You'll probably remember stories about Hummers being greener than hybrids over a dust-to-rust car lifecycle from a few years back.

Much of the heavyweight Hummer's supposed advantage was down to spurious claims that a hybrid would become unusable after 100,000 miles, where the tank-like off-roader would keep going for hundreds of thousands more.

Somebody should tell hybrid owners that, with everything from long-lived New York taxis to privately-owned examples passing the 200,000 and 300,000-mile marks, having cost very little to run during that time.

In fact, as Consumer Reports has discovered, owners have found them very reliable, backed up by CR's very own tests, such as those in the above video, from 2011, and this test of a 215,000-mile second-generation Prius.

Few owners are having to replace battery packs either, but those that do don't mind so much.

"The money saved on gas has pretty much covered the cost of maintenance," said Prius owner Eileen Bowden to CR.

The cost of replacing a battery is no longer as expensive as it once was, either. Our own feature on Toyota hybrid battery replacement costs reveals that the battery for a first- or second-generation Prius is $2,299, after the 'core credit' cost of recycling the old pack has been deducted.

That's a lot in one hit, but considering the gas and maintenance savings over a decade or more of driving, plus the potential to carry on even longer with the new battery, and it doesn't seem quite as bad. That replacement pack will carry a warranty, too.

And the secret to the cars' longevity?

According to the owners, it's little different from making any other vehicle last. Ensure you buy a reliable model in the first place, drive it sympathetically, and always keep it well-maintained, sticking to the manufacturer's recommended schedule.

So unlike those Hummer vs. Hybrid studies, it seems that with careful use and proper maintenance, you'll be happy in your hybrid long after some other cars have expired.


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