Hybrids that pay you back

We show you which car justifies its higher sticker price

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From the June 2015 issue of the magazine.

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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.

hybrid fuel efficiency

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


3 comments on “Hybrids that pay you back

  1. Can you factor in the incentives from P/T gov’ts (e.g. Ontario, Quebec) for purchasing hybrid vehicles?


  2. Making sense cost-wise is one aspect. The carbon footprint also provides savings on the environment. I plan to purchase my next vehicle as a hybrid, or even purely electric, as I am more concerned with the environmental impact as opposed to simply saving money. Money comes and goes, but the environment is for our future. I also ride a bicycle and save a lot at the pumps as well. :-)


  3. Hybrid cars are quieter and usually come with more features than the equivalent gas car so it is not always about whether it will pay you back after 5 years of driving. Also your service costs should be lower if you believe the manufacturers claims.


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