Hybrids are now very expensive to repair, but like all things, I am sure that as more are sold, the costs will come down. Batteries are thousands of dollars, and if you want to see some real high-priced repair nightmares, look up Prius stories on the net.
As for the jerking between shifting from gas to electric, only Ford has solved that issue. I drove the new Fusion hybrid, and you can't even tell when it switches modes. It is just incredibly smooth and quiet.
At this point I would not buy a hybrid, but I commend those who care enough about our dwindling energy reserves and global warming to spend a little extra up front. My current Fusion I-4 gets 36 mpg on the highway, and that is pretty good for a non-hybrid vehicle.
I owned a 2003 Honda Hybrid Civic... it was a great little car... got about 40-43 mpg... but then the CVT trans started acting up... It would jerk at very low speeds... and in Los Angeles, that's what you basically do to get to work... go very slow...
Complained about it to the Honda dealership for about a year... but they did nothing about it... traded it in and they hosed me down... got only 6000.00 for it... and 3 weeks later Honda issued a recall on them... for the CVT transmission... didn't help me... was a very good car if it didn't have the CVT trans problem.. fit and finish were very good... for a cheap car (bought it used for 11,999.00)... but had terrible resale value... wish I would have bought just a regular Honda Civic LX/EX model... would have saved a lot of money... and probably would be driving it today... especially now that gas is now at about 3.31 per gallon at the cheap gas stations here... live and learn...
Hybrids are not worth the extra money. They are for wealthy people who want to make a statement about the environment. You can get so many four cylinder cars that get just as good, or better fuel economy than a hybrid. You'll save thousands, too.
My friends have a Prius, they are not wealthy and they average 55 mpg on the highway. So what non-hybrid are you talking about that gets that kind of mileage? The old 1989 CRX-HF did it, but they discontinued that engine due to the higher amounts of emissions it produced. I am surprised Honda has not been able to duplicate those mileage figures on a non-hybrid since, with the advanced technologies we now have.
With conservative driving, my '08 Honda Civic regularly achieved 48-49 MPG on the highway. Now it's not 55 MPG I know, however my Civic only cost me a little over $16,000 brand new. A new Prius costs over $23,000.
Well, I'd have to actually see that to believe it. After all, Honda did have a class action suit against them over the hybrid Civic in 2007, as owners were claiming way below EPA ratings for mileage, and even the '08 Hybrid Civic isn't rated at 48 mpg highway. I'd think it more like 37 or maybe 38 mpg for highway mileage on a standard Civic. Even Honda only claims 34 mpg for AT models and 36 mpg for standard shift models. Why would they be 14 mpg under the actual highway mileage? Hardly a good way to sell a car as fuel efficient isn't it?
The Prius is rated at 51 mpg, so getting a few over would be a possibility given specific conditions and driving style. I find a 12-14 mpg difference between rated mileage and actual mileage pretty hard to believe. If you haven't actually filled it up, driven it, filled it up again and calculated mileage against gallons used, then how can you be sure? Going by the computer is an inaccurate assumption of actual mileage.