I’ve been trying to get an answer to this question to no avail. Let me phrase it like this:

2 cars: 1 hybrid, 1 gas–both rated at 35 mpg. The logic of the mpg ratings tell me that, all things being equal, if I put a gallon of gas into each of these cars, I can travel 35 miles. If this is true, what is the point of a hybrid that can be matched by a gas only engine? Am I not still burning a gallon of gas to travel the same distance in each car?

Everyone I talk to about this seems confused, and website searches are no help. I’m looking at a 2013 Prius because I’m attracted to the high mpg and I do the kind of driving that will benefit from it. But, while considering it and looking at other car model hybrids, I got to thinking about what is the point of low mileage hybrids. I’ve even seen large SUV type hybrids with 25 mpg ratings. Considering the added upfront expense, what’s the advantage? At least when considering a used Prius, I’m avoiding the initial high cost of a new vehicle, and I can have confidence that it is a highly rated, long lasting used car.