Hybrid car owners wonder: Where's the mileage?

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
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Linkage

Some owners of gas-electric hybrid vehicles complain that they aren't getting the sky-high mileage promised on the window sticker.


To blame are a mix of factors, from unrealistic expectations to poor driving to bad weather.

In November, Andrew Bartell, a San Anselmo, Calif., information technology project manager, bought a 2004 Honda Civic hybrid with an Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy rating of 47 mpg in city driving, 48 on the highway. But Bartell says he actually is getting between 34 and 36 mpg.

He says Honda told him the EPA rating is based on a test of "ideal" driving conditions. "The stated mileage is a complete lie. ... I do not know of a single road in the U.S. that would qualify as ideal," Bartell says.

Honda spokesman Andy Boyd says Bartell isn't the only Civic hybrid buyer complaining. In fact, Boyd says he gets between 39 mpg and 41 mpg in his Civic hybrid.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,489
0
0
Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
but, but, but, but...we are saving the earth for future generations.
There are several guys that I pass every day driving these to work. Funny, they never carpool.

 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
69,417
4,795
126
All EPA ratings are based on ideal conditions. I'd be surprised if anyone gets the rated MPG on any car, some might come close. Also consider that Hybrids are fairly new, so it may take some time to work the bugs out.
 

Strk

Lifer
Nov 23, 2003
10,198
4
76
It's not that old of technology; give it time. The car still gets more mpg than a regular Civic, which is ok. They still need plenty of work, including an increase in the federal tax deduction for purchasing one.
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: sandorski
All EPA ratings are based on ideal conditions. I'd be surprised if anyone gets the rated MPG on any car, some might come close. Also consider that Hybrids are fairly new, so it may take some time to work the bugs out.
Most cars i have had have come pretty close to the epa estimates on the sticker.
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: Strk
It's not that old of technology; give it time. The car still gets more mpg than a regular Civic, which is ok. They still need plenty of work, including an increase in the federal tax deduction for purchasing one.
More subsidies to the auto industry?
 

Spencer278

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 2002
3,637
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The reason for the poor preformance has to do with the use of electricity inside the car. With a gas engine the eletricity is just about free compared to hybrid where using eletricity directly decreases miliage. The test where not designed to take into account that using head lights changes the milage.
 

Strk

Lifer
Nov 23, 2003
10,198
4
76
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Strk
It's not that old of technology; give it time. The car still gets more mpg than a regular Civic, which is ok. They still need plenty of work, including an increase in the federal tax deduction for purchasing one.
More subsidies to the auto industry?
The deduction is to the consumer.(I believe the current max is 2k and is a one time deal)
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: Strk
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Strk
It's not that old of technology; give it time. The car still gets more mpg than a regular Civic, which is ok. They still need plenty of work, including an increase in the federal tax deduction for purchasing one.
More subsidies to the auto industry?
The deduction is to the consumer.(I believe the current max is 2k and is a one time deal)
Or to the auto industry, since it is lowering the price of that car for the consumer to buy.

 

Strk

Lifer
Nov 23, 2003
10,198
4
76
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Strk
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Strk
It's not that old of technology; give it time. The car still gets more mpg than a regular Civic, which is ok. They still need plenty of work, including an increase in the federal tax deduction for purchasing one.
More subsidies to the auto industry?
The deduction is to the consumer.(I believe the current max is 2k and is a one time deal)
Or to the auto industry, since it is lowering the price of that car for the consumer to buy.
True, but the deduction would probably be accepted better if it was kept on the consumer end ;)
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
I think it's incumbent upon car dealers to explain how hybrids work and the difference between "ideal" and "real world" application. My wife has never been close to the claimed mpg for her Lincoln LS. While my Acura Integra still beats sticker mpg by 10% despite being 9 years old. And the Mazda R-8 has been producing miserable mpg considering the displacement. So every dealer has some issue with mpg.

But Honda has a legitimate beef b/c my understanding is that EPA mandates that Honda use ONLY the EPA-certified numbers . . . despite the fact Honda's in-house testing revealed significantly lower mpg.

What anti-hybrids (otherwise known as toxic-fume spewing gas-hog drivers) fail to mention is that the same manufacturers producing hybrids Honda/Toyota are also producing the most fuel efficient gasoline-fueled vehicles. And when you look at comparable vehicles, Honda/Toyota produce more fuel efficient AND cleaner burning engines.

But charrison is correct that Honda's national ad campaign that cites EPA ratings is BS. I'm not sure Toyota has the same issue b/c it's a full hybrid instead of a light hybrid. Accordingly, maybe the thread title should be Honda hybrid owners wonder where is the mileage?.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
The Civic Hybrid has not been out long. IIRC it has a 4 cylinder engine, sounds like engine is not idling as much as was expected.

I either case you are talking about a decent sized car getting way more than 20 mpg better than Jane Soccer Mama going to the ball in her huge SUV.
 

Zephyr106

Banned
Jul 2, 2003
1,309
0
0
This article is a joke. As stated the listed MPG are in ideal conditions. I would say most drivers are heavy on the accelerator which is a big reducer of MPG, and weather and the like factor in as well.

Zephyr
 

Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
12,510
7,597
136
My mom's new '02 Taurus gets about 3 to 4 mpg over the EPA rating. :)
 

Ryan

Lifer
Oct 31, 2000
27,518
1
81
If more people would buy the Honda Insight this wouldn't be a poblem. Some members of http://insightcentral.net have gotten in the high 80's when it comes to mpg :) The honda insight p0wnes j00!!!!!!
 

B00ne

Platinum Member
May 21, 2001
2,168
1
0
When have fuel consumption ratings ever had anything to do with real life??? What did they expect fuel economy ratings are obtained from a certain test cycle (EPA in this case). There is alot of things that are left out there, also manufacturers can tune their engines so that they perform well in those tests (that is done in emission testing too - the engine electronics detects an emission testing cycle and sets itself accordingly). Those ratings are only to compare the performance of the cars in exactly the specified tests.

Btw personal driving style has more influence on fuel economy than anything else.
 

heartsurgeon

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2001
4,260
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0
there was a great article in the Wall Street Journal about a year ago, where they talked about hybrid cars getting outrageous mpg when driven the right way....but that's obviously not the way most people drive tem..they spoke with people who are avid drivers who put the car's in neutral when going down hill, accelerate very slowly, never speed, and drive barefoot because they can control the accelerator pedal more precisely....these people were fanatical about doing every little thing to improve their mileage..
"With gasoline selling for less than the price of a bottle of Evian and SUVs all the rage, fuel economy seems to have fallen off most Americans' radar screens. But this is the U.S. of A., land of a million subcultures, and one of them is obsessed with the quest for ultra-fuel efficiency. While most of us would be psyched about the hybrid Honda Insight's 64 miles per gallon, members of the fuel-economy elite scoff at such small potatoes. They talk about much higher figures -- try 103 mpg -- and swap insider secrets for achieving them: feather the gas pedal, coast downhill, drive barefoot. Cars like the Insight have a feature on the dashboard indicating average mpg, and fanatics play the little green lines like a video game'
 

tnitsuj

Diamond Member
May 22, 2003
5,446
0
76
Prius gets pretty close to it's rated mileage. Civic Hybrid is kind of a weak hybrid
 

maluckey

Platinum Member
Jan 31, 2003
2,933
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I drive a nine year old car that gets 32-33 city, and on long higway trips it averages 40-41 mpg. All this and it runs low 14 second quarter miles on street tires. Parts are cheap, and the resources I saved by NOT buying a new car probably are greater than buying a new hybrid. People never take into consideration how much resources they waste with each new car purchase, but it's more than the differences made by buying a hybrid....


So where's the savings atwith the new hybrids? The mileage is average, the production costs and materials are more expensive, and the life expectancy of the batteries is short......I don't see any benefits except to say that you have one. A curiosity of sorts, nothing more.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: maluckey
I drive a nine year old car that gets 32-33 city, and on long higway trips it averages 40-41 mpg. All this and it runs low 14 second quarter miles on street tires. Parts are cheap, and the resources I saved by NOT buying a new car probably are greater than buying a new hybrid. People never take into consideration how much resources they waste with each new car purchase, but it's more than the differences made by buying a hybrid....


So where's the savings atwith the new hybrids? The mileage is average, the production costs and materials are more expensive, and the life expectancy of the batteries is short......I don't see any benefits except to say that you have one. A curiosity of sorts, nothing more.
32 mpg, nice Mal, what are you driving? A Honda?

 

Daaavo

Platinum Member
May 23, 2000
2,236
0
76
Originally posted by: maluckey

So where's the savings atwith the new hybrids? The mileage is average, the production costs and materials are more expensive, and the life expectancy of the batteries is short......I don't see any benefits except to say that you have one. A curiosity of sorts, nothing more.


I was in buying a couple oil filters at the local Toyota dealer last week and I asked the parts guy what the price of the main battery on the Prius cost. His first response was, "Ooooh, they are expensive!". He mentioned that on the first generation Prius the price was $8,000, but he thought the price of the latest version was a bit cheaper. After a little digging in his computer, he found it: $4,800 for the main battery on the 2004 Prius.


 

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