Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

I'd like to only hear from people who know about this stuff firsthand.

i'm seriously considering buying one for the dual purpose of saving the environment and saving money on fuel.

I'm interested in hearing personal experience on how these cars compare in the following areas:

1. MPG, of course.
2. Driveability
3. Maintenence
4. Other High Points
5. Disadvantages

I'm also curious to know if the price differential outweighs the gas consumption.

Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 09:43 AM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

Probably not what you want hear, but it works:

I choose to live less than two miles from work and I ride my bike.

When I was in college, I chose to live less than two miles away from class and I walked.

Free, fun, fast, and healthy.

I own a car but I only use when I need it (couple times a week, usually).
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

Price differential, today, outweighs gas consumption. OTOH if gas is $10 per gallon in a couple of years that might change.

I don't own one, but I ride Priuses all the time. I like them. The average stop-n-go gas mileage they usually show on their displays is 45-48MPG, which is far cry from the claimed "ideal" 60MPG, but it's still far, far better than 15MPG my GTI would get in this kind of driving environment.

My wife wants a hybrid Camry now. $5K price difference is like a kick in the nuts, though, so I'm hesitant so far.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 12:51 PM
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

I am in the car business, and there was a article written about the true cost of hybrid car compared to standard car. The example used was the Honda Civic and in order to justify the extra cost of a hybrid (in fuel savings), the owner would have to keep the car for 8 years to break even, and longer to actually start saving money. The problem with this is there is no long term data on the hybrid systems and how reliable or efficient they will be after 8+ years of use.

I understand the need for such technology, but as of right now, the cost greatly out weigh the fuel saving benefits. Buying a cleaner more fuel efficient car would make more sense (as of now) and be cheaper.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 01:05 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

Thing is if everone just looks at the issue like you noone will buy a hybrid, thus they will never get mainstream. One should get more tax benefits for buying one.

I do agree from a financial standpoint that it makes no sense. I drive a Diesel right now. Financially probably the best choice.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 01:09 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

A couple of years ago I was considering going the hybrid route, but when comparing the fuel savings to the additional cost for the first 100,000 miles, the hybrid was not economical until gas was somewhere over $5.00/gal. I decided to get a 2005 Honda Civic HX, which has a regular gasoline engine, with a standard transmission and I get 53 mpg highway, 48 mpg city/backroads. It's really a shame that Honda never advertised the HX model, and worse yet that they stopped production after 2005. Instead, they put out a pickup truck? That's a another story....

Anyways, if you can find an HX, I would highly recommend it.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

I live right next to Target so I could work there and shop there without driving hahaha jk, when my dad was getting a toyota highlander I tried to convince him to get the hybrid but we didn't have enough money. They are nice and save money in gas just when you need a car like that day and you can't pay for the extra 10k.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

I heard that after a few years the battery on those things goes out and it is incredibly expensive to replace.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

Find out what local tax refunds you get for owning a hybrid.
Might I suggest a Vespa? 80 MPG
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 02:45 PM
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragsternj View Post
Thing is if everone just looks at the issue like you noone will buy a hybrid, thus they will never get mainstream.
The real problem is that 99% of the world DOES look at the issue like him. That's why they aren't going mainstream. There needs to be benefits to owning them other than the warm and fuzzy feeling one gets from the knowledge that he is making the environment a little cleaner. Until then, the old "not in my backyard" rule applies. Or rather "Not in my driveway" as it were. If I want to give away money to feel good I'd give to the Make a Noise Foundation or something. I would have no problem owning one if there were some benefits to it.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 02:24 AM
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

That is not my point of view per say, but the mathematical facts of such a purchase. If America really wants better gas mileage, the start with your elected officials in Washington and the auto industry lobbyist.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 02:49 AM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

If I were to get a Hybrid, sure I would definitely care about the MPG, but I would primarily be buying it to help with the environment. Granted, one person isn't probably going to make a difference, but if more and more people catch on, then it would.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 08:28 AM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

The problem with these things is that arguments on both sides are skewed mostly by marketing mumbo-jumbo and politized ramblings, case in point: the whole Hummer is better (for the environment) than Prius bullcrap that was based upon incorrect assumptions and old data.

Another one that always comes up is battery life, warranty and all, AFAIK both Honda and Toyota provide comprehensive lifetime (10year) warranties, and have even begun to replace old batteries at no cost.

On the other hand I personally think the concept is flawed. The advantages of having an electrical motor on the side work best in start-stop traffic, exactly where the disadvantage of having +100kg of extra technology on board is most harmfull. The technology itself is very cool and works well (haven't personally tried it but my dad was impressed, he's a techhead and a petrolhead) In a GS450h the battery pack etc. reduces the boot to a rediculously small size. The start-stop advantages would be practical in taxi use, but the boot makes it unusable for that purpose.

In European conditions both the Prius and GS450h have been shown to be less efficient than Diesel powered European cars.

The GS450h was tested against both an Audi A6 4.2 (petrol V8 ) and a Mercedes E320cdi (6cyl biturbo Diesel) and lost to both in all aspects including consumption and refinement.

The Prius used more fuel and produced more CO_2 in direct comparison to a Citroën C4 HDi (4cyl turbo Diesel with particle filter)

The only reason they are being sold at all, is that they get tax brakes. IE A 10.000$ tax rebate in the Netherlands, or exemption from congestion tax in London.

Since you guys don't get Diesels (for now) and fuel pricing vs taxation is very different I won't comment on the economics, you'll have to do the math for yourself. Do know that for both ordinary petrol cars and hybrids, official fuel consuption figures are optimistic, not taking into account normal usage, airco etc. Some effects are more pronounced on smaller engines, others on larger engines. YMMV
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Strings View Post
I heard that after a few years the battery on those things goes out and it is incredibly expensive to replace.
For what it's worth, I've read an article recently stating that since introducing Prius half a decade ago Toyota has never replaced a hybrid car battery because of the wear. They're designed to last an incredibly long time.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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Re: Hybrid Cars - Anybody own/drive one?

BTW, my dream car is a diesel electric hybrid. Now that'd be a car to own.
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