Reasons Not To Buy a Hybrid

Some of the more skeptical visitors to this site have written to us saying: “Enough of the praise about hybrids. What are you hiding? What are the drawbacks?”

  • Extra maintenance cost? Nope. Not necessary.
  • Too slow for highway driving? Uh-uh. Plenty fast.
  • Battery replacement expense? No. The batteries last as long as the car.
  • Low resale value? Not that either. Prices holding strong.
  • Problems in snow and cold weather? Wrong again.

Then what? We can offer three reasons why you shouldn’t buy a hybrid:

To Get a Return on your Money

Don’t buy a hybrid because you want to make back an investment. That will take between five and twenty years, depending on gas prices, the amount you drive, and how good of a deal you got on the car. Buy a hybrid because it’s the most fuel-efficient car on the road, because the tailpipe emissions are very low, because it uses great technology, or because it’s fun to drive. If gas prices keep going up, then you might get your return on investment. For now, it’s not a good enough reason alone to choose a hybrid version over exactly the same size and kind of conventional car.

To Get the Exact EPA Fuel Economy Numbers

If you are going to take your hybrid home, and whine and worry about getting the exact EPA fuel economy numbers on the window sticker, then don’t bother. We have written about the process the EPA uses to determine those numbers and why hybrid numbers might be exaggerated. The way you drive and the road conditions will play a major role in determining if you will get numbers lower or higher than the EPA numbers. If you are not willing to stop speeding, stop jackrabbit starts, and stop flooring the gas as you approach a red light, then don’t bother with a hybrid.

To Get a Sense of Spaciousness (for Tall People Who Want a Prius)

A number of six-plus-foot hybrid shoppers have complained that they don’t feel comfortable in a Prius. They especially complain that the Prius’s curvy interior limits their headroom and may pose a safety risk in an accident. In addition, some hybrid shoppers, both tall and small, feel that the rear-view visibility is compromised by the hatchback design on the Prius. Of course, hybrid shoppers can choose from among gas-electric vehicles of many sizes and shapes. But these issues of space and visibility continue to put the brakes on the purchase decision for some hybrid intenders.

Are you cool with these issues? Then, do not pass go. Do not collect two-hundred. Go directly to a test drive.