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EVs vs Strong-hybrids: Which Way Should You Go?

Modified On Dec 10, 2022 10:49 AM By Rohit for Honda City Hybrid 2022-2023

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With the Indian automobile industry slowly warming up to electric vehicles, is it time you took the plunge or should a hybrid be the middle way out? Here’s what we think

Tata Nexon EV Max, Honda City Hybrid and Toyota Innova Hycross

In the last few years, the Indian automotive industry has been a witness to the growth of electric cars thanks to the likes of the MG ZS EV and Tata Nexon EV (now offered in two iterations, namely Prime and Max) coming into the fray.

This year marked the entrance of strong-hybrid offerings in the mass market, like the Honda City Hybrid, the Maruti Grand Vitara and the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder. But, when it comes to picking an alternative to diesel cars known for their frugality, which is more ideal, EVs or hybrids? Check out the details below to know:

Price Comparison

Tata Nexon EV

Toyota Hyryder

Maruti Grand Vitara

Honda City Hybrid


Hyundai Kona Electric

Toyota Innova Hycross (expected)

BYD Atto 3

Prime XM - Rs 14.99 lakh

S hybrid - Rs 15.11 lakh

Prime XZ+ - Rs 16.30 lakh

Prime XZ+ Lux - Rs 17.30 lakh

G hybrid - Rs 17.49 lakh

Zeta+ hybrid - 17.99 lakh

Max XZ+ - Rs 18.34 lakh*

Max XZ+ Lux - Rs 19.34 lakh*

V hybrid - Rs 18.99 lakh

Alpha+ hybrid - Rs 19.49 lakh

Rs 19.89 lakh

Excite - Rs 22.58 lakh

Premium - Rs 23.84 lakh

Premium DT - Rs 24.03 lakh

VX - Rs 24 lakh

Exclusive - Rs 26.50 lakh

ZX - Rs 26.50 lakh

ZX (O) - Rs 28 lakh

Rs 33.99 lakh

*Fast-charger available for a premium of Rs 50,000


Tata Nexon EV Prime
Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder

  • The Tata Nexon EV Prime is the entry-level EV offering whose prices come closest to the mass market hybrid cars, starting with the Toyota Hyryder.

  • The EV range considered in this comparison kicks off from Rs 14.99 lakh for the base-spec XM trim of the Nexon EV Prime whereas the most affordable strong-hybrid equipped car (Hyryder) is priced at Rs 15.11 lakh.

  • Tata has priced the Nexon EV Max from Rs 18.34 lakh, which puts the electric SUV much closer to the top-spec trims of the Hyryder and Maruti Grand Vitara hybrids.

Honda City Hybrid

  • The Honda City Hybrid is sold in a single variant that’s priced at a premium of up to Rs 90,000 over the top-spec trims of the Maruti and Toyota SUVs. The only sedan on the list is still more affordable by over Rs 2.5 lakh in comparison to the EV next in line: the MG ZS EV.

Hyundai Kona Electric

  • Then there’s the Hyundai Kona Electric whose base-spec Premium trim’s price is over a lakh more than the corresponding trim of the MG ZS EV although the Hyundai EV’s top-spec variant costs almost Rs 2.5 lakh less than that of MG’s electric SUV.

Toyota Innova Hycross
BYD Atto 3

  • The only strong-hybrid powertrain-equipped MPV on this list is the new Toyota Innova Hycross. Although it’s yet to be launched, we believe its hybrid variants could be priced from Rs 24 lakh to Rs 28 lakh, making it costlier than almost all models mentioned here save for the BYD Atto 3 that’s sold at an asking price of Rs 33.99 lakh.

Also Read: These 5 Electric Cars Could Help You Bid Goodbye To Range Anxiety

Specifications And Features

  • While the Nexon EV Prime comes with a 30.2kWh battery pack and a claimed range of 312km, the same figures for the Nexon EV Max stand at 40.5kWh and 437km, respectively.

  • Maruti and Toyota’s 116PS strong-hybrid unit-equipped SUV duo has a claimed fuel efficiency of 27.97kmpl.

Tata Nexon EV Max cabin
Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder heads-up display

  • Tata has provided the Nexon EV Max with a seven-inch touchscreen and a single-pane sunroof while the Maruti-Toyota duo gets ventilated front seats and a heads-up display.

  • Honda has provided the sedan with a 1.5-litre petrol-hybrid system and a 0.7kWh battery pack, delivering a claimed mileage of 26.5kmpl.

  • The MG ZS EV gets a 50.3kWh battery pack having a claimed range of 461km.

Honda City Hybrid ADAS camera
MG ZS EV panoramic sunroof

  • Feature highlights on the City Hybrid include a single-pane sunroof and ADAS. MG’s electric SUV, on the other hand, gets a panoramic sunroof and a 360-degree camera.

Hyundai Kona Electric cabin

  • Hyundai has equipped the Kona Electric with a 39.2kWh battery pack, which comes with a claimed range of 452km. Features on offer include wireless phone charging and cruise control.

Toyota Innova Hycross panoramic sunroof

  • The Innova Hycross gets a 186PS 2-litre strong-hybrid setup. Toyota claims this unit can deliver a mileage of over 21kmpl. Its equipment list includes a panoramic sunroof and ADAS.

BYD Atto 3 touchscreen system

  • BYD has provided the Atto 3 with a 60.48kWh battery pack (the largest of the lot) and it can go 521km until it needs to be juiced up again. The Chinese marque has decked the EV with a 12.8-inch rotating touchscreen system and a six-way powered driver seat.

Also Read: Tata Nexon EV Vs MG ZS EV - Real World Range And Efficiency Compared

Advantages Of Strong-hybrids Over EVs

Tata Nexon EV Max charging port

  • One of the key points to consider while opting for a hybrid car over EVs is the time difference between charging up an EV and refuelling a hybrid vehicle. For example, juicing up the Nexon EV Max and BYD Atto 3 electric SUVs from nought to 80 percent using a DC fast-charger needs a little less than an hour’s time, but refuelling any of the strong-hybrid cars takes approximately a few minutes at a fuel outlet.

  • While EVs make it obligatory for stopping at frequent intervals to add more energy, you can relatively still keep going without a hiccup with strong-hybrid cars. Our learnings from recently having driven the Nexon EV Max from a full charge to nil was that it could cover 300-odd kilometres, which means there should be no range anxiety. In comparison, when we took the Grand Vitara hybrid for a spin, the SUV managed to cover 900km on a single tank of fuel, with an average fuel efficiency of around 24kmpl and it could still do around 130km more before running its fuel reservoir dry.

What’s In Favour Of EVs?

  • A crucial differentiator between picking an electric car and a strong-hybrid car is the amount of money that goes into the fuel costs in case of the latter. With fuel rates skyrocketing in our country, it’s still sensible and logical to save up on that extra dough by buying an EV and charging it once every few days, depending upon your usage. This will surely help in keeping your daily running costs down in the longer run.

Honda City Hybrid

  • The second most significant aspect when deciding between purchasing an EV and a hybrid vehicle is the maintenance costs. While hybrid vehicles have a smaller battery pack alongside the regular combustible engine, electric cars have fewer mechanical components, thereby theoretically reducing the possibility of mechanical problems arising during the ownership experience.

Related: New Maruti Grand Vitara Strong Hybrid vs Honda City Hybrid: Real-world Fuel Efficiency Compared

While there’s still a long way to go until internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles become passé in India, we think hybrid vehicles are surely to become the preferred choice as they offer the best of both worlds. That said, the number of electric vehicles on Indian roads has been on a rise and with the EV infrastructure improving, it shouldn’t be long before people fully start picking electric vehicles over hybrid models.

Also Read: Toyota Innova Hycross vs Mass-market Strong-hybrid Rivals: Claimed Fuel Efficiencies Compared

Read More on : Honda City Hybrid Automatic

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