Electric cars are the future, so I signed on to finance my 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid last month. Hybrids aren’t EVs, but right now? They’re perfect. There are good reasons to invest in a hybrid car, even at a time when Tesla Model 3s are becoming price-competitive with some hybrids.

It boils down to timing. Right now, EVs are going through puberty. They’re growing up, becoming cheaper upfront and more affordable long term. They’re also pains in the rear. Sticker prices are a problem, and, well. EVs literally make some riders feel like vomiting, myself included.

For now, hybrid cars occupy a reasonable middle ground between the past and the future. Here are three reasons hybrid cars are worth the investment, beginning with the obvious: mileage.

1. Hybrids have great mileage

You can purchase a Toyota Hybrid with 50ish miles-per-gallon (MPG) for less than $30,000. My 2021 model gives me 500 to 600 miles of runway per $50 to $60 top-up at the gas station. That’s a winning combination: cheap sticker price and great mileage. Full stop.

Gas cars often boast lower sticker prices than hybrids, but mileage is worse. Driving 40ish mph, you get about 20 MPG less from a 2024 Toyota Corolla than a Corolla Hybrid. Hybrids are more cost-effective at the tank, and the more you drive, the more mileage matters to your wallet.

It’s reasonable to purchase a hybrid if it makes driving cheaper than a gas-powered car. You get much better mileage at a slightly higher sticker price.

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2. Hybrids have cheaper sticker prices than EVs

You can get hybrid cars with great MPG and solid range for cheap. A 2024 Toyota Corolla LE has an MSRP of $22,050, and a hybrid version costs $23,500. Not much more expensive.

You won’t find many EVs in that $20,000 to $25,000 price range. A Tesla Model 3 retails for at least $38,990, about $15,000 more than a hybrid with a better range. True, EV tax credits can help buyers recoup the cost of buying some EVs. But even factoring in tax credits, it’s pricier to purchase or finance the cheapest EVs than the most affordable hybrids, assuming equal rates.

It’s reasonable to invest in a hybrid for lower monthly payments. Driving a cheaper car can even get you affordable car insurance. (Cheaper parts cost insurers less to replace.)

3. Hybrids are less likely to give you motion sickness than EVs

When shopping for EVs, I asked a friend to take me for a spin in his Tesla Model Y. The experience? Smooth, novel, and dizzying. After 10 minutes on slow mode, I was astonished to discover my stomach had crawled its way up my throat. Breathing was hard. I felt sick. I tried driving. Though diminished, the motion sickness lingered until minutes after I left the car.

Others have felt similar, as the Reddit r/electricvehicles community can attest. It’s worth taking an EV for a spin before buying. It might save you from buyer’s remorse — and one very uncomfortable trip to the dealership. (Hi, hello. Yes, I’m here because your car makes me sick.)

Investing in a hybrid is reasonable if driving an EV gives you (or your riders) motion sickness. It swiftly turned me away from leasing an EV. Instead, I financed my hybrid, a happy medium.

Other reasons to invest in a hybrid car

When it comes to EVs vs. hybrids, price comparisons fail. There are many moving parts, and costs depend on specific models. Pricier cars have domino effects: a pricey car typically means pricey car insurance, steepening the monthly cost of ownership.

But hybrids have many perks. Other reasons to invest in a hybrid car include:

  • The Tesla Model 3, one of the most popular EVs, is expensive to insure.
  • Some plug-in hybrids qualify for $3,750 federal tax credits.
  • According to Kelley Blue Book, hybrids retain value longer than EVs over five years.

Then there’s the future of driving to consider. If Tesla really produces a $25,000 electric car, it’s reasonable to assume that more gas drivers will switch to electric vehicles. If gas demand goes down, supply may rise, shrinking prices at the pump. I’m speculating, but it’s worth considering.

For now, hybrids offer a worthy combination of lower sticker prices and good MPG. An affordable hybrid might be well worth the investment in 2024.

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