Hybrids saving most money: Camry, Malibu, Altima

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Among Hybrids, the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu Offer the Best Overall Value - Car News
Surprise! Not all hybrid cars cut costs equally.
BY JAKE HOLMES July 2008
Car buyers hoping to economize by switching to a hybrid car will save the most money if they buy a Toyota Camry hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu hybrid or Nissan Altima hybrid, according to a study by NADAguides.com.
As gas prices continue to rise around the country, hybrid cars are attracting more and more drivers who want to save money on fuel. But many consumers looking to buy a more efficient car only compare the EPA fuel economy and dont factor in the increased price of the hybrid model, according to Tara Baukus Mello, NADAguides.com lead market analyst.
Even though they use less fuel to go down the road, hybrid cars cost more upfront and, depending on how many miles drivers cover, wont necessarily save money. Baukus Mello and NADAguides.com studied the prices and potential fuel savings of hybrids on sale in the U.S. to determine their break-even pointhow far the cars must be driven before savings in fuel costs outweigh the initial outlay for a hybrid.
The study used EPA combined fuel economy ratings for 2008 model year hybrid cars and their gasoline-engine counterparts to evaluate fuel savings. Coupled to the manufacturer suggested retail prices (minus any tax breaks for hybrids) for each vehicle, NADAguides.com found varied results. For gas prices, the study used the current cost of a gallon in Los Angeles, $4.59. While thats higher than the current national average, it might not be too long before all of us are paying those prices.
The Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrids all offer enough fuel savings for drivers to recoup their price premiums after fewer than 75,000 miles of driving or less than five years for an average driver. But even among these five models are some surprises.
Hybrids such as the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon take longer to break even than the five cars listed above (about 75,000 miles), and are thus not mentioned in detail below.
The Popular Kids are Costly
Since its introduction to the U.S. in 2000 as a 2001 model, the Toyota Prius has been the volume leader with over half a million models sold stateside. Discussion on fuel economy and high-mileage hybrid cars always seems to center around the quirky Prius, yet it may not be the best hybrid for buyers looking to minimize overall vehicle costs.
Even though it achieves a combined EPA rating of 46 mpg, the Prius starts at $22,160thousands more than a comparable Toyota Camry LE rated at a combined 25 mpg. Baukus Mellos study found that a driver paying $4.59 per gallon for gasoline would need to drive 41,626 miles before they saved money. That distance rises to over 47,000 miles for buyers paying the current national average of $4.11 per gallon. For most drivers, thats three to four years of vehicle ownership before the Prius delivers cost savings.
The Honda Civic hybrid delivers an even worse return on investment. Though the hybrid Civic is far more fuel-efficient than its gasoline brethren, a $4000 premium for the hybrid is hard to recoupeven when factoring in a $525 tax break. At $4.59 a gallon, buyers need to accumulate 57,216 miles in order to save money with a Civic hybrid rather than an automatic LX model.
Still, Baukus Mello said she believes many consumers want to drive hybrid cars regardless of overall cost savings. Though the highly- praised Prius isnt really going to save money for drivers, it might fulfill a different need: ecological pride.
Youre doing it because you have an interest in fuel economy, Baukus Mello said.
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http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/latest_news_reviews/among_hybrids_the_toyota_camry_and_chevrolet_malibu_offer_the_best_overall_value_car_news
Among Hybrids, the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu Offer the Best Overall Value - Car News
Surprise! Not all hybrid cars cut costs equally.
BY JAKE HOLMES July 2008
Car buyers hoping to economize by switching to a hybrid car will save the most money if they buy a Toyota Camry hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu hybrid or Nissan Altima hybrid, according to a study by NADAguides.com.
As gas prices continue to rise around the country, hybrid cars are attracting more and more drivers who want to save money on fuel. But many consumers looking to buy a more efficient car only compare the EPA fuel economy and dont factor in the increased price of the hybrid model, according to Tara Baukus Mello, NADAguides.com lead market analyst. <snipped> The Popular Kids are Costly
Since its introduction to the U.S. in 2000 as a 2001 model, the Toyota Prius has been the volume leader with over half a million models sold stateside. Discussion on fuel economy and high-mileage hybrid cars always seems to center around the quirky Prius, yet it may not be the best hybrid for buyers looking to minimize overall vehicle costs.
Even though it achieves a combined EPA rating of 46 mpg, the Prius starts at $22,160thousands more than a comparable Toyota Camry LE rated at a combined 25 mpg. ````````````````````` **I just checked on the Toyota site: starting MSRP for an '09 Camry LE is $20, 375 (no add-on options). Considering the difference is $1785, the above sentence employs a little hyperbole, n'est-ce pas? "Thousands" makes one (or at least me) think "Probably, oh... $3 grand or more difference".
````````````````````````````` Baukus Mellos study found that a driver paying $4.59 per gallon for gasoline would need to drive 41,626 miles before they saved money. That distance rises to over 47,000 miles for buyers paying the current national average of $4.11 per gallon. For most drivers, thats three to four years of vehicle ownership before the Prius delivers cost savings.
The Honda Civic hybrid delivers an even worse return on investment. Though the hybrid Civic is far more fuel-efficient than its gasoline brethren, a $4000 premium for the hybrid is hard to recoupeven when factoring in a $525 tax break. At $4.59 a gallon, buyers need to accumulate 57,216 miles in order to save money with a Civic hybrid rather than an automatic LX model.
Still, Baukus Mello said she believes many consumers want to drive hybrid cars regardless of overall cost savings. Though the highly- praised Prius isnt really going to save money for drivers, it might fulfill a different need: ecological pride. ```````````````````````````````````` **It'll save $ if you already drive a comparably prioced car - lateral switching. ```````````````````````` Youre doing it because you have an interest in fuel economy, Baukus Mello said. ```````````````````` **Or spewing out even fewer emissions than the low emission cars.
Cathy
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http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/latest_news_reviews/among_hybrids_the_toyota_camry_and_chevrolet_malibu_offer_the_best_overall_value_car_news
Among Hybrids, the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu Offer the Best Overall Value - Car News
Surprise! Not all hybrid cars cut costs equally.
BY JAKE HOLMES July 2008
Car buyers hoping to economize by switching to a hybrid car will save the most money if they buy a Toyota Camry hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu hybrid or Nissan Altima hybrid, according to a study by NADAguides.com.
**************
Guess which company supplies hybrid components for Nissan?
--

Ray O
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"Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote:

Also for Ford and others. That company is light years ahead on hybrid development and do they know what hybrid models to bring out.
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The Camry Hybrid starts at $25,860 and has worse gas mileage than the Prius, so how do they say that the Camry Hybrid saves more money than a Prius does?
-- Michelle
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wrote:

The way I read it, I think they were comparing apples & oranges: a Prius & a regular gas engine Camry, not a hybrid Camry.
Cathy
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They were comparing various hybrids to their closest equivalent conventional car (e.g., a Civic Hybrid to a Civic, a Camry Hybrid to a Camry, and a Prius to a Camry). Somehow they concluded that a Camry Hybrid saves more money than a Prius does, when both are compared to a non-hybrid Camry.
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When calculating total cost of ownership you need to know the total life of the car. You need to know the initial cost, cost of repairs each year, what it costs to run and how many years it is likely to last. I am not sure we know what the normal lifespan of a Prius will be. If we assumes it lasts same number of years as an ordinary car it may cost more to own. If it lasts longer it may be cheaper per year to own. As far as I am told the resell value of the Prius is high which may indicate that it will last many more year than ordinary cars. It has less moving parts so it would be natural to assume it to last much longer and then be less costly per year.
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Would you advice a person who drives 90% freeway and 10% city driving to buy a hybrid? What amount of city driving should one have to even consider driving a hybrid?
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Yes, I would - because people I know who bought a Prius in '04 (or '05?) were getting 55 mpg on the NYS Thruway.
Cathy
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"Cathy F." ...

Prius over the July 4 weekend. It can indeed be done. Tomes
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Everybody was out on the road to celebrate the holiday, there was heavy traffic and stop & go mostly on the interstate? =)
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wrote:

And here I thought they were celebrating the overpopulation of our species.
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"EdV" ...

LOL indeed. Actually, we were discussing the dearth of vehicles on the road due to the cost of gas. We just cruised right along. Tomes
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Just think, three years ago we could have slapped a buck a gallon tax on gas to encourage conservation and the overall price would probably be lower today. Why, the 450 million raised each day would have paid for our pointless war. The debt would be lower, the dollar higher and oil about 50 buck a barrel. Could this have been a great world or what????
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, there was

I've seen one gas station in Central NJ which offers discount of 12cents /gallon if you pay in cash and not by card. I hope many stations will follow
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wrote:

Apparently retail credit card contracts have changed. They one I entered into ten years ago prohibited discounts for cash.
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In the 1982, credit card contracts prohibited surcharges for using the card, but said nothing about discounts for cash. I haven't heard about any changes to that in the past twenty years.
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"Michelle Steiner"...

That is a problem. I always thought that charging a different price for credit was against the agreement. There must be a loophole somewhere. The price advertised (what I see in NJ anyway) is a price, then you get to the pump and find out that they charge extra for a credit card. I then drive away... Some [only some] say cash price on the pole.
And it is not a cash discount, it is a surcharge for credit cards. The competitive price is the one one on the pole. If the price differs upwards, it is a surcharge. Would I pay a surcharge at a restaurant? Nope.
While I understand that some folks still want to pay with cash, the economy is moving to or has moved to an electronic basis now. I know I don't want to carry around hundreds of dollars on me and also be going to the ATM constantly. I go get cash to go get gas? I think not.
I googled this a little bit and here are some interesting discussions, fyi: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?idr3060 http://www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/food-stores/4260394-1.html There are more. I googled for this 'credit card retailer agreement surcharge'
In particular from here http://www.retailers.com/eduandevents/ask/askchargeforcredit.html I read this: "A. No. Section 167 of the federal Truth in Lending Act states: "No seller in any sales transaction may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means." Bankcard companies also include in their agreements with retailers a section that prohibits businesses from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases. Businesses that violate this or any part of their bankcard agreement may be dropped from the bankcard program. However, businesses are allowed by law to offer a discount for purchases made by cash or check. Check your bankcard agreement to see what it says regarding these transactions. The difference between a surcharge for credit (which is illegal) and a discount for cash (which is legal) is the advertised price-a retailer cannot charge a credit card customer more for an item than its advertised price."
The price on the pole is the advertised price. Tomes
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These agreements vary and a retailer can shop the banks (brokers) for the best deal on the same card or combination of cards.
I agree with you regarding the use of credit cards and take advantage of the cash premium. Still, financial counselors advise people who have trouble living within a budget to use cash exclusively. Put your budget in your purse and you always know how much you have left, they say.
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