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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    perhaps we could stop going down the path of "hybrids are the answer" rather than perhaps a more sagacious path of "hybrids are one answer" [of several] for today.

    Practically every post I have made has referred to the hybrid AND diesel as great alternatives. BOTH of them! The only point beyond that is that the hybrids have near ZERO emissions, and while diesels have great attributes, they still need a bit of tweaking to be as clean. Check the data on this. It's true.

    Further, the diesel can NOT, by it's nature perform as well in city driving as the hybrid. Unfortunately for the diesel, it is CITY driving that is the bulk of most of the population's driving. This is another fact. The hybrid is clearly on top in city driving, even when the new EPA ratings focus MORE on stop and go driving when they are revised.

    Again, diesels are a GREAT alternative. But hybrids are the CLEANEST and MOST EFFICIENT alternative. So, given that achievement, they deserve tremendous credit. That clearly makes them a GREAT alternative as well.

    So . . . just to be clear on this . . . they are BOTH, without any doubt, terrific alternatives to the conventional ICE.

    And, remember, the whole game changes soon when the HYDROGEN fuel cells come in large numbers. And they will.

  • There is a good tool to figure this for yourself on the Edmunds main page. Down near the bottom. I compared the RX400h with the non hybrid version. Hybrid had a much higher cost to own.

    I also compared the regular Civic LX automatic to the Civic Hybrid. Total cost for the hybrid was $33,112. and total for the regular was just a little over $30,000. This is over a 5 year period. Hybrid worked out to $.44 per mile and the non-hybrid $.40 per mile.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Regarding the Civic . . . there is a $2790 difference in price, EXACTLY. There is also $2100 as a tax incentive which MAY apply. This leaves $690. Calculating a projected average of 3.00 /gallon after 5 years, and at 15,000 miles per year, the national average, and using the city EPA figures which are generally the real-life averages anyway, the non-hybrid will use $7,500 of fuel over 5 years. The hybrid version will use $4,500 of fuel over 5 years. That difference is $3,000, which is actually $210.00 AHEAD of the non hybrid, if you account for the original price differences. Add in the potential tax benefit and the hybrid owner would then be AHEAD by $2,310. If gas prices go even higher, then the savings are even more. Further, depreciating the vehicles at even the same rate leaves a HIGHER trade-in for the hybrid, which adds considerably MORE to the $2,310.00 benefit of the hybrid, possibly well over $3,000.00 BENEFIT to the 2006 Honda Civic HYBRID owner.

    These differences are not massive, but the 2006 Honda Civic hybrid represents the first TRUE financial benefit that is likely to be realized by the hybrid vehicles. The other benefits are cleaner air, of course, and a contribution to less energy consumption. And these are IMPORTANT benefits as well. What are those worth?

    BTW, this topic is probably better suited to the hybrid forum.


  • Sorry, you've got too many ifs and buts. I'll put my money on Edmund's calculations, not yours. Hybrids have their place if you don't mind spending more money. I could start throwing in all sorts of things like invest the difference up front cost, etc. You have to stop somewhere. Edmunds has done the work for you.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Tax incentives should not be considered in a debate of the relative virtues of hybrid and non-hybrid. Tax incentives skew the economic reality and are subject to repeal or revision at any time. Obviously, a potential buyer would take the incentive into account but it has no place in a policy discussion of which technology should be pursued as promising the best improvement over the conventional ICE.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Is the E320 CDI vs. the GS450h. Everything else is either not in this class, or irrelevant hypotheticals. Somebody needs to road test these cars, and see who comes out on top.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The 2006 Civic hybrid is ahead of the non-hybrid WITHOUT the tax incentives. Admittedly,it is a rare case, however. The tax incentives are icing on the cake. I agree they should not be generally used to compare the two alternatives, but since they exist, and the hybrid (Civic) is ahead anyway, it is merely a bonus to at least consider. Also, I am aware that there is generally an up front cost that is hard to retrieve with many hybrid vehicles.

    The reason I chose the 2006 Honda Civic hybrid as an example is that is has FINALLY broken the financial calculation problems, and it is the FIRST time a hybrid actually comes out ahead by comparing it to its non-hybrid counterpart. Other hybrids will not generally come out ahead necessarily. The Prius is an interesting calculation because it is ONLY a hybrid, and it either has value on its own merits or not, depending upon one's point of view.

    The value of clean emissions and energy efficiency is something that the hybrid haters seem to overlook. It has a value that EVERYONE benefits from. It is a good thing.

    For those wanting a more fuel-efficient and cleaner-burning vehicle, the hybrid DOES represent a legitimate alternative . . . sometimes at a premium, but not always . . . as is the rare case with the '06 Civic hybrid.

    In California, another advantage of owning a hybrid is the State's permission to use the car-pool lanes, at least for the next two years for now. Add that to the tax incentives, and it's no wonder that it looks attractive to many out here.

    Again, I agree that diesel is a fantastic alternative . . . in fact, I am waiting for the new Mercedes GL to be released with a diesel. I think it will be a terrific way to get fuel efficiency and power in a large SUV.


  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The only fair comparison is the E320 CDI vs. the GS450h. Everything else is either not in this class, or irrelevant hypotheticals. Somebody needs to road test these cars, and see who comes out on top.

    YES, that is an EXCELLENT idea that I would love to see.
  • Tagman, the only "proof" you offer that you are right are your own rather ridiculous assumptions. All your supposed "savings" are in your ficticious fuel costs and your equally ficticious mpg estimates for the two cars.

    First, you used an average of 50 mpg for the hybrid. Not even the city epa mileage for the hybrid civic is 50 mpg. They show a range of 40 to 50. We all know that even this is ridiculously high. In the real world you might get 30 mpg.

    Second, you used an average of $3.00 a gallon over 5 years for the cost of gasoline. Another crystal ball assumption. Will probably be more like $2.25.

    Third, you insist on using only city epa estimates. Of course this gives a big advantage to the hybrid and a big disadvantage to the non hybrid.

    Edmunds' more realistic assumptions showed a savings in fuel costs over the five years as $1590. for the hybrid. Your very skewed assumptions showed a savings of $3,000.

    Again, sorry but your assertion is false.
  • Well this 5 year stuff is fine, but the articles I have read say at 7 (or 8) years --CURRENTLY-- the cost both financially and ecologically demonstrates an even stronger case against hybrids.

    Something to do with batteries and their known replacement costs and their speculated disposal costs.

    Right now the case for hybrids is a future case, not that that is a bad thing.

    My only issue is the fact that diesels are here right now and able, if applied, to be of real help on almost all fronts.

    I heard a talk show the other day and the host alleged the expense and environmental impact of a [current] massive switch to hybrids that was ugly, expensive and dirty.

    Of course, the good news, I guess, is the probability of this happening is slim to none and slim is already heading out of town.

    I wonder what Bill Ford knows that we don't?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Not even the city epa mileage for the hybrid civic is 50 mpg.

    Excuse me . . . but it IS IN FACT 49 MPG . . . I have no reason to make up data. I beg your pardon . . . look it up at That is the official EPA mpg ratings website.

    I don't know WHERE you are getting your data.

    Also, take a good look at the recent years of gasoline prices and tell me the percentage increases, and then see who's paying attention and who isn't.

    Further, for an example, if you had owned a Prius in the last couple of years, and sold it right now, you would have experienced TREMENDOUS resale AND TREMENDOUS MPG's while you owned it . . . much better TCO than many other vehicles. No crystal ball needed to see this.

    Are you suggesting that a price upgrade for a larger ICE is somehow smarter? How does THAT pay back at ALL?!!

    This isn't about "right" or "wrong" as you seem to put it. It's about preferences. I simply would prefer to choose a diesel or hybrid over a conventional ICE. Beyond that, they each have their own unique advantages . . . including the hybrid. And they will even improve. Credit where credit is due.

    Sorry, gramps, but in today's world I now believe that a more fuel efficient engine is a better choice . . . you don't have to agree . . . but I think I would find you making the same case against fuel cell technology in the not-to-distant future.

    You remind me of the days when pollution control systems were considered "too expensive" for American Industry . . . or when "recycling" was too expensive, due to the initial costs. But, after a while, the initial costs were finally overcome and there were big REWARDS for being EFFICIENT.

    Believe me, there IS a REWARD for all of us to be fuel-efficient. Disagree if you want to, but I GUARANTEE you that you will continue to see more fuel-efficient vehicles over the next decades, including hybrid technology, like it or not.

    For you, it seems to be ONLY about the MONEY . . . and unless you can justify the expense TODAY, you would rather stay the same old course. Maybe you can't see the benefit TOMORROW . . . but it WILL be there.

  • Thanks for helping to prove yourself wrong. Your web site backs up everything I have said. The difference in the 5 year fuel cost is $1650. NOT $3000. They have a nice side by side comparison tool.

    Once proven wrong about the Civic Hybrid you attempt to change the subject and start talking about the Prius and what might happen in the future. And by the way, it was you who brought up the money or cost aspect.

    Rather than stand up like a man and admit you were wrong, you just continue to whine and squirm. To avoid further embarrassment in the future, I suggest that you have your facts straight before you shoot your mouth off. Sorry, but you have been nailed. Now get over it.
  • There seems to be divided opinion on which technology is better and the discussions have become somewhat "lively."

    IMHO, the best technology is the one which substantially reduces or eliminates the requirement for fossil fuel.

    One technology that looks particularly promising is biodiesel..... a vehicle that runs on vegetable oil (or peanut oil as originally planned by Rudolf Diesel).
    Even more interesting would be a pairing of technologies; i.e., a biodiesel-hybrid. That might really shake up the "oil interests."
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Rather than stand up like a man and admit you were wrong, you just continue to whine and squirm

    It was YOU who incorrectly quoted the Civic hybrid city MPG at 40 instead of the correct 49. I think you could do a little "standing up like a man" yourself, as you say. Your whole concept of "whining and squirming" is irrelevant to me.

    I only post what is my opinion. If I use data, I make every attempt to be accurate. I will not be engaged in personal attacks because someone disagrees with me.

    Additionally, your rather unkind and unecessary remarks violate the spirit of the posting guidelines for the Edmunds forums.

    It is my opinion that based on the current prices of the vehicles we have discussed, that when one factors in the resale and the fuel efficiency, the REAL price of gasoline, particularly in California, and further considers the benefits of cleaner emissions, and optionally the potential tax benefits, as well as HOV car-pool benefits in California, there is enough data to suggest that the hybrid is a legitimate alternative (and not the only alternative) to the conventional ICE, particularly, but not only, in California.

    I find nothing embarassing about that opinion. Some will agree and others will not. That is what this forum is all about.

    If you would like to dig deeper into the hybrid discussion, may I suggest the hybrid forum from this point forward? Some of your posts can be quite engaging, if you will just keep out the personal attacks. ;)

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    IMHO, the best technology is the one which substantially reduces or eliminates the requirement for fossil fuel.

    Welcome words. I agree. You may find this little piece of data interesting:

    link title

    WOW! Don't you think?

  • Indeed, the money spent in importing fossil fuel is mind-boggling! Unfortunately, the situation will get worse before it gets better.
  • It is, I suspect, all about money. It is somewhat unfortunate that our President used the term addicted, since that is perhaps a bit more negative than other words. But no matter how we look at it, the world depends upon energy to move forward in virtually all areas of human endeavor.

    As long as "gasoline" remains relatively inexpensive, what is the economic incentive to develop alternatives? It could be argued that we should place some cost on pollution, but until it is too expensive to pollute, we will continue, I suspect, to do so.

    Yep, I am pretty much a follower, if not a disciple of Adam Smith.

    And, with the following as food for thought, I suspect we will work to continue to support our "addiction" when we are "forced" to economically:

    "The largest known oil shale deposits in the world are in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable. For potentially recoverable oil shale resources, we roughly derive an upper bound of 1.1 trillion barrels of oil and a lower bound of about 500 billion barrels.

    For policy planning purposes, it is enough to know that any amount in this range is very high. For example, the midpoint in our estimate range, 800 billion barrels, is more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

    Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, 800 billion barrels
    of recoverable resources would last for more than 400 years."
    - Rand Corp. study

    Or if oil shale were used exclusively to satisfy present demand, our recoverable resources would last for more than 100 years -- if we used ONLY these resources.

    You can imagine we will continue our "addiction" based first on the "economics" involved in doing so, then on more, shall we say, altruistic motives.

    Our lust for the L and the P in our LPS cars will, I would imagine, continue unabated -- and grow, in fact -- until or unless it becomes impractical and/or unaffordable to continue. Diesels, Hybrids and eventually fuel cells will (or can) "fuel" this lust well beyond our lifetimes, apparently. Only if the ecological impact becomes an economic inconvenience will there be much impetus to change as long as we have a near and long term supply of "oil" the likes of suggested by the Rand study.

    I'd love to have the turbo diesel for its performance and mileage improvements -- in that order.

    And, running my A6 TDI on bio-diesel would be hunky dory too -- and I understand the car would smell like french fries too! :shades:
  • Great post Mark. Not everyone is aware of the tremendous oil reserves this country has, but we do have them. Apparently we want to keep our reserves and use up the other reserves from around the world. Actually this is not a bad plan.

    I can't wait to get my hands on a good modern diesel in a year or two. I am partial to Lexus rather than European cars so I hope Toyota is working overtime on diesel technology.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    We'll they built a 2.2L turbo diesel specifically for the European IS. There are no plans to bring it to the states though.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I can't wait to get my hands on a good modern diesel in a year or two. I am partial to Lexus rather than European cars so I hope Toyota is working overtime on diesel technology.

    In my opinion, if your desire is within one year or two, as you stated, your best bet for purchasing a diesel in THIS country will probably come from Audi, VW, or Mercedes Benz . . . all definately German.

    I am looking forward, as I have mentioned on other posts, to the new Mercedes GL SUV with the diesel engine. Possible wrench in the gear is that it may not meet the strict California emissions requirement. A new one can not be bought out of state for the purposes of importing it into the State. The State of California will not register it unless it becomes a used car, previously registered, and has a minimum of 7,500 miles. This is how the E-Class diesel has been handled. So, hopefully the new GL will be cleaner, but the current predictions are that it will not be clean enough.

    Regarding our fuel reserves, the primary reason for using the other reserves from around the world has not, IMO, been a "plan" as you put it . . . but has mostly, IMO, been a matter of politics and market price. Do you in fact know of a "plan" that you could elaborate upon?
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