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Hybrid Vehicles???

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by DoubleAuto, May 1, 2008.

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  1. DoubleAuto

    DoubleAuto Well-Known Member

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    I am looking for a new family vehicle to use in town and on some extended vacations now that we are retired. I, like most people, am looking for a comfortable vehicle with adequate room for luggage that gets good mileage. I have been considering get some type of hybrid vehicle but the owner of the automobile repair shop we have dealt with for years (and always has been good and up front to deal with) is skeptical on how long hybrids batteries will last and whether you come out ahead cost wise if you have to replace the batteries plus the additional upfront cost of the vehicle. We tend to keep vehicles for a long time (kept the last two 15 and 16 years respectfully).

    Anyone have any opinions on hybrid vehicles? Recommendations on a hybrid vehicle brand/model? If not a hybrid vehicle,any recommendations of a regular vehicle brand/model?
     
  2. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    I am not an expert by any stretch, but have always loved fast steel. That said, my wife wanted green, and I looked at Prius. Good car, but not much room. We ended up with a Camry hybrid (50th Anniversary Limited Edition with great white pearl paint). Great leg room, lots of nice toys if you so choose. It will take almost the life of the car to break even on the hybrid premium however, but it is green and that is great. Very weird having the engine start and stop, but smooth and really not detectable in normal driving.

    The mileage so far is an honest 36-38. Occasional 40, but you can take 36 to the bank. It is only a 4 cylinder engine, but it flat out will haul butt if you stab the throttle. Very surprising actually. I live in Central CA, and we went up to Lake Tahoe last Saturday (Hwy 88 up, Hwy 50 back), and it handles the mountains and hills without issue. Good trunk, good back seat leg room. Burns regular juice also, which is strange for me. I have never owned anything that did not take premium.

    I considered the 2008 Highlander, and still like it. The passenger seat get short changed, even on the Limited edition with all the toys. So, if the wife is not happy....you get the picture.

    I am honestly considering a MB GLK which is coming out early in 2009. It should be around the size of a Highlander, and has a BlueTec Turbo Diesel 4 cylinder that makes mountains of torque. Clincher for me will be room in back for guns and supplies, and if the mileage of diesel pencils out half way reasonable. Even at 5.00 a gallon, fuel is not the biggest expense, but of course there is no reason to be foolish about things.

    My belief is hybrid is great, but they honestly have not been around long enough to prove longevity to me. I have heard many great reports of high mileage early hybrids, and the batteries are warrantied much longer than the rest of the car. At this point it is just neat technology and you are paying for it.
     
  3. ou.3200

    ou.3200 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the Prius is not as green as it is touted to be. Take a look at this:

    http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2007/03/which-is-greener-prius-or-hummer.html
     
  4. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    Of all the Honda's and Toyota's we have sold, have not had one battery problem. Plus, I believe that if you had a battery problem the mfr. would step up and take are of it 100% or most of the cost.
     
  5. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    OU.3200

    I have seen that information before on Hummer vs. Prius. I actually drove an H1 and H2 since they basically have a Escalade drive train in them. Both were OK, but neither rolled up my socks much.

    That said, hybrid is very early in the game still. Being a child of the 60's and growing up on Mopar and 427 big block vette's (1 454 that was pretty strong), I remember the early days of low lead and then unleaded fuel. You could not buy a corvette with 200 HP in them during the late 70's/early 80's.

    I believe hybrid is at that stage now. I personally think a diesel hybrid with a strong 4 cylinder diesel plant and huge electric motors driven my lithium ion or polymer battery packs would be great. I know the new Tahoe/Yukon that just came out is already in development to use the newer battery, ditching nickel/metal units.

    Wife and I have 2 segway's we picked up on SLC on a trip east a couple of years ago. I think they are great, but such a novel item we don't ride them much for all the commotion they cause. Those are very green, and use lithium batteries in the new units. Those might be the greenest transportation around right now.
     
  6. snglfoot

    snglfoot Member

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    I have a '05 Prius, with 46,000+. Have had no problems, (have the 100K warranty just in case), it give me a 44-45 in town, and can hold 50+ on the highway. On hills, set the speed and it eats up the road. 1400 mi trip from So CA to Spanish Fork, round trip avg 51.2 MPG, I set it on 70 and let it go. Seats fold down flat, make easy to carry all my shooting supplies. It is comfortable, I usally travel non-stop, and it does not kill you in the long hall. HAPPY
    Norman
     
  7. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    The experts say that the hybrid really shines in stop and go urban settings. It makes sense that the batteries recharge during deceleration, but at highway speeds they would do nothing to enhance mileage. I guess it depends on your type of miles.
     
  8. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    My daughter had the Toyota Highlander hybrid which resembles a 4Runner but built on the Camry platform rather than the truck. I found it roomier than the 4Runner and had plenty of seating. I drove it around Carson City Nevada over several days and really liked it. Silent most of the time in town but when you wanted to merge on a freeway, it lit off like a rocket. The daughter just found it "odd," a pure rationalization, and didn't stick with it in favor of a traditional ride. I wish now I'd bought it from her.....breakemall....Bob Dodd
     
  9. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

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    '08 Prius purchased in Nov., 45 hwy. and 49 city. Battery, don't know, but have 10 yr. factory warranty on it which came standard. Pd. $22,700 plus TT&L.
     
  10. Dave P

    Dave P TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Mr. Desdrickson: I read your post about having a pair of Segways. I have been interested in one for some time but never ran into anyone who had experience with one before. Please share your other thoughts of owning one both pro and con, costs, efficiency, reliability, rain or shine, winter etc. anything you've experienced. Dave P
     
  11. Dave P

    Dave P TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I forgot to mention I'm particularly interested because I like to shoot sporting and have trouble walking the distance and up small hills for health reasons. Sorry about the mispelling of your name above.
     
  12. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    Dave P,

    We bought the Segway's due to my inability to get around well.

    Segways......they are a trip. We have I think the P models which were the best when we bought them in Salt Lake City. We were on our way east and stopped off at the Gateway Mall I think it was just to see them. After touring around SLC, we loaded up a pair in our van and were off and running. Since then, we found a really neat aluminum carrier that mounts in a standard Class III receiver. Secures both well, and easy to load/unload without stuffing them in a van and making sure they don't move around.

    They come with 3 keys (red, yellow, black) which simply controls the speed range. Red is the fastest I believe, which also changes the turning parameters. Everything (and I mean everything) has redundant backup units. If you fall off of one, you are brain dead and should not be allowed to purchase (ala W. Bush fell off one on the news a couple of years ago).

    Range is an honest 15 miles, top speed 12 mph. They have a new model that has larger tires, better batteries, and steer differently. Next time we are in Oakland I plan on playing with it more. We took our units over for computer upgrades (they have to flash it with a Win98 machine of all things), so ours are up to date. I think the new model with the big tires would work great for even sporting clays, as they will climb up over just about anything. There is a group that play competitive polo on them in SF (but then SF is special of course).

    There is a learning curve, but it is short. You have to learn to trust that they are better than you are. You can stand still on them, turn in the radius of the unit, go backwards. Brakes are simply whatever your body is telling it. It really can stop on a dime if needed.

    If you ever get up to the Reno area, let me know and you are welcome to drive mine. We keep them up there since there is more room for toys than our home in central CA.
     
  13. dmarbell

    dmarbell Active Member

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    I've always been good at maff!

    Someone said they got a Prius for 23000. You can get a decent Corolla for 15000. If the Prius gets 50 mpg, the Corolla should get 30 mpg. Driving 15000 miles per year, the Prius would save you 200 gallons of gas per year, or $720 at $3.60 per gallon. It would take 11 years to get back your purchase price difference.

    This does not take into account resale values, and hosts of other factors in the calculation.

    If saving gas is your only concern, buy the most expensive bike on the market and ride like a king for absolutely no gas per mile. After 6 months, you'll be in fabulous shape, and you can tell the Arabs to kiss your skinny ass.

    Danny
     
  14. famill00

    famill00 TS Member

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    I have an 07 honda civic...4 cylinder 4 door sedan. Easily hits 40 mpg easily. Drive one...they are much larger than they used to be.

    Forrest
     
  15. Ken X

    Ken X TS Member

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    I have an 06 VW Jetta Diesel. It gets 41-44mpg and to get that you do not have to drive like an old lady! I can get that cruising at 85! It is also a very comfortable and quiet car that someone 6'10" can be comfy in, more leg room than my wifes big Pontiac by far. 86,000 on it now and I love it. They will have a Passat coming out soon with the new clean burn diesel. The Passat is Beautiful! I may buy one for a family car.
    There have been many unhappy people with the hybrids, not getting close to what they ought to. TV station did a report one nite interviewing owners who were getting 35-37 overall! Really pissd off people, considering they spent more money for them they will not recoup. I think Consumer Reports said they will not get near an even cost till 150,000 miles or more. And wait till you have to replace those batteries out of warranty! $4000!!!!!! Some of the hybrid SUV's can't even get 30! They think you still have to put a lot of horsepower in them. NOT!
     
  16. KS5SPECIAL

    KS5SPECIAL Member

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    My son has a 04 and my daughter just got a 07 Prius. Both get 45 to 50 MPG.
    Wife has a 99 Camray with 250,000 miles on it and it still gets 32mpg on the highway. The 99 Camray has a cast iron 4 and goes in the snow without any problems. Its been a hell of a car for her.
    I drove my daughters Prius this past week. its not as bad as I thought it would be as far as acceleration wise. Room in side wasnt bad either. I have a 04 Lexus RX330 it gets 20 mpg average. 45 to 50 MPG would be nice. Needless to say were Sold on Toyota.
    When my wife desides to replace her Camray will consider a Prius as well. As long as we keep our cars it will likley be worth it.
     
  17. Hawkeye Kid

    Hawkeye Kid TS Member

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    A co. here in washington state has taken a Saturn Vue and made a Hybrid out of it. It gets 40 miles on a Elect. charge, & 150 MPG. It should be in production in about 2 to 3 years. I have a 85 toy pickup (25mpg) & 98 olds(30mpg), and I will keep them till a real gas saving Hybrid comes on the market.

    Hank
     
  18. hardrite

    hardrite Member

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    I've got a VW Jetta TBI (turbo diesel)had to buy it used in Ca. can't buy them new is this state. Getting 40 mi to gal, but not broke in yet (break in at 50k mi). best car I've ever owned.
     
  19. tomk2

    tomk2 Member

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    Danny -

    I have been doing just what you suggested. Of course, living within 5 miles of work makes it a lot easier to do. Net effects so far, fewer pounds and fewer trips to the pump. I only went to the pump once in all of April!

    Funny how nobody who has gone off tipic has mentioned motorcycles. My goldwing gets around 35 mpg, a tiny motorcycle would have to get much more, and I think 50 to 70 mpg is possible. Leave the car at home until the snow flies!
     
  20. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    There was a guy at the club this weekend with a "Smart Car."

    This thing is so small, he bought it to drive to the club and TAKE IT ON THE SPORTING CLAYS COURSE instead of buying a golf cart!!! And it fits!
     
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