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Any downside to buying a hybrid?

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  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    I stand corrected, Hondacars.com specifies the HX as a 5 passenger vehicle.

    As mentioned if saving $ is your only priority then a Civic DX or Echo would be the better bet.

    However I'm always amused when someone compares a no-frills model to the nicest of its line and says its cheeper.
    Let's do that with another model:
    I just went to http://automobiles.honda.com and visited the Accord section.
    MSRP for a DX is about $16K.
    I just priced a nicely (Not even fully) equipped EX for around $27K.

    Shall I seek an Accord EX message board and tell them that an unequipped Accord DX is 11K cheaper?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,794
    "Shall I seek an Accord EX message board and tell them that an unequipped Accord DX is 11K cheaper? "

    Yeah, go for it, but I doubt it will raise much of a fuss...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Many consumers think hybrids are interesting, but the extra mileage just doesn't justify the premium, said Anthony Pratt, senior manager of global powertrains at J.D. Power and Associates, the market research firm.

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/bus- iness/110034205328630.xml
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    I'll post this again (and make it bold):

    As mentioned if saving $ is your only priority then a Civic DX or Echo would be the better bet.

    However the title of your post is not accruate.
    Hybrid drivers have posted their actual calculated MPG of over 3 million miles of hybrid experience over at greenhybrid dot com and the average figures for each vehicle falls within range of the EPA estimates.
    The only exception is the Escape Hybrid, which is too new to get a good average over a multitude of drivers.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    However the title of your post is not accruate.

    I think it is completely accurate. Your website says the Prius II median average is 49 mpg. The EPA says it should be 55 mpg. That is pretty sizable difference IMO. Both the Insight and Civic hybrid are in their EPA range. It is the Prius that has gotten a lot of publicity and media flack for not meeting the EPA estimates.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    I guess the bottom line is this...the car I replaced got an overall MPG of 21. So 49 as an average is quite an improvement. And...I recall reading articles from Toyota themselves who state that the EPA figures are not accurate for the Prius. So I didn't go in thinking that 60 mpg was going to be my mileage. I suppose I am at the point to say - with all the data that is available to consumers on cars these days (from this site, these boards, and other places) anyone who walks into a car dealership with on the marketing departments info on the car pretty much deserves what they get.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "Someone is paying for that R&D. Who? I think those that buy the cars and our tax dollars."

    The people buying Toyota and Honda cars are paying for it, and the company stockholders, and the executives. I can't see how my tax dollars are paying for R&D at a private company...??

    "Maybe they will start lowering the prices on them. Many are paying a premium that is money down the toilet."

    Yes, I'm sure the prices will come down when Hybrids are not such a novelty as they are now. But it is NOT DIFFERENT AT ALL from the times in the past when "automatic transmissions" were novelty items, and later "Anti-lock brake systems" were novelty items. It's just another step in the evolution of Autos.

    "As far as reliability we will not know until a sizeable portion have crossed the 15 year or 150k mile useful lifespan."

    Acutally, reliability is tracked ever single year, so we will know WAY before then. How do you think "Most Reliable" and "Least Reliable" ratings are determined? They are determined from owners reporting problems during the useful life of the car, not after 15 years when it is sitting in a junkyard. You don't honestly think that usable reliability data takes that long to establish, do you?

    "On the site that tracks hybrid mileage out of 56 HCH cars reporting their mileage none are over 50k miles. Most people do not consider a car broken in until at least 50k miles. Only time will tell on the reliability."

    There is a user with 43K and his tanks have shown NO DECREASE yet. He is averaging 54.4 MPG over that 43,000 miles. You are right about time telling, and so far time has shown that that HCH has shown no indications of problems maintaining high MPG figures. We'll see again when he hits 75K, and no one can know what will happen. On reliability, well, it's a Civic, and Civics score high on every measured reliability scale ever invented.

    "Prius are starting to show their age and along with it some bad news for owners. Keep your fingers crossed."

    What evidence is there of older Priuses giving "bad news for owners"? I frequent many Prius forums and have yet to see any complaints or widespread battery issues, or other reliability issues either.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    You don't honestly think that usable reliability data takes that long to establish, do you?

    I absolutely do. If the car has problems in the first 50k miles I consider that a bad sign. My last 4 Chevy PUs & Suburban had NO problems. I had the AC pump on my Suburban replaced under warranty before the 6 years was up. It was making a rattling noise, still kept the car cold.

    What evidence is there of older Priuses giving "bad news for owners"?

    You missed this one. $2100 for a catalytic convertor?

    greenmoongirl "Toyota Prius Owners: Problems & Solutions" Dec 1, 2004 1:32am
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Me-"You don't honestly think that usable reliability data takes that long to establish, do you?-end gagrice-"I absolutely do. If the car has problems in the first 50k miles I consider that a bad sign."

    Of course problems in the first 50K miles are unpleasant in ANY car. But "overall reliability" can only be accurately measured by THOUSANDS of owners reporting problems (or no problems) on a particular car. Under no one's measure does ONE PROBLEM in the first 50K miles mean a reliability problem, or indicate ANYTHING at all except that one component in one car failed early. You can draw no scientific conclusion from that one instance.

    Now, if that problem on that component occurs on 500 cars or 1000 cars, then it becomes a reliability issue with THAT MODEL YEAR car.

    The lady with the $2100 converter should have spent $1500 on an extended warranty, or sold her car before 92K. And it is ONE instance of ONE component failing on ONE car. No valid scientific conclusion can be made that the whole line is "unreliable" because one car had a failed component.

    Do you know what percentage of people keep their cars for more than 100K miles? It's about 5 to 10 percent.

    So problems at 92,000 miles that are not covered under warranty does not CONDEMN an entire car line. It couldn't, or every single car in every line on the road would be considered UNRELIABLE.

    C'mon guys, lets use some common sense on these issues......
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    So problems at 92,000 miles that are not covered under warranty does not CONDEMN an entire car line.

    Not at all. What it does is make those that have cars close to going out of warranty nervous. I think if you followed the VW Jetta board. One of the advisaries was get the extended warranty. Now you have said the same for the Prius. I always get cheated on warranties because the car gets old before I get close to the mileage. The real problem that I see with this 92k mile Prius that is only 3 years old is the horrendous cost of repair. They are right to be worried. If they have already spent $600 for some sensor and are faced with a $2100 catalytic convertor. Does that seem like a low maintenance car to you? How much do you think they could get for that car right now?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote gagrice-"Does that seem like a low maintenance car to you? How much do you think they could get for that car right now?"-end

    No, but like I said, the number of people who keep their cars that long is low. And the ones who DO keep the car that long BETTER BE smart enough to buy an extended warranty, Hybrid or not, $10K car or $75K car.

    And how much they can get for that car right now has NOTHING TO DO with the $600 repair or the $2100 repair. It will be based on Blue Book value, like 99% of every other car sale in the USA.
  • No, but like I said, the number of people who keep their cars that long is low. And the ones who DO keep the car that long BETTER BE smart enough to buy an extended warranty, Hybrid or not, $10K car or $75K car.



    Duh. It doesn't matter if the original owner keeps the car or not. Reliability records have nothing to do with length of ownership.
    What matters is how the car performs as it ages, no matter if it's the second or third owner. If you say "whoever owns that car from 100K miles on better have an extended warranty", you are in fact saying that the car is inferior to most other Toyota and Honda ICE cars.

    And how much they can get for that car right now has NOTHING TO DO with the $600 repair or the $2100 repair. It will be based on Blue Book value, like 99% of every other car sale in the USA

    If there is a potential $2000 repair coming up, you can bet your life that affects how much that car is worth today. And if there are enough cases of the $600 or $2000 repair documented as the car approached 100K miles, you can once again bet that the book values will reflect it.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote Gagrice-"And if there are enough cases of the $600 or $2000 repair documented as the car approached 100K miles, you can once again bet that the book values will reflect it."-end quote

    Blue Book values to not CARE if a particular car has had $8000 in repairs. What brings the value down is THOUSANDS of that model car having repair issues on multiple components or one component failing at a high rate.

    Cynical outsiders harping that a car "might have to replace a battery" sometime between 100K and 200K is NOT GOING TO AFFECT BLUE BOOK VALUES at all.

    quote gagrice-"Reliability records have nothing to do with length of ownership."

    Actually, they very much do have a relationship for Used Car buyers. If you are going to buy a fairly recent car, 2 or 3 years old, you are going to care WAY MORE about reliability ratings than if you are looking at a car with 100K plus miles on it. Anyone buying a car with that many miles will KNOW that they are setting themselves up with a modicum of risk. No one with any common sense is going to buy a 100K plus car and not expect to have costly repairs at some point.

    And it is a fact that cars lose substantial Blue Book value when they get over 100K. That's because after that, things break more often and it is harder if not impossible to get a warranty. That's the nature of the business, and no Hybrids or TDIs will change that.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    But I traded a 1999 Chrysler 300M for my Prius. It had 3 transmissions , A bad AC compressor and evaporator core, two bad window motors, a bad shifter cable... all in less than 60,000 miles. Yet....it won a JD Powers award.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,794
    "But I traded a 1999 Chrysler 300M for my Prius. It had 3 transmissions , A bad AC compressor and evaporator core, two bad window motors, a bad shifter cable... all in less than 60,000 miles. Yet....it won a JD Powers award."

    I suspect that was a JD Powers initial quality award...
  • "Civic HX is a 2-door car, but I assure you it has a backseat. (I've driven it.) So up to 5 people. And about $6000 cheaper than the Hybrids, but still gets 40-44 mpg."

    "Nice alternative. Wonder why it doesn't sell that well?"

    .

    Because Honda makes only a few thousand. I called every dealer in the Washington-Baltimore area, and only 2 had the Civic HX.

    As for features, it's true that the HX doesn't have all the features of a Civic Hybrid or Prius, but I *don't want* those features. I don't need a navigation system or blu-tooth interfacing or fancy LCD screens. That's just more stuff to break down later & waste money fixing.

    I like a basic car with a radio & air conditioning that takes me to work & gets me back home. The Civic HX does that, and only for ~$15,000, and still 40-44 mpg.

    It's a good alternative for thrifty buyers.

    Troy
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,697
    HX Civics do not have air conditioning.By the time it's added the car costs more than an LX.

    I'm trying to remember the last time I sold an HX or even had a customer ask about them. I'm really surprised they haven't been dropped by now.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,699
    couldn't find '05 hx under honda. for '04 it's there, but no options are listed as available.
    a/c would be dealer installed?
  • Well the HX I drove had cold air, and it was still ~$3000 cheaper than the Hybrid.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,697
    Is the only way an HX can have it.

     

    They still make them so they must be selling somewhere?
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    1) recessed or "concealed" windshield wipers that freeze and can't be freed

    because the hood is in the way

    2) pantograph windshield wipers that can't be lifted away from the glass

    3) "switchblade" keys that eventually break and cost over $100 to replace

    4) cupholders that only hold small drinks

    5) cupholders that let cups tip easily

    6) locking glovebox right below CD changer that doesn't lock

    7) plastic shields and covers in the engine compartment that don't protect anything

    9) oil filter mounting positions that dribble oil all over the place when changing filters

    10) tiny print on switches, knobs, and levers

    11) spare tire wells that won't fit full-size spares

    12) power antennas

    13) wheels held on by bolts instead of studs and nuts

    14) 12v power outlets that you have to open an ashtray to access
  • I'd like to point out that, while living in northwest part of Indiana I have found the lack of an eng. heat gauge very annoying. Another bit of disapointment was the drop in MPG's in very cold wheather. I can only guess that it has something to do with engine running constantly due to severe colder temps.Summer,spring and fall I get 400-430 miles to a tank while in the cold of winter it drops to 300-340 per tank. Gas gauge seems inconsistant.

    Culliganman (a little tarnish on my star)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    cold of winter it drops to 300-340 per tank. Gas gauge seems inconsistant.

     

    What percentage of ethanol do they have in your winter gas? That knocks milege down horribly. I think there is a fix for the flakey gas gauge. Check out this TSB...

     

    rpgolfer, "Toyota Prius 2004+" #3968, 5 Dec 2004 10:48 pm
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    I'd like to point out that all modern autos have the problem of being too complicated for the shade-tree mechanic or DIY. Some believe this to be a deliberate move by automakers at the request of dealers who want their service department's high margin protected.

     

    I had a 2000 Volvo V70XC which we recently traded in on our Escape Hybrid. In 57k miles worth of dealer maintenance I estimate we easily spent $3-4k on routine service. It was all but impossible to get out of the dealer's service dept for less than $100. Then at just about 52k miles the electronic throttle module called it quits. This is a $900+ repair. At 55k miles the accelerator pedal sensor dies, which I replaced my self at a parts cost of about $80 (would've been another $200 for dealer to diagnose and I'd bet they'd want to replace the $1000 computer instead of the accelerator pedal).

     

    Yes, hybrid cars are different and complicated. But the same is true of any new car. The benefits in terms of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions have to be weighed, and a simple cost analysis doesn't begin to cover it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    hybrid cars are different and complicated. But the same is true of any new car.

     

    That is true, however some are worse than others. One poster with a Prius paid $300 for a 12 volt battery from Toyota. Another was fighting with the dealer over a $2100 Catalytic convertor. Maybe it is foreign cars that rip you on repairs and maintenance. My wife paid $1549 for a power steering pump in her Lexus LSS400. I found a place that specializes in Lexus and the prices are about 25% of what the dealer charges for repair. For example the fuel gauge went bad and the dealer wanted $1200 to repair it. Our specialist did it for $330 the part was $240.

     

    By contrast to your situation with Volvo the Suburban I have is over 6 years old. It has always been serviced at the Chevy dealer. I did not buy it from him. He still only charges me $21.95 for lube and oil change. I have not spent $4k on that vehicle in six and a half years. That includes lifetime brakes at Firestone and a new set of Michelin tires.
  • p3ozp3oz Posts: 6
    I bought a used 2001 prius about a year ago when it was at 92k miles. So far I have come to know from the dealer is that the fuel pump(?) was replaced by the original owner. The tires were not what is recommended, instead it had tires with specs close to the one used. Other than that the one problem bugging me is the screeching sound from the right side (front) of the car on cold mornings when I go over a bump or a hole. I thought the noise may be from the shock absorber, but the toyota dealer service guys says it may mostly be due to the aging of the rack and pinion system - replacing which will cost me about 5K or more. But if I can do without that then there won't be any problems except the steering will get harder to turn with age.....they wanted to run a full computer test to check it out, but I haven't had the time. The other problem is the expensive tyres. If I go for Prius specs then it costs me a 100 bucks a tyre. Besides that the car still is averaging 41.8 miles/gallon.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    aging of the rack and pinion system - replacing which will cost me about 5K or more.

     

    Again I would say that is the dealers horrible markup on parts and labor. If you live in a town that is large enough, there should be a competent mechanic that is familiar with Toyota. He may not know all the ins & outs of the Prius yet, but he could probably get the computer diagnostics software and figure it out. My wife just had her 1990 LS400 into the dealer for the last time. He charged her $109 to change oil, filter and routine check. He had a list of about $5k dollars worth of needed repairs. We took it to this Lexus shop and he did all the work that was needed for $1,100. Two of the items were not bad. That included new ball joint, valve covers and pan gaskets, the fuel sending unit. He used to work in a dealership and said Lexus usually doubles the MSRP price on parts. Once your warranty is up on a car you need to find a competent mechanic. The dealers want to make it as expensive as they can to convince you that a new car is a better option...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    If I go for Prius specs then it costs me a 100 bucks a tyre. Besides that the car still is averaging 41.8 miles/gallon.

     

    Many people changed tires to improve the handling. It will cost you a couple MPG. If you are in a cold place 41.8 mpg is probably not bad for the winter time. Lousy winter gas blend. I would get a second opinion on that front end it could leave you stranded at an inconvenient time and place.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    The original Bridgestone RE92 can be had from Tire Rack for about $55 ea. Make sure to get the XL rated ones. However, the original Bridgestones are generally hated by most "classic" Prius owners for their short lifespan and mediocre handling.

     

    As for your steering problem, there was a recall on the electric power steering rack on many early Priuses. Your dealer should check your VIN and see if the rack was replaced under the recall. Some of us also received a warranty extension note on the steering rack removing the mileage limitation.

     

    My experience as an owner of a 2002 Prius is that Toyota has done an excellent job standing behind the model and have gone out of their way to ensure a positive experience for the owner. I think this is because they realized early on that the Prius buyer may not be a customer who has dealt with Toyota in the past and they wanted to make a good first impression...
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