Consider this: The 2008 Toyota Prius base model costs 50 percent more than the 2008 Honda Fit base model. Then again, the Prius is 50 percent more fuel-efficient than the Fit when you look at the EPA's figure for combined mpg. So how does this add up?
You could save $8,425 right now by buying a $15,420 Honda Fit instead of the $23,845 Toyota Prius. Of course, if the price of gasoline goes higher, then the Prius with its EPA combined estimate of 46 mpg will pay you back for your investment sooner than you'd expect. Then again, the Fit with its EPA combined estimate of 30 mpg doesn't carry the same penalty of higher financing charges, insurance costs and taxes as the more expensive Prius, plus the Toyota will be needing a new $2,585 battery pack when the odometer shows 100,000-150,000 miles.
Which car is best? It sounds like the kind of question for one of those money magazines. Yes, we've painted ourselves into a bit of a projected