Consumer Reports: A Honda CR-V Hybrid Will Pay for Itself in 4 Years

The Honda CR-V is one of the best and most popular SUVs on the market, and it may have just gotten a little better. Thanks to high gas prices, fuel efficiency is king, and a hybrid version of the Honda CR-V can save the average driver a lot of money. In fact, a 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid will pay for itself in just four years, according to a recent Consumer Reports analysis.

A look at how Consumer Reports did the math

Hybrid vehicles aren’t cheap, and they usually cost a bit more than regular gas-powered cars. But hybrids offset the upfront price difference thanks to the fact they’re more fuel-efficient than their gas-powered counterparts. How fast that can happen will depend on two primary factors, though.

The first is the price of gas because the higher the gas prices rise, the faster a hybrid can recoup its costs. The second factor is miles driven because someone who drives a lot will need more gas, so hybrids would save them even more money faster. For its recent analysis of hybrid vehicles, Consumer Reports assumed an average gas price of $4 a gallon and an average driving distance of about 12,000 miles a year.

Consumer Reports also looked at vehicles with a hybrid option and a gas-powered option. Among the vehicles that CR included in its study were the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Toyota Camry.

How fuel-efficient is the 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid?

2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid
2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts at around $32,000 and gets 35 mpg combined, according to Consumer Reports. The regular CR-V starts at about $26,000 and it gets 28 mpg combined. According to CR’s assumptions, it would take only four years for a CR-V Hybrid owner to pay off that $6,000 price difference.

After that, every gallon used is money saved in the long run. That said, the Honda CR-V’s number is actually higher than a few other SUVs. That’s because the biggest savings come from the biggest SUVs, while smaller hybrids will offer lesser savings. On top of that, the world is a big place, and the assumptions Consumer Reports made for its analysis won’t fit everyone.

For example, gas prices in California tend to be higher than the national average, and it’s well above $5 a gallon as of this writing. That means a Honda CR-V Hybrid owner in California would be able to pay back that premium even faster than drivers in other states. In fact, Consumer Reports says that for some cars, when gas is over $5 a gallon, it’ll take only a year for the owner to pay off the premium.

You don’t need an EV to be worry-free about gas prices

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world has seen a spike in oil prices and, in turn, gas prices. Though EV owners don’t have to worry about gas prices, consumers don’t need to buy a Tesla to also stop caring about the high cost of gasoline.

According to Consumer Reports, “You don’t have to buy an EV to reduce your exposure to high gas prices. Buying an efficient hybrid can help buffer your monthly budget from the wild swings caused by volatility in global oil markets.”

Hybrids aren’t the only highly fuel-efficient options. Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are a different type of hybrid, but they’re even more efficient than regular hybrids. Additionally, PHEVs can travel on battery-only power for a few miles, allowing the vehicle to basically function as a fully electric vehicle on short trips.

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