Cross Country Drive: Civic Hybrid vs. BMW 325xi

My husband and I will be driving cross country (Seattle to Boston) at the end of November. We will be taking I90 to I80. We have a 2004 Civic Hybrid (70,000 miles) and a 2003 BMW 325xi (85,000 miles). Which car do we drive and which do we ship? The Civic has winter tires and the battery pack over the back wheel give it good traction in snow. The BMW has all wheel drive and new tires. Obviously the Civic has much better mileage than the BMW but the BMW offers more comfort/luxury.

So which do we drive? Any thoughts and suggestions would be welcome.

Either…Winter storms this time of year are rare…so the fwd winter driving advantage of the Civic won’t matter much.

What’s more important to you, fuel economy or comfort? Only you can decide that.

I would have no problem with this decision as I make it all the time when taking long trips. A BMW is not that bad on gas and it is an infinitely better cross country driver. It’s a no brainer…both of your cars are trip ready…take the BMW. If anyone suggests you drive a Civic cross country instead, have them do it or you.
BTW, how does battery weight over the rear wheels of a fwd, improve traction ? ;=)

It will cost you about $125 more to drive the BMW. Which do you prefer driving given that fact?

Being on interstates the winter tires won’t be a big difference, I’d much rather drive a BMW.

I can’t believe this question…The Bimmer was MADE for this kind of driving, a joy to drive interstate speeds…The Honda hybrid will be running its guts out, everything pushed to the limit…Plan this trip carefully to avoid winter storms in the mid-west…

The Honda hybrid will be running its guts out, everything pushed to the limit

I know you HATE Toyota and Honda…but PLEASE…what a crock…

My vote would be for the BMW. That car will tool you along in plush comfort all day long without getting into the cut and paste problem below (not an isolated one it appears) of going UP the hills. I’ve been down I-80 a few times and much of it is not flat at all if you are under the perception that it is.
Even the rolling plains of NE have some pretty long uphills.

I’m trying to optimize my gas mileage in my 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid with CVT transmission. Going up the hills on country roads in Connecticut is the greatest drain.

I’m trying to determine the optimal speed for long hills that I can’t simply coast up with accumulated momentum. On flats and slight inclines there seems to be a “sweet spot” in the CVT gear range at about 42 to 45 mph when the tachometer reads about 1,800 rpm. I can sometimes sustain gas consumption as good as 80 mpg. (If the tachometer is reading higher, I take my foot off the accelerator until the gears shift into a higher gear range and the tachometer drops. With a very light touch on the gas I keep the tachometer around 1,800 and avoid a downshift of the gears and an increase in the rpm. There seems to be a relatively high torque available at this point for the fuel used.)

Long hills seem to be best also around 42 mph although obviously the gas consumption gets much worse as the engine labors even with the IMA boost (which eventually discharges to the 50% on the battery and then the engine even starts recharging the battery a little)…

Since it is primarily highway driving the mpg of the BMW should be fine. The hybrid does better in town and mixed stop and go driving. The highway driving isn’t the Civic hybrids strong suit. Take the beemer and ship the Civic hybrid. At least that’s what I’d do.

I wouldn’t want to put that many miles on true winter tires. The softer tires probably wear out faster. You’ll probably be on dry pavement anyway.

Otherwise, I’d say whatever car the primary driver prefers.

BMW without any question. You are going to have fun deriv

FYI your Honda is front wheel drive. Weight over the back wheels is bad for traction on a front wheel drive car. However, the motor(s) are in the front, and they are heavy, so traction is good.

Do either of them have satellite radio? If so, that’s a consideration.

If you did have car trouble along the way, a Honda would be easier to fix than a BMW, so that’s another consideration.

Does one cost more to ship than the other due to a weight difference?

Personally, I’d much rather drive the BMW if there’s no good reason to do otherwise.

drive both, and purchase an intercom. you will save shipping fees, have more space to transfer your personal belongings and you can speak to each other during the trip and even afford a hotel along the way.

What’s the point in owning a BMW if not for driving it?

I’d take the one that’s the most comfortable and spacious for long distance driving. Snow tires shouldn’t matter much at all. If snow is building up on the interstate it’s time too get a hotel for a bit IME. If you were asking about a huge SUV verses the civic then fuel economy might matter. For the given situation I’d probably go with the BMW.

This is so late, but I’m curious what you decided to do. My 2008 Civic Hybrid has a cargo capacity of only 750 pounds. Since my husband and I together take up 2/3 of that number without adding luggage, I wouldn’t drive it across country.

Hope, the OP is usually long gone this far after the post. I doubt you’ll hear from her.

Yeah I’m sure they discoved the midwest had no snow and 40-60 degrees all the way. I still have only a couple small piles of snow in Minnesota.

It’s global warming, Bing. Bring it on!