Consumer Reports crunches the numbers on hybrid vehicles that pay back the fastest and some that don't make dollar sense.
In its October issue, Consumer Reports magazine looks at the overall financial benefit of 12 different hybrid vehicles. The analysis takes into account initial outlays compared with similar non-hybrid vehicles, as well as fuel, insurance, maintenance and deprecation costs.
The Saturn Vue Green Line comes out on top when looking at five-year total cost savings, according to Consumer Reports.
The cost of the Vue's mild-hybrid system is small compared to its competitors' full-hybrid systems. The added cost of a Vue Green Line over a non-hybrid Vue is about $2,300. Compare that to an added $5,600 for a Ford Escape Hybrid over a regular Escape.
And the Vue's mild hybrid system, which isn't strong enough to move the vehicle on pure electric power, gives the vehicle a bigger fuel economy boost than you might expect. The front-wheel-drive Green Line gets six more miles out of each gallon.
NEXT: Winner: Toyota Camry Hybrid