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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ex-EV1 driver View Post
    I wouldn't count on any plug-in hybrids (PHEV;s) in 2008, actually. The major auto manufacturers are still dragging their feet on anything that doesn't get its fuel from a gas pump.
    My dad has a Cadillac DeVille and usually can get 26-29mpg on the highway (70mph, AC usually cranked). It's a 1999 version, not expensive these days, it's big, quiet, and comfy. My father-in-law squeezed 30mph from his Buick Park Avenue circa 1999. If you want to buy a car today that gets "significantly" better mileage (say 40mpg...or even 35), you are looking at a pretty small number of options...or just get an older buick or caddie and enjoy the ride (and price) Now some of these diesel or hybrid cars getting over 50mpg, now that is an improvement, no doubt. But why so few choices? I just read Consumer Reports update on some minivans and most were in the mid to upper teens as far as mileage. 16mpg? Heck, my friggin' old truck gets 13.5 in town and 15.5 on the highway! And now, no plug-ins on the horizon. I'm just fed up with the car manufacturers and oil companies! Sorry to go totally OT but as far as I can see, honda or toyota hybrids or maybe a euro diesel car are the only ways to go.

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  3. #12
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    Consider the alternatives

    Before you buy a hybrid, please do yourself and America a favor and consider or at least investigate the main alternative to hybrids - a modern diesel car. I was dead set on getting a hybrid, but I had to back shelf it for awhile. Then I discovered VW TDIs (currently the only affordable diesels in the US, but that should change in a couple years), and realized they are a much better fit to my taste in cars, can match hybrids at mpg without sacrificing performance, and have enough cool new/different technology to satisfy my interest in technology. Hybrids are great, but are in no way the only solution. Check out tdiclub.com. Oh, and VWs have great crash ratings...

    Ok, I'm done trolling...

  4. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Fastskiguy View Post
    M. . . can get 26-29mpg on the highway (70mph, AC usually cranked) . . . . squeezed 30mph from his Buick Park Avenue . . .
    If we're talking about extreme performance from cars, then you have to compare your sub-30 mpg performance on pure ICE vehicles with 55+ mpg for hybrids. I've gotten 60 mpg from an '03 HCH and hypermilers have exceeded 100 mpg on Prius's.
    I'm afraid that the addition of an electric motor just plain makes things better than gasoline or diesel and the more electric power, the better.

  5. #14
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    Prius gets great marks for safety from Insurance Institute Highway Safety crash tests.

    Note that the side impact tests are not weight based so the Prius beats the Dodge Ram for safety in side impact.

    I start with the IIHS crash tests for car shopping. It's a war out on the roads and no reason to be a casualty.

  6. #15
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    Don't miss my SUV

    I bought my first Prius last year after 4 years of driving Mercedes 4x4.

    I think I'm quite an assertive driver, and certainly noticed the difference in how other drivers treated me when I was behind the wheel of a car again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastskiguy View Post
    Heh, sorry about the inflammatory title but I've got a case of Prius fever and need some advice. I have a 98 Dodge Ram 1500, 2WD, 5.7L V8 extended cab and am enjoying an average of 14.5mpg. I like the truck but mostly it's just me, a dog, and a bicycle so it's *just a little* more vehicle than I need. It has 145,000 miles and is running perfectly.

    I've become a regular NPR listener, a vegetarian, and now I'm thinking "Gee, I am sick and tired of giving unfriendly countries money for oil" and "I'm not a big fan of "big oil" either". (actually, I've even switched from skiing to snowboarding but that's another thread). So I'm thinking about reducing my oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (all in one "swoop")

    Money is not a huge problem, I don't mind spending 60$ to fill up, I don't mind driving my truck longer, but I also can afford to buy a new vehicle. But I need some value...I guess I'm frugal at heart.

    So I've talked this over with my wife and she said "you're not driving a little deathtrap like that, take my Suburban and I'll buy another one." Now it's an 02, 4WD, in perfect mint condition so that wouldn't be too bad really....

    I'm a defensive driver, been called a "granny" more than once, never had an accident (I'm 38). But people get killed driving every day and if it's just a matter of dealing with 14mpg to improve my odds, I don't have a huge problem with that.

    So my question is, do you guys feel any less safe in a Prius than a giant SUV? Is this a rational fear? Or maybe it is a small increase in risk but worth it. I sure like the idea of 45 mpg....that's 3X what I'm getting now.

    Thanks for the advice in advance

  7. #16
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    Don't miss my SUV cont...

    As I was saying before I rudely pressed the wrong button!

    Although other drivers treat you differently, I remember that I used to get about 25MPG, and if I put my foot down in anger this reduced.

    So now I get the last laugh when Pick-Up's and SUV's pass me in anger, as I know that it cost them a gallon jsut to vent their frustration!

    It's all good fun in the end, and the Prius is pretty safe anyway.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by domboy View Post
    Before you buy a hybrid, please do yourself and America a favor and consider or at least investigate the main alternative to hybrids - a modern diesel car. I was dead set on getting a hybrid, but I had to back shelf it for awhile. Then I discovered VW TDIs (currently the only affordable diesels in the US, but that should change in a couple years), and realized they are a much better fit to my taste in cars, can match hybrids at mpg without sacrificing performance, and have enough cool new/different technology to satisfy my interest in technology. Hybrids are great, but are in no way the only solution. Check out tdiclub.com. Oh, and VWs have great crash ratings...

    Ok, I'm done trolling...
    I am sure you are right about the diesel etc but the experience that I have had with VW Beetle has made me swear them off all together. I have just bought a 2007 Prius and I am loving it. I had thought about the Honda Civic but with more investigation it turns out that the Civic always makes you run the engine it never goes fully electric. I may be wrong but that is what I was told. So for me the Prius was the way to go and are we having fun. Just had our first fill up at 440 miles and average of 49mpg.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmlawrence View Post
    I am sure you are right about the diesel etc but the experience that I have had with VW Beetle has made me swear them off all together.
    I can only speak on my own experience when I say my 2003 VW Golf TDI has been very little trouble so far. Though I bought it used, so I didn't have to deal with any of the initial bugs most new cars work through...
    I've heard most of VW's quality issues have been much improved of late, and also that the diesel VWs didn't have nearly the issues that the gassers had.
    VW and Mercedes won't be the only diesel players for long - Honda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Audi, etc. are all planning diesel models for the US, to arrive 2008 and shortly thereafter. Exciting I say.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmlawrence View Post
    I had thought about the Honda Civic but with more investigation it turns out that the Civic always makes you run the engine it never goes fully electric. I may be wrong but that is what I was told.
    I believe that changed with the new Civic, which can now run on electric alone for a bit.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmlawrence View Post
    I am sure you are right about the diesel etc but the experience that I have had with VW Beetle has made me swear them off all together.
    VW and Mercedes have a terrible reputation for reliability. I hope that they do improve this track record before Honda introduces their clean diesels into the North American market. Until then the current generation Diesels will remain illegal in many states and generally off-limits to the North American public (which is a shame).

    Quote Originally Posted by gmlawrence View Post
    I have just bought a 2007 Prius and I am loving it. I had thought about the Honda Civic but with more investigation it turns out that the Civic always makes you run the engine it never goes fully electric. I may be wrong but that is what I was told. So for me the Prius was the way to go and are we having fun. Just had our first fill up at 440 miles and average of 49mpg.
    The Civic Hybrid (2006-2007) can run on electric only, and unlike a Prius II, it can do it at almost any speed above 12 MPH. In contrast, the HCH-II cannot start under EV-only like the Prius can and its EV mode is less useful for folks who drive mostly in the city.
    However, because of its smaller NiMH pack and 20HP motor, The HCH-II cannot sustain the EV mode for as long as a Prius II can.

    FYI, I own a Prius and and two HCH-II's.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  11. #20
    ^^^I totally hate the myth held over from the previous HCH design that we can't go into full EV mode. I think it is perpetuated by owners of other hybrid manufacturers who's experience is limited or dated. It's good to hear someone who owns both cars put in their 2c. +rep from me for this above posting.

    I force the car into EV mode every chance I can when it is appropriate. I can go 100km/hr+ and as soon as I hit a bit of level or downhill highway I force it into EV and my fuel efficiency goes thru the roof. I have held this for 10-15 kms on long slight downhill grades.

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