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Honda CR-Z hybrid concept

2009 Honda Fit (second generation)
Honda looks to expand its hybrid lineup for 2009

Toyota's Prius may be the poster child for hybrid automobiles in the U.S., but it was Honda who first brought a modern gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle to our shores. The two-seat Insight was introduced in 1999 as a 2000 model and was discontinued in 2006.

The demise of the Accord Hybrid -- whose replacement will come in the form of an Accord diesel -- leaves just the Civic hybrid in Honda's hybrid portfolio. Honda hopes to change that, however, for 2009.

Three new models will help bolster Honda's efforts in the realm of gasoline-electric hybrids. The first model will be a production version of the CR-Z concept. The two-seat vehicle picks up where the Insight left off and includes a Civic Hybrid powertrain (4-cylinder gasoline engine, Honda Integrated Motor Assist, and a continuously variable transmission) that has been shrouded with sleeker bodywork.

The second model will be five-door hatchback with seating for five. The Global Small Hybrid (GSH) is taking direct aim at Toyota's popular Prius and is expected to be similar in design to the FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle according to Forbes. Early estimates on price for the GSH are in the $22,000 range. Total global sales are pegged at 200,000 units per year.

The third model will be a hybrid version of Honda's second generation Fit subcompact vehicle. Americans are currently able to purchase the first generation Fit which is rated at 28/34 MPG (city/highway) with the manual transmission -- the second generation model is expected to improve upon those numbers slightly. Furthermore, a hybrid version would likely push the numbers higher by another 15 to 20 percent.

"Hybrids have drawn attention for their image, but time has come to go to the next step," said Honda president Takeo Fukui.

With fuel prices quickly approaching (or already exceeding) $4.00 per gallon in many parts of the U.S., Honda’s new hybrid entries should arrive just in time to satisfy a buying public that is slowly stepping away from large body-on-frame SUVs and pickups.



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1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By Angelus911 on 5/22/2008 3:11:12 PM , Rating: 3
My dad's 1992 Honda Civic, first model with the V-Tec engine, was able to get between 50-55 MPG on the highway, and after 250,000 miles, it still got around 40-45 MPG on the highway. How come there aren't more cars out there today? Granted this thing seemed like a tin box, it still got you from point A to point B.




RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By noxipoo on 5/22/2008 3:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
more weight for safety, emissions and lux items. mostly safety and emissions on lower end models.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 4:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
Mostly safety equipment and luxury items becoming standard equipment. The old Civic's weighed less than 2200 lbs too. Today's Civic weighs closer to 2800 lbs.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2008 9:48:43 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. Except its more the safety equipment and luxury stuff. Emissions equipment isn't that big or heavy. 20-30lbs at most.

I'm up to 30-31 mpg average in my Cobalt. I've started driving a little more conservatively (not slower) and coasting more(gotta love manuals).

Of course premium here just hit $4.00 a gallon. Went up 20 cents in one day. Hopefully its just because of the holiday weekend. I pray it goes back down. But thats about as likely to happen as me winning the lotto.


By phxfreddy on 5/27/2008 11:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
I would believe that is the Mexican OverDrive option you speak about.

That can be quite a quite costly option on a percentage basis with the smaller models of car.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By 16nm on 5/22/2008 4:53:53 PM , Rating: 1
Some things to keep in mind:

1. The speed limit 16 years ago was much lower than it is today
2. Gas today is almost always 10% ethanol
3. Today, emissions on the Honda Civic are much better (ULEV2)

All of these points affect fuel economy but #1 is the most significant.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 5:35:46 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry. Even in my rolling brick there is absolutely no difference in gas mileage between 55 and 65 mph. Also, just because the speed limit was 55 doesn't mean people were all driving 55. Why do you think the limits were raised? I'll answer it for you. Because people WEREN'T driving 55 mph.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By Ringold on 5/22/2008 6:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Eh, that defies physics if there is no difference in gas mileage between 55 and 65.

In Consumer Reports last issue, I remember they tested a Camry. 55mph = 40mpg. 65mph = 35mpg, if memory serves.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 7:13:58 PM , Rating: 1
I'm talking about real world driving conditions not the so-called consumer reports guesstimates. If there is a difference, it's less than 1 mpg. This on MY car. And no it doesn't defy physics either.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By Ringold on 5/22/2008 9:39:02 PM , Rating: 4
Consumer Reports uses real world testing conditions. They get on real roads with real traffic and monitor fuel consumption.

It does defy physics, as drag increases distressingly fast with speed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_coefficient

Note the ^2 over the 'v' term.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By Spuke on 5/23/2008 12:36:43 AM , Rating: 3
Then my car must not be as horrible as I am led to believe. Either way, gas mileage at 55 vs 65 in my car is virtually the same (within 1 mpg).


By teldar on 5/23/2008 8:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
I get a couple miles difference between upper 50
s and 65-ish. And I'm talking about a difference between 25 and 27 mpg.
T


By Integral9 on 5/23/2008 9:39:59 AM , Rating: 3
While the force does increase by the square, I think you are forgetting that you are multiplying the square of the velocity by two decimals and then dividing it in half. This greatly reduces the squares effect on the equation where the velocity is less than 100.

The drag coefficient of a 2005 Toyota Camry is .28 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_coefficient) and according to Car and Driver, the average crossectional area of a full size passenger car is .79 m^2 (from the same article you referenced). Plug that into the equation for F due to drag (on the page you referenced) and graph the results over velocity (I used Excel). You'll find that the force due to drag is relatively low when speeds are under 100mps (meters per second). It also increases dramatically after 100mps.

Based on my results, at 100MPH, the force of drag based on the above numbers is about 210 N. at 55mph, 65 N; at 65mph, 93 N. Resulting in a difference of only 38 N and that's hardly anything to a 200HP engine found in a Camry.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2008 9:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
It depends what difference in RPM there is between the two speeds. It sounds like he's got a V8 SUV so the difference between 55mph and 65mph is probably 150-200 rpm. That's not going to noticeably affect mileage. In a smaller car with a smaller engine, it has to work harder to hold the higher speed.

Thats why in large vehicles, smaller engines typically get the same or worse mileage than larger engines. They have to work harder.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By 16nm on 5/23/2008 12:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
well, if an V8 SUV gets 12MPG at 65 and then 13MPG at 55 then that's an 8% improvement


By FredEx on 5/24/2008 11:57:50 AM , Rating: 3
That is just the Camry. It does not mean that will be the case with all vehicles. The power band of the engine also has to be taken into consideration. Not all engines reach their peak efficiency on the highway at the same RPM, hence MPH. His engine could be running more efficiently at the PRM it takes to get his car moving at 65 MPH than it does at 55 MPH and it could be offsetting the increase in drag. Overall then he sees no change in MPG.


RE: 1992 Honda Civic got 50MPG easily
By 91TTZ on 5/23/2008 9:25:14 AM , Rating: 2
While the speed limit has changed, the average speed hasn't changed much at all. People are going to drive at a speed that they feel is suitable on that road regardless of what a sign says.


By Hiawa23 on 5/23/2008 9:21:33 AM , Rating: 2
My dad's 1992 Honda Civic, first model with the V-Tec engine, was able to get between 50-55 MPG on the highway, and after 250,000 miles, it still got around 40-45 MPG on the highway. How come there aren't more cars out there today? Granted this thing seemed like a tin box, it still got you from point A to point B.

The Honda Civics get great mileage even today. I have a 1997 Honda Civic with 221000 miles on it & it still gets over 30 MPG. Back in 2006 I made the mistake of buying the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, with the 2.4L engine & on the sticker it said 25/29 MPG, but I drive the old Civic more cause it gets better mileage, so I don't plan on buying another car anytime soon, but with these hybrids you would think that they would be able to make the body package more appealing & more sportier, cause most of em are ugly, & I know gas prices are increasing, but I would rather buy an appealing Honda that got 30-45 than these unappealing hybrids.


By Klober on 5/27/2008 10:48:11 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with the OP. I don't necessarily know about 50-55mpg, but I do know about 40mpg. I had a '97 Civic HX, my first brand new car. The HX model came with just about everything standard, including aluminum alloy wheels, sunroof and V-TEC engine (cruise control was about the only thing missing). It didn't matter how I drove it, I always got 37-42mpg, usually 40-41mpg, and that was in Arizona (as many people know, the higher the temperature the worse your gas mileage and horsepower). One day I saw an Insight owner at a gas station and I had to ask, "What kind of mileage do you get?" His reply? 35-40mpg. First thing through my head was "WTF?! How the hell does this guy drive?" Don't get me wrong, I used to love to gun it off the line and downshift a couple of gears on the highway for that extra boost of speed (I used to drive *slightly* more aggresively than I do now), but it didn't adversely affect my mileage. And yes, that was as late as '02 and driving 70-80mph. I just don't understand the problem with low gas mileage in "modern" cars.


Volkswagen Version
By jhb116 on 5/22/2008 11:54:33 AM , Rating: 2
I'm hoping the Volkswagen TDI Hybrid makes to our shores as well. I was hoping to upgrade to a mid-sized car in a year or two, however, I would seriously consider sticking with a small car that can get me over 60 mpg.

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/revealed-volksw...

The Big 3 better get with it and start getting serious about mpg's.




RE: Volkswagen Version
By bobsmith1492 on 5/22/2008 12:21:30 PM , Rating: 4
If the GM Volt lives up to what's promised, they'll be serious all right.


RE: Volkswagen Version
By tallcool1 on 5/22/2008 12:54:44 PM , Rating: 5
I am looking forward to cars like the Chevy Volt becoming available. A car that uses electricity for drive, and the gasoline/alternative fuel engine is used only as a generator and not for drive.

I can recharge for a lot less than the price of fuel. Also having the combustion engine that runs at a fixed RPM (for generation purposes) versus a variable speed motor (for drive) should allow for a cheaper more reliable engine.

Another car that I read about today that is a similiar concept is the Volvo ReCharge:
http://editorial.autos.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-doc...


RE: Volkswagen Version
By Suomynona on 5/22/2008 1:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt looks great, but it's way too expensive for most people. A Prius is potentially doable when it starts in the low-$20k range, but the Volt is going to push $40k. They really need to make these cars affordable, otherwise they're just going to remain fashion accessories for celebrities.


RE: Volkswagen Version
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 4:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
Estimated base price is $35k for the Volt but I imagine a nicely equipped one will cost near $40k. Not to mention, first Volt will be limited to 10,000 units so expect markups (and people more than willing to pay them) from the dealers. I wouldn't be surprised if the cars "cost" $45 to $50k for the first couple of years. The new Prius is supposed to be a larger car too and it will expanded to include other Prius models. Expect a price increase there as well.

Of course, these increases will pale in comparison to the increases we'll see once the car makers ramp up the vehicles to meet the 35 mpg standards. Expect used car sales to increase tremendously.


RE: Volkswagen Version
By Spuke on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Volkswagen Version
By Ringold on 5/22/2008 6:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
So what, people can target them for descrimination and mistreatment, like a Star of David on Jews in Germany?

Environmentalists should listen to how they sound some times, I swear. Cars, for most people, are decisions based partly on style, partly on need, and partly on economic reality. A person in 2010 driving a 2001 Camry, probably an 4-cylinder to begin with, may not give a damn what you think they care about, because they'll have had 40k in the bank earning interest, dividends or capital gains while you have a nice, new, shiny rapidly depreciating asset.


RE: Volkswagen Version
By Sahrin on 5/22/2008 7:53:38 PM , Rating: 3
I think you might be missing the irony intended by the OP.


RE: Volkswagen Version
By Spuke on 5/23/2008 12:33:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you might be missing the irony intended by the OP.
Yep. I think we need a sarcasm and irony avatar.


RE: Volkswagen Version
By boobot on 5/22/2008 12:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Great MPG, the problem now with diesel is demand and this is why diesel can cost up to a $1 more than regular. With the increase in demand not only in the States but more so in Asia Pac and Europe the price is not set to come down to regular unleaded prices anytime soon or ever for that matter.


RE: Volkswagen Version
By teldar on 5/23/2008 8:00:28 AM , Rating: 3
They won't sell it here because they "know" that no American will buy it. They also "know" that Americans won't drive diesels because they're "dirty and noisy". I would not get my expectations up about this car coming here. Another reason is that it is a hatchback and "everyone" "knows" that Americans wont buy hatchbacks either.
Even if people want small reasonably powerful cars which get great fuel efficiency and have very good usability.

Stupid everyone and their "knowledge".

T


No hybrid minivan?
By SammyJr on 5/22/2008 11:21:13 AM , Rating: 1
Still no hybrid minivan.... what are those execs thinking?




RE: No hybrid minivan?
By Parhel on 5/22/2008 11:37:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
. . . what are those execs thinking?


I've been asking myself that question for a few years now. Still, the only available vehicle built from the ground up to be a hybrid is the Prius. The American attempts all seem half-assed to me. They seem all fluff and no meat . . they just aren't worth the premium. I would think that for a larger vehicle, they could do much better. Regenerative braking, in particular, would be a major advantage for a heavy vehicle.


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 12:11:00 PM , Rating: 3
The American "attempts" at hybrids are all standard hybrids except for the one's advertised as mild hybrids (which is probably what you're referring to). The mild hybrids sole purpose is to be cheaper than standard hybrids while offering a little better fuel mileage than a gas engine.

This is public info and has been stated in numerous automotive articles. If you can't read, that's YOUR issue not the car manufacturers.


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By Alexstarfire on 5/22/2008 12:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
True, but their definition of hybrid and mine are far different. Either way, I don't believe we've tried to build a hybrid from the ground up like Toyota did with the Prius. Just tacking on a hybrid system to a production car just isn't the same.


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 2:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just tacking on a hybrid system to a production car just isn't the same.
The largest difference between a Prius and a gas Camry, for example, is that the Prius is has a better drag coefficient than the Camry. This is like the Porsche argument I have with other people. Porsche has no special, defy physics, technology that other people don't have, they simply compromise their cars towards performance because that's what their customers expect. Similar with Toyota and the Prius, there's nothing inherently special about the Prius. Toyota set out to make a car that is compromised towards fuel mileage. That's all. The Prius look was intentional. They wanted a car that looked different that people could see and say "hey, that's a Prius".

Their marketing is awesome if you ask me. They have all of you thinking that the Prius is some special high tech car when all it is is a distinctive look wrapped around a fuel efficient car. Anyone can do this.


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By leexgx on 5/22/2008 11:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
Honda hybrid system is backwards (unless thay changed it) the system assists the engine not the other way round like the prius does, the prius car starts off bat if more power is needed the engine kicks in to provided more acceleration, hondas cars the engine allways has to be running (unless thay have changed that)


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By Hoser McMoose on 5/24/2008 12:02:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The largest difference between a Prius and a gas Camry, for example, is that the Prius is has a better drag coefficient than the Camry.

The 2007 and newer Camry's have astounding drag co-efficients, the difference between them and the Prius is surprisingly small.

The co-efficient of drag on the 2008 Camry is 0.28 with a frontal cross-section of 1,820mm x 1,455mm. Total is 74.1m^2. The Prius has a drag co-efficient of 0.26 with a frontal cross section of 1,725mm x 1,475mm. Total is 66.2m^2. The Prius therefor only has slightly over a 10% advantage in terms of drag with almost as much of that advantage coming from the Prius being narrower as it is from the shape of the car.

One big advantage (in terms of fuel economy) of the Prius vs. the Camry though is that the Camry comes with 110hp engine (combined) vs. 158hp on the Camry (I4, 268hp on the V6). Less horse power pretty much always translates to better fuel economy.. When people talk about their Honda Civic HF from 1989 getting 50mpg they usually neglect to mention that it achieved that purely by using a tiny 50hp engine.


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By Spuke on 5/24/2008 6:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
The Prius has a 550 lb weight advantage over the Camry that has more to do with better fuel economy than hp. More hp does not automatically mean less fuel economy. It's just that more hp usually ends up in heavier cars.


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By Anonymous Freak on 5/22/2008 11:37:56 AM , Rating: 5
This is very annoying to me as well. Toyota has had a hybrid minivan in Japan since 2001.

The Prius is nice, and the Highlander would be nice, but, sadly, I would rather have the compact utility of a minivan than the macho bravado of an SUV.


RE: No hybrid minivan?
By OxBow on 5/22/2008 11:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
Why aren't they hitting this obvious market. We already have the one, small car in the family (a non-hybrid, 42 mpg corrolla) but we do need a larger vehicle once in a while. Our old minivan still has some life to it, but it's no green machine by anyones estimation. If I need to go to the hardware store or nursery, or take my son's ball team to the pizza place, or haul our pop-up on vacation, I'd like to have some option other than the 18mpg one.

There are a bunch of hybrid suv's on the market, even an hybrid pickup, but no mini-van.


Better to buy an efficeient used car than hybrid
By mattclary on 5/22/2008 12:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
Good article from wired. Takes into account the carbon footprint incurred in making the car.

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/05/the-ultimate-pr...




By theoflow on 5/22/2008 2:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
Good article indeed. I saw somewhere on CNN that there was a guy running around the country refurbishing old Geo Metros and making a KILLING re-selling them.

The CR-Z, which is basically a revival of the much beloved CR-X is a very enticing vehicle. At the time it got 40mpg, and that was back in the early 90's!

The FIT is also a enticing car because of the flexibility of the cargo compartments, which is an oversight to the Prius as well. However, the refinement on the FIT isn't quite as good as other products in the Honda product line, but such is a sacrifice for a car in that price range. All-in-all, the FIT (or the HONDA JAZZ in other countries) is a well liked vehicle. If they could price it right at the price range of the Civic LX they could make a KILLING in that product range, IMO. You could also brag about having a slalom speed comparable to a Ferrari.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/high...

I'm glad Honda is finally getting into the hybrid sector with more emphasis on fuel economy. The Accord hybrid was designed for the electric drive train to improve PERFORMANCE, not fuel economy.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/high...

I personally have an 07 Civic and it suits my needs well, but not perfectly. I drive about 8 miles a day to work, and about 80% of the time I'm in traffic. In those cases, I wish I did have a hybrid and would actually enjoy to see if I could make it the entire way by just using the electric motor. However, I do go on many outdoor trips so which involves me driving up to 200 miles each way, so a hybrid would not make sense in those cases. I also find it odd how the automatic transmition civic gets high MPG than a manual tranny.

It all depends on your driving environment I suppose. In urban areas it makes a lot of sense, but if you are driving long distances to get to work, which I understand a lot of Americans do, then it really won't matter as much.

OH GOD...I just realized that I sound like a Honda advertisement...apologies.


I want the Toyota A-BAT
By mikefarinha on 5/22/2008 11:10:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'm holding out for Toyota to confirm that they will bring to market their hybrid A-BAT concept truck.




Does the CR-Z concept...
By killerroach on 5/22/2008 12:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
...remind anyone else of Marvin the Paranoid Android from the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy movie?

"Ghastly, isn't it?"




Hy-bread?
By IcePickFreak on 5/22/2008 5:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
Those hybrid thingamajigs will never catch on!

-Man from the year 2000




Hybrid MPG
By ChuckR on 5/23/2008 2:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
I see some nice mpg numbers, but do they reflect reality. I live in Las Vegas where May to September require Air Conditioning. Have any of these cars projected their numbers with the Air on? My wife has a small Volvo which she likes. I have a Mercedes SUV, which we bought to help move from California. Yes, the mileage is 18/22 with 106,000 miles. I am looking to change to a midsize SUV for continued space needs and found the VOLVO article interesting. I wonder how much extra Motels/Hotels will charge for charging a car overnight. How far can you go without plugging in? How long will the batteries last and How much to replace?
Thanks




Why did Honda miss Hybrid lead?
By samiam914 on 5/24/2008 9:19:14 AM , Rating: 2
May be because of Americans got into management level at Honda corporations, screwing up great efficient Japanese companies too. American management is good for collecting multi million $$$$ paychecks and golden parachutes, and giving us big BS. I assume that Engineering is highly respected in Japan. Here in USA management BS and talking skills are highly respected; they need not produce, just give us a good talk and fool every one. Look at Brazil, they have multi fuel cars long ago, they started research and development of alternative fuels like at least a decade ago. Why couldn’t our elected officials create a technology park and recruit great scientific minds to come up with some alternative energy ideas and cure for cancer, and pay these scientists millions instead of paying BS talking management. I will answer why, most of our elected officials are lawyers they are trained for litigation with excellent talking skills. If we elect people with engineering skills, they would make USA number 1 again. Certain Engineering practices have inherent management built into its practices. What you most likely will get from elected Engineers, scientists, mathematicians is less BS, better economy, less talk and more action.




Crap
By MrBungle on 5/22/2008 10:23:38 PM , Rating: 1
I didn't realize until now that the CR-Z will have a CVT. How can anything with a CVT be considered "sporty?"




Who cares?
By blwest on 5/23/08, Rating: 0
Hybrids Need Better MPG
By mikefarinha on 5/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/22/2008 11:20:18 AM , Rating: 5
Not according to USA Today (at today's gas prices):

Toyota Camry hybrid 1.7 years
Toyota Prius hybrid 2.6 years
Nissan Altima hybrid 3.4 years
Mercury Mariner hybrid 4.4 years
GMC Yukon hybrid 4.9 years

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/environment/20...


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By bighairycamel on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/22/2008 11:50:40 AM , Rating: 5
But it makes no sense to do out of category comparisons.

The Prius is a mid-size vehicle, and if I need a mid-size I wouldn't be looking at a subcompact Yaris.

Same for the Camry Hybrid vs Corolla argument. One is a mid-size, one is a compact.

USA Today's comparisons are actually logical b/c that's the only way you can truly measure the costs by making things as equal as possible. Or at least it's logical to me -- I base my purchase decisions on what size/class vehicle I need, then I worry about gas mileage.

Comparing a Yukon Hybrid to a gasoline Vue and then saying "Oh look, the Yukon hybrid is so expensive compared to a Vue -- look at how long it would take to make up the fuel difference." That just seems absolutely ludicrous to me, as does the Yaris-Prius and Corolla-Camry Hybrid comparisons.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By bighairycamel on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Polynikes on 5/22/2008 12:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's a good thing they're introducing new compact models, seeing as how the trend is for vehicles to keep getting larger here in the US (Corolla).


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Samus on 5/22/2008 2:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I was just talking with some buddy's at work the other day (I'm an engineer at Ford) how the new 09 Ranger has the same wheelbase as the F150/Explorer from the early 90's. The trend continues with the Corolla/Civic, which is now similar in size to the late 80's/early 90's Camry/Accord.

The biggest car I've ever owned was a 93 Taurus, and even now I have trouble driving anything that size after adjusting to my Focus SVT or my Protege5, both very, very small cars, amung the smallest available with the exception of the Mini Cooper, Fit or Yaris (both of which actually have larger interior space than a Focus ZX3)


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By boobot on 5/22/2008 12:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Your assumption is not on par with future Gasoline prices. That is using today's price of Gas. Gas will continue to increase in cost making these options ever more viable in the next few years.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By StevoLincolnite on 5/22/2008 1:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
A Large portion of "the car paying for itself in savings" could also be attributed to how much someone drives also, if someone only drove the car an hour a week to do shopping and what not, then it will take longer than someone who drives several hours a day.

At the moment, the Price of Fuel in Australia is Expected to hit 2 Dollars a Liter or $7.54 a gallon by the end of the year.
At the moment Diesel is sitting on $1.79 here in South Australia (Outside of the capital) which equates to $6.74 a gallon, compare that with LPG gas at 60 cents a liter and it ends up being $2.62 a Gallon (I'm on LPG, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do much driving).
Plus I also get a 4 cents off voucher after shopping, plus an additional 2 cents making it 54 cents a liter or about 2 bucks a gallon.

Petrol = American "Gas".
LPG = Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
Diesel = Diesel?


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/22/2008 12:32:05 PM , Rating: 3
2009 Toyota Corolla

Edmunds Type: Compact Sedan
Where Built: Canada/Japan/United States
EPA Class: Compact Cars

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2009/toyota/corolla/100...

The EPA lists the 2009 Corolla as a compact car:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/2008car1tablef.jsp?...


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By omnicronx on 5/22/2008 12:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
You still can't really compare what a corolla will save you over a camry, even though they are in the same class. The only comparison that means anything is comparing the gasoline version to the hybrid version, anything else is just pointless unless you take other variables such as weight and size into consideration.

Just consider this, both the ford expedition and the excursion were in the same class of 'large suv'. Yet one is 2 feet longer than the other, and gets almost 4MPG more (10 vs 14). In this case it is pretty obvious to me that you can not make a valid comparison, unless the specs of the car are also comparable.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By othercents on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Ringold on 5/22/2008 6:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
A 67 Ford Mustang?

If you ever go insane and want to sell it for a hybrid, let me know. I'll take it off your hands for you. :P

http://www.mustangsmustangs.com/ford/stangpics/pic...

Well maintained, those are beautiful cars. They barely make anything like that any more, though they tried to get back to their roots with the current Mustang.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By mikefarinha on 5/22/2008 12:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting, thanks for the link.

I was commenting from doing the math myself and I compared the Prius to the Corolla and the Highlander Sport to the Highlander Hybrid, and was using gas @ $5/Gal.

There were a flaw in my comparisons, the Corolla is a compact while the Prius is a mid-size. However, IIRC, the Prius can still pay for the difference in price of the Corolla in under 10 years.

However that article came to the same conclusion as I did with the Highlander

quote:
Not all hybrids make sense. At current fuel prices, the Toyota Highlander hybrid takes 12.7 years to break even


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By guy007 on 5/22/2008 1:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
Makes no sense because whenever I do vehicle to vehicle comparisons (aka camry hybrid vs regular camry or altima hybrid vs regular altima) the hybrids are about $5000 more. so i dunno where they are getting their numbers.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By guy007 on 5/22/2008 1:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
For example, the toyota camry starts at $18,900 and the hybrid camry at $25,600. Thats a difference of over $6,000. I dont know what the USA today article is talking about (and I admit I didnt read it im just responding to you saying that the difference between the two models is about $800).That 6K can buy a whole lot of gas. I doubt 1.5yrs of driving would cover the difference.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/22/2008 1:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
See my comment below.

You guys are comparing bone stock Camrys and Altimas to a hybrid model which has a wealth of standard equipment which far surpasses a base model.

USA Today simply did an apples to apples comparison with features/options.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Parhel on 5/22/2008 1:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
From the USA Today article you linked to above:

quote:
An analysis for USA TODAY by auto-price consultant Edmunds.com shows that the difference between a Toyota (TM) Camry hybrid and a similarly equipped gasoline Camry was $889 Friday, up from $850 a week ago. Assuming 15,000 miles a year, Edmunds figures just 1.7 years for the Camry hybrid's fuel savings to offset the car's higher price — slightly longer than 1.6 years when the price difference was less a week earlier.


So, if you added in all of the options present on the hybrid Camry, the cost difference is under $1,000. Similarly, the Prius is actually a well-equipped mid-size car, and yet people try to compare it to $13,000 sub-compacts.

My thinking is that manufacturing a hybrid is expensive, so manufacturers include a bunch of other high margin options to make up for that cost. For someone who wants those options, a hybrid makes sense. For someone looking at a $13,000 car, it probably doesn't.

I'm car shopping, and that USA Today article was exactly what I was looking for, BTW. Thanks for the link!


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/22/2008 1:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
That are comparing regular models with the same level of features as the hybrid.

So if the hybrid comes with a premium sound system, automatic climate control, alloy wheels, etc, they are comparing the regular gasoline model with those features added.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By BansheeX on 5/22/2008 3:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
My fellow Americans have the foresight of a drugged up lemming. You should have bought gold 8 years ago and you should buy a hybrid NOW. Gas is going to $7 a gallon by 2010. Believe it.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Ringold on 5/22/2008 6:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
I think someone should give Osama an honorary PhD in Economics. He said a fair price for oil was $300 a barrel back when it was cheap as dirt. People thought he was insane; now he's laughing in a cave somewhere.

$200 could still make gas hit $6 / gal, which is probably the lower end of the range of what people should expect. To buy a car, one has to think of gas prices at least a few years out in to the future, so $6 should definitely be a safe assumption, $7 would be better, and $8 would give a nice margin for error.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By noxipoo on 5/22/2008 11:23:28 AM , Rating: 4
to pick up hippy chicks? or feel good about yourself even though you are still burning fossil fuels like everyone else on the road... or my favorite is when hollywood stars arrive to awards in a prius but they flew in their jets. ok off my rant.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Bender 123 on 5/22/2008 11:41:29 AM , Rating: 2
Since when has celebrity given anybody a better world view? Just because you have a louder voice does not make your view more valid.

I also can not stand celebs doing that type of stuff...I always think that if they cared so much they should live in an average home, make their millions and donate the majority to a legit charity or cause. Dont ask me to buy tickets to a concert that helps buy "carbon offsets" (dont even get me started on Al Gore's main business is brokering these useless things) when a person making 50 million a year could easily subsidize adoption of more efficient technologies...


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By SeeManRun on 5/22/2008 12:05:29 PM , Rating: 1
Bono.

The biggest deuche in entertainment today.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By tdawg on 5/22/2008 12:52:17 PM , Rating: 3
This is such a tired talking point. With rising gas prices, most people buying hybrids are trying to cut down on gas purchases, not increase celebrity appeal. Who really thinks people are cooler if they drive a hybrid?

I would definitely like to be able to buy any car that gets good gas mileage, be it a hybrid or something like a Jetta TDI because it means I make less stops to fill the tank and less money spent.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Bender 123 on 5/22/2008 3:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
Ummmmmmm...Celebrities buy them to look good. Thats kinda the point why they fly on private jets but drive a Prius. If they truly believed in their cause they would travel by train or public flights and live in an average manor, in order to reduce their "carbon footprint". One of those flights is worth what any one of us chips in over several months.

And, according to South Park, people from San Francisco that like to smell their own farts.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By jlips6 on 5/22/2008 11:29:01 AM , Rating: 5
you do realize the first generation fit is not a hybrid, right?


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By mikefarinha on 5/22/2008 12:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
No I didn't since the article didn't make that distinction.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By deeznuts on 5/22/2008 1:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, yeah it did.
quote:
The third model will be a hybrid version of Honda's second generation Fit subcompact vehicle. Americans are currently able to purchase the first generation Fit which is rated at 28/34 MPG (city/highway) with the manual transmission -- the second generation model is expected to improve upon those numbers slightly. Furthermore, a hybrid version would likely push the numbers higher by another 15 to 20 percent .
Since it says a hybrid version would likely push the numbers higher, you can safely assume they were previously talking about a non-hybrid version.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By jlips6 on 5/22/2008 5:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
in all fairness to mike, that's pretty easy to skip over if you're not reading carefully. I didn't catch that either, I'm just familiar with the fit


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Parhel on 5/22/2008 11:32:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only reason I'd buy a hybrid is to save $$$ on fuel.


Me too. And it's getting to be time for me to buy a new car. I'm worried about where gas prices are going to go in the next few years ( and they aren't going to go down.)

Today, it isn't so clear. But if by the end of my next vehicle's life gas is up to, say, $8.00/gallon, a hybrid will make a lot of sense.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 1:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
So you're not going to have to make some lifestyle changes? Why the rate down?

You would buy a Hybrid because it costs less to fill up than say a gas Civic.

At $4 a gallon, a Civic Hybrid costs $48 to fill up and you would have to fill it up every 504 miles (using combined figures).

At $4 a gallon, a gas Civic costs $48 to fill up and you would have to fill it up every 377 miles (using combined figures).

So you can theoretically drive another 127 miles in the Hybrid but it STILL costs $48 to fill it up. When I hear people complain about the cost of gas, the usually complain about how much it costs to fill the car up on a particular day.

For example:
Bob: "I paid $100 to fill up my truck today. This sucks balls!"
Tony: "Yeah, it does suck Bob."

People don't complain about how much it cost them at the end of the month or the end of the year. They complain about how much it costs each time they go to the pump. Which is why my previous reply states "it will STILL cost $96 to fill it up at $8 a gallon". If you can't afford to pay $96 WHENEVER you go to fill up, it doesn't matter what car you're driving. You WILL have to make some lifestyle changes.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Parhel on 5/22/2008 2:30:55 PM , Rating: 2
So, you wouldn't have a problem with the hybrids if they made the gas tanks really tiny then? No . . . people tend to complain about the price of a fill-up when gas prices go up, but most are smart enough to consider total fuel costs.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 3:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
I actually have no problems with hybrids at all nor did I mention that I did. Wanna bet money that most people don't consider total costs? Remember we're talking about the same people that can't figure out how much they can afford.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 3:36:58 PM , Rating: 2
Right now. If I spend $10k on a 70mpg car to replace my wife's truck as a commuter I would STILL come out of pocket $20 a month between added car payment and estimated maintenance costs.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 4:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
Remember we're talking about the same people that can't figure out how much they can afford how much HOUSE to buy.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By blwest on 5/23/2008 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 2
No, people aren't that smart.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By arazok on 5/22/2008 12:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
<quotewhere gas prices are going to go in the next few years ( and they aren't going to go down.)


That seems to be the conventional wisdom these days, but I wouldn't bank on it. I'll attempt to avoid getting into a discussion as to why, but let's just say that I believe there is LOTS of oil still left in the world.

It might be more prudent to simply invest in an economical gas/diesel car, rather then shelling out for a hybrid. I'd like to see oil prices stay high for more then the current 2-3 years before I declare a new paradigm in world oil markets.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Ananke on 5/22/2008 2:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
At the end of your usage of that hybrid you will need some maintenance and battery replacemnt, total will most likely exceed the price of new hybrid :) so the real cost of a hybrid is actually double the cost of regular model. I will not for example buy from you second hand hybrid for more than 500 /five hundred / bucks, since after 10 years batteries are out of warranty, neeed replacement, and that costs more than 10 000 for Prius. Not to mention the cost of certified technician to do repairs on such vehicle.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 4:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Used hybrid prices will probably be pretty low if they're out of the battery warranty. I imagine it will take a while before that is well known public info.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2008 9:51:50 AM , Rating: 2
It's about $4000 for the Prius battery. I still won't drive one though.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By FITCamaro on 5/22/2008 12:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
The Fit is not a hybrid right now. It is just a small 4 cylinder. Those numbers are with a 4 cylinder engine with 5 speed manual transmission.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By mduncan on 5/22/2008 1:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
True that the Fit (1g) is rated 32/34mpg, but I have a 1g Fit and I get consistently a 32-34mpg city and 38-40mpg hwy depending on conditions and traffic.

I do have the sport model which allows me to shift manually via the paddles on the wheel. This tremendously increases the gas mileage I get from my vehicle. This all depends heavily on the driving of the user and loads in the vehicle, but I have two kids and pets which fit nicely and probably affect mileage only slightly.

BTW, With gas prices here approaching 4 clams, I have yet to pay over $36 for a full tank of gas. It is a great car that WILL save you money.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Bull Dog on 5/22/2008 6:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but I subconsciously also factor in the time between refueling.

I mean by your logic people wouldn't notice the difference between filling a Insight up with ten gallons of gas every month, and filling up an Excursion/H2 up with ten gallons of gas every third day.

Granted, I'm taking this to a bit of an extreme. I'm just trying to make a point. People may not talk about the difference in time between refueling (overall cost), but trust me they do factor it in.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/22/2008 7:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
Trust me these are the same people that couldn't figure how much house they could afford.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Noya on 5/22/2008 8:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, will you STFU about people not looking at their total fuel prices.

Most people realize when they fill up their Civic/Fit/Corolla once every week at $35 ($35 x 52 = $1,820), while the bozo in the F150 is spending $90 every week for fuel ($90 x 52 = $4,680).


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By Spuke on 5/23/2008 12:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Dude, will you STFU about people not looking at their total fuel prices.
Nope. I live in reality and apparently, a few of you don't. Have you looked at the housing market? Those are the same people buying cars too. And those people did not look at the total price there, why would the hell would they look at the total price on gas? There's no logic in your assertion that most people look at total cost when the proof is staring at you everyday with high foreclosure rates and etc.

Maybe, just maybe the average DT'er looks at total cost but we are FAR from the average person. The average person does not. If you need proof, read the real estate section of your local newspaper.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By tkhowser on 6/1/2008 1:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
Many people in the US use a credit card to pay for their gas. Many of those people do not pay off their credit card balance each month, and I believe that they forget to factor this in (with interest) and are only reviewing their unchanged checking account balances to see whether they are on "budget". So, they don't really feel the "sting" of the fill-up until they run out of credit card.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By blwest on 5/23/2008 10:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
Give this man a 6.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By 91TTZ on 5/23/2008 10:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I do have the sport model which allows me to shift manually via the paddles on the wheel. This tremendously increases the gas mileage I get from my vehicle. This all depends heavily on the driving of the user and loads in the vehicle, but I have two kids and pets which fit nicely and probably affect mileage only slightly.


I don't believe that. The manual shifting on newer cars is nothing more than a gimmick. They still have automatic transmissions with a torque converter and do not have a clutch. You will not get the increased fuel economy with an automatic transmission that you'd get with a manual transmission regardless of if you're shifting it manually or not. They're inherently less efficient.


RE: Hybrids Need Better MPG
By theoflow on 5/23/2008 10:18:48 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. There are 3 types of manual-automatic transmissions out there.

Automatic Manual:
An automatic transmission with a torque converter, that just moves the selection of gears from the gate to the steering wheel.

CVT Manual:
Predefined gear ratio in the CVT

Manual Automatic:
Usually reserved for higher end sports cars such as Ferrari, BMW, and Audi. These option items are quite expensive, with the Audi DSG somewhere in the 4k-8k range depending on model.

HOWEVER, my 07 Civic gets better highway mileage as an automatic when compared to a manual. The manual gets better mileage city, but combined EPA mileage they are the same. I have no idea how they did it, but it is news to me.
http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan/specifica...


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