Hybrid vs. Gasoline Vehicle Comparison – Are Hybrid Vehicles Worth it?

Are hybrid vehicles worth it?  With record high gas prices due to the price of oil, I’m sure that most car owners out there have major concerns over their gas usage. Over the past 10 years, the cost of gasoline has grown 250%!

This got me thinking, with the newer “gas friendly” hybrid cars/SUV’s out there now, do the premiums attached to their price tags justify to extra mileage that you get? I did a little digging around the various car manufacturer websites to see the pricing of hybrids vs their gasoline versions and whether or not the gas savings added up.

From my research, this is the information that I dug up. Below is a table comparing some popular hybrids with their gasoline counterparts. The table calculates how long it would take the gas savings of a hybrid to pay for the difference in purchase price from their gasoline sibling.

Some notes about the data:

  • The costs are the purchase price after taxes/levies/fees and with the ecoRebate applied if applicable.
  • The comparison does not account for the extra maintenance cost (or depreciation) of the hybrids.
  • Assumes the gasoline price of $1.30/L or around $4.91/gallon.
  • The comparison is based on financial differences only and does not evaluate the “green” benefits.

Hybrid vs. Gasoline Vehicle Comparison

Car Cost Difference City L/100km HW L /100km AVG L/100km L / year Gas $/yr yrs to payback
Civic LX $25,170 8.2 5.7 6.95 1390 $1,807
Civic Hybrid $29,200 $4,030 4.7 4.3 4.5 900 $1,170 6.33
Corolla LE $24,665 7.4 5.6 6.5 1300 $1,690
Prius $32,866 $8,201 4 4.2 4.1 820 $1,066 13.14
Ford Escape (fwd) $30,226 10.3 7.7 9 1800 $2,340
Escape Hybrid $35,119 $4,893 5.7 6.7 6.2 1240 $1,612 6.72
Camry LE $30798 9.5 6.2 7.85 1570 2041
Camry Hybrid $36191 $5,393 5.7 5.7 5.7 1140 1482 9.65

It seems that the best “value” out of the bunch is the Honda Civic Hybrid which would take over 6 years for the gas savings to make up for the difference in cost. Even though the Prius claims the best fuel mileage, it’s the worst value of the bunch. The Prius would take over 13 years to pay for it’s premium, that’s 13 years too long for me. With all the extra electronics involved with a Hybrid, it’s also bound to have extra maintenance costs also, which is not accounted for.

Out of the vehicles compared, the price premium attached to the hybrid vehicles are just too great to be considered a cost savings relative to purchasing their gasoline counterpart. In order for me to even consider a Hybrid, their prices would have to come down to the level of their gasoline competition.

What are your thoughts on hybrid vehicles?

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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8 years ago

Tesla 3, end of thread. This conversation will no longer be valid as of 2017.

Student that needs HELP
8 years ago

What is the Gasoline cost per gallon of the Camry LE and Camry Hybrid?
I need to know this by tomorrow if at all possible.

think big
9 years ago

A couple comments on the “green” aspect…

1) Think cradle-to-grave. While you’re using the car, you’re polluting less. But the production, transportation of, and disposal of the car after your possession are polluting more. It’s pretty much impossible to know how this balances out. It’s not fun to think about but shouldn’t be ignored. “I just buy rhino horn, I don’t kill rhinos.”

1) In order for a hybrid to give a significant reduction in pollution, you have to be a major polluter in the first place! If environment is important to you, you won’t be putting over 20k km/yr on a car. Very rarely do people “need” to drive that much, it’s just a matter of the level of convenience and comfort living you want. Of course, any small effort to pollute less is still better than none.

9 years ago

The Tesla S edition is also free to fill at the supercharger stations for people that live near them (1 in or around Banff, and north of Calgary to be built in 2015).

9 years ago


I suppose talking about replacing batteries is a lot like giving an fuel based engine an overhaul when it’s burning oil…a lot of people don’t bother (even though that is lowering their mileage).

Inversely related on electric cars, a person who is particular and will notice that their range has slowly diminished from when it was new (they tracked it), and it drops 10-50 miles, they may want to replace the battery pack for the cost because mileage is more important to them than the cost (and by then, as Jeff has said, the technology may be drastically different).
People don’t replace their drive train because the new one has better mileage, most people don’t keep on top of those developments. In fact, most people don’t know there are vehicles like the Mazda skyactiv technology that gets around 1200 kms on a $70CAD tank!

We have a 2013 Honda Accord 2DR V6, and a 2010 Toyota Prius in my household, both fun to drive, the Prius gets about double the mileage (for the price to fill the tank). For me (Honda Accord V6), I spend about $300/month on fuel. If I was driving a Prius, $150. Being the Prius and Accord are around the same purchase price, this is a no brainer for someone who doesn’t care about the “fun factor” of driving.

Now, for someone who loves the “fun factor” or “cool factor”, the Tesla S performance edition at $130,000CAD (delivered to my door in Calgary from Vancouver), it costs about $32 for the same mileage of the other two vehicles and it drives like a $180,000 sports car, and, it’s a 4 door!, so, with all that in consideration, if a person can afford it, it occurs like the far superior choice (if we’re just looking at fuel costs; don’t forget the regular service visits to the dealerships that’s no longer required as it doesn’t have an engine or transmission ;-).

9 years ago

Answer for the Tesla S model is here:http://www.teslamotors.com/it_CH/forum/forums/battery-replacement-cost

The free charge offer now only has the up front cost of the car (with the extended warranty), and, whether a person lives near a supercharging station.

And, can the person afford the premium price of the premium vehicle or not.

9 years ago


My Prius is now 6 years old and the battery is still going strong. Keep in mind that with any Hybrid vehicle, it’s not a single battery but an array of many batteries. So if one fails, the others are still operational. From my own research, a battery pack replacement would cost $3,000 – $4,000 – certainly not cheap, but a far cry from the outrageous claims of $15,000 many were claiming. Research I did before I purchased my Prius showed that Taxi drivers put about 400,000 km (~250K mi) on a Prius before retiring them, and they seldom needed battery pack replacement. The likelihood of needing it done is rare, and Toyota warrants the entire hybrid system for 8 years or 160,000 km. Battery shouldn’t be an issue for vast majority of hybrid owners.

There is the issue of disposal… older models (mine included) used NiMH batteries which are toxic to recycle. The newer models are now using Lithium Ion batteries which are fully recyclable, meaning that there is a known limit of NiMH batteries that will eventually be recycled. Like any new technology, it gets better as it matures.

Mine is not a plugin, so there’s no cost of electricity to factor in for me, but it would vary depending on your local electricity rates. My research has shown that it’s currently still cheaper than the price of gasoline. This could change over time as demand increases, but its no different than reliance on oil — its demand continues to increase, and prices continue to rise.

Fuel costs for me have worked out to less than $1,000 CAD (~ $900 USD) / year. That’s commuting every day about 60km (~35 miles) – factoring in weekend trips, about 20,000 km / year (~12K miles)

For me the savings is very real. My Prius costs me less than half of what my Mazda 5 does which gets used about the same amount. The cost of the car to purchase was about the same as my Mazda 5 as well, so all things being equal, in my experience hybrid vehicles are already definitely worth it, and they will only continue to improve as the technology matures.

9 years ago

My issue with hybrids is that no one talks about battery replacement. We all know that batteries don’t last forever and they get less efficient the longer we use them. So, what happens after perhaps 5 years when you need replace the batteries? How much does that cost? How do you dispose of them? And what about the cost of the electricity to charge your car? I don’t believe the savings are as high as people would like to believe.

9 years ago

the other point you did not check on is the difference in the cost of insurance between the cars.
Also for me resale on a Hybrid after 5 yrs is not going to be good

9 years ago

I would say that the Tesla has the best value for the money. With a guaranteed buyback (is Elon still doing this?) there’s $0 on repairs or lease/finance payment except the interest.
It has the most efficient (given value per kms or mile if you’re American).
It has 480kms/~$6-7 charge. This makes the Volts 61kms range look silly and impractical.