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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press

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  • familydadx4familydadx4 Posts: 26
    Gagrice:

    You had me in tears with that one! :)

    Thank you.
  • familydadx4familydadx4 Posts: 26
    Larsb:

    I've laughed until I fell out of my chair (yes I have enjoyed this discussion). My opinion hasn't changed, nor is it going to. I wouldn't own a Prius if you gave it to me. I would, however, turn around and sell it (at a discount) to a someone who wished to purchase it (read as a greenie). The Prius just reminds me of a corvair. Something about "unsafe at any speed". I've tried to imagine getting T-boned at an intersection with all those wonderful batteries. Enough to give me the willies.

    Please notice there are no big letters, or small letters. No data, no studies, no awards. Just my wee little voice with my opinion and my definition. I don't like the Prius, I think it's a poc.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Because you don't understand anything about the vehicle doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with it. It just shows your lack of knowledge.

    By your last post you show that you have no clue about what you are writing. Batteries have nothing to do with anything in a collision.

    But I can see here that you are about to respond and put your foot in your mouth so go right ahead.....[lamb-to-the-slaughter comes to mind].

    BTW your personal opinion has no bearing on anything except your personal choice. But before you go get all in a huff about 'where do you come off.....' the answer is 'Yes I do know more about them than you do.'

    But your personal incorrect opinion is perfectly valid for you personally. 'Nothing to see here, move on.'
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, opinions can be proven wrong.

    I have proven yours to be wrong.

    Go ahead and keep your opinion, though. You seem to be happy with it. It's wrong though.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    2010 Prius, more of a "driver's car" for all the whiners who for some reason like to drive a car like they are 16 again:

    Review: 2010 Toyota Prius a miser with new moves

    As for the suspension, it actually has some roll control now, and the whole car feels tighter than ever. In fact, if anything, it might be a bit too tight in terms of damping. Small road inputs (on the rare occasion that you can find such a thing in Michigan) are transmitted a bit too directly to the driver's back side. While the ride and handling balance is certainly more geared to enthusiasts than before, it could still use a bit of tweaking. The Prius still understeers at the limit like most mainstream front-wheel-drive cars, but it never feels out of control.

    The new Prius is no longer just an appliance for commuting. It's almost fun to drive. Toyota just needs to apply some more of its Kaizen philosophy of continual improvement to the ride and handling and we can call it good.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    TCH is highest rated 2009 Hybrid:

    Consumers' Top Rated for 2009

    Hybrid
    Hybrid: Toyota Camry Hybrid
    Toyota Camry Hybrid

    The Toyota Camry Hybrid may not have the pop culture appeal of the Prius, but our consumer reviewers have rated it as the best hybrid in the 2009 Consumers' Top Rated Awards. We have a good idea why this car is so popular among owners, who rated the Camry Hybrid quite a bit higher than our editors have. The Camry Hybrid is easy to drive, has a quiet ride and offers plenty of high-tech features. In a recent road test review, our editors wrote: "Unlike the Prius, it never gives you the sense that you're driving a science experiment. The Camry Hybrid is every bit a Camry, except it uses less gas." Although its fuel economy isn't the highest in the hybrid segment, many owner-reviewers noted that they were able to get fuel-economy numbers well above 40 mpg. A few owners considered buying a luxury sedan, but ultimately decided on the Camry Hybrid. All of them were happy with their decision.
  • On May 28, we paid $24,250 for a 2010 Prius and on the way home, running bi-directional, cruise control runs, we got: 67 MPG@50 mph; 62 MPG@60 mpg; 55 MPG@65 mph; 53 MPG@70 mph; 49 MPG@75 mph. We sold a 2001 Echo for part of the 2010 costs and have never looked back.

    The 2010 Prius has more room, quieter, and more power. The body is stronger and includes multiple airbags. It fact, it includes pedestrian collapsing hood, quarter panels and bumper to make pedestrian accidents survivable ... something missing from just about any other vehicle.

    We've looked at the Prius-pedestrian accidents and from 2001-2007, the years we have accident data and the Prius, there have been only 11, Prius-only and pedestrian fatalities. Near as we can tell this period covers 5.8 billion Prius miles. The raw accident data suggests the Prius from 2001-2007 has had about 0.9 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles compared to 1.6 fatalities for all USA vehicles as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    When Prius skeptics don't have facts and data, a common problem, they just make them up. That is OK since it gives Prius owners an opportunity to get the facts and data, the truth, and smite the skeptics with a clue-by-four.

    FYI, our other car is a 2003 Prius with 120,000 miles getting 52.1 MPG after the 70,000 miles I've put on it in three and a half years. The battery, transaxle and engine are fine and I'm looking forward to driving it until the wheels fall off.

    So in a time of poor vehicle sales, we paid $24,250 for a brand new 2010 Prius and know that we got a great deal. We have a car whose mileage off the dealer lot can not be beat; whose safety features are outstanding; and will due to the lack of stress and strain, run quietly and efficiently long into the future ... certainly longer than the Hummers recently sold to China.

    Bob Wilson
    Huntsville, AL
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Looks like the dealers in San Diego will be gouging the Prius buyers like they did in 2004. Only 3 I could find here range from $29k to $32k with TTL. And they are in a very non eco friendly BLACK and gray. Pretty high price to pay for a stripped Prius.

    PS
    The trim level 5 that Toyota says will be $32k will cost a CA buyer well in excess of $35,000.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    That's the buyers' decision. There are those amongst us ( 305 million of us ) for whom $35000 is not a big deal. Nobody is holding a gun to any buyer's head.

    When supply comes into balance with demand in a few months normality will return and everyone will be happy....even the ones who paid $35000 and got theirs first. Isn't this a great country?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Ford delivers while GM talks. More likely to make it into showrooms than the Volt. It will probably be sold through fleet deals for a while. It still will be expensive. No way to get around the high cost of batteries.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    As hybrid cars gobble rare metals, shortage looms

    Wed Sep 2, 2009 2:08am EDT
    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods.

    That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells.

    Worldwide demand for rare earths, covering 15 entries on the periodic table of elements, is expected to exceed supply by some 40,000 tons annually in several years unless major new production sources are developed. One promising U.S. source is a rare earths mine slated to reopen in California by 2012.

    Among the rare earths that would be most affected in a shortage is neodymium, the key component of an alloy used to make he high-power, lightweight magnets for electric motors of hybrid cars, such as the Prius, Honda Insight and Ford Fusion, as well as in generators for wind turbines.

    Close cousins terbium and dysprosium are added in smaller amounts to the alloy to preserve neodymium's magnetic properties at high temperatures. Yet another rare earth metal, lanthanum, is a major ingredient for hybrid car batteries.

    Production of both hybrids cars and wind turbines is expected to climb sharply amid the clamor for cleaner transportation and energy alternatives that reduce dependence on fossil fuels blamed for global climate change.

    Toyota has 70 percent of the U.S. market for vehicles powered by a combination of an internal-combustion engine and electric motor. The Prius is its No. 1 hybrid seller.

    Jack Lifton, an independent commodities consultant and strategic metals expert, calls the Prius "the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world."


    More to the story
  • The 2010 Camry really looks like a great update to an already outstanding Toyota vehicle. Has anyone test drove one yet? I'm hoping to schedule a test drive at my local CT Toyota dealer - Gale Toyota. Please let me know anything you can about the engine responsiveness and gas mileage.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    CR pulled it's recommended rating for 8 Toyota's. Consumer Reports pulls ratings of recommended on Toyota's

    quote Buffalo News
    The Japanese government has ordered Toyota to investigate the 2010 Prius braking system, and the U. S. government said it would probe the Prius’s brakes, too. Of 171 complaints filed by 2010 Prius owners with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 111 involved brake problems, the agency’s database shows, and at least two led to driver injuries. -end
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    quote Autonews-
    Toyota Motor Co. launched a global recall today of 437,000 hybrid vehicles, including its popular Prius hybrid, as the world's No. 1 carmaker sank deeper into a quality crisis that has battered its image, hurt sales and triggered an onslaught of lawsuits.

    The recall, to address complaints that the cars' brakes momentarily slip or give way, hits Toyota and Lexus brand cars in North America and three other continents.
    -end quote
  • Question:
    Does~ 200 miles on a new/unsold 2010 model make it "less than new"?? I'm told it was not used any sales rep or previously sold. Should I ask for better price, longer warranty, anything or nothing? Is this cause for concern? :confuse:
    Thanks!
  • Just today the Rand Corp. issued a report, the gist being that the federal gasoline tax of 18.5 cents per gallon is insufficient to meet current highway maintenance needs. Their solution is to eliminate the federal tax, and charge all users a fee based on actual mileas traveled. Hybrid owners, especially the Prius, are akready paying a hefty premium for improved mileage and for reduced emissions. The premium of course is the base price difference between hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the same vehicle. We don't deserved to be taxed extra for driving more miles, just because we get better mileage.

    If this idea becomes law, gas guzzlers with low mileage, will pay less for gas than hybrid owners who travel more miles and use less fuel. In addition there is no guarantee that states won't increase their gas taxes.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,058
    The wear and tear on roads is proportional to miles driven (for a given weight vehicle) and has nothing whatsoever to do with fuel mileage. If someone decides to drive more miles, simply because they're getting better mileage than they would with some other vehicle, that's their choice, correct?

    I would also assume that any such "use tax" would also be based on the weight of vehicles since heavier vehicles are harder on roads.

    I can't speak for your situation, but I do almost no driving that I don't have to. I combine trips whenever possible and don't just "go for a ride". If my car suddenly got 100% better gas mileage, I don't think I'd change a thing. I'd just enjoy the little bit of extra cash in the budget! ;)

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited March 2010
    Can't wait to test drive one of these:

    As the world’s first hybrid with sporting intent and a six-speed manual box, the Honda CR-Z has been worth the wait.

    Britain’s love affair with hybrid cars is growing ever stronger – but until now, our obsession has been built on machines that offer low CO2 and high mpg, rather than great performance. So, can this bullet-shaped new 1.5-litre hybrid coupé be the car to put that right?

    The daring Honda CR-Z will hit UK roads in June, and with prices set to start at £16,999, the CR-Z is aiming to reinvent the sector. It has a 0-60mph sprint time of less than 10 seconds, and an emphasis on performance that has been missing from petrol-electric rivals.

    To find out more, we headed to the scenic southern Japanese island of Shikoku foran early first drive.

    Under the skin, the new CR-Z is loosely based on the latest Insight – but as you soon discover, the car is much sharper, quicker and, most importantly, more entertaining.

    Away from the line, you can feel a tautness in the suspension that isn’t evident in the family-oriented Insight saloon – which is a good thing. As you start to slip through the manual gears and up the pace, the newcomer quickly proves itself to be well balanced and very responsive.

    Up front, the 1.5-litre hybrid feels punchy, while the six-speed manual box – the first in a hybrid since the original Insight was sold – is quick, precise and fun to use.

    All of which comes as a bit of a revelation, a relief even, when you consider how things could have turned out. At motor shows and preview events, rumours had spread about the model’s likely weight and a power shortfall.

    But the CR-Z is proof that a car can be much more than the sum of its parts. Many expected Honda to deliver a hard-edged, high-rev performance machine, but the CR-Z is anything but.

    Although it’s sporty, that focus on balancing pace with a green nature hasn’t gone away. With combined fuel economy of 56.4mpg and a 117g/km CO2 output, the CR-Z is about more than thrills.

    The formula this time sees a Jazz-based 1,496cc i-VTEC engine coupled to a small electric motor. Total power is 125bhp, while torque peaks at 174Nm.

    As you drive, you find the CR-Z’s star act is its easy, low-rev urge, with that extra boost from the electric motor providing a helping hand, especially below 2,000rpm. And this driveability is key, because the 1.5-litre engine starts to get loud as the revs climb past 5,000rpm. Keep the throttle to the floor, and you soon reach the 6,500rpm limit. So this car is no modern-day successor to the brilliant late Eighties VTEC CR-X, with its 8,000rpm maximum.

    Still, as with the Insight, the hybrid drivetrain is seamless and smooth. With Honda’s IMA hybrid system as it is here, you can’t run on electric motor alone, which will hamper the new car’s appeal to some motorists.

    Credit to Honda, though, for the way the CR-Z handles.

    It’s shorter and wider than the Insight, set lower to the ground, and gets its own stiffened chassis and suspension set-up, plus a set of 16-inch sports tyres.

    Through the twists and turns of some entertaining mountain roads, the car felt nimble, and there’s a consistent, linear feel to the steering and turn-in. Yet ultimately, it’s predictable and safe rather than thrilling. There’s a fair degree of understeer and body roll on the limit, and the ride is firm but well controlled.

    Honda will be more interested in telling you about the wealth of modern technology on board, such as the clever 3-Mode Drive System. Dashboard buttons give you the choice of Sport, Normal and Econ, which alter settings for the throttle feel, transmission and electric power-steering depending on how you want to drive.

    The speedometer ring also changes colour to suit (red, blue or green). This is just one of several neat facia gizmos that monitor your driving style.

    The CR-Z’s cabin is a mixed bag. It offers a superb, sporty driving position and impressive seat support. But not everyone will appreciate the busy cabin design, with its large, retro-style pods either side of the wheel. The overall finish is good, bar some cheap plastics inside the doors.

    Unfortunately, the minimalist back seat area is barely usable for adults, while for the driver, rear three-quarter vision isn’t great. On the plus side, there’s a reasonable load space, with the hybrid battery housed beneath the boot floor.

    When it hits dealers in the UK, the CR-Z will come in three model grades (S, Sport and GT), with prices ranging from £17,000 to £20,000.

    On Japanese roads, the car acquitted itself well, even if it’s not quite the performance model some might have hoped for. In its home market, orders are flooding in – and Honda’s pitch for the car, as a new “hybrid café racer”, sums up the CR-Z well.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited July 2010
    Very interesting pricing on the MKZ Hybrid:

    Gas version and hybrid version selling at same price - very cool....

    The 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid will cost exactly the same as its conventional counterpart when it goes on sale this fall.

    In a fairly unprecedented move, Lincoln will sticker its first hybrid with a starting price of $35,180, matching the price of its gasoline-powered sibling. Carmakers traditionally add a premium to pricing to offset development costs for hybrid technology and to increase profit margins.

    The MKZ hybrid will get 41 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. The car is loaded with features from Ford's technology bin, including Smart Gauge with EcoGuide, Sync and MyKey.

    Lincoln says the MKZ hybrid undercuts its closest competitor, the Lexus HS 250. The MKZ hybrid uses Ford's second-gen hybrid technology that mates an I4 engine with battery-driven motors.

    With the pending demise of Mercury, Lincoln is getting more resources and attention, and its product lineup is expected to grow in the coming years with new and refreshed models including its first small car and a unique V6 engine.


    My question is: why would ANYONE buy the gasoline version with lower MPG when they could get the hybrid at 41/36 for the same price?
  • michael2003michael2003 Posts: 144
    edited July 2010
    Do they have the same performance? Can they both tow the same load? Do they both have the same transmissions? Are they equally complicated?

    While I would expect to go for the Hybrid, each persons needs/wants are different and we should respect those differences, even if they are wrong. :D
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I can see your point - to a degree.

    But being a hybrid proponent and owner for more than 6 years now, it's hard for me to imagine anyone passing on 41/36 to get 28/22 regardless of the other circumstances.

    If you need to "tow" don't buy a luxury sedan.
    Performance will likely be equal, if not surpassed by the hybrid having an "electric turbo"
    Do people really base a decision on a car on what type of transmission the car has? Really?
    Complication? All modern cars are complicated. No normal Joe Public can really do much work on their own 2011 car except basic stuff like oil changes.

    My guess is the only people who will buy the gasoline version are people who are ignorant about hybrids and "scared of them" for whatever reason - old age, stubbornness, unwilling to try something new and fresh, etc.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    I am neither scared nor ignorant, but I have seen some of the repair bill reports when batteries fail and such, and they are whopping high - higher than any bill I"ve had on a conventional vehicle. RIght now, it's a no thanks from me.

    Of course this is hypothetical as I am not considering the MKZ in either version.

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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    My question is: why would ANYONE buy the gasoline version with lower MPG when they could get the hybrid at 41/36 for the same price?

    The big question is will they sell at the same price?

    Remember sticker price is a recommended price and the dealer actually sets price. So if the hybrid model goes for sticker and I can get the gasser for 10% off of the sticker price that savings on the car will pay for the extra gas.

    Plus if I am not mistaken the gas version has well over 35% more horsepower so I would presume that performance will come into play with some buyers.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • tbone_raretbone_rare Posts: 96
    I can only speak to General Motors policy. A customer's warranty does not begin until the day he or she takes delivery of the vehicle. The customer is not penalized for the miles on the vehicle either. For instance, if it has 230 miles when they pick it up...the bumper to bumper goes to 36230. Many times, if we do a dealer trade, a vehicle could possibly have a few hundred miles on it. There is no need for you to be concerned, IMHO.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    There is always someone ELSE willing to take on those high ( reportedly ) hybrid system repairs after YOU get 95K out of it.

    I have bought a 100K extended warranty on both of my hybrids because I enjoy the peace of mind in knowing there will NEVER be a large repair bill.

    My TCH has about 67K on it, and I will trade it or sell it at about 95K and get something else.

    Just personal preference. The most I have ever spent on a car repair in 30 years of car ownership is $1400 on a compressor repair.

    Never again.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    I have bought a 100K extended warranty on both of my hybrids because I enjoy the peace of mind in knowing there will NEVER be a large repair bill.


    Actually you did have a large repair bill. You just prepaid for one you may never use.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Yep, but it was factored into 60 monthly payments, which lessens the pain considerably.

    Its no different than any other warranty, or insurance for that matter.

    People have insurance so they can pay $500 to get their car fixed instead of $3,000.

    I have a home warranty I pay $40 a month for. But a $1,500 compressor for my heat pump is covered.

    I live and learn. I'd rather "have it and not need it" than "need it and not have it."
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Not that this car will EVER appear in the USA, but if it did, I'd trade my TCH for it in a heartbeat.

    That 74.4 Imperial MPG translates to 61.9 MPG in the USA.

    Peugeot 3008 Hybrid

    Here’s a glimpse into Peugeot’s future. The French firm has just unveiled the production version of its 3008 hybrid crossover.

    Called the 3008 HYbrid4, the Peugeot teams a 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, which drives the front wheels, with a 37bhp electric motor, which drives the rears. The 3008 is the first to use a diesel engine, unlike the petrol electric system used by Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s Insight.

    The combined maximum power output is 200bhp, with a substantial 500Nm of torque also being produced, while combined fuel economy is 74.4mpg and carbon dioxide is pegged at a tax-free 99g/km.

    Despite offering four-wheel drive, there’s no mechanical link between the diesel engine and the electric motor. The diesel unit features Peugeot’s latest stop-start system and is mated to a six-speed automated manual gearbox.

    The driver can select from four operating modes – Auto, which selects the best combination of diesel or electric propulsion, ZEV, which activates all-electric mode, four-wheel drive mode, which activates both powerplants, and Sport mode which speeds up the gearshift at higher engine speeds.

    Peugeot has elected to use nickel metal hydride batteries which are less expensive than lithium ion cells. These are mounted beneath the boot floor, along with the electric motor.

    To mark out the hybrid from its conventionally powered siblings, the 3008 HYbrid4 features daytime running lights and a small rear spoiler on the outside, and a seven inch display on the dash with a readout of the powertrain’s performance.

    The 3008 HYbrid4 will be produced in France in Sochaux and Mulhouse and marketed in the spring of 2011 in Europe. Prices are still to be confirmed, but the hybrid will sit at the top of the 3008 range thanks to its generous spec, which includes sat-nav, a built-in hard drive for storing music, parking assist and distance alert, at around £24,000.

    The 3008 is one of a raft of new hybrids that Peugeot will produce. The hybrid module has been designed to fit into many of the firm’s products, including the 508 and RCZ.
  • Too bad it won't be coming to the US.
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