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Autos | Cost survey

Many hybrid and clean-diesel cars cost less to own than conventional models

Vehicle Premium 5-year savings
Volkswagen Jetta TDI $2,070 $6,210
Toyota Prius (vs. Camry) $1,805 $4,930
Chevy Silverado Hybrid $615 $3,821
Ford Escape Hybrid AWD $4,725 $2,123
Saturn Aura Green Line $1,480 $2,185

SOURCE: IntelliChoice.com

The 2009 IntelliChoice.com hybrid and diesel car survey looked at 51 hybrid and clean-diesel models and evaluated their cost of ownership vs. the premium you pay over conventional models of the same vehicles.

The survey estimated the cost of ownership over five years or 70,000 miles and included factors such as fuel, maintenance and repair, retained value, insurance, taxes and licensing fees.

Thirty-five of the 51 green cars considered delivered lower costs of ownership than comparable conventional vehicles, said James Bell, editor of IntelliChoice.com.

Clean diesels, by the way, saved their owners even more money than hybrids.

"The longtime knock against green cars, trucks and SUVs is that their sticker prices do not justify the gas savings," Bell said. "The point we make is that it is not just about fuel."

How much do drivers save?

Here are some examples of vehicles in the survey, the premium paid for them in comparison with conventional models and the five-year ownership savings.

Many hybrid and clean-diesel cars cost less to own than conventional models 08/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 13, 2009 10:55am]

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