Most (and least) cost-effective hybrids

How much it costs to save a gallon of gas varies widely, even among closely-related vehicles.

Saturn Aura Green Line
Saturn Aura Green Line
Hybrid value rank: 9
Time to recoup premium in fuel savings alone: 9.4 years
Typical cost: $22,140

Compared to: Aura XE

Annual fuel savings: $116 (38 gallons)

Hybrid cost premium: $1,095 (Based on Edmunds.com "True Market Value" and $1,300 hybrid tax credit.)

The Saturn Aura Green Line has the same hybrid drivetrain as the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. It also gets the same fuel economy and it even has exactly the same sticker price. The difference is that a four-cylinder Aura, something that's new for the 2008 model year, costs about $500 less than a comparable Chevrolet Malibu. With relative fuel savings of just $116 a year, $500 added to the cost differential almost doubles the time it takes for the Aura Hybrid to pay for itself.

Last year, when the only alternative was a V6 Aura, the Aura Green Line was a bargain. This year, with a 4-cylinder on the lot that gets the same horsepower - actually, a little bit more - there's little benefit to the Green Line, either in terms of the environment or your bank account.

AOL Autos: Vehicle details


Costs

Prius

Malibu

Camry

Escape

Vue

Mariner

Civic

Altima

Aura

GS450h

RX400h

Highlander

LS600h
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.