Last post on Apr 29, 2005 at 7:13 AM
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Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Sedan
#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.
#11 of 166 Diesel in the U.S.
Mar 02, 2005 (10:16 am)
IMO it makes no sense to purchase a diesel car in the U.S. as there's no tax incentive (opposite of the structure in Europe). This is unlikely to change.
I'd like to see a cost of ownership comparison between the TDI and either hybrid as I suspect that the TDI costs considerably more to operate, which quite defeats the whole purpose. Doesn't it?
#12 of 166 Re: Diesel in the U.S. [scooter71]
Mar 02, 2005 (5:37 pm)
IMO it makes no sense to purchase a diesel car in the U.S. as there's no tax incentive (opposite of the structure in Europe).
There is more to the equation than just fuel cost. There is the known longevity of the diesel and the Jetta TDI specifically. None of the hybrids have much history. Some are starting to go over the 100k mile mark, at which point they lose a significant portion of the resale in actual sales. The Blue Book for hybrids may get re-written to accomodate the actual trade-ins that are occurring. Would you buy a 2004 Prius that has 100k miles and no warranty left for $23,577. That is what Edmund's says it is worth.
Now, my reason for wanting a VW TDI instead of a hybrid. I would like to start using biodiesel and bypass OPEC altogether. If you live in a mild climate as over 1/3 of the population you can run B100 and get $1 per gallon tax incentive. In the places I have checked that sell biodiesel it is a very affordable option. And it promotes our farmers, keeping our fuel dollars at home.
Mar 03, 2005 (12:04 pm)
The Hybrids receive a $2,000 tax deduction instead of a tax credit. If you are in the highest category %38 category this equates to you only receiving $760. Most people will receive less.
I am not sure of your timeframe, but diesel cars are available outside the USA and will be imported in as soon as low sulpher diesel becomes the norm in USA. Diesel is a more efficent fuel than gasoline energy wise. Diesel also produces very high torque at low rpm ( 1000 to 1800). By themselves, diesel engines have longivity, compete mpg-wise with Hybrids currently and have tha capabilty to even be involved in future hybrid applications with regenerative energy recovery. A final point to ponder: Diesel vehicles are popular where gas costs are much higher than USA, but hybrids are not!
#14 of 166 despite the problems I love my tdi
Mar 03, 2005 (8:35 pm)
my '98 tdi has the mysterious -to the dealer- clutch failures, the most uncomfortable drivers seat I have ever sat on. My cousin does car and boat upholstery and he can't fix it either.
I have always had the maintenance done on it and I'm at 118,000. i love the car. I love the turbo, the handling, the great in any weather from sun to snow. I love the look of it.
If it wasn't for the clutch i would keep it for another 100,000 miles. However VWA knew about the clutch/flywheel problems and did nothing. Same with the dealer I handed thousands of dollars to. I had to take it to a non vw shop to confirm what i read in forums like this. It could have been fixed under the DT warranty when it first happened if I had known.
If, as I have been told, the problems are now "fixed" I'd say buy it. I'm in that position now. In a few months the clutch will start slipping and I'll be back needing a replacement. I also have looked at the 3 you mentioned.
I'm in this for the ecology, for the less money in the hands of those shooting at my friends, for the better than my friends new Honda's gas miliage:) If I buy another Jetta I will take a LOT of abuse but given my choices that's where I'm going. Here in CT they added an extra tax to diesel and they are threatening to raise the gas tax another .25 in the next few years = $$$$
Good Luck to us all.
#15 of 166 Diesel is elitist
Mar 04, 2005 (7:10 pm)
$2.89/gallon for "premium diesel" is the sign I saw on the way home minutes ago. And I'm not aware of any tax deductions for buying an overpriced, poorly built diesel-powered car (VW, Jeep). Oh sure- you can buy some niche biodiesel, but you better not live in Wyoming... or Oklahoma... or Kentucky... or Mississippi... or Louisiana... or Alabama... or...
This whole diesel thing is a complete joke, guys.
#16 of 166 Re: Diesel is elitist [scooter71]
Mar 05, 2005 (7:41 am)
Oh sure- you can buy some niche biodiesel, but you better not live in Wyoming... or Oklahoma... or Kentucky... or Mississippi... or Louisiana... or Alabama
I read an article about a lady in Montana that drives a VW Bug TDI using only B100. She keeps the fuel in a 55 gallon drum in her garage. She claims with the additives she never has any gelling issues. The point is HOW serious are you about getting good mileage and preserving the fossil fuel that remains? I think the whole gas/hybrid thing is a joke. They are over-priced niche vehicles with unknown reliability.
If their is a group that act elitist it is those that own hybrids. How are they eliminating the need for OPEC? How are they supporting our own farmers?