Vue is the Only Hybrid that Beats Its Conventional Counterpart in Latest Industry Analysis

2008 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid

Jessica L. Anderson from Kiplinger: After gas prices dropped in late 2008, hybrid sales collapsed, falling 43% in December compared with the previous year. That highlights the reality that when fuel prices are low, savings at the pump rarely make up for the $3,000-plus hybrid premium. The last time Kiplinger's examined the hybrid equation, fuel prices were in the $4-per-gallon range, and hybrids looked much more attractive. But with cheap gas on every corner, it's harder to justify the premium you pay for a hybrid. Using five-year ownership numbers from Vincentric, an automotive research firm, we compared the 2009 hybrids with their gasoline-engine counterparts. The calculations assume you drive 15,000 miles a year with fuel at $2.22 a gallon, and they factor in depreciation, maintenance and repairs. The math also assumes you finance the vehicle with a five-year loan after a 15% down payment, and that you take advantage of hybrid tax credits - which are no longer available for Honda, Lexus and Toyota models. The only hybrid that beats its conventional counterpart is the recently redesigned Saturn Vue, which costs $400 less to own over five years than the Vue XE.

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Where Have You Gone in Your Vue?

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I drove from Vancouver, British Columbia to Victorville, California and back to Washington state in mine. I stopped off in Sacramento and picked up three more people on the way down and dropped them back off on the way back. It managed to take the Grapevine with that load passing other vehicles with ease. It got great mileage down and back with the average of 26 mpgs.