If you're planning to buy a new or a used car in the UAE, various considerations will influence your final decision. Putting to one side the aesthetics or even the vehicle category for a moment, one of the biggest questions will be “How efficient is it?” In an age of high gas prices, we all want luxury sedans, SUVs and coupes that deliver more kilometres for every litre of petrol we put in the tank.
That's where the hybrid vehicle comes in. Offering greater km/L than a simple petrol engine, they definitely tick that fuel efficiency box. But what differences are there between hybrid and petrol engines, and is it all about efficiency, or are there other things to consider?
Single and dual powertrains
The big difference between a petrol engine and a hybrid is that one has an extra source of power that can be utilised when driving around an urban environment. A hybrid not only has a petrol engine at the front, but it also has an electric motor as part of the powertrain. This can be initiated when driving around town at slower speeds, in stop-start traffic, and on short journeys.
Once you hit the open road, where the limited range of an electric powertrain would be impractical, the petrol engine takes over. This has the advantage over a fully electric vehicle in that you can stop for petrol as you would typically without worrying about locating a charging station or the drop-off of range that changes in terrain or driving speed can cause. A hybrid effectively gives you the best of both worlds.
Driving performance – does hybrid feel different?
If there are any differences in driving performances, you'll find that they're positive ones. While many people believe that a hybrid's extra weight can be an issue, the reality is that a hybrid car is not that much heavier than a standard petrol engine vehicle. You may notice that in electric mode, you get quicker acceleration from a standstill.
Apart from the lack of engine noise in electric mode, there is actually very little difference between a hybrid and a petrol vehicle. And if you love the sound of a petrol engine's roar on the open road, a hybrid vehicle will still give you that sound while at the same time producing fewer emissions and a quieter ride in an urban environment.
Overall, the driving performance of a luxury hybrid sedan, for example, will feel very similar to that of a petrol version of the same model.
Besides the better fuel consumption numbers, a Lexus hybrid has better running and operating costs than a petrol vehicle, which provides the driver with both immediate savings and lower long-term operational costs. The only real difference between a hybrid and a petrol engine vehicle is the inclusion of extra batteries and electric motors. So even a standard service can be carried out without additional costs.
Which should I buy?
If you're unsure whether you should buy a petrol engine vehicle or a hybrid, ask yourself what you expect from your driving experience. If you do a lot of in-town and urban driving, a hybrid will be more economical, produce fewer emissions, and provide you with the same driving features as a petrol car.
It’s also worth noting that with Lexus, your hybrid battery is backed by an eight-year or 160,000km warranty, giving you even more peace of mind.
The best way to determine which vehicle suits you best is to take a test drive. At Al-Futtaim Lexus, you can book a test drive online, and we'll deliver the vehicle to your door so you can experience Lexus for yourself. Contact us today for more information, or book online now.