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Hybrid Vehicles Still More Expensive To Own Than Other Gas-sipping Vehicles

 

Santa Monica (CA) - Higher gas prices may drive consumers to look more seriously at hybrid vehicles, but gas prices will have to rise substantially before you will be able to save money on a per-mile-basis, Edmunds.com claims.

Based on an acquisition via 60-month financing (10% down payment, best possible financing rates), a five-year ownership, 15,000 miles driven per year, the website found that the Chevrolet Aveo is the cheapest car to own with a per-mile cost of 42.7 cents. The car remains the cheapest car to operate at $5 per gallon (46.1 cents) and $6 per gallon (49.6 cents).

The top ten includes Hyundai Accent, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Honda Civic Nissan Versa, Mazda 3i, Kia Rio, Scion xB and the Toyota Corolla. Yes, Japanese cars are dominating the ranking and there is not a single hybrid among the top ten.

Edmunds.com said that Honda Civic Hybrid is currently the cheapest hybrid car on a per-mile basis with a cost of 47.6 cents per mile at $4.06 per gallon, 49.9 cents at $5 and 52.4 cents at $6 per gallon. Only if gas will rise to a cost of $6 per gallon, the Civic hybrid will break into the top 10 and replace the Toyota Corolla (1.8 liter, 4-cylinder), which is estimated to cost 53.0 cents at this point. The Civic Hybrid is currently ranked at #14 overall.

The high sticker price keeps other hybrids from being "cheap" vehicles to operate, if you look at the overall cost over five years. The Toyota Prius, believes to be the most fuel-efficient car on the roads today, will cost you 50.3 cents per gallon at $4.06 per gallon (rank #34), the Nissan Altima Hybrid 54.0 cents (#66), the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 56.3 cents (#81), the Ford Escape Hybrid 58.3 cents (#94), the Mercury Mariner Hybrid (2-wheel drive) 59.6 cents (#102), the Toyota Camry Hybrid 63.0 cents (#134), the Mercury Mariner Hybrid (4-wheel drive) 63.4 cents (#136), the Toyota Highlander Hybrid 72.5 cents (#190) and the Lexus RX400h 89.7 cents (#260).

  • soulrider4ever
    Did they factor in the tax deduction saving each year??
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  • blackened144
    Or the cost of batteries for the Hybrid?
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  • wiyosaya
    IMHO, "power" auto enthusiasts like Edmunds just don't get it. It might cost $1100 more to operate a Prius over the Aveo for each $15,000 miles, but what about the difference in maintenance and reliability costs? Also, what about the difference in emissions? A cheaper short-term cost of ownership might end up in a much higher long-term cost, due to maintenance, emissions contributing to who knows what, etc., not to mention depreciation, than for something like the Prius. An Aveo won't be worth much in a few years while a Prius holds its resale value for a much longer time.

    For being a supposedly "expert" site on autos, Edmunds seems to be grounded firmly in outdated concepts that they have not, as of yet, been able to discard. I think they should get with the program and realize that times have changed, and a "hot" car is much more than having hundreds of useless horses under the hood.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    Battery replacement is highly unlikely to be an issue in at least the first 120,000 miles. There are first gen Prius' out there that have in excess of 220,000 miles on the battery. That is at least as good as the engine lifetime on most vehicles.

    Replacing the battery in any hybrid is urban legend.
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  • TeraMedia
    Food for thought, and no I have not done the math on this one: If everyone drove a higher-efficiency hybrid instead of their current vehicle(s), would the reduced consumption of - and hence demand for - gasoline drive a commensurate reduction in gasoline prices? And would that reduction in gasoline (and other energy sources!) price be enough to make the hybrids more economical to drive than the current top 10?
    Reply
  • jabliese
    Comparing costs over a 5 year period seems a bit daft, also. I can see wanting to get rid of some of those cars in 5 years, but will bet most hybrid owners keep their cars longer. The comparison should tilt more heavily to hybrids once the car payment is done.
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  • See "Who killed the Electric Car" documentary - available on internet. You shouldnt compare hybrids to regular cars. You should compare electric cars to regular cars, because in that case the maintenance cost is dramatic as there is no combustion engine necessary at all which is the major reason for all the maintenance, and costs. As batteries keep improving distances keep improving and the car is silent too!
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  • I don't see solar power in the mix of comments. In 2010, when the LiPoly powered Prius Plus hits mainstream, and hopefully the Chevy Volt, you'll be able to drive 40 miles on ELECTRIC only. A fillup costs about $5 and shows up on your electric bill. NO GAS USAGE AT ALL! If you buy a few solar panels for your roof at home, that will offset your increased electric bill. The savings in Gasoline will MAKE YOUR CAR PAYMENT FOR YOU. If you can't figure that out, go ahead and keep paying my road taxes at the gas pump!
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  • KITH
    if we stop using the gasoline the road taxes will have to come from somewhere else. believe that you will still be paying those taxes. We need roads.
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  • groo
    People need to realize current hybrids only "work" with lots of stop and go. I'm glad I convinced my parrents to not buy a hybrid. even though they own cars for more than 5 years, it would never pay for itself. If thier were a plug in hybrid availiable, I would have told them to get it. Plug in hybrids are the future, not these half assed inline hybrids.
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