Pre-Owned Hybrid Cars in India – A Buyer’s Guide

Snapshot – The number of hybrid car options in the Indian market is growing steadily, but affordable hybrid cars are yet to make their mark on the market here. The pre-owned car space is the only segment where a buyer interested in a hybrid car can hope to snag a good deal, which are anyway few and far in between. Keeping your antennae up for a hybrid car that eventually lands up in one of the many automotive portals and online classified websites that dot the Indian webscape is imperative.

Pre-Owned Hybrid Cars in India – A Buyer’s Guide
BMW i8 Sportscar, India’s Most Expensive Hybrid

We’ve done the leg work to come up with estimates on what you need to budget for while opting for a pre-owned hybrid car. Though the Toyota Camry is a a recently launched hybrid car under the 30 lakh rupee mark, examples of this car are yet to hit the pre-owned market. The other hybrid options – the BMW 7-Series Hybrid and the i8 Sportscar – are simply too rare and too expensive.  We’ll focus on the Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic Hybrids, two cars that can be found after some searching.

Honda Civic Hybrid

Pre-Owned Hybrid Cars in India – A Buyer’s Guide
The Honda Civic Hybrid is a rarity on Indian roads.

Honda did a batch of hybrid cars for the Indian car market between 2008 and 2010. The automaker chose the Civic sedan to testily take a step into the hybrid car space. The Civic Hybrid was powered by a 1.3 liter-4 cylinder petrol motor that pushed out 95 Bhp-122 Nm. A CVT automatic gearbox turned the front wheels of the car, which got its hybrid credentials by means of hub mounted electric motors that turned the rear wheels.

Originally launched at 21.5 lakh rupees, poor demand saw Honda selling the last few Civic Hybrids at just 13.36 lakh rupees. People who snagged the car at the discounted price were a unique lot indeed as less than 200 examples of this car exist on Indian roads. Pre-owned Civic Hybrids arrive online from time to time. So keeping a close eye on online classifieds could net you a great deal.

We came across one such example from Gurgaon, which had done about 50,000 kilometers. Considering that the Civic Hybrid is about 20-25  % more fuel efficient than the regular Civic variant, and is very smooth to drive given its CVT automatic gearbox, 5 lakh rupees for a unique ride in town is par for the course. CarToq’s Friendly Tip – Do ensure that you opt for one with the 12 year battery warranty.

Toyota Prius Hybrid

Pre-Owned Hybrid Cars in India – A Buyer’s Guide
Toyota Prius, one of India’s enduring hybrid cars.

The Toyota Prius is the world’s most successful hybrid car and is also available in India. Sold in two variants – Z5 and Z6 – the car starts from 38.10 lakh rupees. The Prius, like the Civic Hybrid, is imported into India through the completely built unit (CBU) route. This means that there’s no way that Toyota can price the Prius competitively, making the car a pipe dream for most car buyers here.

In the pre-owned car market though, the Prius goes for less than half its retail price. A Prius of 2011 vintage and with around 50,000 kilometers on the odometer costs about 17 lakh rupees. With an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 25 Kmpl, the Prius is one of the most fuel efficient cars in the country. If you want a global car that’s very well built and is also a green option as far as saving the earth goes, a pre-owned Prius makes eminent sense, especially since the car is Toyota’s top priority when after sales service is concerned.

The Prius is powered by a 1.8 liter, naturally aspirated petrol motor with 99 Bhp-142 Nm, supplemented by an electric motor. The electric motor churns out 207 Nm of torque right off idle, and together combines with petrol power to make for a 136 Bhp output. The Prius Hybrid uses a Toyota Synergy CVT automatic gearbox to handle torque transmission. The car is capable of operating in hybrid, petrol-only and electric-only modes.