It’s something you see more often on the showroom floor: a hybrid version of the new car you want to buy. But which one should you drive off the lot? It all depends on your priorities. In addition to better fuel economy, choosing the hybrid trim often means more standard features, but those extras also add to the bottom line.
Here are the pros and cons of going hybrid in some of today’s most popular vehicles:
Honda Civic vs. Civic Hybrid
The Civic Hybrid costs significantly more than the base Civic, which starts at about $15,800. However, you’ll gain features like Bluetooth, automatic climate control and a six-speaker stereo. However, there is a catch. While the Civic Hybrid’s EPA-estimated 44/44 mpg city/highway trumps the base Civic’s 28/36 mpg, it can’t match the gas-only Civic’s power.
With the Civic Hybrid, you will:
- Pay about $8,200 more than the base Civic DX
- Drive 155 miles farther on each tank of gas
- Save about $500 each year on fuel
- Lose 30 horsepower
Ford Fusion vs. Fusion Hybrid
Choosing the Fusion Hybrid tacks a hefty premium onto the base Fusion’s price, but there are some significant upsides. The Fusion Hybrid is more powerful than the base gas-only model, and going green adds features like parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, power front seats and Ford Sync, which includes Bluetooth and USB integration. Additionally, the Fusion Hybrid’s 41/36 mpg city/highway means you’ll drive farther on each tank of fuel.
With the Fusion Hybrid, you will:
- Pay about $8,100 more than the base Fusion S
- Drive 236 miles farther on each tank of gas
- Save about $800 each year on fuel
- Gain 16 horsepower
Hyundai Sonata vs. Sonata Hybrid
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid makes a case for itself with better fuel economy and a touch more power than the base Sonata GLS, which already comes well-equipped with features like Bluetooth and USB connectivity. However, the Sonata Hybrid adds to the list with niceties like a power driver’s seat, push-button start and dual-zone climate control.
With the Sonata Hybrid, you will:
- Pay about $6,100 more than the base Sonata GLS
- Drive 107 miles farther on each tank of gas
- Save about $450 each year on fuel
- Gain 8 horsepower
Toyota Camry vs. Camry Hybrid
You can upgrade from a Camry to a Camry Hybrid for less than half of what the hybrid option costs on a Civic or Fusion, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to pony up for options. The Camry Hybrid comes just as well-equipped as the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and starts at about the same price. Additionally, the Camry Hybrid uses less fuel than the Sonata and Fusion Hybrids, which should appeal to green car shoppers looking for value and efficiency.
With the Camry Hybrid, you will:
- Pay about $4,000 more than the base Camry L
- Drive 199 miles farther on each tank of gas
- Save nearly $600 each year on fuel
- Gain 22 horsepower
Lincoln MKZ vs. MKZ Hybrid
You don’t always have to pay more for a hybrid car. Lincoln offers two versions of the MKZ for the same price: a hybrid that delivers better fuel economy, or a more powerful V6. Regardless of which model you choose, the MKZ comes loaded with standard features, but if you can curb your appetite for power, you’ll drive significantly farther on each tank with the MKZ Hybrid.
With the MKZ Hybrid, you will:
- Pay the same price as the MKZ V6
- Drive 283 miles farther on each tank of gas
- Save about $1,100 each year on fuel
- Lose 72 horsepower
Toyota Highlander vs. Highlander Hybrid
Hybrid SUVs can get pricey, and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid costs more than $10,000 more than the base Highlander. That’s a lot of money, but the Highlander Hybrid comes with a more-powerful engine and standard four-wheel drive, as well as standard features such as a backup camera, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port.
With the Highlander Hybrid, you will:
- Pay $10,050 more than the base FWD Highlander
- Drive 53 miles farther on each tank of gas
- Save about $500 each year on fuel
- Gain 93 horsepower
While most hybrids cost more than their gas-only siblings, some offer more value than others. Take a hard look at factors such as the base price, fuel economy and standard features to decide which model makes the most sense for you. You should also consider how long you’ll own the vehicle. The longer you own a hybrid, the more chance it has to pay for itself through fuel savings. The types of driving you do, the number of miles you travel each year and the price of gas also impact how quickly hybrids make up their extra cost. That way, you’ll have a clear idea of which model is best for you when you set out to buy your next car.