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May 25, 2008

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Never had that experience, I drive a subaru outback wagon. I must say though, it is refreshing to have a salesperson be HONEST about their own company's technology instead of shoving you into a car that ultimately is not much better than the one you are in. Unusual, yes. But also kinda cool.

Good point Victor. I did appreciate his honesty, it was surprising and refreshing, that's for sure. But I feel a little bad for him, because ultimately I think he'll lose a sale, and car salespeople lead a very numbers-driven life.

I drive a VW Golf TDI, and it easily beats any of the current hybrids in mileage. I just drove from Vancouver to San Diego on two tanks.

Can you wait for the TDI hybrid:

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/vws-golf-diesel.html

But really, taking care of your car so that you can drive it a good long time is the most environmental option. The energy used and pollution involved in producing new cars is never made up by better fuel efficiency.

Thanks Lianne. I can't wait at this point because my lease is up, and I don't want to buy the car I'm leasing.

But your other point is food for thought indeed!

Be very objective when you shop for a hybrid. You will find that with ALL of them, the gas savings will only amount to about 100 gallons a year. So, even if prices continue to rise you are only talking about a savings of 400-$500 a year, that is if you are an average to above average driver ( 12k-15k miles a year ). Also, the gas savings will only be there if you drive mostly city. If you drive on the highway there is no savings or very little because you must keep your foot on the gas and the electric part of the car never takes over. Also...the maintenance and repair is significantly more on a hybrid...so there will go that $500 per year that you thought you saved on gas. I know this because I had a hybrid. They are way cool, but not when it comes to the pocket book. Some will argue about it being good for the environment, but how good to you think the disposal of that huge battery is going to be for the environment? There are cars out there that are all electric which have not been perfected yet...but a really good economy car that gets 35mpg is really the better bet and I am speaking from experience.

That's exactly the kind of decision process I went through three years ago, Marianne, when I decided to go with my Saturn instead of a hybrid.

I'm a little confused by your statement that highway driving results in lower gas mileage. Not only is it counterintuitive, but the Fuel Economy Database doesn't report such a finding on the Civic Hybrid. Your personal experience is counter to these estimates, I take it?
http://www.fueleconomydb.com/specs/2008/HONDA/CIVIC%2520HYBRID

I do mostly freeway driving and will drive about 12K miles a year. I do need a 4-door car with reasonable interior and trunk room, given my lifestyle, and if I compare the reported mileage of the Civic to the comparable non-hybrid Saturn coupe, as an example, at an only slightly higher-than-now average gas price over the next three years, the hybrid does seem to pay for itself. it also seems to be worth it when comparing it to a non-hybrid version of itself. Three years ago that wasn't true, but gas prices were probably half what they are now!

I ride a bicycle more than anything, I have the outback wagon, mostly driven by my wife or if we have a big haul to make, ie to lowes for fencing etc. We also use it to camp and cart the dogs around. I have made a really big effort to curb my driving unless it is absolutely necessary and the results are great, plus I save a lot of money in what would be gas for my car, it only gets about 24 to 25 mpg on avg.

As far as what the mpg is that is posted, I can only say that it would be so only if you were driving all on either flat land with no hills, no wind or the wind was at your back. Other than this you have your foot continually on the gas and it uses gas just like a normal car.

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