To Buy A Hybrid Or Not To Buy A Hybrid? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/4/07

To Buy A Hybrid Or Not To Buy A Hybrid?

Tony Ray is a self-proclaimed 'truck man' who can't believe he's considering a hybrid.

"It was $70 to fill my truck, and that made me think maybe I need to look around for something else," says Ray.

It's an inevitable trend dealers see everytime gas prices start climbing, but they warn a hybrid is not right for everyone.

Andrew Bertrand with Classic Toyota says, "They rush in here, and they want to bail out of the Tahoes and the other gas guzzling vehicles, and they want to go into a vehicle like this [Prius]. The drawback that you find is that they don't drive enough miles to justify going into a car like this."

Unlike gas cars, hybrids are most fuel efficient in-town, so people with long, highway commutes may be disappointed with fuel savings. Plus, they're about three to four thousand dollars more than their gas engine counterparts.

Take the Honda Civic for example. With a gas engine, it starts around $15k and gets a combined average of 35 MPG. The hybrid costs about $23k and gets about 50 MPG.

Toyota recently introduced a Camry hybrid that start as $26k and gets about 39 MPG. That's $4k more and only 8 MPG more than a standard Camry.

The Toyota Prius is far and away the industry leader. At $22k dollars, it gets about 55 MPG.

James Bragg with Jack o' Diamonds says buyers have to consider several things to figure out if a hybrid is right for them.

"You have to look at how long you're going to be in the vehicle, number one; how high gas prices are, and you probably need to be driving close to 20k miles a year and keep the vehicle 3-4 years minimum to recoup that money," says Bragg.

Tony is still considering whether it makes sense for him to buy a hybrid, but even if he does, Tony says he's still going to hang onto his truck.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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