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Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Sedan
#1 of 166 Jetta TDI, Civic Hybrid, or Prius?
Feb 25, 2005 (7:23 pm)
I will be in the market for a new (2005) vehicle this summer. The Jetta TDI, Civic Hybrid, and Prius are all fairly similar in price and offer great gas mileage figures. Aside from fewer fill-ups at the station, I like conserving energy where I can.
My question is this: What things should I consider in choosing between these three cars? I have already done a reasonable amount of research to arrive at these models, and I see strengths and weaknesses in each. Items for concern include: (1) easy and cost of maintenence (2) Warrenty (3) Quality of craftsmanship
I appreciate any comments, thanks.
#2 of 166 Re: Jetta TDI, Civic Hybrid, or Prius? [prospectus]
Feb 25, 2005 (9:22 pm)
Thank you prospectus and welcome to the forums.
Check diesel avaliability on your daily route or commute. In my case zero out of 13 stations sell diesel.
MPG is around 40. VW products have a history of poor quality.
Drivetrain std. warranty 5yr/60K miles
"solid build quality"
http://www.edmunds.com/new/2005/volkswagen/jetta/100477735/review- - .html
Honda Civic Hybrid:
Average MPG is 46 over about 70 cars, I'm averaging almost 60MPG this winter. (Calculated the pump)
"The most refined, solidly built economy car on the market"
http://www.edmunds.com/new/2005/honda/civic/100474723/review.html- - ?tid=edmunds.n.researchlanding.keyvdps..2.Honda*
Std. warranty is 3yr/36K on the drivetrain (Hybrid included) and 7yr/70K battery. I have the ext warranty of 7yr/70K and 10yr/150K.
After 13 months & 33K miles maintenance costs parallel its conventional siblings. Hondas are known for reliability.
48 MPG average over 100 cars.
I couldn't find any 2005 Prius reviews here at Edmunds but here are some user commments:
http://www.edmunds.com/new/2005/toyota/prius/100454051/ratings_co- - nsumer.html?tid=edmunds.n.prices.vdpheader.ratingsbox.1.Toyota*
Looks like almost all Prius owners love their cars.
I belive Toyota's warranty and general reliability is about the same as Honda.
I also don't think Prius maintenance is any more expensive than a regular conventional car.
#3 of 166 Re: Jetta TDI, Civic Hybrid, or Prius? [misterme]
Feb 26, 2005 (3:58 pm)
Diesel availability is fine here (lot of truck drivers).
#4 of 166 Re: Jetta TDI, Civic Hybrid, or Prius? [prospectus]
Feb 26, 2005 (4:37 pm)
If you do a lot of city driving the HCH or Prius are reasonably high mileage cars. You do have to drive like you want to save gas. Those that drive them like ordinary people drive are not getting the great mileage. The Jetta TDI will get you an honest 45 mpg combined. If you do more highway 75-80 mph you will still get in the 48 mpg range. The TDI likes the open road. As far as reliability I would search out all three brands on Edmund's. I think you will find that there is a lot of VW bashing that goes on by those that love Japanese cars. I don't see any reliability issues with the Jetta TDI that would keep me from buying one tomorrow if they were available in CA. The Insurance Institute rates the VW better than Honda or Toyota for safety. Better crash tests, better brakes, and far superior handling. Maybe the biggest plus is when gas is $3 a gallon biodiesel becomes a bargain as the price will not be affected by what happens in the Oilfields. of the world.
Here is a post by someone that owns a Jetta TDI & Honda Civic. He would be the Man to ask..
ruking1, "Volkswagen Owners: TDI Models" #1503, 21 Feb 2005 1:32 pm
#5 of 166 Re: Jetta TDI, Civic Hybrid, or Prius? [gagrice]
Feb 28, 2005 (11:35 am)
Anyone else? I expected more opinionated people than this
#6 of 166 Re: Jetta TDI, Civic Hybrid, or Prius? [prospectus]
Feb 28, 2005 (11:43 am)
Just my 2 cents as a VW salesman. Consider how long you plan to keep the car. If you're the type to drive them into the ground, I've seen plenty of TDI's around with 250-300K on them. My concerns with the Hybrid technology are that eventually the battery packs need replacement. When is a big question mark, but it will cost thousands. Regardless of any poor quality claims others make, the TDI is a bullet proof and proven engine.
#7 of 166 Depending on your timing ...
Feb 28, 2005 (1:39 pm)
VW has a new 2005 that is just now avaialble; it was introduced at the LA autoshow. It is completely different from the 2005 Jetta models introduced 2-3 months ago. What that means is that you can find Jetta TDIs at a very good price now around $3000 off MSRP. That means you pay $18,000 for a GLS Jetta with leather. VW has the best road feel and becuase of the low rpm ( 1800) diesel torque the TDI is very peppy from a stop and around town . It will still cruise 75+ on the highway. The reliability issues are somewhat overblown and most have been resolved; it is now rate average or above average.
With a manual shift VW Jetta TDI you can still drive sporty like a man and get mileage in the 40s. You can't do that with the other two. The jury is still out on how long the batteries in hybrids will last and how much they will cost to replace. There just is not enough statisitcal ddata to make a valid scietific prediction, even though generation 1 Prius was available in 1997.
I would have gotten the TDI. It was on my short list. However, after looking all all my needs and wants I decided that manual shift, reliaiblity and power were my priority in that order. I just purchased a 2005 Honda Accord Coupe 6-speed with NAV and I am very please. Just finsishing up my first tank at primarily highway driving 70-80 and I am getting 24.6 mpg. It uses regular and gets reasonable mileage with great performance.
To each his own, good luck with your decision.
#8 of 166 Caution.......
Mar 01, 2005 (11:20 am)
Just a caution for those who are trumpeting TDIs as the answer:
If you drive primarily "City streets" or short commutes where the speeds do not get up above 65 MPH for long or never, the Hybrids are a better choice if maximizing MPG performance is one of your goals.
I own a 2004 Civic Hybrid I bought "used" with 4800 miles on it last July. I drive almost exclusively "city streets" in my commute and most of my personal driving, and I am getting 47.7 so far for the first 9400 miles. All my recent tanks have been higher than 47 MPG, so that number will only go up.
I also took a long (2,568) mile Interstate trip in December to "cold" Texas and got 52.75 miles per gallon on one highway stretch doing 74 MPH. So the Hybrids can do well on highway cruising compared to the TDIs, but the TDIs are geared and engineered to do better at higher speeds than the Hybrids.
So base your decision in part on what type of driving you do.
#9 of 166 Re: Caution....... [larsb]
Mar 01, 2005 (2:13 pm)
For clarification, I will do almost all city driving, and am not concerned with "driving like a man."
#10 of 166 How green do you want to be? [prospectus]
Mar 02, 2005 (8:52 am)
"In looking at the big picture, when you also factor in the emission reductions, a biodiesel powered vehicle like the VW TDI with it's excellent fuel economy compares favorably as one of the greenest vehicles available to the consumer."
Good article comparing hybrid to Jetta TDI.