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Best New Hybrids of 2015

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It seems like only yesterday when hybrid vehicles were the next big thing. Now, with a new year just around the corner, the hype over hybrid vehicles may already be surpassed by plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles and soon-to-debut fuel cell vehicles.

That said, the best new hybrids of the 2015 model year offer enough improvements in fuel efficiency, power and other features to keep auto buyers happy. Hybrid sales figures are down from a year ago (the result of falling gas prices), but tens of thousands of hybrids are still sold from U.S. dealerships on a monthly basis. Auto manufacturers are certainly feeling the heat from federal regulations calling for average EPA fuel ratings above 50 mpg within the next decade. With that deadline looming, expect the best new hybrids to see plenty of improvements each year, even as new types of alternative-fuel vehicles hit showroom floors.

So which 2015 models are among the best new hybrid vehicles? Read on and find out.

2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford Fusion Hybrid hasn’t changed much from its previous model year. However, the vehicle delivers a stylish exterior, quick acceleration and nimble enough handling to give this hybrid the feel of a sports car. The Fusion Hybrid gets up to 188 horsepower from its 2.0-liter inline-four engine and a combined fuel efficiency of 42 miles per gallon. A rear-view camera has been added as a standard safety feature, and Ford’s Sync system can automatically dial 911 when paired with a cell phone via Bluetooth.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Perhaps the most popular of the 2015 hybrid lineup, the Camry Hybrid features a 2.5-liter four cylinder hybrid engine that pumps out 200 horsepower with a combined 41 MPG fuel rating. Nothing has changed mechanically since the Camry Hybrid’s previous model year, although sporty exterior style upgrades have made the car more attractive for more youthful auto buyers. This model is praised for its smooth handling and quiet, comfortable interior as well as its projected dependability.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The newest version of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, set to be launched in 2015, is among the more eagerly awaited hybrids on the market. The 2014 Sonata Hybrid was a hit, and the upcoming model year is expected to usher in some positive changes. At its base, the 2015 Sonata Hybrid will be powered by a 2.4-liter engine that is figured to produce close to 200 horsepower, putting the vehicle on par with other competing hybrids. The exterior styling of the 2015 Sonata Hybrid will be more aggressive than the 2014 version. Hyundai fans who are eying this hybrid may also check out the standard-combustion Hyundai Eco, which will feature a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine while reaching 38 MPG on the freeway.

2015 Kia Optima Hybrid

The newest version of the Kia Optima Hybrid will virtually mirror the upcoming Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. With a 2.4-liter engine and a combined fuel rating of 38 MPG, the Optima Hybrid is another affordable option for auto buyers in search of a base-level luxury hybrid. The Optima Hybrid features a sporty exterior along with enjoyable interior features such as navigation, heated seats, a sunroof and premium sound. This won’t be the most fuel-efficient hybrid of 2015, but auto buyers will be hard pressed to find more value at this price point.

2015 Honda Accord Hybrid

Exterior styling was the edge the Honda Accord Hybrid once held over its rival Toyota Camry Hybrid. However, now that the Camry has been redesigned, it’s time to focus on other reasons to consider the 2015 Accord Hybrid. Turns out, there are reasons aplenty. For starters, the car handles wonderfully and features a high-quality interior. Second, the Accord Hybrid’s exterior styling remains sporty and youthful. Third, the vehicle’s power plant still performs as well as its competition. Where the Accord Hybrid really shines is with its estimated gas mileage; with a combined fuel rating of 47 MPG, the competing Camry doesn’t even come close.

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