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With the relative decline in U.S. gas prices are hybrid cars still worth the money?
The answer depends on what is important to you, but the top 6 hybrids that pay back any price surcharges the soonest still do so relatively quickly even at today’s prices at the pump.
According to the U.S. EPA, payback for the worst is under three years, and the best is zero years. This is based on $2.66 per gallon estimated for regular fuel, and $3.05 for premium and factoring 15,000 annual miles, 55 percent city, 45 percent highway.
At this writing these fuel prices are precisely in line with AAA’s Fuel Gauge average U.S. gas price report, so the EPA is spot on there.
Another variable that can change the results will be if you load your car up with options. As it is, the federal government compares respective hybrid models with nearest non-hybrid counterparts at base MSRP.
Of course hybrids exist for reasons other than just saving money. Their reduced fuel use is better for energy security, the environment, is convenient when you don’t have to stop to fill up as often, and lower consumption is simply less wasteful. And, it’s a hedge against if fuel prices do go back up.
However, it’s also true not all hybrids do “pencil out” with shorter payback times and relative sales numbers on our monthly sales Dashboard may be a clue as to which are which – but not necessarily. Some of these cars are indeed best sellers and others are just so-so.
Top 6 Hybrid Cars That Pay Back the Soonest
As true for any car, your mileage and results may vary but these are as close as possible to apple-to-apple comparisons using only EPA data as the guide.
6. Tie: Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited / XLE Touring – 2.6 years