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Are hybrids worth it?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Nahmeanz, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Nahmeanz

    Nahmeanz Senior member

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    We have a really old car we want to get rid of and trade it in for a shiny new Prius or Honda Insight (when they come out). I'm not a tree hugger and while it's cool that it's less harmful to the Earth, I'm more interested in whether or not they save me money. It's easy to do the math when it's a Honda Civic vs. Honda Civic Hybrid, usually the premium you have to pay for the hybrid won't be worth it. The Prius and the Insight don't have a non-hybrid equivalent so it's a little harder for me to gauge. For the price, $28,645 for the Prius fully-equipped and about a few thousand less for the Insight, are there other cars in their class that would cost less to drive?
     


  2. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    Hybrids are generally not the most cost-effective. What about a diesel?
     


  3. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    The Prius may get good MPG, but it truly looks like a piece of shit.

    The ugly factor is really up there with the Pontiac Aztec.

    I always wonder why Toyota can't make it look better.
     


  4. Nahmeanz

    Nahmeanz Senior member

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    I don't know, diesel is about a dollar more per gallon nationwide, is it that much more efficient?

    What I'm replacing is a 7-8 year old Acura TL. My thought process is, finding out what "regular" car does the Prius compare to. Let's say a $28k Prius compares to $28k Honda Accord, then the mpg gains will be worth it. But if the Prius is nowhere near the class of a Honda Accord but rather it's more in the league of a Honda Civic (non-hybrid), where a Prius will be about $8-10k more, then no way will the Prius be worth it. Basically, I'm asking what kind of car should the Prius be compared to?
     


  5. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    The new diesel Jetta gets 50 mpg.
     


  6. Nahmeanz

    Nahmeanz Senior member

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    Gotta read up on these diesels. I just hope they don't sound like a school bus like my friend's 1999 Jetta TDI
     


  7. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    depending on how you crunch the numbers and which car you compare the Prius to, the gas savings match the increase purchase expense of a Prius in anywhere from 2 to 10 years.

    Let's be real. The real reason people buy Prius is so they can judge poorer, less green citizens. There have been cheapass high-mpg cars throughout the 90s and I didn't see any rich people driving them, they wouldn't be caught dead saving gas in order to save money. But saving gas in order to be guilt-free? now you see rich people driving Priuses.
     


  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    An 8 year old car is not "really old".
     


  9. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    I wonder if the cost savings are significant at all, as I would never pay nearly 30K for an ECONOMY car (not referring to fuel).

    As for diesels, I think you just have to try out various models. I have driven some that seem like gasoline cars, and others that sound like tractors. The high end ones (like MB) are not like tractors at all.
     


  10. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    We have a really old car we want to get rid of and trade it in for a shiny new Prius or Honda Insight (when they come out). I'm not a tree hugger and while it's cool that it's less harmful to the Earth, I'm more interested in whether or not they save me money. It's easy to do the math when it's a Honda Civic vs. Honda Civic Hybrid, usually the premium you have to pay for the hybrid won't be worth it. The Prius and the Insight don't have a non-hybrid equivalent so it's a little harder for me to gauge. For the price, $28,645 for the Prius fully-equipped and about a few thousand less for the Insight, are there other cars in their class that would cost less to drive?

    You also need to factor in the cost of replacing the battery for a hybrid which further increases the costs of buying a hybrid car.

    In general, I'd say that hybrids aren't going to save you money given the premium you have to pay to buy an hybrid. But, you might look at some brands that have tax credits which reduce that premium.
     


  11. Milhouse

    Milhouse Senior member

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    A quick look at comparable cars (Honda Civic Sedan and Civic Hybrid) shows the hybrid starts at 23,550, while the sedan starts at 15,405.

    The hybrid sells at a premium of $8145

    Say you own it 5 years, and travel an average of 12,000 miles.

    60,000 miles to recover $8145.

    The hybrid gets up to 45mpg
    The sedan gets up to 34/36 (depending on trans, we'll say 35)

    At 4 dollars per gallon, to travel 60,000 miles, it costs:

    hybrid: $ 5333
    sedan: $ 6857

    Or a difference of less than $2000 in fuel savings over 5 years of ownership.

    Now, admittedly this is a simple model with lots of assumptions (do people really own cars for 5 years anymore, this doesn't factor in taxes, interest for a loan, assumes gas stays at 4 bucks a gallon, etc), but it should give you an idea.
     


  12. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm still very happy with our SAAB (1 year left on the extended warranty), but thinking ahead. There are some very cool diesels starting to be made available, and Tesla is starting an all-electric sedan for 2010 delivery. Interesting times.
     


  13. AntiHero84

    AntiHero84 Senior member

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    Keep in mind that alot of the electrical components in hybrids will need to be replaced after about 10 years. It may not be the most cost effective, but if you're main concern is the environment, perhaps it's not a bad idea.
     


  14. skiwebster

    skiwebster Senior member

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    +1 on the you won't save money but you will save the environment. people who buy a hybird thinking they are saving money are wrong (unless you plan on putting a ton of miles on it).
     


  15. ohm

    ohm Senior member

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    A quick look at comparable cars (Honda Civic Sedan and Civic Hybrid) shows the hybrid starts at 23,550, while the sedan starts at 15,405.

    The hybrid sells at a premium of $8145

    Say you own it 5 years, and travel an average of 12,000 miles.

    60,000 miles to recover $8145.

    The hybrid gets up to 45mpg
    The sedan gets up to 34/36 (depending on trans, we'll say 35)

    At 4 dollars per gallon, to travel 60,000 miles, it costs:

    hybrid: $ 5333
    sedan: $ 6857

    Or a difference of less than $2000 in fuel savings over 5 years of ownership.

    Now, admittedly this is a simple model with lots of assumptions (do people really own cars for 5 years anymore, this doesn't factor in taxes, interest for a loan, assumes gas stays at 4 bucks a gallon, etc), but it should give you an idea.


    Also factor in resale value - I recently read an article saying that there's such a demand for the prius that they appreciate when you drive off the lot. For what it's worth, it's probably cheaper to buy a non-hybrid but my next car will be a hybrid because I think it's important to support the technology.
     


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