Hybrid Cars Ireland: Top 5 Options
1 - Honda CR-Z
List price: €11,500
Engine: 1.5 petrol-electric hybrid
Some of our readers might remember the sporty little Honda CR-X coupes; well, the CR-Z carries on where they left off, with a cool two-door body shell, 2+2 seating (the rear seats are next to useless) and a modestly powerful petrol engine powering the front wheels. One crucial difference, here though: the 1.5-litre petrol engine is mated with a small electric motor to enhance efficiency and performance. It's brilliant fun to drive (with one of the best manual gearboxes ever), beautifully engineered and of very high quality. There are plenty of examples in the Carzone.ie classifieds, but we chose this relatively early one for its apparent condition and affordability. We wouldn't worry in the least about its mileage as Hondas are notoriously reliable.
2 - Lexus IS 300h
List price: €25,000
Engine: 2.5 petrol-electric hybrid
Lexus likes to play by its own rules, and it has now abandoned diesel power completely, perhaps a little ahead of time, but there you go. It does mean, however, that there are already plenty of used Lexus hybrids on the market, and one of the best is the IS 300h. The IS competes with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, etc. and it compares very well with them, especially when it comes to equipment levels, refinement and interior design. It's an attractive looking car inside and out, as well, especially in F-Sport specification as we've gone for here.
3 - Toyota Auris Hybrid
List price: €22,750
Engine: 1.8 petrol-electric hybrid
If we asked you to name a hybrid Toyota, it's highly likely you'd come up with the Prius, the best-known hybrid in the world, but the Japanese company now offers hybrid power in many of its mainstream models, including the little Yaris, the new C-HR and the RAV4 SUV. The best all-round hybrid in the line-up, though, is the Auris Hybrid, as it's considerably cheaper than the Prius and entirely ordinary in comparison. That's no criticism, either. This car is at its best confined to urban use, like most hybrids, but it's a useful run-around.
4 - Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid
List price: €39,950
Engine: 2.4 diesel-electric hybrid
The V60 plug-in hybrid is alone in our quintet this week in that it uses a diesel engine. That, allied to the efficiencies that are possible if you keep the battery topped up using external power, means an ultra-low emissions rating and fuel consumption figure. The reality is that you need to do low mileage and keep the battery charged up to achieve such economy, which negates the reason for having a diesel. Instead, it's best to revel in the mighty performance this car generates from the hybrid system, not to mention the Volvo's luxurious leather-appointed interior. A rare car in Ireland because of its price and odd positioning.
5 - BMW i8
List price: €112,950
Engine: 1.5 petrol-electric hybrid
Ok, this one might be a bit more expensive than most can afford, but the BMW i8 is worth including as it's probably the most exciting hybrid ever to go on sale in Ireland. Mounted behind the low-slung, two-seat cockpit is a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine driving the rear wheels and making a rousing noise when in Sport mode. Up front, meanwhile, is an electric motor driving the front axle. The battery pack can be charged up from an external source and it even has a decent electric-only range. Of course, when you're using the full system capability, it's as fast as it looks it is.