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The website offers fuel costs and MSRP of 18 2012-2013 vehicles

The U.S. government just introduced a new section to its website that allows consumers to compare the payback of certain hybrids and their traditional gasoline counterpart.

The website offers fuel costs and MSRP of 18 2012-2013 vehicles. Consumers simply choose a hybrid model and move the sliders appropriately to see the payback period and fuel savings for that particular vehicle. The calculations are based on fuel prices, city-highway driving percentage and annual miles.

"Based on MSRP and fuel costs alone, hybrid vehicles can save you money versus a comparably equipped conventional vehicle," said

Some of the vehicles available on are the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2012 Toyota Prius C One, and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco.

An example of the information that the website offers is a comparison of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the gasoline-powered 2012 Hyundai Sonata SE. According to, the hybrid Sonata costs $2,655 more than the conventional version and takes about 5.1 years to pay back.

The government is certainly looking to push consumers toward more fuel efficient vehicles, especially with the White House's recent proposed 54.5 MPG CAFE requirement for 2017-2025 model year vehicles. This standard would save customers $6,600 at the gas pump for the lifetime of a 2025 vehicle.


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By bug77 on 5/21/2012 6:10:34 PM , Rating: 2
Unsurprisingly, maintenance costs and resale values do not qualify for the comparison.

RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/21/12, Rating: -1
RE: Great
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 6:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how much urea costs, and the maintenance on that as well. How about the reliability of direct injection on a diesel?

I'm hearing a lot of horror stories of VW DI engines going out with a $10,000+ repair cost under 50,000 miles.

RE: Great
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 6:56:06 PM , Rating: 1
Could someone also please enlighten me how reliable they are? Normal multi-point injection is around 40-60 PSI, Gas DI ~2000 PSI. Diesel DI ~25,000 PSI.

That just sounds insanely high, and no wonder most automotive companies don't do it.

RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/21/2012 8:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Direct-injection has been commonplace on diesels since the early to mid 1990's. It's a very mature technology, at least on diesels. On gassers, it's quite new however, and I think they're still working the bugs out. Diesel reliability and longevity has always been considerably better than on gasoline engines. I've over 300,000 miles now on both of my diesels, and they still pass the strict city emissions tests. As for "most automotive companies" making diesels, consider this: over 60% of new cars sold in Europe are diesels. Ford, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, etc. all sell very reliable small diesel cars... just not in the Unites States.

RE: Great
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 9:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think diesel technology in general is more reliable than gas, but I was particularly concerned about DI diesel. How much repair/maintenance did you have to do on those 300k miles?

RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/22/2012 11:12:56 AM , Rating: 2
Re: Your question about reliability of DI diesels, there are a variety of different implementations. Direct Injection itself a concept, not a specific technology. The early DI diesels (1990's) used a belt (or chain) driven rotary pump, just like the old indirect diesels. Reliability was excellent, same as the indirect diesels.

After that came some interesting different implementations, like VW's "pumpe deuce" unit-injectors where an individual injection pump was incorporated into each fuel injector. That had its quirks, like requiring a very specific type of engine oil and no other.

Now that we're into "3rd generation" direct inject diesels, all the automakers seem to have converged on Common Rail direct injection. Common Rail allows for the highest injection pressures (31,000 psi in the latest models) and is inexpensive to build.

BTW the higher the injection pressure, the better. Higher pressure allows for tighter control of ignition timing, fuel atomization, emissions, etc.

RE: Great
By sigmatau on 5/21/2012 10:07:49 PM , Rating: 3
I wish the US had more choices. With VW being the major source to the average American, it makes diesels look bad. VW's reliability is beyond crap.

Ford finaly brought the real Focus to the US. Maybe they will bring a good diesel here too.

RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/2012 9:27:59 AM , Rating: 1
edit: Diesel vehicles are $5-7 extra.

RE: Great
By Argon18 on 5/22/2012 9:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure where you found the "$5k - $7k extra" figure, but I doubt its accuracy. The Mercedes E320 diesel is less than $1k difference from the gasoline E320. And on the various VW's, the MSRP is less than $2k difference IIRC.

Also, one piece you're equation is missing is the resale value. Diesels have vastly higher resale value, at least here in the US. We have been selling our older cars on ebay. We sold our 1998 Passat 1.8t (gas) with 160k miles for $3500. We sold our 1997 Passat TDI (diesel) with 180k miles for $7200. That's nearly double the price! Plus the '97 is the older body style, which makes it even more remarkable. Look on ebay, craigslist, etc. and you'll see that no matter whether its a VW, or a Mercedes, or a Dodge pickup - the diesels have a very significantly higher resale price.

RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Great
By alexwgreen on 5/22/2012 10:39:30 AM , Rating: 2
I can't argue with your point on diesel being more expensive. In the UK, and many other European nations, Diesel is actually more expensive. Diesel also suffers a penalty when calculating emissions for business tax purposes. BUT, even with this and the higher initial outlay (though certainly not as bad as you make out, TDi engines perform better than there capacity would suggest, so the valid comparison is usually with the next size up of gas engine) diesel makes sense for more people than not.

And as for reliability, I know more people with DI Diesel powered cars (VW, Audi, Renault, Peugeot etc) than anything else, and reliability has not been an issue for many of these. And just about ANY taxi you get into in the UK will be a DI diesel.

I was always led to believe that the reason Diesels were never really introduced to the US was a lack of availability of good quality diesel at regular forecourts, leading to reliability issues. Now if the quality of your diesel hasn't improved, and yet it still costs more, then you should be asking questions of your administration, (or perhaps those companies contributing to their campaign costs.)

As a final anecdote, direct injection diesel powered audis have won the 24 hrs of Le Mans 5 out of the last 6 years. The 6th went to Peugeot with another DI Diesel car. The manufacturers site economy and reliability vs petrol as the reasons for this success.

Sorry if that came over as a rant, I just don't get some of the false information about diesels out there.


RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/22/2012 10:51:57 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not spreading ANY false information. Where in the hell did I say diesels weren't reliable or couldn't win Le Mans? Huh?

I was simply detailing, factually, the economic differences to explain the disparity between US and Euro diesel adoption. There's NO reason to get offended and take this as some kind of attack on diesel. Grow up.

And yes, VERY recently diesel prices have caught up, or passed, petrol in Europe. But for decades this wasn't the case, and obviously this was a BIG factor in why diesel caught on so well there. Are you going to dispute this too?

Another fact you conveniently ignored is that many diesel engines used in Europe simply cannot be brought to the U.S because of regulations, or are not cost-effective to do so. I guess I'm making that up too?

If I'm wrong and there are no economic reasons at all, why isn't diesel used here more? Or do you people just tell yourselves that "yanks hate diesel" and that makes sense to you?

RE: Great
By alexwgreen on 5/22/2012 11:01:16 AM , Rating: 2
Apologies, I should have worded it differently (and maybe replied to one of your other posts). My objection was largely to the claims of poor vw reliability, inferred to be in relation to the topic of DI Diesels.

I should read less quickly.

But the point stands, vw diesels are notoriously reliable.

I can't argue with financial analysis.

RE: Great
By alexwgreen on 5/22/2012 11:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
Still not doing very well replying to the correct posts. Oh well :)

RE: Great
By GotThumbs on 5/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Great
By Mint on 5/22/2012 10:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Regulation has little to do with it. It's mostly the nature of the market:

2-10 cents of tax difference is meaningless compared to price swings. If any significant part of the US tried switching to diesel, the price would jump to force the worldwide diesel:gasoline consumption ratio back again.

Until we're sure that we'll figure out how to make biodiesel economically, increased diesel use in the US is a bad idea.

RE: Great
By Keeir on 5/22/2012 2:36:40 PM , Rating: 3
Until we're sure that we'll figure out how to make biodiesel economically, increased diesel use in the US is a bad idea.


When you refine a gallon of oil, you get amounts of Diesel, Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and "Others". There is an ideal mix where your going to get the most "miles" per gallon of oil.

The US doesn't use this mix, because the transportation market favours gasoline extensively. Even with our refinaries tilted to standard gasoline production, the US still exports Diesel Fuel.

Europe on the other hand, consumes far more Diesel and too little gasoline for the correct mix.

If we want to get the most per barrel of oil, the US market should embrace Diesel and the European Market should embrace Gasoline in terms of increasing the percentage of fuel used. The US probably has the right idea in taxing per energy content. And Europe probably has tax rates that are more in line with the true road maintainence + enviromental effects of buring fossil fuels.

An ideal cost/resource transporation mix would include EVs, PHEVs, Hybrids, Diesel and Gasoline cars/trucks. Diesels have their place, especially in middle to high mileage 50 mph+ cases.

RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/21/2012 6:58:08 PM , Rating: 4
I'm hearing a lot of horror stories of VW DI engines going out with a $10,000+ repair cost under 50,000 miles.

I'm not surprised. VW has horrible reliability.

RE: Great
By Dr of crap on 5/22/2012 8:20:45 AM , Rating: 1
I keep hearing that too, yet.... they keep buying VW's.

RE: Great
By AEvangel on 5/22/2012 10:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks goodness that would be covered under warranty.

Powertrain limited warranty* (All models except 2011 Touareg)
5 years/60,000 miles (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty.

Powertrain limited warranty* (2011 Touareg)
10 years/100,000 miles (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty.

RE: Great
By Motoman on 5/21/2012 6:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure that's just an oversight. What's the cost of a replacement battery again when your original eventually needs to be replaced?

RE: Great
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 6:51:20 PM , Rating: 3
I believe the battery should last about 12-15 years so its hard to determine that since battery prices are fluctuating so wildly. You can get a Prius pack now from the junk yard for around $400-600, while its around $2500 new from Toyota. Toyota will accept your old pack and pay you $200 for recycling it.

RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 5/21/12, Rating: -1
RE: Great
By nolisi on 5/21/2012 11:05:04 PM , Rating: 2

Here ya go, since you don't seem to have the ability to do a quick Google search to ensure your facts are accurate.

In case you need help finding Google, type into your browser: w w w . g o o g l e . c o m

Need me to go slower?

By Trisped on 5/21/2012 6:19:07 PM , Rating: 3
Anyone have a link to the site? The "18 2012-2013" links to a local file which I do not have.

RE: Links?
By Trisped on 5/21/2012 6:23:15 PM , Rating: 3
I think I found it at

You can also go to, click on Hybrids on the right, then click on "Hybrids Can Save You Money" on the left.

What about insurance?
By vol7ron on 5/21/2012 11:14:57 PM , Rating: 1
Owning a hybrid not only costs more up front, it also comes with higher insurance costs because if you do get in an accident, it will cost more to repair your vehicle. I doubt that was considered as well.

Also what about disposal fees when you're ready to junk the vehicle. I'm guessing there are probably some EPA restrictions on how you can dispose of those batteries.

RE: What about insurance?
By Dr of crap on 5/22/2012 8:26:43 AM , Rating: 1
You won't keep the car that long.
After 5-6 years you fork over another chuck of money for another over priced hybrid.

You have to keep in current styling and with the NEW technology! PLEASE!

RE: What about insurance?
By JediJeb on 5/23/2012 11:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
I guess I will never get a hybrid then, I like to keep my vehicles at least 10 years. Current one I have been driving for 16 years, drive it long enough and maybe like cloths it will come back into styling fashion.

RE: What about insurance?
By Motoman on 5/22/2012 10:25:32 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, insurance companies are dropping insurance rates for hybrids and EVs.

Turns out that the only people who buy them are the kind of people who perpetually drive 10MPH under the speed limit and sit at stop signs waving other people through so they don't have to navigate the scary intersection with other cars in play.

Sample return
By cknobman on 5/22/2012 1:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
Here is a comparison between a Prius and a Honda Fit. They are similar class but after owning a Prius and riding in my buddies Fit I will say that the Prius is roomier and has a nicer interior. None the less here is a rate of return calculation between the two. Oh an the mileage I am using is based off how much I drive so it certainly wont apply to everyone.

Prius - Avg: 50 mpg

Fit - Avg: 30 mpg

25,000 Miles per year

Fuel cost: $3.75/gal

Calculation = 25,000/avg mpg * cost/gal

Prius = 25000/50 * 3.75 = 1875

Fit = 25000/30 * 3.75 = 3125

Prius cost = 24000
Fit cost = 15325
Price dif = 8675
Years to recoup = 8675/(3125-1875) = ~7

RE: Sample return
By sigmatau on 5/22/2012 4:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
A Honda Civic would be a better comparison to the Prius. The Fit is much smaller. The Civic actualy has less interior room.

Broken Link
By lufoxe on 5/22/2012 10:49:52 AM , Rating: 3
I normally don't do this, but a link is broken on this section:
The website offers fuel costs and MSRP of 18 2012-2013 vehicles

Good idea
By Beenthere on 5/21/12, Rating: -1
RE: Good idea
By sigmatau on 5/21/2012 10:13:16 PM , Rating: 3
Wait... what? 39 years?

RE: Good idea
By knutjb on 5/21/2012 10:22:55 PM , Rating: 4
Again, in the US for a large percentage to move to diesel it would run the cost of that fuel up dramatically. The railroads are the number one consumer, then airlines and trucking. Diesel and Jet A are from the same chunk of oil so only so much diesel/Jet A can be made per barrel. Their heavy consumption of diesel/Jet A would normally lower our gas prices if all the excess gas wasn't shipped out of the country. Our fuel usage is dramtically different than rest of the world.

RE: Good idea
By Mint on 5/22/2012 11:06:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. Don't forget growing economies in India selling 30% diesel cars.

Worldwide gas:diesel consumption ratio needs to stay roughly fixed, so there's no point in the US switching passenger cars to diesel.

RE: Good idea
By tjoynt on 5/21/2012 10:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
You are off by an order of magnitude.

" will take most owners 3.9 years to recoupe the excess cost of a hybrid... "


RE: Good idea
By knutjb on 5/21/2012 10:43:11 PM , Rating: 5
If the president has his way he will shorten that time by raising fuel costs through policy. Unfortunately by the time he makes the hybrid the better buy we won't be able to afford it from the mass inflation in living expenses. The community organizer in chief doesn't understand that when you jack up energy costs, Necessarily , it affects all forms of commerce like shipping and farmers and ...

RE: Good idea
By sigmatau on 5/21/2012 10:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Ain't he cute!

RE: Good idea
By Mint on 5/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Good idea
By knutjb on 5/22/2012 4:37:29 PM , Rating: 2
Open your eyes, he has those policies in place now. If you look at where our current oil production is coming from it's not from federal lands. He has shutdown future production on federal lands only. He is trying to stiffle the new private drilling through new regulations from the EPA.

Look a little deeper in the site and look at the trends on federal lands. They peaked last year and are falling. When government policy changes towards opening up production it can take five to ten years for most to impact. Negative policies, that we have now, have a much quicker impact. The riggs cost a million a day and idle time is money wasted so they leave the gulf. To replace those riggs takes seven to ten years manufacture and deploy. Once you apply those time lines to most, not all, drilling you will have high fuel costs for many years to come. THAT IS WHAT THE PRESIDENT WANTS AND IS GETTING. No carbon trading scam required.

There are a few exceptions: in California if drilling occurs in Santa Barbra and a few other locations production could take a year or two to impact the market since pipelines for transit are already in place.

The more we have to buy from the global market the more demand placed on those resources, hence driving up prices. There is more than one way to accomplish their publically stated goal.

FYI: Contrary to what extreme environmentist believe oil will not go away with a new, practical energy soure. Where do most plastics and lubricants come from.

Another issue you probably don't know about is:

The Law of the Sea Treaty calls for technology transfers and wealth transfers from developed to undeveloped nations. It also requires parties to the treaty to adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment. Such provisions were among the reasons President Ronald Reagan rejected the treaty in 1982.

Yes the president has more than one socialist trick up his sleave...

RE: Good idea
By JediJeb on 5/22/2012 6:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
I checked with my driving stats and even a Prius C takes 8 years to recover the cost difference. Of course that is driving 10K miles per year and only about 30% at most is in the "city" if you can call 7 stoplights city driving.

RE: Good idea
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2012 10:23:02 PM , Rating: 3
There are currently NO federal tax credits for any non-plug-in hybrid vehicles. All the tax credit for hybrids were passed by Bush. While you might find some incentives depending on your local state/municipal governments, there are none at the federal level.

The only federal incentives are pure EV's and plug-in hybrids.

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