ready to buy a hybrid vehicle :)

34 posts / 0 new
Last post
Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
ready to buy a hybrid vehicle :)

Savings are looking good and its nearing the time where I have to get  a car for my spouse. She works close to our residence while I commute like crazy in a 530 BMW. (which my parents bought me in early 2007 because lawyers have to "drive nice cars"). The beamer is a beauty but its killing my pocketbook with its 16mpg. Given that my wife doesnt drive nearly as much as me I am going to be purchasing a 2007-2008 model prius or honda civic hybrid. I've been doing the necessary due diligence online and I'm hearing amazing things. With some battery modification I'm hearing that some prius drivers are getting close to 1000 miles per tank!

http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-fuel-economy/32799-working-towards-1000-miles-tank.html

Username VABeachprius describes what he has done.

My current BMW has a 16 gallon tank that will get me 400 miles. A 8 gallon Prius tank can easily pump out a good 600-700 miles per tank.

I'm sure there are CM members that have hybrids that can share more information. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

james_knight_chaucer's picture
james_knight_chaucer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 160
I think you may find diesel

I think you may find diesel easier to come by in any SHTF scenario, never mind that toyota batteries may be in short supply now due to problems in Japan. How about a diesel Volkswagen Golf? This will be almost as economical as a Prius, particularly if you get one with a start/stop engine.

Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
James, thanks for the heads

James,

thanks for the heads up on the VW golf

I'm finding some amazing steals on craigslist. I have a few auto monkey buddies that know EVERYTHING about the car sales business so they will be helping when I do decide to buy. Check out this 07 honda civic hybrid for $9500 with 75k miles by owner..

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/2354350635.html

 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
JD, Quote:A 8 gallon Prius

JD,

Quote:

A 8 gallon Prius tank can easily pump out a good 600-700 miles per tank

Definitely not.
My Prius has a 10 Gallon tank, and I max out at around 500 miles.

Average or typical is more like 400.

That said, I was getting about 16 MpG in my old truck - that worked out to be about $300 a month in fuel (297, IIRC).

The Prius, averages about $75. The Car itself didn't budge my insurance, so with a payment, I'm able to drive 2.5x more on the same amount of fuel, and the cost is about $25 more than I was paying driving the other vehicle. So, benefits:
-Great cruising range (400 Miles on 10 Gallons).
-New Car (able to save miles on my SHTF Rig)
-Trouble Free (Toyota covers Oil changes, and repairs for 2 yrs)
-Affordable - the PMNT is about $250/Mo.

I would advocate leasing one. Buying might not be the best CoA as the technology exists to create more efficient vehicles. This is an economic stopgap that's subject to all the same laws of Planned Obsolescence.

Cheers,

Aaron 

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Re: I think you may find diesel

Does anyone know why diesel is more expensive than gasoline? I thought it was less refined so shouldn't it be cheaper?

james_knight_chaucer's picture
james_knight_chaucer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 160
I think years ago it was

I think years ago it was cheaper. Refineries grew up making roughly the same proportion of petrol to diesel as the proportion of cars to lorries. Then, certainly in Europe, everyone cottoned on that diesel cars were cheaper to run. This created scarcity of diesel, and so the laws of supply and demand increased its price.

osb272646's picture
osb272646
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 14 2010
Posts: 120
Hybrid Prius

We picked up a 2008 Prius last year for a very reasonable price, due to the "runaway Toyota" scares that were going around then. 

We consistently get 54mpg driving on the country roads around here.  Interstate long distance trips come in at 49-50 mpg, due to higher speeds.  The vehicle is comfortable to drive on cross country trips, and has plenty of carrying capacity for our camping trips.  Our Jeep Wrangler, which gets 16mpg, gets little use these days.

I've read the blogs where folks have added an extra battery module with plug-in capability and get close to 100mpg.  It appears however that this is accomplished in stop and go city driving and frequent short trips.  Because of the way the battery and engine work together, I doubt I could get a significant improvement in mileage because we don't do much city driving.

We are very happy with the Prius.  The only downside I can think of is that there is almost no owner maintenance that I would be comfortable doing.  I have rebuilt several gas engines over the years, and this is the first time I ever saw an engine I don't want to work on.    If I were buying one today, I would definitely look for used, maybe bypassing the dealer. With the mess over in Japan, new car dealers are jacking up prices because production has been severely cut back.  I suspect private sellers haven't yet caught onto this dynamic.

 

randyreek's picture
randyreek
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2011
Posts: 1
Diesel versus gas

I've been told that every barrel of oil can be refined into multiple types of products, including diesel and gas and other chemicals. The refineries can get more gas from the process than diesel, hence the added cost. This doesn't explain why diesel used to cost substantially less, unless the refining capacity was switched to provide more gas to meet demand.

Anyway, my diesel GMC gets as high as 21 mpg on the highway. I wouldn't get half that with a comparable horsepower gas engine, so I am still ahead despite the higher cost.

Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
osb272646, Thanks for the

osb272646,

Thanks for the feedback. My commute is 35 miles each way, with a good 12 miles consisting of side streets and stop and go traffic, sp 70 miles daily which is costing me close to $20 per day in fuel alone. A prius is a MUST buy for me at his point as the car will use the battery when Im stop in go, possibly bringing the mpg in the mid 50s range. When I have a court appearance in any regional court forget it. To give you some background I began working and joined the real world 5 months ago and have been saving every dime in preparation. I believe that a high mpg vehicle is a MUST for anyone that lives in a US urban area. If supply is tight now imagine when prices hit the $6 gallon plus range. I'm seeing good deals on 07 models with 50k mileage and have seen reports of prius cabs pushing 250k miles.

Looking for private seller from owner and NOT a dealer as I called several just to a get feel for their offers and I was told 21-23k for prius 2008 model whereas by owner sales are averaging 14-16k.

Woodman's picture
Woodman
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
I picked a practically new

I picked a practically new looking 2008 Prius in February for under 16k at a dealer.  I'd been planning this for a couple years and this was total luck, just a couple weeks before the disaster in Japan, at which time dealer's inventory of used Prius's disapeared.  The relief I felt about not having to rely on a 16 mpg truck all the time anymore was immense and immediate and I have zero regrets.  I'm getting about 41 mpg with half city/half highway driving and would do better I'm sure with more conservative driving.  When I look around at the traffic next to me the idea of not driving a high mpg vehicle when you have the choice just seems nuts now, and I wonder why it took me so long to make a move! 

Woodman's picture
Woodman
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
I picked a practically new

double post

signalfire's picture
signalfire
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 18 2009
Posts: 34
Ditto on the 50 mpg

I have a 2007 Prius.  I regularly get 50 mpg and yes, it's a 10 gallon tank.  My driving is mostly country roads and I-5 at 70 mph.   Unfortunately, I have been without a job now for over a year and am starting to have issues making the payments.  Thanks for the tip that I could possibly get a pretty good sales price on it if need be...

SteveW's picture
SteveW
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2010
Posts: 490
2010 Prius

I got a new 2010 Prius last year and I get 50 mpg in short (5-8 mile) local trips in the warmer weather (April through September in the Pacific Northwest). Running the ICE (internal combustion) warmup is a big fuel robber but for your 25 mile trip that won't be an issue. AC is also a big fuel robber but that doesn't affect me. One thing that helps economy is learning to drive the Prius. I watch folks get on my rear, zoom past and brake hard at the next light and wonder about their gas consumption while the Prius gives moment to moment feedback on its HSI (hybrid system indicator) display. You've already found the best SIG website.

A second hand Prius for a good price is a great buy. If its been properly driven the brakes should be hardly used because of regenerative braking. Mine only come on with a fairly emergency stop.

So far as extra battery packs go AFAIK they extend mileage to 80 - 100 mpg for about a 15 - 20 mile range (basically you can't run the machine as EV only). I'm hoping that at some point secondary battery packs will become available allowing extended EV range which would allow me to go to EV only for my routine use, I suppose this would require a software upgrade. 

 

 

SailAway's picture
SailAway
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 404
2007 Prius / 2008 Civic CNG

I bought my  Prius new in 2007 and I love this car. I get ~47mpg.

4 months ago I sold my van and bought a 2008 Honda Civix GX CNG and it's also a great second car perfect for commuting. I drives 50 miles per day and have a refill station on my way so it works great for me. I got an average of 35.8mpgs over the first 2480 miles and pay $2.15 per gallon. Range is ~180 to 200 miles. So it cost me around $12 for 200 miles, not bad these days.

 

Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
A non-hybrid alternative

For those not willing or capable of shelling out thousands of dollars for a good used or new hybrid, there is a much cheaper alterntive-- buy a good used Civic, Corolla or near equivalent and re-learn how to drive more efficiently.

I have a 1993 Honda Civic that I bought new.  I used to get around 28mpg city and 40+ on the highway.  After re-learning to drive in a more fuel efficient way along with a few modest hypermiling techniques, I now get 40+ mpg in the city and on the highway.  I haven't gotten less than 38 mpg in the last 2 years.

With over 185,000 miles on the odometer, the car still runs and drives excellent.  I have all the maintenance records as well.  If I sold this car today, someone would get them one very solid used economy car for a couple thousand dollars.  However, it's not for sale and I will probably drive it until it starts to die of old age.  Should easily get another 100,000 miles out of it...

Ready's picture
Ready
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
WVO?

JD,

Since your family in the restaurant biz, I gotta ask. What does your family do with any waste vegetable oil?

Did you know that with a little knowledge and a few parts, you can convert that oil into either biodiesel or run it straight once filtered in a properly equipped diesel vehicle?

FWIW, I get over 200 MPG in my Ford F350. I start and stop on diesel (actually biodiesel, which I make) and once up to temp run on waste veggi oil. Currently, I have over 1300 miles on this tank of diesel, and there is a lot left. I usually get over 5000 miles per tank. I also have a buddy who runs a VW bug tdi, but he is all city driving and only 10 minutes from work, so he only gets 100MPG on his setup. He doesn't drive nearly as much as me, so 5 gallons a week from his local pizza joint fills all his needs.

For most, collecting the oil is a big hurdle. In your case, I would think you might be able to talk to owner into hooking you up!

Cheers,

R

james_knight_chaucer's picture
james_knight_chaucer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 160
Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Diesel cars 'better than hybrids' for fuel efficiency

NO WAY would I buy a hybrid....... especially if your commute doesn't involve much town driving which is where you will get the only advantage of electric drive.  Regardless, a car like the KIA Rio has a fuel economy of 88.3 MPG http://www.nextgreencar.com/view-car/31187/KIA-Rio-Diesel-Manual-6-speed/

Even accounting for the US' smaller gallon, that is still 73.9 MPG (US).  And when the battery dies, it's a typical off the shelf garden variety device, not the expensive hi-tech gizmos they put in hybrids.

In any case, I firmly believe we will start seeing serious fuel shortages within three years.  A hybrid with no fuel goes no further than a Hummer with no fuel!

Learn to drive with a feather foot instead of a lead foot.  I own a 2L gasoline Citroen with a 72L tank (~19 US Gall) and regularly get 1000km (600 miles) from it by simply never going over 50/55MPH, accelerating very slowly, and using fifth gear as much as possible.  I only buy 98 octane unleaded.

In winter last year I got 700 miles from a tank!  Not bad for a five seater 1.3 ton car....... and it only cost me $3500 to buy too.  You can buy a lot of gas with $20,000!

Mike

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1182
I'm with DTM

My mercedes diesel (1.5ton manual trans)was mfg. in '77, regularly gets 35mpg and has required litlle more concentration of the earths precious resources since its birth date(forgive the anthropomorphization, it is a family member).

 

robie

bklement's picture
bklement
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2009
Posts: 108
Does anyone know why diesel

Does anyone know why diesel is more expensive than gasoline? I thought it was less refined so shouldn't it be cheaper?

I believe part of the price increase is from switching to ulta low sulfer diesel as well as some states requiring a portion of all diesel to be bio-diesel (such as Minnesota which is currently at 5% and switching to a 10% requirement soon)

 

I have a 2010 vw golf tdi, I get around 47mpg on the highway once the car is warmed up.  Commuting through rush hour traffic for 30 miles each way I usually average 39-40mpg.  I looked at the prius but I enjoy how the golf handled and had plenty of passing power when required (nice flat torque curve and 240ish foot lbs of torque)

MrEnergyCzar's picture
MrEnergyCzar
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2010
Posts: 54
The Best Peak Oil Proof Vehicle...

Almost half of Volt drivers are former BMW or Prius drivers.  Here's a feature article I wrote recently explaining the Volt's mile per dollar costs compared to the Prius.   It costs more upfront but you'll peak oil proof your transportation.  

http://gm-volt.com/2011/11/04/2012-volt-drives-family-off-oil-and-saves-30000/

MrEnergyCzar

 

 

 

 

RDenner's picture
RDenner
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 24 2011
Posts: 5
An Alternative View Point

I had an opporitunity to buy a new car in 2007(or newish). I had decided that this will likely be the last time I allow myself the luxury of Debt in me and my families life. I did all kinds of research on Hybrids(of which the Prius was just coming out I believe).

And after a lot of thought I decided to go in a complete and utterly different direction. I decided to buy a 2005 Jeep Wrangler.. Now before you laugh me off this post(of which this is my first), I came to this decision after looking at the whole picture.

I took on a debt load of about 300 bucks a month(and 15K in actual new debt). The 2005 Jeep Wranger is the last of the Straight 6 cyclinder engines that Jeep has made since the mid 1990's.

I live in the Toledo Ohio area, which is the home of the Jeep Wrangler. There are literally 1000's of these Straight 6 engines(and other parts) lying around in local junk yards. The engine is simplicity and there are almost no electronic gadgets hooked to this vehicle. No power windows, no defrost, though it does have A/C, but it can easily be disconnected.

As such it is a very easy to work on car, even for an engine illiterate like myself. Like I mentioned before I live in Toledo Ohio, which is about 50 miles south of Detroit Michigan. For those that live in this area, you will understand this next part. For those that don't, you have to understand that we are on the cutting edge of the economic collpase. In 2007 I started to try an envision what a realistic view of 2011 or 2012 might look like and the obvious answer to me was infrastructure decay.

The local and state governments would stop maintaining vital parts of the transportation grid(as well as water and electric). This would result in much rougher road conditions as the collapse progressed. This has proven absolutely true in my neck of the woods. In parts of Southern Michigan they are allowing certain secondary roads to decay back to hard packed dirt roads. In toledo there are parts of the city that would EAT a prius or other small car.

I decided that the Jeep Wrangler(or similar simple rugged vehicle) would be the best bet in the uncertain future. Its gets crap for gas milage(around 20mpg), but it requires almost no maintanence outside of oil changes. After 100k miles, we are just now having to put some money into things like the transmission and some U-joint problems.

I think that those thinking that buying a Prius or some other tiny COMPLICATED vehicles are going to be able to use them effectively on the downslope are being somewhat deluded... You are paying in some cases 15 to 25 thousand dollars on a vehicle that no one knows the long term toughness of. As has been pointed out above, if a small vehicle with good gas milage is what you need, then a 1995 Honda Civic is your best bet.

They are cheap and for all intensive purposes, disposable. You can pick one up for about 2 to 3k and get 29 to 37 MPG depending on how you drive. Those high tech battery operated cars are a technical wonders, but they aren't going to fare to well in a future of delapidated roads and infrastructure...

And obviously THE BEST strategy in the face of Peak Oil and rising oil prices is to get closer to everything you are doing. That was the first thing we did as a family, even before buying a newish vehicle. We got close to nearly everything we needed to do. I have a 20 min commute, wife has about 10 to 15. Kids are walking distance to school and we have an Aldi's less than a baseball's throw from our back door.

Robert

 

 

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
Welcome

RDenner

Welcome to the forums.  I like the way you analyzed this issue and your conclusions make a lot of sense.  Gas milage is just one aspect of the situation.

Travlin 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
future motoring

Been mulling over this thread over the break......  it appears to me that many of the posters are assuming motoring will continue to be a large part of their activities.... when in fact motoring will progressively get harder and harder.  I was amazed to hear about the roads around Detroit being allowed to go to pot.  I'm of the opinion that if things get THAT bad, it's time to call it quits, and rather than spend substantial sums of money on a CAR, one would be better off spending substantial effort into prparing for not needing a car at all.

One of the things hardly anyone discusses in light of Peak Oil and fuel shortages is where will tyres come from?  Made 100% from oil, tyres, especially large 4WD ones, will become harder to buy, and certainly a lot more expensive.  Last time I bought two tyres for my Citroen I was STUNNED at how much they cost..... and just imagine what happens if roads get really bad and wheel alignments all go AWOL!  How long will your precious tyres last then?

Even Volts will need oil changes, whether or not you use the backup motor.  ALL cars will need batteries, and I suspect that as demand for electricty storage rises, the cost of batteries will skyrocket.  They already have.  I firmly believe we may well have already reached Peak Lead..... add an economic collapse, and there is no guarantee anyone will be able to get parts...

If TSHTF next week and we are not be able to drive one more mile, it would be inconvenient, but we are as ready as we can be, we have reshaped our lives so that we do not NEED cars....  we still drive because we can...

Mike

Sept25's picture
Sept25
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 25 2011
Posts: 8
Can't go wrong

 I recently got rid of my Acura and luxury suv and got 2 Prius (i).  Love them.   I avg 48 mpg and no premium fuel.  Forget the status mobile!

 

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2245
Mike wrote: Been mulling
Mike wrote:

Been mulling over this thread over the break......  it appears to me that many of the posters are assuming motoring will continue to be a large part of their activities.... when in fact motoring will progressively get harder and harder.  I was amazed to hear about the roads around Detroit being allowed to go to pot.  I'm of the opinion that if things get THAT bad, it's time to call it quits, and rather than spend substantial sums of money on a CAR, one would be better off spending substantial effort into prparing for not needing a car at all.

One of the things hardly anyone discusses in light of Peak Oil and fuel shortages is where will tyres come from?  Made 100% from oil, tyres, especially large 4WD ones, will become harder to buy, and certainly a lot more expensive.  Last time I bought two tyres for my Citroen I was STUNNED at how much they cost..... and just imagine what happens if roads get really bad and wheel alignments all go AWOL!  How long will your precious tyres last then?

Even Volts will need oil changes, whether or not you use the backup motor.  ALL cars will need batteries, and I suspect that as demand for electricty storage rises, the cost of batteries will skyrocket.  They already have.  I firmly believe we may well have already reached Peak Lead..... add an economic collapse, and there is no guarantee anyone will be able to get parts...

If TSHTF next week and we are not be able to drive one more mile, it would be inconvenient, but we are as ready as we can be, we have reshaped our lives so that we do not NEED cars....  we still drive because we can...

Mike

Mike, you are hitting an issue that is the wrench in my decision-making right now, in terms of buying a new (used), more  energy efficient car.  I have a decent AWD vehicle that is good for our NE US winters, but it doesn't get great gas mileage (~20 mpg).  So I have been seriously contemplating trading it in for a more efficient vehicle now, while interest rates are still low, and before gas prices go high again, which would make my existing vehicle harder to trade in.  But getting the better gas mileage is the "pro".  The "Cons" are: (1) taking on additional debt to get the more efficient vehicle (which is ok if I keep my job, not so ok if I lose it), and (2) the realization that if things get REALLY bad in terms Peak Oil fuel shortages, or collapsing economy, then having a car that gets an extra 10 mpg (+ more debt) is not necessarily the right solution.  So I am getting hung up, as it seems like I have to choose which "scenario" to place my bets on, and then make decisions accordingly.  Thoughts anyone?

 

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3159
hybrids

My wife and I need two vehicles for the present, so have chosen one that reliably gets 50 mpg (Prius) and another awd that still gets 25-28 mpg (Subaru Forester).  If I didn't occasionally need an awd vehicle with some cargo space I would probably have 2 Priuses.

 

Doug

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1325
Most likely not Mad Max....
pinecarr wrote:

the realization that if things get REALLY bad in terms Peak Oil fuel shortages, or collapsing economy, then having a car that gets an extra 10 mpg (+ more debt) is not necessarily the right solution.

If things get that bad for a long period of time, then the car will probably be the least of your worries.  Mike's view seems to assume that things will degrade rapidly to a point of no-gas, no-roads, no..., the Mad Max scenario. If you believe that is the case, then you should strive to be completely independent as possible since you won't be able to count on anything....

However, I take the view that roads will still exist for quite some time.  Yes, they may get filled with pot holes and begin to look much more like roads in Mexico, but will still be drivable for at least 10+ years.  We may have a currency collapse, oil shortages, etc.   But I believe we will still be able to buy gas/fuel with potentially major inconveniences of brief unavilability, long lines, rationing, and potentially very high prices.

In all my preparations I take the view that I have no idea how things will unfold.  Being nimble and ready to change as things unfold is much more important than trying to guess and stake my plans on a predicted outcome.  That means being in a position to analyze and take thoughtful action rather than being forced to make quick/potentially bad decisions.  That means have basic necessities to survive for a few months in case of turmoil.

As far as a vehicle goes, what do you need it for?  If we do have a major collapse and Mad Max scenario, will you really care or still be doing the same things?   If you need a vehicle primarily to get to work, will your work still exist in a collapse situtation? If you haven't answered the questions about how you will stay warm, fed, and safe already, I would concentrate on them before worrying about transportation.

For us, nimble for transportation is SUV, bicycles, Nissan Leaf and PV (note it takes a lot of PV to be resiliant in this fashion -  3 miles/kWh).  Now I just need to get a "My other car is a Hummer" bumper sticker for the Leaf.   I also enjoy the fact I can now refer to a Prius as a gas hog.

 

 

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 843
Hybrid Hype

In 2003, I bought a 2001 Toyota Prius with 15,000 miles on it. It was small, boxy, and handled clunkily. From February through October, I'd average 54 MPG and during the winter months (when 10% ethanol was added to the fuel,) I'd average 46 MPG. The only repair shops who could interpret the computer codes were Toyota dealerships. I don't know if I had a lemon or if the repair record was typical of this first generation Prius, but lots of things needed fixing or adjustments. Since Toyota was the only company with the information, I couldn't get a second opinion on anything internal. Over the years, we had to replace the catalytic converter, adjust the valves, replace one of the onboard computers, replace sensors, etc. etc. etc. Almost every time it had an oil change, something else needed attention. Hybrids are especially tough on tires. I'd get about 30,000 miles on a set of tires that would last 80,000 on a Corolla.

My advice is to generate a spreadsheet with expected costs - financing, fuel, maintenance, expected repairs, etc. and let that guide your decision. You can figure that certain costs will be fixed (financing) and others will be quite variable (the rest.) After you have your spreadsheet built, start playing with the numbers. Double the monthly cost of gasoline and see if it changes your decision. Depending on how much you drive, how often you trade vehicles, what your particular needs are, you'll likely find that overall hybrid costs aren't significantly different than comparable non-hybrids. At least, that is what I found.

Grover

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 843
Edmunds online "true cost" calculator

I just used Google to find this link to determine car costs. It has some built-in and hidden assumptions that may not apply to your situation, but it is a good starting point for seeing the types of major categories that these people think are significant costs. Their list only goes back to 2006, so you won't be able to compare beyond that. - Grover

http://www.edmunds.com/tco.html

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2245
What year used Honda Civic for easier maintenance?

Thanks all for the good advice.

RDenner wrote:

  think that those thinking that buying a Prius or some other tiny COMPLICATED vehicles are going to be able to use them effectively on the downslope are being somewhat deluded... You are paying in some cases 15 to 25 thousand dollars on a vehicle that no one knows the long term toughness of. As has been pointed out above, if a small vehicle with good gas milage is what you need, then a 1995 Honda Civic is your best bet.

They are cheap and for all intensive purposes, disposable. You can pick one up for about 2 to 3k and get 29 to 37 MPG depending on how you drive. Those high tech battery operated cars are a technical wonders, but they aren't going to fare to well in a future of delapidated roads and infrastructure...

I need a car to commute to work (only ~15 min), and occassional trips into town to shop, etc.  I think RDenner may have hit on what makes the most sense for my situation now; a used Honda Civic.  It may get me get me the best balance between "minimizing the debt I take on", "increasing gas efficiency", reliability and safety. 

Another consideration is getting a vehicle that will be maintainable if supply chains start to have problems and such.  RDenner mentioned getting a 1995 Civic, I think because this model may be easier to maintain.  That is another feature I think is desirable in the event the infrastructure deteriorates and more complex vehicles are harder to maintain.  But not being a car person, does anyone here know if I'd really have to go back as far as to a 1995 Civic to get one that is less complicated mechanically speaking, and easier to maintain if that becomes a bigger issue in the next couple years?

 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments