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Saving money on fuel might not be worth it. That is the result of the latest tests by Consumer Reports after a thorough examination of special high fuel economy models of popular compact cars including the Ford Focus SFE, Chevy Cruze Eco and Honda Civic HF.

All three models come with optional high mpg packages designed to maximize mileage with modifications that include special tires and aerodynamics. The cost to purchase these packages isn’t high either, ranging from $500 to $800. However, depending on how effective they are, the savings may take several years to recoup. In fact, in some cases it could take 38 years.

Starting with the Focus SFE, Consumer Reports reported an as-tested improvement of 3 mpg in both city and overall fuel economy resulting in figures of 21 and 31 mpg. Using an average of 12,000 miles traveled per year at $4 per gallon that comes out to a savings of $145, meaning it will take just over three years to see a return on your investment.

Similar modifications made to the Civic add $800 to the cost and improve overall fuel economy 3 mpg to 33 mpg, resulting in a $135 savings, meaning the cost will take six years to pay off.

Finally, and least remarkably, is the Cruze Eco, which costs $800 more than the Cruze LT. It improved fuel economy by 1 mpg average to 27 mpg. The result: a savings of just $20 a year
Read the full Special Fuel Economy Models story on AutoGuide.com
 

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Yup, my wifes civic gets like 3-5 mpg less than a hybrid but was 7 grand less. So if she owns it 5 years it will be 6000 dollars cheaper. It's also 3-400 pounds lighter.

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Don't forget the costs of those hybrid batteries!


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Should do one of these articles on those electric cars too. Economics don't work out. Offsetting the cost of gas for a higher electric utility bill. Car's too expensive so subsidize its initial cost by $7500. Still weighs as much as a small SUV and is anemic, but you'll get used to it. Enjoy it and its limited range.
 

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I think Hyundai's got the right idea with their Hybrids - aren't they offering free replacements for life on the batteries or something? Maybe I misread.

All I know is that the Civic HF is kind of a cop-out vehicle. The improvements are marginal, you don't get the cool LED taillights or the mirror-posted turn signals (remind me why the Si doesn't get both of those standard, again?). I guess it has a purpose though. I've still yet to see one driving around though. I see a ton of LX and some EX models. I saw one black Si sedan in Uptown Minneapolis, but that's it. I see about 5 Focus and Cruze to every Civic, though.
 

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The only thing you would save is the world.
Entropy never goes down globally for any process where you convert energy. Hybrid, electric, or osmosis powered (algae), you're not going to save the world or add to any resources - always deplete. Just pick your poison...water reduction, tree reduction, uranium, gas/oil, coal, food resource reduction, CO2 increase, methane increase, battery polution, etc.

I say, "to save the world - you just need off yourself and then you don't need to worry about it! and we don't have to hear you whine about it while we enjoy ourselves in the mean time."

I detected the sarcasm in your statement, this is for those Prius and Volt trolls who DO think they'll save the world driving their HYBRID cars.
 
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