Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

9 of 12
BACK NEXT
Winner (by a hair): Honda Civic Hybrid
Cost: $23,270
Fuel economy (CR test): 37 mpg
Total 5-year savings: $25

Without federal tax credits, the Honda Civic Hybrid, which costs about $4,800 more than the Civic LX non-hybrid, wouldn't pay off for its owners until the seventh year of driving, according to Consumer Reports.

But with a $525 tax credit factored in, buyers will see a financial gain - but just barely - in the first year of ownership. Owners will save about $5 a year, on average, according to Consumer Reports' analysis. For practical purposes, one could call that breaking even.

Tax credits on Honda hybrid vehicles have been reduced since Honda Motor Co. sold its limit of 60,000 qualifying vehicles. After the end of 2008, there will be no credits at all on Honda hybrid vehicles.

Also, because of "alternative minimum tax" rules, not all hybrid vehicle buyers will get the full tax credit, even if they buy a qualifying vehicle and don't have to pay the AMT. If you're factoring in tax credits before deciding to buy a hybrid vehicle, check with an accountant first.

NEXT: Loser: Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Last updated September 03 2008: 11:51 AM ET
More Galleries
15 top-paid CEOs The 15 highest-paid corporate chiefs in America took home nearly $700 million last year -- about $47 million apiece on average. Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi tops the list -- with $95 million in total pay. David Zaslav, who was no. 1 last year moves down to no. 15 this year. More
Driving Bentley's new SUV Spending an afternoon in Bentley's luxurious new $230,000 SUV. More
Best cars for the super-rich The Robb Report has selected these as the best new cars and SUVs for anyone who doesn't have to worry about how much they spend. More

Special Offer