Gas Mileage Savings! Hybrid really worth it?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by waloshin, May 3, 2009.

  1. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    - 2008 Dodge Caliber sxt 1.8 (29/35)
    - 2010 Honda Insight lx ( 43/45)
    - 2008 Honda Fit (28/34)
    - 2008 VW Jetta/Golf(22/29)

    -2010 Honda Insight( 28,000 cdn)
    -2008 Dodge Caliber(18,000 cdn)
    -2008 Honda Fit(19,000 cdn)
    -2008 VW Jetta/Golf(20,000 cdn)

    It seems to me that the Insight Hybrid is not worth it? On average you pay an extra 8,000 - 10,000 more. Would the fuel savings really be that substantial?
  2. Malfoy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    If you drive a lot and plan on getting rid of the car before the 'hybrid' battery dies.
  3. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Wouldn't it take an average of 15 years or so to brake even. When paying an extra 10,000.
  4. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    The best way to save fuel is to change your driving habits. As Top Gear proved, you can make a Toyota Prius use more fuel than a BMW M3.

    Have a look at some of the VW diesel models. They can get ridiculously good fuel economy.
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    In the U.S. if you buy the car new you can get a tax break. I don't know how much or if it even offsets the added cost of the hybrid. I've also read that up until recently the "estimated" fuel economy of many hybrids had been somewhat overstated; I do know that in the most recent models that figure is calculated differently and it might be more accurate.

    For my part, I would like to see the technology become more widespread and road-tested (pun not intended), so to speak. I'm still skeptical of a few things in the technology:

    1. Brakes are used to partially recharge the battery. What happens when these get wet? Are there any long-term effects?
    2. Batteries eventually die and can't be recharged. How long does this take, how much does a new battery cost, and how to dispose of the old one?
    3. Some rescue squads will not use the jaws of life or other apparatus on a hybrid because the voltage of the battery can be life-threatening to a rescue worker. This may or may not still be a problem and it may not affect all models.
    4. Although they tend to last longer than a combustion engine, an electrical motor cannot readily be repaired; a combustion engine can.
    5. I have read some blogs where users were disappointed in their fuel economy. I can't remember the name of the site, but one guy bought a Civic hybrid, spent the same amount of money as he would have on an Accord (a bigger car), and was only getting 5-6 mpg more than a standard Civic.

    Of course, there's always the "warm and fuzzy" factor when buying a hybrid, some people just like to feel like they're doing something good for the environment.
  6. j/k/Andy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Exactly, there are a lot of unknown cost related to the battery life.

    If you drive 15000 miles a year, at $3 gallon, you will save about $1350 in a 50 mpg car vs 20 mpg car. It will take about 6 years to break even, but then you need a new battery too.
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Yep, there are already people complaining about the cost of repairing their used Prius with 100-125k and the $3k money pit.
  8. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2007
    Hybrid usually pays off in a 3 to 5 year period. But what if gas goes back over $4 in the US? When I buy a new car I think I will go hybrid for both financial and environmental reasons.
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    You know that electrical appliances can be made to work in water? My shaver and electric toothbrush can get fully submerged - I'd expect a braking system like this to be similar.
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I have those, too - the batteries and electrical connections are not exposed to water. The interface between a brake disc and brake pads IS exposed. Even if nothing shorts out, there's the possibility of galvanic action between the two.
  11. j/k/Andy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Hopefully volume will bring cost down, but I'm still not a big fan of hybrid cars for most people if they are looking to save money.
  12. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    2008 Dodge Caliber - 18,000 with 34,000 km
    2008 Toyota Prius 20,000 with 34,000 km

    Gas mileage(Caliber = 29/34)
    (Prius = 48/45)

    * Would the Prius save anything in a 5 year run?
  13. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    Driving habits, location, weather, traffic, etc. Those will dictate a hybrid's usefulness.

    If you're in traffic a lot, being electric is fantastic. If you take short drives, a lot of hybrids are inefficient for those.

    If it's cold a lot, it will reduce your mileage. If you're doing highway mileage, there are more efficient vehicles for that.

    I drive a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid. I wanted to support American hybrids, and needed something with enough space to move goalie equipment around and sometimes in places with bad weather. When I'm in town, my mileage is great, but when I have to do highway miles, it's not as great (but still WAY better than a non-hybrid SUV).

    My Escape came with a 3 year warranty on the Escape portion, and an 8 year warranty on the hybrid part. So if I drive the car all the way into 2012 and need a battery, it's covered.

    There's a lot of considerations in a new car, more so with a hybrid. Keep doing the research, but don't let cost be your only guide.
  14. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

    Priuses aren't environmentally friendly as you may think...

    If I was buying a car for fuel economy and the environment, I'd get a Jetta TDI.
  15. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    But then a Jetta Tdi, costs more initially then a used Prius. And the maintenance on the Diesel would be higher.
  16. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    Ummm... for one thing your comparison on prices is pretty unfair. You are comparing a bunch of 2008 vehicles (that is, USED vehicles) to a NEW Honda Insight. Of course the used vehicles are going to be a better bargain.

    The Honda Insight has lowered the price bar on hybrids from what I have seen - where a Civic hybrid or a Prius can easily run 28,000 USD or more, the Insight starts at 18,000 USD and tops out at 23,100 USD with a navigation system. While more expensive than, say, a gas civic, the gap is CONSIDERABLY smaller than in the past. So, if I were in the market for an economy type car, the Insight would be high on my list of things to test drive. And, since I live in a city, if I end up commuting by car, I'd say my inclination to go hybrid would be high. On the other hand, in rural areas where most miles are highway, or if you commute by mass transit so most of your driving is for pleasure and in off-peak traffic periods, a hybrid may make less sense.
  17. j/k/Andy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Good post, not to mention how to depose of the used batteries.

    Smaller cars driven less with more efficient powertrains
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Toyota did lower them, I don't know if they did another price cut after the $5.5k to $3k.

    But it seems they are sensitive to the replacement costs, and I don't know what the OEM-style 3rd party packs are.

    Edit: looked, yes they did, but seems the dealers are still raping people even though Toyota dropped them again.
  19. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    I recently got a Camry Hybrid and I love the thing. I just filled up my first tank and got about an average of 36mpg. Granted I was driving a Jeep before so the difference is night and day.

    Whether the savings are worth it or not is debatable. I can't really give a good answer since mine was a gift for graduation, so my savings start instantly.
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    As long as iJon doesn't try to ford a river above the headlights in the Camry and/or let that water freeze in the starter he'll be fine.
  21. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    The real question is what kind of driving do you do?

    Back in '06, I purchased a Jetta TDI, from out of state. 95% of my driving is highway, and diesels are most efficient at cruising speed, where the RPMs can run at their lowest. The EPA estimate for my car highway was 43mpg, and I actually get about 46mpg, in the summer.

    Hybrids get their highest efficiency during city driving (stop and go). That's when they take advantage of their stored battery power, and often turn their gas motors off, thus saving on fuel.

    Both vehicles come at a premium. I know the diesel motor option was an additional $3000, and due to their demand, there was no bickering on price. I paid list.

    You might want to look at the Honda Fit, Honda Civic, or Toyota Yaris gassers as well. A former coworker of mine, got 38-39mpg in his Yaris, which was quite impressive to me.........
  22. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    $8000 - $10,000 absolutely not unless you're doing a ton driving or intend to keep the car for many years. By the time you have the hybrid premium paid off, you'll be in a place where I would be concerned about maintenance since not only is there a normal car under the hood but also an additional sophisticated electrical system.

    If you are only planning on keeping the car for a couple years, the hybrid may be worth it because of the increased resale value.

    If you want an insight, buy a civic. I'd stay away from the Dodge because of reliability issues. Same with VW however the VW Jetta TDI (I believe its only $22,000 with govt incentive) gets very good gas mileage.
  23. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    Wow, you remember that. I still shake my head thinking about that day. It scares me to think of telling my Dad that my Jeep is stuck hood high in a creek surrounded by thick forest in the middle of nowhere.

    It's good to see some old friendly faces still posting on the board. Not many of us left.

  24. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I had a 2002 Toyota Corolla, the body style just previous to the current one.

    We honestly got 44 miles to the gallon even when the odometer read 70,000 miles. Better and far cheaper than any current hybrid.

  25. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Mainly I would be doing city driving. I rarely ever go on the highway.

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