Should I Buy a Hybrid Car?

My husband and I have been exploring the idea of buying a hybrid car. Last week alone my husband drove enough to put $120 of gas in his PT Cruiser (an above average week of driving but it hit the point home, gas is really expensive). So I started looking at the options.

First, I looked to see what cars come as hybrids. I knew there was not alot but I was suprised how few. Here is what I found when I looked at the  “hybrid cars” section on MSN Autos on msn.com.

Current Hybrids
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
Ford Escape Hybrid Ford Escape Hybrid
GMC Sierra Hybrid GMC Sierra Hybrid
GMC Yukon Hybrid GMC Yukon Hybrid
Honda Accord Hybrid Honda Accord Hybrid
Honda Civic Hybrid Honda Civic Hybrid
Lexus GS 450h Lexus GS 450h
Lexus LS 600h Lexus LS 600h
Lexus RX 400h Lexus RX 400h
Mazda Tribute Hybrid Mazda Tribute Hybrid
Mercury Mariner Hybrid Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Nissan Altima Hybrid Nissan Altima Hybrid
Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid
Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid
Toyota Camry Hybrid Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota Highlander Hybrid Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Toyota Prius Toyota Prius

Not a huge selection right.  So we looked at the list and decided which ones we thought we liked. Here are the ones we are considering:

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Ford Escape
  3. Toyota Highlander
  4. Tried to talk him into a Prius, he said no way and since he drives ALOT more than I do…

So the Highlander gets 27 mpg and is priced $35,000-$40,000 which is more than we wanted to spend since we are looking to save money because of fuel costs 27 mpgs are not worth our while. So it is basically down to the Ford Escape and Honda Civic.

I called the Honda dealership that I bought my last car from and asked them how long the wait was (I knew there was no way they had any for sale) and they said they would have a shipment in September. He then proceeded to try to talk me out of it. He said that based on average use (I do not know what that means to him but lets assume the national average of 12,000 miles per year) the extra cost of a hybrid Civic from an average Civic is about $5,000.  He said if gas stayed at $4.00 a gallon (which it already is not in most of the country) it would take 8 years to pay off the difference. Is he right? Kinda here is the math

Gas cost on a regular Civic per year: (12000 miles/35 mpg X 4.00) $1371.42

Gas cost on a Hybrid Civic per year: (12000 miles/45 mpg X 4.00) $1066.67

Annual savings of about $304… So yes he is about right it takes a long time to make your money back.

Same scenario more miles and higher gas price:

Gas cost on a regular Civic per year: (16000 miles/35 mpg X 5.50) $2514.28

Gas cost on a Hybrid Civic per year: (16000 miles/45 mpg X 5.50) $1955.56

Annual savings of about $589 and if gas prices soar at the same rate they have been $5.50 could be a very low estimate.

Of course the comparison here is between an already extremely fuel efficient car and hybrid so the difference in minimal.

While the dealer is probably right if you drive 12,000 miles or less and you need a new car anyway a regular Civic is not a bad choice. However, if you want to take into consideration the fact the gas prices can continue to soar the balance of savings starts to diminish.  

I will keep you updated on the research that I do and the comparisons.

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5 thoughts on “Should I Buy a Hybrid Car?

  1. Interesting post. Even though you may be saving more money on fuel, I believe actual cost will be greater than perceive cost. My advice? Save the money on the new car, and try to drive less and drive smart. I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards, and I’ve been blogging about ways to save money on gas on savvywallet.com. One ways to save money is to buy discounted gas cards online. As for me? I converted my car to run off of waste vegetable oil. It’s great for my wallet and for the environment. You can check out my ride on http://austinchu.wordpress.com. I don’t worry about mileage, the only I have work about it where to find oil.

  2. Even though the comparison of the cars were somewhat minimal still the performance of both cars were great, I think you should go on the hybrid because you can save some money for the gas…

  3. I bought one of the first Toyota Camry Hybrids off the boat in May 2006. I have had it two years and now have about 50K miles on it. I absolutely love it. My husband is over 6′ tall and he has plenty of head room. We have taken some trips and the car is comfortable. I get about 34 mpg in town and about 38-40 mpg on the highway. I drive a lot of 2 lane rural roads. I will look at a hybrid highlander next time because I would like to have something bigger. I plan to keep this one for at least 5 years so there may be something even better by then.

  4. Models Miles per gallon (MPG)
    1 – 83.10 mph CITROEN C1 MPG
    2 – 83.10 mph TOYOTA Aygo MPG
    3 – 80.70 mph FIAT Grande-Punto MPG
    4 – 78.40 mph VAUXHALL Corsa-MY
    5 – 76.30 mph FIAT New-Panda MPG
    6 – 76.30 mph PEUGEOT MPG
    7 – 76.30 mph CITROEN C2 MPG
    8 – 76.30 mph CITROEN C3 MPG
    9 – 76.30 mph VAUXHALL Corsa-MY2006 MPG

  5. I just looked at this myself.
    I’ve done the “biofuel” Hummer thing. Seriously! And, it was a real hoot when people yelled at me in public for being “such a big polluter!” I got 12 mpg, I could literally drive anywhere I wanted, and I could carry half of Mississippi with me, while I was doing it! But the fuel cost me about $.70 a gallon, and emitted almost zero “yuck!”
    My son took the truck off to college, after we figured out where to put the “biofuel factory” in the garage, there. Thank heavens that the nations is addicted to fried food!
    I remember reading somewhere that Mercury’s new line of hybrids are very affordable. Their Mariner SUV is rated real high, and the “buyback” is less than two years. Saturn’s was almost 20 years!

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