Thinking of buying a hybrid


I’m thinking of buying a new 08 hybrid. I’m on the fence between a Camry, and a Civic. I live in SE Nh. And I know I may never recoup the preimum, in fule savings. In test driving both models, I find the Civic much peppier. But the Camery sure has a nice smoooth ride, and I do believe in my comfort. The Civic isn’t BAD comfort wise, but no were near the Camry.

How much premium would you pay for comfort?

"How much premium would you pay for comfort??

Plenty, but I would not pay any premium for a hybrid.

I agree with Craig 99 44/100% Hybrids make economic sense under very few sets of circumstances, and you’ve already stated you probably won’t recoup the premium in fuel savings, so why not go with regular version of one of these cars?

Civic is going to be a serious let down compared to any Camry if comfort is your interest. Its not all or none here. Have you tried the 4 or 6 cylinder Camry’s, bother offer great power with a good balance of economy.

I regretted my Civic purchase 3 weeks after getting one. Yes I got great mileage and little repair however otherwise hated every minute of it.

If you don’t think you’ll recoup the premium, why buy one at all? Let the West Coast liberals buy them all! If you only intend to use the vehicle around town, for shopping, errands, etc., it’s a no-brainer: buy the Civic. However, if you will be using the car for trips, buy the Camry. Did you really need our opinions? I doubt it. Go with your gut, gutless!

My last 3 cars have all been VW Jetta’s. And I’ve loved them all. I thinking more along the lines of carbon footprint than MONEY. Money isn’t everything, NOT saying I want to throw it around. I’ve never tried a diesel. I guess I should look into them.

I don’t think you need to be a “west coast liberal”, or live in a high smog area, to think of the environment.My need is mostly reliable transport to work and home. Twenty miles or so each way. As well as around town errands. I don’t NEED the opinions, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in them. And cretainly don’t need your’s, if you’re just going to name call.

Seriously, if you want to minimize the environmental impact, go shopping for the most efficient cost effective car you can find that will meet your needs (you can use the extra money to do something else for the environment if you want), Forget all the hybrid hype, and buy what meets your needs. Consider small conventional gasoline/diesel cars that are very efficient with a lot less cost/complexity.

Both hybrids get a little better mileage on the highway and a lot better mileage in the city. Do you head to the Boston metro area much? Also, the Civic highway mileage is comparable to the Camry hybrid highway mileage. The Camry Hybrid and XLE are about the same price ($25,000). The Civic is a different story. The MSRP for a Civic EX is under $20,000, while the hybrid is about $22,500. You could save about $5500 on MSRP alone if you bought a Civic EX instead of the Camry hybrid. With a $700 discount on the Civic EX, your savings will be more like $6000. I don’t think you will make that up any time soon on gasoline. Is it worth it to you?

Check out the new Consumer’s Report mag for a comparison of the top 10 fuel mizers. I don’t have the mag in front of me right now, but both those cars are on the list, as well as standard and automatic gas powered Civics and Fits.

Consumer Report mag has criticized the EPA fuel mileage claims for years, along with many other folks. CU mag lists “real world” fuel mileage now. However, since their tests are not standardized, I don’t understand how the tests can be compared. At least the EPA numbers were all based on the same standard.

I understand that the EPA has downrated all fuel ratings for 2008. I have no idea if CU used these new numbers in their comparison.

I can understand a person wanting to “go green”. Often the right thing to do is not the cheapest. For example, using recycled paper for greeting cards, printer paper, etc.

My big concern with the hybrid cars is the battery disposal. Some day some one will have to dispose of the old batteries. There will be a cost, both to the environment and to the pocketbook. Too often the environment is ignored.

Hybrids don’t have a much smaller carbon foot print if any. Keep in mind that when using the alcohol based fuels you will get lower mileage. The current production methods for making additional fuels for them are not exactly carbon free. The numbers vary greatly depending on where they are coming from.

I am not against hybrids and I believe that some time in the future they may prove to be part of a solution, but at this time, there is no clear winner or looser, other than conservation.

You have to look at it a little differently…Lets just focus on Camry’s. Look at the Non-Hybrid Camry you want to buy. THEN compare THAT price to the hybrid. When we were looking last year Hybrid was only about $500 MORE then the comperably equiped Non-Hybrid. The Hybrids come almost fully loaded…so it’s difficult to compare the Base Hybrid to the Base non-Hybrid. If the base hon-hybrid is what you want…then forget the hybrid…However if you’d buy a fully loaded non-hybrid anyways…AND…most of your commuting is stop and go…then the hybrid makes sense.

Actually, the premuim you will pay for a Civic hybrid can be recouperated in about six years if you drive a lot. However, you are right about the economic feasibility with average mileage.

Folks, lonelyp stated that he/she knows it isn’t about economics and that he/she wants a hybrid anyway. How about offering something constructive and useful? The question is not whether or not to buy a hybrid. That has already been decided. The question is which hybrid is better!

The real answer to your question is that comfort is a deal breaker. You need a car that you will be comfortable with. Get the Camry.

“My big concern with the hybrid cars is the battery disposal. Some day some one will have to dispose of the old batteries. There will be a cost, both to the environment and to the pocketbook. Too often the environment is ignored.”

I thought that the hazardous materials in batteries could be recycled.

My oldest siter is an accountant ANd and environmentalist; she also likes quiet, smooth riding cars. After detailed anlysis, she chose the basic 4 cyl. Camry, and has been very happy for the last 2 years. When driven carefully, it gives very good fuel mileage and is as reliable as a bank vault. Other posters have pointed out that if you do not drive a large amount, live in the cooler parts of the US, a hybrid is really a waste of money. Go for the Camry and let Al Gore’s son get speeding tickets in a Prius.

Thanks to all who have replied.
I did some looking around online for diesels, and they seem limited to mostly BMW, Mercadies(sp?), trucks and SUVs, with few exceptions. In the US NOW that is. I do plan on going out looking at other high MPG gas only types after all. I would like to see them come out with a hybrid model that is stronger on the electric side. Say 45/50 MPH before it needs the ICEs help. Or total electric drive, with onboard ICE for charging only. Possible? I don’t know.

The 4-cyl. Camry XLE would be comparable to the hybrid, and the hybrid is $200 more MSRP in 2008.

The Chevy Volt will be the first plug-in hybrid, but you will have to wait another 3 years or so. In the mean time, good small diesels will be coming your way soon. The Smart Car will have a small diesel, and Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota will be selling small diesels soon, as will Nissan.

For most consumers, a small fuel efficent car like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris or Nissan Versa will make the most sense. As the CAFE rules tighten, these will all be availble with diesels, since all companies want to keep selling more profitable larger cars, and they need the small frugal ones to lower the average. One good reason Mercedes is promoting the Smart Car.

The 4-cyl. Camry XLE would be comparable to the hybrid, and the hybrid is $200 more MSRP in 2008.

Actually the 6-cylinder is closer to the Hybrid in performance.

Searching on the net, for diesels, all I can find are Mercedes. Using compare tool, setting the first car at the Civic Hybrid. The second at Camry Gas 4 cyl, with trim to comparable price. And the third at VW Jetta, with comparable trim. it looks to me like either gas only car would get about 27 MPG combined. And even with some inflation the Hybrid should get at least 37 combined.(listed as 40/45)

Although I was planing on buying, rather than leasing, maybe a 3 year lease on a Civic Hybrid would be a good way to go. By the time the lease is up we may have the small diesels availible here. Or someone will be selling a good electric car.

Someone asked if I go to Boston much. Answer, as seldom as possible. And when I have, to I take the train.