Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hybrids great on gasoline savings but not expense, study finds

Hybrids may be tops when it comes to saving gasoline, but they're far for the best choice for budget-conscious car buyers, a new study says.

The four-door hatchback Chevy Aveo for General Motors Corp. leads the ranking of the highest quality new-car price points in terms of "total ownership cost" as intended by automotive information steady Edmunds.com, based on $5-a-gallon gas. The highest-ranked hybrid was the Honda Civic at No. 10. The Toyota Prius hybrid -- No. 1 in the government's power sector rankings -- came in 26th.
Hybrids, which are powered by both an electric motor and a gasoline engine, typically get better gas mileage as opposed to their non-hybrid counterparts but carry higher worth tags.

A 2008 Aveo hatchback amidst manual transmission lists for $10,235 and is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 27 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving. The Prius, by contrast, has a combined fuel economy of 46 mpg and a implied retail price of $21,500 -- and typically transactions for thousands of dollars above that when of above average demand.

The study's purpose "isn't to discourage shoppers from obtaining hybrids," alleged Jesse Toprak, head of industry analysis for Santa Monica-based Edmunds.com. However, "consumers ought to ponder regular-engine small cars if such a goal is just to save money."

The Edmunds.com findings are at odds amongst a recent analysis by Consumer Reports, which ranked both the Prius and the Civic hybrids amongst the 10 cars that the bidder "the best gas economy for the buck."

Consumer Reports easily included vehicles that get its "recommended" rating, which is centered on reliability, safety, handling and other components in addition to dealings price and power economy. That's part of the reason the Aveo and the Toyota Yaris did not make Consumer Reports' fuel-economy cut.

"We did not want to send households to cars who are anticipated to let them down in other areas," said Rik Paul, the magazine's auto editor.

One car-shopping strategy that is basically absolute not to get sense financially is to trade in a late-model sport utility vehicle or pickup truck for a smaller, a greater number of fuel-efficient vehicle. Because of plummeting demand, trade-in values on these types of gas guzzlers have been falling fast -- some dealers won't accept them at all -- and that can wipe out the gas savings achieved by switching to a tinier car, auto research steady Kelley Blue Book Co. said in a prediction last month.

Toprak noted that many lendees buy hybrids because of the cars' environmentally friendly image or additionally reasons unrelated to economics.

"At least 50% of all automotive purchases are not founded on mortgage considerations," he said. "Its a particularly emotional purchase that doesn't constantly involve numbers."

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