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Old 08-04-2015, 12:58 PM   #21
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From Consumer Reports when comparing test results of a nearly new Prius to a similar one with over 200,000 mile on it.

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Based on data from over 36,000 Toyota Prius hybrids in our annual survey, we find that the Prius has outstanding reliability and low ownership costs. But we wanted to know if the effectiveness of the battery degraded over the long run. So we hooked up a 2002 Toyota Prius with nearly 208,000 miles on the clock to our testing instruments and compared the results to the nearly identical 2001Prius we tested 10 years ago.

Conclusion: We found very little difference in performance when we tested fuel economy and acceleration.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:32 PM   #22
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+1000. Another reason not to buy built in nav if you have a choice. They're overpriced, map updates are a total ripoff, and repairing one is outrageous (see above). We have nav in both cars, and Google or Apple maps are better, if for no other reason than they're always more up to date.
We're in a transition time.

Over the next few years virtually all new cars will offer both Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto and make it even easier to integrate phones and cars.

That said, not everyone will want to do this and the automakers will continue to offer some level of infotainment and nav systems in their cars.

In fact, didn't Audi, BMW, and Mercedes (together) just buy Nokia's HERE mapping platform for $3 billion. So at least these manufacturer's expect to be investing in new nav systems for a long time. Of course, this purchase might be more related to self driving car technology. Interesting times.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:39 PM   #23
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Anyone use IntelliChoice to compare vehicles? Not sure how accurate they are but they rate vehicles based on a 5 year total cost of ownership. For the models I looked at Toyota/Lexus/Honda the hybrid models were typically rated higher than the equivalent non-hybrid model
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:28 PM   #24
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I prefer the built in nav. We have one car (our Prius actually) where we don't have it and it is my enduring sorrow that we didn't get it.

I like the large built in display. I did have a very nice Garmin for awhile but that display is smaller. Further more, it was constantly falling off the windshield while I was in the middle of driving. It got to a point where it was a hazard because it would fall down.

Yes, I have GPS on my phone. One time I did turn by turn directions using it and found that I used a huge amount of data doing it. Further more it was also smaller than the screen for the built in navigation and was more hazardous to us since I would have to constantly look down at my phone rather than being able to see it out of the corner of my eye while looking ahead driving.

Yes, I know you can buy devices to hold the phone while driving, but that doesn't change the fact the display isn't as large and generally the positioning isn't as good as the built in display.
Interesting, I rely on the voice instructions as much as possible, whether I am using my iPhone, built in nav, or Garmin. So I don't care much about the screen, it's a distraction to look at it while driving anyway (somewhat dangerous).
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:30 PM   #25
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One caveat -- Honda's hybrid batteries have been much more prone to failure than other makes. A Consumer Reports Feb. 2014 article described the failure rate in 2009-2010 Civic hybrids as "Shocking" and states that battery failures in earlier model years were at least 12% as well.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:56 PM   #26
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We just got a new car and in the process looked at lots of other cars. I cant for the life of me, figure out why cars still have Nav. They should be obsolete like an 8 track player. They cost $2000+ and just about everyone has GPS on their phone. Even if you don't you can buy a Garmin for like $100. OK, maybe it more convenient to have it installed in the dashboard, but come on, $2000?


I agree... really stupid pricing since a number of them already have large screens in them...

But, you do not know what else they do... I used to have an Acura TL... one of the things it did with the NAV was change the HVAC according to where the sun was... IOW, it knew what time of day it was, which way you were heading and which side of the car was getting more sun... it said it compensated for that side.... now, I did not get the NAV so I do not know how much it really did....

BTW, I do not see any difference with the dual zoned (or tri zoned on my Pilot) AC systems... the temp seems to be the same no matter where in the car....
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:12 PM   #27
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....

BTW, I do not see any difference with the dual zoned (or tri zoned on my Pilot) AC systems... the temp seems to be the same no matter where in the car....
Slightly off-topic, and maybe should go in the pet-peeves thread, but...

I had a much older car with dual zone heat (no AC back then), and I thought it was great. When I was driving, I tended to like the heat on my feet, and cooler at my face to keep me alert. The passenger would generally want it warmer. Driving alone, no real advantage.

But my semi-rant is with all these doo-dads on cars, why doesn't every trim level include a thermostatically controlled HVAC, instead of just turning the knob from hot to cold in an open-loop? Seems you can't get the 'climate control' until you step up $4,000 in trim level (and that may include the Nav system I don't want to pay for). Thermostat control probably costs $15 to implement (The capability is designed in for the top tiers - so just a few added parts to get it).

My low-end Volvo 2000 S40 has a thermostat ad I love it. Once dialed in where I want it, it maintains that temp (yes, I might have to turn the AC up/down if the sun hits me or not). But so much better than tweaking the knob as the temp goes up and down. I really miss that when I'm driving the Honda CR-V - I feel like I'm in the Stone Ages.

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Old 08-04-2015, 04:21 PM   #28
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OK, while we are talking fancy-schmancy features in cars, my son just told me of this.

He brought his car to the Audi dealer for some work, and they gave him a newer loaner for a day. He played with the new digital display, and found that one of the screen displays showed AC refrigerant flow rate! What the heck? He does not have this in his car.

It's cool how they instrument it and have a sensor for it, but what does the driver do with this info?
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:28 PM   #29
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My husband bought a Ford Fusion 2 years ago. We like it. It just seemed like an awfully nice car for the money, too. It is kind of big for my taste, though.

He just got $6000 worth of repairs to it, though, after parking it injudiciously under a eucalyptus tree. It still has its original front bumper and its original passenger side doors and quarterpanels.... It was a big branch.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:24 PM   #30
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I find it interesting that people site 'lower emissions' as a reason to buy electric/hybrid.

This article 5 Reasons Not to Buy a Hybrid - HowStuffWorks and others point out negative impact hybrids have. Given that the EPA is attempting to shut down coal power plants, and the increase in electric rates, plug-ins may make less since.

As to in-dash gps, we have one, and while I like the directions from Google on the phone better, I normally use the one in the car. I think Audi, and maybe others use Google as their in-dash. I would like that.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:36 PM   #31
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I find it interesting that people site 'lower emissions' as a reason to buy electric/hybrid.
Agreed, every time I hear that I recall the car with the lowest tailpipe emissions in the U.S. in 2009 was the Jetta Diesel.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:45 PM   #32
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This article 5 Reasons Not to Buy a Hybrid - HowStuffWorks and others point out negative impact hybrids have. Given that the EPA is attempting to shut down coal power plants, and the increase in electric rates, plug-ins may make less since.

If a person really believes all the reasons listed in the article, then one should not purchase any car at all, normal IC engine, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all electric. Basically the article, while aimed at hybrids, claims that all current auto power plants are basically bad for the environment. A more appropriate title would be 5 Reasons Not to Buy Any Car.

Bicycle power anybody?

FWIW, every time I see a Leaf with "Zero Emissions" on it, I wonder if the owner thinks the electric power comes down like manna from heaven.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:11 PM   #33
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But, you do not know what else they do... I used to have an Acura TL... one of the things it did with the NAV was change the HVAC according to where the sun was...
Ahh, more integration. The last thing I want is for my heater and AC to stop working because the car's nav system blows a capacitor. I want >less< integration, and less electronics and complexity where it adds little/no value. Knob-->push/pull cable-->mixer door. No servos, sensors, vacuum lines and actuators, etc.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:26 PM   #34
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I find it interesting that people site 'lower emissions' as a reason to buy electric/hybrid.

This article 5 Reasons Not to Buy a Hybrid - HowStuffWorks and others point out negative impact hybrids have. Given that the EPA is attempting to shut down coal power plants, and the increase in electric rates, plug-ins may make less since.
I find it interesting that people site articles that are clearly based on misinformation, and lazily try to pass them off as factual.
  • Hybrids still uses gas but less of it so it's just as bad. Seriously?
  • And "the batteries inside hybrid cars depend on materials like lithium and cobalt..." Very few hybrids use LiCo or other LiX traction batteries so far, most including the Prius use NiMH batteries.
But watch out for your mobile devices and laptops, they use those nasty minerals...

Nickel metal hydride, or lithium ion chemistries are both regarded as more environmentally friendly than lead-based batteries which constitute the bulk of petrol car starter batteries today. There are many types of batteries.

Electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid (far and away the largest segment) are by no means interchangeable.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:47 PM   #35
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You could get a phone package that gives you so much data that it might as well be unlimited...and for WAY less than the price of the built in NAV system in the car.

There are lots of features on a car that some people want and some dont. My problem with the NAV is that they force you to buy it because cars come with nothing or everything. On most cars if you want a package that includes heated seats or memory seats or whatever else, you are forced to buy every option they sell which always includes the NAV.
I agree with you about the being forced to buy. It annoys me when I have to buy a feature I don't want to get another feature I do want.

As for data -- maybe you, but not me. With a family plan and 2 kids in college on it, we often do max out our data (we are paying for 10 GB).
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:14 PM   #36
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Ahh, more integration. The last thing I want is for my heater and AC to stop working because the car's nav system blows a capacitor. I want >less< integration, and less electronics and complexity where it adds little/no value. Knob-->push/pull cable-->mixer door. No servos, sensors, vacuum lines and actuators, etc.
Yup! Electronics seem to break much more often than mechanical items. Most mechanical items are easier to fix, too.

Unlike ERD50, I do not mind "fiddling" with the controls to get the temp I want. In fact, I typically set my AC on "recirculate" and then cycle the AC "on" and "off" manually to keep the temp where I want it. On my old "tank" (the Buick) I have an instantaneous fuel-mileage indicator (it came with the used tank - until it quits, I will enjoy it!). When I'm cruising at 70 on an open road, and cycle the AC "on" the mileage drops by 4mpg. I leave the AC on just long enough to reach a comfortable temp and then shut it off. If possible (and safe) I turn the AC "on" for the down side of the dips and "off" for the upside. Overall, I've confirmed (actual fuel used) I can get at least 2 extra mpg this way.

If possible, bringing this back around to the OP, I'm still excited and fascinated by the new technology (from hybrids to GPS) but my own suggestion would be to find a used vehicle with low miles but good mileage (30+) and wait a while longer on the hybrid. To each his/her own since YMMV.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:47 PM   #37
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If a person really believes all the reasons listed in the article, then one should not purchase any car at all, normal IC engine, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all electric. Basically the article, while aimed at hybrids, claims that all current auto power plants are basically bad for the environment. A more appropriate title would be 5 Reasons Not to Buy Any Car....
That was a pretty twisted article. Some truth to much of it though, but oddly presented.

I have yet to see really good analysis of the environmental impact of the added battery and motor in a hybrid. I've seen some hack pieces. But isn't nothing either.


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Bicycle power anybody?
I recall reading that us humans are poor converters of food to energy. If you look at the energy/pollution used to produce the food we eat to power a bike, they claimed we'd do better driving a mid-sized car.


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FWIW, every time I see a Leaf with "Zero Emissions" on it, I wonder if the owner thinks the electric power comes down like manna from heaven.
Those stickers bug the cr*p out of me. I parked near one a while back, and I was tempted to wait until the person came out, just to ask if they really thought their car was "Zero Emissions". My first thought was to go buy a can of black spray paint and 'correct' it, but I did neither.

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Old 08-04-2015, 09:26 PM   #38
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Ahh, more integration. The last thing I want is for my heater and AC to stop working because the car's nav system blows a capacitor. I want >less< integration, and less electronics and complexity where it adds little/no value. Knob-->push/pull cable-->mixer door. No servos, sensors, vacuum lines and actuators, etc.

Problem is that the mechanical can break also...

We had a Ford Explorer.... bad car... many problems.... but we are talking HVAC...

So, the AC did not seem to work as well as I would have liked... took it in to make sure the system was full of whatever refrigerant it had... they said yes... but, there was a door behind the dash that had an actuator arm made of plastic... and it broke... the replacement was metal... but it would cost $1200 to take everything out and put everything back in order to replace a $1 item....

There was also a 'rear' AC system... (I only think it was vents, but it did cost money)... well, it had mechanical doors that would open... but someone the screw got messed up and all you would hear is it clicking... it never would stop unless you moved the temp up higher... IIRC, that was going to be an $800 fix...


All systems can have flaws if designed poorly.... or with poor materials...
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:41 PM   #39
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I have a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid (purchased 12/31/2007), with 199k miles on the odometer. I have been very happy with it, but I did have to replace the hybrid battery early this year, which cost me $2400. In my view, on a purely financial basis, it is worth getting a hybrid if you put many miles on your car (I commute >100 miles per day) and gas is expensive (I live in CT, home of the highest gas prices this side of Hawaii). I am obviously pleased for the sake of the environment that I reduced my gasoline usage and carbon emissions over the past 7.6 years, but it is difficult to put a proper price tag on that.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:18 PM   #40
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... I recall reading that us humans are poor converters of food to energy. If you look at the energy/pollution used to produce the food we eat to power a bike, they claimed we'd do better driving a mid-sized car...
If the source of energy for a bicyclist is filet mignon, then I can believe it. But if he eats cheap carb like rice or potato, it will cost peanuts (which also has lots of calories).
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