For consumers simply looking to save money in the face of rising gasoline prices, it makes more sense to purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle that doesn't rely on hybrid technology. Hybrid versions of vehicles usually cost about $3,500 to nearly $8,000 more than non-hybrid versions. Part of that cost is for unrelated options that usually come as part of a hybrid package that you might not even want - third row seats, leather interior, wood grain veneer.
Yes, they tell you, you are much better off if you just keep buying cars like this:
2004 Saturn Vue FWD
Fuel Type on Regular Gas:
MPG (City): 20
MPG (highway): 28
MPG (combined): 23
And this--from yet another CNN article today titled "Satern Vue Green Line: hybrid for tightwads:
And people believe them, because they are just as easily lied to on this issue as on the war in Iraq, abortion and gays. Yes, we thinks anything over 17 MPG is stellar!
Just take a look at what a great deal people believe they are getting. From a Yahoo consumer review board, we get stuff like this from a couple of reviewers:
Pros: Powerful with good fuel economy
Cons: Mount gear rack is noisy! --don't buy it, or just remove it!
We have seen as high as 29 on a vacation and no less than 23 around town. (Big improvement over a van that only got 17 MPG - almost 50% improvement!).
Overall a Great Deal
By Todd in Columbia Maryland
Pros: Fuel Economy, Power, Lots of Extras
Cons: Hate the Design of the Seats
I bought my 2006 FWD V6 Vue. So far I love! I traded in my 2003 Nissan Xterra with SC. I loved my Nissan with the Super Charger, but my Vue has 40 more HP and gets 5-15 mpg more. I was leary about about buying a Saturn, but it was between the Equinox and the Vue. I chose the Vue I chose the Vue simply because I felt I got more for the money and from what I understand the they are both based of the same vehicle.
That's right, "because I felt I got more for the money." Not that you actually did, but hey, emotion is what they use to sell you this junk. But as gas prices rise, people are starting to question the wisdom from on high. Of course, take it with a grain of salt: these are people upset over SUV gas mileage.
Got Burned As the Gas Burns
By Frustrated from Springfield, VA
Pros: Roomy Interior, nice V-6 Power
Cons: Gas mileage performance a huge disappointment
I drive 17 miles to work, 15 on the highway at midnight. No traffic, No A/C and getting no mileage. Only averaging 18 mpg should be getting near 25. Not reaching stated mpg. My 2000 explorer was geting better mileage...
I drive a Honda Civic, so I know all about good gas mileage. For comparison's sake, I will refer to the non-Hybrid Civic when I compare the two in this piece, and not some asinine media suggestion involving a lightweight truck. But when my friend bought his Prius, I noticed there are a lot of other financial benefits the media doesn't like to take into consideration when they factor in the price of owning a Hybrid versus some "good gas mileage" SUV they always seem to be pushing. And aren't they always comparing it against the price of a Prius (High) versus the mileage of a Non-Toyota Hybrid SUV (Comparatively Low)?
First of all, there is the advantage of not having to fill the damn thing up every other day. Because not only are you not having to pay for gas, you aren't physically taking the time out of your busy day to go to the gas station to fill it up. My friend would go weeks on city driving, hundreds of miles, without having to expend those 10-15 minutes for a trip to fill it up.
I don't know about you, but odds are that if I'm late, I'm also out of gas. And that is a huge pain. The amount of time my friend saves on not gassing the damn thing has been one of the biggest surprises; and also one of the major advantages I see in owning a Prius over a non-Hybrid Civic.
Second, in California commuters enjoy the added benefit of being able to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. While the fairness of this has been debated, California sees it as a way to encourage the purchase of Hybrid vehicles. The value of the amount of time that can be saved is never factored into any media comparison of Hybrids I have ever seen.
Finally, I would point to resale value as something the media overlooks. A car is a horrible investment; you sink your money into it and the minute you drive it off the lot it starts depreciating. Yet vehicles like the Prius have held excellent resale values; first as people wanted specific colors from the older models and second for people who are interested in the Hybrid technology but don't want to pay sticker.
And there is always the value in reducing your footprint at a time when our soldiers are dying in Iraq (Hummer H3, anyone?). Not everyone can afford to pay for a Hybrid, and I think they don't make sense for everyone. But when CNN is pumping out lists like this, you can't tell me that at $28,000 it's a bad option:
You find plenty of lists out there of cars that get the best fuel economy. Those lists are easy to produce, but they aren't really of much use... None of the top cars are hybrids. That's because, with their added cost, hybrids aren't really a good value from a purely economic standpoint.
Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI
Mileage: 27 city/37 highway
Mileage: 24 city/34 highway
Mileage: 18 city/28 highway
Mileage: 24 city/30 highway
Mileage: 32 city/41 highway
So look to CNN as your source for stories such as "Woman captures sister's fiery death" (with video link) or "Nun killed by Priest 22 years ago." But don't take them car shopping.