Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?

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poisonivy113's picture
poisonivy113
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Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?

About a year ago, I bought a hybrid. SInce then, my hours have been cut back at work and it's not as comfortable to make the payment any more. Plus I'd like to be able to devote a higher percentage of my pay to debt. I'm thinking about trading down to a cheaper, older car in order to lower my payments. Obviously I'll spend more on gas. But I could also get a car paid off quicker that way. I haven't made any decision yet, I can see plusses and minuses to both. 

Got me thinking about a larger dilemma as well: Would it be preferable to have a hybrid and its lower fuel costs, but higher maintenance costs (and inability to fix it yourself without a computer) or an older car, with higher fuel costs, but something that can be maintained much more easily by yourself in your garage? Just curious what others think about it. 

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jneo
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Re: Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?

 

Go with Any kind of ACURA, they last forever and maintenance is very very low.  

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ao
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I won't buy a hybrid.

A hybrid's primary advantage is in stop and go urban traffic.  On the open highway with steady driving, your mileage is essentially equal to any other vehicle of comparable mass, rolling resistance, aerodynamic resistance, gearing, etc.  The fact is, the mileage on most hybrids isn't all that great.  I had a 1980 Honda Civic with a 5 speed that was rated at 49 mpg highway and yet usually got in the low to mid 50s.  On one occasion, when driving from Washington, DC to central NJ, I actually got 62 mpg (must have had a good tailwind and I was drafting occasionally as well).  It was still running fine when I sold it at 174K only minor mechanical work required.

In a hybrid, you have two motors to maintain plus a very expensive battery that will eventually need to be replaced.  It'll also require a hazmat team if you ever have a major accident.  If you have to make car payments, buy something cheaper.  I never made a car payment in my life and never will.  Why pay interest on a depreciating asset? 

I bought a 1990 Mazda 626 for $2150 3 years ago as my "beach car" ... something I could drive to our nearby beach with (I swim daily for exercise in the summer), get back in wet and feet covered with sand, put the wet and smelly dog in, drive on dirt back roads and in the woods, etc.  I wound up keeping my nice car in the garage and driving this one more and more.  I don't have to wash it, don't worry about door dings or stone chips or road salt, don't worry about theft, the insurance is cheap and it's cheap to run and has only required brakes and a battery, some new wipers, and nothing else.  The nice car sits in the garage and has become a garage queen.  I don't need to feed my ego by driving a brand-new, high end car all the time any more ... been there, done that.  This car is actually liberating.  When it dies, I'll go out an buy another one just like it.

When an mainstream electric cars comes out (not the Tesla or some other specialty vehicle), they'll be expensive and I'll pass on buying one but I'll get one eventually, when the price drops.

I'd buy an older car that is light weight, fuel efficient, and reliable.  Factor insurance costs into the equation as well.  Acuras are good but you pay more for any premium name.  Get a Honda or something comparable.

Plus, learn how to drive economically.  It makes a big difference.

  

           

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63.7 MPG new Ford for Australia

2010 Ford Fiesta ECOnetic Announced, On Sale Early December

2010_ford_fiesta_econetic_01

FORD HAS TODAY announced its diesel-powered 2010 Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, Australia’s most fuel efficient car.

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While the Prius betters the Fiesta ECOnetic’s 98g/km carbon emissions rating with its own 89g/km rating, the ECOnetic tops the list for conventional internal combustion engined cars - besting the MINI Cooper D’s 104g/km.

The Fiesta ECOnetic is powered by a 1.6 litre TDCi common rail diesel engine, specially calibrated for maximum fuel efficiency and featuring a coated Diesel Particulate Filter to keep emissions low.

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  • Weight reduction through the provision of a tyre mobility kit in lieu of a traditional spare wheel/tyre
  • Addition of a green shift indicator light in the instrument cluster, which signals the optimal point to change gear to maximise fuel economy
nickbert's picture
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Re: Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?

Usually it's a losing proposition to sell or trade in a car you've bought relatively recently... you almost never get the full market value for your existing car, especially now that people are cutting back and it being a buyers market (for those with the money or credit at least).  I personally prefer a conventional vehicle that happens to be fuel efficient rather than a hybrid for many of the reasons ao listed.  If you can sell it privately for close to it's value then I say go for it and downsize, but I wouldn't be too eager to ditch it.  If we get a second major gas price spike you'll see people scramble all over themselves for a used hybrid or any other fuel efficient car.  It was painful to watch so many people last year making terrible financial decisions, trading in their current cars/trucks at a loss to buy up the new fuel-efficient cars and losing far more money in the trade-ins that they would save in gas costs.  Most would have been better off driving less (and driving more efficiently) and keeping their existing vehicles for awhile to get the most value out of them, and buy a more fuel-efficient car when the old one is due to be replaced (it would have been much smarter for them to buy fuel-efficient cars/trucks in the first place but oh well).  I expect we'll see the same sort of thing when we see another big gas price spike; that is, if there are some people that still have money left to spend.

I can at least attest that my own 2005 Acura that I bought used a couple years ago has been a very solid performer and no mechanical issues to date, and almost as fuel efficient as the Honda Civics.

- Nickbert

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?

nickbert, you are spot on........ (we had an Acura Integra once, bought 11 months old in 1988 and kept it for 17 years, did 365,000 km (~228,000 miles) without hardly doing any work on it..... never even replaced the radiator hoses!!

Our current car is 20 yrs old and has done 392,000 km (~245,000 miles) and it has been UTTERLY reliable (well maintained by the previous owner, and now me).

By driving at under 55 MPH (and usually at no more than 50) we regularly get 40+ MPG.......  must be the cheapest motoring we have ever done!

With Australia's Peak Oil crisis looming large, it is almost certainly the last car we'll ever buy (I am considering a small 110cc motorbike in the near future...)

Mike

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robie robinson
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Re: Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?

Being mechanically inclined isn't neccessary but its nice. We've driven diesels(VW,Isuzu,Mercedes,Ford 1ton trucks) we're also

a full time farm family. You can't beat a diesel in reciprocating engine design. Fuel storage is easier and EMP sensitivity is nill

to nonexistant. My favorite with our family of 5 is pre-85 mercedes diesel with manual trans. 

 

The Robinsons

poisonivy113's picture
poisonivy113
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Re: Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?
robie robinson wrote:

 Fuel storage is easier and EMP sensitivity is nill

to nonexistant. 

Seriously, diesels are EMP resistant? Wow, I didn't know that! Good to know, thanks!

I was driving a jeep with almost 200,000 miles on it prior to the Prius. What forced the change was an accident that "totaled" the jeep. (doesn't take much to "total" a car that's only worth $3000) In many ways I miss it. I don't miss the 14 mpg, though. I'm considering trading down to more of a beater type vehicle to lower my car payments and overall debt burden while I'm going through a career transition. I tend to have bad timing, though. I got the Prius when gas was at $4/gallon, and I swear as soon as i drove it off the lot gas prices immediately went down. I wouldn't be surprised if I got rid of the Prius, gas prices would shoot right back up. Dilemmas, dilemmas.....

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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Re: Hybrid vehicle vs traditional?

Modern diesels are computer controlled and are therefore troubled by EM rad of ....Only our "Navistar" diesels would be affected at all by

EMP's O/W its Mercedes a '74 and '78 can fix 'em forever.

 

robie

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