CNET Top 5
Brownest Hybrids (2011)Just because its a hybrid, doesn't mean it makes sense.
IÃ¯Â¿Â½m B.C. with Top 5 Brownest Hybrids for 2011 - rolling piles of greenwash that get barely better MPG then their conventional version and charge you plenty for that lack of improvement. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½ve ranked these hybrids by the scant difference in their AVG MPG over the non-hybrid model, and broke ties by looking at tailpipe emissions and price penalty. So the hybrids that made this list are sort of dirty, piggy and expensive. Not what you had in mind, was it? LetÃ¯Â¿Â½s do it. #5 is almost a caricature: The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid -- one of the first cars that signalled this whole hybrid thing was gonna get out of hand. It gets just 5 MPG better than a conventional Ã¯Â¿Â½Lade but that is good enough for an 21 MPG avg. vs a hoggish 16 on the non-hybrid. But youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll pay $8 grand more that lift#4 is the BMW X6 Active Hybrid, with an avg MPG of 18, just 4 MPG better than the gas V8 model. And it sports the huge price bump: Almost 20 GRAND more than then V8 ride while delivering the worst emissions numbers of any car in this list. Talk about some inconvenient truths.#3 brings us to another BMW - the Active 7 Hybrid. Just 3 MPG avg better than a regular 750i, though to be fair what this guy lacks in MPG improvement it makes up in speed: About 4.5 seconds 0-60. But IÃ¯Â¿Â½m sorry, the gas engine 750 is no slouch either and for the extra 13 grand you can easily soothe your ego with a really nice Chambolle Musigny every time you lose a drag race. #2 on our list of brownest green cars is the VW Touareg Hybrid. Just *2* MPG better than a straight AWD Touareg and about 16 grand more! VW calls this the Ã¯Â¿Â½rare beastÃ¯Â¿Â½ and with numbers like those my hunch is it will stay that way.GFX of the data to the rightBefore we get to the #1 brownest hybrid, letÃ¯Â¿Â½s restore your faith in the most hyped cars on earth: Here are a few hybrids that DO deliver stellar, double digit MPG improvements over their conventional counterparts: Lincoln MKZ +18 MPG Ford Fusion +13 MPG Honda Civic +11 MPG Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima +10 MPG the #1 hybrid car that makes you mouth the word Ã¯Â¿Â½idiotÃ¯Â¿Â½ when its owner turns away is... the Lexus LS600hL. Just 2 MPG better than a non-hybrid LS 460 L at a middling 20 MPG average and for that you pay a 37 THOUSAND dollar price premium! Oh, I know, equipment levels on the hybrid vary, but still you could buy an entire Lincoln MKZ Hybrid for the premium on a Lexus LS Hybrid and have a couple grand left to buy carbon credits.if this has all backfired horribly and now you want to buy one of these dubious machines, head over to cars.cnet.com where we have most of them reviewed. And for more Top 5Ã¯Â¿Â½s like this, go to top5.cnet.com. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.