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Are Hybrid Vehicles Worth the Money?

By JLP | August 26, 2005

First off, let me say that I am not talking about the economy car hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic. What I am talking about is the new hybrid versions of bigger vehicles.

Sarah Breckenridge of Smart Money wrote an excellent article in which she took four vehicles (Ford Escape, Honda Accord, Toyota Highlander, and Lexus RX) and compared the hybrid version of those vehicles with the standard version. I wanted to see how much a person could save (or not save) by buying the hybrid version over the standard version. Keep in mind that my numbers do not reflect maintenance costs or tax beneifts of hybrid ownership. I also made the assumption that the vehicles are driven 15,000 per year divided evenly between city driving and highway driving.


Ford Escape Hybrid

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

33

227

$2.40

$545

Highway

29

259

$2.40

$622

Totals

486

$2.40

$1,166

Cost Per Mile

$.0777

Ford Escape XLT

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

22

341

$2.40

$818

Highway

25

300

$2.40

$720

Totals

641

$2.40

$1,538

Cost Per Mile

$.1025


Honda Accord Hybrid

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

29

259

$2.40

$622

Highway

37

203

$2.40

$487

Totals

462

$2.40

$1,107

Cost Per Mile

$.0738

Honda Accord

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

21

357

$2.40

$857

Highway

30

250

$2.40

$600

Totals

607

$2.40

$1,457

Cost Per Mile

$.0971


Toyota Higlander Hybrid

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

31

242

$2.40

$581

Highway

27

278

$2.40

$667

Totals

520

$2.40

$1,248

Cost Per Mile

$.0831

Toyota Highlander

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

19

395

$2.40

$948

Highway

25

300

$2.40

$720

Totals

695

$2.40

$1,668

Cost Per Mile

$.1112


Lexus RX 400h

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

31

242

$2.40

$581

Highway

27

278

$2.40

$667

Totals

520

$2.40

$1,248

Cost Per Mile

$.0831

Lexus RX 330

City
MPG

Gallons
Used

Price
Per
Gallon

Ann.
Cost

City

18

417

$2.40

$1,001

Highway

24

313

$2.40

$750

Totals

730

$2.40

$1,752

Cost Per Mile

$.0971

It is important to note that the hybrid models are $4,000 to $5,000 higher in price, which is definitely something to consider. Based on my gas price of $2.40 per gallon, these hybrids won’t pay for themselves for a number of years.

Questions? Comments? Did I miss something?

Topics: Hybrids | 3 Comments »


3 Responses to “Are Hybrid Vehicles Worth the Money?”

  1. Amy Alkon Says:
    January 13th, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    I bought a Honda Insight (60ish mpg on the freeway if there isn’t a lot of traffic and I don’t leadfoot it). I got $2,000 off on my taxes. I can drive in the carpool lane and I don’t have to pay for parking at meters anywhere in Santa Monica or Los Angeles. Plus, when I see pictures of dead soldiers in the paper, I know that I’m using as little gas as possible (I also use bags from reusablebags.com), and fouling the air as little as possible.

    P.S. My friend Darcy just bought a new VW bug that runs on Biodiesel. Not sure how that costs out, but the last two points apply to her as well.

  2. Rob Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Here is a poll: Should hybrid vehicles stay out of the commuter lane if there is only one person in the car? I don’t know about other states, but this is happening in California. Personally I think if I was one of the engineers that came up with the HOV lane idea I would have a fit at this political manipulation to encourage the purchase of environmentally friendly cars. It is a disadvantage to commuters, and an insult to the taxpayers who spent billions renovations making these HOV lanes. Here is a link to the poll: http://www.apopularitycontest.com/display_poll.php?ID=1

  3. hank Says:
    October 26th, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I actually wrote about the same thing for Blog Action day earlier this month – I’m interested to see how the new Chevy Tahoe performs on this also – yes, the price is going to be high, but may be worth it if it give 25-30 mpg like it says…

Comments