Do You Own a Hybrid? Would You Buy a Hybrid?

The Volkswagen XL1, on its way to production, uses a plug-in hybrid system.

Hybrid cars have come a long way since the Honda Insight became the first hybrid for sale in North America in late 1999. For one, the styling has gone from futuristic insect to more traditional looks.

And while once the sight of a Prius rolling by would turn heads, hybrids seem ubiqutious now. (The more traditional looking models also don’t turn as many heads.) 

There are the well-known pros to hybrids, starting with cutting down on trips to the gas station. The miles per gallon these cars get is the first specification that jumps out at most people, and what many customers are looking for when shopping for a hybrid.

For city-dwellers, the fuel economy of hybrids is often better for city driving than for highway driving, flipping the script on traditional gas-only vehicles. And whether you’re driving a hybrid to spare the air from pollutants or not, they generally have great resale value.

On the other hand, there are cons, starting with the upfront cost. While you won’t spend as much on gasoline while driving a hybrid, they are more expensive off the lot than traditional gas-only vehicles.

Improvements have been made when it comes to power and performance, but many hybrids still can’t match gas-only vehicles. And those batteries can end up taking up space that would otherwise be used for seating or storage, so if you’re lugging a lot of cargo or kids around, a trip to the grocery store might not yield as big a bounty.

And perhaps a reflection on the economy, despite gas prices still well above $ 3 a gallon, a study completed last year said that only 35 percent of hybrid owners choose to purchase a hybrid again

Do you own a hybrid car now? Would you purchase one again when you’re shopping for a new car? If you don’t own a hybrid, would you consider purchasing one for your next car? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

South End Patch