Hybrid vs. "regular" for highway commute

I have a 35 mile (70 round trip) commute to work, all highway. I do some in town driving as well, but mainly the commuting. The price of gas is getting higher and I was thinking of getting a hybrid, but wonder if that is the best choice for my type of commute ? I drive a Honda CRV (04) which I love but maybe something smaller like a Civic would be better. I need room to occasionally put my 3 kids and hubby in and I want to feel safe in the snow. Any suggestions or insights as to hybrid or not or car suggestions ?

If it’s high-speed highway, just a regular Civic would be good. If it’s stop and go freeway, then a hybrid would be good.

For highway travel a standard Civic would be just fine. A VW diesel might be better.

The hybrid advantage comes into play mostly in city driving, where there is a lot of stop-and-go.

If you love the CRV, why not just keep driving it? Replacing it will be expensive.

My CRV is getting up there in the miles and the gas mileage is only about 25mpg. The hybrid civic advertises 43 mpg and the regular civic 34 mpg-with the price of gas I’m thinking its time to let it become the 3rd car for our 16yr old to drive some and for me to decide hybrid or not to save some gas moneyl (and the environment:)

Look at the EPA ratings for highway driving for hybrids and non-hybrid vehicles. Some vehicles like the Civic the hybrid does get better mpg then the non-hybrid. About 5mpg better. Compare that to the extra cost of the hybrid. Make sure you do a valid comparison. Hybrids come fully loaded. Figure out what features you want before you do the comparison. And figure out how many miles you’ll be driving each year…and how long you plan on keeping the vehicle. With that information in hand you should be able to determine if the hybrid is right for you.

I agree with replacing the car because it needs it and not because of its mileage. Especially true if “you love” it. If your needs change, that’s one thing. Do a little math and see how long it would take to pay back the difference.
I would keep it for now. In a few years when it really does need replacement, you may have more options for higher gas mileage cars like you have and not have to give up the size you “need”.

If your regular commute involves long lines at toll booths, lots of stop and go stretches, then a hybrid might pay off. If most you are going 40 mph or more with only a few stops at conventional car with high mpg rates is what you want. A conventional Honda Civic could be a good option.

Can you comfortably fit five people in a Civic?

Math is fun. :stuck_out_tongue:
So you’re getting 25mpg right now in your CRV and are concerned gas is getting more expensive. Well, lets say you get a vehicle that gets 35mpg(the Civic you mentioned), how long will it take to make those extra 10 mpgs to pay for the new car?
You’re using almost 3 gallons back and forth to work now and with the Civic you’d only be using 2 gallons, a savings of 5 gallons per week. 5 gallons multiplied by $4 is $20 you’d save per week.
Assuming you only drive 50 out of 52 weeks each year(vacation and sick leave time from work), that’s $1000 you’d save in fuel. At that amount, and taking into consideration the cost of a brand new Civic, it’d take about 20 years to pay for the Civic in fuel savings alone.

let me add to bscar “good math”, you’ll also be riding in a Civic all that time instead of a larger CRV with AWD and Civics have poor clearance for snow…
In another couple of years or so, Prius and others will offer larger size hybrid models if that’s your preference. Waiting till the change was necessary w/o mileage considerations seems worthwhile to me.

Something to think about - using mpg is deceptive. It encourages people to think that going from 25 mpg to 34 mpg has the same savings as going 34 mpg to 43 mpg. In fact, for any given distance travelled, you divide the distance by the mpg to find the number of gallons used. Your cost for fuel is directly proportional to the number of gallons used, so therefore your cost is directly proportional to the INVERSE of the mpg… or gallons per mile, rather than mpg. Europeans have figured this out, and label their cars in liters per 100 km, rather than km per l.

So for 70 miles, you’re comparing:

70/25 = 2.8 gallons in the CRV
70/34 = 2.06 gallons in the Civic
70/43 = 1.63 gallons in the hybrid.

See how most of the savings come from the 25->34 mpg switch? Going to the hybrid would save you 0.43 gallons per trip. At $5 per gallon, that would be $2.15 per trip. It’s a near $3300 price increase from an EX to a hybrid. That’s 1,535 trips before it pays itself back at $5 per gallon. At $3 per gallon (what I passed on the way to work), it’s 2,559 trips.

That said, I’d think you’d be lucky to get 3 kids and 2 adults into a Civic.

As a former owner of a Civic, I can attest to the low ground clearance sucking in snow; it’s why I bought my suv.

Look at a new Chevrolet Equinox with the 4-cyl engine. It gets 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway. CR-V gets 21/28. You can have an SUV and get good gas mileage. It’s even on the large end of mid-size. As the kids grow, the rear sliding seat will add legroom. The Civic does get better mileage (25/36), but it is a lot smaller.

How old are the kids - car seats needed?