In this age of full-on plug-in EVs with extended range and autonomous cars edging closer to reality, talking about hybrids seems almost old-school. But there was a time when this technology was the one being hotly debated. Think back to when the Prius first came around two decades back and some people wondered if it would survive.
Nowadays, hybrids are accepted with little discussion, and recognized as one more option for the eco-friendly crowd or for those who just don’t like stopping to get gas (or paying for it.).
Most automakers now offer some hybrids, and a few reside in the luxury realm inhabited by Lexus.
That’s where my test vehicle, the 2017 Lexus ES 300h, comes in. This sedan aims to provide not only strong fuel economy but also an enjoyable driving experience. It’s a smaller hybrid sedan, with limited direct competition in the segment, but does it deliver enough to get the attention it seeks?
Sales numbers are important in the auto industry, but so are trends. And if you’re searching for a brand with an impressive track record over the past few decades, look no further than Subaru. The smaller brand has, with minor blips, been trending consistently upward -- especially in the past five years, and that’s due to a series of impressively redesigned vehicles and a reputation for safety.
Case in point: The 2017 Subaru Impreza, the brand’s redesigned compact car which comes in both sedan and hatchback models. I recently got to test the hatch, and one thing jumped out at me from the start -- standard All-wheel drive, something you just don’t see in the segment. Add to that the fact that this Impreza is being built in America (in Lafayette, Indiana) for the first time, and people’s ears are already perking up.
But when you are battling the likes of the Civic, Focus, Cruze, Corolla, Forte and more, you need a full package. So how does the Impreza measure up?
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