The Earthf**ker is averaging ~ 12-14 MPG on the daily commute. Some days are better than others; some days I breeze into work in 40 minutes; other days it's closer to an hour. It's not the commute that's the issue; I knew what I was getting myself into, and honestly, with books on tape and other coping mechanisms (*g*) it's really not that bad. What's at issue is running through a tank of gas every week. Even with the lower gas prices in VA compared to MA, I'm still dropping a good hunk of change at the pump every week.
The hybrid looks very appealing given the around-town gas mileage (50 MPG? Sign me up!), however the price tag is just a little more than I want to spend. I might hold onto the truck another year or two and then see if I can't find a used model at a more reasonable price - that way, I also avoid the "new car" hit on taxes and insurance. I'm nowhere near as concerned about buying a used hybrid as I am a used light duty truck for hauling.
Another option is finding a teeny tiny commuter car, something along the lines of the Toyota Yaris or the Nissan Versa. These are about half the cost of the hybrids, don't have the batteries to contend with, and also have the same reliability. With the truck to trade in, a new econobox is quite within budget, and the upkeep on a small car is a lot better than a full size truck. The advantage to this option is that with the truck as a trade-in and some cash, I might be able to get into something new with no payments.
The last option is something in the mid-sized range, either the Altima, the Civic, or even the Mazda 3. These are still in my price range, albeit with a monthly payment (which, after two years free and clear, I'm a little reluctant to get back into). The advantages are more room inside, meaning that if we're heading up to MA for a long weekend, we can take the more economical car rather than the wife's SUV. Having something that's comfortable for road trips is appealing, and this is the range that has more creature comforts - certainly a consideration when I'll be spending ~ 2 hours a day in the vehicle.
I really don't want to get rid of the truck. It's paid off; still in good shape; low miles given that it's 7 years old. I like being able to haul stuff in the back; I like having the cap for things like camping; I like having 4WD for the occasional snowstorm. What I don't like, though, is seeing the gas pump roll over and over and over when I have to fill it up, and given the commute I have and the time I spend in traffic, is pretty much every week. If I could keep the truck and have a commuter car, too, that would be ideal; however from a practical standpoint, it's just not economically sensible.
Plus, if I still have the Dodge in three years, there's a good chance TheBoy is going to want it for his first car, and that *ain't* gonna happen...
That is all.