Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #21
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,137
It is an interesting choice by Honda, given that the existing Civic hybrid gets better mileage at just about the same price. I can only guess that it is directed to the market segment that wants to be "seen" as driving a hybrid. The Civic hybrid looks virtually identical (inside and out) to every conventionally powered Civic, with the exception of slightly different, more aerodynamic wheels (which is how we owners identify each other) and the small "hybrid" badge on the rear. By contrast, the Prius screams "hybrid" to the world, which may be why it has been more popular.
__________________

__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-29-2009, 12:15 PM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,049
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
It just seems that a lot of people have the idea of getting high mpg to save gas, but ignore other costs. Is that an unreasonable observation?
Yes. This may help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externalities
__________________

__________________
eridanus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 12:18 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
I think the insight may be worth a look simply because I think Honda is good at the small engine, high efficiency thing, so it may be well done.

Personally have zero interest in buying a hybrid myself, but they look like nifty toys.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 12:29 PM   #24
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerbill View Post
I like cars. Its a weakness. I like technology too.
One of my primary concerns when car shopping is safety. Usually, the newer cars have better safety features. But I like to consider maintenance costs as well, and with the gas prices swinging I try to keep an eye on MPG.
I was initially attracted to a Prius for its MPG. But what's really cinched the deal is the brake lifespan, the coolant lifespan, the transmission reliability, and the car's overall longevity. It's also nice to have a high-MPG vehicle that still hauls as much as most station wagons.

I don't miss starter motors, either. That's probably the weakest point of a Honda, but it's just nitpicking over whether the rating is 9.5 out of 10 or 9.6. We still see our 1990 Civic around the island occasionally, and '90s Civics are among the most-stolen vehicles for their parts-- so the "customer demand" is still there. I think it's hard to screw up choosing a Honda Civic, whether it's conventional propulsion or a hybrid.

I occasionally miss being able to drive a stick shift. Our kid, however, can't imagine why anyone would want to be constantly distracted by having to adjust engine RPM to MPH...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2009, 06:34 PM   #25
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I don't understand what direction people are trying to take my comments in. I'm just trying to understand what motivates some people to buy a hybrid.

The OP mentioned mpg and questioned cost effectiveness. He also said the technology "interested him". OK, but at that point what diff does the mpg/economics make?

It just seems that a lot of people have the idea of getting high mpg to save gas, but ignore other costs. Is that an unreasonable observation? Is it an unreasonable thing to discuss here?
Nah, perfectly reasonable.

I bought one of the Prius subspecies last year, to replace a rapidly disintegrating Saturn L-200. (Needed brakes, rotors, tires, battery, A/C compressor, power steering pump, etc. Every hydraulic seal was about to blow, from what I could see. Repair costs exceeded KBB value.)

I went with the Prius because:
1) It met the interior room requirements (head space, leg room, seating, cargo capacity), actually larger than the Saturn in some dimensions.
2) It met my maintenance requirements, effectively nothing beyond oil changes, filter swaps, and inspections for the first 5 years, all parts readily available, and easily serviced. (Note: I added headlamp replacement to the list after I got the Prius. That's the one un-fun item I've encountered.
3) It checked out in the Consumer Reports reliability data for used cars as a good bet. Folks can argue all they want over CR, but the reliability data is at least available, and matches my experience closely over the past 30 years.
4) The price was really pretty good. This was in early 2008, before gas prices had started the runup to $4/gallon, and after the tax break (which I'd lose through my tax situation anyway) had gone away, and there were plenty on the lots.

I ran the numbers, and the 5 year total ownership cost (before DW gets tired of it and wants something new) looked pretty good compared to other similar sized vehicles. I included maintenance and insurance costs. The new Prius cost the same to insure as the old Saturn. Other cars in the running included the Toyota Camry and similar sized cars.

I tend to keep cars I use longer. My daily schlepping vehicle is a Metro, gets 33 MPG, and I think I could pull the engine/transaxle without a hoist. I also have no worries about accidentally getting a speeding ticket in it.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2009, 09:03 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,272
Thanks M Paquette - looks like the car makes sense for you. Those are the kinds of "externalities" I was looking for. MPG alone doesn't cut it for most people.

It got me to wondering, why the heck does the govt give subsidies for hybrids, regardless of MPG? Shouldn't they just base the subsidy on MPG, regardless of technology?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2009, 06:34 AM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
I know the new VW Jetta diesel gets a tax rebate for high mileage. Maybe it is based on MPG?
__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerbill View Post
I know the new VW Jetta diesel gets a tax rebate for high mileage. Maybe it is based on MPG?
I didn't know that - had to google:

Answer seems to be, no - not based on MPG. It seems Congress keeps wanting to play engineer:

Jetta Clean Diesel Will Be Eligible for Alternative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit–Diesel Blog


Quote:
VW Press Release


HERNDON, Va.—Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced that buyers of the Jetta TDI sedan and SportWagen are eligible for a $1,300 Federal Income Tax Credit. The Internal Revenue Service has issued a certification letter affirming that the vehicles qualify for the Advanced Lean Burn Technology Motor Vehicle income tax credit.
I have a big problem with this. How many Congress-critters could actually explain what "Lean Burn" technology is, let alone why it is a good idea for me to give someone $1,300 of my money for choosing a vehicle that has it?

Seems to me, if that technology is so great, people will buy it w/o a tax credit.

Second, it really screws up things. So let's say I develop a technology that is even better and cheaper to produce than "Lean Burn"? Guess what - it is tough for me to compete in the market place, because Congress already "blessed" "Lean Burn" technology. So, unless I can also convince Congress to allow a credit for my technology, it won't get sold. Then the next guy gets to play that game.


How does this benefit the consumer?

How does this benefit the taxpayer?

How does this help us to conserve, when the best technologies are not allowed to win on their own merits?



-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 12:20 AM   #29
Moderator Emeritus
laurence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I didn't know that - had to google:

Answer seems to be, no - not based on MPG. It seems Congress keeps wanting to play engineer:

Jetta Clean Diesel Will Be Eligible for Alternative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit–Diesel Blog




I have a big problem with this. How many Congress-critters could actually explain what "Lean Burn" technology is, let alone why it is a good idea for me to give someone $1,300 of my money for choosing a vehicle that has it?

Seems to me, if that technology is so great, people will buy it w/o a tax credit.

Second, it really screws up things. So let's say I develop a technology that is even better and cheaper to produce than "Lean Burn"? Guess what - it is tough for me to compete in the market place, because Congress already "blessed" "Lean Burn" technology. So, unless I can also convince Congress to allow a credit for my technology, it won't get sold. Then the next guy gets to play that game.


How does this benefit the consumer?

How does this benefit the taxpayer?

How does this help us to conserve, when the best technologies are not allowed to win on their own merits?



-ERD50
I think you bring up a lot of good points, but I would say where the free market breaks down is in the area of externalities. The total cost of a particular transaction isn't being captured by the buyer and seller. I agree with the intent of govt. incentives but it seems the execution got messed up here. A simple measurement of mpg and emissions should be the only criteria, and let the market decide how to meet it.
__________________
laurence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 10:25 AM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by laurence View Post
A simple measurement of mpg and emissions should be the only criteria, and let the market decide how to meet it.
Or, simpler yet (as previously discussed)--don't legislate by technical edict (e.g. buy a car with a certain MPG or grams/mile emissions gets a tax credit) but just tax fuel at a higher rate. This does three things:
1) Gives technology free reign to solve the problem in the best way (lean burn? Hybrid? Injection of HOOH? Let the scientists and engineers compete and come up with the best solution for each vehicle type and use. They will be different)
2) Gets the most efficient cars in the driveways of the people who do the most driving. This is huge. It is a net environmental/energy loser to give a tax credit which encourages a 100 mile-per-week driver to trade in an 18 MPG car for a Prius. If anything, the government should figure out a way give him a tax incentive to keep driving that car as long as possible. On the other hand, getting a 150 mile-per-day driver into a fuel efficient car helps reduce those uncompensated externalities a lot.
3) Encourages fuel savings (what we say we are trying to achieve) rather than a particular means of fuel savings (hybrid vehicles, lean burn, hamster power, etc). Remember all the activity when gasoline was above $4 per gallon--activity on Craig's list and in offices to set up car pools, more public transportation ridership, etc. We had a real decrease in automobile miles driven for the first time in years. No tax credit for hybrid vehicles is going to accomplish that.

Also, as ERD-50 has pointed out, a steadily-increasing fuel tax (with a planned progression over many years) gives the public and the automotive engineers a clear picture of what lies ahead regarding fuel costs. This would provide a solid basis for making engineering and design changes and investments that is lacking today, and would serve as another incentive for technological improvement. This would be much more effective than the arbitrary and slowly increasing CAFE standards.

I like taxes--that I can avoid. I can drive less and avoid paying this tax.

Again, I'm not saying that we should necessarily have a fuel tax. But, all taxes modify behavior in some way. If we, as a society, believe that fuel use has uncompensated externalities that are truly worth the cost of addressing (cost= more lives lost in road accidents in smaller cars, reduced economic activity due to higher transportation costs, etc), then a revenue-neutral fuel tax probably makes much more sense than these rifle-shot technically-focused approaches. Congress should concentrate on the big-picture policy issues and get out of engineering.

Apologies if I sound like a broken record on this issue. But if they keep doing dumb things, it's hard not to chime in.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 11:34 AM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Apologies if I sound like a broken record on this issue. But if they keep doing dumb things, it's hard not to chime in.
+ 1 to all that samclem said.

Just to be crystal clear (I know samclem gets this, but just in case others didn't), I only mentioned incentive for MPG as being better than specific technology. But I agree and have mentioned before that taxing fuel would be an even better, simpler, more effective means to reduce consumption. So....

Fuel tax much better than MPG Credit.

MPG Credit much better than Specific Technology Credit.

Specific Technology Credit. = BAD LEGISLATION.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 03:12 PM   #32
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
buying a new car every 10 years...another form of "bragging rights."
I have no opinion on the main argument here, but I do on the above assertion.

IMO there are so many reasons to buy a new car and take care of it. I watch people drive their late model Hondas right into the curb. Nothing like a 30 degree angle on a curb hit at 5mph! I hear them try to start on a hill with the clutch half engaged for about a block. I hear young women say "oil change? Why should I change the oil?"

Of course, I have only bought two used cars in my life, and a couple of trucks. The 2 cars were disasters, albeit cheap ones. The 1962 Chevy Apache Truck was great, after I replaced the ring and pinion gear. The 1973 Ford Truck with the 360 engine was a mess from day one.

I might have messed up by looking for cheap, but as long as new cars are as inexpensive as they are, I'll go new.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 09:24 PM   #33
Moderator Emeritus
laurence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Or, simpler yet (as previously discussed)--don't legislate by technical edict (e.g. buy a car with a certain MPG or grams/mile emissions gets a tax credit) but just tax fuel at a higher rate. This does three things:
1) Gives technology free reign to solve the problem in the best way (lean burn? Hybrid? Injection of HOOH? Let the scientists and engineers compete and come up with the best solution for each vehicle type and use. They will be different)
2) Gets the most efficient cars in the driveways of the people who do the most driving. This is huge. It is a net environmental/energy loser to give a tax credit which encourages a 100 mile-per-week driver to trade in an 18 MPG car for a Prius. If anything, the government should figure out a way give him a tax incentive to keep driving that car as long as possible. On the other hand, getting a 150 mile-per-day driver into a fuel efficient car helps reduce those uncompensated externalities a lot.
3) Encourages fuel savings (what we say we are trying to achieve) rather than a particular means of fuel savings (hybrid vehicles, lean burn, hamster power, etc). Remember all the activity when gasoline was above $4 per gallon--activity on Craig's list and in offices to set up car pools, more public transportation ridership, etc. We had a real decrease in automobile miles driven for the first time in years. No tax credit for hybrid vehicles is going to accomplish that.

Also, as ERD-50 has pointed out, a steadily-increasing fuel tax (with a planned progression over many years) gives the public and the automotive engineers a clear picture of what lies ahead regarding fuel costs. This would provide a solid basis for making engineering and design changes and investments that is lacking today, and would serve as another incentive for technological improvement. This would be much more effective than the arbitrary and slowly increasing CAFE standards.

I like taxes--that I can avoid. I can drive less and avoid paying this tax.

Again, I'm not saying that we should necessarily have a fuel tax. But, all taxes modify behavior in some way. If we, as a society, believe that fuel use has uncompensated externalities that are truly worth the cost of addressing (cost= more lives lost in road accidents in smaller cars, reduced economic activity due to higher transportation costs, etc), then a revenue-neutral fuel tax probably makes much more sense than these rifle-shot technically-focused approaches. Congress should concentrate on the big-picture policy issues and get out of engineering.

Apologies if I sound like a broken record on this issue. But if they keep doing dumb things, it's hard not to chime in.
Sounds good to me. Cutting the BS and getting to the heart of the matter. But tax increases like that are a third rail now.
__________________
laurence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2009, 09:39 PM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by laurence View Post
Sounds good to me. Cutting the BS and getting to the heart of the matter. But tax increases like that are a third rail now.
But when we pay someone $3,000 to buy technology X, isn't it really the same thing?

Where does the $3,000 come from - taxes. So it *is* a tax increase. And, since it is clearly less effective than a fuel tax, it is costing more $ for the benefit received, so it is *over-taxing* us.

Sure, the average citizen probably doesn't look at it that way, because "someone else" will pay that tax. That is why I think basic financial education is so important. We can't solve problems if people don't really understand what effect the action has on the problem. It is more likely that the action will make it worse.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2009, 08:49 AM   #35
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
Hmm, dealer offering $1500 under invoice, plus $1300 tax credit on the new Jetta diesel.

My car addiction is acting up again!
__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2009, 09:57 AM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I don't understand what direction people are trying to take my comments in. I'm just trying to understand what motivates some people to buy a hybrid.

The OP mentioned mpg and questioned cost effectiveness. He also said the technology "interested him". OK, but at that point what diff does the mpg/economics make?

It just seems that a lot of people have the idea of getting high mpg to save gas, but ignore other costs. Is that an unreasonable observation? Is it an unreasonable thing to discuss here?-ERD50
It's sounds like a "green discussion", I guess I am not invited.........

The Insight is too small for me. My aunt's Honda Fit Sport is a cool car, but I feel claustrophobic in it. if Honda imports a diesel Accord wagon or comes out with a hybrid Accord wagon I am there.......
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2009, 09:59 AM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerbill View Post
Hmm, dealer offering $1500 under invoice, plus $1300 tax credit on the new Jetta diesel.

My car addiction is acting up again!
I thought you got a beautiful used BMW last year!

Car addiction, or are you now a COLLECTOR??
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2009, 02:34 PM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,017
I recently drove both versions of the Honda Insight and have concluded that it is not the car for me. Reasons: First, Honda Canada based their pricing on US pricing, and the result is a car that is just too expensive for what you get. The more expensive version is full of consumer electronics and IMHO, not worth the money. Second, it's a SMALL CAR. The Honda Civic DXG is cheaper, roomier and a lot better value. Third, the engine sounds like a regular engine. Among hybrids, I just prefer the Prius starter mechanism and technology.

Honest Honda dealers are not expecting the Insight to do well in Canada for these reasons, especially the pricing.

Meanwhile, I am still happily driving my 1995 Accord and am planning to keep it till it dies or becomes too expensive to run.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2009, 04:20 PM   #39
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
I visited a Ford dealer last week and sat in the Fusion hybrid. Space-wise, there's a lot of room in there. The cabin is as big as the regular Fusion. The sales guy said that, unlike the regular Fusion, you can't fold down the back seat and make a large trunk/rear-seat area, but this isn't a feature I've used in my other sedans (because none had it!). At an MSRP of about $27K and mileage of 41 (city)/36 (hwy), this car might be a great one for people who not only want to make a "green" statement, but also want to support a US automaker when they "get it right." The fact that Ford is standing on its own feet and hasn't taken the bailout $$ is a motivator for some of us, too.
I don't drive many miles annually now, so this purchase would probably have a prohibitively long payback period for me. But if I were driving 80 miles per day, it would be a contender. 700 miles per tankful would feel pretty good when gas goes back up over $4 per gallon.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2009, 05:52 PM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
I like Fords and have had good luck with them. I wonder why the Fusion hybrid only comes in top of the line trim. Hey, I love all the bells and whistles, but hate paying for them!

Yeah, my bimmer is great. Finally got it back from the shop. NAV still doesnt work so I bought a used nav computer online. Hope that fixes it. Shop gave small "good will" payment, not enough for the hassle.

Been thinking of getting a low maintenance/cheaper maintenance vehicle.
__________________

__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
newbie needs your collective wisdom and insight ratface FIRE and Money 10 01-23-2009 09:50 AM
Need insight on continuing insurance in retirement omni550 FIRE and Money 12 05-20-2007 01:28 PM
Lord Abbett retirement insight al4trade FIRE and Money 50 02-10-2007 08:59 PM
Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check poboy Other topics 130 04-23-2006 09:48 PM
Canada / New England cruise - Looking for insight. gayl Life after FIRE 31 08-03-2004 06:18 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:44 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.