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  1. #1
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Why Buy Mini SUV Hybrids?
    Just looked at a car at http://www.edmunds.com/new/2008/satu...59/prices.html

    My question: Why buy this car?

    Cost: $23000 - about twice what I paid for my Kia Rio Cinco 4 yrs ago.

    EPA MPG - 25MPG & 32MPG - the higher probably being in the city for hybrids - this would actually give me worse MPG than my Kia since most of my driving is on the highway. Take a long trip and only get 25MPG? Ouch!

    Storage and cargo capacity - much less than my Kia. You could barely fit a suitcase in the back of this SUV.

    So why buy this? To get 179HP engine (as compared to my 119HP engine)? For the 4WD? (that most folks rarely need)

    This whole SUV hybrid thing puzzles me. This car pollutes more than mine. And if we were really concerned about using fuel and polluting we would resurrect the old Hondas and Toyotas that routinely got 45MPG. But I guess what really matters these days is HorsePower.

    And I get demonized because I also own a Chevy Suburban, which gets as much as 18 or 19MPG on a trip but carries 8 passengers. My Suburban sits in the garage most of the time until I use it to carry all my kids and often all my neighbors kids to events, thus preventing the use of an extra car. Otherwise, we use my Kia.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    I think the whole hybrid/alternative fuel situation is still shaking out and being explored... the technology isn't perfect, and it's a whole new ballgame, so the car makers and dealers are still trying to get a handle on it all. The car industry had been fairly static and easy to manage for many decades; this is kinda new.

    The reason - I believe - for the worse MPG on the highway is that the battery is not utilized at all when driving at speeds over XX mph (on my wife's Ford Escape, it's 25 mph I think, and it probably varies from car to car). Sitting in traffic, pulling through the bank drive-up, going slow through a residential area, you're on battery power and pumping up your MPG rating... on a highway, it's all gas - killing your MPG rating.

    If I understand it correctly
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  3. #3
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I guess I wouldn't mind having a Toyota Prius, since it gets some better mileage than this SUV, but still, my concern would be resale value and/or battery replacement after 5 years. What needs to happen for hybrids is an economical procedure for rebuilding/renewing the batteries of older cars - otherwise, used car owners might face some pretty steep costs.

    Waiting for fuel cell technology to take off.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  4. #4
    No Longer Banned!
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    Dans Hybrid Observations....
    CH

    Dan Is right. The car makers are still trying to figure out how to make money on it while keeping costs down for both the makers and the consumers. As opposed to just absorbing the ramp up costs.

    What really needs to happen is to scrap the battery idea all together and just go with the platform layout we have now with a different fuel source. Fuel could be just pennies a gallon at that point.

    Lots of people benefit from oil being 111 USD a barrel. It'll be a while before things will turn around.

    Steve
    DreamLinux.net | Registered Linux User 453976 | PM me to view our sites. It's a Google thing.

  5. #5
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I had considered some of those options. We need a small, efficient car for our city-life driving. We also need something small to park on crowded streets in our neighborhood.

    So, yesterday, I came home with a new SMART Car - a Fortwo passion Coupe. Built by Mercedes, 33/41 MPG and 3 feet shorter than a Mini Cooper. WooHoo, and it's a blast to drive. Terrific City Car!

    So, now I can hold off until hybrid technology overcomes the issues of very expensive battery replacement.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Doug247's Avatar
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    I'm not too sure how true this is but I heard a month or so ago that you might save some on gas with a hybrid, but the battery maint. after 5 years is like 5k or 6k. Also take into consideration, 20 to 50 years down the road we will may have a problem with how to dispose of all the batteries...just a though
    Thanks,
    Doug

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    Cool Beachy! - I, too, want one of those but will opt for the cabriolet. It was between that and a mini cooper convertible. I am 6 ft 5 and believe it or not the Smart has MORE room than the mini! Won't be giving up the X5 or the Suburban though as I like to support the oil companies. I just don't feel that the executives make enough money

  8. #8
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IOWNIE
    Cool Beachy! - I, too, want one of those but will opt for the cabriolet. It was between that and a mini cooper convertible. I am 6 ft 5 and believe it or not the Smart has MORE room than the mini! Won't be giving up the X5 or the Suburban though as I like to support the oil companies. I just don't feel that the executives make enough money
    I spent yesterday with my partner in a new "affiliate project" on which we are working - and I drove us to lunch. Jason is also 6'5" and he fit in the car just fine. The seats are actually mounted as high as in a "normal" size sedan, so he had both headroom and legroom. Cool little car, for sure.

    Picture of mine here: http://www.southbaltimore.com/baltimore-smart-car.html
    and more to come...the local dealer is actually going to supply me with info/narrative for that page - and maybe more. Parking in our section of the city is VERY crowded - so that may become a popular page.

    It drives and handles well. It is not FAST, and you can feel every bump in the road, but it is an absolutely great city car. We had also considered the Mini Cooper, but got this Mini-Mercedes instead. Are you on "the list?"
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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