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Worst-selling hybrids of Q1, 2009: CNET Top 5

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CNET Top 5: Worst-selling hybrids of Q1, 2009

3:13 /

Just because these cars are hybrids, doesn't mean they are going to sell like hotcakes.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Brian Cooley: Welcome to CNET Top Five where once in a while Tom Merritt allows me, Brian Cooley, to horn in as long as I don't do Top Five Reasons I Hate Space. So, we'll do this instead. Every damn thing is green these days, and a hybrid car is about the most obvious way to tell the world, yeah, I'm green. But that doesn't make every hybrid a home run. Here are the top five worst-selling hybrids Q1 of 2009. Number five, the rather absurd Chevy Silverado hybrid. Yeah, it's new on the market, has decent highway MPG, up to 22, but it also has a $39,000 base price. Now, unless gas goes to $10 a gallon, you're not going to make that back unless your daily commute takes you to the moon, twice a day. Maybe that's why only 122 people fell for, ah, bought one of these in all of Q1 '09. Number four, starting a patch of rough road for Lexus, their GS450H. It squeaked out just over a 100 copies in Q1. Now, the GS was the first hybrid that didn't really seek ultimate efficiency. Its hybridness [phonetic] is largely in pursuit of performance. In fact, it's the fastest GS made, but its highway MPG is only one mile per gallon better than the V8 car. It's an odd message, to say the least. Number three, the Lexus LS600HL. This is the hybrid version of the big Lex with a stretch wheelbase, available massage recliners in the back, and worst highway mileage than any of the non-hybrid LS cars, and it starts at $107,000. For that reason and others, chalk up just 80 copies that were sold to a small, guilty, civilritic [phonetic] bunch. ^M00:01:46 [sound of typewriter] [ Music ] ^M00:01:52 >> Brian Cooley: The number two worst-selling hybrid, Saturn Aura. Crappy aura around this one. Just 68 people bit in Q1. Might have something to do with the fact that GM has basically put Saturn out with the cat or the fact that Altima and Camry whip the Aura's lumpy ass on MPG. Or that it's really slow. Or that it isn't much of a bargain. Aside from that, great car. Now, before I regale you with the hybrid car you're least likely to see next to you at a stop light, take a look at the trend line for hybrid sales in the U.S. in general. Notice, they're on a down slope since 2007. That might surprise you if you've only heard the hype. And really, only three companies matter in hybrids: Toyota, Honda, and Ford. Between them, they have 88 percent of the market. OK. So what's the worst-selling hybrid through Q1 of 2009? It's the Mercury Milan hybrid. Now bear in mind, this car is a very late quarter introduction, so leaning on its sales figures at this point's a little unfair, but still, it only sold 49 copies. Just 12 percent as many as its identical sistership, the Ford Fusion hybrid, which came out at the same time. Well, that's it for another scintillating CNET Top Five. Check out our reviews on cars like this, and a whole bunch that make no pretense at being green over at cars.cnet.com. Thanks for watching. [ Music ]

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