I am very interested in buying a hybrid car. However, the speed does concern me a bit. I am willing to change my habits as a fast driver, but it seems everywhere I look on this website is discouraging me from buying one. If I enjoy speeding, really only on highways though, should I buy a hybrid car? Or just a high fuel efficiency gas car?
If you like to cruise at relatively high speeds on the highway, then a hybrid like the Honda Accord may be just the thing for you. Not so much because of the hybrid-ness, but because it will shut down three of its cylinders when cruising on the highway, thus improving mileage.
For city driving, where speed is not so much an issue, you get the boost of the Honda hybrid IMA to improve gas mileage.
Plus, the Accord is a very nice automobile. It seems like you would be able to have your cake and eat it too.
Hybrid vehicles aren't hindered as far as top speed is concerned. For example, the Honda Insight has a rated top speed of just over 110 mph. The Insight is arguably one of smallest, least powerful hybrids.
The real question is GETTING UP TO that top speed. As mentioned before, the Hybrid Accord has Honda's IMA (hybrid components) coupled to a fairly powerful V-6, making it the most powerful in the Accord line (too bad they only made the sedan; cause I really wanted to see a hybrid Accord Coupe). I don't know what the rated top speed of the Accord is, but I'm sure its not much more than 140 mph, if that. However, the Accord Hybrid accelerates MUCH faster than the Insight.
The trade off is that the Accord doesn't get as good fuel efficiency as the Insight, on the order of about half.
The bottom line is that if you like to drive really fast, but don't need blistering acceleration, a hybrid will do the job just fine. But if you need to get up to speed in a heartbeat, you will either need to go with an Accord Hybrid, or just get a car with a standard combustion engine.
Ready to chew on my this novel? (sorry)
You and I may have alot in common.
In my past, I've driven all vehicles like a speed demon. Left lane, 85-90MPH, sometimes very risky by severe tailgating, trying to get the next vehicle out of my way. I'd swerve around if I could and even frequent the HOV lanes for passing a slow (80MPH) row of cars. Always on edge and cursing the object in front of me.
I not only carried a detector but also monitored the trucks over the CB for speed trap warnings.
Although I never drove really crazed while my wife & 3 small kids were along, I now realize that I was sometimes a jerk to other drivers and posed a great liability risk to my family.
I drove that way for about 27 years.
The driving habit in my 94 Dodge Spirit was costing too much, I was getting about 15-16MPG so I decided to drive better and a couple of tanks I'd set the cruise control to 5MPH over the posted speed limits.
This created an extremely boring, long excruciating trip (I commute 92 miles daily) and only yielded an additional 4-5MPG.
I really wanted to change my driving habits but couldn't do it in exchange for a boring ride.
As my 10 year old car matured it was time for replacement.
For 1 year I was torn between a Neon or an all-out HCH.
Well I chose the HCH and it has done the impossible, in completely changing my habits.
The first tank I noticed the low 40's MPG which I was amazed, but I wanted to see just how high it will go. I was hooked. Everything changed at that point.
I knew nothing of hypermiling so I consulted the experienced Insight drivers who are getting +90MPG in their machines for advice in mine.
I worked very hard at improving my MPG and the results are wonderful: My MPG over the last 12 months is about 60MPG.
I've saved over $5000 in fuel alone over the 'ol Dodge and I'm a vastly safer driver.
I've learned a technique that allows me to drive about the speed limits which only adds an extra 10 minutes each way to my commute. My commutes are more relaxing, pleasent and interesting drive. Instead of just blindly gassing it or spacing out in cruise control I'm judging every aspect of my drive and adjusting accordingly. A very busy, fun drive.
I find, and many others find the HCH (and likely Prius) really encourage driving for efficiency, which brings me to my next point.
It sounds like you are ready for a more refined, alert and exiting drive but hate being bored behind the wheel. HCH may be for you.
Personally I take the MPG game to an extreme...a game...which I very much enjoy.
My results are not normal, but some are even exceeding my efforts.
Most folks get about 47MPG, as an average over many HCH's.
One great thing about "the game" is it can be played in virtually any vehicle.
For me it took the exitement of the HCH to learn it.
Thanks for reading my novel.
One more quick note:
If I were driving a Neon today I'm sure I'd still be tearing up the road, carrying my detector and CB.
Probably getting 20MPG, still risking my life and others.
Hot Georgia, that does sound very similar to me. I have to commute 40 minutes to work, but I often try as quick as possible to get there and yes possibly endangering lives. "The Game" had interested me from previous posts and it sounds like I would become a safer driver. So I have definitely decided to purchase a hybrid vehicle and was leaning towards the HCH. My only concern is, if I DO drive fast, will it hurt the car or just the mpg?
Speed won't hurt the car, but MPG will suffer.