According to the New York Times' Green blog, dropping an extra $6,200 on the hybrid version of the Lexus RX will get your money back in gas savings within five years. But, that's only with gas averaging $8.77 a gallon.
The new data was released in Consumer Reports magazine's annual New Car Buying Guide, which compares several hybrid cars to their non-hybrid versions.
The Ford Escape hybrid would cost $500 more over five years, but would break even if gas prices averaged $3.60. On the other hand, the Toyota Camry hybrid would save $500 over five years compared to its non-hybrid version, with gas averaging a mere $1.92.
The magazine uses a five year payback period because that is the average time for car ownership. It also assumes the driver logs 12,000 miles a year and pays $2.80 a gallon.
The most popular hybrid model - Toyota Prius - fared best in the magazine's findings, as compared to a Toyota Corolla LE. It found the Prius will cost less over five years, with gas averaging 80 cents a gallon.
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