Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid Review

2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid

Now that the hybrid vehicle market is maturing, some previously unreadable trends are coming slowly into focus. Barring the Toyota Prius – the vehicle credited with starting the current hybrid fever – no other offering has been a commercial success. The line of hybrids that now litter history's garage or linger for months on dealer lots – the Saturn Aura/Chevrolet Malibu, Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen, Honda Accord, Honda Insight, Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon, Nissan Altima – gets longer each year. Even Toyota's other hybrid offerings – like the Camry and Highlander, and Lexus HS, RX, GS and LS – strain to match even one tenth of the sales of the gasoline-powered models.

Now that the large German manufacturers' investments in hybrid technology are hitting the market, there's a real sense of lost opportunities. The ActiveHybrid X6 is simply BMW's public write-off of that expensive partnership with GM and Chrysler, while Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche all claim to have some sort of battery equipped model arriving in the next year or two. The money spent – and potentially wasted – on the general public's environmental whims is staggering.

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