Ford Fusion, Mercedes-Benz ML, Lexus RX - Powertrain Comparison

Over the past few years, hybrid and diesel powertrains have become available in many different cars. Usually, they're version is more expensive than the standard, gasoline engine. We wondered, do you actually recoup their extra cost, and if so, how long does it take?

The federal government has offered generous tax incentives for hybrid and diesel vehicles. However, for many hybrid models, those rebates have begun to phase out. Several states, however, still offer incentives that can lower the cost of a new hybrid. Because of the variable nature of these incentives, we will not include them in our calculations.

There are several stand-alone hybrid vehicles on the market, including the Honda Insight, Lexus HS, and Toyota Prius. For our purposes, we're much more interested in models offered with both internal combustion and alternative powertrains, because they can be more directly compared.

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According to the MB website, the ML Bluetec has a towing capacity of 7,200 lbs, not 5,000.
How about accounting for the larger annual insurance costs and larger depreciation that more expensive vehicles of the same type incur? If you did that, you'd find out that alternative powertrains never pay off.

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