"Most bang for your buck"Plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars might be getting most of the attention nowadays because they are at the cutting edge, and it's where the most interesting developments are taking place. But the good ol' gas-electric hybrid, which truly came of age with the 2004 Prius, is still doing its thing, reducing CO2 and smog-forming emissions compared to similar non-hybrid vehicles.
But despite what some people think, many hybrids are excellent value for your wallet too. Consumer Reports, one of the most highly respected independent consumer advocacy organisation, has just named the Toyota Prius hybrid the "best overall value for the automotive dollar [...] giving you the most bang for your buck" for the second year in a row.
The popular hybrid has the right combination of performance, reliability and low estimated five-year ownership costs of 47 cents per mile. Last year, the Prius unseated the perennial best-value leader, the Honda Fit. The Fit had held the best new-car value title for the previous four years. [...]“The Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested,” said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul. “Though it’s not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP. We call that a bargain.”
The scores were calculated based on the five-year owner cost for each vehicle, along with Consumer Reports’ road-test score and the organization’s own predicted-reliability score from the latest Annual Auto Survey. In short, the better a car performs in Consumer Reports’ road tests and reliability ratings, and the less it costs to own over time, the better its value.
It's interesting to note that many of the other CR picks in different categories are also hybrids:
Compact /Subcompact Cars: Best, Toyota Prius Four; Worst, Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L
Midsized Cars: Best, Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium; Worst, Nissan Altima 3.5 SL
Large Cars: Best, Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited; Worst, Ford Taurus Limited
Luxury Cars: Best, Lexus ES 300h; Worst, BMW 750Li
Sports Cars/Convertibles: Best: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring; Worst, Chevrolet Camaro convertible 2SS (V8)
Wagons/Minivans: Best, Mazda5 Grand Touring; Worst, Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L
Small SUVs: Best, Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium; Worst, Ford Escape SE (1.6T)
Midsized SUVs: Best, Nissan Murano SL; Worst, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
Luxury/Large SUVs: Best, BMW X1 xDrive28i; Worst, Nissan Armada Platinum
Pickups: Best, Honda Ridgeline RTS; Worst, Ford F-250 Lariat (6.7L V8)
Via Consumer Reports