Hybrid used cars get popular 

Posted on November 6th, 2014 by Rob Marshall

hybridAdvanced technology takes some time to achieve public acceptance but it appears that hybrid cars, which combine both a conventional engine with an electric power unit, have reached an important goal.

According to the used car valuation specialist, Glass’s Guides, Toyota’s venerable Prius was the fastest selling used car on the market during September, with each example taking an average of 24 days to find a new owner, beating Land Rover’s trendy (but deeply superficial) Evoque to the top spot. Honda’s Insight hybrid also reached a podium place, while Glass’s reckons that the Lexus RX has achieved its eighth position in the table, due to the popular hybrid version carrying it there.

Interestingly, Mitsubishi UK is celebrating new car sales success with its Outlander SUV, a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can be recharged not only from a main socket but also, if driven any distance, by self-charging. That car can tackle surprisingly high speeds on electric power alone. Having driven an example last month, I can reveal that the technology is excellent – it is sad, however, that rest of the vehicle comes with rattling interior trim, numb steering responses and overly-soft suspension, criticisms that could not be directed at the previous-generation, conventionally-powered model.

Returning to the point, a hybrid vehicle can be an excellent used car proposition but do not be sucked-in entirely by promises of super frugality and low running costs. Hybrids work at their best in city situations and not in high speed, motorway conditions, where their relatively small petrol engines have to be worked harder, to keep up with the traffic flow. For example, my sister reduced her fuel costs considerably, by changing her 2004 Toyota Prius 1.5-litre hybrid for a 2.0-litre diesel Volvo V50, which has proven to be not only more economical but also roomier and faster.

Despite hybrids achieving public acceptance, it seems that electric vehicles (EVs) still have some way to go, with Nissan’s Leaf languishing in the bottom ten of cars that are hardest to sell. However, with models such as BMW’s impressive i3 hitting the market, I am in no doubt that the public’s perception will change and the bugbear of ’range anxiety’ will disappear – even though it might take a little while.

         Glass’s league of fastest selling used cars – best performing

Manufacturer Model Average selling time (days)
Toyota Prius 24.6
Land Rover Evoque 26.3
Honda Insight 26.8
Vauxhall Meriva 27.1
Hyundai i10 28.8
Audi A1 30.2
Vauxhall Zafira 31.1
Lexus RX 31.2
Volkswagen Sharan 31.3
Mazda CX-5 31.3


           Glass’s league of fastest selling used cars – worst performing

Manufacturer Model Average selling time (days)
Renault Kangoo 61.6
Rover 45 65.2
Mitsubishi Mirage 65.6
Nissan Leaf 65.9
Skoda Rapid Spaceback 67.3
MINI Mini Paceman 68.1
Subaru Outback 68.3
Seat Toledo 71.3
Subaru Legacy 72.0
Renault Scenic 83.8