Which Hybrid Cars Actually Save Buyers Money?

December 12th, 2014 by


Hybrid vehicles have been a hot topic of late. Consumers aren’t sure whether it’s better to buy hybrids new, go for used models at used car dealerships in RI, or forego them altogether.

While owners do see big savings at the pump, does that extra cash balance out with the purchase premium that you pay for hybrid technology?

Some argue that it’s not worth it because the upfront cost and the savings don’t ever even out. But using a study from Vincentric, an automotive research company, Forbes has uncovered 13 hybrids that actually do save money over the long-term.

Hybrids to Avoid

Unfortunately, one big area where hybrid technology has not made great strides yet is in SUV models. Fuel economy is especially important in larger vehicles, so it’s understandable that many companies would want to be the first to make a hybrid SUV that saves.

However, the ones that have been released so far, including GMC’s Yukon Hybrid and Chevrolet’s Tahoe Hybrid, fall down on the job. They ultimately cost owners more than the regular gasoline version.

There are some big disappointments in hybrid savings in smaller vehicles too. For instance, if you were thinking that BMW was a good way to go, steer clear. It turns out that the 3-Series, 5-Series, and 7-Series increase ownership costs over the course of five years as well.

Hybrids that Actually Save

The good news is that there are several hybrid models that do not work against you. Depending on how much you drive, how you drive, and how long you plan to own your vehicle, one of these might be a good match for you.

Many people assume that the Toyota Prius leads the pack in terms of savings because it’s such a familiar hybrid. However, the winner with the best cost return is the Lexus CT 200h which can save you approximately $6,379 over five years.

The Prius v is significantly lower with savings of only  $1,528 after five years. Toyota’s most beneficial hybrid is the Avalon which saves $2,222. The Prius C and Lexus ES 300h also made the cut.

Here is a list of additional models that save, though some of the totals don’t offer much to write home about.

  • Lincoln MKZ Hybrid ($4,778)
  • Audi Q5 ($3,805)
  • Mercedes-Benz S Class ($3,283)
  • Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ($1,674)
  • Volkswagon Jetta Hybrid ($1,487)
  • Honda Insight ($1,079)
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid ($803)
  • Acura ILX Hybrid ($471)

Is It Worth It?

If you plan to own your car for the long-term, going with a hybrid can pay off. With the right model, you’ll pay more at the dealership, but your reduced fuel costs will offset that. You can also get tax and insurance breaks, loan discounts, and sometimes even incentives from your employer.

The other important thing to know is that hybrid cars hold value better than straight gasoline models and typically have good resale value.

The longer you drive yours, the more you’ll save. Then, when you’re ready to pass it on to someone else, you should still receive a solid trade-in or sale amount.

That’s also a great reason to buy hybrids used instead of new. Let someone else pay the premium for a hybrid. You can pick the same car up at one of your favorite used car dealerships in RI a few years later at a much lower cost.

It will probably still be running great, and it can provide you with some serious fuel savings.