Apparently, relatively cheap smaller hybrids are a no-brainer for consumers concerned about high gas prices, but the bigger and more expensive hybrids, like Ford's Escape and the Toyota Highlander hybrid SUVs, are sitting on dealers' lots.
While it's natural for economy car buyers to be attracted by, well, economy (in gas mileage as well as sticker price), USAToday points out that the bigger hybrids also sell at a bigger price premium over their non-hybrid versions. The Highlander hybrid, for example, sells for a whopping $6,590 more than its six-cylinder gas-only counterpart, while a Civic hybrid is just $2,890 more than a similar standard model.
Customers don't seem to be dealing well with the bigger price gap for bigger hybrids - the Lexus RX400h is sitting on dealers' lots for an average 32 days, while the RX330 moves in an average of 27 days (for the record, both durations are more than respectable-- it's the fact that the hybrid sits longer that's the thing). And the Prius? It sprints off the dealer's lot in an average of just 8 days.
[Sources: USA Today, Toyota]