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mirrodie
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Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:36 pm

I'm doing a bit of research on getting a new auto.

Right now, there area few top contenders. Among them is the Honda Pilot. Been reading about its engine and that it shuts of 3 cylinders when not needed, typically at cruising. Sounds like an interesting concept though i wonder how much more efficient that makes it.

We are also toying with a Toyota Hybrid, either new or 07 or 08. The issue here of course is the myth that surrounds those hybrid batteries.

And searching online is arduous as each source has its own bias. Some praising Hybrid batts, others knocking it.

I'm curious to see what REAL information is out there about hybrids.
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Daleaholic
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:44 pm

I can't comment on the cars... But people will always have a different opinion to one another. So to one person, the batteries may be good while to another person, they could be awful. If I were you, instead of just researching... Go and test drive the cars, see whether they'll let you have the car for 24 hours or so to really try it out...
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scrubbsywg
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:49 pm



Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 1):
I can't comment on the cars... But people will always have a different opinion to one another. So to one person, the batteries may be good while to another person, they could be awful. If I were you, instead of just researching... Go and test drive the cars, see whether they'll let you have the car for 24 hours or so to really try it out...

i think he is talking more about the life span of the batteries. Do they need to be replaced after like 5 years or is that a myth? Taking a car for a 24hr test drive will not tell him if he has a costly battery replacement 5-10 years down the road.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:07 pm

Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 3):
Taking a car for a 24hr test drive will not tell him if he has a costly battery replacement 5-10 years down the road.

The fact that said car will have a cute little "hybrid" badge on it is a guarantee he'll have to switch batteries at some point. And they're not cheap.

[Edited 2009-06-27 13:11:25]
 
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:43 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
The fact that said car will have a cute little "hybrid" badge on it is a guarantee he'll have to switch batteries at some point. And they're not cheap.

I have heard that the batteries can range up $7000. I have been to some service training for Toyota and Ford Hybrids and I didn't like what I saw in terms of repair costs over the long term. The batteries are a huge factor. Depending on how well you take car of an engine you can get hundreds of thousands of miles out of it. I have owned several cars with over 200,000 miles on the original engine. No matter how well you maintain your car you will still have to replace the batteries. Every dime you saved in gas will go back into the battery replacement, but all at one time so be ready for it. If you think you are saving the planet you will have a huge battery that must be disposed of and a new battery must be manufactured someplace so you just moved your carbon footprint from one place to another.

Hybrids may be ok for short term ownership (3-5 years), but if you plan on keeping it for a long time I would go with a traditional power train.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 2):
The real info is that diesels are better,

That is very true. There are diesels that get great mileage. There are also some gas engines that are great too. I know the Chevy Aveo gets great mpg. I had a 2007 Chrysler Sebring and got as high as 37mpg on the highway, which is way better than the advertised mpg. My 2008 Lincoln Town car averages 20 around town and 28 on the highway. I have even got as high as 31mpg on the highway. That isn't bad for a big car.

Hybrids seem to be a good choice for people driving a lot in the city, where there is lots of stop and go driving. If you drive a lot at highway speeds the hybrid system is useless because it will not get used much. Also in cold weather they may not be all that good. I know some models will not run on the battery at all when the rear defroster is on. Where I live that would be a big draw back.

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
Been reading about its engine and that it shuts of 3 cylinders when not needed, typically at cruising. Sounds like an interesting concept though i wonder how much more efficient that makes it.

That type of technology has been around for years. GM tried it back in 1981 and the computer systems were not fast enough to make it reliable. Chrysler has been using it for several years now and there hasn't been much trouble with it. It is rather simple to do with a modern computer system. You would just need to shut off the fuel injectors to what ever cylinders you needed to shut down. So what ever amount of fuel that would be used by those cylinders at cruising speed would no longer be used. The cylinders shut down would be set in such a pattern that the engine miss would not cause any odd vibration.
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aloha73g
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:56 pm

My aunt purchased one of the original Toyota Prius's back in 2001?? Anyway, she has had no problems as far as a "major" battery replacement. The car has been driven all over California and has been shipped to and from Hawaii twice (it spent a year on Maui and 2 years on O'ahu).

Its a great little car and has been "hassle free" in the usual Toyota way.

The honest to god truth is that no one really knows the long term costs of any hybrid because they ahven't around long enough to examine the true 10-15-20 year costs of ownership (i.e. battery replacement).

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VonRichtofen
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:15 pm

What about the environmental cost of the manufacture of the batteries and then shipment around the world to the factories? I heard it pretty much negates any carbon savings.


Diesels are better anyway, you get a car you can actually use and isn't a limp noodle to drive.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:27 pm

Another thing to keep in mind with hybrids is that you HAVE to change your driving style. There's no way in hell you're gonna get the EPA ratings a hybrid is supposed to if you drive it like a normal gas or diesel car. You want to coast as much as possible (regardless of the car having regenerative braking or not), they're useless on the interstates (you're never gonna recharge the batteries) , the batteries are heavy and compromise handling, etc etc etc

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 5):
I know the Chevy Aveo gets great mpg.

Oh god I HATE HATE HATE that car!  vomit   yuck . I had the misfortune of being stuck with a rental one for 10 days when my car's transmission exploded. The MPG rating can't make up for the fact that its the worst POS ever! Built like crap, handled like crap, noisier than hell, I could go on and on...

I mean heck its just a re-badged Daewoo. I've never liked Korean cars. Every one of them I've been into has always resulted in a repulsive experience. Who cares if there's a lifetime warranty on the drive train with a mileage limit from here to Jupiter if the interior is as comfortable and poorly built as a rusty old tool shed and they handle like a 3 year old's trycicle. I rather have a grocery cart for a daily driver than a Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo, etc..

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 5):
There are diesels that get great mileage.

Hell, most diesels get equal if not better mileage than the Hybrids.

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 8):
Diesels are better anyway, you get a car you can actually use and isn't a limp noodle to drive.

Precisely. The Jetta TDI is a great example. Awesome handling, excellent build quality, nice and smooth but very torquey diesel engine.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:33 pm



Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 8):
What about the environmental cost of the manufacture of the batteries and then shipment around the world to the factories? I heard it pretty much negates any carbon savings.

I think that most people that buy hybrids for the "green" thing don't really stop to think about that kind of thing. I love when I see the electric buses in San Francisco that say "zero emission vehicle". That means nothing because sure the bus puts out no emissions, but the electricity used to make it run sure does.

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 8):
Diesels are better anyway, you get a car you can actually use and isn't a limp noodle to drive.

For sure. Diesels last a long time too. My diesel Mercedes-Benzs had over 200,000 miles on them and they ran great. Newer diesels have great performance too. The new MB E class diesels have better mpg and 0-60 times than the gas version of the car.

Quoting Aloha73g (Reply 6):
The car has been driven all over California and has been shipped to and from Hawaii twice (it spent a year on Maui and 2 years on O'ahu).

That is the thing with Hybrids. If that car wasn't used all that much in town and spent a lot of time on the highway the batteries were used much less than somebody who drove it only in the city.

Quoting Aloha73g (Reply 6):
The honest to god truth is that no one really knows the long term costs of any hybrid because they ahven't around long enough to examine the true 10-15-20 year costs of ownership (i.e. battery replacement).

That is very true. I would bet that there will be reliability issues when they get old, that has been the case for just about all cutting edge automotive technology. Repairability may be an issue too as these cars age. How long will manufacturers continue to support them once a better way to save fuel is thought up? I have always seen Hybrids as a novelty of the time. There are traditional power train cars that get better fuel economy and they will only get better.

Hybrid technology really works great on large vehicles. Making a car the size of a Toyota Prius that gets good fuel economy is not all that hard. If this technology works so well at saving fuel why have we not seen it in Toyota's trucks? For the size of the vehicle GM's full size SUV hybrids get a bigger percentage mpg increase compared to a small car.
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mirrodie
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:02 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
And searching online is arduous as each source has its own bias. Some praising Hybrid batts, others knocking it.

I'm curious to see what REAL information is out there about hybrids.

Why dont we actually try to stay on topic?

This thread is about dispelling myths about hybrid batteries, trying to gain accurate info instead of the usual, " hear they cost $5000 and last 5 years."


WHile we've toyed with the idea, for the autos we are looking at, I can't justify the premium of buying a hybrid for the only slightly higher MPG gained.

The SUVS we've looks at are about 16/24 MPG vs 22/27 MPG in the hybrid SUV. Not a huge increase.

If people here don;t know the facts about Hybrid batteries, that is fine. But this isnt a thread asking for tips on what to buy. I love a diesel engine, esp in a Ford!, but I dont think many great options exist right now.
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BMI727
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:50 am



Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 6):
Diesels are better anyway, you get a car you can actually use and isn't a limp noodle to drive.

Beat me to it. Diesels are way better. Not to mention that a thousand pounds of Lithium ion deadweight does wonders for fuel economy.  Yeah sure

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 7):
Hell, most diesels get equal if not better mileage than the Hybrids.

Yeah, but diesels don't give that warm and fuzzy feeling that you are a better person than the rest of us.  Yeah sure
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jcs17
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:02 am

I worked in corporate and government sales for Toyota. If you're going to get a hybrid, get a Prius. I never understood, aside from space demands, why anyone would waste their time with a Camry or Highlander hybrid. With the larger hybrid automobiles, it's a very negligible difference in fuel economy. The Prius has very surprising jump and is still very comfortable doing long highway drives. It's also a Toyota, so the fit-and-finish you know is top notch, even better than the Insight actually.
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:52 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 9):
This thread is about dispelling myths about hybrid batteries, trying to gain accurate info instead of the usual, " hear they cost $5000 and last 5 years."

I was at a conference a few years ago and was told by an Insight owner that his batteries lasted six years and it cost him $7700 to replace them. He was going on and on about how he was outraged. He figured his fuel savings over six years didn't come close to $7700. He had a 1st generation Honda Insight. I don't know if the batteries have become cheaper over time. A couple of years ago when I was at a Ford training seminar for the Escape I was told that a new battery pack would cost around $5000. At the Toyota training event I was at, in 2005) we were not told how much the Prius battery would cost. When several techs asked, we were told that information was not available yet. This was a new model training event so the retail price for the newest battery may not have been set at that time. Previous batteries were in the $5000-$6000 range.

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 11):
It's also a Toyota, so the fit-and-finish you know is top notch

Toyota builds a nice car.
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PC12Fan
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:12 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):

As with everything else in these kind of categories, just do a little research and you'll find that the claims are a bunch of hogwash.

http://priuschat.com/forums/?s=84b854ddd2b0dc9b19581acdc7ebcb21

http://www.google.com/search?client=...en&q=prius+myths&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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aerobalance
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:27 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 9):
The SUVS we've looks at are about 16/24 MPG vs 22/27 MPG in the hybrid SUV. Not a huge increase.

What's your estimated percentage of city/highway driving going to be?
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max550
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:12 am



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 12):
I was at a conference a few years ago and was told by an Insight owner that his batteries lasted six years and it cost him $7700 to replace them. He was going on and on about how he was outraged. He figured his fuel savings over six years didn't come close to $7700. He had a 1st generation Honda Insight. I don't know if the batteries have become cheaper over time. A couple of years ago when I was at a Ford training seminar for the Escape I was told that a new battery pack would cost around $5000. At the Toyota training event I was at, in 2005) we were not told how much the Prius battery would cost. When several techs asked, we were told that information was not available yet. This was a new model training event so the retail price for the newest battery may not have been set at that time. Previous batteries were in the $5000-$6000 range.

I'm not a big fan of hybrids, but I have to take issue with a few things here. Honda will replace the batteries in a first generation Insight up to 10 yrs/150,000 miles. After that it costs $1,968 (it's 120 D-cell batteries) plus about $900 for installation. The Prius battery costs a bit more ($2,299), but there are enough of them around that you can pick up a battery out of a wrecked one for under $500. Honda says that out of the 100,000 they have sold, fewer than 200 batteries have failed after the warranty period.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:23 pm



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
but diesels don't give that warm and fuzzy feeling that you are a better person than the rest of us.

 Silly

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 11):
long highway drives.

An area in which the few advantages of a hybrid turn into major disadvantages.

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 11):
so the fit-and-finish you know is top notch

Not for my standards.  no 

Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 9):
I can't justify the premium of buying a hybrid for the only slightly higher MPG gained.

So you want to talk about hybrids yet you already singled them out?  Confused
 
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:04 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 7):
Oh god I HATE HATE HATE that car! vomit yuck . I had the misfortune of being stuck with a rental one for 10 days when my car's transmission exploded. The MPG rating can't make up for the fact that its the worst POS ever! Built like crap, handled like crap, noisier than hell, I could go on and on...

I mean heck its just a re-badged Daewoo

I don't like it either. I have never seen a car from Korea I would want to own. But it is an example of a high mpg car that is cheap.

Quoting Max550 (Reply 15):
I'm not a big fan of hybrids, but I have to take issue with a few things here. Honda will replace the batteries in a first generation Insight up to 10 yrs/150,000 miles. After that it costs $1,968 (it's 120 D-cell batteries) plus about $900 for installation. The Prius battery costs a bit more ($2,299), but there are enough of them around that you can pick up a battery out of a wrecked one for under $500. Honda says that out of the 100,000 they have sold, fewer than 200 batteries have failed after the warranty period.

The prices have come down a lot then. I expected that considering that happens with all technology. Keep in mind that at a tech service training seminar they will never say anything about used parts. The 120 D cell battery thing is true, but there is a lot more in there than a bunch of batteries. Ford's battery has a cooling unit and a bunch of circuitry. The $5000 quoted at the ford service training was way more than the cost of all the Sanyo batteries in there. I was thinking about how in a few years there will be rednecks taking the thing apart and soldering in new batteries from the hardware store.

The Honda battery price told to me by the owner was during 2006 and would be before the new price levels of 2008.

I have worked in the automobile warranty business and I would never believe anything a car company says about thing failing outside of the warranty period. How many Insights have they sold? 200 may be a very high number. If it is calculated out of 100,000 units the 200 hundred number isn't as low as it sounds. Honda would also only know about cars that had batteries replaced through the dealer and were ordered from Honda. Used battery installations by the customer or an independent shop Honda would have no knowledge.
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Thumper
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:06 pm

Just drove a Toyota Prius on a test drive. Handled pretty good.It was also pretty well equipped,all leather,lumbar heated seats. The battery was warrented for 10 years so I would not worry about that. Going to check out a few others but the Prius really surprised me.
 
ONTFlyer
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:55 pm



Quoting Thumper (Reply 18):


Check out the Ford Fusion Hybrid and you'll REALLY be surprised!
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Jetsgo
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:03 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 17):
I have never seen a car from Korea I would want to own.

Better check out the new Hyundai's then.

Quoting Thumper (Reply 18):



Quoting ONTFlyer (Reply 19):

Bah, forget the Hybrids both of you. Check out the Jetta TDI. Diesel is where it's at.
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:38 pm

Quoting Thumper (Reply 18):
Handled pretty good.

       

I mean sure, if you compare it to the handling of a wheelbarrow, you're right.

That's my no. 1 complaint from it aside from all the useless hype that goes with the car. I'm a huge gearhead and I've driven MANY different cars. The Prius has to be on the very bottom of my list when it comes to handling. The only ones that make it to the top of my list, are all German, which is a no-brainer.

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 20):

Better check out the new Hyundai's then.

I'm sure he's talking about the new ones as well. I sure as hell am.   

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 20):
Bah, forget the Hybrids both of you.

Seriously. If you don't think the Jetta TDI is any better, then you have some serous issues      

[Edited 2009-06-28 15:40:05]
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:48 pm

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 21):
I'm sure he's talking about the new ones as well. I sure as hell am.

To each his own. I own an 07 Elantra and it's a great vehicle. The new Hyundai's aren't the ones of yesteryear. They get excellent reviews across the board. I highly recommend them to anyone looking at new vehicles.

[Edited 2009-06-28 15:50:05]
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ikramerica
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:18 am

Okay, my mom HAS a Highlander Hybrid. My sister has a Pilot. So I can give you some real information, having driven both myself and ridden in both a lot.

The Toyota is a great vehicle. It is better all around than my sister's Pilot. Just my opinion. This is a highlander hybrid "limited" vs. a pilot with leather. These are both the previous generations, but both have improved, and the new highlander is still better, in my subjective opinion. Haven driven a regular, non-limited highlander V6, the pilot is better, but the hybrid limited is just a much better ride all around.

Now, in terms of mileage: the Toyota gets double the mileage most of the time compared to the Pilot. My sister got the Pilot partly because it was supposed to have better mileage than a lot of it's non-hybrid competition, but it doesn't. She used to have an Explorer, and the mileage of the Pilot is no better. That Toyata advantage goes to closer to zero on long highway drives where the Pilot finally breaks 20MPG, but there is still an advantage on teh highway with a hybrid. Hybrids also get better mileage in dry climates and in winter time because the AC doesn't have to run as much or at all. So expect a 2-3 mpg drop in a humid summer. In a normal car, that is more like 1 mpg in my long experience.

You can get even better mileage if you "drive different" but that is true of all cars. If all cars had a cool little efficiency game it would change the way people drive.

but you don't have to change your driving to see an improvement. The highlander still gets between 24 and 26 mpg if you drive like a lead foot. I like to try both and see. It's fun to see how things change. The way my Mom drives, which again, hasn't changed much, just she is a light foot, she averages 25-28 depending on the season.

The BATTERIES: my Mom had to have her batteries replaced because the car died one day. When it dies, it DIES. No power at all. She was under warranty, it took only a few hours, and the car was good as new before the end of the day, but I would be worried too if I planned on keeping the car longer than the warranty period. I'd look into an extended warranty just for this.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 7):
Another thing to keep in mind with hybrids is that you HAVE to change your driving style. There's no way in hell you're gonna get the EPA ratings a hybrid is supposed to if you drive it like a normal gas or diesel car. You want to coast as much as possible (regardless of the car having regenerative braking or not), they're useless on the interstates (you're never gonna recharge the batteries) , the batteries are heavy and compromise handling, etc etc etc

They are not at all useless on the interstate. That's a falsehood. The highlander hybrid is still more efficient than the highlander V6 under all conditions, highway or around town. It is more efficient than the highlander 4-cyl in most situations, not in every one, but the hybrid gives the power and performance of the V6, while the 4 is underpowered, rough and not worth owning (at least to me).

My experience with a rented Prius (second gen) was that it got nearly 50MPG on the highway, driving at 75 MPH florida speeds for 60 miles, and about the same around "town" which has a lot of 30-50 mph roads. I didn't alter my driving style at all because I wanted to get a real world test with the Prius rental. It was far better than I expected, and I liked it as a car, not just as a toy. But I'm still used to the way German cars drive, so I was not sold enough to get a Prius...  Wink

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 16):
An area in which the few advantages of a hybrid turn into major disadvantages.

In my hybrid experience, there are no situations where the hybrid has "major disadvantages" and gets worse mileage than the same model in non-hybrid form. Zero. There are situations where there is a slim advantage at best, but that's still better. Up steep hills is one, but regular vehicles also don't get good mileage up hill...

That said, I don't believe that the hybrids are generally worth it right now for most vehicle models. They cost more to buy due to demand and markup and you won't make it back compared to a turbo-4 or diesel unless you drive almost 20k a year for many years. In SUV form, they make more of a difference, so it depends on how you drive.

The best solution is a plug-in hybrid "type 2" where the engine never drives the wheels, there is far more battery storage, you can choose to charge it at night, and the engine (diesel is the best choice) runs as a generator to provide power at it's most efficient speed, then shuts off, while the motors drive the wheels. That type of vehicle gets way better mileage than even a Prius, but so far, due to various laws and prejudices about the technology from all quarters that have been in place for nearly 20 years, we are stuck with "type 1" hybrids, and larger gas engines not used in the most efficient way.
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:16 am



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):

My experience with a rented Prius (second gen) was that it got nearly 50MPG on the highway, driving at 75 MPH florida speeds for 60 miles,

60 miles isn't much. It's the longer, 300mi+ trips with no speed changes and therefore no real charging time for the batteries where the MPGs start to drop.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):

and gets worse mileage than the same model in non-hybrid form.

By disadvantages I was going more towards compromised driving dynamics, relatively poor performance, higher costs, etc...

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):
But I'm still used to the way German cars drive, so I was not sold enough to get a Prius... Wink

OK OK you redeemed yourself right there. Big grin

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):

The best solution is a plug-in hybrid "type 2" where the engine never drives the wheels, there is far more battery storage, you can choose to charge it at night, and the engine (diesel is the best choice) runs as a generator to provide power at it's most efficient speed, then shuts off, while the motors drive the wheels.

This type of hybrid I actually agree with, because in reality it's not really a hybrid, it's more of an electric car. It'd be akin to diesel-electric trains. Volvo and VW have been experimenting with these powerplants and have achieved upwards of 100MPG. Quite impressive.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:40 am

The reason why hybrids up till now have been the rage in the USA is simple: they easily meet the most stringent emissions standard in the world, the CARB SULEV and AT-PZEV standards. Even with urea gas injection in the exhaust stream, diesel engines can only meet the less stringent CARB LEV-II standard.

However, recent work by Ricardo UK could mean turbodiesel engines could finally meet the CARB SULEV or AT-PZEV standards within a year or so without the need for an expensive urea gas injection system in the exhaust stream. That could open the way for Ford, Fiat/Chrysler and GM to offer cleaner versions of their excellent turbodiesel engines now on sale in Europe, and that could mean Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen could offer turbodiesel engines on almost every model now available in the USA or planned for the American market.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:35 am



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 25):
The reason why hybrids up till now have been the rage in the USA is simple: they easily meet the most stringent emissions standard in the world, the CARB SULEV and AT-PZEV standards.

I beg to differ. I'm willing to bet 90% of Prius owners have no idea what those acronyms stand for. It's not like they walk up to a Toyota dealer saying to the salesman, "I need a car that meets SULEV standards".

They sale because they're "cool" and "green" and "trendy" and "eco-friendly" and because of a bunch other stupid cute little words  banghead 
 
mirrodie
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:57 am



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 12):
This was a new model training event so the retail price for the newest battery may not have been set at that time. Previous batteries were in the $5000-$6000 range.

SO you are hearing about ~$5K for a new battery too.

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 13):
just do a little research and you'll find that the claims are a bunch of hogwash.

Honestly, I think sites like that are a bit biased, no? Claims of what are hogwash?

Quoting Aerobalance (Reply 14):
What's your estimated percentage of city/highway driving going to be?

40%highway, rest is city.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 16):
So you want to talk about hybrids yet you already singled them out?  

Im trying to see if anyone has accurate info!
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ikramerica
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:15 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 24):
60 miles isn't much. It's the longer, 300mi+ trips with no speed changes and therefore no real charging time for the batteries where the MPGs start to drop.

And? That's hardly the typical drive for anyone. And even then, the hybrid does not get worse mileage than a similarly powered cars on such trips, just not better.

Most driving is not done on 300+ mile trips. 60 non-stop highway miles and less.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 25):
diesel engines can only meet the less stringent CARB LEV-II standard.

Yes, but this is all a "moving target" standard specifically manipulated to defeat diesel in the USA, as it is only ONE pollutant, SOx, that fails to meet the super strict standards set by the CARB for passenger automobiles. It meets and exceeds the standards for the other pollutants in spades, and of course, even produces less CO2 per mile (as if that actually matters).

And every time the diesel tech meets the current SOx CARB standard, the CARB morons just decide to move the SOx target again to counter that achievement, which means that it's expensive for diesel manufacturers to sell products in the USA because the car is legal one year, then not the next, then they rework it to make it legal again, then it's PURPOSELY made illegal again, etc. It allows the old "dirty" bias against the diesel that many have based on old tech to be reinforced despite not being true, because most people don't get a chance to buy one before they are again banned for being "too polluting." And now that so many states have stupidly signed on to do "whatever California decides" it just makes it hard to sell diesels in the USA.

The CARB is a sham organization with political motives rather than environmental ones. If they truly cared about the environment, they would focus on cleaning up older cars, advocating tiered registration fees based on pollution, things like that.
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:45 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 27):
SO you are hearing about ~$5K for a new battery too.

I don't know. At the time the Toyota people were not telling us a price for the new battery, just some techs were talking about previous generations of the battery. I don't really know what the new battery would cost. I rarely work on Japanese cars so I don't go to very many training session for them. I can't Fault Toyota for not saying how much a new battery was at the time because it is common in the industry to not have all service parts retail pricing before a new model come out. I have no doubt that the new battery was cheaper than the older models and better too. The Ford people did say their battery was to be around $5000, but that was also back in 2006 and that information may have changed since then. There is a lot more to the battery than just a battery. The other thing I don't like about Hybrids are that they are complicated. All cars are complicated, but with a hybrid you add an extra system into the mix and that makes things weird and expensive to fix.

I look at cars differently than most people. You will find a lot of mechanics that look at cars in the sense of what they will be in 10-15 years. Initial quality doesn't mean squat. A lot of people will look at a car like a Ford Taurus and say it is junk, but you see a lot of old ones running around because parts are cheap and plentiful. I don't see a lot of older more expensive Japanese cars because they may run a long time, but when they do finally get old the parts are very expensive and can be hard to find in many parts of the country. I see more 20 year old Civics than I see than I see 10 year old Odysseys. That is the true measure of a car for me. How many do I see in 10-20 years. Everyone always talked about how full size GM cars from the 80s were horrible. You can't drive down a street in many parts of the country without seeing 1980s full size GM cars. I see more of those than 1980s Hondas. The parts for the GMs were cheap and the car was easy to fix. So in the long run it was really a better car.

I have a lot of friends who work in the industry, for a variety of manufacturers and they will tell you that every car builder builds some junk every now and then.

I don't know if hybrids will really be the winner as far as technology goes. If Hybrids disappear because a more efficient car come about I think that we will see none of them in 10-20 years.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 26):
They sale because they're "cool" and "green" and "trendy" and "eco-friendly" and because of a bunch other stupid cute little words banghead

Just like all the city dwellers that had to have huge SUV and pickups back in 1998. I used to laugh at all the off road junk that would be on some huge 4x4s that never went off road. My buddies with 20 year old junk had more capable trucks. Most new 4x4s are not tough on the trail like a an old solid axle 75 3/4 tom GMC would be.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 25):
The reason why hybrids up till now have been the rage in the USA is simple: they easily meet the most stringent emissions standard in the world

I doubt most people that buy any car in this country care that much about its emission output. Watch car ads on TV and they are usually about:

Sex appeal
being manly or womanly
speed
utility
economy
cost of ownership

I for one buy cars for utility and cost of ownership. I want to know if the car will be easy to service and parts are easy/cheap to get. I also want to know if it will meet my needs for a vehicle. I could care less about emissions and so does every single person I know. In Michigan we don't even have inspection (of any kind) so it really isn't something that is on the minds of a lot of people. When I lived in St. Louis we had to go and have emission inspection every year and it was something that people thought about and talked about because it came up in our lives. In Michigan we just remove emission control devices when one fails or gives us trouble. I can't tell you how many catalytic converters and smog pumps I have removed and thrown in the scrap bucket.

I have not seen many, if any, car ads touting its emissions.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 25):
That could open the way for Ford, Fiat/Chrysler and GM to offer cleaner versions of their excellent turbodiesel engines now on sale in Europe, and that could mean Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen could offer turbodiesel engines on almost every model now available in the USA or planned for the American market.

BMW and Mercedes could also start selling a lot of their European models in the USA and they would be doing great on the CAFE standards, but they won't do it. If we had a bunch of A and B class MBs running around the snob appeal would be gone. There was serious question about the C class (especially the C230) knocking MB down a peg in the US. There was a report on WWJ in Detroit that only BMW has failed to meet US CAFE standard on multiple occasions. No US or Asian car builder has never not met the standard. BMW continues to pay fines to the US government. Volkswagon could get away with selling some more European models here, but I doubt we will see anything from MB or BMW.
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ONTFlyer
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:54 am



Quoting JetsGo (Reply 20):
Bah, forget the Hybrids both of you. Check out the Jetta TDI. Diesel is where it's at.



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 21):
Seriously. If you don't think the Jetta TDI is any better, then you have some serous issues

Well since I have had my Fusion hybrid for about a month now I can say there's no way in hell I'd ever trade it for a Jetta TDI. And nah...I don't have serious issues. I want a car that's reliable, gets great MPG, an interior that doesn;t look cheap, and comes with all the gadgets I could ever want in a car.

Oh and since there's only one gas station near me that sells diesel I'd rather not be that limited in my choices =)
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:11 am

Quoting ONTFlyer (Reply 30):
I want a car that's reliable

Ford is a good choice. I have good friend who is a service writer at a VW dealer and he loves that the cars are so unreliable because he makes money off of each high dollar sale. Every repair is expensive for the most part. Only at the Saab dealer did he make more on service commissions . VWs quality has gone down a lot. I have a friend who loves VWs and has had several of them. She complains about the cost of repairs and the frequency of them. However she says that VW makes great cars. I don't get that! How can a car be good but require expensive service all the time? My cousin had one of those "new Beatles" and he was always having that thing fixed at the tune of at least $1000 each time. He sold it and bought a KIA two years ago (I would rather have the VW) and has not had a single problem.


That thing about diesel fuel availability can be a real issue in some places. I used to have a Mercedes-Benz diesel. Around my house in metro Detroit I have diesel at every filling station, so filling it up was no problem. However when I would go to visit my mom and dad's house in suburban St. Louis I would have to drive eight miles to find a station that had diesel. I live in a rather industrial area and there are lots of diesel vehicles around, but mom and dad live in a more affluent area and diesel is tough to find.

[Edited 2009-06-28 22:15:46]
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RayChuang
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:24 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 26):
I'm willing to bet 90% of Prius owners have no idea what those acronyms stand for. It's not like they walk up to a Toyota dealer saying to the salesman, "I need a car that meets SULEV standards".

I beg to disagree here! The SULEV or AT-PZEV certification sticker is often prominently seen on the windows of new Prius cars I've seen on car lots.

Since the upcoming EPA emission regulations will now officially be 50-state regulations, this actually makes it easier for US certification of turbodiesel cars, since you only need to certify the car once to be legal in all 50 states. With the work Ricardo UK has done in the last three years and the increased fuel efficiency mandates, we WILL see a lot more turbodiesel cars in the USA. I expect BMW for starters to offer their 3.0-liter turbodiesel in 265 bhp (3-Series and X3) and circa 295 bhp (5-Series, 7-Series, X5 and 5-Series Grand Turismo) forms, and may offer their twin-turbo 2.0-liter turbodiesel in circa 190 bhp form (1-Series coupe, X1 and 3-Series).
 
PC12Fan
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:38 pm

Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 27):
Honestly, I think sites like that are a bit biased, no?

There are other sites/media that have covered stories like this. Like I said, a little research goes a long way.

http://www.google.com/search?client=...en&q=prius+myths&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

[Edited 2009-06-29 05:41:11]
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DocLightning
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:07 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 16):

An area in which the few advantages of a hybrid turn into major disadvantages.

Another myth. My 2010 Prius averages almost 60 MPG on the highway. In spite of what Toyota says, my mileage goes WAY up on the highway.
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:13 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
My 2010 Prius averages almost 60 MPG on the highway. In spite of what Toyota says, my mileage goes WAY up on the highway.

A few years ago the government changed the way the mpg was calculated. They changed it so it would be more inline with what the average driver would experience. I always thought that was dumb. We should educate drivers on how to get the the best mileage. That way they can choose to get the best mileage or not.

I get 27 to 31 mpg on the high way with my Lincoln Town Car. I used to have a Grand Marquis and I would ge the same. Those figures were way over the figures shown on the window sticker. I could get 37mpg on the highway with my Chrysler Sebring, which was also higher than the advertised mpg.

Most cars can get better mph than indicated on the window sticker, but you have to drive within reason, such as easy starts and easy acceleration. I used to have a Cadillac Fleetwood that a mpg light. It would glow orange for poor mpg and green for good. It was basically a vacuum gauge with a light. I would try to play a game with my my self to see if I could get the green light to come on during a acceleration from a stop. If I went really slow I could do it.
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luv2cattlecall
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:26 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):

That type of technology has been around for years. GM tried it back in 1981 and the computer systems were not fast enough to make it reliable. Chrysler has been using it for several years now and there hasn't been much trouble with it. It is rather simple to do with a modern computer system. You would just need to shut off the fuel injectors to what ever cylinders you needed to shut down. So what ever amount of fuel that would be used by those cylinders at cruising speed would no longer be used. The cylinders shut down would be set in such a pattern that the engine miss would not cause any odd vibration.

Actually, the engines vibrate like hell and make a loud rumbling noise! The miracle is in the active engine mounts and active noise cancellation system pumped through the radio (think Bose headphones or the Q400). We pulled the fuse for the audio system in an Odyssey we were borrowing and it's stunning how much noise the ANC system removes!

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 21):

That's my no. 1 complaint from it aside from all the useless hype that goes with the car. I'm a huge gearhead and I've driven MANY different cars. The Prius has to be on the very bottom of my list when it comes to handling. The only ones that make it to the top of my list, are all German, which is a no-brainer.

Couldn't agree more. It's like permanent engine braking x 2, plus handling so sloppy it makes a Buick feel like a Bimmer.
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:10 pm



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 36):
Actually, the engines vibrate like hell and make a loud rumbling noise!

Nothing like the older engines like this. The Cadillacs of 1981 really ran rough, they would also burn valves. Anytime you have an engine miss you will have vibration, but if you make the miss on the correct cylinders you can reduce the vibration a lot.
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:26 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 29):

Just like all the city dwellers that had to have huge SUV and pickups back in 1998.

Still no different today, sadly.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 32):
The SULEV or AT-PZEV certification sticker is often prominently seen on the windows of new Prius cars I've seen on car lots.

That's like saying people actually read the prominent red or yellow airbag, tire pressure, radiator fan, and all those other warnings spread all over the car. Hell the average Joe just couldn't be bothered to read those things.

Several times I've pointed out to friends that their tires are low and ask them if they know what pressure they should be at. They (the non-gearheads at least) always give me a blank stare or think "oh about 30 will do"  banghead  I always say, for freaks sake, would it kill them to read their instruction manuals or the placards and memorize a two digit number? Not doing so could very well kill them one day. Seen it happen.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:21 pm



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 35):
A few years ago the government changed the way the mpg was calculated. They changed it so it would be more inline with what the average driver would experience. I always thought that was dumb. We should educate drivers on how to get the the best mileage. That way they can choose to get the best mileage or not.

Yes, but it's also based on driving the car on a dyno under a set pattern.

What has happened is that the Japanese makers have found a way to "game" the system and their V6 engines get higher ratings than they deserve. The Germans began to figure this out too. It involves timing and ratios that boost efficiency in narrow bands that just happen to be the bands that the preset program operates at. We are talking MPG here of course, because the pollutants are measured via a tailpipe collection devise and can't be fooled.

They do this because they have higher margins on the V6 cars. They charge thousands more for them when the cost to provide a V6 over a 4-cylinder is nominal. They also often group luxury items with V6s. But they want to meet CAFE standards and they want the consumer to make the choice of "slightly worse" mileage over the 4-cyl, so they have to fudge things somehow.

But in the real world, if you get the V6, it won't get what the EPA says, and if you get the 4-cylinder, even turbos, they meet or exceed the EPA rating. The difference is striking. Even a turbo/supercharged 4-cyl that puts out more power than a comparable V6 gets better mileage in the same car, for the most part. VW and Mercedes demonstrated this for years.

The hybrids actually meet or exceed the EPA ratings they are given as well, because it's far more difficult to game the system with the hybrid.

But at least it's not as bad as the British MPG ratings, which have no basis in reality. The same exact car sold in the UK that is tested by the EPA gets far lower ratings, diesel or no diesel.
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aerobalance
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:08 pm



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 39):
What has happened is that the Japanese makers have found a way to "game" the system and their V6 engines get higher ratings than they deserve. The Germans began to figure this out too.

 redflag  I'm saying BS, where did you get this from? Being an owner of a 2008 Lexus ES350, which is rated at 19 city/27 highway, I've recorded (based on a 16 gallon fuel fill) a low of 21 mpg which was 100% city driving with speeds no higher than 40 mph, to a high, multiple times, of 30-32 mpg of pure interstate driving. My average mileage is roughly 24-25 mpg and that's with a driving bias of 70% city/30% highway. Japanese products are notorious for getting much BETTER than what they are rated at - even after the new ratings procedures were used in 2008! Where did you get your info. from?

My 2008 BMW 335cic is rated at 17 city/26 highway and it's get that. Tankful mileage for me is 21mpg on a 60%city/40% highway driving ratio.
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planewasted
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:18 pm

Why don't someone make a diesel hybrid?
 
ikramerica
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:31 am



Quoting Aerobalance (Reply 40):
I'm saying BS, where did you get this from? Being an owner of a 2008 Lexus ES350, which is rated at 19 city/27 highway, I've recorded (based on a 16 gallon fuel fill) a low of 21 mpg which was 100% city driving with speeds no higher than 40 mph, to a high, multiple times, of 30-32 mpg of pure interstate driving. My average mileage is roughly 24-25 mpg and that's with a driving bias of 70% city/30% highway. Japanese products are notorious for getting much BETTER than what they are rated at - even after the new ratings procedures were used in 2008! Where did you get your info. from?

Your experience is your experience. I have no idea what kind of driver you are in terms of acceleration, deceleration, the climate where you live, the hilliness of your environment, etc. etc. The Lexus is also a car with no 4-cylinder base model to upsell from, thus there is less incentive to manipulate the numbers.

My personal experience is different than yours, but again, that's just personal. I had 2 Z3s. The first was the 4-cylinder and it routinely got better mileage than rated. The second was the 2.8, and it was a real sports car in terms of power (the 4 cylinder didn't like to go uphills much with a passenger in the car), but it got lower than rated MPG in response. I had the Mercedes C230K, and it got rated or better fuel economy even after I installed a supercharger mod that upped the supercharger compression ratio. I later had the 3 liter V6 C280, and it never reached it's MPG rating around town, and only in a blue moon on the highway. My current VW Tiguan 4-cyl exceeds it's MPG ratings in mixed driving and on the highway despite AWD tapping some of the efficiency. My sister's Honda Pilot, a V6, does not get it's rated MPG. Her old VW 4 cylinder routinely outperformed it's numbers, though, as did her audi TT.

But for a counter example where even a 4 is below par, let's look at the Accord 4-cyl. Despite the Japanese being "notorious" for delivering higher mileage than rated, Edmunds road testing proves contrary. Despite a 21/28 rating for the automatic, they average a mere 22 in mixed driving, in various conditions. That's bad. In fact, for a 4-cyl that is underpowered, that's horrible in my mind. I get 1 MPG better than that with a turbo 4-cyl, heavier truck that has great acceleration, and I don't drive lightly. And they only average 18MPG with the V6. Also pretty poor, especially when compared to the 19/29/22 ratings the car was given by the EPA. The Altima V6 gets a mere 17MPG in combined driving. Notice here how all are overrated (because the EPA ratings are bunk anyway), but the V6 performs worse in comparison to the EPA ratings than the 4-cyl. This is pretty typical of the real world results, but seems to be more pronounced with Japanese engines and to a lesser extent, German engines, than with American engines. Why? Because American engines often perform about the same as the Japanese or German counterparts in terms of MPG, but they are rated lower in many cases. (A prime example is the 4-cyl VW Passat, which underperforms it's ratings but when compared against a Fusion by EPA numbers only 22/31, looks better.)

This became a big deal and helped cut into domestic car sales recently, so much so that domestic automakers are getting wise to this gaming of the numbers and have worked on upping the EPA ratings on their cars through tweaking, even if real world numbers don't change. You see the commercials already from Chevy or Ford telling you about the higher numbers.

It's all gamesmanship, and it means little.

Again, congratulations for being such a frugal driver, but that doesn't mean that's how the rest of the country drives, or that they get those amazing, almost unbelievable numbers.
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mirrodie
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:47 am



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):
but I would be worried too if I planned on keeping the car longer than the warranty period. I'd look into an extended warranty just for this.

See, that is an interesting statement. Are you also in the dark about knowing what a new hybrid battery would cost? Why the worry? The worry of the unknown.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 29):
All cars are complicated, but with a hybrid you add an extra system into the mix and that makes things weird and expensive to fix.

One of my patients works on them, says they are really reliable, a dream to work on. But that's just one opinion.

Having said all that, thank you for your insight and opinions.

We have not been actively pursuing a hybrid, but it did spur the question, who's got the right answers. Already did he simple searches as recommended above and there is no clear answer.


Falstaff, I used to drive a 90s GM, now on a Nissan lease ending in a few months. Been happy with both. But I am concerned with long term use. Want to get a car that will be worry free for 10 years. Think most cars today fit that bill?
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aerobalance
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:09 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 42):
Again, congratulations for being such a frugal driver, but that doesn't mean that's how the rest of the country drives, or that they get those amazing, almost unbelievable numbers.

The only frugal nature of my driving habits are the fact that I coast when possible. No need to be on the gas and then jump on the brakes at the last minute. I'm a pretty aggressive driver and my old Formula Ford driving habits along with my engineering and piloting background allow me to be mechanically kind to the machines I own... Don't think for a minute I try to get these numbers, it's just the way it is, but after owning various American, German and Japanese cars and trucks I will always, when asked, advise on getting the Japanese machine. It took me a long time to pry myself from the grip of US is best mentality in cars but when when my colleagues had such great performances from their Japanese made vehicles, well - I saw the light, I got tired of replacing parts on the American cars at 35,000 miles of use when I could get 200K of use and avoid the hassles of life disruption with stranded vehicles by going Japanese. Japanese cars aren't perfect, but one too many breakdowns and times being left stranded by my past American cars and that was it, I converted. As an engineer, I will always tell people to go Japanese with their everyday use cars.

It's such a great feeling to drive a car so quickly and still get great gas mileage like I do with my Lexus!

[Edited 2009-06-29 19:15:04]
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aerobalance
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:43 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
Among them is the Honda Pilot.



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 27):
Quoting Aerobalance (Reply 14):
What's your estimated percentage of city/highway driving going to be?

40%highway, rest is city.

Based on this info. I'd get the Pilot, I'm not sure if you're going to be able to recover the price premium that is placed (bogus) on a hybrid by the small advantage in fuel savings.
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falstaff
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:39 pm



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 43):
Want to get a car that will be worry free for 10 years. Think most cars today fit that bill?

That is generally true, of course if you put upwards of 200,000 miles on it in that time anything goes.

Just about any modern car can last a long time. It is important to follow the manufacturers service intervals for trouble free driving. Changing the coolant, oil, ATF, brake fluid, timing belt, air filter, etc when it is time to do so will make a car last a very long time. Many of the failures I see are related to regular service procedures being ignored.

Quoting Aerobalance (Reply 44):
I saw the light, I got tired of replacing parts on the American cars at 35,000 miles of use when I could get 200K of use and avoid the hassles of life disruption with stranded vehicles by going Japanese

If you go a lot of miles without replacing stuff on your Japanese cars you will have a lot of break downs too. The Japanese car dealer has a service department for a reason. That service department is staffed by qualified techs doing every kind of job you can think of. If Japanese cars never broke down they could hire a bunch of high school kids to change oil and rotate tires. I used to work on a variety of Japanese cars, not so much anymore, but I can't tell you how many people I would talk to would say "But it can't be broken- insert Japanese car name- never break down", when I would present them the estimate.

Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 43):
a dream to work on

About the only car that is a dream to work on is some old full size car from the 60s. A lot of people who may do light work on cars may think that some cars are easy to work on. There are lots of cars that are easy to do light work on, but will have other things that are crazy complicated. No car is easy to work on. Car repair is a difficult job, that has some easy tasks, that requires a lot of skill and training to be good at it.



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 43):
says they are really reliable

I am sure they are, most new cars are. Working on cars when they are newer and working on them when they are 15 years old and have a bunch of electrical problems is another story. The older the car gets the problems may be more difficult to repair for a variety of reasons, that may vary on every car. Electrical problems usually come with age and are made worse by teenagers (and some stereo/alarm shops). I have seen countless teens screw up electrical systems on modern cars by installing stereos and other acceriess without looking at wiring diagrams or anything of the sort. They usually think any power or ground is good. I even a had a student drill right through the main wiring harness on his truck to install an amp. The shorting of just about everything cost him plenty in parts and time.

I bring that up because these are the kind of things people do to cars. They also have unqualified people work on them. That is very common in Detroit. You get a lot of people who work, or worked, in car assembly that think they are experts about every part on a car, but they know little or nothing about repair or how it works. Hybrids have a lot of electrical stuff and operate at high voltage so you know some people are going to be screwing with that in a few years.

Right know the Hybrid buyers tend to be well off and well educated. Give it a few years when those hybrids end up being $2000 cars and are driven by the buy here pay here car lot crowd that usually ruins cars within months.
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DocLightning
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:49 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 24):

60 miles isn't much. It's the longer, 300mi+ trips with no speed changes and therefore no real charging time for the batteries where the MPGs start to drop.

Again, incorrect. My Prius went 300+ miles from San Francisco to Santa Barbara at 55 MPG average and that was the "less-efficient" '09 model.

Do you own one of these cars? Do you have hard data? You must not or you wouldn't be posting stuff like this.
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mirrodie
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:54 pm

All said, our considerations are the following:

Hyundai Sante Fe and Veracruz
GMC ACadia/Chevy Traverse
Honda Pilot
Toyota Highlander

If batteries are as large an enviro threat as they seem, I can't justify the premium payment for 28-30 MPG in a Highlander Highbird over 19/20 in the cars I listed.


Gonna do some test driving today.....
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TylerDurden
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RE: Hybrid Cars, Myth Vs Reality.

Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:43 pm



Quoting Thumper (Reply 18):
Just drove a Toyota Prius on a test drive. Handled pretty good.

You must not have very high expectations...the Prius basically corners on tapioca. And when you add anemic acceleration and overly sensitive steering (tuned for the Social Security set), it's a performance/handling disaster.

While not a huge fan of Jetta's in particular--at least they are nimble and provide a much more satisfying driving experience.

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