Until recently, if you wanted to try and do your bit for the environment in terms of your choice of car, you had very few options. You could scour eBay for a Sinclair C5, which is a realistic option only if you have a journey of less than 200 metres to work each day and no sense of self-respect. The only other alternative was that you could follow the example of some of Hollywood’s great and good and buy a showpiece hybrid car.
These cars are worn as a badge of pride by many stars ‘who really do care about their carbon footprint and the planet a great deal’. This is plainly evident to all by the fact that they offset the huge amounts of CO2 generated by their jet-setting across the globe on a daily basis, by piously bumbling along Rodeo Drive in the Hollywood-approved and generically bland hybrid vehicle of choice.
It was quite a depressing situation, until inspired by the power of its dreams, Honda decided to do its bit and put a halt to the phrase ‘environmentally-friendly motorist’ from being an oxymoron.
Honda’s range of hybrid cars offers something different to suit every type of motorist who wants to reduce their carbon footprint and save the world, and yet not be forced to compromise on quality or wear their car as a green badge of honour. Honda’s hybrid range of cars is somewhat like Clarke Kent: they help the world, but they do so in an understated and disarmingly polite manner and, in addition, by looking at them you never would guess what they are truly capable of.
The success of the range of Honda hybrid cars is down to two factors. The first is the way in which Honda engineers have brilliantly combined the performance and power of a traditional petrol engine and then allied that to the more environmentally friendly qualities of an electrical motor. By combining these two forms of power, Honda has created its hybrid engine and in doing so banished the notion of an awkward compromise between power and economy, forever.
The second reason Honda’s range of cars is so successful is that they don’t behave or look like a hybrid vehicle. Indeed, you would not notice any difference between a Honda hybrid vehicle and a standard petrol engine car.
Unless, that is, you are paying for the road tax and petrol for it, in which case you will be able to identify hybrid vehicle drivers by their smile of satisfaction and contented purses and wallets! All three Honda hybrid cars qualify for the £0 road tax band that recently became law in the UK. So not only are you saving a fortune on petrol each week, but you don’t have any road tax to pay either!
The only question is; which car is right for you?
The Honda Insight Hybrid is a perfect entry-level family hybrid vehicle, so much so that the car is often labelled as the ‘Insight (family hybrid)’. From just £16,325 on-the-road, this spacious family vehicle comes fitted with Honda’s Eco Assist driving system, which effectively tells the motorist just how ‘green’ they have been driving and even gives them a score at the end of a journey!
However, it is not just the environment that is helped when you drive the Insight. With a plethora of safety features, accessories and features designed to make travelling in the car as safe and enjoyable as possible, it is easy to forget that you are inside a vehicle that gives you an economy of 64.2mpg and emits just 101 g/km of CO2.
If you prefer the look and drivability of a saloon, then the Honda Civic hybrid is the perfect choice. This stylish executive saloon also boasts some astonishing figures of 61.4mpg and 109 g/km of CO2 emitted. Despite this frugality, Honda has not compromised on the overall quality of the Civic hybrid. The car comes complete with alloy wheels, cruise and climate control, anti-lock brakes and a six CD tuner as standard and with many more options available for the discerning motorist.
The new kid on the block is the Honda CR-Z Hybrid. This new hot hatch was released in the UK in early 2010 and combines the best of a traditional sporty hatchback car with the economy of a hybrid engine vehicle. The result is a truly astonishing feat of engineering; the first ‘sports hybrid’ vehicle (indeed the CR-Z is fast becoming known as the CR-Z (sporty hybrid), which is capable of 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 124mph and yet which emits just 117 g/km of CO2 and can do 56.5mpg. It is an outstanding piece of modern engineering.
The Honda range of hybrid vehicles offers three outstanding cars with low emissions, great performance, no road tax and no compromise.