By on February 14, 2014

z71silvy

That was a close one! When I read that the TTAC Staff robot was being “retired”, I knew that what they really meant was “having its arms bolted into a concrete wall and being tortured the way Lord Straxus tortured Scrounge in Transformers #17: Into The Smelting Pool!“. Then I heard the distinctive sound of Derek’s Aventador coming down the street. I huddled underneath a makeshift electric blanket, terrified that he would find the park bench where I spend the long nights during Toronto’s merciless winter. With a single mighty swipe, Derek tore the blanket from me and growled,

“Get up, Z. McQ. It’s time to go to work.”

“But what’s the QOTD, Managing Editor and heir-apparent, Sir?”

“Find out if our, ah, valued readers are considering hybrids for their next car. And if they aren’t, find out why not.” Then he was gone in a flash of V-12 growl and P Zero tire smoke, leaving me to trudge through the streets to my battered IBM Model M keyboard.

Today, we found out in Alex Dykes’ review of the Accord Hybrid that Honda has indeed “cracked the code”, joining Toyota and Ford in the club of manufacturers whose electric-motor-assisted products transcend CAFE-compliance-vehicle or empty-message-to-the-Greenpeace-dweebs status. It seems reasonable to assume that other manufacturers will follow at a rapidly increasing rate.

The question is: Would you consider one of the current hybrids for your next (new) vehicle? If not, why not? What’s missing? Do you want more power? More economy? Both? Or is the hybrid surcharge too offensive to your sense of ROI? At what point would you buy a hybrid? When it’s a thousand-dollar surcharge? Five hundred? Free? What can we do to get you into this hybrid today — or in the distant future?

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130 Comments on “QOTD: What Can I Do To Get You Into This Hybrid Today — Or Tomorrow?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Can you do a true battery powered hybrid in a RWD/4WD configuration?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Sure. You can do it either conventionally (as in the Subaru XV hybrid) or using dedicated electric motors to drive the second axle (as in the Acura RLX hybrid).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Cool. Thx.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          The Escape Hybrid was available in AWD, but has since been discontinued. Acura RLX is AWD

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thx. I was originally thinking about hybrids in BOF trucks such as Silverado such as what’s shown on the jump.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ford was very close to bringing out an F150 hybrid (and not a GM-like mild hybrid). It did not make the cut for the 2015 and on F-series at this time.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            How are the full-size GM trucks “mild-hybrids”? IIRC it was a very impressive and quite heavy-duty parallel mode system. Only the fact that we measure fuel economy in an @ss-backwards way harmed them, as the actually economy improvement on a full-size truck was just as impressive as a Prius over a Camry, if not more so in terms of potential fuel savings. But it was EXTREMELY expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            krhodes-

            You are right, unlike BAS hybrid, they were the two mode system that was done through the Global Hybrid Coop. GM got better EPA numbers on its V6 and better highway EPA numbers with its current V8.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I had to look up the GM truck hybrids because I knew they existed but don’t know much about them.

            Hybrid

            GM launched a hybrid version of the Silverado/Sierra in 2004, becoming the first ever GM hybrid passenger vehicle. Known within GM as the Parallel Hybrid Truck or PHT it is not actually a parallel hybrid by the current definition, but a type of micro hybrid design. The electric motor housed within the transmission flywheel housing, serves only to provide engine cranking/starting, battery charging, and powering accessories. The engine automatically shuts down as the truck comes to a stop and uses 42 Volt electric power to the starter/generator unit to restart the engine as the brake pedal is released. Besides the typical 12 V automotive battery the PHT uses three additional 12 V valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries mounted under the rear seat to store and provide power. The truck uses a 5.3 L Vortec 5300 V8 for primary propulsion power. These trucks were also purchased back from customers for more than what they were worth in the late 2000s.

            The PHT features four 120 volt 20 amp AC outlets, two in the bed and two inside the cab under the rear seat. These are particularly interesting to the building/construction contractor market, since they often require AC power when on the job. Additionally, the extra reserves of power for the accessories make this truck well-suited to that market, where trucks often sit at idle for hours at a time.

            Availability was extremely limited at first, with commercial buyers getting the first allotment. Later in 2005, the truck was offered at retail in Alaska, California, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Canada. For 2006-07 the truck was generally available to retail buyers throughout North America. The Parallel Hybrid Truck was discontinued for the 2008 model year with the release of the GMT900 truck line. Starting in 2009, General Motors offers a second generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra equipped with a Two-Mode Hybrid powertrain and 4-speed CVT.[6]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Silverado

          • 0 avatar
            kmoney

            LS600HL has also aways been longitudinal based AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @28Cars Later- Stay away from the early hybrid pickups! I had direct awareness of the horrendously expensive controller no longer being manufactured for service back in ’08. I have a fuzzy memory that GM is buying them all back.

            The two mode hybrid is fine, will give city fuel economy of a Camry 4 cyl with some improvement in highway mileage, too.
            I’ve only noticed one used two-mode for sale (not really looking), and the price seems to have fallen to about the same as the conventional drivetrain version.

    • 0 avatar
      SilverBullett

      If the sources that I have read are correct, the next gen Prius due in 2015 will have an AWD model as well.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    “Or is the hybrid surcharge too offensive to your sense of ROI?” Bingo, too much expense for too little return, at least since I don’t drive as much as most people.

    John

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Yep, for those of us who do the math, a hybrid just doesn’t pay its way unless you do a lot of stop-and-go city driving. I can get about the same mileage boost for free just by paying attention to the traffic signals and coasting towards red lights instead of zooming up and stopping.

      Addl note: If the cost came down, a Volt would make sense for my sub-40 mile commute to work, meaning that I could go weeks without burning gas. But the price differential over a comparable sedan would have to be lot less than the current ~$10K post-tax credits. If you count a Volt as a hybrid…

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Would I consider a hybrid? Hell yes. But none of the current offerings are *quite* what I’m looking for.

    Why would I consider a hybrid? Fuel economy is only a secondary reason, although it doesn’t hurt. The best reason is the quietness, smoothness, and instant torque that an electric motor make possible.

    That means any hybrid powertrain (such as eAssist, the Hyundai/Kia system, the Infiniti Q50h/Q70h system, or any Honda system except the one in the new Accord) that uses a conventional automatic transmission has no point for me and is out.

    It also means that severely underpowered hybrids such as the Prius and the CT200h, which have their gas engine screaming when even slight acceleration is called for, are out.

    I don’t want a bloated enormous 4500-lb pig of a vehicle, so Highlander and RX hybrids are out.

    The closest vehicles to what I’m looking for are the Lexus GS450h on the high end, which is a bit too pricey for me, and the Camry, Fusion, and Accord Hybrids on the low end. All three of those basic sedan hybrids are a bit short on power for my taste, but of the three I like the Accord best because it has the most innovative powertrain and is by far the best handler.

    So, yes, I would buy an Accord hybrid, but not automatically; it’s not perfect for me and would be up against some conventional-powertrain competition.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    No.

  • avatar
    NN

    after reading Alex’s article this morning, I admittedly ran some math on it vs. our 2010 Malibu which my wife drives 25k miles/year and has a lifetime mpg average of about 25. With an Accord or Fusion hybrid, we can nearly double that kind of mpg, which saves $160 or so per month. Then again, the Malibu will be paid off in a little over a year, and nothing beats a paid off car.

  • avatar
    Yesac13

    “Or is the hybrid surcharge too offensive to your sense of ROI?”

    This. I looked around at various vehicles and prices. To help me determine whether the ROI is worth it, I use this nice handy website with calculations which ironically is created by the US Department of Energy… (ironically because government tends not to be that helpful)

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/savemoney.shtml

    Input the price of the gas, average mpg, miles driven per year, and years you plan to own the car. For example, a Honda Accord EX and the same but with the hybrid powertrain… For me, the Hybrid will save me $1365 bucks in 5 years. The Hybrid is a 5k premium over the EX minimum so its a poor ROI for me! The same calculations taught me that its not worth it to upgrade to the diesel engine for pickup trucks unless I tow over 10000 LBS or drive over 20k per year.

    Try the website and input the numbers to see what’s your ROI for various vehicles are. Its very instructive.

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      Does that include the residual value of the hybrid ? After five years, the hybrid Accord might still be worth $2k more than a non-hybrid one. When gas prices were cresting $5k/gallon here in CA, used Prius were so in demand that you might have retained the whole new car hybrid premium vs. a used Corolla.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I did some research on MY13 Lincoln MKZ last fall both I4, V6, and hybrid. The I4 and V6 (26s for a 40K car) didn’t do well but the hybrid was doing extremely well (34s and 35s).

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Based on all aggregated data available at the present time, a hybrid version of the non-hybrid version of the same car (excluding hybrid only vehicles – e.g. Volt; Prius) costs the purchaser MORE in terms of overall cost of ownership (acquisition price + running costs + resale/residual value) in 88.79% of cases.

      This % is a figure I just pulled entirely out of my arsehole, yet I lay down an official challenge for anyone to prove it as erroneous by more than +/- 3.2 percentage points.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        I think you’re wrong. I think it’s closer to 100%.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I would think the only exception is the MKZ. The hybrid costs the same, holds its value better(like 28 points out), and will probably be just as or more reliable than the traditional ICE MKZ.

      • 0 avatar
        Joebaldheadedgranny

        One of the thing Bob Lutz mused about was that he wished GM had electrified full-sized truck before making the Volt. My commercial customers log an average 30K annual miles and I can certify that if a hybrid light duty truck were available there would be no shortage of small/mid-sized fleets that would take the plunge, just as they did when Prius became available in scale in 2004; on a fully-burdened, cents-per-mile basis, a hybrid truck will work under the following conditions:
        1. HVIP-type incentive for early adopters
        2. HOV lane access a la PHEV Prius and Fusion Energi

        As volume ramps up we can expect to see a drastic reduction in cost so the (very expensive) training can come off.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    No, ROI just isn’t there, concern about battery life, choice of AWD hybrids is limited

  • avatar
    Syke

    Yes. Especially if my planned move for this summer from out in the boonies into a nice small town that would enable me to bicycle commute, use a scooter, and verge on electric car usage happens.

  • avatar
    CopperCountry

    Made the jump almost a year ago. When my Fit was totaled and I started looking for a low-fuel-consumption replacement, and Alex’s review of the Prius c came to mind, so we gave it a test drive. It only took a few miles to realize that there wasn’t much of a downside to this hybrid at all. It still drove, handled, and hauled well, and the $3k delta compared to the Yaris was no big deal (@25k miles/year, the payback period is under 3 years.)

    But it’s not just the fuel cost savings (has delivered a “true” 50 MPG average over 25k miles) – I really enjoy the eCVT nature of the thing. Need to squirt into a gap in traffic?, just stomp on it, and the traction-controlled gas+electric propulsion gets you there with little drama. I’ve come to appreciate the eerily silent propulsion in stop & go traffic as well, in addition to the ‘EV Mode’ for jockeying cars around in the driveway. So unless there’s a need for a serious tow vehicle, all of our future cars will be hybrids.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This is a GAME-CHANGER (there that will keep Derek at the strip club a little while longer.)

    For me, not yet. Partially because I buy used cars and I’m a cheapskate, I want maximum depreciation and many hybrids are holding their value well. 2nd issue is that I love BIG SEDANS and the only hybrid that meets my needs there is a Lexus LS460h which costs big coin, violating principle #1.

    I was actually intrigued by the V6 Accord Hybrid that Honda pushed as a performance sedan. I’d love a full electric RWD full size sedan with 300+ hp and a 500 mile real world range. I figure if you are going to go electric, go all the way. Plus I live at high altitude and electric would mean I don’t have to worry about loss of power at altitude like a naturally aspirated gas powered car.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Organic food has the same nutrients as non-organic. It’s more of how much do you want to pay for being socially responsible?

      http://dailyfusion.net/2013/07/hoodwinked-by-hybrids-a-resale-comparison-of-gas-and-hybrid-vehicles-14177/

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Interesting conclusion to that article as they compare the best of the Hybrids to the worst. If you purchase a Toyota or Ford Hybrid you get the additional up front cost back after 30K and saved money on the fuel getting there. If you buy the worst hybrid with a failure prone battery, the Honda Civic, your resale is worse than the traditional model so you end up loosing out as the depreciation more than eats up the smaller than Toyota/Ford increase in MPG. If you buy a VW then you loose as well. So it all depends on the particular vehicle. A good hybrid Ford/Toyota does save you money and a poorly designed one doesn’t. We’ll have to see how the new Accord pans out in the long run, if the purchasers are lucky they aren’t putting a crappy battery in them like they did with the Civic and it should return the up front cost and you’ll also save on fuel.

        • 0 avatar
          CopperCountry

          @Scoutdude – that’s the key: the maturity of the design. With Toyota, they’re on Gen3, and evidence from high-mileage Gen2 examples indicates that overall reliability and battery life shouldn’t be a big concern. That was a big factor in my Prius c purchase. While Honda’s hybrid layout has changed (for the better, in my opinion,) they’ve been in the game long enough to get the controls and components right.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I don’t know if you can truly say Honda has been in the game long enough to get it right. The original Insight came out about the same time as the Prius and did OK but then the first Civic Hybrid was a stinker. Hopefully they learned from that one and are back on the right track and the bean counters don’t cause cost cutting that undermines their progress.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I own one and I really like it.

    I still want a Grand C-Max, hybrid or not.

  • avatar
    Tim_Turbo

    I had a long, in depth answer typed, then thought-why bother. In one word, No.

  • avatar

    “what can I do to get you into this hybrid today or tomorrow”

    NOT A GOTDAMNED THING… Later BRO!

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I would considered the Accord Hybrid for my next car, I have a TDI wagon and get about 39 MPG in the winter slightly higher in summer say 42. So if a Accord Hybrid could beat that on reg gas , I would think lang and hard about that. I drive around 35,000 miles a year so the payback would be there for me I think. So far the Accord is the only one I would think about.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, if you live in the North, it looks as though the Accord hybrid is really a 35 mpg car from November through April, so I’ve kind of lost interest. No way the darn things pay for themselves the way things are, it would have been interesting to have some new tech to experience rather than the same old recipe and farting around with recalcitrant infotainment systems designed by nerds for dweebs. With the Accord Hybrid, you get weird driving modes plus a bad head unit. Two things to occupy the mind.

    Canadian prices for the new WRX came out yesterday, $29,995 for the stripper model and the world’s worst infotainment system to fiddle with. Might as well terrorize the Fiat Abarths that cost the same and have some fun instead while worrying about the avg fuel cons meter later.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    So far the value propostion and sex appeal haven’t been enough for me.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      This. (although I actually have one).

      I want a hybrid that looks like a Dodge challenger, goes like a Dodge Viper, sounds like a jet engine, and drinks like a Dodge Dart. Oh, and under $50k.

      NEVER going to happen.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Would you consider one of the current hybrids for your next (new) vehicle?

    No.

    If not, why not?

    Lithium ion batteries still suck for these purposes.

    What’s missing?

    A better battery, or alternative to the battery.

    Do you want more power?

    Hybrids can be tuned to deliver plenty of power. There’s something to be said for having a supplementary motor that delivers full torque at 0 rpm.

    I’m curious to see how Mazda fares with its upper-tier SKYACTIV motor with the supplementary capacitor.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    My requirements for my wife’s next car: 80+ mpg(e), AWD, gull wing doors, seat 7, 0-60 in <4.5s, no rust body, Internet hotspot, maybe a 17" touchscreen, and ought to be able to defend it's honor against an SRT8 Grand Cherokee or Cayenne Turbo S in a race to the shopping mall. As if anyone would come up with such a thing…

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I would buy a hybrid if it met my OTHER criteria for buying a car first, maybe. I have nothing against them particularly, but currently they are either no fun to drive (Toyota) or utterly pointless (BMW Hybrids).

    Realistically, for my use case for a fuel-efficient vehicle, diesel makes more sense. I don’t commute, but I often take 1000 mile roadtrips. Around town, I don’t drive enough for fuel efficiency to matter, even in my 12mpg “winter beater” Rover.

  • avatar
    Olyar15

    My next car Will be a hybrid: an NSX. Have a $1000 deposit, seventh on the wait list.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I think it is not only possible but probable that my next car will be a hybrid – likely a plug-in hybrid. I currently own a C-Max Hybrid. The C-Max is probably the cheapest hybrid that is at least as quick as the average car. You get good MPG, but the car can also go 0-60 in the low 8s, about as fast as the Trans Am that Burt Reynolds drove in Smokey and the Bandit. Yes, the MPG has gone down in the freezing weather from 43 to 36 MPG, that’s 16%. My minivan also went down though, from 17 to 14.5. That’s about a 15% decrease, not a big difference in percentage but an even greater increase in fuel consumption, so even in the colder weather the hybrid has the advantage.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I’m not and it’s mostly because of price. I want a 2 year payback. Worry about future changes in gas tax. Then as a Lotus fan the idea of adding weight just goes against everything I believe that makes a good handling car.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Diesel hybrid. Best of both worlds – good MPG on highway from diesel (and torque) and good city MPG from battery.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Why not just have diesels instead of EV.

    What’s the upside to EV – short range, hard to re-charge, pricey, heavily subsidised when a country can’t afford it, pollutes more than diesel.

    Advantage of diesel, long range, easy to refuel, taxed to provide more money for the economy (to pay down debt) than other forms of transport energy and quite possibley pollutes less.

    By the looks of it EV’s seem to be the way forward.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/auto-blog/electric-vehicles-pollute-more-than-gas-or-diesel

  • avatar
    JMII

    I only really like the idea of a hybrid in the commuter / city car sense: short, daily trips where your stuck in traffic anyway and thus can’t really “drive”. The idea of moving forward with instant torque in near silence seems awesome, like riding the monorail at Disney. I guess it turns out that the future WILL be like Walt’s vision.

    Now would I buy such a vehicle today or in the next five years? Well something like a Honda CRZ but quicker, that’s about the only hybrid that currently appeals to me – and one that I could actually afford. I’d grab a Tesla tomorrow but a real Lotus Elise is cheaper.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Hybrid? Yes. Have one. But first and foremost for me is fun to drive. With 3 to 4 hours a day commuting, I need some entertainment. Prius returned 50 MPG for me but is such a dynamic horror, I’ll settle for the 32 MPG and some fun behind the wheel. And for me ROI is way more than the dollars at the pump. And sneaking around in parking lots in stealth mode is kinda cool.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Car enthusiasts often love diesels, specifically their satisfying low end grunt and economy. Car enthusiasts love to hate electrics, which provide the most low end grunt possible and use no fuel at all. Today we learn car enthusiasts are often idiots who have no clue what they’re talking about.

    The main problem with electric isn’t the range per se, but rather it takes forever to refill that range. Adding energy to a battery at the rate of fuel is physically impossible due to thermodynamic limits. Fast battery swaps are probably the only solution here.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Car enthusiasts also have a problem with reading comprehension, the article is about hybrids and what it would take to get us to buy one, not electrics.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No it just isn’t about the electric “engine”. The ICE in all the common hybrids runs on a modified Atkinson cycle which increases it’s efficiency accounting for the increase in hwy MPG. W/o the electric MOTOR giving the assist in lower rpm ranges the use of the Atkinson cycle engine would give poor results.

      • 0 avatar
        agenthex

        The more a hybrid is in sum like a traditional ice, the less interesting it is by definition. It might as well be a light turbo delivering similar good mileage. Both are at best of technical interest and not the driving experience. The next more meaningful step in the evolution are plug-in types where the engine is merely an emergency generator.

        In any case, none of this has anything to do with the point. Red blooded enthusiasts love to hate the idea of electric because it’s associated with “green”: the more electric it is, the worse it is to them regardless of actual functionality.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        The Mazda skyactives run Atkinson as well…personally I would be designing a head with a small electrically actuated second exhaust valve so you could easily run Atkinson for your efficiency or traditional Otto for more power…or even better a variant of a multi displacement by opening the third valve on the dead stroke and keeping it closed on the power stroke.

  • avatar
    Atum

    If I’m only owning a car for a few years and putting about 30,000 miles on it, I’d gladly own a hybrid. But if I want to keep my vehicle for many years and put well over 100K on the odometer, heck no. I was looking at CarFax reports of hybrids yesterday, and even reliable vehicles such as the Highlander Hybrid have tons of CarFax records for repairs. Plus, hybrid batteries are expensive.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually the highlander falls in the bottom half of hybrid reliability. The Prius and original insight fall in the top half. Like all cars it depends on the model in this case even buying a Honda or Toyota may not guarantee success.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It all depends on the Hybrid you are talking about. It is very common for the recent Prius batteries to last 200K while some years of the Civic Hybrids often didn’t last to 100K. Price wise they are less than replacing many modern automatic transmissions. An aftermarket re-manufactured battery with a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty for a Prius can be had for around $2500. They include new cells in the old case so the part that is subject to failure is new. The Escape Hybrid has also proven that 200K is often attained on their batteries.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I don’t have a 100 mile a day commute to care about fuel economy and I’m even less interested than that in soda bubbles in the air. The blind fixation of the past 10 years on mpg to the near exclusion of everything else absolutely disgusts me. You expect that out of college kids and California legislators but when did the automotive press, marketers, and enthusiast community turn into a bunch of flaming greenbeans?

    That said, a hybrid drivetrain is worth something to me. I like electric torque off the line. I like the idea of near lifetime brakes. I’d love a 10A AC plug in the truck. I’d love to go an extra couple of days before looking at the gas gage. Put that in a vehicle I’d actually buy and I’d pay the premium.

    Slow, small FWD cars on skinny tires with no ground clearance aren’t a vehicle I’d actually buy. Come back when you’ve put it in something big and fast.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t buy never-titled “new” vehicles.

    That said, I might go for an original-style GS450h if they depreciate enough. Still, those didn’t even get that great of fuel economy.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    No AWD hybrid can see 40 mpg?

    The Encore AWD is the car for me.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      Norm, the Encore is appealing. How do you like yours? Personally, I think I’d like a 2.0L turbo, of course I have not driven the current one yet.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        I leased the Encore AWD with the Buick Experience lease and couldn’t more happier with the car. It really shines on high speed sweepers if you can get your saleperson to stray from around the block test drive.

        The 1.4T and occpanying transmission programming a delight for a solely manual transmission guy like me. The rev matching downshifts are slick. Add Trifecta Tune to engine and trans to make it a beast from the stoplight in AWD.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Is ther an AWD hybrid that can see 40 mpg on the highway?

    I’m keeping my Encore AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      Wow, you have a rare vehicle! I’m not being sarcastic; out of the 111 new Encores for sale within a 30 mile radius of my area code, only one of them is AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Great Lakes should have plenty in supply. There was some FWD base models brand new in Missouri area that were quite tempting when I was looking.

      For the AWD there is hardly any penalty in fuel economy compared to FWD. On Buickforums the FWD owners are seeing mid-30′s and not trying in a non-hybrid, CUV, with 18″ wheels. Most owners are impressed with the Encore fuel economy. Plus even our very own Alex Dykes reviewed the Encore AWD and exceeded highway EPA…driving combined plus idling during the photo shoot.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Waiting to see the 2015 Toyota hybrids, maybe get another one.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Use less gasoline to go about my day? Hells yeah.

  • avatar
    olivebranch2006

    Yes if it were AWD and plug-in so I could utilize the solar panels on my garage roof. excellent for running errands around town and not burning gas at all.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    It will depend on under what circumstances I get my next vehicle.

    - If it’s a second car to augment my current one (e46 BMW 330i), it would have to offer an operating cost advantage over the BMW when considering its acquisition cost – ie save more $ in gas and maintenance than I’m shelling out in payments.

    -If it’s a replacement for the BMW (due to age or inability to afford), it would have to offer both a ROI for its premium in purchase price, but would also have to offer sufficient fun to drive to tempt me away from fun to drive but thrifty traditional models like a Fiesta ST (I realize it wont match the ST, but just be fun enough that I’m content to give up the Fiesta for said hybrid). If I bought it in this case, I’d be looking to use $ saved on gas to buy a more fun second car (like another BMW)

  • avatar
    LeeK

    I’m an enthusiast. I would be interested in a performance-oriented hybrid, one that provides the advantages of hybrid power trains with better fuel economy. Too many hybrids are oriented to maximize fuel efficiency at the expense of any driving fun whatsoever. How about a Hot Hatch Hybrid, like a GTI or Focus ST Hybrid? I don’t get bent out of shape about the lack of manual transmissions, but I don’t want skinny low rolling resistance tires, tinny sounding doors, and goofy aerodynamic shapes. Give me an electric torque monster at low speeds, but regenerative braking like the Accord’s, a performance-oriented suspension, and an interior that features Recaro-like seats with a nice fat steering wheel. Of course, my interests are so niche that automobile manufacturers would be daft to cater to what I would buy. But if they did, I would be in their showrooms looking.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    My dad’s 2007 Camry Hybrid has 92,000 miles on it and averages around 37 MPG. I’ve gotten 44 in it a few times before. It’s had zero issues since November 2006 when he bought it.

  • avatar
    th009

    I have to conclude that Zombie McQuestionbot really is human. And male at that.

    Because real men use an IBM Model M buckling-spring keyboard!

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Only Cameron knows for sure. I’m positive that she’s likely the one responsible for his care and the only tender, empathetic contact Zombie will have if Derek and Jack are responsible for his assignments. :P

  • avatar
    Safeblonde

    Give me another way to buy without the crazy dealers involved. You cannot get a 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid unless you pay list ++. I dont get it…supply and demand maybe?

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Brown. Diesel. AWD. Wagon. 6 speed manual.

    Oh.

    Nevermind.

  • avatar
    gachapingymkhana

    My answer for now is no, because I’m trying to live below my means and drive older cars. That said, I bought a 5-speed Civic Hybrid after it had depreciated down to a quarter of its original value, thinking the manual transmission would make my guilt-free motoring more pleasurable. It helped, but my previous car was a CRX, and that’s a tough act to follow. Just as no band should ever sign up to take the stage after Slayer, no car should ever expect to be called maneuverable if its owner previously drove a CRX.
    One of my motivations for buying the hybrid was to maintain a low carbon footprint. Getting 41 to 51 mpg felt nice, but without a government making sure other people did the same, I realized that I wasn’t taking part in any meaningful movement toward environmental stewardship- and meanwhile I was burdened with the worst power to weight ratio imaginable. The resulting wave of nihilism may have been a factor in my swapping the hybrid for an old Integra GS-R.

  • avatar
    JimmyBucco

    Of course I’ll buy another hybrid. I drive a 2009 Civic Hybrid. I envy all of the available options you people buying cars have. I had the Civic or the Prius. I overpaid for the self satisfaction of my car shutting off at red lights, train stops, and in Windy City traffic. She’s already got 120K miles under her. A battery pack replacement at 79K miles (which Honda provided to me, installed, for a $500 deductable) and 4 tires is all she’s needed.

    I’ve averaged about 38 MPG over the life of the car, which while not so great by today’s or even same year Prii, has satisfied me enough. Of course, by the time my Civic’s ready to pasture, I fully expect to be buying a flying car.. or one of the Google self-drivers.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    What kind of maniac wouldn’t drive a hybrid if certain conditions were met? For me, the condition is price as my car is for cheap transportation and my bike is for irrational fun. If I didn’t ride, I would add the condition of light weight.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I’d buy another. Our 2010 Fusion Hybrid has paid for itself already. In the summer it averages ~41 MPG in 40% city 60% hwy and about ~36 in the coldest part of the winter. Vs the car that it replaced that averaged about 20 MPG in the same use. With the 30K per year it sees the fuel savings are only about $20 per month short of covering the payment. We certainly could have got a car that got MPG somewhere in the middle of the two for less but the Hybrid still penciled out as the lower overall cost.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Heck, you can lease a Leaf for $200 per month. Nearly pays for itself. I know, it’s a pure electric, but at that price it’s nearly too hard to resist.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    Absolutely. Highlander hybrid will be our next car. 28 mpg, awd, 3 rows, all the required tech and luxury features of the German and Japanese for a shade over 50. It will be a cash deal and we may never break even on the hybrid option but we will consume less fuel, which is worth the extra investment.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    By virtue of there being no other reasonably priced midsize wagons, I was sold a hybrid. Small outside, huge inside, easy on gas, light weight (32xx lbs… same ballpark as the much smaller Cruze), and super reliable: Prius v. We’ve had it 18 months and 25k miles, averaged 40mpg driving mostly interstate. It isn’t fast, but it isn’t dangerously slow. Long wheelbase improves the stability and ride. Back seats slide and recline. Awesome mommy mobile.

    That said, we’re swapping our body on frame SUV that I rarely have time to offroad and the v for a CUV. We don’t need 2 huge vehicles but we do need one vehicle we can road trip in and take over the mountains so AWD CUV it is. No one makes a hybrid CUV smaller than the Highlander Hybrid or any number of luxury brands we’re not interested in, so I didn’t really have the opportunity to buy another hybrid. This car consolidation frees up driveway space for a toy for me, so my appreciation for hybrids was sacrificed for the greater good. Haha

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      I was thinking “Let’s just watch Mitsubishi come out with an Outlander Hybrid that gets 50 MPG and has every great feature possible.”

      Then I remembered, there’s an Outlander Plug-In Hybrid coming out later this year. It sounds like you live in the north, and that’s where a lot of these hybrids usually end up first (the Prius Plug-In doesn’t exist where I live, for example). It would make Mitsubishi happy, since they have a customer, and you happy, since you have a hybrid SUV that can fit your family.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The two things that have been keeping me from a hybrid is:

    1. The $$ don’t add up for me – I do around 10K miles a year and the extra expense is simply not justified. Given the considerable MPG improvements in non-hyrbids in recent years it may only ever be worthwhile for those who do most of their mileage in stop and go traffic.

    2. The driving experience of hybrids has simply not been what it should be. Every time I am in a Prius I am reminded just how terrible the wet weather traction is and how weird it feels.

    However, once those issues are resolved I will be happy to buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      The traction issue is due to the lame tires. And the Prius is intentionally set up to remind you that you are driving something different. Put essentially the same drivetrain in a Fusion, or Altima, and you really get a regular car that happens to have a hybrid drivetrain. I can feel the extra mass, but still a fair tradeoff for much better mileage. Plus, aftermarket performance parts for non hybrid variants of the same model often swap right in.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yup driving a Fusion Hybrid vs a 4 cyl version of the same year and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference if the hybrid display wasn’t there. It has LRR tires but the factory ones being Michelin at least on the one we have means that it still has better traction that many cars with lower quality tires.

    • 0 avatar
      Conslaw

      Carguy, you should check out the Ford C-Max. It has roughy the same interior space as the Ford Escape and costs the same as the 4-cylinder Ecoboost Escape when similarly equipped. So how much extra $$ it costts depends on what you compare it to. If you compare it to the Focus, then it takes a long time to get your money back; but if you compare it to the Escape, your payback is almost immediate. The C-Max is quicker than the Ecoboost Escape and has a more sporty driving experience. In my experience, wet weather traction is neither exceptionally good nor exceptionally poor. In the C-Max vs. Escape, you trade cargo room for almost double the MPG of the Escape. The driving position of the C-Max is very good, and the visibility s excellent – much better than in the Prius. The C-Max has enough cargo room under the hatch for most people most of the time, and by folding down one or both of the rear seats, you can handle fit pretty large things back there. One thing you will notice in driving the C-Max is how quiet it is. More than half the time in the city you will be driving on electric alone, and active noise reduction is standard, so it is quiet even when the gas engine is running.

  • avatar
    css28

    Sold my E36 BMW and bought a Volt last summer. Low end torque and squirtability it has in spades. I’ll win any traffic light drag race in the first 40 mph.

    For day-to-day purposes it’s electric. In the depths of the last month’s cold snap I’ve used About 2 gallons of gas a week for a daily 38 mid round trip commute. Once the average (morning and afternoon) temperature’s above 25 F I use no gasoline at all.

    On a road trip (after the first 40 miles) I get 40 mpg.

    The only negative is limited back seat space.

    No regrets.

  • avatar
    Dorky Teacher

    Well, considering that the safest, most reliable, and advanced hybrid on the market is the Honda Accord, then the decision could simply be between the Hybrid and the Sport versions. Once options are considered, the Sport is $8k less. I’d buy the Sport and take the family on vacation.

    There used to be a point to buying a hybrid in CA, called HOV. But those days are no longer. So I just don’t see the point.

  • avatar
    andres550

    Hybrids are just so expensive! That’s the only reason I wouldn’t even considerate buying one.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    If the charger came out with a hybrid option with a performance boost I would like one…currently accord hybrid seems like the only one that would interest me. However I am not sold on the accords infotainment setup

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Nothing would get me to buy a Hybrid full size truck… Nothing. I like Hybrid systems even less than full size truck. My gripe with Hybrid, too complex for too little gain, easy. My gripe with full size trucks, I personally just do not need that much truck and firmly believe 85% of people who buy them don’t need them either. Some people do, and for them the vehicle is brilliant.
    That Dodge Ram with that new V6 diesel would be were I would put my money. Honest power and substantial economy gains and don’t give me any of that BS about diesel fumes, those fumes are cleaner than the air that goes into the engine, sort of.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Next one will likely be electric. After that the hybrid would have to have hwy composure, space for people and cargo, and because of my wife’s survivalist tendencies (not how she thinks of it) AWD.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Gas would have to be over $10 a gallon, which wouldn’t happen.
    And even then I’d probably convert my fleet to Natural gas. No reason I should suffer being in a econobox without reason. I drive a little over 25k miles a year I would not spend that time in anything other than a comfy V8.

  • avatar
    Joe K

    I am waiting for them to get long in the tooth to see how well they age. I tend to keep a car till the doors fall off, so this is important to me. I don’t like the Pirus, so I am waiting for the other brands to start getting miles on them, and how available parts are over the long haul.

  • avatar
    redav

    I would consider a hybrid, as well as an EV. But I probably won’t buy one. The reason isn’t the hybrid or EV tech, but a combination of up-front costs combined with ROI risk and the package it’s put into. There are a ton of cars (all cars, not just hybrids or EVs) that I don’t like because of intrusive/ill-working features. I am currently looking to replace a wagon, and I’d prefer to replace it in kind.

    Lexus CT: Too small, and its performance is on the dull side of meh. I am also not fond of the Prius on which it’s based.
    Honda CRZ: (Do they still make it?) Too small, heard it was half-baked.
    Honda Insight: (Do they still make it?) Heard it was half-baked.
    Ford C-Max: Turned off by their mpg fiasco. I’ll wait and see. I also hate Ford’s interfaces/controls.
    Nissan Leaf: Ugly as homemade sin.
    Chevy Volt: Hate the Apple-esque inside.
    Cadillac ELR: Haha, pay how much for that thing?
    Tesla: Too big, expensive. If they do a Model E (even if not at the price/range targets), I will give it a serious look.

    Subaru CrossTrek: Didn’t know this existed before looking it up. I’d give it a look, but at only 31 combined, it’s not much (if any) better than regular ICE alternatives.

    Assuming a hybrid was put in a package I liked, it would need a definitively positive ROI, so either much better economy or low price premium. I would need confidence the hybrid system doesn’t reduce reliability, e.g., the Toyota/Ford planetary transmission IMO has proven itself, but I’m not sure of others’ CVTs yet. I am eagerly interested in full EVs’ reliability data as there are so many fewer pieces. And finally, it needs to have at least adequate performance to be enjoyable–it doesn’t need to be the fastest or anything, but if I don’t like driving it, I don’t want it..

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    I would if they depreciate enough to own used. At the moment in my life I care about functionality of my car and they all do very well at 230-250k miles, 15-17 years. Since my cars are all around 26-30mpg highway, I see no reason to get a hybrid as it will not pay for itself, ever.

    Now if I need a new car and my commute was 100 miles round trip, that may be a different story.


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