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Hybrids the Real Payback



  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    Civic Hybrid has strange interior and exterior design, uncomfortable front seats, occasional whirring and beeping noises, and is slow.
    Honda has decided not to offer adjustable lumbar support; the result feels as if the small of your back were resting on a Duraflame log. It’s uncomfortable to the point of being a deal breaker.
    In a hybrid, the trick is to drive like a grandmother. You have to accelerate away from a stop slowly enough to minimize the role of the gasoline engine and maximize the role of the electric motor. Very simply, hybrids use an electric motor as a supporting source of power that doesn’t require gasoline, and that’s the whole point. Indeed, a Toyota Prius can pull away from a stop using only its electric motor, although the Civic hybrid cannot.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    Just as the EPA was off on Hybrids it is off on diesels the other direction. Many Jetta TDI owners are getting in the 45-50 MPG range. Just as you have posted your mileage and I believe you, I also believe them. When faced with the complexity and the CVT transmission failures from Honda, I would say a person would not see a payback on owning a hybrid vs a VW TDI. Especially over the long haul of 8-10 years. Too many things with the hybrid drive system to fail. All high cost replacement items. You are right that many of the limited number of 2006 Jetta TDI models are bringing MSRP and above. It is supply and demand. I can remember people paying $35k for an Accord Hybrid. Now they are selling for $10k less. Makes the resale very poor. Another downside to hybrids as they reach the end of the warranty is a big loss of value. I hope yours pays off and it is good car that you are happy with.

    These are just my opinions and some of the reasons I decided against owning a Hybrid back in 2001.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    ...most of the time. Car & Driver says in a Civic Hybrid with the A/C on, at a stop, the electric compressor keeps the cabin cool. As soon as you lift your foot off the brake, the gas engine whirs to life again.

    Honda Civic Hybrid

    C/D-observed: 40 mpg

    SAE volume, front seat: 52 cu ft
    rear seat: 39 cu ft
    luggage: 10 cu ft

    Type: inline-4, aluminum block and head
    Bore x stroke: 2.87 x 3.15 in, 73.0 x 80.0mm
    Displacement: 82 cu in, 1339cc
    Compression ratio: 10.8:1
    Fuel-delivery system: port injection
    Valve gear: chain-driven single overhead cam, 2 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters, variable
    intake-and-exhaust-valve timing and lift
    Power (SAE net): 93 bhp @ 6000 rpm
    Torque (SAE net): 89 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
    Redline: 6300 rpm

    Type: brushless DC electric motor powered by 132 1.2-volt nickel-metal hydride batteries
    Power (SAE net): 20 bhp @ 2000 rpm
    Torque (SAE net): 66 lb-ft @ 0–1160 rpm
    Redline: 6300 rpm

    ACCELERATION: Seconds (full charge, part charge)
    Zero to 30 mph: 4.0, 4.4
    40 mph: 5.9, 6.5
    50 mph: 8.1, 9.1
    60 mph: 10.8, 12.3
    70 mph: 14.4, 16.4
    80 mph: 19.2, 21.7
    90 mph: 26.2, 29.2
    100 mph: 37.6, 41.4
    Street start, 5–60 mph: 12.5, —
    Top-gear acceleration,
    30–50 mph: 6.0, —
    50–70 mph: 8.4, —
    Standing 1/4-mile: 18.3 sec @ 78 mph, 19.1 sec @ 75 mph

    C/D-observed: 40 mpg
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    The Hyundai Accent 4 door sedan has 92.2 cubic feet for passengers. The Civic Hybrid has only 91 cubic feet. The Elantra has 98 cubic feet.
    So maybe the Hyundai Accent is the better car to compare to the Civic Hybrid. The Accent should be cheaper to own and operate than the Elantra.
    Edmunds True Cost To Own for the Accent is $35,206 (5 years)
    Edmunds True Cost To Own for the Civic Hy. $34,797 (5 years)
    After the 3rd year or 36,000 miles the Civic's warranty is used up. The Accent still has an additional 2 years and 24,000 miles bumper to bumper and then in years 6 through 10 up to 100,000 miles the drivetrain is covered with a $0 deductible.
    The Accent and Civic Hybrid have about the same performance and size. The horsepower of each is the same according to Edmunds' and Motor Trend's websites.
    The Elantra Limited has more equipment features than the Civic. The Accent has less than the other two.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Well I suspect that there would be speeds where the 1.8L actually got better mileage. There are highways in this country with posted 75 mph limits. On the ones I'm familiar with the traffic generally runs close to 80 mph. I wonder what kind of mileage a 1.3L engine will deliver at 80 mph. I'm guessing it would be no better than the 1.8L, maybe worse.

    Anyway, that's not really what I was asking. I want to pull all the hybrid gear out of the 1.3L Civic. Line it up next to the hybrid and put 5 gallons of gas in each car. Now send them down the highway together at 65 mph. No starting or stopping or steep grades to deal with. Like I said, I-10 through Texas. If the hybrid can actually travel further then I'd like to know how?
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    Good idea. Buy two. Gut one. Let us know the outcome.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    This whole thread has degenerated into a rejection of hybrids based on speculation and false assumptions:

    "Hey, if you took out the electric motor, hybrids wouldn't be so good!"

    "Hey, a Hyundai costs less than a Honda, so hybrids are a rip-off!"

    "Hey, 17 years ago, my buddy's Yugo got almost 40 mpg, so hybrids suck!"

    I've shown you guys the numbers. I've done the math for you. I've done the cost/benefit analysis for you. It's all there for you in this thread.

    If you're content to ignore factual statements and mathematic equations, while continuing to bleat out that i.c.e. cars are superior, then keep driving your gas hogs. Believe me, OPEC, Exxon, and government tax collectors thank you.

    They love you!

    Meanwhile, my Civic Hybrid averages 47 mpg. Here's photographic proof:

  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    Based on speculation and assumptons you have made, you are guessing the hybrid will work out well for you for many years to come. I hope it does. Good luck with that.
    Your opinions of what the facts are in your situation are not necessarily the same as what another person may think if he were in your position.
    Hybrids are not the best choice for everyone.
    And photos don't prove anything. They may be offered as evidence, but that's it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    I can see your position and anyone forced to drive 25k miles per year. A HCH or Prius is probably a good choice. I would slit my wrists if I had to put up with driving that many miles a year. So a hybrid makes little sense to me. The only way I would consider a hybrid car is if it had a bumper to bumper 10 year warranty.

    The thread deals with payback on hybrids. You are new to the forum so you probably missed the 1000s of posts for and against hybrids since 2001. Most hybrid owners will concede that you cannot buy a hybrid strictly on a money saving basis.

    If you drive the average 15k miles per year you will only save $304 per year on gas with the hybrid Civic over the EX Civic. That is with all other expenses being equal. With the $3200 difference in price it will take you 10.5 years to break even. With the Civic EX you still have the $3200 in the bank after 10.5 years.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Civic EX averages 29 mpg (revised EPA)

    Civic Hybrid averages 42 mpg (revised EPA)

    15,000 miles / 29 mpg = 517 gallons x $3/gal. = $1,551

    15,000 miles / 42 mpg = 357 gallons x $3/gal. = $1,071

    $1,551 - $1,071 = $480 annual gas savings with hybrid.


    Civic EX msrp $19,510

    Civic Hybrid msrp $22,600

    $3,100 difference / $480 annual gas savings = 6.5 yr. payback (not 10.5 years).

    That's on 15,000 miles per year.

    On 25,000 miles per year, the gas savings amount is $800/yr., so the payback is 3.9 years.


    And that's with $3 gas. Guess what happens if the price of gas keeps going up?

    $3.50/gal: 15K = 5.5 yr. payback, 25K = 3.3 yr. payback

    $4.00/gal: 15K = 4.8 yr. payback, 25K = 2.9 yr. payback

    Considering that gas already hit $3.50 in Illinois and touched $4.00 in some areas of California, those future prices seem likely. Even this forum contains a thread "What will you do when gas prices rise above $4 a gallon?"

    Everyone expects it, which means OPEC knows it can get away with it, which means that by this time next year we'll probably be paying $4/gallon.

    When it happens, even all you critics will be saying .....

  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    I'll bet almost no one who has bought a hybrid will even keep it more than 5 years, so will likely not break even, much less come out ahead. The person who buys one is most likely to want the next "new and improved" thing to come along. When it does, he'll dump his old hybrid for the new car.
    Boy, that Civic EX sure is overpriced! I wonder if they sell any near MSRP.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    $1,551 - $1,071 = $480 annual gas savings with hybrid.

    You left out one important detail. The $3100 -$3200 you save goes into a CD paying about $176 per year. So that $480 is now only $304 divided by 12 equals $25 per month. Even less when you consider the interest on that additional $3100+ per year will be from $175-$250. That takes your $304 savings to less than $11 per month.

    Most hybrid owners found it easier to justify their purchase to feel green or have the latest in technology. No way is it anymore than that. Or in your case give it to the Japanese rather than the Alaskans, Canadians or Mexicans.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    If you think people don't keep their hybrids, check the market. Toyota sells more than 100,000 Prius every year. Honda sells 60,000 Civic Hybrids. Visit, and and see how many used ones are available. Nationwide, Carmax doesn't have ANY 2006 or 2007 Civic Hybrid. Only a few on ebay. See for yourself!

    For older models, check for the Honda Insight and the first generation Toyota Prius (1999-2003). You won't find many. Owners keep 'em.

    And you may think that the Civic EX is overpriced, but Honda sells every one that they make, just like the Civic Hybrid.

    I doubt many people pay full msrp for them. But then, I paid $21,400 for my 2007 Civic Hybrid -- that's $1,200 BELOW msrp! Also got 2.9% financing from Honda.

    In fact, if you visit the "prices paid" threads in this forum or on, you'll find most people paying far less than msrp for ALL hybrids.

    I only posted msrp on both cars for reference purposes ..... you know, to keep the apples-to-apples comparison real.

    Oh, and speaking of real, here's the latest real-world reading from my Civic Hybrid:

  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    Very few hybrids are sold in comparison to all gasoline engine only cars sold. Not seeing a lot of ads for hybrids is expected, not an indication that owners don't dump them after a few years.
    I just checked AutoTrader. There are 4,600 used hybrids for sale near my city. 1,200 are Civic Hybrids.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Neither you nor anyone else went out and bought a new car, then said, "Hey, I think I'm going to put $3,100 into a CD right away so I can justify buying an I.C.E. car over a hybrid."

    Why not buy a standard car for $20,000, then put $200,000 into a CD because you didn't buy a Ferrari F 430? Think of all the extra money you'll make!

    This is one more example of grasping at straws. But if you want to nitpick, why not include my $2,100 income tax credit in the equation. After all, those don't come with i.c.e. cars.

    Round and round we go ..... where we stop, I know:

  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    There's a whole lot of disappointed hybrid buyers out there who discovered they could not even get the often touted tax credit when they got around to filing their tax returns. Check the forum titled, "Tax credits, What tax credits?" dealing with the diffiulties and impossibilities of recovering those hybrid tax credits.
    And here's another one:
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    Investing $3100 is not grasping at straws. And there are ways to earn a whole lot more than CD interest on it too.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    4,600 used hybrids in one city?


    How did you find only hybrid vehicles on They don't offer a search for hybrids. Autotrader also doesn't differentiate between the Civic and the Civic Hybrid in its search features.

    Also, what city? And what mileage radius did you use in the autotrader search?

    Post the web link so we can all see for ourselves.

    If it sounds like I doubt your claim, I do. So prove me wrong. Show all of us one city with 4,600 used hybrid vehicles for sale, 1,200 of which are Civic Hybrids. And remember, you said "near" your city, and ONLY on
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 971
    go to
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    I did. doesn't offer a search for hybrids. doesn't list the "Civic Hybrid," only the "Civic."

    That's why I'm asking for the web links that you cite in your previous post. The one that shows 4,600 used hybrids for sale "near" one city, and the one that shows 1,200 Civic Hybrids for sale "near" that same city.

    Just copy and paste the web address in your next post.
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