Job finds the Vue's hybrid simple, too, though still effective. Unlike Toyota's or Ford's hybrids (but similar to Honda's vehicles), the Vue uses batteries to back up the main four-cylinder engine. The other two automakers have their hybrid engines switch between the battery and the regular engines. The Vue's gas mileage at 27/32 mpg is still respectable, providing more than 5 mpg better than the gas version. The Toyota Highlander hybrid, however, gets 33/28* mpg with its V6 engine. Job did find the Vue's hybrid engine transitioning between its two systems more smoothly than the Highlander which felt like it would stall at times.
Job provides more details at the link. The Vue hybrid costs $10,000 less than the Highlander. With the automakers' different approaches to hybrids, does either one have a clear advantage in justifying their SUVs' higher cost?
*The figures are not reversed. The Highlander and Ford Escape primarily use their batteries in city driving.
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[Source: Associated Press via MSNBC]