2019 Fusion Hybrid Titanium

2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium.

With environmentally conscious car shoppers becoming increasingly enamored of full electric cars, sales of hybrid gas/electric-powered vehicles have been slipping.

While it’s true you’ll pay a premium for most hybrid cars and sport-utility vehicles – on average they cost $3,867 more than their conventionally powered counterparts – many of the current crop can still save their owners a sizeable amount of cash even with gasoline remaining affordable.

According to the automotive data-analysis firm Vincentric in Bingham Farms, Mich., 42 of the 79 hybrids analyzed (broken down by models and trim levels) have a lower total cost of ownership than their gas-only equivalents over a five-year period. That includes both fuel savings and other factors including depreciation, maintenance, financing, fees and taxes and insurance costs. Fuel prices used were based on a weighted average over a five-month period to negate the effect of dips and spikes.

The report shows that luxury cars account for the highest percentage of cost-effective hybrids at 64 percent, with SUV/crossovers and passenger cars at 58 and 53 percent, respectively. The number of money-saving hybrids on the market is up by 13 percent over 2017. The report notes that hybrids save their owners an average of $2,849 a year in fuel costs and $401 in maintenance expenses.

The most frugal model in this regard is the Titanium version of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which Vincentric says can enable an owner to pocket $6,539 over five years compared to its gas-only equivalent. We’re featuring the 10 most cost-effective hybrids in the accompanying box.

“The number of cost-effective hybrids has increased significantly from last year’s analysis,” says Vincentric’s president, David Wurster. “Our research shows that the lower hybrid costs for fuel and maintenance now gives buyers a larger variety of cost-effective, eco-friendly vehicles to choose from.”

Still, not all hybrid-powered cars can make back their price premiums in ownership-cost savings. The biggest budget-buster is the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid in its Luxe trim level, which Vincentric says will wind up costing an owner close to $13,000 more than the closest non-electrified alternative over five years.

As always, a prudent car shopper needs to run the numbers doggedly to determine which model will prove to be the best deal in the long run.

© CTW Features

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