Consumer Reports: "hybrids offer the best value in buying a new car"

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Doppel, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. HeXen

    HeXen Diamond Member

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    We have a car that is 12 years old, another that is 19yrs old and a third that is almost 8yrs...all daily drivers.
    Mine is like 3 months old. lol
     
  2. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 Senior member

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    Hybrids make great taxi cabs - the reduced maintenance costs are amplified there, not to mention they probably get three times the mileage of a Crown Vic in the city.
    For everyday use, not having to fill up the gas tank as often is nice, but the increased complexity concerns me and as mentioned here, you're not making up the price premium any time soon. I haven't looked this up, but aren't most hybrids using more expensive run-flat tires?
    If it were me, I'd buy a 6speed Mazda 3 hatch (27city/38hwy) and save the $5k over a Prius. Lots of room, lots of standard equipment and better to drive. What's not to like?
     
  3. Ryan

    Ryan Lifer

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    I don't know where you got the run-flat tires idea from...it's certainly not true for Toyota or Honda.

    If you're going to compare it to anything, the Prius C is virtually the same size as the Mazda 3 Hatch, offers comparable interior passenger room, and only slightly smaller overall cubic feet (7 Cu ft less).

    The Mazda 3 is rated at a combined 32mpg..the Prius C is rated at a combined 46mpg...and it starts at a lower price than the Mazda. If you do mostly city driving, the gap widens even more, with the Mazda getting 27mpg...and the Prius C getting 53mpg.........:whiste:
     
    #53 Ryan, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  4. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

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    I rented a 2012 Camry for a 2 week business trip around Seattle. My hotel was about 9 minutes from my work. This scenario had all the signs of bad mileage. Stop and go, and combustion chambers not getting up to temp for proper efficiency by the time I got anywhere. I got 30mpg without a problem.
    I would most likely forego the Hybrid version if I was in the market for a Camry.
     
  5. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 Senior member

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    I was wrong about the run flats.
    In terms of price, I was comparing to the regular Prius which I considered to be in the same class as the Mazda.
    I like the Prius C (didn't know it was so roomy) but a Ford Fiesta hatch is a bit smaller and considerably cheaper. The base C doesn't even have cruise control, which I'd consider to be a basic feature these days.

    At the end of the day, the C is still a 99hp econobox and the Mazda is one of the best driving small cars today.
    Fuelly says that 2012 Mazda 3s get an average of 32mpg compared to 50 for the C. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at 15000 miles a year and gas at 3.50/gallon, the difference is less than $300 a year.
    Personally, I'd be happy to pay the extra cost to have a car that doesn't drive like crap. You'd save more by moving to a prepaid smartphone plan or not getting coffee from Starbucks every day.
     
    #55 nitrous9200, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  6. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    A Cruze starts at about 18K with the ecotec turbo engine and it's a pretty nice car.
     
  7. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    If you got 32mpg under those conditions then why is the car only rated at 25mpg city? :whiste:
     
  8. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

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    Why does my highway mileage exceed EPA estimates by 4mpg but get miss the city estimate? (My own car).
    Key word: estimated.
     
    #58 foghorn67, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  9. SparkyJJO

    SparkyJJO Lifer

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    EPA estimates are just that, estimates. And their "improved" ratings are even less accurate in my experience.

    Resale value means nothing to me. I buy a vehicle and drive it until it dies. So actually, lower resale value is better as that means I can get a used one for that much cheaper :D
     
  10. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    A friend of mine bought a Honda Civic Hybrid a few years ago because you could get the stickers from DMV that allowed you to use the carpool lanes with only one person in the car (quite an incentive in SoCal).

    He had that car for a couple years and sold it for almost as much as he paid for it and he bought it new.

    Those "estimates" have always been pretty accurate or overly optimistic in my experience. Maybe foghorn was driving downhill... both ways... with a tailwind. Anyway, I'd hardly call a 2 week business trip in which he drove 180 miles indicative of much of anything, that's not even 1 tankful of gas. I rented a Ford Escape in North Carolina and drove that vehicle over 300 miles in 4 days and averaged around 18mpg. This was a few years ago and it had the V6 engine.
     
    #60 JulesMaximus, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  11. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

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    Seriously, how hard is it to *** up on miles? Don't make it seem like it's an accountants job.
    You really need to check out some mileage sites. Maybe you'll learn that pre-conceived notions don't always work.
     
  12. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

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  13. mizzou

    mizzou Diamond Member

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    Don't forget the purchase isn't usually, "Hey I'd like this Prius instead of the gasoline only version of the Prius" it's "Hey, how about instead of the what was once popular huge ass SUV, I'll get the now more popular and sensible Prius"

    so there is a very large increase in MPG
     
  14. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    Kind of ironic that the first page fill up #9 says they drove 309.7 miles on 11.7 gallons for an average mpg of 26.5 with 0% city driving. Then further down the page it says they drove 198.0 miles on 7.46 gallons for an average of 26.6 mpg with 50% city driving.

    Yeah, it sounds like good solid data there... :whiste:
     
  15. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    As I said earlier in the thread, my experience and driving situations in and around Southern California have shown me that highway mileage ratings are pretty much meaningless for the type of driving I do. This isn't a "pre-conceived" notion, it is a verifiable and tested fact over hundreds of thousands of miles in various cars I've owned over 20 years of living here. There probably is some good data on that site but I would throw out the ridiculously high numbers right away and look at averages among similar cars and the 4 cylinder Camry seems to average around 26-27mpg which is probably around where I would expect it to be for the type of driving I do. The hybrid Camry seems to be around 38-39mpg average just glancing at the data on that site.

    Personally, I'd rather error on the side of being too conservative when factoring in the manufacturer rated mileage when buying a car. I can only be pleasantly surprised if the car exceeds my expectations that way.

    I like the Ford Focus which is rated at 27 city/37 highway so when crunching the numbers on that car I figure I'll probably see real world mpg around 29-30 average for the type of driving I do. I'd bet you money that's a pretty realistic number. For a hybrid, which gets better mileage in city driving, it would probably be safe to go with the city mileage listed by the manufacturer, or slightly lower when estimating annual fuel costs.

    By the way, I drive 15,000 miles a year just in commuting to and from work.
     
    #65 JulesMaximus, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  16. Jumpem

    Jumpem Lifer

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    It all depends on where you drive. My Outback is rated 22/29. I could get 30mpg consistently in the summer and 25mpg in the winter when I had a long rural highway commute. Now I live in the suburbs and get 25mpg summer, and 20mpg winter.
     
  17. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    Sorry Jules, there are a number of factors here. I've found that with the Hondas I've owned, both hybrid and non-hybrid, its easy to exceed EPA estimates. The Subarus I've had seem to be more realistic; in my mixed commute I averaged just about midway between city and highway estimates.

    You can't control driving styles, etc. According to my wife I drive very conservatively 90% of the time which probably helps. Since I bought the CR-Z, I've put about 22k miles on it. In that time, my average mpg is about 40 and it doesn't vary by more than 10% even when I'm doing more city driving, etc. I think the lowest I've seen is 37 and the max is 42? Consider the EPA numbers are 31/37.

    So yes, many people have trouble every achieving EPA estimates. But I'm sure in 95% of those cases it can all be attributed to driving style.
     
  18. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    Is your CR-Z a manual? The CVT version is rated at 35 city and 39 highway... which is odd for a hybrid, usually the city mpg is higher.

    I've never had trouble achieving the city EPA estimates, I've had trouble exceeding them. My car is rated at 26mpg highway and 25 is the best I've been able to get out of it on a long trip (despite the trip computer saying I was getting over 30mpg-it is overly optimistic). That big 3.5l V6 is not very fuel efficient but it does make the car move swiftly when I push the go pedal. :biggrin:

    It is fairly hilly here though and I admit that I drive my cars kind of fast (80mph on the freeway is typical).

    Again, this is just what I've observed in my daily driving so it is what I've come to expect no matter what car I choose. I just want to have realistic expectations when budgeting for fuel etc.
     
  19. power_hour

    power_hour Senior member

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    LOL

    I don't like what I don't like. Your over the top analysis was a good laugh. Do you work for the Hybrid Committee or something? :p
     
  20. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    Yes, its a 6MT hence the lower EPA numbers. Honda's hybrids don't do as well because they are unable to run in any sort of pure electric mode. As I understand it, the upcoming Accord hybrid will be able run pure electric.

    I've given up on 80 mph freeway speed since it hardly ever happens on my commute anyway.
     
  21. MagickMan

    MagickMan Diamond Member

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    It could be because hybrids drive like crap.
     
  22. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    That kind of makes sense and from what I've read is part of the reason why supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini have gone away from the manual transmission cars. It wreaks havoc with all the computerized controls and optimization.
     
  23. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

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    Hmmm, I never thought of it that way.
     
  24. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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    Well, the best "value" has always driven like crap. The best value is always econoboxes, you know?
     
  25. HeXen

    HeXen Diamond Member

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    After that 10yr battery warranty expires, hold on to your purse.