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Hybrid vs not

If you’re going to get a ford escape, few years old, would you get a hybrid or not a hybrid? why/why not?
ThAnks in advance!!

While I like hybrids (I have a MKZ, Fusion equivalent), I’d be cautious about bying one used, not knowing how it was treated. The major unknown is whether it was left sitting for an extended period, which is bad for the battery.

What type of driving do you do? City or highway? how many miles per year? How many years do you plan to drive it? What’s the cost difference? How long is the warranty on the hybrid battery?

I do mostly city driving now but am fixing to go to college so will do both. I plan to have it at least five years.

If you’re a college-aged gal and will be using the car for trips home that include a substantial amount og highway driving, get a 4 cylinder gas engine Escape. Any gains in fuel economy achieved with the hybrid will soon be lost in a few hours of highway driving.

Hybrids do best when you do about 80% of your miles in city stop and go traffic, or daily commuting with lots of stops including traffic back ups. If 80% is straight interstate driving at sustained 70 mph cruising, the hybrid won’t have any advantage.

The other variable is where you live and drive. If you frequently need to use the AC or heater, as in almost all the time, the hybrid losses a lot of efficency. With either AC on in hot weather, or heat on in cold weather, the gas motor needs to keep running to run the AC compressor, or provide heat for the cabin.

The Escape is a pretty good hybrid system, but it does need to run the gas motor with the AC on. One of the big advantages of a hybrid is it kills the motor when stopped, but that won’t happen when AC or heat is needed. The latest generation of hybrids are moving to electrical powered AC to work around this issue but this technology is not yet in the Escape.

Let’s look at the 2007 Escape Hybrid and Escape XLT with auto and 4-cyl. If you go by average fuel economy, the hybrid gets 30 MPG and the 4-cyl gas engine gets 21 MPG. If you drive 10,000 miles each year, it will take about 2.5 years of gas savings to equal the extra $3000 you will pay up front for the hybrid. If you have the extra to pay and don’t mind greater up front cost, they hybrid may eventually save you money.

Hybrids are GREAT…IF AND ONLY IF you have the right commute. You need to drive certain number of miles and most of the miles shouldn’t be highway driving for it to be viable. If you don’t then you’re probably wasting your money.

In my humble opinion, hybrids and SUVs are a tough sell unless you are willing to pay out big bucks. Then the payback isn’t worth it. You want a small SUV with good mileage for less money that performs better ?
Expand your options.

I agree with MikeInNH and Uncle and would add that if you have the right commute, get a hybrid car instead. Otherwise, get a compact gas powered SUV and shop around and compare all the makes.

I will never buy a hybrid. The battery packs cost too much to replace. In fact, a replacement battery pack will cost you more than you save in extra fuel economy. Personally, I would rather buy a small fuel efficient vehicle that isn’t a hybrid.

If you’re going off to college, hopefully you will spend more time studying than partying, and the car will stay parked most of the time. In this case, a hybrid is the worst option. Fuel economy isn’t everything, but if it’s important, get a smaller vehicle.

Why do you think you need an SUV? Are you planning to start a family before you graduate?

I will never buy a hybrid. The battery packs cost too much to replace. In fact, a replacement battery pack will cost you more than you save in extra fuel economy. Personally, I would rather buy a small fuel efficient vehicle that isn’t a hybrid.

#1) The reliability of the battery packs is extremely high. Well past 100k miles. Toyota has reported their batteries last over 180k miles.

#2) You don’t have to replace the whole battery pack. The hybrid battery is NOT one big battery…but a bunch of small batteries. You can replace just the bad units. Cost is much cheaper.

#3) If you have the right commute…and if you have to replace the battery pack at a cost of $3000…a hybrid will still be cheaper to own.

Honestly, do you expect an enrolled full-time student to have such a commute?

#1) Batteries tend to degrade with age, not necessarily mileage. Yes, they might last many miles, but how many years to do they last, and do they last longer when they get lots of use, or when they get little use?

#2) I am sure replacing just bad cells can save you a little money, until the rest of the cells go bad, but if they are degrading because of age, it would be like replacing some, but not all, of your spark plugs. It might save you a little money, but you know deep down that those remaining cells/plugs will need to be replaced soon. Not to mention that an enrolled full-time college student isn’t going to want to spend the time finding a shop that is capable of identifying and replacing the malfunctioning cells … two or three times in close succession.

#3) I have yet to see a single hybrid owner replace a hybrid battery pack at a cost less than the fuel savings. Maybe none of them have the right commute. Maybe all the studies (Edmonds, Consumer Reports, etc.) that said that, even with $4/gallon gas, you would have to drive more than 25,000 a year for six years to recuperate the extra money you spend for a hybrid. In any case, this future college student is pretty unlikely to have such a commute as you describe, unless she is going to live off-campus, attend a commuter college, or commute 5-6 days a week, all of which I highly doubt. Most commuting college students commute 2-3 times per week.

I agree with you that, in the perfect storm of consequences, a hybrid might be the most cost-efficient option, but I also seriously doubt the OP will experience such circumstances while she is studying at college. For those of us who don’t live within that perfect storm of consequences, hybrids are all about marketing hype.

#1) Batteries tend to degrade with age, not necessarily mileage. Yes, they might last many miles, but how many years to do they last, and do they last longer when they get lots of use, or when they get little use?

First off…you shouldn’t even consider a hybrid unless you actually put decent mileage on the vehicle annually. Last time I sat down and did the math…you’d have to keep the vehicle 8+ years and average 30k miles a year to justify the cost. So your argument is moot.

#3) I have yet to see a single hybrid owner replace a hybrid battery pack at a cost less than the fuel savings.

Sounds to me like they probably shouldn’t have bought a hybrid in the first place.

Maybe all the studies (Edmonds, Consumer Reports, etc.) that said that, even with $4/gallon gas, you would have to drive more than 25,000 a year for six years to recuperate the extra money you spend for a hybrid.

That’s about right…As I’ve said many many times…you need to have the right commute and plan on keeping it a long time for a hybrid to be viable.

I have frequently heard financial advisers say that if you can’t recuperate the cost of your investment in five or six years, it isn’t a good investment. Based on that criteria, an investment in a hybrid in lieu of a non-hybrid (the difference in price) would automatically be a bad investment if it takes eight years to recuperate it. I think that makes Mr. Moonshine’s argument anything but moot.

Agree,but if you want the satisfaction and bragging rights-go for it.Around UVA,most the cars are prius,hondas,saturns,VW &BMW-Kevin