I posted about MPG a while ago and thought I would do an update now. This is now more relavent than ever since gas is over $3.50 per gallon.
I know people talk about hybrids a lot nowadays. But is it really worth the extra dollars to buy a hybrid over a non-hybrid? I'm going to analyze the purchase decision between 2 cars: the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Honda Civic non-hybrid. The reason I chose these two is that they are essentially the same car, only one has Honda's IMA Hybrid system. The difference in gas milage between the two vehicles is 29/39/32 vs 44/44/44. I'll just use the combined EPA number for comparison purposes, 32 vs 44 MPG.
If we take the base price of an automatic DX of $16,605 vs $24,050, we get a $7445 difference in price between the DX and the Hybrid. But most people probably won't be buying a DX model. The most feature comparable model to the hybrid is the EX. That price is $20,505, which makes the difference in price $3545. If you take the LX, that price is $18,655 a difference of $5395. Heck, let's compare all 3 (dx, lx and ex) to the hybrid.
Let's assume that you'll drive 15,000 miles per year, and that gas costs $3.70 per gallon. Each of the vehicles will use the following:
DX, LX, EX - 469 gallons - $1735
Hybrid - 341 gallons - $1261
The difference in gas is $474 per year. At that rate the number of years to pay off the difference in the price of the hybrid over the various models is as follows.
Buying the Hybrid over the EX would take 7.4 years before the gas savings would exceed the purchase price difference.
Buying the Hybrid over the LX would take 11.3 years before the gas savings would exceed the purchase price difference.
Now for the kicker: Buying the Hybrid over the DX would take a whole 15.7 years before the gas savings exceed the purchase price difference!!
I don't have any reservations about thinking a Civic would last 15 years, because we own one. Ours is 15 years old and still going strong, except just a little rust.
This doesn't mean that I don't recommend hybrids, as I drive one. My hybrid is a 2007 Camry Hybrid, and it gets an average in the winter of 32 MPG, and the summer of 38 MPG.