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Luxury Sport Sedan Hybrids--or even "green"

dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
edited March 23 in BMW
It seems that the hybrids out now, or even in the pipeline, are either SUV's, or based off of economy cars. I am definitely a sport sedan/sport car person, and i definitely want my car to be "green"--the primary attribute being that it ought to be able to average, say, at least 35MPG in mixed driving.

I have a 328i and i basically want a car with its attributes ( handling, power, driving pleasure, accouterments ), but with better fuel economy. I can periodically squeeze out 35MPG on the highway, and i think it's absurd that as a country we are moving backward on fuel economy. I do think this is eminently possible to achieve. A prius can get 55mpg, and hybrids don't have as much of a penalty for increasing weight and power as a non-hybrid vehicle.

I sent a e-mail to BMW public relations, and they replied that they are not considering hybrids at all at this point, and they did not answer my concerns concerning their fleet fuel economy-right now, they as a corporation pay penalties for not meeting CAFE, and i therefore find it hard to justify buying one one their cars, however much i like them.

So, I wondered if anyone has information concerning "green" luxury cars, and i would be interested in hearing others opinions on the topic.

dave

Comments

  • You might be interested in cars from the current hybrid leaders. Check out: usbseawolf2000 "Honda Accord Hybrid vs. Toyota Camry Hybrid" Apr 17, 2004 6:08pm

    Dennis
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I appreciate the info, but that's not to my tastes ;)

    The mercedes benz e320diesel is 3,800 pounds, gets to 60 in 6.8 seconds, gets 35mpg in mixed driving ( EPA is 27/37 but reviews are reporting much better, in line with the lighter slower hybrids ), and gets 368 lb-ft at 1,800 RPM.

    'Course i'd want that in the lighter less expensive-class, but that's the idea. Toss it in the $27K c230 and you have an awesome $30K vehicle that could perform and get 40mpg on vegetable oil.

    Mercedes is also producing a grand sport touring with a diesel v8 and a hybrid motor. Also big ( seating for six ), fast ( 0-60 6.6 ) and 35MPG.

    Looking up info the past few days, the europeans are going in the diesel direction--hence the lack of hybrids.

    Hybrid pros:
    1) Impresive gas mileage, fuel at every station
    2) Pushing technology envelope for other applications
    3) Horsepower

    Hybrid cons:
    1) Still using gasoline.
    2) Longevity concerns ( battery pack renewal, disposal )
    3) Limited supply because mfgrs are losing money on them

    Diesel pros:

    1) Proven durable commodity technology
    2) Can burn biodiesel
    3) Torque

    Diesel cons:
    1) Particulate emissions
    2) US diesel fuel high-sulpur.
    3) Not quite as efficient as hybrid ( but can he hybridized too )

    dave
  • You can have a hybrid that use diesel too. It doesn't have to be gasoline. Also, is that e320 EPA number using manual transmission? 90% of the drivers prefer an automatic transmission.

    Dennis
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Those EPA numbers are with an automatic, though i prefer a manual.

    dave
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Toyota makes money off of Hybrids. At least they say they make money off of every single Prius rolling down the assembly line in Japan. And I have to wonder why BMW isn't even thinking about Hybrids. Are they thinking about Hydrogen and Fuel Cells?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    To get the kind of mileage you would like out of a luxury sedan, the only vehicles that come to mind are the MB E320 CDI & Passat TDI. I agree that the Honda & Toyota offerings that are supposed to be coming are not in the luxury sedan category. The Passat is a push.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    I don't think there is a Passat TDI available.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    I believe BMW is putting efforts into the Hydrogen route.
  • tom21769tom21769 Posts: 63
    VW does offer TDI versions of the Passat.
    This is something new and it may take a little effort to find the right one.
    Assuming you're not in California or New England.

    It might not qualify as a "luxury sport sedan" off the lot.
    But how about making a few "performance-enhancing" mods like the "Upsolute" chip?
    You'll wind up with a ~$25K (GLS trim) vehicle that could perform and get 35-40 mpg on vegetable oil* (*if you ignore VW's warranty policies, otherwise burn petro). Whether it's awesome enough for you, well, you'll have to decide.
     
    Hybrid and "luxury sport sedan" sounds like an oxymoron (for the time being at least).
    So MB diesel might be the best bet .
    Less expensive diesels (some of them fun and more-or-less sporty like the Mini Cooper) are available in Europe, but not here (other than VW). If MB is too expensive and you don't like VW, you're outta luck. Unless you'd want to look into importing something. But then, even if you could, who would service it?
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Tom21769 and Gagrice,

    Thanks for the info, I will look at the Passat TDI

    What do you two think of VWs especially the TDIs ??

    MidCow
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    Well we just went for a test drive in a Passat wagon. They don't have diesel here so it was a 1.8 turbo. It handles nice but my wife says too small. She says she will stay with her old LS400 Lexus that still gets 26 mpg on the highway. The Passat is not even close to the E320 we drove. It is just hard to part with 50 grand for a car.
  • tom21769tom21769 Posts: 63
    MidCow, I like the VW TDI's enough to buy one, whenever a dealer can get me what I want.
    A local dealer has promised me a Jetta GL wagon with stick shift and Electronic Skid Protection (ESP), for a decent price, when it arrives from Germany. You might want the more luxurious GLS trim in the Passat (alloy wheels, sunroof, Monsoon stereo). ESP adds about $300, maybe less, and you definitely should want that.

    AFAIK the wagons are all made in Germany, sedans in Latin America, if that matters to you. Maybe it is not the same with Passats. The VIN number on made-in-Germany cars should begin with "WVW".

    VW has had some quality problems in the past couple years (electric window motors among them), but seems to have addressed these. Their cars come with long warranties (4 years b2b, 12 years rust). They have a reputation for building "drivers'" cars. I did love the handling of the Jetta TDI I recently test-drove (but have never owned one). They are offered with a great package of safety features including head curtain air bags (standard), ABS (standard), and the available Electronic Skid Protection .

    There's an awful lot of information on these forums about VW, Passats, TDIs, etc.
    I'm reluctant to rehash any more (about emissions, etc.), but from what you've said so far, it sounds like the Passat TDI should at least be on your shopping list. The performance-boosting chip I mentioned is made by Upsolute (do a Google), costs maybe $300 (I think), and is said to offer a fairly significant boost in vehicle accelleration. One negative for me is that the Passat TDI only comes with automatic transmission in the USA. So you might prefer the way a manual Jetta drives, but I doubt it would be enough car for you if you're looking at Mercedes. None of these is a "sports" car, but the VW styling is more in the spirit of a Swiss Army watch, not the techno look of a Prius hybrid.

    Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Car and Driver, etc. seem to love the Passat. Less roomy
    than some luxury/near-luxury competition (Volvo etc.), but much less $$$, with terrific fuel economy in TDI.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    You’re willing to pay the premium Mercedes would charge for anything, but show concerns about replacement cost of a battery pack!

    Hybrid technology, using gasoline, diesel or hydrogen, will continue to evolve in the automotive industry, one step at a time. That’s the way things must evolve. To give this a perspective, does it make sense for automakers to develop a V12 as their first engine, and move down to four banger? Now, that would be going backwards, IMO.

    With the limited hybrid offerings around, we have had an opportunity to see that the technology, while still in its infancy, is practical. In the very near future, a flurry of new vehicles will debut to appeal to a wider audience.
  • tom21769tom21769 Posts: 63
    I test drove a Passat TDI wagon, too.
    That is as large and luxurious a car as I would ever want for my family of four.
    With sun roof, heated seats/mirrors/washers, automatic, air bags all over the place, and skid protection, it is still HALF the price of an E320, and a much better value than, say a Volvo V70
    (our current family car).

    For solo commuting, I'd prefer the Jetta TDI (even better fuel economy, and more fun to drive with manual tranny) at under $20K for a wagon in GL trim. In GLS, with leather, the sedan seems like a more expensive car than it is, and might even satisfy some people's "luxury sport sedan" definition after adding the Upsolute ship.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    After driving it I think it is a great car for the price. It does have all you would really need in a luxury car. My wife has driven her LS 400 since it was new in 1990. It is a lot bigger and still gets what I consider good mileage for a large car with V8 power. And it still runs perfect. Tough to justify even spending $25k.
  • tom21769tom21769 Posts: 63
    Sounds like you bought a great car in that LS400, and took care of it too.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    It only has 81k miles and always serviced at the dealer that sold it. They are not cheap to have service on though I can tell you that. You would think you just bought a whole new set of batteries for a Prius getting the oil changed.
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    WOW.. it costs 3 grand for an oil change on a Lexus....whew.... When I leased the RX300 I brought it to my local station for oil changes. Why waste money at a dealer???
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    Not 3 grand but I don't think she ever got out of the dealership for less than $400 just getting oil change and checking everything. I would not buy another for several reasons. Handling and comfort are wonderful. Fuel consumption is very good for the power and size. Toyota shines through in the high cost of maintenence after the warranty expires. I know many would argue that and it is not just Toyota, Honda is worse. Japanese car parts cost more than they are worth....
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    Quite true, but have you ever priced German parts? They're just as bad. This is where domestic manufacturers shine. Regardless, Lexus makes wonderful luxury autos. Amazing that they've only been around LESS than 20 years and make a car better than Mercedes IMHO.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    The only German car I have owned is a 1967 bug. And parts were every where and reasonable. I am sure MB is much different. My wife traded her MB300SD in on the LS 400 prior to our marriage. She feels the Lexus is superior.
  • mcatsmcats Posts: 8
    Speaking of diesel-electric hybrids... I saw one with my own eyes a couple of weeks ago. Here in CT there is a public transport bus (full-size) making normal runs. Gm is making hybrid diesel buses, and those buses are operating in areas like Seattle, Washington (USA).
This discussion has been closed.