Six (Lame) Excuses Not to Buy a Hybrid

Six (Lame) Excuses Not to Buy a Hybrid
Share this Article

1. “They’re too expensive”

Few realize that there was a first generation Prius that was based on Toyota’s Echo subcompact. The price of that early hybrid: $19,995. While the next generations of Prii have increased in price, the current Prius is available for just $24,000, and is far from the cheapest hybrid out there.

The Honda Insight costs just $18,500 and the Toyota Prius c costs just $18,950, which both represent about $3,000 to $4,000 over the non-hybrid Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris.

This price increase is on par across the range of other segments too. The Hybrid Camry gets 43/39 mpg city/highway and costs $3,000 more than the non-hybrid which gets 25/35 mpg city/highway. It also makes more horsepower. The question always is how long will it take to pay back the add cost of the hybrid over the non-hybrid model just by saving gas?

According to the Camry Hybrid will take five and a half years to pay back that price increase. Other hybrids, like the Civic Hybrid, Prius c, Insight and Sonata and Optima Hybrids, all take at about four or five years to pay back the difference, which is about half of the normal lifetime of a vehicle.

  • CA_Refugee

    To me, they are still a waste of development money and are pointless. Until hydrogen powered cars become available, I won’t even bother. I like my ’08 Legacy, and I still get 25+MPG on road trips. And it is even modified slightly too.

  • hn

    So the break even cost is about five years. Anyone that doesn’t keep it longer would say why bother. And those that buy six, seven year old cars have little or no battery warranty so a very pricey replacement. That will trickle down to resale value, but right now there are very few old hybrids.
    Smaller and lighter cars make more sense!

  • FordV8Supercar

    I think if I were to buy a super-efficient car, I’d look at a VW Golf BlueMotion or something. Most car nuts can see that the Prius is an overpriced gimmick which is why nobody likes it, let alone wants to buy one…

  • J Mack

     Odd that you should say that. Toyota has sold 4 million hybrids. The Prius is a HUGE seller. Hybrid technology is the future. Get over your outdated ideas.

  • JDH

    While some of the technology that goes into a hybrid is interesting and has a lot of merit, until they market an 800hp beast of a hybrid that isn’t ugly as hell (the prius is a hideous eyesore), I’ll stick with a standard combustion engine. Getting good mileage is all nice and dandy, but I want horse power!

  • FordV8Supercar

    Yeah that’s true, but what I’m saying is that you never hear any car enthusiasts saying ‘I need a more fuel-efficient car, I’ll might go and buy a Prius’, if that get’s my point across better. The Honda CR-Z has been struggling in sales lately because it’s in the sports car category (that’s what Honda said), and people who know sports cars know that the CR-Z isn’t worth the money for what isn’t a sporty car anyway

  • Dbornstein09

    Lame article, promoting stop gap technology. Hydrogen is the future, which will be in production soon. My car isn’t a hybrid, I get near 40MPG, why would I pay 1000’s more for little difference?

  • chavitz chavis

    Applying break-even theory is SERIOUSLY FLAWED.

    The initial additional $4000 piece of hybrid system saves at least about$800 to $1000 each year. Yes, on paper, 5years of saving is from $4000 to 5000, seemingly recovering the initial additional  hybrid system cost of $4000.  BUT  at the end of year 5, when reselling the hybrid car to the used car market, you can actually recoup at least $2000 to 2500 from the very hybrid system, that is, you still can sell the hybrid car at  $2000 to 2500 above the same non-hybird car because it is still  a working hybrid car. So at the end of year 5, your net gain due to driving a hybrid is at Least $2000( 5years’gas saving $ 4000+ reselling gain$2000-initial paid hybrid cost$4000). Actually the real pay-back period is much less than 5years. As a matter of fact, the longer driving hybrid, the better off. The central problem of payback calculation is that people forget reselling gain of hybrid car; the $4000 worth hybrid system is generating saving yearly, while, even at year 15 when selling the car, you still can ask for $1000 to 1500 more than the same gas engine car.

  • KY

    Did you even read the article? The third slide answer your question.

  • Rxonmymind

    Lets do the math. My Toyota gets 25 mi a Gal. Even with gas at $4.50 a gallon that works out to. 18 cents a mile. Even less for those that get 40 mi to a Gal. It’s. 11 cents a mile. So unless electric gets down to. 02-.05 cents a mile these hybrids are NOT worth owning.

  • Sami Haj-Assaad

    Torque is pretty nice too, and electric engines provide that instantly and smoothly. 

  • hn

    If new hybrids are a tough sell, what makes you think a used one will command a higher price. There are very few 5-10 year old hybrids (maybe even obsolete batteries), so I doubt there is much real proof of higher resale value. You can ASK any price you want, but will it sell at that price ?

  • Joeharveyaurora

    Just sold a 2008 Camry Hybrid. Ask was $2,500 over a comparable 2008 gas Camry. Sold for a $400 discount to ask. Need more proof hybrid is the way to go? Replaced with a 2012 Camry hybrid XLE (only $2,500 more than gas loaded Camry). Also replaced a 2nd gas only vehicle with a Lexus CT200h. My bank account is already much fatter than it would have been. 

  • KKornatoski

    I used to own a 2010 Prius IV …. all I can say is … it got great MPG but it still was a “stupid” car none the less… replaced it with  a TDI Sportwagen (something that drives like a normal car)…

  • LawrenceG

    Don’t worry about batter since it will last easily 100K? I keep my cars much longer than 100k. How long WILL they last (Lithium anyhow).

  • Rocky

    If you need old style muscle car horse power a hybrid is not for you.  If you like brisk and fear hybrids are lethargic try a Ford or Lexus.  For more zip and still pretty good mpg go for a 2 liter turbo in anything.

  • Nonymous

    Lexus GS 450h is  almost halfway:
    338 hp from a 3.5L V-6
    6.2 L/100km highway (46 MPG)

    Lexus LS 600h is a bit closer:
    438hp from 5.0L V8
    still does 9.1 L/100km highway (31 MPG)

    -both are fully featured, and I personally like the styling

  • Nonymous

    I want to see a hybrid pickup from Toyota, adding a battery down NOT reduce power, adds low rev torque, and could boost fuel economy on any regular commute
    maybe then people would realize that hybrids are just efficient cars, as capable as any (Although I doubt they would sell well in the US, they still think full-size trucks are commuter vehicles, but I have hope yet)

  • Doe

    Hybrids suck.  They use CVT transmissions and are very slow.  They don’t really get much better mpg and you have to replace the expensive batteries every couple of years to achieve max mpg.  No one will want a used hybrid with flat battery.  So what if you save $100 a year on fuel.

  • Doublethink

    Looks like a propaganda piece. People are concerned about value, reliability, performance and dare we say safety. Battery replacement cost is a significant issue plus additional maintenance costs of two systems (gas and electric).The gas version saves about $5,000 up front which means we could drive for $5,000 worth of gasoline before we break even to the cost for the hybrid.

  • Dave M

     I agree that car guys aren’t buying hybrids, but have you driven the CR-Z? It’s got a bad rap. I really like it. It’s FUN to drive…. or at least it’s fun for a car with just over 100-hp.

  • Dave M

     I think you’re going to like the Porsche 918 Spyder. That… and the next Ferrari Enzo will be a hybrid too!!!

  • Richard Joash Tan


  • Richard Joash Tan

    and you are a bullshit

  • Richard Joash Tan

    and you are a bullshit

  • Richard Joash Tan

    and you are a bullshit

  • Richard Joash Tan

    and you are a bullshit

  • Richard Joash Tan


  • Richard Joash Tan


  • Richard Joash Tan


  • Rockwilder87

    they are all ugly as fuck… there are no answer for this…

  • F3

    4+ years to pay back the difference?  And most diesels will earn their owners an ROI in as little as 2 years.  Not to mention, the EPA themselves did a study which showed that diesel cars actually get BETTER real-world fuel economy than their officially published numbers.  Any questions as to why diesel vehicles have seen increases in sales of 25 – 30% the last two years?

    I’m still not buying a hybrid.  A modern clean-diesel for me, preferably with 6 gears & 3 pedals!