Car Buying

Buying a Car: What's the Average Extra Cost of Getting a Hybrid?

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2016

If you're interested in buying a car and you're thinking about choosing a fuel-efficient model, you're probably wondering exactly how much of a premium you should expect to pay in order to purchase a hybrid vehicle instead of a traditional gas-powered one. To help you find out, we've rounded up a few examples that show the average price premium between a traditional car and a fuel-efficient hybrid.

The Examples

In most cases, shoppers interested in an especially fuel-efficient car will have to pay a premium in order to get a hybrid model. For example, the Ford Fusion S starts at $23,200 with shipping, while the Fusion S Hybrid starts from $26,000. That $2,800 premium remains fairly constant across the Ford Fusion lineup.

It's the same story with the Toyota Camry: A gas-powered Camry LE starts from $24,000 with shipping, while a Camry LE Hybrid starts from $27,700 -- a premium that also stays relatively constant as you progress through the car's trim levels. As for Hyundai, a base-level Sonata SE starts from $22,700 with shipping, and a Sonata SE Hybrid starts at $27,000, though it adds some extra features to help justify its increased price premium.

But what about models that don't have a gasoline version for comparison? Take the Toyota Prius, for instance, which starts around $25,100 with shipping. The closest comparison is probably a high-end version of the Toyota Corolla, which is around $21,000, but the Corolla doesn't have as much room as the Prius, and the Prius offers some equipment you can't get in a Corolla. It's the same story with the Ford C-MAX, which starts around $25,000 and offers no traditional gas-powered version. In that case, the closest competitor a Focus Hatchback, which starts around $22,000, but the C-MAX still offers some benefits you can't get in the Focus.

And then there are the models without a premium, like the Lincoln MKZ, which starts at the exact same $36,000, whether you choose the hybrid version or the gas-powered model. That's a rarity, though, as most hybrid models command at least a slight premium over their more traditional counterparts.

How Much?

So just how much of a premium should you expect to pay for a hybrid vehicle? Except in unusual circumstances, we think the difference is usually about 10 to 15 percent of the purchase price -- a figure that translates to around $2,000 to $3,000 for most affordable hybrid models. While that figure will likely take a few years to earn back in fuel savings, it's also a lot more reasonable than previous hybrid car price premiums, which could sometimes run $4,000 or more.

Our Take

With hybrid car pricing typically only a couple thousand dollars higher than pricing for traditional gasoline-powered models, we think hybrid vehicles are definitely worth a look if you're buying a car and you prioritize gas mileage. While it may take some time to earn back the price difference in fuel savings, you'll eventually get there -- and you'll be doing a little extra to save the environment along the way.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Buying a Car: What's the Average Extra Cost of Getting a Hybrid? - Autotrader