My question is very simple. Why do most of the latest hybrid cars have such large engines? Surely this defeats the objective? I am pleased to see Mercedes-Benz has just brought out a diesel hybrid though ñ I know that they havenít taken off, but surely they would be better than petrol ones? Your observations would be appreciated.
Roger Wickins, Port Navas, Cornwall.
Hi Roger. Good to hear from you. Well, if you take a look at the sales data in DC’s “Marketplace” section, you’ll see that the vast majority of hybrid sales are actually cars with 1.5, 1.6. and 1.8 engines, and none of them stand out as being performance cars. Yes, I agree that we are now seeing cars from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi etc. that are performance hybrids, and necessarily have larger engines, along with arguably unnecessarily high performance for British roads, but such cars have always been around, and always will be. So I don’t think there’s too much to moan about, and the new Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq hybrids both employ 1.6 direct injection petrol engines. The BMW 3 and 5 Series hybrids also run with 2.0 petrol turbo engines, which seems fair enough, but some of the bigger engined hybrids are in big heavy SUVs.