Although most people associate hybrids with cost efficiency, Aaron Couch of CNBC.com is warning consumers that “hybrids may not be the best bet for cheaper driving.” In fact, he and other analysts are now suggesting that drivers who stick with gas-powered vehicles may actually be getting more bang for their bucks thanks to the fact that car manufacturers are introducing more and more high-mileage gas cars that not only pack more power and speed beneath their hoods, but come with smaller price tags. This includes new innovations such as such Ford’s twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology which (unlike standard camshafts, which are fixed during production) can be slightly rotated, allowing timing of each camshaft to be "advanced" or "retarded."
This adds an extra measure of precision, contributing to fuel efficiency or power output, as conditions demand. The electronic control module gives each intake and exhaust camshaft the ability to adjust independently of the other; traditional VCT engines operate only on the intake cam. Ti-VCT technology also improves fuel efficiency at all engine speeds, including giving Mustang the ability to “deliver an amazing 31 mpg highway, the best fuel economy in its class.”
In fact, “As more and more standard-fuel cars and trucks are being awarded close to 40 mpg fuel ratings, it is becoming harder to justify paying premium prices for something that runs on alternative fuels,” added Kelley Blue Book’s Camryn Craig, who noted that a recent study of hybrids revealed that only two vehicles, the Prius and Lincoln’s MKZ actually made up for their steeper sticker prices within two years of purchase, as opposed to other high priced hybrids which were deemed to take nearly ten years to pay for themselves.”