Top 10 Hybrid Cars With the Shortest Break-Even Periods for 2013


  • 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

    2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

    2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. | June 05, 2013

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Hybrid cars can bring impressive fuel savings. However, the drawback is that many of these cars are costlier than their gasoline-only equivalents. It can sometimes take several years to earn back this price difference in gas savings alone.

With this in mind, it's useful to consider a hybrid's break-even period when comparing choices. The break-even period is the amount of time it takes for the vehicle's fuel savings to offset its price premium.

These 10 hybrids offer the shortest break-even periods relative to their gasoline-only counterparts. Our data assumes a national regular gasoline price of $3.57 per gallon, a national premium gasoline price of $3.88 per gallon and an average of 15,000 miles driven each year. Obviously, fuel prices will vary from week to week, and as they change, so, too, will each vehicle's break-even period. All other things being equal, steeper gas prices will shorten break-even periods, while cheaper gas will lengthen them.

In addition to its break-even period, we've listed the gasoline-only model with which each hybrid was compared. If the hybrid has no direct gasoline-only equivalent, we've compared it to its closest sibling.

Note that in cases in which a hybrid model costs less than its gas-only equivalent, the break-in period is listed as a negative figure.

  1. 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid

    1. 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid

    Compared to: 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

    Break-even period: -2.9 years

  2. 2013 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid

    2. 2013 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid

    Compared to: 2013 Buick LaCrosse

    Break-even period: -2.5 years

  3. 2013 Lexus CT 200h

    3. 2013 Lexus CT 200h

    Compared to: 2013 Lexus IS 250

    Break-even period: -0.5 year

  4. 2013 Buick Regal Hybrid

    4. 2013 Buick Regal Hybrid

    Compared to: 2013 Buick Regal

    Break-even period: 0 years

  5. 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

    5. 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

    Compared to: 2013 Lincoln MKZ

    Break-even period: 0.4 year

  6. 2013 Honda Insight

    6. 2013 Honda Insight

    Compared to: 2013 Honda Civic

    Break-even period: 0.6 year

  7. 2013 Toyota Prius

    7. 2013 Toyota Prius

    Compared to: 2013 Toyota Camry

    Break-even period: 1.9 years

  8. 2013 Lexus ES 300h

    8. 2013 Lexus ES 300h

    Compared to: 2013 Lexus ES 350

    Break-even period: 2.9 years

  9. 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

    9. 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (tie)

    Compared to: 2013 Hyundai Sonata

    Break-even period: 3.6 years

  10. 2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

    2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid (tie)

    Compared to: 2013 Cadillac Escalade

    Break-even period: 3.6 years

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