Can gas savings make up for a hybrid's higher sticker price? L.A. Times

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by jkash, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. jkash

    jkash Member

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  2. ftl

    ftl Explicator

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    Good old Consumer Reports strikes again, though:

    "Hybrids are great for people who drive "mostly in the city and urban places," said David Champion, who directs the automotive test program at Consumer Reports.

    Although adequate, hybrids generally don't make great highway cars, Champion said. They're typically slower on the highways and have less cargo space than the gas-only vehicles of similar size.


    Anyone here care to disagree?
     
  3. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Camry Hybrid, Sonata Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid - all of them faster than the 4 cyl version. They also get better mpg:) What's? Not to like. Sure they give up a little cargo space, but I guess that means CR thinks everyone needs the space of an SUV.

    Really no respect for consumer reports when it comes to cars.
     
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    My gen2 had no problem doing 90 on the interstate.

    As long as it can keep up, and pass if need be, traffic on Rt 95, what else does CR want from a family car in terms of performance. The Prius isn't a sports car, but it can still break PSL in all 50 states. Other sedans can reach 60 faster, but they also do that faster than early muscle cars.
     
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I must strongly disagree with that particular quote from the story. Maybe that is because I don't live in the hyper-competitive SoCal highway culture. And I don't see how anyone can claim Prius has less cargo space than competitive offerings of similar external size.

    The key points I see:

    "But are they worth the premium you might have to pay? It depends. If you decide to keep a hybrid for more than five years, the answer may be yes. But if you're one of those who like new cars every three years, it may not make financial sense."

    "There's a consensus among car critics and test drivers that hybrids generally are not as much fun to drive as similar cars with conventional powertrains." ... "The driving experience is going to be the deciding factor,"

    "For any hybrid, the savings add up the longer you keep your car and as gas prices rise. Hybrids, especially the Prius models, also tend to have higher resale values than gas-only cars. If you plan to sell your hybrid after five years, the total cost of ownership can be even more favorable."

    I.e. folks who get their jollies from really fun-to-drive cars traded every two or three years don't really care that much about total cost of ownership, so get something else. For those of us who normally keep cars longer, and don't treat the commute as a carnival ride, Prius makes good sense.

    FWIW, a genetic ear problem makes me very susceptible to motion sickness. I can't do common carnival rides. In a past car on mountain twisties I could get sick even at the wheel. Thus, those sportier cars are completely wasted on me. The Prius fits perfectly into my no-motion-sickness road style.
     
  6. Erikon

    Erikon Active Member

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    My brother, who has a terminal case of lead foot, is impressed with my Prius and happily zips down the highway at 85 when he has driven the car. I, of course, weep at the iMPG hovering under 40!
     
  7. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    I think some people at CR foolishly believe that people are going to have issues getting onto a highway with a Prius because of 2 seconds to go from 0 to 60.

    Problem is... While I don't drive 25+ miles one way, and I do about 75% highway driving (about 7 to 8 miles out of 11 one way), I am usually behind cars WITH the power to accelerate better than my Prius v and I am waiting for THEM to speed up.

    The problem with some of these reviews is the age old expectation of what cars are like. People have been used to powerful, zippy, sporty cars. That's fine, but in the long run, that definition of 'fun' is not for everyone. I looked at the Prius as being a car for long term use. The Prius v giving me a car that will do what I need to do AND give me room without the SUV gas costs. Being a CUV (Cross over Utility Vehicle) type, I get what I was looking for space wise, which is similar to a wagon or CUV and the effective gas usage of a normal sedan which I would still not get with even some of the current SUV, CUVs or even Mini-vans of similar price range.
     
  8. 2sk21

    2sk21 Member

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    I do get excellent milage in my Prius v in city driving (over 50 MPG on my commute in the inner suburbs of NY City!). However, I also get excellent milage on the highway. On a recent trip from NJ to Washington DC, with five people in my Prius v, we got 48 MPG. Consequently, I disagree with the original article.
     
  9. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I agree with them. My car sucks on the highway. I should be at 70mpg. :(

    [​IMG]
     
  10. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Issue I take with most of these "fun to drive/not to drive/etc" statements in reviews, is that once someone tells you that a few times, you believe it to be true when you're driving the vehicle.

    I had 3 people, luggage, and grocery items in my car for 1000 miles a few weeks ago, and we averaged around 50 MPG and it was mostly all highway driving. But yeah, I guess this car that was doing 80+ MPH (depending upon whether I was driving - I'm guilty) sometimes during this trip just isn't a good highway vehicle. :rolleyes:

    I also second the reply earlier about people with powerful cars merging at a suh-nails pace. But, you know, that's all the fault of the Prius on the road....
     
  11. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    If you buy a new car every three years, you are already in the realm of barking mad financial sense. Which car you buy is of little consequence at that point.

    Plus, of course it isn't true. Prii have higher resale values.
     
  12. parnami

    parnami Member

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    I'm not sure I understand why people feel the hybrid has to pay for itself? Perhaps some buyers aren't looking for payback as much as they are seeking new technology or efficiency? People pay thousands of dollars (hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases) for cars that go faster than others on the road, yet, nobody questions if they're worth the premium price paid? The buyers are satisfied and feel the premium is worthwhile; that's all that's important.

    I happen to believe my Prius represents premium technology, making my car as upscale as others in similar price categories, or even higher. My defintion of "premium" or "luxury" may differ from the mainstream, but I don't know that that difference makes it wrong. I certain't don't think it is. I'm quite comfortable making comparisons between my v and products from BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Cadilac and Lincoln. In fact, usually, in such direct comparisons, I feel my car WINS!!!
     
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  13. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    All in all not a bad article.
    Because you pay for, and get the performance that you paid for. This idea that hybrids shouldn't pay for themselves is a minority slant touted by people who for environmental, personal, etc. reasons want to use less gas or enjoy the tech. Most people want real savings because these cars DO force a compromise on something. The Prius is considered a banal drive because it absolutely is.​
    Most are buying a hybrid to save on fuel. If that fuel savings is less than the price premium it is a real problem and an extremely valid concern.​
    You can compare your Prius to a lamborghini if you want and it will beat that in some areas, but a luxury automobile has a much better drive, better seats, better in literally every single measure than a prius other than gas consumption. ​
    There are surely many measures by which a car and be judged. Some car about speed, some don't, some leather some not, etc.​
     
  14. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...even in 2006 we had endless CR economics analyses that the Hybrids did not make sense at $2/gal gaso. My 2006 is paying off like a slot machine, and BTW don't mess with Gen-2 they can easily do 100-mph (MPG sucks of course at 100-mph). If you agree w/ CR hybrid logic, one would think they would really come down negative on EV's, but no they are all supportive of that last time I checked (politically correct) despite a few emails from me.
     
  15. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    Actually Skoob, people are not just paying for performance, it's name recognition with regards to the car. Some of the Luxury cars are basically also about the 'cost factor'.

    The thing being ignored though, is how sad cars are being maintained. To maintain those performance cars are also pretty high especially more so if you are not one mechanically inclined or maintaining it yourself. I would say, long term, the luxury cars are higher maintenance cost because the performance necessary parts are also not exactly 'cheap' in comparison to the other vehicles as well as the whole interior looks and the feel of the ride.

    The problem though, is the expectation of what you 'get' for the class. The Prius is not a 'luxury' or 'performance' car, regardless of if it is a hybrid or not. Yet when you look at the reviews, the expectation is that it should be a luxury or performance car. While the price of the hybrid should technically put it in that expectation, the review should not reflect that expectation.

    If they are arguing the cost of the hybrid system not being worthwhile, put it in the proper context. If people are going to flip on a car over a lease period, then yes, the Hybrid Premium is not worth the effort. But if you stint your review on purely lease expectations or weight the arguments about it based on expectations of luxury or performance in an unrealistic way, the review becomes less about being an objective review and more of specific one.
     
  16. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Bought my car on 07/08/09. My lifetime average is 47.96 MPG. To date, I have spent $2, 853.58 on gas, which is what I figure I have saved compared to a car with 1/2 the mpg. I keep cars for an average of around 8-9 years, and I fully expect my Prius to last at least 10+ years. I may not be a typical car consumer, but I am a happy one.
     
  17. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    This year I did race my 2010 Prius along I-70 at 80 mph; those that dared faster got a speeding ticket from the highway patrol.

    If you use EPA fuel cost estimations and the MRSP, it takes about five years for fuel saving to equal to te price differential. (if gas prices stay fixed) .

    Whenever CR highly rates a vehicle, the local dealerships tack on a "added Market value" (dealer markup) to that vehicle, so by dissing hybrids - it will make it easier bargin down the dealer for that worthless hybrid he has on his lot. I got several thousand dollars discount off my 2010 Prius III when the runaway toyota affair caused a big dip in demand for the Prius. So for those interested in buying a new hybrid - all this negative press might be useful in haggling a lower price for that hybrid you've always wanted.
     
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  18. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    I do. It's fun. Get latest tech. Support the technology. Reduce oil use even further. I hope in three years I'll be buying that Volvo V60 Diesel/Hybrid/EV AWD with 100 mpg. The Moore's law of cars. Might be the Tesla Model X.

    But what car you drive is of big consequence as far as oil use and its costs; wars, deficits, debt, pollution. Buying high tech, high mileage car like Prius or Volt, you are doing something.
     
  19. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    The 2012 Prius does more than save money at the pump by getting hi MPGs.

    The 2012 Prius has one of the lowest greenhouse (CO2) emissions levels (89g/km) for any gasoline vehicle.
     
  20. krazypriuslady

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    I figure I'm spending $25k on a car, any car, why not get a hybrid? My decision wasn't the cost of a Camry gas vs Camry hybrid. In the $25k market, no other choice compares.
     
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