Back in the '80s and '90s, there were some ultra-efficient cars like the Suzuki Swift, Honda CRX and Honda Civic. I owned a VW Rabbit diesel that got 45 miles per gallon with my lead foot. All sold for under $15,000 and had real mileage ratings of 45 mpg or more. Even factoring in inflation, I'm curious why we have to pay an extra $5,000-$10,000 for hybrid technology to get the same mileage that a good old-fashioned, gas-only car was able to achieve 20 years ago. Please tell me why this is so. -- John
A retrospective email answered by the Car Talk guys.
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