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What's your reason for buying a Hybrid?

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  • Host:

    Do you own a hybrid?....I do....My Prius gets 52mpg in mixed driving...do you know of a Gasoline engine that gets that on it's own?.....In stop and go Traffic the Prius is even better because like a Golf cart the engine shuts off when the vehicle stops..At speed (my wife often drives the 100 miles to visit our daughter in her Prius) on the interstate Her MPG has never been less then 48...

    Many if not most Computer geeks have no degrees...Bill Gates is but one example.. Cars now contain many computers and have for years...They are fixed or replaced daily, all over America by the techs (Most of whom have no BS) degrees) Mechanics will be paid whatever the market demands...On the Avg probably more then the Avg Computer Geek.

    Gregs Japanese Auto a small independent chain of repair shops in the Seattle Area either now or soon will work on Hybrids....Many independents will as soon as there are enough of them on the road with some miles on them to justify the training expense....JUST AS WITH ANY NEW INNOVATION.

    DIESEL requires a much larger distribution system in the US if they are to become popular...While I am not an expert I also believe they are not as clean as Gas/electric cars...and if fact are banned in some states. Hyrbids do not require special gas stations and the batteries are recharged by the gas engine...

    Small gas engines will definately provide greater gas milage then big one's ..SURPRISE...But the drivers I know want Some Power in addition to economy...hybrids provide just that...
  • I would suggest you make a compairson of the car sizes you are talking about...The prius has far more room and equipment then the eariler hybrids...or gas only cars like the Civic or Corolla...further they get much better milage then the gas driven cars like Civic or Corolla who do NOT get 30-40 MPG for someone who drives in Heavy slow traffic everyday. On the Freeway Yes...In heavy stop and go urban traffic NO WAY....
  • Buy a Toyota and you wouldn't have that Battery Warrenty Problem. At least not for the first 100-150,000 miles.......Why...Because the car does not run without the Batteries working properly...and they are guaranteed ...The older technology Honda's ....I don't know.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I can assure you that if there was EVER a problem with my traction battery and my Prius has less than 150,000 miles I'll get a new battery and pay NADA, ZIP. I am from NY and can be quite convincing. Your skepticism and continued participation in the hybrid forum may be a case of buyer remorse. I know you were hoping for a 6 speed Prius.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Check out the 2006 Civic. It isn't that far off in size than a Prius. If you regularly haul 5 adults, then a Prius isn't even big enough.

    Here's a fuel thrifty Civic, but it's obviously not got the equipment of any current model.

    I commute 75 miles/day through metro Detroit which takes about 2h15m on average. Some stop and go stuck on freeways, some boulevards, some secondary streets. Almost every vehicle I've commuted in gets right in the middle of the EPA estimates. ICE engines use very little fuel at idle. It's the acceleration that consumes the most.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    For the present anyway, hybrids seem to be a part of "feel good marketing", which is FINE....but they don't yet add up to any savings over a regular car. Great technology and excellent emissions however. I could see the latter arguments as sound enough for buying one, that it supports an emerging (if volatile) technology and is a clean running car (presuming it doesn't require external re-charging).

    But the "saving money" argument falls apart IMO, at least in 2005.


    I agree. The problem is that you get some single people, or some DINKs (Dual Income No Kids), who buy a hybrid (because they can afford the surplus), get religion about it, and become convinced that if it works for them it MUST work for everyone else on the planet. I think we've seen that on this forum as well.

    How many hybrid owners here have 2+ kids and make less than $100K per year (total family income)? Just curious.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote mirth-"How many hybrid owners here have 2+ kids and make less than $100K per year (total family income)? Just curious."-end quote

    I fall into that category - single dad, two kids who live with me, less that $100K a year by a large chunk of change, and I own a Hybrid I paid $19,324 for in July 2004.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    One large adult (Me) 6'3, 235lbs, One petite wife, 3 kids. We all fit quite nicely.

    Our HCH has been a dream commuter car, and is averaging mid 60's mpg, pretty good I'd say for a MT vehicle.
    I expect it to give good service for the 10 year +300K miles I plan to drive.

    BTW less than $100K/yr family income as well.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...are the kids? Still in car seats or boosters?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    My kids are a boy 9 and a girl 6 and they are still in booster seats and will remain there in the back seat until they reach 80 pounds per the safety recommendations of NHTSA and other agencies.

    And neither of them will ride in the front seat until their 13th birthday.

    And once the oldest is out of the booster seat I will put him in the backseat middle seat to keep him away from the door in case we get T-Boned. 50/50 chance that it will be on the side he is not on, but you can only do so much. :shades:
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    I wonder what the demographics are. Sex, income, # children, etc.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    5 People: Myself, Wife, Kids range 9-12. Family income is 50-100K.
    HCH is my primary commuter car and drive 46miles twice a day.

    Typically just under 1/2 is rural highway, just under 1/2 is freeway into the city of Atlanta, and about 5 miles of clogged rush-hour mid town traffic.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,907
    I wonder what the demographics are. Sex, income, # children, etc

    They have higher income, much higher than the average car buyer—approximately $100,000 a year versus $85,000 a year for the average buyer.
    They’re more likely to be female.
    Hybrid drivers are a few years older than the average car buyer—closer to fifty rather than the average age of forty.
    California strongly outpaces all other states for new hybrid vehicle registrations.


    http://www.hybridcars.com/hybrid-driver-profile.html
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Thanks for that link!

    This statistic is interesting: They drive fewer miles on average
  • "A 300M is not comparable in size or equipment to a Prius."

    Absolutely true, intrinsically and a good academic point!

    However, this is reality: i wasn't trading in my 7.8sec-to-60mph 300M for a Corolla. Go figure... And my Prius quickly passed many BMWs on the road while they were still waiting for engine response.

    The more relevant comparison for me was to compare the new car to what I got, considering both costs and performance as an entire packaged trade. If I am making a gas mileage jump, like I had, i was not going to make a mediocre jump to a middle of the road Corrolla with a lethargic engine response. I jump right to the best possible.

    The number weren't "skewed" because those are true numbers of a 300M. The more important issue is: do you compare a new car to what you got or what you could have gotten? For me, there was no sense of comparing the Prius to a Corrolla because I ain't gonna get a Corrolla, even at 50% discount !!!! So it wasn't a relevant comparison for me.

    My point is that if you're going to consider a Prius, then you should compare it to the other cars that YOU LIKE and would have gotten if there is no Prius. You should not compare the Prius to another car, which can be a good academic exercise, but you would never going to get anyway.

    There lies the necessity to make your own judgment for you own situation, like you said.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Well, you and larsb certainly walk the walk.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I seriously doubt the average car buyer earns 85k per year. No way, no how!!
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Do you have a connotation against Corollas? I don't think the performance is any worse than Prius w/ fully charged batteries. CVT may change how it feels, though. I don't see Corolla as any better or worse in class than Prius or Camry. Echo, maybe, but not Prius.

    I often compare/justify new vehicle with current one, but not always do I compare the new vehicle with all its competitors. That doesn't mean it is right. Deciding to purchase a new vehicle (and the class/equipment/size) it is in should be separate from evaluating all the vehicles in said market.

    You should check out the equipment level of the 2006 Civic LX & EX. Really not far off base Prius sans anything related to the hybrid tech. Now, some of the other optional features in Prius are class exclusive. I'm sure it was not availible when you bought your Prius, though.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,907
    Not my statistics.

    I found it hard to believe also. I guess that is why none of the people I know have a hybrid. They are not in the upper income bracket that can afford one. They are lucky to own a used Echo.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...the average household earns 85K? I could maybe see that with two people working.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    .....here's why I wouldn't buy one just yet.

    1. The fuel economy isn't siginificantly better than some of the more fuel efficient gas powered vehicles, at least not significant enough to justify the much higher price. If they can manage to get 70-80 MPG out of these vehicles, or they lowered the price, that would be a different story.

    2. Hybrids haven't been around long enough to find out just how reliable they will be.

    3. The batteries will eventually have to be replaced and no one can tell me how much these batteries will cost to replace. And what about disposal fees for the old batteries?

    These are legitimate issues that need to be addressed with hybrids.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    You hang around with the wrong crowd. I am surprised someone your age doesn't have friends that earn enough to by a 22k car.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    These issues have been addressed numerous times. I'll summarize:

    1- Battery- NON issue... 100k warranty/ 150k in CA/NY/MA/ME/VT

    2- Mileage attained can easily be in the mid 40's without any effort at all.

    3- Name a car with ALL the content of the Prius that can easily achieve 50mpg on the highway. It has to be around 26k.

    Waiting.....
  • Falconone -

    Good points!

    I like the hybrid because of its high mileage and high tech features.

    I dislike it because it isn't manual shift, is very average performance if not low and the handling is not very good (Toyota could have put the Camry multilink suspension intead of the torsion beam cheap Echo suspension and it would have made it worlds better handling at a low weight penalty).

    Also, I don't completely fit the Hybrid profile in the previous link, even though I think It may be dated:

    fit: higher income, higher education, older, fully expect gas prices to continue to increase

    don't fit: not female, don't drive fewer miles, don't live in Califonia, not willing to pay more for "green", don't normally keep a car a long time, I agree pollution should be reduced but one car to another is pretty insignificant in the bigger picture.

    Periodically I get on a high mileage kick and I actually like the looks of the Prius and its planetary gear CVT transmssion is unique.

    I could have lived with the handling and performance, but for me to enjoy driving at all I need(want) a manual shift.

    Cheers,

    MidCow

    I am still toying with the idea of buying a 5-speed Insight but I think a convertible is going to win out and I already have too many cars now :cry:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    Gee I have never met a Prius owner that gets 52 mpg city/hwy average. I've canvassed about 6 of them so far (personal friends who will tell the truth) because I'm curious as to "real world" without all the hype and EPA stickers (which are usually laughable you have to agree). The magic number seems to be about 40-44 mpg. Of course, these are folks who just drive like a normal car. Road & Track got 41 mpg long term testing and I think Edmunds got about the same. So giving the old "bell curve" argument, I'd say 52 mpg is well outside the average and lucky you if you get that all the time.

    Lemmee see.... at 41 mpg, compared to my gas hog (V-8), I'd save $78 a month driving a Prius. BUT, since my car is bought and paid for I don't have comprehensive insurance, so we have to add $45 a month additional for the Prius.

    Nah, can't justify it on gas mileage.

    The "feel good" part I like a lot. I would enjoy driving a more emissions-free car. So that's a plus.

    As for driving enjoyment, a Prius doesn't work for me at all...it's a clumsy car (by my standards) so I'm not ready to buy yet on those grounds...it's also pretty slow for me. I'll race a Prius with a new BMW for money or lunch any day. I'm hungry. :P

    As for carrying capacity/room, my present car is a large 2 door hatch and I can get a lot of stuff in there. So I don't think Prius has the edge on my present wheels.

    SUMMARY: 4 major reasons to buy a hybrid (includes most types of drivers)

    1. Fuel economy
    2. Driving enjoyment
    3. Environmental
    4. Practical hauler

    So I''m one out of four with present hybrids. Think I'll wait until I see improvements in the other areas, then I may go for it! For folks who don't care about acceleration and handling so much, they may be ready to buy now, and I can understand that.

    How about a really good handling, V-6 (at least 250 HP) hybrid sport wagon or crossover? That might tempt me, even if fuel mileage were closer to 30 than 45 mpg.

    MODERATOR

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    for the life of the car.

    Expand your horizons. :D
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    I'm going with R&T's long term mileage survey since it covers many drivers and many miles. That's good data. I don't know 80 people much less 80 Prius owners and even if I did I don't have the time to survey them all and examine their record-keeping techniques. R&T I trust because they've been doing this kind of thing a long time.

    MODERATOR

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Road and Track is an amusing choice of a solid source. You can rest assured that those drivers are not taking full advantage of the HSD technology to milk MPG out of the Prius on a normal day-to-day basis, which is part of the fun and part of the game and something you should learn to do as a Hybrid owner who wants to maxmize their economy.

    And I don't personally know 80 Prius owners either - notice I said "I know of about" that many owners by surfing websites which have drivers list their results. :D

    I do have a co-worker and friend with a 32 mile one way stop and go highway commute and a 2005 Prius and he regularly gets 50 MPG tanks, and he does not even try that hard. He is always with a wife and a 3 year old daughter in the car - they both work here where I work.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    First off... check greenhybrid which has a good representation of participants. Their overall average is over 48. I've consistently achieved low 50's on the highway going 65. Next time I borrow my sister's car, I'll be glad to post a screen shot. Heck even getting 45 is great to me.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    When I get home later I'll post a screen shot of one of my most recent tanks, 66MPG on the dash and +900 miles to that tank.
    It calculated out to over 68MPG.

    I don't need 80 hybrid drivers to show me this.

    Mr. Shiftright, I was wondering what you are getting in your V8?
    Our hybrid purchase back in Jan '04 also influenced the MPG of our Grand Caravan.
    Its MPG went from 16-17 up to mid 20's. (V6)
    Even with 22-26MPG, it's still a pig, but many owners of smaller cars w/4cyl engines get 20's MPG.
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