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).