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  1. #11

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    On the dirty diesel note, the Passat TDI has the worst pollution score for all midsize cars from the EPA in 2004. I guess the EPA is furthering the misinformation.

    Link: http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/midcar-04.htm

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  3. #12

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    I stand by the $7000 premium for a hybrid. That is of course Canadian $. A Civic Si sedan is about $22,000 CDN and the Civic Hybrid is about $29,000 CDN.

    Perhaps things are different in the States with tax incentives etc but that's the reality in Canada. You have to drive lots of KM to make up a $7000 difference.

    As for resale I'm quoting blackbook values in Canada. Resale value for a 2003 Jetta TDI GLS has a mid-range of $18000 for a car that retailed for approx. $26500; the Civic hybrid, same year same mileage (50,000 km) has a mid-range price of $14500, on a car that cost more to begin with (about $28000). Comparing a 2003 Jetta to a Civic, you'd have paid $1500 more up front, and lose an additional $3500 at trade-in. Is the mileage difference sufficient over 3 years, to justify a $5000 loss?

    I doubt it. As for me I have a family to feed and a car has to make economic sense to me. As far as I'm concerned, the diesel option on our Jetta and Passat is a "value-added" option for the purchaser: greater resale value, and greater economy, more than make up for the purchase premium. The hybrid simply seems to me value-destroying. Pay more, get less on trade-in, and never make up the difference at the pump.

    As for the pollution "problem" with the diesels, ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel will greatly improve the situation on vehicles that are already among the best with regards to greenhouse emissions.

    Mike G.

  4. #13

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    And just for fun I plugged in a 2003 Civic LX in a blackbook value estimator and came up with $13250 as the mid-range price. Only about a $1000 difference with the hybrid which cost $7000 more.

    Sorry but to me, if I wanted a Civic, I'd get an LX sedan and save tons of money over a hybrid, in spite of slightly worse consumption and emissions.

    Mike G.

  5. #14

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    Titan, I had a few things to add:

    "1. More fun car to own"
    This is certainly debatable which is more fun to own. Personally, My HCH is the car I've enjoyed the most in over 17 past autos and 25 years.

    "2. battery pack replaced. "
    Already covered by others.
    I plan to drive my own HCH for over 300K miles.

    "3. Very durable engine-- 400,000 mile engine lifetime on avg"

    Diesel cars do not last 400K miles on average.
    That's just a false myth.
    Go to Auto Trader.com and find 1/2 page of VW's over 150K miles, 1 page with 100-150K range.
    Sure you might find one with +300m but the average is only around 90-120K miles.

    Then go look up Honda or Toyota and see up 7-8 pages of cars 200K-300K miles, 16 pages with 100-200K miles.
    ***Do the used car research and compare***
    Even the Dodge's last longer than VW's on average.

    "4. hybrids generally command $4000 to as much as $6000 above the sticker cost of equivalent gasoline model in same brand. "

    Already covered by others. I paid $18.5K out the door for a fully loaded hybrid Cvic, while a similarly loaded EX sold for about $17.9K

    "5. Lower maintenance costs (see #2) over lifetime of vehicle."

    Check VW reliability. (Maintanance costs)
    I would have hoped that VW would have solved some of their major safety issues (Fire, crash, etc) by now, not to mention the endless QC problems they've had in the past (Windows falling out etc)

    "6. Ability to burn sustainable & renewable alternative fuels (bio-diesel, SVO, and WVO), fuels which further lower the greenhouse gas emissions of a diesel below that of similar size gasoline engine, mile for mile. "

    There you got me. I can't burn biodiesel.
    But regular diesel is often scarce enough, let alone the biodiesel.
    Sure, some people mix lye, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, methanol and oil on their own property but most I think are not willing to set up a production refinery lab in their shed then deal with the waste glycerin.

    Mixing up quantites of automobile fuel in a garage may be leagal in some areas, but not in most cities.
    Certainly could be a fire hazard.

    Most diesel autos get low 40's, about the same as the HCH. Prius does a little better.
    But both HCH and Prius are capable of leaving diesel MPG in the dust.

    HCH comes already fully loaded, restyled for 2006 with more power, more economy and costs less than a comparable VW....and burns regular gas.

    My vote is for hybrid.

  6. #15

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    "Most diesel autos get low 40's, about the same as the HCH. Prius does a little better."

    Are you talking highway or average? Taking the 1.9 liter TDI in the Jetta, your number is on the low side. We can average 45 mpg with it and get 50+ mpg on the highway at *normal* driving speeds (ie, going the speed limit).

    The automatics don't do as well however.

    You still haven't addressed the economics though: higher purchase price and lower resale make it difficult for a hybrid to make economic sense in Canada. I can get the same average mileage as most HCH owners but pay $1500 less for the car and get $3-4000 more for it at resale after 2 years.

    Mike G.

  7. #16

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    In terms of economics, it may never make 100% economic sense to buy a new hybrid, depending on your situation. Then again, it never really makes economic sense to buy any new car.

    Just for the sake of argument though, I did some Kelley BB resale values for a VW 2003 Jetta TDI and a 2003 HCH (both with the standard options and excellent condition) are as follows:
    Jetta with 30,000 miles $14,150
    HCH with 30,000 miles is $15,450 ($1,300 more)

    Jetta with 50,000 miles is $11,950
    HCH with 50,000 miles is $13,550 ($1600 more).

    So if by your assertion, you spend $1500 less for the Jetta TDI, you will get $1450 less on the resale of it in two years (averaging the 30K and 50K price differences). At least in my area, the initial price difference would wash out at resale. Plus, consider that you may see better mileage in a hybrid than in a diesel if you drive mainly city (Jetta=36 mpg, HCH =47/48 mpg).

    So, under these circumstances, you would not spend any extra money for the HCH over the Jetta TDI (and may even save some $$ depending on where you drive). Plus, you don't get a car that has the EPA's worst pollution score of a 1, vs a car with a pollution score of 9. (10 is the best).

  8. #17

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    Based on your numbers I'm pretty sure you didn't use the figures for a Jetta TDI.

    I ran the numbers through the Canadian Black Book site for used car appraisals and came up with close to $18,000 for the TDI and $14,000 for the HCH.

    It may just be that Canadian numbers for the TDI are higher; 50% of VW's sales in Canada are TDIs and they are in extremely high demand.

    Try going to www.toyota.ca, that links to the black book site, and plug in the numbers (you have to link to the site from another, there's no direct link).

    The gas Jetta has crappy resale in Canada, but the TDI is indeed way higher than a HCH (2003 vs 2003).

  9. #18

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    I also drive mainly on the highway (85-90%) so fuel economy diesel vs. hybrid is about the same. Right now diesel fuel is anywhere from 4-20 cents per liter cheaper than gas.

  10. #19

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    I'm pretty sure you didn't even check to see if I did the right figures or not and just assumed I didn't because they didn't match your own. I never stated I was doing them from the Canadian Blue Book, I said Kelley Blue Book (since this is what is used in the US). It may be that the differences are between CA and the US, I don't know. I don't have the time at the moment to compare the two. Check out http://www.kbb.com for yourself on myself for simply calling them wrong. If you do, make sure you report on the options you clicked, as I did.

    It appears that your earlier comments about resale and economics are only valid in Canada. Just like my statements about resale value may only be valid for Lubbock, Texas. While diesel may be cheaper than gas where you are at, it is not cheaper everywhere (it is 15 cents or so more expensive than gas here). I have lived in places where it is more like 20 or 30 cents higher and can only be gotten outside of town.

  11. #20

    Hybrid or Diesel?

    Oops, I meant "Check out http://www.kbb.com for yourself before simply calling them wrong."

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