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder engine, which is coupled with an AC electric motor that runs with a 7.6-kWh Li-ion battery pack. As a result, total system power reaches 195 hp while offering 129 pounds-feet of torque. Fuel efficiency: 95 city/81 hwy MPGe.

5. 2012 Toyota Prius V Five

With some 2012 upgrades and improvements, this five-passenger vehicle uses exactly the same powertrain like the Prius sedan, but it offers a significant 58 percent increase in cargo space. The 2012 Toyota Prius V Five boasts a wagon body, electronicly controlled CVT transmission and 1.8-liter I-4 98 hp engine. Fuel efficiency: 44 city/40 hwy MPG.

6. 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

With an integrated navigation system, six-speed automatic transmission, as well as superb driveline traction and cruise control systems, driving this hybrid car is a real delight. This is supported by a 2.4-liter I-4  engine which produces decent 159 horsepower. Fuel efficiency: 36 city/40 hwy MPG.

7. 2007 Lexus RX 400h

2007 Lexus RX 400h

The 2007 Lexus RX 400h was one of the early hybrid offerings

This hybrid features 3.3L 208hp V-6, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and CVT transmission. It is equipped with a driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor as well as curtain head and side airbags for the great safety. There is also an all-wheel drive, ABS, cruise control and traction control. Fuel efficiency: 28 city/25 hwy MPG.

8. 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid

The Kia Optima Hybrid EX is powered by a 2.4-liter I-4 engine that develops 166 horsepower and is mated to six-speed automatic transmission. Other standard features worth mentioning include 16-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, cruise control, curtain overhead airbags, side seat-mounted airbags and automatic air conditioning. Fuel efficiency: 34 city/39 hwy MPG.

9. 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The key features of this heavy-duty vehicle include second and third row overhead airbag, 19-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, all-wheel drive and cruise control, among others. Under the hood, there’s a powerful 3.5-liter 231-hp V-6. It comes with a CVT transmission along with overdrive. Fuel efficiency: 28 city/28 hwy MPG.

10. 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular hybrid midsize cars sold in the US. And the 2010 Camry sedan can still pack a punch with a reliable hybrid system and plenty of great features. It comes standard with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine, VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) and a distinctive grille. Fuel efficiency: 33 city/34 hwy MPG. Check out 2010 Camry for sale in Austin, Texas.

Top 10 High-MPG Cars’ Sales in 2014 (August check-up)

Top 10 High-MPG Cars’ Sales in 2014 (August check-up)

Electric Cars, Plug-Ins Electrics, Diesel Sales Look Good Two-Thirds of the Way Though the Year

August sales reports are in and the Nissan Leaf set a sales record, leading the way among electric cars for the year-to-date. Plug-in hybrids and clean diesels also are outpacing the market overall. Of the alternatives to gasoline-only vehicles, only traditional hybrids are lagging for the year, though they, too, had a great August. The Top 10 High-MPG cars remain a benchmark for how far and how fast automotive technology is advancing.

Because sales numbers tend to jump month-to-month based on incentives, the weather and all manner of influences, we like to take the long view, so we’ll focus on the January-August figures. Taking that longer view it’s clear that the trend to high-mileage is continuing even as those gasoline-only vehicle also continue to get more efficient.

Toyota,Prius,Plug-in, EV, HOV lane

The Prius models plug along

The leaders present a good cross-section of the high-mileage alternatives out there, ranging from the always popular Toyota Prius Liftback (and its single-letter cousins–the c and V) to VW’s diesel siblings the Jetta TDI and Passat TDI to the all-electric Nissan Leaf and plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. The ease of getting better than 40 mpg is clearer than ever.

One curious feature this month is the generally poor showing of the Top 10 high-MPG cars compared with last year. All but the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid are off of last year’s sales marks, although we should note the Ford Fusion Hybrid is nearly even. This may simply reflect the one category of alternative vehicles that is down from last year, hybrids. Even with a good August, hybrid sales are down 8.7 percent from last year and that segments market share has dropped below 3 percent. It may be that the proliferation of 40 mpg gasoline cars has blunted the impact of hybrids.

Plug-in hybrids, pure electrics and diesels are bucking that trend with sales outpacing an overall market that is 5 percent ahead of last year. Those three segments represent a smaller volume than the hybrid market, though, adding up to 1.62 percent of the total market.

Here are the Top 10 High-MPG vehicles with their year-to-date sales figures (January-August 2014) and their fuel economy ratings. We’re using data from Hybridcars.com and Baum & Associates. Links with each of the Top 10 go to our road tests and new articles about the models.

  1. Toyota Prius

YTD Sales  Change from previous year    MPG 90,627                   -16.5%                                  51 MPG City

  1. Toyota Camry Hybrid

30,700                   -6.3%                                     43 MPG City

  1. Toyota Prius c

28,372                   -5%                                        53 MPG City

  1. Volkswagen Jetta TDI

27,053                   -13.2%                                  42 MPG Hwy

  1. Ford Fusion Hybrid

26,594                   -1.1%                                     44 MPG City

  1. Volkswagen Passat TDI

22,389                   -10.9%                                  43 MPG Hwy

  1. Toyota Prius V

20,725                   -20.2%                                  44 MPG City

  1. Nissan Leaf

18,941                   +34.1%                                 126 MPGe City

  1. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

16,059                   +11.9%                                 40 MPG Hwy

  1. Ford C-Max Hybrid

14,136                   -37.3                                      42 MPG City

Bubbling just below the Top 10 are some other significant vehicles–the top-selling plug-in hybrid, the Chevy Volt (13,146 sold), Lexus CT200h (12,507), Toyota Avalon Hybrid (11,915), Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid (11,489) and Tesla Model S (10,600). Other encouraging signs are that the new BMW i3 electric car appears to be showing strong sales and the Chevy Cruze Diesel popped up to number three in the diesel market this last month.

Chevy-Volt-plugin-electric

Volt – the best from Chevy?

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Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2014 (January-March)

Toyota,Prius,Plug-in,EV,sales

Still leading the hybrid way

Electric Cars, Plug-in Hybrids, Diesels Lead the New Year Charge.

When sales are down, the excuses flow. We’ve been hearing them for three months as January-March automotive sales are almost flat compared to last year in defiance of what appears to be ongoing economic recovery. It’s the terrible weather, some say. Rising prices, others add. Some alternatives to conventional gasoline-powered cars don’t have to make any excuses; their sales are humming along quite nicely, thank you.

While overall sales languished a mere 1.3 percent above the first quarter of 2013, high-mileage electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and clean diesels continued a torrid pace similar to what they were experiencing during most of last year. The only laggard in this group was gas-electric hybrids, which dropped almost 16 percent compared to last year, based heavily on declining sales of several Prius models. Check out the gains:

  • Plug-in hybrids were up 36.8 percent compared to January-March 2013
  • Diesels were up 19 percent
  • Pure battery electrics were up 13.4 percent

The year has also started with some juggling of the Top 10 compared to the previous year’s rankings. The Prius remains the top dog by a long shot, the only true mainstream vehicle among these alternatives, but Ford’s Fusion Hybrid is now a solid No. 2 and the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S (both pure electrics) appear to have moved permanently into the Top 10 along with the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

What may be an interesting sidelight to the overall positive news is the decline in total hybrid sales despite a record total of 44 models on the market. The big drop among Toyota models, which continue to dominate the segment, appears to be the culprit in the slip. The 22 diesels, nine battery electric cars and seven plug-in hybrids on the market pushed the total 82 alternatives to gasoline vehicles. And of course those gasoline vehicles have been getting more efficient, too, adding to the competition.

Another sidelight to note is the exceptions to falling year-to-year sales among the Top 10. The Volkswagen Passat TDI, Sonata Hybrid, Nissan Leaf and Lexus CT 200h had increased sales compared to last year while the other six fell.

Top 10 Sales January-March 2014

On top of the group – always – is the Toyota Prius, the only model on the chart with a reasonable chance of breaking 100,000 units in sales for the year. Even dropping more than 25 percent from last year’s sales total the Prius still captures just under a quarter of the total hybrid market. Most of the rest of the Top 10 are regulars, but represent the diversity that characterizes the 21st century automotive market – hybrids, diesels, battery electrics and plug-in hybrids all have representatives. In the chart below we’ve listed the sales for the first quarter of 2014 with the 2013 numbers in parentheses.

1. Toyota Prius – 25,578 – (34,981) The Prius is unchallenged as the leader among all of the alternatives, a mainstream car that ranks up with the best selling standard cars. Its share of hybrid sales is dropping as are its sales numbers as the car comes up on a model changeover in a year or so.

2. Ford Fusion Hybrid – 9,606 – (10,266) Ford’s flagship hybrid is having a good year though not quite as good as last year at this time. What is significant is that it’s solidly outselling its main rival, The Toyota Camry

Ford,Fusion,start-stop,

Fusion moves up in sales in 2014

Hybrid.

3. Toyota Prius c – 8,833 – (9,865) The “baby” Prius continues to attract entry-level hybrid seekers and had a strong first quarter, with its sales dropping less than some of the other Prius variants.

4. Toyota Camry Hybrid – 8,782 – (12,434) The Camry’s hybrid version has slipped among hybrids this year, but its sales are still strong enough to keep it high on this list.

5. Volkswagen Jetta TDI – 8,151 – (9,604) The clean diesel standard-bearer continues to slot itself right alongside hybrid competitors, even with a drop in sales compared to last year. Along with the Passat TDI, they account for more than have of all diesel sales at this point.

VW,Passat,TDI,clean diesel

VW Passat TDI had a record month

6. Volkswagen Passat TDI – 7,769 – (7,240) The Jetta’s “big brother” has put a push on its sales in 2014, surpassing sales records for the TDI version set last year. In March the Passat TDI outsold the Jetta TDI.

7. Toyota Prius V – 6,001 – (8,525) The Prius “wagon” is having a tough year so far, dropping even more in sales than the Prius, but still maintaining a good position in the overall sales chart.

8. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid  – 5.677 – (4,256) Call it the stealth hybrid. Hyundai’s hybrid models flies under the radar somewhat, but has had a great first quarter maintaining a position it moved into last year. With the Kia Optima Hybrid using the same technology the combined sales from the Korean manufacturer have moved past the Toyota Camry Hybrid level, though slightly below the Ford Fusion.

9. Nissan Leaf – 5,184 – (3,539) Nissan’s pure electric car continues to benefit from strong word-of-mouth and a price drop earlier in the year from a shift of most production to the U.S. It has been setting sales records and appears to have established itself as a viable model.

10. Tesla Model S – 4,000 – (4,750) Tesla’s pure electric has estimated sales numbers (they release the official ones when they report their quarterly earnings so we only get a glimpse of the real numbers intermittently). Production continues at a high level, but the shift of sales to Europe and soon Asia (as well as a potential saturation of the U.S. market) is affecting U.S. sales (which is all we report). It does have the “honor” of being the most expensive car in this list by a good margin.

10. Lexus CT 200h Hybrid – 4,000 – (3,245) A redesign of Lexus’ small hybrid appears to have revived its sales and bumps it into the Top 10 for this quarter.

Bubbling below the Top 10 (or 11 in this case) are several models that help boost hybrid sales. The sales numbers are close enough to those in the Top 10 that these models are likely to move up later in the year. The Ford C-Max Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid, Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Lexus ES Hybrid have now been joined by the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. This group doesn’t rack up big numbers, but add to the strength of the whole segment.

Photos from manufacturers

Posted April 14, 2014 (compiled with Hybridcars.com & Automotive News information as reported by manufacturers)

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Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2013

Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2013

You say hybrid-we say Prius

Actually January through November, but we know the way this end.

We know the year isn’t over yet, but we also know the only thing that will change between now and Dec. 31 on the sales charts are the actual numbers. We’ve got a very good sense of which are the Top 10 best-selling High-MPG cars of 2013, so we’re not afraid to let you know early (in case it fits into your holiday shopping plans).

The year 2013 is almost over and the auto industry is moving toward the best sales year in half a decade. High mileage electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and clean diesels are drafting along with the positive sales year and going beyond, with each segment besting the overall market as new models enter and draw attention. The expectation is for aggressive selling to continue through the rest of the year, but it’s a good time to regroup and declare the Top 10 winners for the year.

If you’ve been following our coverage throughout the year, you’ll recognize the players – the Prius liftback dominates the 42 hybrid models now on the market; VW’s Jetta and Passat takes the lion’s share of diesel sales (although now joined by 20 other models) and the plug-in segment (now totaling 15 models) splits fairly evenly between the pure electric Nissan Leaf and the extended range Chevy Volt. Then Tesla and Toyota carve up most of the rest of this segment, which has shown the most dynamic growth this year.

These three segments of high-MPG models (augmented by a few natural gas Honda Civics) are pacing the market and all three are adding new models, which portends continued growth. That said, the penetration of the by hybrids, plug-ins and diesels still totals less than five percent of the overall market.

Sales in 2014 Expected to Keep Rolling

Auto analysts predict the positive sales trends will continue into 2014 as the economy improves and all indications are that these high-MPG models will also keep ahead of the rest of the market. The Top 10 vehicles in sales are relatively consistent while a couple models on the margins of the sales numbers shuffle places among the top 14 or 15.

On top of the group – always – is the Toyota Prius. With a several year head start on most of the other cars on sales, it’s sales are typically triple those in the next tier. In the second tier are the models breaking into the mainstream, selling well enough to assure their continued existence in the market, but well below the Prius level. At this level the VW diesels – Jetta and Passat – are joined by the midsize Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion hybrids as well as two Prius variants, the c and V and the Ford C-Max hybrid. The electric Leaf and Volt are bubbling significantly below the second tier group and are joined by a group of hybrids along with the Tesla Model S.

Details on sales for the first 11 months of the year as well as the month of November (parenthetically) follow. It’s shaping up to be a solid year for these high-MPG cars.

1. Toyota Prius – 135,291 – (9,801) The Prius is unchallenged as the leader among all of the alternatives, a mainstream car that ranks up with the best selling standard cars. It captures almost a third of all hybrid sales even though it is well into its product cycle (it was introduced in 2009) and probably will need to kick up its game as its 50 MPG rating doesn’t make it stand out when compared with the mileage plug-in hybrids are delivering.

2. Toyota Camry Hybrid – 41,722 – (2,998) The Camry’s hybrid version is a solid second best among hybrids for the year though in November it dropped below the Prius c in sales.

toyota,camry,hybrid,mpg,power,fuel economy

A Hybrid with real-world acceleration

3. Volkswagen Jetta TDI – 41,089 – (2,936) The clean diesel standard-bearer is pushing toward the top of the second tier, virtually neck-and-neck with the Camry Hybrid in sales. It accounts for fully one-fourth of diesel sales at this point.

4. Toyota Prius c – 39,169 – (3,001) The “baby” Prius continues to attract entry-level hybrid seekers and had a strong November, second only to the Prius liftback. This smallest, least expensive hybrid in the Toyota lineup helped Toyota to a 1-2-3 podium finish among hybrid sales, Ford is mounting a challenge.

5. Ford Fusion Hybrid – 34,502 – (2,769) The flagship of hybrid fuel economy at Ford is leading a challenge by that automaker to Toyota’s dominance of the hybrid segment, although its approach to fuel economy includes also plug-in versions of the Fusion and C-Max, an all-electric Focus and its conventional EcoBoost engines.

6. Volkswagen Passat TDI – 32,754 – (2,432) The Jetta’s “big brother” has steadily maintained its sales trajectory during the year, setting sales records for the TDI version of the midsize model. The two VWs (and the company’s three other TDI models) give the company a dominating position in the diesel market similar to Toyota’s with hybrids with more than 70 percent of the diesel market.

7. Toyota Prius V – 32,879 – (2,227) The Prius “wagon” is having a good year, adding to Toyota dominance of the hybrid market, where Toyota and Lexus models take almost 65 percent of total sales.

Ford-CMax-Hybrid-bestseller

Ford C-Max Hybrid

8. Ford C-Max Hybrid – 26,858 – (1,457) Ford’s hybrid “wagon,” along with the Prius V, demonstrates that there is a clear demand for more versatility along with good fuel economy, although C-Max sales have been slipping during the last few months of the year.

9. Chevrolet Volt – 20,702 – (1,920) The Volt is selling on par with last year as a price drop on 2013 models boosted sales and 2014 models carried on with lower prices.

10. Nissan Leaf – 20,081 – (2,003) Nissan’s pure electric car has been benefiting from strong word-of-mouth and a price drop earlier in the year. It’s heading for its best sales year and looks like it will stay in the Top 10.

11. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid  – 19,640 – (1,866) Hyundai’s hybrid models flies under the radar somewhat, but had a great November where it finished sixth among hybrids. With the Kia Optima Hybrid using the same technology the combined sales from the Korean manufacturer are almost at the Toyota Camry Hybrid level.

12. Tesla Model S – 16,950 – (1,400) Tesla’s pure electric has estimated sales numbers (they release the official ones when they report their quarterly earnings so we only get a glimpse of the real numbers intermittently. Production has been steadily increasing during the year as the company fills its orders for its expensive, but exquisite sedan and begins ramping up exports, which is already starting to affect U.S. sales (which is all we report). It does have the “honor” of being the most expensive car in this list by a good margin.

Bubbling below the Top 10 (or 12 in this case) are several models that help boost hybrid sales. The Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Lexus ES Hybrid, Chevy Malibu Hybrid, Kia Optima

Toyota has added hybrid models to the lineup like the Avalon Hybrid and Lexus CT 200h Hybrid don’t rack up big numbers, but they add to the strength of the segment – and cumulatively accounted for more than 50,000 additional hybrid sales.

This segment shows a great amount of strength as new models continue to be introduced. There were eight brand-new hybrid models in 2013 (and several more that were barely launched in 2012); six new plug-ins entered the market and the diesel segment added eight new models. The word is the new models are going to keep coming, which should keep the high-MPG car segment invigorated.

Photos from manufacturers

Posted Dec. 14, 2013 (compiled with Hybridcars.com & Automotive News information as reported by manufacturers)

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Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars in 2013 (January-August)

VW,Passat,TDI,clean diesel

VW Passat TDI had a record month

August was a high-water mark for some of the pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids, stoking hopes that these alternatives were starting to gain traction in the market. The year 2013 is two-thirds over and auto industry sales overall are doing quite well (up 14 percent compared to July 2013, up 17 percent compared to August 2012 and up 9.6 percent over the year-to-date compared to last year). The record sales this month by the Passat TDI, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf show that high mileage vehicles are definitely high on consumers’ shopping lists. More models continue to come onto the market, broadening consumer choices and adding to the ongoing discussion of fuel economy.

At this point in the year it is safe to say that the slice of the market held by hybrids, plug-ins and diesels will end the year near five percent of the overall market, which it topped in August by a good margin as all three sectors grew. As we’ve seen all year, each month may present a slightly different order, but the Top 10 vehicles are relatively consistent and a couple models on the margins of the sales numbers shuffle places among the top 14 or 15. That said, we also are seeing a couple distinct tiers of sales in this diverse group.

On top of the group – always – is the Toyota Prius. With a several year head start on most of the other cars on sales, it’s sales are typically triple those in the next tier. The second tier are the models breaking into the mainstream, selling well enough to assure their continued existence in the market, but well below the Prius level. At this level the VW diesels – Jetta and Passat – are joined by the midsize Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion hybrids as well as two Prius variants, the c and V and the Ford C-Max hybrid. In August the Chevy Volt also joined this group although its year-to-date sales drop it into the third tier.

The third tier is more crowded and is where the most shuffling takes place on a month to month basis. Looking back over the first eight months of the year this group would include the Volt mentioned above, the pure electric Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Tesla’s Model S. Knocking on the door of this group are a variety of hybrids – The Lexus CT 200h, Kia Optima Hybrid, Lexus ES Hybrid, Malibu Hybrid and Toyota Avalon Hybrid. Of note in this group is the fact that most of them are cars sharing technology with others in their corporate family so the incremental costs of the technology is spread across more platforms. Their sales numbers may not be as critical as what they add to the cumulative totals of hybrid sales for Toyota-Lexus, Hyundai-Kia and General Motors.

Details on sales for the first eight months of the year as well as the month of August (parenthetically) follow. It’s shaping up to be a solid year for these high mpg cars.

1. Toyota Prius – 106,448 – (16,157) The Prius is unchallenged as the leader among all of the alternatives, a mainstream car and something for the rest of this group to aspire to. It captures almost a third of all hybrid sales

Toyota,Prius,mpg,sales

Toyota Prius sells in a different level

and is charting among the top 10 selling cars in the overall market.

2. Toyota Camry Hybrid – 32,756 – (4,729 The Camry’s hybrid version is a solid second best among hybrids for the year though in August it dropped to fifth in sales in the group.

3. Volkswagen Jetta TDI – 31,151 – (5,876) The clean diesel standard-bearer is pushing toward the top of the second tier, in August once again second only to the Prius Liftback in sales. It accounts for fully one-third of diesel sales at this point.

4. Toyota Prius c – 29,850 – (5,478) The “baby” Prius continues to attract entry-level hybrid seekers and had a strong August. This smallest, least expensive hybrid in the Toyota lineup helped Toyota to a 1-2-3 podium finish among hybrid sales, Ford is mounting a challenge.

5. Ford Fusion Hybrid – 26,891 – (3,694) The flagship of fuel economy at Ford is leading a challenge by that automaker to Toyota’s dominance of the hybrid segment, although its approach to fuel economy includes also plug-in versions of the Fusion and C-Max, an all-electric Focus and its conventional EcoBoost engines.

6. Toyota Prius V – 25,976 – (3,932) The Prius “wagon” is having a good year, helping Toyota to continue to take four of the top six spots in this survey.

7. Volkswagen Passat TDI – 25,122 – (4,470) The Jetta’s “big brother” had a great August, setting sales records for the TDI version of the midsize model. The two VWs give the company a dominating position in the diesel market similar to Toyota’s with hybrids.

8. Ford C-Max Hybrid – 22,536- (2,411) Ford’s hybrid “wagon,” along with the Prius V, demonstrates that there is a clear demand for more versatility along with good fuel economy. It’s the top-seller among new models for this year.

9. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid  – 14,354 – (2,303) Hyundai’s hybrid models flies under the radar somewhat, but with the Kia Optima Hybrid using the same technology their combined sales are almost at the Toyota Camry Hybrid level.

10. Chevrolet Volt – 14,994 – (3,351) The Volt had a record August as it dropped prices in the hotly competitive plug-in market. It’s 2014 model will be on sale soon and likely will continue its strong performance.

11. Nissan Leaf – 14,123 – (2,420) A strong August looks to keep the Leaf on track for a good year and just kept it out of the Top 10 by a few hundred sales.

Tesla,Model S,electric car,top seller

Tesla’s Model S – surprise top seller

12. Tesla Model S – 13,150 – (1,700) Tesla’s pure electric has estimated sales numbers (they release the official ones when they report their quarterly earnings so we should know real numbers in two months), but production has been steadily increasing during the year as the company fills its orders for its expensive, but exquisite sedan and begins ramping up exports. If the production continues to increase, it could potentially move up this survey, though realistically it will remain in the bottom group. It does have the “honor” of being the most expensive car in this list by a good margin.

Bubbling below the Top 10 (or 12 in this case) are several models that help boost hybrid sales. The Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Lexus ES Hybrid, Chevy Malibu Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid and Lexus CT 200h Hybrid don’t rack up big numbers, but they add to the strength of the segment – and cumulatively accounted for more than 50,000 additional hybrid sales.

Something to keep an eye on are new models just coming into the market that might make an impact in the second half of the year. The new hybrids include the VW Jetta Hybrid and Audi Q5 Hybrid – new hybrid models for the best-selling cars for those two brands. In the diesel world the big news is the Chevy Cruze Diesel, which went on sale in June and appears to be a slow starter, while a Ram 1500 Diesel pickup and Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Diesel will be out later in the year. Plug-ins will welcome the Chevy Spark EV and Toyota RAV4 EV, both of which are being priced competitively to try to stimulate sales in this portion of the market.

Posted August 8, 2013 (compiled with Hybridcars.com & Automotive News information as reported by manufacturers)

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