Are you in the market for a new automobile? If so, the thought may have crossed your mind to buy a hybrid car. Though hybrids have been around for several years now, they are becoming more popular, and not without reason.
The benefits of hybrid cars are pretty well known and numerous. They get better gas mileage, and can save you vast sums of money over the life of the vehicle. In addition, driving a hybrid can be a good way to reduce your carbon footprint—a great thing for those who try to live their lives “green.”
There are some additional hybrid perks as well as some downsides that you may not have thought of. It’s important to get the full story before you make your hybrid decision.
Advantages of Driving a Hybrid
In addition to better fuel economy, hybrids offer these advantages:
- They help teach you how to drive more efficiently. You’ll get the best performance in a hybrid when you accelerate and brake gently, and you’ll actually see results as your driving habits change.
- They are ideal for city driving. Hybrids build energy when you drive slowly and when you brake. So if much of your driving is in an urban environment, you’ll get especially good results from your hybrid.
- Hybrid cars don’t come roaring to life when you put the keys in the ignition. They are actually incredibly quiet, which makes for a calmer, smoother drive.
- The engine always stays warm. Mechanics often warn against starting a cold engine, but in hybrids, the engine is made to stay more or less constantly warm, which prevents wear and tear.
- If you live in a state that requires vehicle emissions testing, driving a hybrid can earn you an exemption.
- Hybrid vehicles tend to be incredibly durable and perform well long past the point where other cars usually start to fail.
Disadvantages of Driving a Hybrid
There are also some downsides to driving a hybrid:
- Although you will get better mileage in the city, you may actually get slightly worse gas mileage when you’re driving on the highway. Those with long Interstate commutes won’t see quite as much hybrid advantage.
- Most hybrid vehicles tend to be smaller; there are not very many third row hybrids out there. Larger families may not have many options available that work for them.
- Because hybrids have smaller batteries, even something as minor as leaving an interior light on overnight can drain it.
Note that not all hybrids are created equal. The points made here are all generalizations, and the only way to really know the pros and cons of a particular model are to investigate it in greater specificity and depth. There are certainly many drivers who can benefit from owning hybrid vehicles; just make sure you know what to expect!