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When it comes to how much it costs to own a hybrid versus a comparable gas-powered vehicle, Lexus giveth and Lexus taketh away. Toyota's luxury division included not only the model that saved buyers the most, but also the model that cost drivers the most, compared to a more conventional vehicle. It's a good thing Toyota came in at Number 2 on the "savings" side of the ledger.

So says data-tracking company Vincentric, which calculated the five-year cost of ownership for various models. Green-car advocates will be disappointed to know that just 10 of the 31 US hybrids saved their owners money. Hybrids typically cost about $4,300 more than gas-powered vehicles while saving about $2,900 in fueling costs.

Take the Lexus CT 200h. On average, it saved buyers more than $7,600 over a five-year period after factoring in the higher price tag and lower refueling costs. The Toyota Avalon Hybrid saved almost $3,400. On the flipside, the Lexus GS 450h had a five-year cost surplus of almost $8,200, while the average Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid cost their owners more than $7,500 more. The Toyota Prius escaped scrutiny because it doesn't have a gas-powered version. You can read more, and get the PDF, over at Vincentric.

Of course, with gas prices down about nine percent in the past year, the 10-to-21 savers-to-spenders hybrid ratio could worsen. As it is, year-over-year hybrid sales are down, while pickup-truck sales are rising


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