“Classic” hybrid cars resist rechargeable alternatives. It must be said that they remain a relevant solution to consume less and at the same time avoid an additional cost associated with a large battery. Which models seduce the French? We tell you everything in our top 20.
Under the name hybrid car, three very different technologies can be hidden. Next to the classic HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle, or full hybrid) hybrids, there are now mHEV (mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) models equipped with a modest 12 or 48 V generator starter and PHEV (Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) rechargeable . For this top 20, we are only interested in the first category. That includes many Toyotas and Lexus, but also some Renaults, Hyundais and even some Fords.
A market that has become significant
If the first Toyota Prius and other Honda Civic IMA were marginal with their electric motors in the early 2000s, hybrids have now taken revenge and represent more than one in ten sales in France in the first half of the year. Their technology, which does not require recharging, has actually become an alternative to diesel in terms of consumption and running costs, despite a higher purchase price. Result: 87,606 HEV hybrid cars have been registered new since the start of the year.
Toyota still leads
Historical producer of the hybrid, Toyota boasts of dominating the market with a range equipped with advanced technology. Arguments that pay off, as the Japanese brand is the first in sales volume in the French market with 37,196 registered vehicles. This management must be attributed in particular to the Yaris Cross, which this year becomes the best-selling hybrid in France with 11,161 units sold. Good news for the French factory in Valenciennes, where this small SUV is manufactured. The Yaris sedan, C-HR and Corolla also contribute heavily to this score with 9,459, 7,134 and 6,000 registrations respectively.
The Japanese pioneer is being followed more and more closely by Renault. The diamond brand has done well to change its tune after long rejecting the hybrid as it achieves 31,541 sales. A volume that allows Renault to place Captur and Arkana in 2nd placee and 3e podium places, in front of the Clio. With 10,822, 10,448 and 10,271 registrations respectively, these three models are equipped with the same engine marked in the underpants. This bodes well for the Australian compact SUV, which is about to introduce an evolution of this hybrid E-Tech technology, with a new 1.2 turbo three-cylinder in place of the current naturally aspirated 1.6 four-cylinder.
Ford hangs on
In a market dominated by Japanese and Korean manufacturers (27 of the 35 hybrid models available in our market), Ford also manages to hold its ground by placing its Kuga in the top 10. Aided by its E85 ethanol compatibility, the SUV registered 4,259 units. It thus places itself ahead of a Hyundai Tucson or a Kia Sportage, also in the top 10. The aging S-Max is much less attractive to customers, as it ranks 18th.e rank with almost 319 registered entries. Returning to the models that exceed 1,000 units, we must mention the Toyota RAV4 and its 2,800 registrations, the Hyundai Kona and its 2,304 registrations or the Honda HR-V and Jazz, neck and neck at 12e and 13e squares.
The disgraced Queen Prius
The fourth generation of the one with whom everything happened is suffering from this tougher competition. The Toyota Prius has only 46 registrations and is no longer even in the top 30 sales. It will be replaced in 2023. Lexus SUVs fare better, especially the UX, which reaches the top 20 with 674 registrations (16e square). However, this premium cousin to the C-HR has been surpassed by the ES. A sedan that sells better than an SUV, it deserves to be highlighted. As for the new Mazda 2, with 310 registrations, it occupies the last place in this ranking. This is 15 positions lower than the Toyota Yaris, while it’s the same car that’s just been restyled by Mazda. But in addition to a less extensive network and a much lower reputation, it also suffered from marketing, which only really started in the spring.