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-   -   Article: Is a hybrid worth it? (http://www.fuelly.com/forums/f35/article-is-a-hybrid-worth-it-3012.html)

kickflipjr 09-23-2006 07:52 PM

Article: Is a hybrid worth it?
 
This is a total breakdown of cost of cars, fuel economy, etc...

It is very in depth. You guys might get a kick out of it.

http://www.omninerd.com/2005/11/11/articles/41

(I will cut to the end for you)

Conclusion

While no "green" person would ever advocate buying a hybrid for purely economic reasons, it is painfully obvious that existing hybrids lack the ability to make up for their steep prices with gas savings. While a hybrid would present significant savings over something like a new Ford Super Duty, you would always save more with any of a number of economy cars.

Hybrid technology is just entering the mainstream, however. As gas prices rise and hybrid technology improves and cheapens, don't be surprised to find hybrid owners in the green.

FormulaTwo 09-23-2006 09:54 PM

according to that, it seems like the best way to go would be with the VW tdi.

JanGeo 09-24-2006 04:48 AM

My friend whom recently purchased a used Prius did it for the tax credits plus the trunk works better for the stuff she carries for her work than the Acura CL3 she had plus 4 doors plus 2.5-3x the gas mileage!

Sean88 09-24-2006 07:04 AM

Quote:

according to that, it seems like the best way to go would be with the VW tdi.
Actually I believe the table showed that the TDi was the least economical option of all the cars listed. The Chevy Aveo was the most economical. The chart was a bit confusing as the column heading was "Monthly Savings" but the numbers are in parentheses so I think there's a double negative in there.

BEN_EJ8 09-24-2006 07:33 AM

So I think its safe to say that the Civic is no longer the cheapest car to own, drive and maintain, penny per mile?

rh77 09-24-2006 07:36 AM

Clean Diesel
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
according to that, it seems like the best way to go would be with the VW tdi.

Precisely! But, if you want a new TDI, you have to wait until 2008-2009 as the EPA has mandated new emissions requirements for Diesels which will make them the some of the cleanest, lowest emission, higher FE vehicles on the road.

RH77

Edit: I have personal research on the "Best Value" gasser (to be posted in the car review section). 2006 Kia Spectra EX.

ketel0ne 09-24-2006 08:15 AM

I'll take my $12k 40mpg Yaris over anything in the list, in plugging in the Yaris actuals for 2007 it is over the Aveo.

tomauto 09-24-2006 09:29 AM

Aveo = crap.

rh77 09-24-2006 09:45 AM

Yup
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tomauto
Aveo = crap.

I did a "Second Look" test on the Aveo this past week and got the same 26.x MPG in normal, mixed driving which included the GM-touted 30-some MPH highway use. Same thing with the Cobalt, Ion, and the other cars one-class-up.

Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's efficient. The '06 Camry 4-cyl auto. would chew it up, spit it out, and have +4 MPG left for the next one (and it's bigger!) I was really hoping for more, and felt good driving a small car, but it was unfounded. Look for the results soon in the reviews section :thumbdown:

RH77

JanGeo 09-24-2006 12:58 PM

Yeah the iron block of the american made cars just don't cut it when it comes to mileage. I have a GM Master card with a few thousand towards my next car - talk about a waste of years of purchaces at 5% back towards a GM car - had I know Maybe a Saturn.

Todays driving around in the woods 49.3mpg for about 50 miles of driving.

JanGeo 09-24-2006 01:12 PM

First Prius test drive
 
I got a chance to drive the Prius today that my friend has - ran the battery down a bit by the time I got back - man it is tricky to get that thing in gear and they got the forward and reverse upside down on the shifter. Seems the gas pedal is really sensitive to EV mode operation and the engine keeps starting up. Not quite enough power in the electric motor to drive 25-30mph on level ground from what I can see unless something was dragging? The mechanical brakes after almost a week of sitting were really touchy. Needed some really steep hills to test the regen braking but from what I can see there really isn't a lot of energy that the battery has in it - seems to top up pretty quick and run down to the point where it had to charge a lot during my 10 mile ride. Weird driving an automatic and it does seem to "shift" while accelerating - got it to freewheel a little but forgot to try popping it into neutral to get a good coast going. Got up to 37 mph on electric drive only on a gentle downhill. Anyone know the oil capacity because this thing needs some service already and it calls for 5W30. I was not impressed with the mileage and after getting back into my xB with the ScanGaugeII realized that I need to get my SG1 connected to the Prius to really figure out the gas mileage as the console computer didn't register the trip MPG - I think a reset is needed on the computer display?

BumblingB 09-24-2006 01:39 PM

For my Insight I feel it is plenty worth it. I've got a handbuilt all aluminum car(OK some plastic too), 6 years old now and still people ask if I work for Honda and is it some NEW prototype :D (we have a LOT of prototypes here in town), still fairly cutting edge on technology while being a bare bones point A/point B vehicle. All that for $10,000 - twenty five thousand miles and a year and a half ago. I need to break out my old reciepts/logs and enter them here. I maintained 64.6 MPG for quite a while until Honda's product update which lowered me to around 63.5 for my entire ownership of the car.

IMO, this particular car it was worth it. As far as my old Civic Hybrid, I don't regret getting it but I think I could of done fairly well with an EX but would of taken a huge hit in the MPG department without a Scangauge. Using a Scangauge you can get many of the realtime MPG benifits of a hybrid while driving a more mainstream vehicle that doesn't scare most mechanics away. (yes, I know hybrids are simple to work on once you learn the ins and outs)

In the end it is just personal preference. Once (not if) gas goes to $5 a gallon the hybrid owners will be laughing a bit more.

FormulaTwo 09-24-2006 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rh77

Edit: I have personal research on the "Best Value" gasser (to be posted in the car review section). 2006 Kia Spectra EX.


Kia mmmmmmm
Although i heard somewhere that their reported problems are dropping more and more. And i beleive they beat out mazda last year? Don't quote me on this.

The Toecutter 09-24-2006 04:38 PM

It's not the Aveo's engine that kills its FE so much as it is its horrible aerodynamics. .35 drag coefficient, ~21.5 square foot frontal area(estimated from w x h x .8). This thing has the Cd*A about that of a Buick LaCrosse.

rh77 09-24-2006 05:34 PM

Dae-What?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JanGeo
Yeah the iron block of the american made cars just don't cut it when it comes to mileage.

The Chevy Aveo is actually a re-badged Daewoo. The Koreans are currently very guilty of Iron-block cars for cost.

RH77

Compaq888 09-24-2006 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ketel0ne
I'll take my $12k 40mpg Yaris over anything in the list, in plugging in the Yaris actuals for 2007 it is over the Aveo.

I'll take my $5.5k 40mpg civic over the Yaris. I don't see the point in buying a new car.

schmeep 09-24-2006 06:03 PM

i read an article a few years back that had the toyota echo as the cheapest new car to own and maintain in canada.

JanGeo 09-24-2006 06:14 PM

The Echo is the VVTi engine in a not so stylish body - they got the economy right but the thing just didn't look right - too narrow and tall with tiny looking tires - of course I drive an xB which about half the people I know think it is pretty ugly.

Compaq888 09-24-2006 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JanGeo
The Echo is the VVTi engine in a not so stylish body - they got the economy right but the thing just didn't look right - too narrow and tall with tiny looking tires - of course I drive an xB which about half the people I know think it is pretty ugly.

when my mom was choosing a car the choices were: TC, Xb, Civic, Yaris.

She didn't get the TC because it's a gas guzzler. For the Xb she said she is not going to be driving in a toaster(ROFL).

So it was between a Civic and Yaris. She chose the civic because of the safety features and the civic had more power.

rh77 09-24-2006 07:06 PM

xA, but...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Compaq888
when my mom was choosing a car the choices were: TC, Xb, Civic, Yaris.

She didn't get the TC because it's a gas guzzler. For the Xb she said she is not going to be driving in a toaster(ROFL).

So it was between a Civic and Yaris. She chose the civic because of the safety features and the civic had more power.

So I was looking at fuel efficient cars at the AutoShow this past year. The Scion xA stood out as a nice efficient runabout. That was until I got in and saw that dad-blasted speedometer in the middle of the dash. I mean, WTF? The Saturn Ion suffered the same problem -- it was terrible!!! This can only turn off buyers, IMHO.

RH77

ketel0ne 09-24-2006 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Compaq888
I'll take my $5.5k 40mpg civic over the Yaris. I don't see the point in buying a new car.

If you commuted over 600 miles a week you might.

Compaq888 09-24-2006 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ketel0ne
If you commuted over 600 miles a week you might.

No I wouldn't. I feel comfortable in my civic to commute whereever. I take it that you drive mostly freeway since 600 is a big number. My car gets 43.9mpg at 70mph. Some new tires with max sidewall pressure and a new PCV system and it will be 45+mpg.

I saw too many advantages by buying a civic. There are a lot of engine swap choices. You could use many other honda parts from other hondas/acuras on the car and there are a more rim choice available.

AlexK 09-24-2006 09:23 PM

My friend bought a new Kia and was at 15,000 miles when I asked him how often he changes his oil. He said "oh, I guess I should probably start thinking about doing that soon". As far as I know he still hasn't done it.
One reason to buy a new car... you don't know how a used one was taken care of.

JanGeo 09-25-2006 01:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rh77
So I was looking at fuel efficient cars at the AutoShow this past year. The Scion xA stood out as a nice efficient runabout. That was until I got in and saw that dad-blasted speedometer in the middle of the dash. I mean, WTF? The Saturn Ion suffered the same problem -- it was terrible!!! This can only turn off buyers, IMHO.

RH77

It takes getting used to but the passenger will like it in the middle of the dash because it is easy for them to see and tell you that you are speeding! One problem I just thought of is if you are not right eye dominant then you may not see the idiot lights when they come on. It also gives you room in front of you on the dash for other stuff like cell phone and gps navigation stuff sunglasses etc.

JanGeo 09-25-2006 01:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexK
My friend bought a new Kia and was at 15,000 miles when I asked him how often he changes his oil. He said "oh, I guess I should probably start thinking about doing that soon". As far as I know he still hasn't done it.
One reason to buy a new car... you don't know how a used one was taken care of.

I have heard oil change stories like that before - the Prius I drove the other day needs the oil changed - she bought it used and may have had its oil changed just before she got it and I don't know how many miles she has driven it since she got it but the Maint light is on ALL the time now. Another great application for Synlube!

ketel0ne 09-25-2006 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Compaq888
No I wouldn't. I feel comfortable in my civic to commute whereever. I take it that you drive mostly freeway since 600 is a big number. My car gets 43.9mpg at 70mph. Some new tires with max sidewall pressure and a new PCV system and it will be 45+mpg.

I saw too many advantages by buying a civic. There are a lot of engine swap choices. You could use many other honda parts from other hondas/acuras on the car and there are a more rim choice available.

I was comparing my new yaris to the new cars on the list. My used car is 1996 Geo metro I paid $1k for I would take that over all other used FE cars.

JanGeo 09-25-2006 08:55 AM

One of the most important things in life is LIVING where you WANT TO so that sometimes a commute of 50 miles is needed to get to that good job - the second most important thing in life that allows you to afford the home where you want to live.

ketel0ne 09-25-2006 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by theclencher
Anyone that commutes over 600 miles/week perhaps should consider a lifestyle change...

I don't think I will be moving any closer to a nuclear bomb target than I already do. The mountain seems to be a good line to keep away from DC. After Sept. 11th it was proof I needed to live further away. So now I just drive in, and work from home when I can. $140k for over an acre of land and a house on the river, vs. $500k to $1mil to live with no tree on top of my neighbor, I think the lifestyle is just fine.

BumblingB 09-25-2006 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ketel0ne
If you commuted over 600 miles a week you might.

I commute over 500 miles a week and now I don't see the need for a new car. I used to have that mindset where I had a better feeling driving something brandnew and not getting someone elses problems. Now I am just as happy driving an old-er car.

I do have my father nearby and we have a tow dolly as well as a car hauler/trailer if for some reason the car completely gives out and I can't do a limp repair to get it home. Driving an old-er car just helps me hone my mechanicing skills. :p

The choice to commute this far isn't regreted. Plenty happy - feels good to be in the country with the exception of when I catch those darn hunters on my property, but that's another thread......

GasSavers_scostanz 09-25-2006 02:15 PM

I commute over 670 miles per week and would never put that kind of mileage on a new car when there are plenty of older, cheaper, reliable cars around. If you are able to do the mechanical work yourself you're way ahead cost wise. I gave $2400 for my civic over two years ago and put 70,000 trouble free miles on it since. I figure it paid for itself in the first year when you consider the maintenance and FE savings over the Jeep Grand Cherokee I replaced it with. It could (and might :) ) blow up tomorrow and I'd still be way ahead over what it would cost for a new car when you figure in payments and depreciation.

-- Scott

tomauto 09-25-2006 02:47 PM

I am putting on 550 miles a week in my 1996 Civic. I dont feel like it is going to blow up. I am also about to pass 150k miles also.

Quote:

I figure it paid for itself in the first year when you consider the maintenance and FE savings over the Jeep Grand Cherokee I replaced it with. It could (and might ) blow up tomorrow and I'd still be way ahead over what it would cost for a new car when you figure in payments and depreciation.
I showed my co-worker the exact same senario with his Jeep. He still thinks he needs an SUV. I told him that I only saw him once with his Jeep being put to true use by hauling some roofing edging, but that is the only time. Its all in their mindset, they want the vehicle for the chance of using the utility, not actually using the car for its purpose.

rh77 09-25-2006 03:16 PM

I commute 2300 miles every week, granted some of that is air travel :-D

I'll probably go about 500/week soon, and the '98 Integra should fit the bill.

TomAuto: I completely agree with the Jeep thing. When I had to haul a bunch of stuff from the Home Depot, I rented their truck for $20 and that was it. It wasn't a hassle, it was very simple, and it would save the SUV buyer 1000's of dollars! Just rent a truck when you need it!

RH77

JanGeo 09-25-2006 03:30 PM

Home Depot delivers DUH! Got a storm door coming for my Prius friend tomorrow morning of course the kids are in school and she is in Australia so I have to be there.

rh77 09-25-2006 03:49 PM

Huh.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JanGeo
Home Depot delivers DUH!

Well I know we've rented their truck on a few occasions for bulky items and to run to Sears for the outdoor table and chairs. Free delivery...buggah. They should put up a sign or something.

RH77

Compaq888 09-25-2006 06:46 PM

I stand corrected:D

rh77 09-26-2006 06:56 PM

Housing Market
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by theclencher
I've flown over cities and I've driven in them. From the looks of things (a million cars going from the west side to the east, and a million cars going from the east side to the west every week day, twice a day) everybody goes out of their way to live on one side and work on the other- it's hilarious! And then they have the gall to whine about traffic congestion! :rolleyes: What would happen if all the east siders swapped houses with the west siders? :confused:

Now, I live in the sticks, and we have a similar phenomenon here- everyone pretty much knows where they are going to have to go to find work, yet many decide to live 60 miles away and drive the 600 miles/week- mostly, in full-size 4x4s. Well the road has some snow flakes on it sometimes!!! Gaaaaaaaa!!! :rolleyes:

When I got my job, I did my house hunting within a six-mile radius of work so as to make bicycling every day or most every day a practical thing to do. That worked out quite well. When you think about it, I could have commuted in a Hummer and gotten higher FE for the task than someone with a long commute in a Metro.


1. I agree with you on the 4X4s
2. The housing market generally dictates where you live in the city: if the East side is too expensive, no money is saved by getting closer, so buy West.
3. Married couples don't work at the same place, so if you have a dual-income family, there's going to be commuting.
4. I bought my house because of it's initial price per square foot, school district, and re-sale potential. In the sticks, your options are limited.
5. Until the we help develop safe, reliable, useful mass-transit, nothing will change.

RH77

kickflipjr 09-26-2006 07:20 PM

I have always been opposed to long commutes. #1 the amount of time #2 cost.
I won't even bring up the enviro...

basjoos 09-28-2006 04:30 PM

I commute about 500miles per week in my 92 Civic with over 420,000 miles on it (and getting about 70mpg) with no reliability worries. There was no way I could buy a 3 bedroom house for $29,000 (in 1988) in the Asheville, NC area. At the time, my wife also worked in Greenville, SC, so I bought a house about midway between the two cities. Plus this way if the Asheville job goes belly up, I can access the Greenville and Spartanburg labor markets without having to relocate.

drydem 03-05-2015 10:02 AM

Yes. It's an interesting ride. I bought my 2010 Toyota Prius in April 2010 for about $23K but when you add tax, tag, title, registration it was about $25K. Auto insurance has been about $1000/year. I've driven it about 60,000 miles over about 60 months and averaged about 60 mpg. The Prius has the largest and most active hybrid driver owner community - and I have learned a great deal from them. The Prius is an ultra low emission vehicle - so it is a green car. I didn't buy the Prius just for saving gas - I wanted to learn how to hypermile and I wanted something interesting to play with. At the time I bought my 2010 Prius, I was also looking at a 2010 Honda Insight, 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring, and a 2010 Honda Fit. The Insight was cheaper but smaller than the Prius but lack an active driver-owner community. The Elantra Touring was a low tech conventional car that got about 28 mpg but about 6000 cheaper and look like a better deal than the Toyota Matrix. The 2010 Honda Fit was a hi tech conventional car with special rear seats that made it roomier and more functional than an Elantra Touring but was only about 4000 cheaper than a Prius and got about 32 mpg.

Cons:
The Prius' undercarriage plastic engine shield's oil change access door tends to fall off.

Area mechanics have a difficult time properly diagnosing hybrids. if you live in San Francisco CA there are some excellent hybrid mechanics - but the Washington DC metro area mechanics are not that good when it comes to diagnosis and repairing hybrids. I went through hoops to help my Ford Explorer Hybrid friend get her vehicle fixed .... it was a real headache to get the braking system computer to work right. The intellectual property restrictions and the sheer magnitude of knowledge needed to understand hybrid tech makes knowing how to service them daunting.


Strange thing for hypermilers might want to know. The Prius OBDII port can be temporarily overloaded by attaching two ScangaugeII in series to it... it will cause the Prius onboard computer to go on the fritz from time to time (it seems random) ... if you detach both ScangaugeII units and then reattach only one ScangaugeII obdII meter everything returns to normal. My guess is that temperature changes may affect the cable connections and cause the Prius OBDII port to send a false reading.

Toyota Prius Atkinson cycle gas motor has a really difficult time with long up hill roads in the mountains and MPG suffers until you go downhill. The Toyota Prius low ground clearance makes driving in the snow difficult and driving over rough roads dangerous. The Prius is not designed to provide another car with an electric jump start. The Prius is not designed to tow a heavy trailer or carry over 800 pounds of both passenger and cargo. The Prius 100 watt rated 12 vdc accessory power adapter cannot pull more than 80 watts without blowing a fuse this makes running a normal portable 12 vdc tire air compressor to inflate a tire impossible - I have a portable hand pump and a 120vac air pump for the tires now.

Last month in snow storm, when the driving temperatures started dropping below 20 F degrees, my windshield started fogging up despite the having been cleared up by the defroster before starting the trip home. The outside temperature was dropping as a snow storm approached and caused ice to form along the windshield wiper blades making them less effective and the windshield started fogging up even with the defroster running at 100% percent. To defog the windshield and melt the ice forming on the wipers I had turn off the cabin heat and divert all the Prius' efforts to running the defroster to keep the windshield clear from ice formation

Jay2TheRescue 03-05-2015 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drydem (Post 182192)
Area mechanics have a difficult time properly diagnosing hybrids. if you live in San Francisco CA there are some excellent hybrid mechanics - but the Washington DC metro area mechanics are not that good when it comes to diagnosis and repairing hybrids. I went through hoops to help my Ford Explorer Hybrid friend get her vehicle fixed .... it was a real headache to get the braking system computer to work right. The intellectual property restrictions and the sheer magnitude of knowledge needed to understand hybrid tech makes knowing how to service them daunting.

Koons Ford in Sterling, VA has done an excellent job working on my Escape Hybrid. The only thing that they didn't get right was the a/c system. I eventually just worked on that myself even though it was under warranty because I was tired of bringing it in. (It had a Freon leak that they could not seem to get fixed right.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by drydem (Post 182192)
Toyota Prius Atkinson cycle gas motor has a really difficult time with long up hill roads in the mountains and MPG suffers until you go downhill. The Toyota Prius low ground clearance makes driving in the snow difficult and driving over rough roads dangerous. The Prius is not designed to provide another car with an electric jump start. The Prius is not designed to tow a heavy trailer or carry over 800 pounds of both passenger and cargo. The Prius 100 watt rated 12 vdc accessory power adapter cannot pull more than 80 watts without blowing a fuse this makes running a normal portable 12 vdc tire air compressor to inflate a tire impossible - I have a portable hand pump and a 120vac air pump for the tires now.

My FEH may scream going up a mountain, but it does not seem to have problems getting to the top. I can set my cruise on 80, and it will hold 80 MPH all the way to the top. I haven't had problems running 12v air compressors or jump starting other vehicles. Only "problem" I had with the power system... We had a storm a couple years ago, and our power was out for several days. I tried to plug an electric chainsaw into the 120v outlet on the dashboard... didn't have enough power.

Quote:

Originally Posted by drydem (Post 182192)
Last month in snow storm, when the driving temperatures started dropping below 20 F degrees, my windshield started fogging up despite the having been cleared up by the defroster before starting the trip home. The outside temperature was dropping as a snow storm approached and caused ice to form along the windshield wiper blades making them less effective and the windshield started fogging up even with the defroster running at 100% percent. To defog the windshield and melt the ice forming on the wipers I had turn off the cabin heat and divert all the Prius' efforts to running the defroster to keep the windshield clear from ice formation

My FEH's defroster works exceptionally well, as does the 4wd system. It is an extremely capable vehicle in the snow, even with the LRR highway tires I have on it.


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