These 10 European hybrid and electric cars are not necessarily great ways to save money on gasoline. The extra initial costs involved, compared with buying an equivalent that relies on internal combustion alone, would take a lot of miles before the books started to balance (as long as gas prices don’t multiply by a scary amount). But these choices do represent a way of having useful power while keeping emissions down. If we’re leaving a cleaner environment for our children and grandchildren, then why quibble over cash?
And we’re concentrating on European models here because they’re more fun. Yes, that’s arguable and subjective, but let’s be honest — when was the last time anyone had a hoot in a Prius?
Audi A3 Sportback E-tron
Here is a car with several great qualities. It’s a practical compact hatchback, contains Audi’s premium appointments and deploys a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. A considerable 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque drives the front wheels courtesy of a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. In full electric mode, this car can cover 16 miles, while the EPA estimates 83 MPGe. Even when EV mode is taken out of the equation, we’re still looking at 33 MPG city, 37 MPG highway and 35 MPG combined. A 240-volt charger will replenish the battery in 2.5 hours.