Fuel economy may be the top priority when shopping for a hybrid sedan, but consumers looking for the complete package will want top safety specs and solid performance as well. With the selection of 2016 models on the U.S. market this year, there is no reason to compromise on any of these fronts.
In fact, there are already six hybrid sedans (including one plug-in model) that have already received five-star crash ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the latest model year. The NHTSA awards five-star safety ratings to vehicles that score a perfect five of five stars on the frontal crash, side crash, or rollover crash test and four of five stars on the other two tests.
Here are the six hybrid cars that received an overall five-star safety rating for 2016.
1. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Lincoln prices the 2016 MKZ Hybrid ($35,190) exactly the same as the gasoline model, which makes the decision easy on consumers looking for top fuel economy (41 miles per gallon city). The MKZ’s safety specs are also elite, with the car scoring a perfect five stars in frontal crash tests and four stars in side and rollover tests. On Safercar.gov, the NHTSA recommends lane departure warning and forward collision warning as safety features in addition to the standard rearview camera.
2. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will have a plug-in model arriving in the fall in addition to the standard gas-electric model ($26,000) on sale now. Economy highlights include 44 miles per gallon on the highway and 40 miles per gallon in city driving. To nab its five-star safety rating, the Sonata Hybrid posted perfect scores in frontal and side crash tests and four of five stars in the rollover test. NHTSA recommendations for advanced safety features include forward collision warning and lane departure warning.
3. Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Compared to the standard Jetta ($17,325) or Clean Diesel model ($21,640), the Jetta Hybrid ($31,120) is a pricey proposition. Drivers get access to 150 horsepower in this turbo model as well as 48 miles per gallon on the highway. Safety specs are equally impressive, with the Jetta Hybrid scoring four of five stars in frontal and rollover tests and a perfect five stars in side crash tests. Safercar.gov gave the 2016 model its five-star rating before Volkswagen has even begun selling this edition.
4. Ford Fusion Energi and Fusion Hybrid
Both the Ford Fusion Hybrid ($25,185) and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid ($33,900) nailed five-star safety ratings for the 2016 model year. The standard hybrid’s 44 miles per gallon in city driving is that model’s highlight, while the plug-in sedan features 19 miles of pure electric range and 95 miles per gallon equivalent in city economy. Both Ford hybrids had perfect scores in their frontal and side crash tests and four stars out of five in rollover tests. Forward collision warning and lane departure warning are recommended while the rearview camera comes standard.
5. Kia Optima Hybrid
Like the Jetta Hybrid (or the standard model that debuted at the New York Auto Show), Kia’s gas-electric variant of the 2016 Optima has yet to come to market, but the NHTSA has already awarded the new model its five-star safety rating. In fact, the future Optima is the only hybrid to nail a perfect five stars in each of the three crash tests. This edition should follow the 2016 Optima’s release later in 2015. Consumers who want one now can opt for the 2015 model ($25,990) capable of 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
6. Toyota Camry Hybrid
Only the Toyota Prius sells better than the Camry Hybrid ($26,790) among all gas-electric models on the U.S. market. The 2016 edition gets 43 miles per gallon in city driving and 39 miles per gallon on the highway based on the latest EPA estimates. Its five-star safety rating from the NHTSA came from the perfect score in side crash tests and four stars out of five in frontal and rollover tests. Toyota priced the hybrid model of America’s favorite car $3,720 more than the standard 2016 model ($23,070). Considering the Camry LE gets just 25 miles per gallon in city driving, the premium sounds about right.
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