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hybrid automobiles
Old 08-03-2015, 09:37 PM   #1
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hybrid automobiles

it's time to get rid of our 15 year old car. we fear that repair costs will exceed value of the car. have been looking at the hybrid versions of accord, camry, sonata, etc. Has anyone had any experience with any of these? What are your thoughts and preferences. Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:13 AM   #2
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own a prius and love it. low maintainance cost, high gas mileage. no problems. although I have only 55000 miles on it, I have only had to replace tires, and oil changes. it is worth considering, the camry is bigger and roomier, but you loose some on the gas mileage and the initial price is higher.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:22 AM   #3
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We have a '07 Camry Hybrid with 110K miles and a '12 Prius with 35K miles. We've been very pleased with both. Zero issues with the Prius and only one disappointment with the Camry, the nav system display died after 7 years and Toyota's replacement cost was outrageous. However, we were able to get it repaired at a reasonable cost elsewhere (it's a cottage industry). What are your specific questions?
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:44 AM   #4
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Hola Midpack,


Where did you get the nav system fixed??
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:25 AM   #5
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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?
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:23 AM   #6
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With the recent drop in gasoline prices, the demand for hybrid vehicles is also down. This goes over to the used car market as well as the new car market.

If you want a hybrid, I'd suggest either a Toyota product or the Ford Fusion hybrid--superior products.

Non-hybrid Honda Accords, Ford Fusions, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima's are getting the mid 30's mpg while having good room and performance. I see no reason to bring complicated electrical systems into my life. The price of used cars on hybrids reflect the same consumer feelings.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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My DW bought a Prius in 06. Reliable, only problem was with lights left on and jumping the aux battery. I am taking it over when she gets her next vehicle.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:50 AM   #8
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Hola Midpack,


Where did you get the nav system fixed??
Instead of paying Toyota $4300 plus labor for a new one , or $2500 plus labor for a rebuilt system (the only options any Toyota dealer we called offered) , we sent ours to Stereo CD DVD Navigation Plasma LCD TV, DJ Equipment Repair in CA and they just replaced the display for about $400. Still expensive, but 10% of what Toyota proposed .

Hitech even has a video online showing how to safely remove the unit without damaging anything. We had the unit back in less than two weeks, reinstalled almost a year ago, and still working perfectly.

PSA: Never buying a (Toyota) nav system again?
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:58 AM   #9
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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?
+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.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:20 AM   #10
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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?

When I got my current car, I specifically did not want a Nav built into the dash. I prefer my trusty (for the most part ) Garmin. But I suppose for some, having everything put away in the dash is worth the extra expense.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:38 AM   #11
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I have a 2009 Prius with about 100k miles. Never had a problem with it. Gas milage is 42 mpg in the city and 52 on the highway.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
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With the recent drop in gasoline prices, the demand for hybrid vehicles is also down. This goes over to the used car market as well as the new car market.

If you want a hybrid, I'd suggest either a Toyota product or the Ford Fusion hybrid--superior products.

Non-hybrid Honda Accords, Ford Fusions, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima's are getting the mid 30's mpg while having good room and performance. I see no reason to bring complicated electrical systems into my life. The price of used cars on hybrids reflect the same consumer feelings.
Good advice. Paying up $$^^ for a hybrid doesn't make any sense with fuel prices where they are and probably will be for the next several years. Plus, the resale value on the car will be below a non-hybrid. I drive a diesel (45 MPG) so no dog in the hunt.

One member here just replaced the battery in his Prius and it cost him $2400 - goodbye fuel savings.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:54 AM   #13
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FWIW, with gasoline prices where they are currently, and given the extra 12 mpg I get with my hybrid Camry over my previous regular 4 cyl Camry, I figure that my break-even point is about 70-80k miles. That's more than I would like. When I bought the car I figured gas averaging about $4 a gallon, with a 60k payback period. However, my state is raising gas taxes again, so the payback period will drop a bit.

I don't worry to much about battery failure with the hybrid. Toyota deliberately under stresses the batteries during the charge and discharge cycles to ensure a long life. My understanding is that the batteries are never allowed to fully charge or fully discharge, but rather operate in the zone from 80% of capacity to 20% of capacity or thereabouts.

Every other part seems to have that legendary Toyota reliability, though anything can break on any car at any time since none are perfect.

If you believe gas prices will stay down there is less of an economic reason to buy a hybrid, unless you drive a lot of miles. OTOH, if we see a return to the $4+ range, a hybrid starts to look a lot better. This is a good time to buy one since demand is down.

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Old 08-04-2015, 11:11 AM   #14
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One member here just replaced the battery in his Prius and it cost him $2400 - goodbye fuel savings.
And another person has had no problems for 16 years. Both of which prove....?

Personally, I would check out Consumer Reports repair stats for older model hybrids (or any car) to get a more realistic picture of reliability and possible repair costs.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:23 AM   #15
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And another person has had no problems for 16 years. Both of which prove....?
I would bet that battery replacement is more dependent on miles driven vs. how long it's in the car, especially if the car has low miles on it. I believe the member I am referencing had to replace his Prius battery at 150K miles.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:32 AM   #16
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Good advice. Paying up $$^^ for a hybrid doesn't make any sense with fuel prices where they are and probably will be for the next several years. Plus, the resale value on the car will be below a non-hybrid. I drive a diesel (45 MPG) so no dog in the hunt.

One member here just replaced the battery in his Prius and it cost him $2400 - goodbye fuel savings.
Well there are some "casual" conclusions.
  • There are other reasons to buy a hybrid than fuel savings, emissions for some. And there will still be some break even point for most hybrids, though it likely won't make sense for those owners who trade frequently.
    It may be marketing sleight of hand, but reportedly no premium for the hybrid model Lincoln MKZ, so there are hybrid fuel savings IF you want an MKZ on day one. In general the hybrid premium has fallen considerably over the years.
  • Like all models, resale varies considerably from model to model. And some hybrids are returning resale values comparable to non-hybrids Hybrid Electric Vehicles | Car Talk.
  • And the last one, "goodbye fuel savings" based on what specifics? How many years/miles? How many more years/miles? May be the case, but not categorically true. Hybrid taxis have done 300K miles without a traction battery replacement in several metro areas. I doubt taxi operators would run them at a clear cost disadvantage.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:44 AM   #17
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Bought a Prius in late 2011, so you can thank me for the precipitous drop in gas prices...

Still, gets great mileage (~50mpg), especially compared to the pickup I had before, with mpg in the 15/20 (city/highway) range. Undoubtedly emitting less pollution as well, important for ozone level orange, where we spend much of the summer in DFW...
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:45 AM   #18
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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 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.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:07 PM   #19
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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.
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.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:39 PM   #20
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In retirement we drive so little, perhaps 4000 miles/year, so the gas savings will take a very long time to offset the higher cost of a hybrid. A vehicle getting 40mpg burns 100 gal/yr, while one that gets 25mpg burns 160 gallons. At $5/gal, that's $300/yr differential for us.

I would consider a hybrid if its premium over a regular car is less than $5K. And then, I would make sure that the battery has a good reputation of not failing too early. Of course someone who drives a lot more will have a different perspective.

If someone has a class C RV that can get me 15 mpg instead of the 8.5-9.5 I am getting now, I would be very interested. Oh, they have diesel class C's that do that well, but I would have to drive 100K miles to save 4400 gallons or $22K at $5/gal. And given that diesel fuel costs more than gasoline, and a diesel engine costs more to maintain, I will never recoup the purchase differential, which can be as high as $30K to $40K.

In the 5 years I have had my motorhome, and taking long trips every year (as long as 2 months) as I have done, I have driven only 30K miles.
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