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Discussion Starter #1
This morning I got an email announcing the new 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid. There wasn't a lot of information on their website other then a link to Pre-order. It says the MSRP is $26k, which seems very reasonable.

Here's a link to their pdf with more product info.
http://www.subaru.com/content/xv_hybrid_preprod/pdf/2014_XV_Hybrid.pdf

I've been hoping Subaru would release a Hybrid at some point. I like the look of the Crosstrek and could see getting one in the future. But with our Tribeca almost paid off I don't know if I could justify another car payment.
 

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Nice but recouping the added cost due to the hybrid powertrain will take long time and hence has no economical sense.
 

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Brien, Just placed a deposit on a XV Crosstrek. Will pick it up Monday. I was considering the Hybrid but went with the conventional power train. I love the looks and color of the hybrid but worry a little about first year and first Subaru hybrid bugs. Besides combined driving of conventional model is 25 and hybrid is 31. We drive a lot of highway so hybrid is not going to give as big of a payoff. Just so everyone reading this knows we are not parting with our Beca. I love the Tribeca and just hate to see the end of the model run. I'll wait to see what they come up with to replace it. Can't wait to get the Crosstrek though. I drove one and was surprised how much pick-up the engine CVT tranny combination puts out. I guess I will need to find a forum for Cross Trek's now.
 

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I don't get hybrids. Extra weight, extra complexity and only marginally better efficiency - still way off what a good diesel will manage. On top of that the energy and resources used in building the things far outweigh the fuel savings over the life of the car. They have to be the least green cars on the planet.
Presumably they'll all be scrapped when they are ten years old and the cost of replacing the knackered batteries outweighs the value of the car.
 

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Congrats on the trek!
I am a little afraid of the CVT with issues especially with Nissan in those. Hope subbie got it right with them.

Brien, Just placed a deposit on a XV Crosstrek. Will pick it up Monday. I was considering the Hybrid but went with the conventional power train. I love the looks and color of the hybrid but worry a little about first year and first Subaru hybrid bugs. Besides combined driving of conventional model is 25 and hybrid is 31. We drive a lot of highway so hybrid is not going to give as big of a payoff. Just so everyone reading this knows we are not parting with our Beca. I love the Tribeca and just hate to see the end of the model run. I'll wait to see what they come up with to replace it. Can't wait to get the Crosstrek though. I drove one and was surprised how much pick-up the engine CVT tranny combination puts out. I guess I will need to find a forum for Cross Trek's now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't get hybrids. Extra weight, extra complexity and only marginally better efficiency - still way off what a good diesel will manage. On top of that the energy and resources used in building the things far outweigh the fuel savings over the life of the car. They have to be the least green cars on the planet.
Presumably they'll all be scrapped when they are ten years old and the cost of replacing the knackered batteries outweighs the value of the car.
You can't really generalize and say Hybrids don't make sense. For us, we live about 3 miles from our office (all side streets). So for us a Hybrid would make sense. Now granted I haven't done a cost analysis between the two because we're not in the market. But I will say this, gas prices in America have increased 82% since Obama took office in 2009. At that rate a Hybrid very well could be the more cost effective option in 10-years.
 

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Living 3 miles from the office you would never make enough miles to save money vs. conventional car.

It the US hybrids do not make sense.

If we get EU gas prices and can keep our car prices then that would be a different story I think.

People buy hybrids because they feel good about it. Any other reason makes no sense.
 

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^ If saving money over the long run is the goal, one really, really needs to sit down and do the math.

Back in 2005 when we came to Subaru as a family, we debated the turbo powertrain/premium fuel requirement and its necessarily increased cost of operation. We sat down and really figured out the math, and it came to such a small figure over the course of the anticipated lifespan of the vehicles that we realized it was false economy, and went for the better active safety of having a more powerful engine.

The feel-good factor of the hybrid (and, for that matter, the turbo) powertrain aside, quantitatively, one really needs to do the math.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Subbus, I beg to differ. It's those with short commutes that would see the greatest benefits. Because with regenerative braking the vehicle is generating electricity when braking, subsequently recharging the batteries. So for short commutes your not using the gas engine at all. It's when your driving on the highway that you run out of electricity and the gas engine kicks in.

Granted, Hybrids cost about 20% more compared to their gas engine counterparts, but electricity is still vastly cheaper than gas. There is little doubt they cost more but it may not be as much as people have been conditioned to think from years past. You also have to take into account tax advantages, car pool lane access and free parking in some places. So it's not all about dollars and cents, it's the whole picture.

Again, we're not in the market for another car. But when the time comes we will certainly take a hard look at the Hybrid.
 

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OK....give me your numbers and I will do the math....I need from you:

- number of miles you do yearly
- year and model of a car with conventional engine
- year and model of the comparable class hybrid
- ratio of city/HW miles
 

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OK....here it is....

- 15,000 miles/year
- 55% of miles in stop and go traffic (favorable for hybrids)
- $3.29 pre galon

2013 Honda Civic Hybrid would save you $450/year against 2013 Honda Civic 1.8 L, 4 cyl, Automatic 5 or $500 against 1.8 L, 4 cyl, Manual 5.

Base MSRP:
- Hybrid - $24,360
- Manual - $18,165
- Auto - $18,965

Hybrid costs $6200 more compared to Manual. Considering $500 yearly savings it would take 12.3 years to earn back the purchase price difference.

At that age, the battery is likely not performing well and the car is worth nothing as no one would pay to replace the battery.

Where is the economical sense? Am I missing something?

The hybrid might be a higher trim abut for me I do not care. It is just more things to go wrong with it, higher repair bills.
 

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Hybrids make no sense in Europe, that's why nobody buys them here. Diesels are far more efficient. The only time you could argue for their use is on short town journeys. The rest of the time they are just underpowered overweight petrol cars.

Why would a hybrid make you feel good? Once you take into account energy and resources put into their manufacture they are worse polluters than the biggest SUVs.
 

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Why would a hybrid make you feel good? Once you take into account energy and resources put into their manufacture they are worse polluters than the biggest SUVs.
^ Because "feeling good" is subjective - and does not need to be based on rational/quantitative analysis. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Subbus, I do appreciate your time and effort. But the one variable you can't predict is the cost of fuel. As I pointed our earlier we've seen our gas prices almost double in less than 5 years. In January 2009, the US average price of gas per gallon was $1.83, today it is $3.45. At that rate it would expedite the ROI.
 

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You cannot predict it either. We can only speculate.

Also hybrid batteries should get cheaper so one can also speculate that it is better to wait while the gas is under $4.
 

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At $8/gallon ...

Hybrid's yearly cost would be $2,750, manual Civic's $3,850.

Yearly saving: $1,100

It would take 5.6 years to be even.

I still feel that even at these prices we need the hybrids to give us better MPG numbers. May be a plug-in hybrid would do but at the price of a hybrid...
 

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I agree with those suspicious of hybrids. And I am not impressed with Subaru spending money on a hybrid Crosstrek. If they have enough money to come up with a Prius-like hybrid, a car build around the hybrid idea just like Subaru is build around the AWD, then I will be interested. I would also be interested in a Volt-style Impreza-like Subaru. But a feel-good car that is really just more complex (more things to repair) and not necessarily more environmentally friendly? What's the point? We drive two 3.6 vehicles (OB and Beca). I would not sacrifice what those powertrains give us for minor gains in efficiency. Build a really environmentally-friendly Subaru that makes financial sense and we will happily take one and use it as a main in-town vehicle. Until then, give me proven powertrains that do the job when we travel over mountains and off-road and that last a long time with minimum issues.
 

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Interestingly I caught two shows on BBC America about the Prius, which could carry over to any hybrid on the market. Don't quote me, but I believe the one show was on "Top Gear" and the other on "Fifth Gear".

The one show talked about the Prius being the most environmentally hazardous vehicle ever manufactured. The cadmium for the batteries is so hazardous that only one country would agreed to mine it. The miners wear the equivalent of a space suit. The cadmium is then shipped to another country for assembly into batteries. Neither country is the United States where most of the Prius's are sold. The producer pointed out what are we facing when these vehicles reach the end of their lifespan. What are we going to do with all the hazardous waste?

The other show pitted a Prius against a BMW M5. The two drivers where on a closed course. The Prius driver was told to drive hard. Take all the turns and hills as if he were driving a sports car. The BMW M5 driver was told never pass the Prius. Keep pace only. Again, don't quote me, But the Prius got something like 17 MPG and the BMW was around 19 MPG. The producer pointed to the fact that it is how you drive not the power or lack thereof.
 

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Subiedan,

Thanks so very much for this! I have neither the time, nor the desire to dig into the Prius' story, but, as with everything, only proper research can make for reasonable decision-making. Since I have never seriously considered a hybrid, my point was really a hypothetical one. I would not really move away from traditional engines unless I am sure that it is really worth it (environmentally).
 

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The other show pitted a Prius against a BMW M5. The two drivers where on a closed course. The Prius driver was told to drive hard. Take all the turns and hills as if he were driving a sports car. The BMW M5 driver was told never pass the Prius. Keep pace only. Again, don't quote me, But the Prius got something like 17 MPG and the BMW was around 19 MPG. The producer pointed to the fact that it is how you drive not the power or lack thereof.
Exactly.

I've got several friends who average in the 20s, with their C6 Corvettes, daily-driven with a mix of city and highway miles, with a decent amount of on-ramp antics thrown-in.

It's more about how you drive the car.

Yes, there are certain vehicles that will fail the comparison: grab an old Civic HX versus our Tribecas - yeah, good luck.

But to those who argue the point in an abstract and wishes to make blanket statements.

It's exactly as depicted by that Prius/M5 scenario.
 
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