Wired published an article that might make you think about the next vehicle you purchase. Worried about greenhouse gas emissions and global warming? Leaning towards a hybrid because they're better for the environment? Wired breaks down the emissions produced by building a hybrid car versus those emitted by a sensible used vehicle:
If a new Prius were placed head-to-head with a used car, would the Prius win? Don't bet on it. Making a Prius consumes 113 million BTUs, according to sustainability engineer Pablo Päster. A single gallon of gas contains about 113,000 Btus, so Toyota's green wonder guzzles the equivalent of 1,000 gallons before it clocks its first mile. A used car, on the other hand, starts with a significant advantage: The first owner has already paid off its carbon debt. Buy a decade-old Toyota Tercel, which gets a respectable 35 mpg, and the Prius will have to drive 100,000 miles to catch up.
We're quite fond of the Daihatsu Charade, which looks like an egg and gets great mileage.