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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With gas prices have reaching record highs (average price $1.738 across country) and no relief in site, I think the day of the SUV is rapidly coming to an end. (Loosely quoting the Matrix) "Like the dinosaur Mr. SUV, the future is our time" :)
I can see the day fast approaching when these oversized vehicles will make way for smaller lighter more economical means of transportation like our Liz.

Record gas prices

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My Miata uses regular gas and the cheapest price I've seen lately in LA is $2.05 per gallon.

I doubt if rising gas prices will be enough to push people out of their SUVs. Basically they have replaced the station wagon that my family had when I was a kid and the later mini-van and I don't see them going away.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jml1952 said:
My Miata uses regular gas and the cheapest price I've seen lately in LA is $2.05 per gallon.

I doubt if rising gas prices will be enough to push people out of their SUVs. Basically they have replaced the station wagon that my family had when I was a kid and the later mini-van and I don't see them going away.
Look at what happened in the 70s. Rising gas prices can impact sales of SUVs and Trucks.
 

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If gas prices remain in the $2.00+ range for the next several years, I think people will reconsider their next SUV purchase for something more practical. Then you'll have the die-hards.
 

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Allan Gibbs said:
If gas prices remain in the $2.00+ range for the next several years, I think people will reconsider their next SUV purchase for something more practical. Then you'll have the die-hards.
And a nice discounted bunch of towing vehicles.
 

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I think you get a year or so of gas prices as they are now and expected higher (it's not even summer yet and gas is at record highs). Those 12 mile per gallon suvs will be dropping like flies.
So happy I have a motorcycle, my wife has a hybrid (45+) mpg in city and the elise coming.

I laugh every time I know someone with an SUV gas hog complains about how much it costs to fill it up

Chris:)
 

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Zvezdah1, I have a quick question on the hybrid. Does the manual say if or how often the battery packs need to be replaced?

Reason I ask is because don't plan on using the Elise everyday, and was considering the new Prius. I'm just a bit concerned because I heard the battery packs need to be replaced every three years and they're about $3,000? Of course, if I just leased a Prius for 24- 36 months, I won't have to worry about it.
 

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HI Allen,
A big concern with me as well, I definately asked, my cars' a 2003 Prius. Battery (the main battery unit not the 12 volt ) has a ten year 100,000 mile guarantee for that specific reason.

The up to $2000 tax write off the year of purchase doesn't hurt either.
BTW> The 04 prius gets approx 8-10 mpg more than my 03!

Chris
 

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With gas prices have reaching record highs (average price $1.738 across country) and no relief in site, I think the day of the SUV is rapidly coming to an end
I've been wishing for the death of the SUV craze for some time, but unless gas prices go MUCH higher ($4?), I don't see it happening anytime soon.

As long as rappers and Hollywood stars are cruising the Blvd in their Navigators and H2s, the public will continue to lap up SUVs like divine nectar off the boots of celebrity(I like that imagary);)
 

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You guys might not ike this but tell me what you think. If you are buying the prius for economic reasons soley I heard a guy on a financial channel say that you won't recoup the extra cost in gas savings(that you pay for a hybrid as opposed to a cheaper comparable car in it's class) for 10 to 12 years. Even with higher gas prices. Can this be true?
 

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Assuming 10,000 miles a year @ $2 gallon

MPG ....... Gallons ... $ ............ $ @ 5 years
10 .......... 1000 ...... 2000 ...... 10000
20 .......... 500 ........ 1000 ...... 5000
30 .......... 333 ........ 667 ........ 3333
40 .......... 250 ........ 500 ........ 2500
45 .......... 222 ........ 444 ........ 2222
50 .......... 200 ........ 400 ........ 2000
55 .......... 182 ........ 364 ........ 1818


Close call for some, not so close for others...
 

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Unless you come from the UK like me. W hen I lived there, of my monthly expenditures, Petrol came second after my mortgage. Petrol cost far more than my groceries. It can reach $3 and it will still seem "reasonable" to me.

P.S. Glad I bought some Chevron stock 6 months ago :)
 

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Check out Gas Price Watch which lets you enter your zip code and find the cheapest gas within a radius from your location. Pretty cool!

The cheapest (Premium) gas within 5 miles of me is currently $2.17. Within 1 mile its $2.25.

Steve
 

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fish said:
You guys might not ike this but tell me what you think. If you are buying the prius for economic reasons soley I heard a guy on a financial channel say that you won't recoup the extra cost in gas savings(that you pay for a hybrid as opposed to a cheaper comparable car in it's class) for 10 to 12 years. Even with higher gas prices. Can this be true?
Fish,
Definately not true. The Prius cost me 19,000 plus tax brand new. This car space wise is probably slightly larger than a corolla but smaller than a camry. The corolla priced at about 16,000-17,000 with comparable equipment. So we're not talking a huge difference. Additionally you get a $2000 tax credit the first year. Coupled with an average around town mpg of 42-45 mpg. I suspect it's a fair savings, compared to the Rx300 we came out of (18-19 mpg) biggggggggg diff.

Also, the fact that it's a SULEV, super ultra low emissions vehicle, makes it very attractive to us. Plus the technology in the Prius is really state of the art. The battery actually recharges every time you use your brakes!

Christian, thanks for the mpg/cost breakdown!

Chris who loves his prius.
 

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I'll pipe in here. I have a TDI Jetta. The VW TDI engine is a pretty cool device. Close to 50 mpg on the highway and diesel fuel is usually a bit cheaper than gasoline (around here). Besides that it's really a pretty good car. Comfortable in the front (cramped in the back seats) with good luggage space. My wife and I take it on all our long trips. With the 50,000+ miles a year it covers it saves us quite a bit of money on fuel. This one is our second (the first was totalled) and I paid $9,000 out the door (tax, title, license, etc. included) for my '00 model.
They also put the TDI motor in the Golf (which I really wanted), the new Beetle (which I had no interest in) and the Jetta wagon (also nice).
There's even a V10 TDI Toureg this year that produces monster torque and gets reasonable fuel economy (for the power and size).
They're reported to live forever on 10,000 mile oil changes.
The downside of the diesel is that emissions are higher than similar gas cars. This can be remedied by running biodiesel (plant based). I made some but I don't have the time to produce enough to keep up with our demand.
 

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zvezdah1 said:
Fish,
Definately not true. The Prius cost me 19,000 plus tax brand new. This car space wise is probably slightly larger than a corolla but smaller than a camry. The corolla priced at about 16,000-17,000 with comparable equipment. So we're not talking a huge difference. Additionally you get a $2000 tax credit the first year. Coupled with an average around town mpg of 42-45 mpg. I suspect it's a fair savings, compared to the Rx300 we came out of (18-19 mpg) biggggggggg diff.

Also, the fact that it's a SULEV, super ultra low emissions vehicle, makes it very attractive to us. Plus the technology in the Prius is really state of the art. The battery actually recharges every time you use your brakes!

Christian, thanks for the mpg/cost breakdown!

Chris who loves his prius.
I'm glad you're happy with your purchase, but your facts are a bit off. You can buy a Corolla for FAR less than $17K. Comparing the Prius to the hypothetical Camry/Corrolla half breed is illogical. If you want to take a good look at economics of hybrids compare the Civic to the Civic Hybrid. If you compare MSRP to MSRP and annual fuel costs (from the window sticker) to annual fuels costs, you have to drive the hybrid about 12 years to make up in fuel savings what it costs in extra in MSRP. How many drive a car 12 years ? I won't argue with your "clean burning" statement re Prius
but the Hybrid Civic is far dirtier than the gas Civic.


Plus if that axel/brain that couples and regulates the two motors
goes out it's gonna cost a heck of a lot more than the batteries, and it's not covered for 10 years.

Not too long ago I asked both Honda and Toyota about that axel and neither would quote a price. I was very interested in a Hybrid
a year ago when I eventually bought my Civic, but they just didn't make sense YET.

Steve
 

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One thing I'm concerned about with the hybrids is that my understanding is they sell them at a significant loss. There's nothing wrong with accepting a subsidy on your car, as its a good deal, but I think it distorts the eqution for policy decisions. It seems to me we should probably be putting more research dollars into cleaning up deisel engines than the electric hybrid option. I'm not seeing how we could have a hybrid sports car like the elise within the next 20 year or so. Just some food for thought.
 

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Sownman,
I defer to your vastly superior intellect.

Also, the Honda hybrids are noted to be far less efficient than the Toyota, no secret in that. I question that it's dirtier than a standard civic, but again I bow to your superior knowledge on hybrids in general.

Oh, and when my axle brain uncouples, I guess I'll just cry!


The fact remains, I went from an SUV RX 300 to a hybrid that IS environmentally friendly and DOES save significant gas in comparison, or do you also want to question that rationale too???? My whole purpose for getting the car was it's clean burning not the fact that it is a huge difference in mpg over a similar size car.

Chris
 

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Evl,
I just don't see how they'll ever be able to create a ultra clean burning diesel, we need M. Wedgie, she knows about this subject in depth. Wish they could as diesel has got to be a huge contributor to hydrocarbons.



Chris
 

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NMRJock said:
I'll pipe in here. I have a TDI Jetta.
I was just about to comment on the TDI. My business partner has a TDI Beatle. It's surprisingly fast (when it runs properly) and gets amazing gas milage. I took it up to northern Nevada last year (from Los Angeles) and only filled the tank twice. I averaged about 48 mpg!

Problem is that deisels are not sold in CA, so finding a competitent deisel mechanic is difficult. He's been through 4 turbos, 2 intercoolers, and probably $5K in unecessary repairs because none of the VW dealerships seem to know what they are doing when it comes to deisel.
 
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