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As the market changes, so does the site info. There have been some new cars like the chevy volt and malibu mild hybrid. Enough was changed to "why not a hybrid" so I thought there might be some interest. And although the autoweek test compares the urrent Prius to the same body Jetta with a different engine, the idea is the same. I addressed the better CO2 emissions of Prius, dust-dust energy user, and something that has bothered me but I didn't know how to explain - the superior attitude of some Prius (Priii?) drivers. If you pass it on, please reference the link below. All info copyright myturbodiesel. Here are some noteworthy highlights if you don't feel like reading the whole thing: It's not reasonable or correct to claim righteousness when your change in lifestyle is convenient to you while rejecting the validity of another's values. Somewhere there's a freegan (non homeless people who find non spoiled food in another's trash) wearing rags criticizing a Prius driver! I care about the environment but don't want that lifestyle since my values are different and are my own. The best car for you is a car that matches your needs, not mine.

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/buyersguide.htm , please link back if you pass it on.
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Why not a gasoline electric hybrid car?

Why not a hybrid? They are a good solution to reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy. However, I prefer the current diesels in the marketplace than the hybrids in the new and used car marketplace. There is a lot more to driving than fuel economy. If fuel economy were everything then ride a bicycle! The pros/cons of a diesel or hybrid are also effected by driving style and whether you make mostly short local trips or longer highway commutes. And until they make a Prius station wagon, the Jetta and Passat station wagons have a great blend of economy and cargo room. Of note is that EPA fuel economy testing is about correct for hybrids but a low estimate for diesels, assuming the average driver. Diesel engines take many thousands of miles to sufficiently break in before reaching peak fuel economy and this is reflected in new car testing. Below are some comparisons between a diesel vs a hybrid. Ultimately it's a question of values and economy.

Although hybrids do have cleaner emissions and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV lane or carpool) access, diesels that use the 100% renewable and homegrown fuel biodiesel have greener emissions than a hybrid. And while every little bit helps, I've found that the majority of those who tout the lower CO2 emissions of a hybrid are not sincere in making other lifestyle choices to further reduce CO2 emissions. City living so you can use mass transit or drive far less, small apartments so you heat less empty living space, and vegan diets to reduce the high CO2 emissions from meat/milk/eggs production are all reasonable and easily affordable and would have a much greater effect than buying a hybrid with no other change in lifestyle. It's not reasonable or correct to claim righteousness when your change in lifestyle is convenient to you while rejecting the validity of another's values. Somewhere there's a freegan (non homeless people who find non spoiled food in another's trash) wearing rags criticizing a Prius driver! I care about the environment but don't want that lifestyle since my values are different and are my own. Again, it comes down to a matter of values and economy.

A diesel may be more economical in the long run than a hybrid. Comparing the same year Prius and Jetta, a Prius has better average reliability. The Jetta has better safety ratings, standard safety equipment, and will last longer. (A light diesel can last beyond 400,000 miles with regular maintenance because it has cooler running temperatures, operates at lower RPM, and diesel fuel is an oil). It's more economical to buy a diesel and drive it for 20 years with minor repairs but you won't have the newest technology. A dust-dust analysis of energy put into a Prius favors a new car past a relatively low mileage if newer technology comes out (in reality that car is sold to another person as used) but buying new cars every few years is extremely uneconomical. The Jetta diesel has excellent aftermarket support since they share suspension and other parts with similar VW gasoline cars, letting you give the car an aggressive sport suspension or add other aftermarket parts. What do you value and how much are you willing to pay for it?

The biggest disadvantage of hybrids is the additional cost and weight of the hybrid technology. The current generation of hybrids cost $3,000-10,000 more than a comparable non hybrid car, a cost that you will not recoup in fuel savings. The largest hybrids use V8 engines put into flagship luxury cars and the hybrid label is a greenwashing gimmick. Many hybrids are also merely electric assist and not full hybrids, meaning that they cannot run on electric alone, reducing the advantages of buying a hybrid. The upcoming Chevy Volt should have this capability but the estimated MSRP of the car is $40,000! The Chevy Malibu mild hybrid has start/stop and a mild hybrid system but it's been panned in reviews as not worth the additional cost and not well integrated.

Another problem is the compromises of hybrids to maximize fuel economy. For example, a leading hybrid uses cheap, narrow, and hard tires to maximize fuel economy and the EPA test mileage. These tires are among the worst rated on tirerack's survey! Everything else being equal, hard narrow tires increase fuel economy but reduce handling and braking. In hybrids with regenerative braking, the limiting factor in braking is not braking force, but tire grip. Any more braking force cannot be put to the ground to slow the cars or else the tires will lose their grip and force electronic stability control to reduce braking. Using grippier, wider tires with more traction would increase handling and braking but at the cost of reducing fuel economy.

I believe that driving pleasure and choice of car should be a balance of your needs and wants between sportiness, comfort, fuel economy, price, practicality, and safety, and that hybrids sacrifice some of these qualities. I believe that people can enjoy great freedom and pleasure when driving and that cars are more than just an appliance that takes you from point A-B as economically as possible. Those are my values. Ultimately, your values are what's important so test drive a Jetta TDI and then drive a Prius. If your greatest priority is fuel economy and you can't tell the difference in handling, driving feel, interior quality, and design, then getting a Prius or another car is honestly a good option. Again, the best car for you is a car that matches your needs, not mine.

The future will have much better gasoline hybrid cars, but I feel that there is a lot lacking in the current generation. I think it will only be a matter of time before you see electric-diesel hybrids with fuel economy in the 60-80 mpg range. By then, electric-gasoline hybrids and full electric cars will have advanced as well, so I can only say with authority what is in the now. For a different perspective, here is the conclusion from an article in Autoweek comparing the Prius, a Jetta TDI, and a few other cars in a real world fuel economy test. The testers made the same conclusions as myself on driving feel and real world fuel economy vs. EPA estimates. from autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060424/FREE/60417021/1008

"TOYOTA PRIUS: 8.3 gallons of regular gas at $2.599/42 mpg vs. EPA highway rating of 51 mpg

Well, it didn’t make its 51-mpg EPA highway estimated, but 42 mpg on a long road trip would please most American drivers...That instant feedback loop, monitoring economy in short increments of time and distance—not to mention letting the driver see exactly where the energy is going to and coming from—is a big part of why Prius drivers are so prone to telling the rest of us, “You have to drive it differently.” We found that isn’t quite true; the Prius responds to the same economy-minded driving techniques experts have been advising for 30 years or more. ...The difference in the Prius is it offers up immediate gratification of the video-game variety, right there on the dashboard, no waiting to fill the tank and do the math yourself. ..It did really well. It just wasn’t the mileage champion.

VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI: 7.0 gallons of B20 biodiesel at $2.749/ 49.9 mpg vs. EPA highway rating of 42 mpg

Our fuel station was offering up B20 biodiesel, 20 percent of which comes from vegetable oil, animal fats and other sources, meaning that from an environmentalist’s perspective the German diesel didn’t just beat the Japanese hybrids, it trounced them. Not only that, it had more than half of its 14.5-gallon tank left at the end—it could have made the same trip again without refueling! Our example was pretty much a stripper, absent even the usual VW trip computer, so we had no instant feedback loop on our performance. Maybe if we’d had that, we could have nudged the economy from 49.9 mpg into the 50-mpg range...at highway speeds its 177 lb-ft at 1800 rpm and 100 hp at 4000 rpm feel stronger than the Toyota and smoother than the Honda. The diesel spins harder than the Vette at 80 mph, running at 2500 rpm or so, but still it is a long-legged German car with autobahn-able credentials.

For comfort, quiet and highway handling, our drivers found the TDI had significant advantages over every other car in the test. It would have been our choice, in other words, for an easy daytrip on the interstates, regardless of fuel economy. And we topped the hybrids by driving with just a little attention to fuel economy, not making it an obsession."
 

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Too bad you are speaking to the minority. To most people the car is an applicance and a status symbol: one of the greatest strengths of the Prius is that it looks like a Prius and not a Corolla.
 

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Nice comments. That comparison isn't really current since there's a new prius on the way and they had tested the old engine jetta not the CRD engine jetta. How would they rate up again?
 

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"It's not reasonable or correct to claim righteousness when your change in lifestyle is convenient to you while rejecting the validity of another's values. Somewhere there's a freegan (non homeless people who find non spoiled food in another's trash) wearing rags criticizing a Prius driver!"

That's going to irk some Prius drivers. I once saw a Prius not take a left hand turn when there was plenty of space. They might save a few drops of fuel but everyone behind them was both pissed off and wasting fuel idling. The wave of backed up traffic caused the net effect of CO2 emissions, fuel used, etc., to be increased. You might save fuel but screw everyone else. That's what bothers me.
 

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Nice comments. Have you ever heard of the whole hummer vs prius dust-dust analysis? It's been debunked many times but still manages to get passed aroound in email.
 

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I spent some time wording it so its not offensive yet accurate. People who say that the Prius are the best are as bad as the Prius haters. The problem is not the car but the underlying attitude of certitude. The best car for you is a car that matches your needs, not mine.
 

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+1 well said. The Prius nazis will be the end of the liberal resurgance. The backlash against conservatives are what killed the conservative movement, good thing the Prius is out of the news since gas prices are so low.
 

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The upcoming insight looks pretty good. The interior looks normal instead of like a alien machine console and at a lower price then the prius, is more moneywise. VW still has the best interiors though and you have to look at it everyday.
 

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FYI, the new ford focus hybrid looks like a winner. Even though it's mileage is lower than the prius, the reviews have been saying it's a much better car. May want to see where that fits into your review.
 
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