I am a bit of a self-proclaimed tree-hugger. So, after a bout of veganism and intense recycling and yoga, none of my friends were surprised when I got a 2010 Honda Insight. (For the record, her name is Ingrid.)
Upon some convincing from my dad — and some major number crunching — I decided to lease the car, hoping to work through any kinks with the new technology before committing to anything longer than 36 months.
At first, I was unimpressed with my gas mileage, which was fairly comparable to the 1994 Honda Accord I had traded in on the lease. But after losing my lead foot and actively trying to keep the dashboard color scheme in the green — the car rates your eco-friendliness as you drive with shades of blue and green behind the speedometer — I’m proud to say that my car currently gets about 46 mpg.
As headlines complained this past year about the cost at the pumps, I was even happier with my hybrid, which took me more than 500 miles on each tank of fuel. I stumbled upon a story today out of Oregon that looked at whether or not the higher price tag associated with hybrid vehicles was justified with long-term savings.
The story cited an interactive feature on the Kiplinger website that allowed me to crunch the numbers on the Insight over the course of five years. Apparently the Insight was a much better choice than a newer Accord, with an estimated $4,000 in savings when taking into account things like depreciation, maintenance, repairs and fuel.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of green.
Do you think the bigger up-front cost associated with hybrid vehicles is worth it? Would you trade in your gas guzzler for one? Or, if you have a hybrid vehicle, have you noticed a big difference at the pump?