Is the Toyota Prius the “$3 car?” This question brings up some questions and explanations. Although we know the Toyota Prius as the most popular hybrid car on the automotive market, it is not the only one offered. A better way to ask this question is in the title. At what price do we start looking for hybrid cars to drive? Let’s explore this thought.
What are consumers looking for when gas prices rise?
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When gas prices soar, as they did earlier in the year, consumers are looking for fuel-efficient alternatives. This is where the idea comes from that Toyota Prius sales increased to $3.00 a gallon.
At one time, $3.00 a gallon of gas might have seemed like a ridiculous price, and it certainly is, but it’s not right now. In some parts of the country, drivers might think paying $3.00 a gallon is reasonable.
Time tells us that more consumers than ever are saying they will seek out alternative fuel options, including hybrid cars, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles when the price per gallon of gasoline hits $5.00.
Are there more and better hybrids available today?
Yes, there are now more hybrid vehicles than ever, and most are much better than the first models. This wide variety makes it much easier to find a useful hybrid vehicle to drive. Consumer Reports tells us that some hybrid models can net you excellent fuel mileage over time. This means that some of the best hybrid vehicles to buy right now are:
- Lexus NX
- Ford Maverick
- Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid
- Honda Accord hybrid
- Honda CR-V hybrid
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Do hybrid cars retain their resale value?
Yes, most hybrid cars depreciate at the same rate as their gasoline counterparts. The higher price and additional fuel savings of hybrid vehicles allow them to generate higher resale value and retain their value over time.
What future for hybrid cars?
The future of hybrid vehicles is relatively uncertain. As more and more electric vehicles are built, hybrid cars will likely start to disappear. An example of this has already happened in the Chevrolet lineup. Once the Chevy Bolt EV was integrated, the Volt plug-in hybrid was dropped from the lineup.
Public interest, coupled with new regulations pushing the market toward fully electric vehicles, could easily drive more hybrids out of the market over the next few years. We might see some plug-in hybrids stick around for the next decade, but traditional hybrids might be gone for good.
How has inflation changed our expectations?
The sickening truth about inflation is that we get used to it. It’s one of the reasons why up to 56% of people polled by Time said they would consider buying an electric vehicle when gas prices rise above $5/gallon. Today, that number is less than half, showing how we’re getting used to higher prices and adjusting our budgets to the higher cost of consumables we can’t live without.
How will our view of hybrid cars change?
Instead of a Toyota Prius question, the future conversation might be, “how high do gas prices have to go before you buy a Chevy Bolt EV?” Currently, the price has gone from $3/gallon to $5.00, which is a significantly inflated cost. Hybrid cars may not come out this decade, but alternative fuel sources are on the rise, making it easier to find ways to drive other than gasoline or diesel.
Then check out these five affordable luxury SUVs or check out some of the best hybrid cars in this video below: