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  1. #1

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid Data
    (I was wondering about this -- I saw their issue where they said the hybrids will never pay for themselves). They now admit their data was wrong, and will issue a retraction in the next issue. They show that in fact the HCH will save $317 and Prius $406 over the first 5 years. And that (I assume) is a "normal" driver. For those of us who do a lot of driving, that definitely goes up (not to mention all the other perks such as carpool lane for a couple years).
    Here's an article on their retraction:

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  3. #2

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    One PS:
    I read the actual article online:

    But it's interesting. They say in their "real-world" tests they get 37mpg from the Honda Civic Hybrid.
    Well I drive in the real world, and after over 2 months now, the lowest I've had filling up the tank with the number of miles driven (the real measure of mpg) is 42.9 -- and that was while carpooling for a week with three heavy guys in the car. Otherwise it's been in the 43-44 range consistantly for each fill-up. I don't see how they only got 37mpg unless they were driving it like crazy, or maybe in the snow or maybe just mostly city driving. All I can say is, I do a good mix of city and highway, and I've haven't gotten lower than 42.9 (while doing a double carpool) and I don't drive particularly slow either. No, I don't get 65mpg, but 44mpg for an average by myself is not 37, and that means a lot more savings than Consumer Reports is saying.

  4. #3

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    You do have to wonder what their "real-world" driving entails. I have over 16K miles on an 05 HCH, and the WORST mileage I ever got was 39.4 mpg - cruising at 80 to 85 in 98 degree weather with the AC on. My overall average, including snow, slush, rain, mountain passes, winter tires, etc. is 45.99 mpg. That is 24% higher than CR's real-world experience.

    For most people, the payback analysis is based on flawed logic in any event, as it compares buying a hybrid to buying the non-hybrid version of the same or similar model. In my experience, and there are a lot of hybrid drivers in my area, that is not the choice that the typical hybrid driver makes. There is no way that I would have considered buying a conventional Civic or Corolla. I bought the hybrid because its a hybrid. In fact, I traded in a Subaru WRX (MSRP around 25K), so I started out by saving $5000 or more over what I might have bought otherwise and will pocket about $2600 in tax savings on top of that.

  5. #4

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    This sort of thing really bugs me. People don't even bat an eyelash when it comes to dropping a few extra grand on leather seats, power windows or a sunroof. But to do something good for the environment? No way, Jack!

    What's the "payback" on the creature comforts of a Range Rover or a Bentley?

  6. #5

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    I think they should also throw in the "time factor". In states where the HOV lanes allow hybrids, you save time because you are not stuck in traffic. If you save yourself even 10 mins each way to work, etc, then there is more than 1 hour a week. To me that real quality time. WHO WANTS TO SIT IN TRAFFIC WHEN THEY CAN ZIP ALONG?

  7. #6

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Agreed, Mark.

    I "justify" the extra cost of my HCH with the increased tax refund plus the difference in my gasoline bills (about $50/month), which just about closes the gap with a regular civic.

    But when I multiply the half hour I get each day (by getting on the HOV's during rush hour) by my hourly salary, it pretty much negates my car payment!

  8. #7

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    I noticed an article in the Chicago Trib about the CR retraction. Didn't their retraction also take the Federal tax credit into account? I've had my '06 HCH about a month now, driving relatively conservatively with no defroster, and am only gettting 37-39 mpg. My commute is 30-40 minutes highway, minimal to no stop/go. I still beleive in and support the use of hybrid technology but I hope I get a better reurn on my investment int he summer.

  9. #8

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Looks to me that CR is not the culprit...rather it is Vincentric's data.

  10. #9

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    I've had an '05 Prius now for 28,000 miles (Dayton, OH). I drive mostly highway, 30 miles one-way to work, and then errands on weekends. My overall mileage is 48.8 mpg. I get about 45-46mpg in the winter and 51-52 or so in the summer with the A/C on. This spring, without A/C, and only driving 65 mph for a few weeks (as a test) I was averaging 54 mpg. I generally set the cruise control at 70 mph.

    As for payback, I agree with earlier comments: what's the payback for leather seats? DVD player? It is cheaper to buy efficiency than it is to buy energy.

    Savings in gasoline costs is only part of the total savings. I am also saving health care costs from asthma and other bronchial diseases, global-warming costs by reduced CO2 emissions, and national security costs by reducing our need to fight wars over natural resources. I don't see these savings directly, but the country as a whole does.

  11. #10

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Please notice that the "True Hybrids," (minus the Honda Insight): The Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius, were the cars that saved in costs. Not like the Preformance Hybrids, which are a complete waste of money, and "fool" the driver into thinking they're driving green and with preformance.

    But I do agree with the person who said that no one thinks about dumping a few grand on leather seating, sunroofs, and power windows, yet they say that a Civic Hybrid powertrain (the IMA system) or a Toyota Prius over a similar-sized car isn't worth it.

    By the way...My HCH is averaging 46mpg overall, almost 10mpg higher than the CR rating, and that is with "minimal" mild driving.

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