Stephanie has crunched these numbers in the past, and come to basically the same conclusion, although she’d still love to own a Prius. What it comes down to is that you buy a hybrid because you care about new technologies and the environment rather than saving money on gas.
Consumer Reports Sizes Up Hybrid Costs
Savings at Pump Don’t Offset Higher Purchase Price
For consumers who believe that gas/electric hybrid vehicles will save them money, the picture hasn’t been so clear. Hybrid vehicles are more fuel efficient and produce lower emissions than conventional gasoline-only vehicles.
Most current models of hybrids also score well in Consumer Reports’ testing and are highly rated in CR’s annual reliability and owner satisfaction surveys. But do hybrid vehicles really hold the potential to save the consumer money over the long haul?
To find the answer, Consumer Reports looked at all of the major ownership costs and financial benefits of six different hybrid vehicles — a mix of sedans and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).
In Consumer Reports’ analysis, none of the six hybrids tested recovered its price premium in the first five years and 75,000 miles of ownership. In fact, the extra ownership costs over five years for those vehicles ranged from $3,700 to $13,300.
Even when the analysis was extended to a period of 10 years and 150,000 miles, it was not possible to recover the price premium for a hybrid vehicle.
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i’m pretty sure the insight is the exception to this. base price for a new one is around $20k, and they get the best mileage of all the hybrids.
provided the maintenance costs are reasonable, the insight might be a very good deal if it’s the right vehicle for you.
of course most people need (or want) more than two seats and a leetle tiny hatch.
I read a post on one of the Prius lists yesterday that mentioned that Consumer Reports has changed their story because they didn’t use accurate numbers for depreciation. Here’s a link to an article about it in the San Jose Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/14041566.htm
There are other factors beyond price when one goes car-shopping; otherwise, we’d all buy the same stripper Kia sedans and be done with it.
Wanting to save gas is a perfectly reasonable criterion, even if it doesn’t slow down the flow of dollars out of one’s pocket.