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Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
Apr 27, 2004 (8:11 am)
Those EPA numbers are with an automatic, though i prefer a manual.
#6 of 24 Hybrids
Jun 22, 2004 (6:04 am)
Toyota makes money off of Hybrids. At least they say they make money off of every single Prius rolling down the assembly line in Japan. And I have to wonder why BMW isn't even thinking about Hybrids. Are they thinking about Hydrogen and Fuel Cells?
#7 of 24 Luxury sport sedan
Jun 22, 2004 (6:23 am)
To get the kind of mileage you would like out of a luxury sedan, the only vehicles that come to mind are the MB E320 CDI & Passat TDI. I agree that the Honda & Toyota offerings that are supposed to be coming are not in the luxury sedan category. The Passat is a push.
#8 of 24 Re: Luxury sport sedan [gagrice #7]
Jun 22, 2004 (7:08 am)
I don't think there is a Passat TDI available.
#9 of 24 Re: Hybrids [jchan2 #6]
Jun 22, 2004 (8:02 am)
I believe BMW is putting efforts into the Hydrogen route.
#11 of 24 Re: Luxury sport sedan [midnightcowboy #8]
Jun 22, 2004 (8:23 am)
VW does offer TDI versions of the Passat.
This is something new and it may take a little effort to find the right one.
Assuming you're not in California or New England.
It might not qualify as a "luxury sport sedan" off the lot.
But how about making a few "performance-enhancing" mods like the "Upsolute" chip?
You'll wind up with a ~$25K (GLS trim) vehicle that could perform and get 35-40 mpg on vegetable oil* (*if you ignore VW's warranty policies, otherwise burn petro). Whether it's awesome enough for you, well, you'll have to decide.
Hybrid and "luxury sport sedan" sounds like an oxymoron (for the time being at least).
So MB diesel might be the best bet .
Less expensive diesels (some of them fun and more-or-less sporty like the Mini Cooper) are available in Europe, but not here (other than VW). If MB is too expensive and you don't like VW, you're outta luck. Unless you'd want to look into importing something. But then, even if you could, who would service it?
#12 of 24 Re: Luxury sport sedan [tom21769 #11]
Jun 22, 2004 (9:55 am)
Tom21769 and Gagrice,
Thanks for the info, I will look at the Passat TDI
What do you two think of VWs especially the TDIs ??
#13 of 24 Re: Luxury sport sedan [midnightcowboy #12]
Jun 22, 2004 (11:14 am)
Well we just went for a test drive in a Passat wagon. They don't have diesel here so it was a 1.8 turbo. It handles nice but my wife says too small. She says she will stay with her old LS400 Lexus that still gets 26 mpg on the highway. The Passat is not even close to the E320 we drove. It is just hard to part with 50 grand for a car.
#14 of 24 Re: Luxury sport sedan [midnightcowboy #12]
Jun 22, 2004 (11:55 am)
MidCow, I like the VW TDI's enough to buy one, whenever a dealer can get me what I want.
A local dealer has promised me a Jetta GL wagon with stick shift and Electronic Skid Protection (ESP), for a decent price, when it arrives from Germany. You might want the more luxurious GLS trim in the Passat (alloy wheels, sunroof, Monsoon stereo). ESP adds about $300, maybe less, and you definitely should want that.
AFAIK the wagons are all made in Germany, sedans in Latin America, if that matters to you. Maybe it is not the same with Passats. The VIN number on made-in-Germany cars should begin with "WVW".
VW has had some quality problems in the past couple years (electric window motors among them), but seems to have addressed these. Their cars come with long warranties (4 years b2b, 12 years rust). They have a reputation for building "drivers'" cars. I did love the handling of the Jetta TDI I recently test-drove (but have never owned one). They are offered with a great package of safety features including head curtain air bags (standard), ABS (standard), and the available Electronic Skid Protection .
There's an awful lot of information on these forums about VW, Passats, TDIs, etc.
I'm reluctant to rehash any more (about emissions, etc.), but from what you've said so far, it sounds like the Passat TDI should at least be on your shopping list. The performance-boosting chip I mentioned is made by Upsolute (do a Google), costs maybe $300 (I think), and is said to offer a fairly significant boost in vehicle accelleration. One negative for me is that the Passat TDI only comes with automatic transmission in the USA. So you might prefer the way a manual Jetta drives, but I doubt it would be enough car for you if you're looking at Mercedes. None of these is a "sports" car, but the VW styling is more in the spirit of a Swiss Army watch, not the techno look of a Prius hybrid.
Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Car and Driver, etc. seem to love the Passat. Less roomy
than some luxury/near-luxury competition (Volvo etc.), but much less $$$, with terrific fuel economy in TDI.