Consumer Reports says that some hybrids do pay off - quickly

Click the 2009 Escape Hybrid for a high-res gallery

Contrary to the results from many studies conducted over the past, Consumer Reports has found that some hybrid vehicles actually offer a huge cash savings after just one year of driving. As you would imagine, those savings continues to add up year after year in most cases. Out of twelve hybrids tested, half saved money in the first year of ownership, even without calculating in any applicable tax credits. The six winners: Toyota Prius and hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Malibu and (surprise!) Tahoe, Ford Escape, Saturn Vue, and Toyota Camry.

There were a few losers too, along with some that just about broke even. The worst payback, not surprisingly, come from the most expensive models: the Lexus GS 450h and RX 400h and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. So far, CR has not revealed the math behind its findings, other than to say that fuel savings only accounted for about a quarter of overall cost to their owners, but subscribers will know soon enough. Get the whole story in the October 2008 edition of the print mag.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

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