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  1. #41

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Iíve recently found out about biodiesel-sounds interesting.How do engines running on it perform at low temperatures?

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  3. #42

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Yes Chuck I agree everything in life has advantages and disadvantages but, the disadvantages of hybrids far outweigh the advantages. The exploitation of the Earth's natural resources for the minimal mileage gains of hybrids is what I can't understand. I don't know why you consider this info on electro-magnetic fields to be fictional. The truth will come out. Check with your sources Chuck. The energy problem is we are dealing with a finite fuel source the answer is an infinite one(liquid hydrogen). Hybrids and diesels are just temporary despite what the asian auto manufacturers tell you.

  4. #43

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    No - I did not know Dr. Walter.

    "Hybrids and diesels are just temporary despite what the asian auto manufacturers tell you."

    I certainly agree that fossil fuels are temporary. Hybrids and Diesels will tend to stretch it out a bit more. We have to potential to grow all the fuel we will ever need but the USA (and much of the world) suffer from a deadly affliction.

    Lack of imagination.

    Studies show that we could meet all of our transportation and fuel oil heating needs by constructing Algae growing and processing infrastructure around the Salton Sea. Think our "progressive" government will get the ball rolling?

    Please don't hold your breath.

    It's incrediability stupid to have more than one form of transportation fuel. We should/could have converted to one years ago.

    Hydrogen and/or fuel cells will never become a practical method of transportation power. Those who are wasting time and tax-payers money on this are pissing into the wind.

  5. #44

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Here are some genuie facts about the Prius. it uses 50% less fuel than a normal car of its size and it has 90% less pollution and that includes one heck of a sattelite navigation system

  6. #45

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Wow, and none of you knew that locomotives are hybrids and that GM has built Diesel-electric trains since the 1940's. I truely think schools these days are not teaching history to well......

  7. #46

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Well Bio-Diesels are nice and all but it does take a substantial amount of energy to produce the vegetable oil to make the Bio-Diesel. Sure there is plenty of waste oil for the small amount of consumption currently but growing plants to produce fuel for everyone is quite a task. Remember that all that fertilizer used to grow the corn comes from crude oil. Plus all the harvesting energy, as well as the energy needed to warm the oil in order to make Bio-Diesel.

    Hydrogen is the fuel of the future but you also have to MAKE it. Most likely it will be used in fuel cells, due to it being safer than pumping hydrogen into a Diesel engine (which does work with very few alterations). But you need to electrolysize water, or use fossil fuels to produce the hydrogen.

    Also plugging in your car does NOT make it more efficient. You are taking that energy from a power plant that probably burns coal or crude oil. That is a lot of emissions that never seem to be accounted for.

    Really what needs to be done is converting to Nuclear Power, Super clean, super abundant source of energy. And to embrace as much solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal power sources as much as possible. Then running our cars of energy created by 'clean' means. There are certian pollutions associated with all of these power sources that will not present themselves until they are used on very large scales.

    That or ride a bike like I do. 13 mile on way commute, done in 100 and 20 degree weather.

  8. #47

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    My study of the hybrid vs. diesel question for my own situation keeps leading me to a preference for diesel, until I remember that diesel also means Volkswagen's reliability rating, which is among the worst, and hybrid means Honda and Toyota's reliability ratings, which are the best. It's very frustrating.

  9. #48

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Many of VW's worst problems were '99-2002. It seems that from 2003 onwards most of the bugs were worked out.

    Both our VWs now have 50,000 km each on them and have been perfectly reliable. Maybe we're the exception. On the other hand we did have a 99 that was considerably more troublesome (though never left me stranded).

    That said, I would avoid VWs in the first year or two of a new model. We bought both our current VWs near the end of the product cycle, something I'd recommend with VWs. Right now both the Jetta, and the new 2006 Passat (not available as a TDI though) are early in their product cycle, and have enough new features (like electromechanical steering) to make it wise to hesitate for a year or two.

    But don't despair, that leaves the Golf, New Beetle and Jetta Wagons (which carry over into 2006 with the old body style) to chose from. A nice Jetta TDI wagon is about the same price as a Civic hybrid, gets consistently EPA or better mileage (easily 45 mpg highway with a manual transmission), and is much more practical (and very well equipped).

    Mike G.

  10. #49

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    "My study of the hybrid vs. diesel question for my own situation keeps leading me to a preference for diesel, until I remember that diesel also means Volkswagen's reliability rating, which is among the worst, and hybrid means Honda and Toyota's reliability ratings, which are the best. It's very frustrating. "

    Short answer: If you like doing your own maintenance and are willing to get involved with your car when necessary, you LOVE owning a VW, especially a DIESEL model because they're eaiser and cost less to maintain than their gasser counterparts. On the other hand, if you rely totally on a dealer for all maintenance and never touch anything on your car to maintain it, DON'T buy a VW, gas or diesel!

    Longer answer:
    I prefer the DIESEL myself. I have 2 of them: A 2002 VW Golf TDI and a 2005 VW Jetta Wagen TDI. Both give me 42-50 MPG while doing aggressive highway driving and I regularly go 700 miles between fillups of 15 gallons, costing around $38 at the current (Aug '05) prices. Fundamentally there are 3 reasons why I bought a DIESEL car and not a gasser hybrid: Economy, Longevity, and Performance. The car has butt-kicking torque to boot, making it fun to drive while getting great MPGs. I drive a lot, so these things are important to me. My VW DIESELs have worked out so well that I'm not going own a GASOLINE-powered car again if I can help it, including gasser hybrids.

    The DIESELs also tend to be spot-on with their MPG numbers, no matter how they are driven. I do everything you're not supposed to do with a gasser hybrid to get great MPGs and my cars STILL get their published EPA numbers. There is currently nothing on the market in the USA that delivers the rich blend of Performance AND Economy plus longevity that the TDIs deliver.

    BTW, with the VW TDI models, you don't have to worry about being unable to start it in the dead of winter. The VW TDIs are designed to be able to cold start down to -40F and they actually start better than most gassers do at -20F. You don't have to plug it in either (there's no block heater, not needed). These cars are popular in Canada in places that get a lot colder than in the the USA, so those of us in the "balmy" northeastern USA have nothing to worry about. They're not like Diesel cars of 25 years ago.

    I also prefer the DIESELs because I like the experience of driving. One thing not mentioned in the DIESEL vs. Gasser Hybrid debate is the driving experience and fun factor. Overall, I like the DRIVEABILITY of the DIESEL much better because of its torquey response, making it easy to drive. You get the torquey feel and response of V6 or V8 gasser, minus a small gasser's high revs needed to deliver the torque.

    I too shied away from VW a few years ago because of their (well-deserved) poor quality reputation. However, the DIESEL models (TDI engine) are statisitically insigificant in the quality surveys. The DIESELs are actually the most reliable VWs. Because it's a DIESEL, there's a lot less to maintain and less to wear out or fail. The most popular VW engine choices in the USA market are the VR6 and 1.8T gassers. Unfortunately, these engines are the most problematic, leading to the poor reliability ratings. The rest of the car is actually no more or less reliable than any other car and actually a decent car. Most of the problems are related to build quality and not due to poor design. Problems generally don't reappear once they've been fixed (properly!). Most people complaining about problems are blissfully unaware that they're actually being screwed by their dealer.

    VWs are good cars and fun to drive and last a long time, but they have their quirks, like other European cars. Owning and living with a VW means you need to be aware of these quirks and deal be prepared to deal with them yourself or take it to a VW specialist (not a dealer!). If like doing your own maintenance (easiest on a DIESEL), you'll LOVE owning a VW, especially the DIESEL models. There's less to maintain than on the gassers plus it's easier to do and the intervals are longer as is typical with Diesels.

    The number one problem with VWs is mainly due to incompetent dealer service. It's more of a problem with VW as a car company than with the cars themselves. If you have a problem with a VW, you're way better off to fix the problem yourself and avoid VW dealers as much as possible. You'll love owning a VW if you're like getting involved with your car and are willing to maintain it yourself. On the other hand, if you're somebody that relies totally on a dealer or somebody else to do ALL of your maintenance and you don't want to get involved at all, don't by any VW, gas or diesel! You'll be much better off with a Toyota or a Honda. A common complaint among VW owners is they love their cars but absolutely hate going to a dealer for service.

    Finally, one important reason why I went the DIESEL route in addition to economy is long term ownership. A VW TDI engine can easily go more than 500k miles with proper maintenance. The car has a 12-year/unlimited mile rust warranty, unmatched by any Japanese car. Judging by the number of older VWs I see on the road an even an occassional VW Diesel Rabbit from the 70's and early 80's, VWs are definitely capable of lasting a LONG time. I drive about 1k miles per week, so longevity is VERY important. After 10 years of ownership, I'll have more than 500k miles on my TDI and it will still be going strong. A well maintained gasser hybrid can also go that long, but will probably be on its third set of batteries and on its second gasser engine by then. Not worth it IMHO compared to any modern DIESEL over the long haul.

    VWs are good cars, but they have their quirks, making them not for everybody. Since I much prefer the DIESELs based on my VW TDI experience to date, I wish more car makers sold DIESEL cars in the USA. I wish VW would bring their Lupo model here which gets 81MPG with DIESEL. And too bad we're not getting the 77MPG DIESEL version of Mercedes/Zap SMART car (a micro 2-seater). We'll have to settle for the 37MPG gasser version instead. We also don't get the 35-40 MPG Toyota RAV4 Diesel or the 55MPG Toyota Corolla Diesel. The Ford Focus Diesel gets around 55MPG. The Mini-Cooper Diesel gets around 55MPG while outperforming its gasser counterpart. Many DIESELs available in Europe already outperform their gasser counterparts sold here in the USA while returning nearly twice the MPGs. We'll likely never see these great cars in the USA unless consumers start demanding them here.

    DIESELs rule!

  11. #50

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    It's too bad http://www.dieselcars.com has already been claimed by a cyber-squatter.

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