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    Comparing Hybrid Cars, the Honda Civic Came Out on Top for My Dad

    Buying a car any time is a big financial outlay. In this era of penny pinching and fuel scarcity, it's particularly important to consider not just a functional car but one that gets great gas mileage. What choices do you have that won’t break the bank? Big Green Purse intern Rachel Haas filed this report:

    "What's the most fuel-efficient car I can buy to meet my commuting needs?" That’s the question my father asked recently after he passed his used car on to me and began looking for a small or mid-sized vehicle for himself. We decided to go on the hunt together, with our primary criteria being that the vehicle should be affordable, a hybrid if possible, and highly fuel efficient—achieving an average of at least 40 miles per gallon.  

    Only three vehicles fit the bill:

    HONDA

     Insight-Hybrid-LrgGal01 Insight:
    MPG: Estimated mileage of 40/43 city/highway, average of 42 mpg
    FUEL ECONOMY: With gas prices around $2.60, the annual fuel cost amounts to around $929. You can make calculations for your own region by finding local fuel prices at GasBuddy.com and using the chart at fueleconomy.gov.
    COST: The Insight EX with navigation (a GPS system) has a ticket price of $23,100. NOTE: Because it’s a brand-new model, dealerships are less willing to negotiate on price.
    SPACE:  Overall smaller interior space than the Civic Hybrid, but as a hatchback, the Insight can fit almost three times as much cargo with the seats folded down, 31.5 cubic feet.

    Civic Hybrid:
    MPG: estimated mileage of 40/45 city/highway, estimated average of 42 mpg
    FUEL ECONOMY:  same annual fuel cost as the Insight
    COST: The Civic Hybrid with navigation has a ticket price of $25,650, plus the option of leather seats (unlike the Insight) for an additional $1,200.  We were able to negotiate the price of the Civic Hybrid with navigation and leather to about $22,700. 
    SPACE: The interior space is slightly larger than the Insight, but the cargo space is significantly smaller, only 10.4 cubic feet. 

    TOYOTA

    Prius 3rd Generation Prius:
    MPG: Delivers the best mileage and power of any hybrid on the road today with an estimated mileage of 51/48 city/highway, estimated average of 50 mpg
    FUEL ECONOMY:  The annual fuel cost is about $780
    COST:  The 2010 Prius with leather and navigation has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of  $28,350. Like with the Honda Insight,  dealerships are less willing to significantly lower the price of this brand-new model.
    SPACE:  The Prius has more interior space than the Civic Hybrid, especially in the backseat, with an inch and half more leg room.  The Prius also beats the Civic Hybrid in cargo space, with 21.6 cubic feet.
    ADDED BONUS:  You can buy the 3rd generation Prius with a solar roof.  Why is that so cool?  The solar roof literally cools the car by using the sun’s energy to power an air circulation fan, eliminating the need for owners to blast their air conditioning in the hot summers.  Unfortunately, the solar roof adds about $1,800 to the ticket price. 


    Rachel h After test driving all three vehicles and comparing both fuel efficiency and price, my dad happily settled on the Honda Civic Hybrid (left). He opted for a slightly roomier interior over more cargo space, since he doesn't need to transport much in his car. Both price and mpg met his critera. Plus, he likes the way it drives. "This car has a lot of pep!" he says.

    NOTE: You don’t have to be in the market for a new car to improve fuel efficiency when you drive. Getting a tune up on the vehicle you currently drive will improve fuel efficiency by 4%. Pumping up your tires to the proper PSI (pounds per square inch) will get you another 3.3% improvement in your MPG. Or skip owning a car altogether for “wheels when you want them” via ZipCar. Here are more ways to beat the high price of gas.

    Looking for a different car? Check fuel efficiency ratings for all vehicles at fueleconomy.gov.

    Interested in a mid-size, highly fuel-efficient family car? Stay tuned for our review of the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

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    Comments

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    Kate

    Oooh this is a great comparison. I have a crush on the Prius with the solar roof myself, but I definitely do not need a new car right now. Great tip about the fuel efficiency with a tune up!

    Diane MacEachern

    Thanks, Kate. I agree - that solar roof is a great idea. I'm hoping to do a test drive on that one soon.

    Alameda County Auction

    Look at that sports car! Looks really great, and pricey, too! Want to know where to find great looking sports cars at affordable prices?? Check out http://www.acauction.com

    Alameda County Auction

    Look at that sports car! Looks really great, and pricey, too! Want to know where to find great looking sports cars at affordable prices?? Check out http://www.acauction.com

    Anna Lee

    Thanks for sharing your love for cars. Hey, our site offers car auctions every month. Choose from economy down to luxury with very affordable prices. If you have time, please feel free to visit our site at http://acauction.com Thanks. Yours sincerely, Alameda County Car Auction.

    Anna Lee

    Thanks for sharing your love for cars. Hey, our site offers car auctions every month. Choose from economy down to luxury with very affordable prices. If you have time, please feel free to visit our site at http://acauction.com Thanks. Yours sincerely, Alameda County Car Auction.

    recker

    Thanks for sharing your love for cars and mine too thats why I sell them at http://www.ubid4it.org Come and signup.

    Ganhar Dinheiro

    Excellent article, I liked a lot. Success!

    Dinheiro

    Nice post! These cars are really fantastic!

    2recker

    Why is it that I am drawn to these new cars when I love a the oldies.

    Diane MacEachern

    Good observations. It is reassuring to see the demand for smaller vehicles on the upswing.

    solar roof tiles

    Glad your dad found one that he likes. The solar roof on the Prius is laughable in it's price per functunality, if it was included that'd be a different story but at $1,800, it's down-right ridiculous.

    Eco Friendly Cars

    Quick Google shows that 1982 was a powerful Civic 67 horses. EPA test does not matter if it takes 30 seconds to reach 45 mph where much of the highway test or in another 30 seconds to go 45-55 mph, about half of the road test. Also, good luck driving 55 mph on any U.S. highway! 1982 Civic horrible aerodynamics means that fuel efficiency drops like a stone at a speed of 50-55 mph or so. Unfortunately, it is probably about as fast as you want to go anyway, because it is built like a tin can and is basically a rolling death trap.

    AaditiLathi

    This is a great comparison between these cars for those who r thinking of buying a new car. Hybrid cars are in demand these days but are expensive so its not at all easy for a common man to buy this.

    garage equipment

    A hybrid car is a one that uses more than one energy source to power the car. A gasoline engine and an electric battery run it. These are what we now know as the Gas Electric Hybrid Cars.

    plumbing

    Awesome cars! I love that different manufacturers also produce their own hybrid cars which is really helpful in promoting a clean fuel generation. In addition, hybrid cars combine clean energy of the electrical motor with the power of the gas-powered engine which results into lower emissions and better mileage.

    Como Ganhar Dinheiro

    Nice post! I liked a lot. Success!
    Thanks...

    gestão e administração

    I still prefer the bike most of the time. Good exercise and less pollution. When buying my car, buy one less polluting fuel here since these cars are great cars and are not available.
    __
    http://administracaogestao.blogspot.com/

    Used Cars for Sale

    I agree that fuel efficiency and financial savings are one of the biggest factors for most people when buying a car. No one wants to pay a lot for gas.

    Ernest Houston

    The thing that I like about the Prius is that it just suits the name hybrid car with its solar roof. While other cars use braking to regenerate the energy of the battery, the Prius makes use of solar power harnessed by the solar roof. In these days when gas prices are soaring, fuel-efficiency is the most important aspect to look for in a car, and that’s what the Prius offers.

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