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Fact or fiction? 7 eco-myths debunked

By: Shea Gunther on Dec. 23, 2009, 10 a.m.
hybrid car

Photo: ZUMA Press

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A hybrid car is always the best choice

"South Park" got a lot of laughs from hybrid car owners (and others) in an episode called "Smug Alert!" based on the smugness that seems to ooze from a newly minted hybrid owner. There's no dispute that hybrid cars use gas more efficiently, but is a hybrid the best choice for everyone (and the planet) every time? When you consider the amount of energy that goes into making a new car, it may make sense, financially and environmentally, to purchase a used conventionally powered car. Diesel engines have made big leaps in reliability, performance and economy, and can also be a better choice than a hybird for the pocketbook and Mother Nature. Ecologically smart car shoppers should study all their options before signing on the dotted line.