Rethinking the Cost Benefit Analysis of a Hybrid

Creative Commons License photo credit: pedrosimoes7

Mom at Wide Open Wallet posted a response to my article, Top 5 Hybrid SUVs Ranked by MPG which resulted in my testing of our car’s MPG. The results? Our car, the beater that it is gets on average 26-27 mpg which is pretty awesome considering that most newer cars get less than that these days.

Why is this important? We’d been considering chucking our beater for a newer hybrid car thinking that it would save us money. Well, with our target hybrid, the Toyota Camry averaging around 37-39 mpg we’re not sure if it would be entirely worth it. I’m hard to please in this area but its just a thought that maybe we should wait a little while longer before running out and buying a new hybrid. We can surely take the metro more and just not gallivant around the city like we have been the last few weeks which would save us money on gas. So, IMHO to run out and incur another car payment, more/higher insurance, another gas bill, tags, title and registration fees just to gain 10 mpg doesn’t seem worth it to me.

I could be wrong, but with the amount of driving that I/we do for the month, its not enough to justify the extra costs associated with a new car. So it looks like I’ll be riding this car into the ground as its currently at 130k. So I think we can get another 30k out of it before it goes kaput. Until then I’ll be doing my research. Most of you don’t know this but I am a car enthusiast and I get attached easily, LOL! So if I chuck my precious Solara now, then it needs to be worth it. So I am on the hunt for a sexy, 4 door coupe style (convertible would be GREAT!) hybrid vehicle.

My current lusts include the CLS 500 and the Lexus 450h. None of them justify the hybrid requirements but they make great eye candy.

Mercedes CLS 500

Lexus 450h

But I digress, :-)

Are you planning on buying a hybrid? If so, have you done your own cost-benefit analysis?

  • used hybrid cars

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  • Michelle

    yeah, I just take public transportation… in LA of all places!

  • Austin Chu

    Hey, I’m not a chick, but your post has some really good points. It’s a balance though. Do it clearly for the money, may not always make sense. Do it for the environment and a clean conscious may be worth it. Want to save money? Get a used old Mercedes Benz, and convert it to run on VeggieOil. That’s what I did. I haven’t paid for fuel since January. Now that the price of diesel has gone up to $4.70+, well boys just want to have funds too… To take the girls out of course!

    Austin Chu’s last blog post..Identity Crisis: The many types of “gift cards”

  • Sarah

    I did the math last year, when there was a promotion with a big discount for a hybrid SUV, and reached the same conclusion. My current Saturn got better mileage than the SUV.

    But, with petrol heading to $4 a gallon, I’m redoing the math for a Prius.

  • Daily Yeah

    Yeah, can’t forget about the tax credits for hybrids. That can save hybrid owners a ton of money…

    Daily Yeah’s last blog post..Korean Comics Part 6

  • Mom @ Wide Open Wallet

    hey cool.. thanks for the mention. I was pretty disappointed too when I realized going out and buying a new car isn’t cheaper. I was all excited for about 10 minutes. I had visions of wandering around the dealership and test driving hybrids. oh well… a few more years.

    Mom @ Wide Open Wallet’s last blog post..Kids don’t need life insurance.

  • savvy

    As an aside, you should be able to get way more than 160K out of a Toyota. Honda and Toyota consistently rank as the top two manufacturers in terms of reliability, longevity, etc. I have a family member who drives a 13 year old Honda with close to 200K miles. It’s still in great condition (mechanically and physically) and had never had any issues with the major components (i.e. engine, transmission).

    savvy’s last blog post..Lifestyle Creep