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Toyota, Ford Hybrids Rank Best

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LOS ANGELES — Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are producing the best hybrid vehicles, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

In its annual review of vehicles that run on gasoline and electricity, the organization ranked the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrid as the top vehicles in the nonluxury segment of the market. The nonprofit group rated the Lincoln MKZ hybrid, built by Ford, and the Lexus CT 200h, a Toyota product, as the top luxury models.

The rankings are based on a combination of fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions and the number of “options” that buyers are forced to purchase when buying a hybrid version of a vehicle as opposed to how the standard gasoline model is sold.

“We are comparing each model to its conventional gasoline counterpart,” said Don Anair, an analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The hybrid MKZ gives you a huge boost on fuel economy. You go from 21 to 39 miles per gallon.”

The Prius, which is a dedicated hybrid model, was measured against the Toyota Matrix because they have a similar engine size, performance and interior space.

Hybrid versions of sport-utility vehicles, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Volkswagen Touareg, generally fared poorly in the rankings, although the Toyota Highlander, Lexus 450h and Cadillac Escalade got good marks.

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