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TheStreet Open House

5 Hybrids that Cost Less than Their Gas-Powered Models

Buick LaCrosse Hybrid (Base price: $31,660)
Gas equivalent:
Buick LaCrosse (Base price: $35,285)
Savings on a hybrid: 10.3%

The LaCrosse Hybrid costs 10.3% less than its gasoline-powered sibling, but delivers nearly 50% better fuel economy in city driving.

A so-called "mild hybrid" (a car whose gas engine shuts off when you're idling, then uses battery power to help accelerate from a dead stop), the LaCrosse gets an estimated 25 miles per gallon/city and 36 miles per gallon/highway. That's far above the 17 mpg/city and 27 mpg/highway that a gas-only, front-wheel-drive LaCrosse offers.

"The LaCrosse Hybrid gets better mileage but is significantly cheaper than the gas-only LaCrosse," Clarke says. "That's a very attractive combination."

On the downside, the LaCrosse Hybrid's four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor only put out 182 horsepower between them -- far below the 303 horsepower that a gas-powered LaCrosse's six-cylinder engine cranks out. General Motors (GM - Get Report) also made the LaCrosse's already smallish trunk even smaller in the hybrid version to accommodate the drivetrain's large battery pack.

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