Car prices are still high, and it can make us want to choose the cheapest option when we're buying. But new data out today from Consumer Reports shows spending a little more upfront may save you money in the long run.
They tested the reliability of hybrid cars and found hybrids stood up to their non-hybrid counterparts.
On average, hybrids cost about $1,700 more, but experts say you’ll make that back pretty quickly with the cost of gas.
“You're not really giving up anything in terms of quietness or comfort or performance,” said Jake Fisher, who leads auto testing for Consumer Reports. “Really, it becomes almost a no-brainer when you have the choice to get a hybrid vehicle."
Fully electric cars were not rated as well, mostly because access to a charger can be unreliable. Hybrid cars never need to be plugged in.
Pickup trucks also were not rated well by Consumer Reports.
If you’re shopping for an older used car and a hybrid isn’t an option, the brand is what you want to pay attention to.
For instance, a used Toyota performed better than a used Mercedes with the same price. Lexus vehicles also performed well.
“When you have a used car, first of all, you're out of warranty,” Fisher said. “These little problems, when the cars were new, could become really big and expensive problems when the car is used. So really look at the brands. Look at the brands that are just, you know, very often at the top of the chart."
The cost of repairs is also something to consider.
Parts for a Toyota tend to be much cheaper than parts for a Mercedes.