Hybrid Hype?

Is it a coincidence that the words Hybrid and Hype both begin with the same two letters? There’s no question that the marketers, the media, and the politicians have been hammering the hybrid meme into our collective consciousness.

While we can’t cut it down to just two letters, The three-letter root of “hyp” leads to both “hyper” and “hypn,” with meanings of over, above, and sleep. The three-letter root of “hyb” leads to intersections.

So is this hybrid mania meant to hypnotize us into believing that the latest automotive technology is over and above all that has ever come before? Can hybrid cars and trucks rescue us from the doom and gloom that seems sure to befall us?

Maybe.

As cynical as I can be, I’ve come to fully appreciate hybrid technology. But this did not come about after an endless barrage of advertising. I did not become very sleepy while watching commercial after commercial.

I did it the old fashioned way. I drove them.

Over the last nine months, I’ve road tested nine different hybrid cars and SUVs. Not car dealer road tests, mind you … real, honest-to-goodness week-long reviews. I’ve also had the rare chance to ride in a prototype Ford F-150 Hybrid and briefly drive a pre-production Ford Fusion Hybrid, by being in the right place at the right time.

This did not happen by circumstance.

In the years before I set out to create MPGomatic.com, I was highly skeptical of hybrid hype. I looked at the Toyota Prius and thought that if I had to drive something that looked that different to achieve great gas mileage, I wasn’t ready to make that sacrifice. Aerodynamics be damned, I just wasn’t keen on the styling.

The automakers knew that the vast majority of folks shared a similar sentiment. The percentage of people that want to drive a lunar lander is relatively slim. So they began producing a wide range of stealthy hybrids … vehicles that delivered enhanced fuel efficiency without looking like something from outer space.

Hybrid Reviews:

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