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  #1  
Old 04-28-2007, 06:26 AM
dogolden's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Greenville SC
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Question Newbie on board...

Greetings from Greenville SC! I am looking for a hybrid vehicle, and I have wanted once for quite sometime. My ex moved to Charleston after our divorce a few years ago so naturally I get to do all the driving for weekend visits.

203 miles to pick them up every other Friday. 203 miles to bring them back to my home. 203 miles to take them back Sunday evening, and you guessed it, 203 miles to come back to my house that night.

My 2003 Galant has been a very good car but truly lacks any real highway MPG savings. The best I can squeak out of her is 28MPG. This has been a great car but it is coming time for a change (130k miles on her now).

I am not interested in purchasing a new hybrid today. I am thinking perhaps later this summer? So far, my choice is narrowed down to the Civic or Prius. I must confess the sticker shock has me feeling like I cannot afford one. Yet a gas powered Civic is just a few thousand cheaper.

Opinions wanted!
 
  #2  
Old 04-28-2007, 06:47 AM
HypoFueler
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 405
Default Re: Newbie on board...

Sounds like you will be racking up 800 miles on some weekends.

If you will be putting on more than 15k miles in a year, I think a bybrid will easily pay for itself.

I put 400-500 miles on my Civic Hybrid to/from work - mostly 55-65mph roads. I am averaging about 53mpg now.

Yeah, I bought it new for about $20,500 but plan to put 150k+ on it (like every other Honda I have owned) over the next 5 years. Depending on gas at $3-$4+ per gallon over next 5+ years I will save about 2000 gallons (5000-3000) or $6000-$8000 in fuel costs alone over a 30mpg vehicle. The resale value may be higher on ahybrid and I think there may still be some tax credits out there, at least for Civic Hybrids.

If you dont want a new hybrid, there may be decent used Prius and HCH on the market now. Certainly, a new Civic (non hybrid) is a great car and I bet you could still get 35mpg+ out of it which would make it about a financial wash with a new hybrid.

Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 04-28-2007, 06:53 AM
bwilson4web's Avatar
Engineering first
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 5,613
Default Re: Newbie on board...

Welcome to a great place to do the research. You've pretty well identified the top mileage choices but hybrids come in many makes and models and you have more choices. One nice thing about GH is finding so many who drive one model yet share positive comments about the others:
  • Honda Civic - excellent highway and good city, great price
  • Toyota Prius - excellent city and good highway, little more space, price has softened
  • Toyota Camry - good city, highway and comfortable cabin for long drives
  • Nissan hybrid - a performance alternative to Camry, limited availability
  • Ford Escape - when you want to 'get dirty' and not buy an oil company
  • GM hybrids - waiting for the two-mode transmission versions
One other option is to consider the used Civic and Prius models. If you get one just after the 3/36000 warranty expires you'll still have anywhere from an 80,000-100,000 warranty remaining on the hybrid parts. This could be an affordable way into a hybrid seat:

http://home.hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/prius/buying.html

GOOD LUCK!
Bob Wilson
 
  #4  
Old 04-28-2007, 07:20 AM
dogolden's Avatar
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Location: Greenville SC
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Default Re: Newbie on board...

Thanks for the input guys. 1600 extra miles every month is getting old - been doing it for over 3 years now. I am seeing that gas prices will hit $4 per gallon soon...
 
  #5  
Old 04-28-2007, 07:55 PM
Pravus Prime's Avatar
Prof. of Hybridology
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,069
Default Re: Newbie on board...

Originally Posted by bwilson4web View Post
Welcome to a great place to do the research. You've pretty well identified the top mileage choices but hybrids come in many makes and models and you have more choices. One nice thing about GH is finding so many who drive one model yet share positive comments about the others:
  • Ford Escape - when you want to 'get dirty' and not buy an oil company
LOL, I prefer to think of it when you want compact car Fuel Efficiency and the space of an SUV. But hey, yours is fine too. She's a great off road vehicle.

Anyway, welcome Darrell to GH! While the sticker price may be a bit much to look at, think of it this way:

Gas: $3.00 a gallon.
Drive, 800 miles.
Civic: 40 MPG Highway
Civic Hybrid: 51 MPG Highway

Let's assume that you get only EPA with both vehicles; Civic fuel costs: $60. Civic Hybrid Fuel Costs: $47. You save $13 that weekend by having the hybrid. Let's say you visit every weekend. You save $672 that first year in gas. And that's just driving on that weekend trip. While that initial cost may be high, you'll be surprised just how quickly that difference can be "eaten" up.

Plus, there are other bonus' too, beyond what's on any spreadsheet, like being green, setting the example to the kids, etc.
 
  #6  
Old 04-29-2007, 05:31 AM
JimboK's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chesterfield, VA
Posts: 164
Default Re: Newbie on board...

Welcome, dogolden!

How big are your kids? That may factor into the decision. One of the factors for me in choosing a Prius over the Civic is the rear seat leg room. I have tall teenagers, and the leg room in the Prius is ample. On the other hand, I don't make regular 200 mile trips with them. For that, a Camry might be a better ride, though with a sizeable tradeoff in fuel economy.

Other reasons I chose the Prius over the Civic, FYI: the hatchback, the hybrid system design (which I think is better), and the overall uniqueness of the vehicle.

As Bob suggests, the Civic probably has a slight edge over the Prius on the highway. Your local travel in and around Greenville may balance that out. The Prius can get some phenomenal mileage at speeds below 40 MPH with the right driving conditions and techniques.

EDIT: One other thing to consider in timing your purchase: If gas prices continue to rise, so will demand -- and prices -- for hybrids. Toyota, for example, has recently offered incentives on Prius, unheard of previously.
 

Last edited by JimboK; 04-29-2007 at 05:34 AM.
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