According to a Diesel Technology Forum’s analysis of the latest Vehicles in Operation (VIO), registration rates for clean diesel and hybrid vehicles increased in 2014. The data shows that registrations increased even though gasoline and diesel prices dropped during the second half of 2014. Manufacturers have taken notice that consumers increasingly want environmentally friendly cars and have answered the call with hybrid and electric vehicles.
The first mainstream, mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid car was the Toyota Prius debuting in the United States in 2000. Other manufacturers like Honda had already introduced hybrids in limited supply. As hybrid and eco-friendly vehicles entered the mainstream, more manufacturers started focusing on style and aesthetics, instead of just their environmentally friendly benefits. With the best of both worlds, consumers can now help lessen their emissions and environmental footprint without compromising on style or expense. Today, used car dealers like DriveTime offer a wide variety of hybrid and electric vehicles across the country from Phoenix to Tampa. Here’s a look at some of the sexiest eco-friendly vehicles of 2015:
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
SUVs usually don’t make the hybrid list, but Toyota’s Highlander offers one of the few family-friendly crossover SUVs. With room for up to eight people, reclining third-row seats and second-row captain’s chairs, this car keeps families comfortable whether they’re running errands or on road trips. For those who want the design of a traditional SUV, the Highlander’s sleek design is nearly indistinguishable from its gas-powered counterpart.
Chevy’s Volt runs on electricity, but gasoline continues to power its electric motor when the battery is drained. Meanwhile, most other electric car and hybrid varieties automatically switch over to a gasoline engine to continue running. A sporty aerodynamic design and bonus interior features such as ambient lighting, the Volt also wins points for being economical as well as sexy. Because the Volt is an officially designated electric vehicle, buyers can qualify for a healthy federal tax credit of up to $7,500. And if you live in California, the state offers up an additional $1,500.
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Speed up to 60 miles per hour in under 10-seconds with the new Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid. A touchscreen navigation, rearview camera and Bi-Xenon headlights keeps drivers focused and safe while the 48 highway miles per gallon saves on emissions. The Volkswagen also features a quiet and comfortable interior with a hybrid braking system to help charge the battery.
Kia Optima Hybrid
Unlike some manufacturers that simply duplicate their gas vehicles into hybrid models, the Kia Optima Hybrid stands apart. It boasts an alloy wheel design, side airflow vent and clean, aerodynamic lines. Interior color options include white leather seats with blue piping along with ventilated and heated seats.
Tesla Model S
One of the most luxurious hybrids on the market, the Tesla Model S P85D features the sleek lines of a sports car with the practicality of a sedan. Equipped with an Internet connection, the Tesla can run diagnostics on itself and upgrade its software without needing to go to the dealer. It’s also quiet, agile and luxuriously comfortable.
Fiat 500 E
Ideal for urban dwellers, the Fiat 500 E offers a smooth ride and sporty compact frame resembling a Smart Car. The Fiat also extends an added financial bonus with free credits that can be used toward conventionally powered rental-cars for longer trips outside of town. Buyers can pick from 15 paint colors, custom wheels, seat covers and decal kits among other features to complement the gliding contoured frame.