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View Poll Results: When will you pruchase a hybrid vehicle
Already have 1 or more 17 16.50%
In 1-2 year 7 6.80%
In 3-5 years 26 25.24%
In 6-10 years 18 17.48%
Never 35 33.98%
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:41 AM   #61
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:38 PM   #62
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I hope it will be four or five years before I will need a new car. Will see what is available then and what would fit my needs. A hybrid would be worth looking into.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:10 PM   #63
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We own both a Honda Civic Hybrid and a Toyota Prius Hybrid. We like them both, but really love the Prius. It is roomy inside (about the same as an Accord), drives great, has decent acceleration, and gets a combined city highway MPG of about 52. We have had it about three years and driven close to 50,000 miles with only routine maintenance (which isnt much -- only oil changes and tire rotations!). We paid less than MSRP when we bought the Prius and got a tax break on top of that. Here in the DC area we get to drive it on the fast (HOV) lanes. And the Prius doesn't pollute, which makes my daughter happy.

Oh yeah, I guess I should worry about replacing the battery when that 8 year, 100,000 mile warrany expires. But I am a glass-half-full kind of guy. And no, I don't work for Toyota . . .

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Old 05-05-2008, 07:49 PM   #64
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Too expensive. Plus, I do lots of highway driving and hybrids tend to like city or stop/go driving.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:08 PM   #65
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Too expensive. Plus, I do lots of highway driving and hybrids tend to like city or stop/go driving.
True of the Prius but not the Honda. The Civic hybrid does better on the highway (I'm getting about 52 mpg on mine)
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:18 PM   #66
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I do a fair amount of both city and highway driving in both my Civic Hybrid and my Prius. I have never calculated the difference in city MPG vs highway MPG for either car -- I'll have to do that. One thing for sure is that my Prius blows my Civic away in combined MPG. I get over 50 MPG combined for the Prius, but only about 45 MPG combined for my Civic.

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Old 05-05-2008, 09:45 PM   #67
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The ability to run battery-only at low speeds is where the Prius really shines in the city. In fact, I believe the Prius has a higher city mileage than highway mileage. At highway speeds, the Civic's gasoline engine is more efficient. Since the vast majority of my driving is an hour drive each way to w*rk, the Civic is perfectly suited for my needs.

PS. - what year is your Civic? With the 2006 model year, Honda implemented four cylinder deactivation at speed, which measurably boosted the mileage.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:29 PM   #68
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I do a fair amount of both city and highway driving in both my Civic Hybrid and my Prius. I have never calculated the difference in city MPG vs highway MPG for either car -- I'll have to do that. One thing for sure is that my Prius blows my Civic away in combined MPG. I get over 50 MPG combined for the Prius, but only about 45 MPG combined for my Civic.

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Well, I don't consider that "blowing away"........

I have driven both, and I like the Civic better, it just seems heavier for some reason........:confused:
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:20 PM   #69
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I'd be hard-pressed to find a way that a hybrid would save me money.
I drive a $3k 1998 Saturn SL2 that gets 30mpg and I drive 70 miles per day to work-gym-home. The price of the hybrid would be impossible to justify in my situation.

And on long trips, we take the 1976 motorhome, which gets about 10 mpg.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:52 PM   #70
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Now a hybrid motorhome would be awesome.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:28 PM   #71
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I do a fair amount of both city and highway driving in both my Civic Hybrid and my Prius. I have never calculated the difference in city MPG vs highway MPG for either car -- I'll have to do that. One thing for sure is that my Prius blows my Civic away in combined MPG. I get over 50 MPG combined for the Prius, but only about 45 MPG combined for my Civic.

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One thing you might want to do is manually check your gas mileage (you know, divide miles by gas amount you put in) rather than fully rely on the computer.

I rented a Prius a couple months back to check it out. I loved it, and I drove it around a lot to get used to it and se if I would be happy with one. On the first fill-up it seemed like it too more gas than it should, given the 62mpg the computer was telling me. The next time I filled it, same thing happened, so I calculated that I was getting somewhere around 50 rather than the 60+ it was feeding me. Still respectable, but I was disappointed that the meter was so far off.

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Old 05-06-2008, 04:47 PM   #72
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My hat's off to you guys that drive 70 miles every day. I'm going to stop complaining about driving 60 miles (round trip) into town twice a week.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:33 PM   #73
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Voted for 6-10 yrs. A definite maybe.
I'll buy one when they are 10 cents on the dollar. Usually as they get older people can't afford to fix them, or are so messed up no one cares to try to fix.
Sorta like of my 1988 XJ6 with over thirty relays. Dismal British design. After a week or so of troubleshooting, and repairs, some three years ago, now 200 miles short of 200000 miles, 22 mpg around town, 26 to 28 on hwy. Handles great.
High tech cars are great until they have problems that the dealer's computer can't figure out and tell the parts changers, which gizmo is broke.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:01 PM   #74
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I'm another very satisfied Prius owner (1 year and counting). Bought it for a combination of environmental/economic/security reasons. I love it: cheap to operate and maintain, easy and comfortable to drive, and has some cool features.

Here are a few observations related to other comments in this thread:

The tax break ended last year: we got half of it, about $800.

You hear the assertion that the Prius gets worse mileage on the highway than in the city, but that isn't true in my experience. I get low 40's in town because I have to drive up and down a 1000 ft. mountain to get home. I've gotten 50's on the highway.

I recently drove it across country and back, across the big mountains with bicycles on the back. The mileage wasn't as good, but the car was a joy to drive, even on this long trip.

I'm expecting the Prius to exceed Toyota's usual longevity expectations. I have a relative who works for a major oil company that has extensively tested the engine and found it has very low wear: possibly the hybrid drive "smooths" out acceleration extremes?

I did a lot of research before buying and was impressed by the Prius' safety: has most of the high-end technology you'd expect like curtain airbags, ABS, traction control. Then I read a testimonial from a woman who was flipped UPSIDE DOWN in her Prius after side-impact from an SUV, and walked away. That sold me.

Statistics from the gas tank/gauge are somewhat unreliable because of a bladder system. That's the single negative I can voice.

Being an engineer, I expected the Prius to be finicky and unreliable, filled with new technology. The opposite is true: it has a rock-solid feel. It just works right, all the time. An engineering friend told me that Toyota mostly used off-the-shelf technology. The Prius was more a new way of packaging and optimizing an automobile, then it was cutting-edge technology.

Two other family members own a Prius. We all love them, especially as we watch gas prices climb higher.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:18 PM   #75
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Gumby - yeah, I have a 2005 Civic Hybrid. Maybe that explains why my mileage is not as good as yours.

On the post questioning whether an average MPG of 50 plus "blows away" my Civic's average of 45 MPG . . . yes, it does, given also that the Prius is roomier than the Civic, handles better, and accelerates better. IMHO.

On the post questioning whether my Prius' internal MPG calculations are off, I'll have to check that out. It could be. I had a lot of fun once on the highway tailgating a semi just to see how much I could get as far as MPG. The Prius' computer screen told me I was maintaining about 60 MPG. Then I said to my wife, "what kind of MPG do think we could we get in this thing if we drafted a semi going downhill?" Her reply: "not as much as if we drove it off a cliff." I stopped the tailgating experiment, it was fun, but was probably foolish in the long run.

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Old 05-10-2008, 11:12 AM   #76
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Next month or two-- buy it used from a desperate seller and drive it into the ground.
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IEEE Spectrum: Plugging Away in a Prius
a story of an engineer getting an all electric Prius, although a bit pricey, but it's something Nords could do, and with his home solar system, would actually have a negative milage cost.
Well, step 1 complete. We bought a 2006 Prius two days ago for $21,500. 23k miles. Just over BlueBook. Silver. It's the most grown-up car I've ever owned.

We've been planning to buy one for over a year and we started looking earlier this month. Where last year's Craigslist ads offered a couple a week, this year was a different story. I've been reading on PriusChat.com that the Mainland dealers are already selling out of inventory. There are no desperate sellers, or at least we weren't willing to wait any longer. After 10 minutes talking to the owner (who had another customer show up during our chat) we realized there would be no negotiations.

It's a cherry deal, too, without the marginal titles or usual whackos selling their "good used cars". Our seller wasn't using it and he was tired of talking to tire-kickers (over 20 of them). The car sells itself about 10 seconds after you push the "Power" button, and you can move fast with a certified check. I suspect that we'll actually see used vehicles gain value this summer, although that'll probably settle down by next year.

Our kid (who's been driving for "over six days now") contributed $5K of her own money and is thrilled with her 23% share. I'm thrilled with the drive-by-wire controls & engineering. Spouse is thrilled with the "cute" factor and the cabin space. Our sum total of the purchases of the seven other cars we've ever owned is about $36K, so this was a big step up.

Our Taurus averages 19 mpg, but that was before our teen driver started her education. The Prius will pull at least 45 mpg (the last mile home is all battery). Of course with driving on an island we're only going to save ~$500/year (compounded by "gasoline inflation") but we're holding this Prius for at least 10 years.

PHEV conversions don't pay back yet, although this IEEE guy will be closer than most. Notice that he's used all of his home's roof space, as tends to happen to solar geeks. However the price of PV panels is falling fast as industry ramps up production to meet demand and I've found a new mounting system that spouse can live with. Our current 3300-watt array just about equals our consumption so a PHEV won't take much more. In the next five years we'll probably add another 3-4 KW system (or a bigger inverter along with more panels, or perhaps a wind turbine) and have more than enough capacity to include the car. (But I still need to verify the math.) In the next five years we'll either buy a production PHEV or homebrew our own conversion. I'm seeing barebones kits in the $6-7K range and that will drop. But we only spend $1200-$1400 a year on gas before this, so paybacks are beyond most drivers. Perhaps a few persistent DIYs will install systems this year that will payback in 10 years. By 2015 people will be buying 10KW systems from "Solar 'R' Us" next to the Toyota dealer.

The car is very aerodynamic and sits very low to the ground, so design compromises were made that reduced visibility. You can't see the hood from inside, although in some weird way that's not an issue. The front bumper's air dam scrapes the driveway's curb ramp unless you back out at an angle. The rear blind spots suck, as I'm sure Toyota is hearing daily. Everyone in the car also has a tendency to tinker with the multifunction display (including the driver) so passing can be especially dangerous. But this car is only ~3000 pounds and has plenty of acceleration (the electric motor boosts the gas engine, or rather vice versa) so it's easy to get out of trouble.

The display runs the ventilation (electronically) and eliminates a lot of controls & dashboard crap. (I'd rather replace a display screen any day than a mixing lever.) There's also an impressive number of extra buttons on the steering wheel so that the driver can minimize distractions.

The oil filter is the tiniest thing I've ever seen above a lawnmower and should be sold in six-packs.

Besides the visibility challenge, the car has another annoying flaw-- Toyota put the radio antenna right in the middle of the roof's longboard rack. The antenna unscrews but leaves behind a hockey-puck base that's going to need a little working around. But when I'm paddling out by myself the cabin holds a 9'0" just fine.

It's a keeper.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:29 AM   #77
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Nords, congratulations!! (By the way, I agree with your wife on the "cute factor".... much cuter than a Taurus.) Have fun!
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:34 AM   #78
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I apologize in advance, but this joke is just too good:

"People who own a Prius drive under a cloud of smug."

(including me...)

- plsprisu
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:52 PM   #79
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hey, here's the gap filler hybrid...

What young Hollywood wants for Xmas: The 6-door Prius limo - Autoblog
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:11 PM   #80
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Prius: Green or Greenwash?

I was reading the SF Chronicle today and came across this good article on the energy supply/energy demand situation: ON THE RECORD: VINOD KHOSLA ON THE RECORD: VINOD KHOSLA

For those of you who are really interested in the economics ($, carbon) of hybrids, etc., you should take a look at this very comprehensive review of the issues by Mr. Khosla: http://www.khoslaventures.com/presentations/Hybrids.doc

Lots to think about here--and maybe some reasonable solutions, too.

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