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Greetings from a prospective Honda Hybrid owner. I am considering a Civic Hybrid, sorry for posting here but I could not locate any Civic forums. If anyone knows a decent Civic Hybrid forum please let me know....I'm considering a Civic as this vehicle will double as a family vehicle, and maybe a carpool. Current car is a '00 Camry with 120k. If I don't go with a Hybrid I plan to get an EX.

As the subject line states, Im not sure if a Hybrid is right for me. My daily commute is 150mi round trip, from 5,000ft elevation (home) to 1200ft elevation (work). I make this trip 4 days a week. The road I travel is a rolling, winding 4 lane, with a couple of long grades. Some winter snow. Obviously the downhill run is just that, with a couple of moderate uphill sections. The return trip home has a couple of long steep grades & some moderate grades, as well as some downhill sections. Speeds, 65 - 75 mph.

Will I realize the benifit of a hybrid with this type of commute, or will I be pushing the little four banger so much that It will be inefficient?

what about trans type - would the 5spd be better than the CVT for this type of commute?

Some sites I've seen say the CVT is problematic, is this true or are these isolated cases?

Will I have to replace the batteries after 80k-100k miles, or will they last 8-10 years as Honda predicts?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance for your wisdom and patience.

Walt
 

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Well, to my knowledge you have to drive a huge number of miles to recoup the costs of getting a hybrid. So from a purely personal economical standpoint, hybrid cars aren't really worth the fuel savings. More savings are availible on hybrid SUVs and such though, I reckon.

However, I can't speak for the Civic, but the Insight is a very good deal - Honda absorbs a very substantial portion of the cost, so you get a lot of car for your money. However, it doesn't really make much of a family car, which is what you indicated you wanted the car for.
 

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There are Civic Hybrid owners on the Yahoo! groups honda-hybrid forum who could help you out with Civic-specific questions.

Any car that gets high MPG is well suited to a long commute such as you describe. The Civic Hybrid gets 30%-40% better MPG than its EX counterpart, so you could expect some benefit. I don't think the hills would be a concern, the CVT should easily be able to crank up the RPMs to give you the power you require, and you can downshift a 5spd.

As for getting a 5spd, you should ask around your Honda dealers if there are even any available for purchase. AFAIK the 5spd Civic Hybrid is quite rare - I have never seen one but OTOH I have not looked very hard.

I haven't seen any reports of problems with a CVT transmission.

Your question about batteries is difficult to answer. The IMA carries an 8 year / 80k mile warranty. Some people assume that means the battery pack can be expected to fail after 8 years or 80,000 miles, but I think that is an unreasonable expectation.

There are definitely no Honda Civic Hybrid owners anywhere with over 80,000 miles yet, but there are those of us with Insights approaching or exceeding that mileage. I have not yet read a report of anyone having to do an out-of-warranty IMA battery replacement. We don't even know what the replacement would cost. I have read a couple of reports of Insight owners getting in-warranty replacements done. If you are very worried about the batteries, you will have to wait until more long-term Insight driving is done to see how the batteries perform in the real world.
 

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I'm just curious. Have you looked at the Prius? (ducking for cover)

Mileage would be about the same as the Civic, with a little more room. The hitch is finding one, and they will be significantly more expensive. It just seems by your intended use that the Prius would be another option.... Perhaps you have eliminated it due to the reasons I have stated, or others. Are you happy with your Toyota experience?

As Tim says, the personal financial benefit of higher MPG with the Hybrid Civic would be realized fairly quickly with your high-mileage commute. You can do the math....


Have you driven a Civic Hybrid?
 

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Tim Maddux said:
As for getting a 5spd, you should ask around your Honda dealers if there are even any available for purchase. AFAIK the 5spd Civic Hybrid is quite rare - I have never seen one but OTOH I have not looked very hard.
We finally got the 5 speed in Canada this year. There are a number sitting on lots locally - I'm not sure if this is the case in the US, since you've had the 5 speed for over a year - I haven't test driven the standard yet, but the hybrid CVT's drive is identical to the normal Civic slushbox. I couldn't tell the cars apart, except for the extra dials :)

As for "is the hybrid right for me?", Jeepnut, IMO, the question is why are you buying it?

If you're buying it to have a lower environmental impact, then this is a good choice - Honda or Toyota. If you're buying it to see an instant savings at the pump, well, you'll see it - but you're spending more for the car, so you're looking at long term to get full "worth" out of the vehicle.

I'd personally advocate a hybrid for everyone, but then I'm rather biased! :D

Good luck on your car hunt.
 

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I test drove a Civic Hybrid down here in CA and it had super smooth shifting. It was a 2004. It was very nice, and if I needed 4 doors, it would be good to get. It drove nicely, and had the same kind of readouts as the Insight (better than that other hybrid by the other company which has everything all jammed onto the one screen accessible only by 27 1/2 levels of menu selections...).
 
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Hi Jeepnut:

___Let me be one of the dissenters in the group. It is one thing to purchase a used hybrid for ~ ½ price of new retail but it’s an entirely different ball game when purchasing a new hybrid and trying to recoup the costs in fuel savings.

___Unless Hybrid’s are driven with some unique techniques, you won’t achieve some of the wild fuel economy numbers some have received. When you transfer these same techniques to a std. ICE, you will see some wild fuel economy numbers from them as well.

___Let me point you to a well versed 01 and now an 04 Prius driver vs. a std. ICE based automobile for your own ideas …

http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-data09.htm = 45.8 mpg over 9,887 miles from 10/23/03 - 03/31/04. Max range 420 miles.

http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mile ... hp?cid=164 = 42.4 mpg over 11,363 miles from 09/15/03 - 03/29/04. Max range 674 miles.

___A much faster, better handing, larger, and quite literally $4,500 - $11,000 less expensive Ford Focus PZEV 5-Door ZX5 loaded up including a leather interior w/ heated, height adjustable seats, and tilt and telescopic wheel is a steal in comparison plus its emissions are just as clean. In the real world, you might loose 15 - 20 mpg (probably even less with that monster climb) so you can take it from there. If you were to take that $4,500 - $11,000 and place it in the bank instead of financing the same amount over the next 5 years as an example, you should find that the Prius or a HCH would never pay off no matter how long the comparison. After that long climb, the Focus would still be an 8 second car with a stick or 9 with Auto whereas the Prius or HCH … Let us just say we are talking Chevy Sprint w/ a 3 cylinder ICE type numbers (see below) … Maybe a Civic LX would be a consideration if you did not want to purchase a domestic? It is still faster with a manual and might be faster then all the Hybrid’s w/ an automatic. It also has those great 5-star NHTSA crash test ratings but will have lesser amenities and no ABS available vs. the Hybrids at much higher price points or a PZEV based Focus at ~ the same price point(s) is all …

___If emissions is one of your reasons for purchasing a Hybrid, the following might help?

http://www.zevinfo.com/en/gv/vsearch/cl ... etypeid=16

___There is a real good article on the entire lineup of current Hybrid’s in this months MT. The important item I would leery of with your particular commute is the fact that when the packs are drained, the performance of a Hybrid quite literally stinks. The Insight for example is a mid 10, low 11 second to 60 mph car w/ a 5-speed. With a drained pack, you are talking mid 13’s. The HCH CVT is an ~ 12 second car and with a drained pack, it is a high 13, low 14 second car IIRC. I didn’t really pay that much attention to the HCH in the article so I may have mis-quoted that one … The 04 Prius although the latest and greatest high tech automobile of all the Hybrid’s available, is a low to mid 10 second car with a full pack. When the pack is toast, you are looking at almost 15 seconds! I don’t know if you have driven a 15 second car recently but if you have, it is not for the faint of heart and after that climb, you aren’t going to have much left imho …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1pf5qaxr][email protected][/email:1pf5qaxr]
 

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Stress reduction via Hybrid

Definitely having a hybrid personality is a key part of wanting to own one.

Do you get stressed out sitting at lights wasting gas?

Do you get depressed every time you go down a hill and don't capture that energy?

That was me!

If that is you, you want one.

If you don't care at all about that, and just want lower emissions, then it makes a lot of financial sense to spend less on an efficient small car and drive it carefully for mpg.
 

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As Wayne pointed out the Prius has derives about half its accelleration from the battery so it would probably be a rather sluggish by the top of the hill. The Civic would fair better. The 2005 Accord hybrid will have so much excess HP that it will laugh at hills. Some hybrid owners with situations like yours just use higher RPMs when hill climbing and thus avoid depleting the IMA pack. I should think the 5 speed would be a better choice for this reason.
 

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Uhh, maybe it's just me, but there's no way any Ford Focus is an "8 second car." Considering muscle cars are like at least 12 stock and a 6000 horsepower dragster is only a 5 second car, I find that claim a bit absurd. :?
 
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Hi Foxpaw:

___Ahhhhhh … The Focus is an ~ 8 second car to 60 mph, not the quarter. ~ 15.5 - 16.0 box stock in the quarter if that helps. I wish the Insight was a 10.5 - 11.0 second car in the quarter as well given I don’t think any of us would be able to remove the permanent smiles from our faces ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1jn0x680][email protected][/email:1jn0x680]
 

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O well, mine is close to that time and I've always got a smile on my face, especially at the pumps....... :twisted:
 

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If anyone knows a decent Civic Hybrid forum please let me know....
A place where you'll find a pretty balanced Civic hybrid article (as well other hybrids) is at http://www.greenhybrid.com/learn/

You may want to try the yahoo civic_hybrid group. http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/civic_hybrid/

Try your local dealer and see if you can take one home for a day or two so you can try your route. Before you do though, do some more research on efficient ways to drive it so that you are giving the car a fair chance.

My biggest concern would be the hills, but with the 5-spd you should be able to adjust accordingly if needed.
 

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Re: Stress reduction via Hybrid

figgy said:
Definitely having a hybrid personality is a key part of wanting to own one.

Do you get stressed out sitting at lights wasting gas?

Do you get depressed every time you go down a hill and don't capture that energy?

That was me!

If that is you, you want one.

If you don't care at all about that, and just want lower emissions, then it makes a lot of financial sense to spend less on an efficient small car and drive it carefully for mpg.
Now that's about as simply-put as you can get. Great job, Fig.

That describes my feelings perfectly. I greatly admired the concept of capturing previously wasted energy of deceleratation/coasting and idling. Cars of the 21st century should not be that primitive, and it really, really, bugs me. Just like wasting all that solar energy, but that's another subject.... :wink:
 
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xcel said:
Hi Jeepnut:

___Let me be one of the dissenters in the group. It is one thing to purchase a used hybrid for ~ ½ price of new retail but it’s an entirely different ball game when purchasing a new hybrid and trying to recoup the costs in fuel savings.
true. But I personally am not nearly as interested in recouping the cost as I am in reducing my environmental impact.

___Unless Hybrid’s are driven with some unique techniques, you won’t achieve some of the wild fuel economy numbers some have received. When you transfer these same techniques to a std. ICE, you will see some wild fuel economy numbers from them as well.
Unique? Accellerating moderately and smoothly, coasting when appropriate, etc. aren't unique. The same techniques applied to any car certainly will give positive results, but a non hybrid, non lean-burn car will never get stellar mileage.

I fully agree with Figgy that it entirely depends on your reasons for buying a hybrid. I used to feel somewhat guilty for driving my old car. I could get there on my bike if I wasn't being lazy. And idling at a stop, hearing the engine running for no reason, watching the coolant temp rise used to drive me crazy. Now I sit at stops in auto-stop and grin. 8)

According to hybridcars.com, the PZEV Focus does 0 to 60 in 9 seconds, so it will likely spend 0 to 40 mph in the rear view mirror of a 5 speed Insight.

And by the way, hybrid's is posessive, while hybrids is plural. Sorry, superfluous apostrophes are a pet peeve of mine. :wink:
 
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Hi El_Vacho:
el_vacho said:
But I personally am not nearly as interested in recouping the cost as I am in reducing my environmental impact.
___If you were interested in the environmental impact of the car you drive, you most certainly wouldn’t be driving a 5-speed Insight. It is one thing to reduce CO2 emissions but you seem to forget we are driving LEV’s using the fuel available in both of our locales. If you would like to know how to clean your Insight’s emissions even further, I have a few tips that will bring you to at least ULEV.

___As for idling at a stop, our Insight’s only use ~ .2 oz./minute while idling.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:vkbl5bp1][email protected][/email:vkbl5bp1]

(post edited by moderator)
 

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Fashionable shoes

You are right not to forget that reducing CO2 is a goal as well as other pollutants. A low emission vehicle which burns twice as much fuel to go the same distance may be worse than one with slightly higher emissions that burns the lower amount of fuel but emits more of other pollutants.

I wonder if there is any quantiative anaylsis of this out there somewhere.

Of course, the best thing would be to take your money and buy a nice efficient car and give it to your neighbor with the gross polluter who can't afford to replace it. You could use the spare change to get a bike or some nice walking shoes and a pushcart for your passengers.
 

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Right figgy: It's not the rating but the volume.



And don't forget, non-hybrids are wasteful and primitive. You can burn wood to make heat. :wink:
 
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Wayne, as much as you dog your own Insight and point out how so many other cars are so much cleaner, faster and cheaper than Insights, I can't help but wonder... Why is a hybrid right for you?
 
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