For a vibrant city like Vancouver that prides itself on being the greenest of them all, it is hardly surprising that many people and businesses alike would opt for a hybrid vehicle. They are sporty, compact and fun; however, for many families, fear of a high sticker price keeps them from considering a hybrid. But like with many things, if you do a little digging, things are not quite as simple as they seem.
The Toyota Prius has dominated the market as the leader in the hybrid car movement, having sold over 6.1 million cars since 1997. In fact, you would be hard pressed to walk down any Vancouver street and not spot one of these pioneering automobiles or its counterpart, the Toyota Prius c.
With this popularity in mind, we decided to get to the bottom of it and dispel many of the misguided myths around hybrid cars.
Myth 1: They cost so much more than a standard gasoline engine car.
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to the cost of hybrid cars is the price tag itself. Hybrids should be evaluated on a comparable value basis. When you look closely at the features included in a base model hybrid, you realize that an entry level hybrid is not like most “entry level cars.”
A base model hybrid typically comes factory-equipped with many luxury features, such as Bluetooth connectivity, premium sound systems, upgraded wheels and tires and higher quality interiors that are expensive additional options on conventional cars. When making your price comparisons, always make sure to take standard features into account, and you will see that this myth is busted!
Myth 2: A hybrid will cost so much more to repair.
People often assume that because hybrids are newer and involve more complex technology, there is a higher likelihood of something going wrong. In particular, some worry that the battery technology might not be able to keep up with their lifestyles. However, a hybrid battery will not have to be replaced in the lifetime of the car.
Most hybrids use Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT), which typically have fewer moving parts and therefore fewer repair issues and costs than traditional automatic or standard transmissions. You will likely find yourself saving a lot of money in the long run and loving every minute of it.
Myth 3: Hybrids do not hold their value as well as a conventional gasoline car.
Wrong! Many cars lose a large chunk of their initial value as soon as they are driven off the lot, but in fact, Canadian Black Book voted the Toyota Prius c the Best Retained Value Award Winner in 2017 across all categories. Over five years, the Prius c will depreciate by around $9,750, or approximately 44% of its total value; compare that to the average car, which will depreciate by about 60% of its total value in the first five years. In the words of Canadian Black Book, “If you are looking for a fuel efficient used car that is a retained value champ, you won’t go wrong choosing the Toyota Prius c.”
Myth 4: I will not save that much money on fuel, especially if I only have a short commute.
Hybrids boast an impressive fuel economy; the Toyota Prius c, for example, provides an excellent 5.5L/100 km on the highway and a staggering 4.9L/100 km in the city! Cars like this are excellent for those that do a lot of urban driving. This is primarily because the car will switch to using its battery when travelling at low speeds and during stop-start commuter driving. In fact, the Prius c is the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car in Canada.
Living in B.C. and experiencing our fluctuating fuel prices and rapidly vanishing gas stations, the prospect of using 50% less fuel by driving a hybrid is a real incentive to do some research on this ground-breaking vehicle that allows you to cover more ground in style.
Before you decide to make your next car purchase, do not go straight for the standard option. Crack open the calculator app and see if a hybrid could give you better value for money. You might be pleasantly surprised.