The current issue of Consumer Reports — the annual car issue — has a long, close look at hybrids. It comes to familiar conclusions: Hybrids save gas, emit less pollution and CO2 (which "many believe" leads to global warming), are a signal of good intentions, and have extremely high user-satisfaction ratings. However, they won’t save you money relative to other vehicles in the same class. I know some greens find this story obnoxious, and I usually do too, but CR is pretty scrupulous about it and there’s no arguing with their facts. They don’t address the moral good of buying a hybrid, or the less tangible benefits of ownership (identity, etc.), but then, that’s not the kind of magazine they are.
I am glad to see them paying more attention to fuel economy generally.
An amusing side note: In their short, blurby review of the Hummer H3, the magazine comes as close to editorializing as I’ve ever seen:
The H3 brings the Hummer mystique to a lower price range. It is derived from the Chevrolet Colorado pickup and shares its 3.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. This engine struggles to move the 4,900-pound H3 and only delivers 14 mpg overall. Handling is clumsy but secure, helped by the optional stability control. The ride is stiff. Off-road performance, however, is terrific. Visibility is poor because of the small windows and thick roof pillars. The rear gate is heavy. Unless you encounter boulders on your commute or crave the attention, other SUVs are far more practical choices.
Still, there’s no close analysis of whether Hummers will save you money relative to other vehicles in their class. It’s almost as if people buy cars for reasons other than saving money …