2009 Nissan Altima, 2009 Toyota Camry, 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Comparison

Gas prices have been as volatile as the stock market lately and experts assure us both will be rebounding, though nobody knows exactly when. Investing in the market now, though it might seem counterintuitive, could set you up for a handsome reward in the future. The same goes for buying a new fuel-efficient automobile. If you purchase a hybrid vehicle today, when demand for fuel-sippers is relatively modest, you'll probably end up getting a better deal on the car and you're also insulating yourself from future spikes in gasoline prices. Think of it as an automotive hedge fund, but without the sleazy Wall Street guys and enormous bonus scandals.

We've rounded up the three most logical choices for a family looking to save on fuel: The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid, and 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid are the three midsize sedans with full hybrid powertrains. General Motors offers hybrid versions of its Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Malibu, but those two are mild hybrids and can't operation in EV mode. Since the gas savings from a mild hybrid is negligible, we left those two cars out of this group. Conversely, the 2010 Toyota Prius and 2010 Honda Insight, which are offered only as hybrids, both get excellent fuel economy. But they have polarizing looks that shout their green credentials. For those looking to buy a normal-looking sedan with the exceptional fuel economy of a hybrid, the Fusion, the Camry, and the Altima are the three most logical choices.

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