Q: We’re thinking of getting a mid-size hybrid sedan (gasoline-electric). We know about the Kia Optima because our friends have one that we’ve driven. We think it’s fine, but we want to test drive some other cars so we’ll have a frame of context to compare the Optima against. Can you give us some additional ones to check out?
A: Quite a large number of popular-make sedans are now available in hybrid versions. They include the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Lexus 300 ES, Ford Fusion and Buick Regal. That’s just a small sampling in a few different price ranges; the list actually goes on and on.
You can get the full list by visiting fueleconomy.gov. Click on the “Advanced Vehicles and Fuels” tab, and then click on “Hybrids.”
Vehicles are conveniently divided up into categories: small cars, family sedans, luxury/upscale sedans, pickup trucks and SUVs. A nice feature of the site: You can do a side-by-side comparison of up to four vehicles at once.
And, by the way, there’s another don’t miss feature on the site: A list of not-yet-out hybrid vehicles that manufacturers have said they expect to produce and send to the marketplace in the next few months.
Q: We’ve become very interested in the possibility of going the diesel route for our next car for many different reasons, mostly fuel economy. The problem is, all the ones we’re seeing (Audi, Mercedes) are well beyond our price range. Is nobody making a moderately priced diesel?
A: New on the market in just the last few weeks is something you might want to explore as it’s getting a lot of early attention: the Chevy Cruze diesel. It’s a 2014 model that began making its way into dealerships in June (and will hit the remainder of the nation by the end of summer). Early reports are that this vehicle – the first diesel-powered car released by Chevrolet in more than two decades – is a nice combo of style and function at about $25,000.
The Cruze diesel, which is rated for 46 mpg in highway driving, will compete with the Volkswagen Jetta TDI (42 mpg). Try them both.
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What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.