The 2012 Mazda3 was the maker's first model to use the new SkyActiv technology.
The recent run-up in fuel prices has put the spotlight on hybrids, battery cars and other high-mileage vehicles. But while it may sound great to get 40, even 50 miles a gallon, are you spending an arm and a leg to save far less than you might expect on your annual gasoline bill?
Some hybrids carry a premium that can push up to $5,000 or more. The penalty is even higher with plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs. Even on many “eco” models using relatively conventional gasoline power you could be in for a stiff price penalty. But is it worth it?
Not necessarily, if you’re simply trying to save money and not really worried about going “green.” But there are some models that minimize your up-front investment and deliver you savings fast.
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“The price of gas has consumers thinking about fuel economy but there’s a financial investment involved with most of these fuel-saving packages,” says Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com. “It’s important to compare the improvements in fuel economy and the extra costs of the package before purchasing a new vehicle.”