September 26, 2005
Thinking of a new set of wheels to replace my 96 Cherokee... Need a 4-wheel drive that can get me through winter weather in VT or Snowshoe... Has anyone had experience with the new breed of hybrid SUVs?
To the best of my knowledge, the hybrid SUVs are new since last winter. So I guess you would have to have good connections to have had access to one last season. I have been looking at the info on the new Audi SUV the Q7 which is supposed to have a hybrid version coming out as is Porsche for the Cayenne. Both of these won't be out until 06 so I have plenty of time to dream and save up for the Audi.
Lou, what's the budget...u going for gas milage.......what about ground clearance.....is your cherokee too big or just right....maybe bawalker would want to buy ur cherokeee
PS:How's the mass transit system down in atlanta....if u get a chance to run out to stone mountain how about filing a trip report for KevR?
I think the Lexus 330 is pretty awesome.... good power for a hybrid .... if you can lay your hands on one!
I don't suppose front wheel drive with good snow tires is an option?
I got sold on the ability of high quality snow tires while down in Patagonia this summer. (their winter). I was waaayyy back in the countryside traveling on roads that no locals drove on because they knew it was closed. (no signs or gates). I had never driven roads in such bad shape with snow, slush, mud, muck as this passage...especially in a car as small as a VW Gol 1.6 liter.
I was simply amazed. That experience really opened my eyes to the fact that 4WD is a great luxury, but far from a neccessity when driving paved roads. Toss in a set of cable chains in case things do really get truly nasty, but I got a case of imported adult beverage that says with some careful driving, either type of vehicle will get you around VT or Snowshoe. It's all in the tires...I'm a believer.
ps...VW Jetta TDI..56 miles to the gallon...that may be on my X-Mas list.
I had an experience last winter when the fuel pump on our Tahoe crapped out in the middle of the night in the middle of a snowstorm on the last climb up into Canaan Valley. Luckily we were able to get a tow and a shuttle from Dave's Garage in Dry Fork. They were able to install a new fuel pump the next day and get us back on the road in less than 18 hours. That made me sure happy I wasn't driving anything too exotic. Plenty of Ford and Chevy Trucks out in the stix. Haven't seen many Porsche, Lexus, or Land Rover dealers in WVA. Finding parts and a competent mechanic for a hybrid might be an issue as well. Just something to think about.
Lou- not sure about what a good hybrid SUV would be but I thought you'd enjoy this rather amusing and somewhat pathetic story from school.
So today they had the annual engineering expo here at Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, I didn't make it, but every year they have a big car display to attract people to work for GM and the like. On display was this mother ugly new truck they're building- some 21 foot long behemoth called the Internationl GXT or something like that's designed to look like a diesel truck. They also had on display a hydrogen Hummer.
Yes, you read that right: a hydrogen Hummer.
What's the bad news about that? Well, my friend went there and talked to the reps. Apparently, whoever makes the Hummer has absolutely no intention of ever mass producing the vehicle. They basically take it around for display purposes and nothing more.
So there's one hybrid-type vehicle we likely won't be seeing on the streets anytime soon.
While my friend and I were drinking tonight, we had a fun "what-if" scenario: what if the break-out vehicles for hybrids and hydrogen were all SUVs? How would people react? We could just imagine folks frantically scratching their anti-SUV stickers off their toyotas...
A few posts back...i think it was by Bawalker...they did a comparison of hybrid vehicles...And if i recall, you dont come out ahead on the price unless you keep it for over 100,000 miles...
Just a thought...a quad cab Tacoma or a Frontieer...around 26-28 miles a gallon (possibly 30) and reliable...a little less expensive than the hybrid suv...
Actually it wasn't me, but someone else who made the excellent point. Being that hybrids cost $3000-$6000 more than their standard gasoline counterparts and with the current prices of gas, it would take well over 10 years driving X amount of miles per day for the hybrid to pay for itself. Considering in my car hunting, people are trading in vehicles like maddness after 4+ years, buying a hybrid isn't an economical thing to do. Not until their price differences are $2000 or less.
Thats why I'm after a Subaru Outback 2.5XT (if possible). It has a 250hp turbo charged engine, 5spd manual, and gets still 25/31mpg with plenty of cargo room. Being that I'm not much for putting thousands of miles a month on a car, that would do me perfectly.
I am interested in the hybrid science as well, but not from a financial stand point, but rather, from an environmental impact stance. I have very limited understanding of things and would love some insight on the impact of battery usage vs. fossil fuel use.
I do understand that fossil fuel is in finite supply and we will eventually run out. Perhaps not in my child's lifetime, but someday, the wells will be dry.
I do understand that the disposal of batteries after their lifespan has come to a close is a hazardous waste issue that can leach into water/soil supplies, possibily contaminating drinking supply.
From a "green" aspect, what's a better stance? Developing/using high effecient petroleum based power sources such as the TDI engines and sipping our fuel instead of guzzling it, or to ration our fossil usage using hybrid technology, slowing our consumption, hoping to someday convert to things like soy based fuels or hydrogen?
I would love a gas guzzling high powered, 4x4 luxury SUV that travels so smooth that I don't feel anything but pleasure when I drive it, but some day, some where, our voracious appetite for irreplacable things will paint us into a corner that we can't get out of. (what I mean is, we're gonna run out of fossil fuel, drill our environment to oblivion, be at the whim of those who have the fuel...all things I don't wish on anyone)
So how about some education?
I think it may have been me who said that they don't break even cost wise until about 80-90k miles. The other thing I either read here or somewhere else is that the ave. mpg is based on EPA standards that are set in a technically perfect scenario. In otherwords it's not necessarily attainable in real world driving scenarios. I remember someone road testing a hybrid Prius Vs. a Civic and the real world savings were maybe 2 miles/gallon. Some of the new hybrid trucks and SUV's are not as environmentally friendly as you think. I think Chevy has the Colorado hybrid which is basically still a V8 with a battery back up. When your driving around you are using the V8 when you stop at a light the engine shuts off and a battery powers everything, hit the gas and the engine comes back to life.
Essentially research carefully what you are looking at buying, all is not what it seems.
Speaking of questions about when the engine starts and stops in a hybrid, here's another one for the board:
Last year, one of my professors (land use and environment) said that the greatest amount of emission pollution comes from the start-up of your car engine, so from a pollution perspective the most important aspect of a car engine was the number of times it was started and stopped during a day. I've also noticed that driving around here in Blacksburg, my gas mileage plummets. I drive a truck, and even in DC this summer I was able to get 18-19 mpg in Beltway traffic. On the highways, I generally get 21-23 mpg (the truck is rated for 14 city and 18 highway, respectively). Here in B-burg, I get about 11-12 mpg.
Now, is gas mileage affected by the number of starts and stops as well? Or does this have to do with idleing time relative to total driving time (probably half the time you drive around B-burg you are idling, either when you first start your car or are waiting at a red light. It's rare to have to drive more than three miles to do anything down here)?
The thrust of the question is this: if starting your engine results in significant pollution and adversely impacts your gas mileage, couldn't a hybrid engine do wonders for the environment simply by using the battery to start the engine as opposed to fuel? Or am I missing something in the engine engineering?
I think hybrids benefit is mostly realized in city and start and stop driving.
I don't believe it's specifically starting your car but running it while it's still cold. The catalytic converter doesn't work properly until it gets hot. So if a hybrid starts and stops once it's warm it probably doesn't have the pollution problems of a cold car starting up.
Hey Steve, kinda hard for me to see a green aspect to this....diesel makes more sense as a first step, gives us time to figure out how to handle spent batteries, requires less refining, oh but diesel is not so good on emisions?
Saving weight, diesel, hybrid diesel.......the weight of our cars is increasing, not decreasing.....time to include "light trucks" in CAFE and let the market decide?