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How to Choose a Hybrid Car With 5 Doors

BMW ActiveHybrid 2011

Hybrid vehicles allow drivers to save on gas while helping the environment. Five-door varieties offer the added advantage of more versatile cargo capacity, allowing you to haul more than you could with a standard alternative fuel car. When shopping for a five-door hybrid, you need to keep a few things in mind, including which features you want, the price you want to pay, and exactly which make and model of vehicle you prefer.

Part 1 of 3: Research the available hybrid models

When you begin searching for a five-door hybrid, remember to keep in mind a few things. First, determine the make and model of vehicle that you want. Next, decide which features you want in a hybrid. Finally, pick a vehicle model that falls within your price range and includes your chosen features.

Step 1: Research each vehicle manufacturer. When buying a hybrid, keep in mind that each vehicle manufacturer usually has at least one hybrid option to choose from.

Fuel efficiency varies by model, but most door hybrids get between 25 to 30 miles per gallon (MPG) on city streets or the highway.

Step 2: Consider all vehicle features. Popular vehicle features include various wheel, cargo, and interior packages.

Some of the more popular interior features include heated mirrors and seats, in-car entertainment, and remote engine start.

Step 3: Set your budget. Vehicle price also plays a large part in which five-door hybrid you choose.

Make sure to visit dealership websites to get an idea of what the asking price is for a particular hybrid make and model before settling on a particular model.

Part 2 of 3: Shopping for a hybrid

Once you have found a few models of five-door hybrid that you like, it is time to narrow your choice down to the exact hybrid you want. This includes determining if the dealer's asking price for a particular make and model of hybrid falls within the market value range. You also need to check the history of any vehicle you are thinking of purchasing. Finally, you need to take any vehicle you are thinking of buying for a test drive, making sure to have it checked out by a trusted mechanic while you are out.

Step 1: Check out the current market value. You can easily determine the fair market value of a vehicle by visiting one of many market valuation websites online.

For the best results, visit a car aggregator website, such as Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, or Autotrader.com.

Step 2: Check the car history. Before you visit the lot, check the car history of any used vehicles you are interested in.

A site such as Carfax can give you access to a vehicle's history report.

Vehicle history reports let you know if the vehicle has been in an accident, has been declared salvage, or has undergone any major repairs.

In addition, many used car lots offer free vehicle history reports with any vehicle they sell.

Step 3: Take the car for a test drive. Once a vehicle has checked out through a vehicle history report and you have determined it is worth what the dealer is asking, it is time to visit the lot and take the vehicle for a test drive.

When taking a vehicle for a test drive, try to drive it in conditions that you expect to encounter on a daily basis. This includes driving it in hilly areas if you expect to drive over hills, on long straight-aways if you will be driving on the interstate often, and in stop-and-go situations if you plan on driving in the city.

While on your test drive, have an expert mechanic meet you to inspect the car to make sure the vehicle does not have any unseen issues, such as engine, transmission, or other mechanical problems.

Part 3 of 3: Consider the cost of insurance and maintenance

In addition to price and features, remember to keep a variety of other factors in mind that affect the overall cost of the vehicle you want to purchase. Other factors to consider when purchasing a 5 door hybrid include the cost of any vehicle insurance, vehicle service, or an extended warranty.

Step 1: Estimate the insurance cost. Depending on where you live, your gender, and your age, the overall cost of insurance can vary.

Insurance premiums tend to run higher for younger male drivers. This is due in part to the tendency of younger male drivers to take more risks while driving, with males between the ages of 16 and 20 looked as being the most risky.

Insurance rates can vary according to where you live as well, with cost of living and population density playing the biggest role in higher rates.

Step 2: Vehicle service. With the newness of alternative fuel vehicles, finding a garage that can service your hybrid might prove difficult.

This is especially of concern when taking long trips. Whereas you might have a local garage or dealership who has the capability to fix your 5 door hybrid, if you travel out of your city or state, finding a quality hybrid mechanic could present a challenge.

You also need to keep in mind that the newness of the technologies involved more than likely means higher costs when maintaining or repairing your hybrid vehicle.

Step 3: Extended warranty. As with other vehicles, many dealerships offer extended warranties that extend the manufacturer's warranty.

Most often, the extended warranties offered cover greater time spans for an increased cost.

Usually offered by a company outside the dealership, make sure that you read and fully understand what is covered before buying the extended warranty.

Owning a five-door hybrid can save you gas money while also helping the environment. When searching for a five-door hybrid, remember to look for one that is big enough to fit your needs. With its increased cargo capacity, a five-door hybrid allows you to get around town with your passengers while also allowing you to haul more cargo than a more standard hybrid. If you have any questions about your five-door hybrid, you can Ask a Mechanic to find out more.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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