Is the Escape Hybrid Worth the Cost?

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When fuel prices climbed significantly a couple years ago, Hybrid cars became a popular alternative. With their increased fuel economy, consumers believed that a Hybrid will save them plenty at the pump. That's not necessarily true. As many well know, the premium price paid for a vehicle with its Hybrid technology can often be a larger difference when compared to paying more at the pump. The Ford Escape Hybrid is one of the most popular small Hybrid SUVs on the market.
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However, the base price for the Escape Hybrid is $4,000 more than the standard internal combustion engine model (which would include plenty of optional features). Think now how much gasoline would need to be bought to make up for the price difference. That would be a lot of fill-ups.
However, perhaps an even larger payout is a lesser need for foreign oil.