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The folks over at MSN (who I think are some sort of competitors to the owners of this site, so don’t tell anyone I’m linking to them, and really, the article was written by someone at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, so what’s the problem?) put together an estimate on the total cost of buying and operating seven popular hybrid automobiles. They found that the only hybrid that will actually save you money over five years is a Toyota Prius. One more reason it the world’s most popular hybrid. All other models will cost between $300 and $3,700 more than their non-hybrid counterparts over five years. One question the article leaves unanswered is what estimate Kiplinger’s was using then estimating fuel prices for the next five years. This could have a huge impact on the findings presented in the article, yet they leave that information out. [Source: MSN]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 2006 Civic EX has an MSRP of $18,260. The Civic Hybrid is $21,850. That's a $3,590 difference. Factor in the $2,100 federal tax credit and the difference becomes $1,490.

      I drive 20,000 miles a year. Based on the "real world" conditions that I drive in, in conjunction with my own personal experience with actual mileage (for me) vs. the EPA estimated mileage (I get 20mpg in the Element)... let's say the Civic EX, rated at 30/40 and the Civic Hybrid, rated at 49/51 only come in at 90% of their City estimates with the way I drive. That means the Civic EX will net me 27mpg and the Civic Hybrid will come in at 44mpg (pretty much on par with the real-world database here: http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/honda-civicii.html ) that's a 17mpg difference between the two (hell, I've gotten 17mpg in my Element before!).

      I would need 740 gallons a year with the Civic EX, vs. 454 gallons with the Civic. At an assumed $2.50 a gallon, that comes out to $2,220 for the EX and $1,362 for the Hybrid. That's a $858 yearly savings. Within 2 years I will have recouped the so-called Hybrid Premium. Even without the $2,100 tax credit, it will take me just slightly north of 4 years to recoup it. Well within the useful life of the vehicle. Afterward I'd be saving nearly $1,000 every year... more if gas prices continue to climb. It's been nearly 7 years since the Insight was introduced in the US and there have been very very few reports of the blown-out-of-proportion dreaded batter and motor replacement that those wary of Hybrid tech are touting. In addition, the current IMA system in the 06 Civic is the 3rd Generation of Honda's IMA system (99 Insight 1st Gen, 03 Civic Hybrid, 2nd Gen). There has been a lot of improvement in both the power and efficiency of the system. Not to mention the IMA system is warrantied for 8 years as well. Once again, well within the useful life of the vehicle.

      Factor in time not spent in traffic (being able to take the car pool lane solo in certain states). And the cost of supporting emerging technologies that leads to more R&D that leads to innovation, the hybrid is still a clear winner.

      In addition, no one seems to under that someone could be looking at a much less fuel efficient vehicle at the same price point as either of these hybrids (for example cross shopping a vehicle that gets around 20mpg vs. one of these hybrids). At that point the standard non-hybrid Civic vs. the hybrid version comparison becomes moot and you'd have to do you cost analyses based on the 20mpg vehicle and the hybrid.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That should've been $3.00 a gallon... not $2.50.