Overview

   

Ever since Honda was first in the gas-electric hybrid game, releasing the two-seat Insight in 1999, this much-loved brand has had something to offer drivers seeking to lower their carbon footprint. Once the Prius joined the Insight on sales lots, hybrids gained traction among eco-friendly and cost-conscious drivers, and over time more and more hybrid models were introduced. So what are hybrids, exactly? Unlike their gasoline-only counterparts, hybrids get their power by the combination of an internal-combustion engine and an electric motor system.

   

In a conventional gas-electric hybrid, the motor provides the power from a dead stop and through lower around-town speeds, with the gasoline engine taking over at cruising speed. The two trade off continuously, as called for by the driving situation of the moment. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) differ in that the electric power is exhausted first, with the gasoline engine taking over once the battery charge is down. This means that on shorter drives, those that don't exceed the vehicle system's all-electric range, the driver can avoid burning any gasoline whatsoever. Then, once they reach their destination, they can plug in if there's an electrical source available, and make the return trip once again without burning gas.

   

These practical cars are a great option for modern drivers because they combine the positive attributes of both gas and electric vehicles. What's more, hybrids today employ regenerative braking, where the vehicle's battery gets partially recharged when energy created during braking (which would otherwise be lost) is collected and stored in the battery. Let's take a look at the current lineup of hybrid vehicles offered by Honda.

   
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New Honda Insight

   

The New Honda Insight is a stylish four-door hybrid sedan built on the Civic platform that looks great and offers attractive fuel savings. There are three available trim levels: LX, EX, and Touring, all powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor system. The total system output is 151 horsepower, and the LX and EX both return an EPA-estimated 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. The Touring gives up a few mpg (51 city/45 highway), but that's because the luxurious amenities it's loaded up with add some weight.

   
   
   

New Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda's flagship gasoline-only sedan is also available as a hybrid, making it more versatile than many of its competitors. Like the 2020 Honda Insight, the 2020 Honda Accord is a good-looking four-door, but it offers a bit more space in both the cabin and the trunk. It achieves an EPA-estimated 48 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway with its 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and pair of electric motors. Besides being larger than the Insight, it's more powerful, with a total system output of 212 hp, and is eligible for a few more features.

   
   

New Honda CR-V Hybrid

The consistently popular CR-V crossover became available with a hybrid powertrain for the 2020 model year. It's a great solution for those who want more space and versatility or just a higher perch above the road. Better still, it comes with a standard all-wheel drivetrain. It's powered a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor setup, and it achieves an EPA-estimated 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

   
   

New Honda Clarity PHEV

Distinguishing itself from the other hybrids offered by Honda, the 2020 Honda Clarity is a plug-in, meaning it can be recharged from an external power source such as a home outlet. It also uses up all of its electric charge at the beginning of a drive before switching to burning gasoline once the battery is depleted. It's similar in design to the 2020 Honda Insight, but the 2020 Clarity boasts an all-electric range of 47 miles, an EPA-estimated 110 MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent), 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway (with the gasoline engine), and a combined driving range of 340 miles. Like the 2020 Honda Accord and 2020 Honda CR-V hybrids, the 2020 Honda Clarity PHEV churns a total system output of 212 hp, but its powered by the 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine instead of the 2.0-liter.

   

*Based on 2020 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.