I notice that every quarter used car sales are on the up, according to the SMMT. At the three-quarter point of this year sales were up 0.9%, which equates to 6.1 million used cars. Interestingly, plug-in electric and hybrid models showed a solid increase of 13%, totalling 37,589 units and growing their share of sales to 1.8% from 1.6% over the same time last year. I must say I’m warming to hybrids and they are becoming unavoidable on the forecourt. Stats are all very well, of course, but what’s available in the metal is much more impressive.
I have a thing for Mondeos and it’s so easy to forget that there has been a hybrid one around for a good few years. At a largish nearby car supermarket there was a 2015 2.0 saloon in full-on Titanium specification, which includes leather seats and a rear-facing parking camera. Significantly, it didn’t have a mega-mileage (like so many do) with just below 50,000 on the clock. So with zero annual road tax and an official 70mpg overall, £12,000 seems very reasonable indeed.
Infinitis are pretty forgettable too, and are leaving the showrooms for good, but they have Nissan hybrid running gear. As a luxury saloon, they tend to be rather anonymous but very well put together. An M35h GT in suitably generous Premium specification has everything you could possibly want. A 2013 saloon will deliver around 40mpg from its petrol/electric combo, and with 80,000 miles this fancy saloon will cost £9999. There are several upsides to running an Infiniti and I would highlight quality and exclusivity.
I seem to be in a hybrid saloon car enclave, which is great. With good economy and low or no tax, it’s hard to think of anything better than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I came across a 2014 3.5 S400h SE Line L with lots of stuff to make the rear passengers super-comfy. So rear climate control, ventilated electric seating and sun blinds, while 44mpg is on offer along with £150 road tax, and all for £19,990. The 109k mileage isn’t too bad and the service history is all stamped up, and no one smoked inside it apparently.
Then again, if you’re going to be doing the driving rather than sitting in the back, the best saloon in the world has to be a BMW 5 Series. A 2012 535 ActiveHybrid SE for £12,999 seems like a nice way to travel, and finding one with ‘comfort’ seats and nappa leather with 71,000 miles appeals – while 44mpg and £190 road tax are further sweeteners. I was interested that the dealer was offering a comprehensive three-year warranty for £895, which has to be worth doing with any complex modern car. Hopefully all these new hybrid buyers are ticking that box.