By Jim Mateja, Chicago Tribune Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 11--QUESTION: Is a hybrid worth it? I'm interested in the hybrid Ford Escape, but question the added $4,000 cost.
If I drive 12,000 miles a year with gas at $1.60 a gallon, it's going to take at least 6.8 years to recover the cost.
If I drive 20,000 miles a year with gas at $2 a gallon, it would take only 3.3 years to recover the cost. Federal tax credits would help, but would be wiped out by the added sales tax on $4,000 as well as the added interest expense on that $4,000 over the life of the loan.
-- J.S., Crystal Lake
ANSWER: For starters, don't know where you got your numbers. There have been …