Most (and least) cost-effective hybrids

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

Honda Civic Hybrid
Honda Civic Hybrid
Hybrid value rank: 7
Time to recoup premium in fuel savings alone: 7.4 years

Typical cost: $22,337

Compared to: Civic LX sedan

Hybrid cost premium: $2,734 (Based on Edmunds.com "True Market Value" and $2,100 hybrid tax credit.)

Overall mpg vs. non-hybrid: 43.3 vs. 32.3

Annual fuel saved: $368 (119 gallons)

To find out if you qualify for the hybrid vehicle tax credit, check with a tax accountant before you buy your car. If you pay the alternative minimum tax, you can't take the tax credit. Also, if the tax credit would cause you to pay the AMT, you can take only part of the tax credit.

One factor Edmunds.com's data does not take into account is depreciation, or how much value a vehicle loses between the time it is purchased as and when it is later sold as used. Most used car value experts, including Kelley Blue Book, say that hybrid vehicles will lose value more rapidly in the coming years than non-hybrid vehicles. That would mean that most vehicles on this list will actually take longer to earn back their extra cost than is indicated here.

The Honda Civic Hybrid, however, is expected to hold its value better than other hybrid cars, according to Kelley Blue Book. It will still probably lose value considerably faster than a non-hybrid Civic sedan, however.

AOL Autos: Vehicle details


Costs

Prius

Malibu

Camry

Escape

Vue

Mariner

Civic

Altima

Aura

GS450h

RX400h

Highlander

LS600h
Hybrid vs. diesel vs. flex-fuel Which will do the most for the environment, fuel supplies and your bank account. (more)
Hybrids: Seven worries, seven answers Sometimes buyers avoid hybrids for the wrong reasons. But, for some buyers, their worries are well founded. (more)
Top 10 best resale value cars Kelley Blue Book predicts how much these vehicles will hold their value. A CNNMoney exclusive. (more)

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.