In the words of Kermit the Frog, it ain’t easy being green—least of all when you’re looking to add some “eco” to your driving experience without sacrificing luxe creature comforts.
Thankfully, top manufacturers like Lexus, Mercedes and BMW are stepping up to the plate with a new generation of top-notch hybrids that maximize fuel efficiency without skimping on performance or luxury design.
Forget granola—we’ll reduce our carbon footprint while luxuriating in leather seats, thank you.
Which luxe hybrids would you add to your stable? Tell us below.
Combining sexy muscle-car design with serious sustainability chops, the 2012 Fisker Karma doesn't look like your average family-friendly hybrid. The plug-in sedan—which boasts a cozy eco-friendly interior and even a "stealth" driving mode to reduce sound from the powertrain—won't use petroleum for the first 50 miles of your trip. From $102,000; fiskerautomotive.com.
Designed as a luxury counterpart to Nissan's popular M35 V6, the 2013 Infiniti M35h Hybrid is a solution for discerning shoppers unwilling to sacrifice horsepower and creature comforts for environmental friendliness. Accelerating from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 5.5 seconds, the M35h is a mean, green, super-speedy machine. From $55,095; infiniti.com.
German manufacturers were among the first to embrace Diesel engines, so it's no surprise that Mercedes is championing a diesel-hybrid model with its 2013 E350 BlueTEC, which looks like a typical Mercedes E-Class in every regard except for the 35-cell battery pack, which is constantly recharging with engine deceleration and brake energy recuperation. From
Offering drivers the peace of mind that comes with owning a hybrid as well as Porsche bragging rights, it's no surprise that the 2013 Cayenne S Hybrid is one of our favorite eco-friendly options on the road. Coupled with a supercharger, the 47-horsepower electric motor kicks up the V6 engine's output up to a whopping 380 horsepower. From $51,850; porsche.com.
The hybrid counterpart to Volkswagon's popular Touareg SUV, the 2013 Hybrid Touareg is a sporty-luxe option in the eco-car market designed to handle serious off-road terrain with a sophisticated all-wheel drive system. Compared to the earlier generations, the new Touaregs are wider and shorter, with a longer wheelbase that provides greater stability. From $62,055; vw.com.
Accelerating from 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds, the 2013 BMW Active Hybrid 7 is the fastest hybrid in the world, silencing nay-sayers that complain hybrids can't compete with traditional gas-powered sports cars. The interior is similarly impressive, with a mix of fine leather and polished wood and a dashboard that takes inspiration from modernist furniture. From $74,195; bmw.com.
If "bling" is what you seek, look no further than the 2013 Escalade Hybrid, Cadillac's hulking, three-ton nod to the eco market. Able to sit eight people or haul up to 5,800 pounds, there's nothing "granola" about this beast. From $74,845; cadillac.com.
With a giant, glowing, iPad-like dashboard and power to spare (the car boasts 0 to 60 acceleration in the mid-four range), the 2013 Hybrid Tesla Model S caters to a serious luxury customer. The ritzy, leather trimmed interior and whisper-quiet engine will make you forget you're in a hybrid in the first place. From
Up until the new 2013 MKZ Hybrid, Lincoln has relied on Ford's design department for all new vehicles. Which makes the MKZ an important milestone for the brand, not only for its eco street cred (it's officially North America's most fuel-efficient luxury sedan), but for brand-specific design considerations, which include a sweeping roofline, steeply raked windshield and lengthened backlight. From $35,925; lincoln.com.
Lexus was the first luxury car brand to offer a hybrid model, and the Toyota-owned company has continued to push the edge of the "eco" envelope with the elegant new 2013 LS 600h Hybrid, which drives in electric-only mode at low speeds or stop-and-go driving conditions to reduce fuel consumption and noise. From $112,750; lexus.com.