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80% of your hybrids get worse mileage than my non-hybrid Civic hatchback. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-03-26 10:47
  Subject:   80% of your hybrids get worse mileage than my non-hybrid Civic hatchback.
Public
  Mood:GAS SAVING - UR DOIN' IT RONG
  Tags:  reddit

Top 10 Hybrid Cars for 2008.

Amusing that only two of the ten get better mileage than my plain old, non-hybrid Honda Civic hatchback, which gets a 38-42 MPG per-tank average. And the hybrid Civic is only barely beating me with its 40-45 MPG.

You folks with Prii, I salute you. You are truly driving a fuel efficient car. And the $21k purchase price is eminently reasonable as well. As the article says, "both the most efficient and most affordable hybrid out there." Well done.

The Tahoe hybrid (21/22) is just pathetic. In the city it only barely beats my gas-swilling, 6-cyl twin-turbo 300ZX (18/24), and on the highway it's actually worse! And it costs $50k! This is truly green-washing at its finest. The only saving grace of this thing is that at least it's not a standard Tahoe, which clocks in at 14/17.

Say, I've got an idea for all you yuppy-ass bastards out there. How about you sell your hybrid SUVs and buy a Civic Hatchback instead? What's wrong, is a Civic too working-man, common-people for you? I guess that's a measure of your actual commitment to the environment, innit? Sure, we'll do whatever we can to reduce foreign oil dependence... unless it would be, you know, unfashionable!
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2008-03-26 17:45 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
But all ten of those cars have airbags and newer computer designed crumple zones. Your Civic... not so much.

And I think it's sad all ten 2008 models can't hold a candle to my Honda. You'd think there would have been more progress.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-26 18:00 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
But all ten of those cars have airbags and newer computer designed crumple zones. Your Civic... not so much.

My Civic has both driver and passenger airbags. It's true the crumple zones were designed by a human, however.

And I think it's sad all ten 2008 models can't hold a candle to my Honda. You'd think there would have been more progress.

Indeed. I was just thinking, "how convenient that they omit the Insight." Cuz it would kick the crap out of everything on the list.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-03-26 18:31 (UTC)
  Subject:   A Hybrid SUV is a delusion.
It's made specifically for the average SUV market:
Those looking for a real truck LOOK, not for a REAL truck!
It's just a glorified station wagon on a high rise, it's not even for OFF-ROADING, the whole purpose of owning an SUV!
(just read the fine print on the manufacturer's web site)

That's where I have to give the average Boulder-ite props, as the most common Boulder car is actually a station wagon: the Subaru Outback. I think there are still more of those here than even the Prius.

All of the *other* Coloradans and So-Cal students LOVE their SUV image. I bet you can count, on one hand, how many SUVs are actually used "off-road", just look for the mud...

see any?

Hardly ever!

You don't get a REAL SUV for gas efficiency, but then again, you don't get an SUV as your daily driver. That's just silly!
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-03-26 18:35 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: A Hybrid SUV is a delusion.
and further more...

Hybrids are a great idea, I'm looking into an affordable one to replace my 35MPG Toyota Tercel.

But they really only *shine* within Urban driving conditions. Go on the highway and you actually lose efficiency. Sounds weird! Same with GM's flex-fuel technology. It's great to run on 4 Cylinders when you don't need the speed, but jump on the highway and you're running all 6 all the time cutting efficiency in half.

It's not yet a perfect world, but there is *some/8 hope. :-)

-L
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-26 18:42 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: A Hybrid SUV is a delusion.
Hardcore highway commuters (like me) should really consider something like the Aptera. At highway speeds, wind resistance is far and away the dominant factor in fuel consumption. Cars built for the highway should look a lot more like aircraft than current "smooth-edged brick" designs.

As for commuting in an SUV being dumb, SUVs being mostly to unable to go off-road (oh the irony), and a Subaru being a much better choice, I can only say "yes", "yup" and "you're absolutely right".
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-03-26 19:51 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: A Hybrid SUV is a delusion.
That would be an interesting design, and it makes more sense than a Brick.

I have to admit though that I am an SUV fan, but only "real" SUVs, of which I can only think of TWO Manufacturers: Toyota and Landrover. And with both of their TRUE SUV models (FJ Cruiser and Defender 90) you don't want to drive everyday.

A full-time 4 Wheel Drive Off-Road vehicle by its nature is NOT fuel efficient. 15mpg to be exact. A Diesel Model will put you up a bit to 25mpg, but that's the reality of a TRUE SUV. It's a weekend vehicle for OFF-Roading, and if you actually do that, then it's good. But not to commute to work everyday just 'cause you *think* you'll be "more safe".

That's where "Hybrid-SUVs" really confuse me. I mean really, a 9% gain in fuel efficiency in a "light-Hybrid" with a 12% gain in price! WHAT?! They're popular because of our ImAgE oriented culture, not for their practicality. And the fact that Hybrids are not even designed for off-roading just proves the point. They're catering to the ridiculousness of the market.

-L
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Willow: Cartoon Willow
  User: willow_red
  Date: 2008-03-27 00:12 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: A Hybrid SUV is a delusion.
Keyword:Cartoon Willow
If you're looking for an affordable hybrid, I would suggest looking into used Civic Hybrids. There are a bunch out there, and you could probably find one for ~$15k, maybe a little less. (It's been over a year since I was in the market...)
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-27 01:32 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: A Hybrid SUV is a delusion.
Side note: My mom leases one of the last manual transmission Hybrid Civics in Colorado. If you want one, she may be one of the few people who can sign one over.
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Ohmi: racing
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-03-26 18:42 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:racing
How the hell does your Civic get 38-42? And what model year is it? I sorta want one now.
If I drive frugally my 2.0iVTEC gets about 31mpg. (Which is its listed highway mpg) 'course my car weighs in at 2800lbs.. which is heavy for a "small Acura".

IMO if a hybrid/green car cannot achieve over 30mpg it's pretty much useless. And yeah I'm wanting an Insight now.. 70mpg highway? Hell yes!
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2008-03-26 19:08 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I bet with cheaper batteries, not even much better from a power/weight ratio, we'll see more "sled hybrids", which tie a large bank of batteries to a small highly efficient power source (sterling engine / turbodiesel / microturbine) operating with a generator in their optimal powerband.

Also I'm surprised no north american car company has made a spit hybrid, with a normal fwd package like any car, with an upgraded alternator, and then made a completely electric drive back wheel with a small capacitor or battery bank, with the ability to carry out dynamic breaking, charge from the alternator, and give 1 to 2 good accelerations from a stop, enough to cover the acceleration phase of the vehicle. I don't see why you couldn't retrofit such a new axle and box to any existing frame.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-26 19:26 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
which tie a large bank of batteries to a small highly efficient power source (sterling engine / turbodiesel / microturbine) operating with a generator in their optimal powerband.

Maybe if Lithium nano-phosphate batteries come down in price some this will become easier. Weight is definitely NOT an issue with these - the Killacycle's 186 lbs of Li-nP make 500 HP at a burst.

Throw a 50 HP turbine in with these and you almost don't need the supercap...
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-26 19:07 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
what model year is it?

'94

How the hell does your Civic get 38-42?

The egg-shaped body is extremely aerodynamic. Combined with the small 1.5l engine, the utterly torque-less 5th gear, the 2097 lb curb weight, and the fact that 90% of my miles are commuting on a highway, it ends up right around 40 MPG. The theoretical EPA highway mileage was listed as 44 when I bought the car, but I rarely get that. You have to be in 5th gear every single second, downhill, AND have a tailwind. (I did once get 48 MPG for just one tank under exactly those conditions.)

But seriously, if you're getting 30 MPG or better (which you are) I don't see any reason to upgrade. Unless the price of gasoline is really killing ya, or you're just in it for bragging rights.


The allowing hybrids in the carpool lane thing worked good for a while, but now that everyone has a hybrid (and there are <gag> hybrid SUVs) I think it's time to cut that off. Only zero-tailpipe-emissions vehicles (e.g., electric) should be allowed to use the carpool lane without multiple passengers.
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-03-26 21:41 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Also interesting when I googled '94 Civic I got this.

And no I'm not going to "upgrade" to a hybrid at this time since my car is doing pretty well still. It is what I wanted it to be.. a good all-arounder, some efficiency, some sport, and some cargo room + it looks and drives well.

The HOV lane stickers have stopped being distributed already.. they were a limited item.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-26 23:37 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
That guy actually took his Civic mods further than that thread shows. Look at this! Max 95 MPG, more like 85 MPG the speeds I drive.

I'm not willing to screw up my rear visibility like that, though. And the tail is the thing that really ups the mileage. The wheel fairings and front air dam mods don't do a ton. It's those vortexes behind the car that cause most of the aerodynamic drag.
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-03-26 18:45 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
There are a crapton of Prii here in Nor Cal.. the irony is that most people who buy them aren't buying it for the MPG savings. (though I'm sure that's part of it) No, they're buying it because they get to use the commuter lanes without a carpool. Every single rich person here (which is a lot) has one.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-03-26 20:13 (UTC)
  Subject:   Whle we're on the subject...
1) Honda no longer makes the Insight.
Too bad, it was a great little economy class car.

2) Honda now makes the Civic GX Natural Gas Car. WOW!
So my first question was..."Where do you fill up?"
You fill up with Phill... in your HOUSE directly from your natural gas line!

http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-gx/refueling.aspx

That's pretty creative.
Not to mention the near-zero emissions and amazing mileage.

-L
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-26 20:18 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Whle we're on the subject...
You fill up with Phill... in your HOUSE directly from your natural gas line!

Yet another reason I need a house. So many things I could do if I actually had a real garage.
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Willow: DI Impactor
  User: willow_red
  Date: 2008-03-27 00:09 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:DI Impactor
I agree with you that the so-called hybrid trucks and SUVs out there are total BS. It comes from the automakers' notion that Americans can't possibly stand to have a vehicle that isn't the most powerful thing on the road in exchange for other benefits. Those things are for people who are trying to follow two diametrically opposed trends at once, and if they're dumb enough to spend $50k to do that, I consider that to be their problem. Same as when Honda chose poorly by making the hybrid Accord get roughly the same mileage as a regular Accord, but with (you guessed it) "more power!"

The EPA mileage estimates continue to annoy me. While my '05 Civic Hybrid doesn't do quite as well as the '03 did, I still do better than the EPA estimates because I know how to drive a hybrid, so I'm right up there with the Prius, mileage-wise. I can't say how the newer model is ('06 and beyond), because I haven't driven one. But now that they got rid of the manual transmission option, that would bring down the mileage on those a little. And as I'm sure you know, you can always get better mileage in a stick than a comparable automatic, if you know what you're doing.

If people really want to reduce their fuel usage, without buying a new car, they could a) stop driving like assholes, b) make sure their tires are properly inflated, c) not allow the car to idle for long periods of time, and d) stop driving like assholes.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-03-27 01:35 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
a) stop driving like assholes, ... and d) stop driving like assholes.

And the odds of that ever happening, EVER, are... what? ;]
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