I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the vast majority of hybrid cars aren’t worth the surcharge. You’d get much better mileage with a smaller engine, especially if it was a clean diesel. What worries me about hybrids is that they seem to satisfy this bourgeois lust for environmentally friendly brands – nothing says upper class liberal like a Prius parked in a Whole Foods parking lot – and yet typically don’t represent significant environmental improvements. We assuage our conscience without doing much good. Now Forbes has compiled a list of the least fuel-efficient hybrids:
In fact, the fuel economy of many new hybrids is almost indistinguishable from that of their conventionally powered counterparts.
Take the GMC Sierra Classic 15 Hybrid. Its V8 engine and hefty 5,000-lb. weight keeps its gas mileage to 16 mpg–only one mile per gallon more than GMC’s non-hybrid version.
If you want better mileage, buy a smaller car with a less powerful engine. It’s that simple. Sure, it requires a little sacrifice – you can’t drive a big truck – but when did we become so averse to even a modicum of sacrifice? You can compare the revised fuel mileage of hybrids here.
Update: As Jennifer points out in the comments, not all hybrids are bad investments. The Civic Hybrid and Prius both get excellent mileage, in large part because they’ve got such small engines. I also didn’t mean to sound so snarky about the bourgeois pleasures of shopping at Whole Foods. I love Whole Foods. What other supermarket sells raw milk brie de meux and frozen fava beans?