It’s claimed that hybrid cars are greener, more fuel efficient, viable alternatives to normal petrol and diesel cars. But are drivers right to fear potentially astronomical repair costs of battery components?
More manufacturers are turning to hybrid power as part of ongoing efforts to improve mpg figures and reduce emissions. Hybrids – cars powered by a conventional petrol or diesel engine and supplemented by a battery-powered electric motor – are becoming more commonplace on our roads as a result.
But anxiety over battery-pack lifespans and the potential costs of replacing them have left some prospective buyers nervous.
And it’s no surprise when you start scouring the internet for indications of how much a replacement battery will cost. For the Toyota Prius, a suggested bill of around £2,000 for a new battery and fitting is enough to make anyone’s eyes water.
However, trying to find horror stories about batteries dying is actually a painstaking process, as it appears they are still going strong long after their warranty periods are up.
Hybrids hailed in Which? Car Survey
This is backed up by an extremely strong showing from hybrid cars in the Which? Car Survey 2013.
The Toyota Auris (2010-2013) and Honda Insight (2009-) were deemed the most reliable cars up to three years old in the medium and large-car reliability tables, respectively.
And that’s not all. In the reliability standings for cars up to three years old, the Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011-) took third slot in our supermini category, while the Lexus CT200h (2011-) placed sixth for medium cars, the Lexus RX (2009-) bagged third in 4x4s and the Honda CR-Z (2010-) was runner-up in sports cars.
What is even more confidence-inspiring is the performance of older hybrids.
The Toyota Prius – the poster boy of the hybrid market – was the fifth most reliable large car up to three years old. The third and second-generation models took first and fifth place respectively for large cars over three years old. And even the Honda Civic Hybrid, available from 2006, came 14th in the same reliability league table behind the two Toyotas. It outscored a raft of petrol and diesel models.
You can find more information on all of these hybrid car reliability standings from our 2013 Car Survey by visiting our car reliability pages online.
These results speak volumes for how dependable a hybrid car could be. But are you still put off by battery-replacement price fears?