Hybrids help you cut down on trips to the gas station, but rarely actually save you money due to their higher sticker price. Below, we crunched the numbers to find out if any actually would save enough in gas purchases over five years to make up for the difference in cost between the hybrid and conventional versions of the same vehicles. What did we find out about hybrid fuel efficiency? The Ford Fusion Hybrid SE was the only car that came out ahead. The hybrid version provides you with nearly $1,900 of savings after five years, and would continue to save you money even if gas prices dropped as low as 82¢/L. Neither the Toyota Prius nor the Honda Accord Hybrid managed to break even at five years. Of those two, the Prius is more cost-efficient, but it wouldn’t make economic sense to buy unless gas prices topped $1.53/L.
Assumptions: 20,000 km driven/year; 60% city/40% highway; gas, $1.35 litre. Insurance costs based on 28-year-old with clean driving record. Depreciation costs assume 20% in 1st year and 10% in each subsequent year. Interest charges based on lowest available 60-month dealer financing rates.
*Total cost of ownership includes fuel, depreciation, insurance and loan interest