So, you've decided to buy a hybrid.
You've heard all they hype about hybrid technology. How they are so good for the environment by running on electric at low speeds and gas at high speeds, giving you the best of both worlds. Or perhaps you're more interested in fuel economy, and have heard the rumors you can actually save money buying a hybrid in the long run. Or maybe, you just want to qualify for the tax credit. Or perhaps you saw Kermit the Frog on TV.
Whatever your reasons, your only choice now is which hybrid to buy? Will you go with the most popular hybrid and buy the Toyota Prius? Or perhaps you're just interested in price? City driving? Highway driving? SUV vs Car?
If it's a hybrid SUV you are interested in, you now have five choices. In order of how much its going to cost you, there is the Saturn Vue Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Lexus RX 400h. Each has its pros and cons, but they are all worth a look. The Ford Escape gets the best mileage (36/31), the RX 400h is going to delivery luxury (for a hefty price), the Saturn Vue Green Line (hybrid) gives you an economic choice (but you get fewer internal gadgets), and the Toyota Highlander gives you good power (V6 engine vs the V4 Escape) and with Toyota quality.
If you're looking for great fuel economy, the Honda Insight (out of production in September) and the Toyota Prius are what you're looking for. Each car outperforms every other vehicle on the road when it comes to fuel economy at the price of internal space. Both cars are compacts (the Insight is a two-seater).
If you want to stand out from the crowd, these two are the most likely to turn heads, as well. Both are styled for air flow, giving them a unique look that says: here is a hybrid.
If you're looking for the best price on a hybrid, the Honda Civic is the way to go. Starting at $14,760 (prices vary up to $24,440), none of the other cars can come close. You can also count the Saturn Vue Hybrid Green Line as the newest hybrid on the road for a great price. With prices ranging from $17,370 to $23,525, you're not going to get a better deal on a hybrid.
If luxury is your thing, there are currently three choices. The Lexus GS 450h gives you every bell and whistle you can think of for a whopping $54,900. The Lexus RX 400h is the luxury SUV for Toyota/Lexus and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid is the luxury vehicle from Ford. The Mariner is a basic twin of the Ford Escape Hybrid, but with all the options (and priced at a lot less than the other two).
If you want to go with the crowd, the best selling hybrids on the road today are the Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry. The Toyota Camry is a new comer to the hybrid field but quickly jumped into the no. 2 spot in sales of hybrid.
The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are two of the best selling vehicles in the world, so you would expect adding a hybrid component to either one would quickly pay off for the two Japanese carmakers. Honda Accord sales, however, have languished. The difference is easy to see. The Toyota Camry gets an EPA rating of 40 city/38 highway. The Accord? At best 25/34. Honda built a performance hybrid at the expense of fuel economy and is paying the price of their ill fated choice. Sales have not been strong and production was lowered. It seems the extra power being delivered wasn't worth the extra premium.
|2006||Honda||Insight||Compact Coupe||$ 19,330||$ 21,530||57||56|
|2006||Honda||Accord||Midsize Sedan||$ 18,225||$ 32,990||20||25||29||34|
|2006||Honda||Civic||Compact Sedan||$ 14,760||$ 24,440||28||49||39||51|
|2007||Lexus||GS 450h||Midsize Sedan||$ 54,900||25||28|
|2007||Toyota||Camry||Midsize Sedan||$ 25,900||40||38|
|2006||Toyota||Prius||Compact Sedan||$ 21,725||60||51|
|2007||Ford||Escape||Compact SUV||$ 25,600||$ 27,205||33||36||29||31|
|2007||Lexus||RX 400h||Midsize SUV||$ 41,180||$ 42,580||31||33||27||28|
|2006||Mercury||Mariner||Compact SUV||$ 29,225||33||29|
|2007||Saturn||Vue||Midsize SUV||$ 17,370||$ 23,525||19||27||25||32|
|2006||Toyota||Highlander||Midsize SUV||$ 33,030||$ 39,290||31||33||27||28|
* Range of values depends on trim/engine/etc...
** 2007 numbers provided where available.