Should You Get a Hybrid or a Non Hybrid Midsize Sedan?

Honda Accord 1 photo
Photo: Honda
Top-shelf midsize sedans have become quite expensive in recent years, mainly because they pack a lot more technology. Sensors that keep you in your lane, reversing cameras, satellite radio and more – all these things cost money, but are nice features to have. So what about the engine, is that where you can start saving? We think so.
We ask you, our North American buyers, what you think about hybrid midsize sedans. It's not about being green or acting smug. It's about actually saving money.

Obviously, since most hybrids midsize sedan get over 40 mpg combined, they're going to get better mileage. But that doesn't make them cheaper to own. For example, the Accord Hybrid costs $29,155 and gets 50 mpg. However, a normal Accord sedan starts at $21,680 and gets 36 mpg highway. Even the V6 version gets 34 mpg, despite boasting 278 hp.

It would take quite a while before the Hybrid earns you that near-$7,500 back. Reliability is also a concern and you eco driving in hybrids can prove tedious and boring.

According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the national average of a gallon of regular is $3.693. Than means the difference between a regular Accord and a Hybrid is enough to buy 2024 gallons. That's enough to travel 72,867 miles (highway) in that regular 4-banger midsize. Are you really planning to keep the car for longer?

One oddball alternative has been the small turbo engine introduced by VW to its Passat 1.8T, or the TDI clean diesel. These engines really are great in the real world, but only during long, uninterrupted journeys. On busy LA commutes with lots of stop-and-go traffic, hybrids are probably better. Diesel is also more expensive, currently averaging $3.966.

Tell us if you've faced this question as a buyer and what your solution was. Accord or Camry? Plug-in or normal hybrid? We want to know.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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