Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gas vs. Diesel vs. Hybrid - Which One Is Right For You?

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gets great MPG, but ultimately what car fuel you decide on depends on your driving habits.

Everyone craves more fuel economy in their next vehicle. 

As gas prices hover around the $2.50 - $3 range (does anyone remember when it was $1.50?), car makers like Hyundai are striving for better fuel technology in their vehicles. So the question is - what fuel is right for you? Should you go with traditional gasoline cars or newly refined diesel and hybrid engines? Unfortunately the answer isn't as clear cut as you would think, because it just depends! However, here are some general guidelines:

1) The Broad Answer

In general, if you are a low mileage driver go with gasoline. If you're a big city driver, go with hybrid. If you're a high mileage (mostly highway) driver, diesel is the way to go. 

2) Gasoline

7500 is the target number here. If you drive less than 7500 miles a year, then the savings you would have on fuel won't match the premium you are paying for a hybrid or diesel vehicle. Luckily, with new engine technologies like what's found in the 2013 Hyundai Accent, you can still get much better MPG than you could in previous year gasoline models.

3) Hybrid

When you think of Texas, you likely think of big trucks and massive minivans; but in truth The Lone Star State is perfect for hybrid vehicles with its miles of highways and concentrated big cities. If you spend most of your commute stuck in traffic or driving from city to city (Austin and Houston are great examples here), then you should consider getting a hybrid. Because braking recharges the battery, hybrids are perfect for stop-and-go city traffic and congested freeways. If you're easy on the throttle, and can brake early and smoothly, you'll reap the rewards from fuel savings.

4) Diesel

If you spend a lot of time on the open highway, you should also consider a diesel engine. The case for diesel is also clearer in the premium/sporty segment where the gasoline engine uses premium fuel, so the diesel price disadvantage per gallon of fuel is less than 10%. If you are also looking at residual and trade-in value, diesel vehicles often outmatch their gasoline counterparts. Nine of 10 diesel cars and trucks studied by the University of Michigan had better five-year residual value than their gas-engine counterparts.

5) Think Beyond MPG

It's easy to look at MPG numbers and think you're getting the best deal when in reality you should think about it in terms of fuel cost per year. Did you know EPA numbers assume that you spend 55% of your miles in the city and 45% on highways? This often holds true for gasoline vehicles, but if you drive a lot of highway miles those diesel fuel numbers can become skewed!

Know how you drive, know where you drive and make an educated decision on your next vehicle! If you want more advice like this, stay tuned to this blog along with our Facebook page. If you are in the market for a new vehicle with great MPG, check out our full inventory here

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