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RAV4 Hybrid!

6790 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  subiedubie
Although larger than the HRV, this is a competitor for those of us who care a lot about MPG's but want something with more utility
It will probably be ay more expensive than the HRV, but I hope that Honda takes note and decides to bring the Vezel Hybrid to the US market, and not as an Acura!
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All your saving on gas you will pay upfront.You will never save on Hybrid its myth.If you want to start saving on gas you have to keep this car 8 years +.I don't think you want to do that. Environmental aspect also not so good your battery will goes to the end ,disposing of that kind of batteries pretty expensive process.So hybrid car its just pure marketing , solar panels + engine ,or better micro nuke engine that would be good.:D
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Agree...big misconception on hybrid vehicles. Ownership costs tend to actually be much higher than the comparable gas version.

All your saving on gas you will pay upfront.You will never save on Hybrid its myth.If you want to start saving on gas you have to keep this car 8 years +.I don't think you want to do that. Environmental aspect also not so good your battery will goes to the end ,disposing of that kind of batteries pretty expensive process.So hybrid car its just pure marketing , solar panels + engine ,or better micro nuke engine that would be good.:D
My Calculations

Ok, I don't necessarily disagree with you guys, because the repairs of hybrids can be more expensive, although on the most popular hybrid, the Prius -a Toyota too- most batteries last at least 150,000 miles and owners have reported excellent reliability, especially because you have a gas engine and an electric motor dividing up the load, which means both share the burden over time. But if you do have the bad luck of needing a mayor repair over 7 years my numbers won't matter at all, and that is the big unknown I admit. But, because this forum is all about exchange and debate of ideas, please read this carefully and comment

I did some calculations for the Rav4, first of all I tend to keep cars for at least 7 years, and drive at least 12k miles a year too, so those will be the numbers I will use

We don't know the cost of the Rav4, but Camry hybrid is about 4k USD higher than the standard Camry of a traditional trim, so I’ll use that number as a theoretical price increase

We don't know the MPG of the hybrid Rav4, but, we do know the lexus RX hybrid is 28 city, 32 highway/ 30 average, so I’ll use the 30 average number, the standard Rav 24 is 22/29 so I will use 25.5 mpg for my calculations, I must note that the more you drive city traffic the more a hybrid makes sense, we live in long island and my wife works in queens, so she catches A LOT of traffic, making the purchase of her prius C a no-brainer compared to a gas only car of similar size and accessories

If you drive 12000 miles a year, depending on gas prices, you will save yearly using the equation

money_saved_yearly = [ (milesDriven/MPGgas)-(milesDriven/MPGhybrid) ] x gas_price$

Were (miles driven / MPG) gives the total number of gallons used

I can't copy paste an excel sheet but for the numbers I used on the Rav4 I calculate annual savings on gas of

1$/gal: 494$
2$/gal: 988$
3$/gal: 1976$
4$/gal: 2471$

4000 dollars on a 5 year loan at a 3% interest rate is 862$ a year, so at 2 dollars a gallon you are saving enough on gas to cover the purchase price over the first 5 years, not to mention that the remaining years are pure savings, if gas goes back to 3 -which is very likely- or you own your cars for 10 years, or you drive more than 15k miles, the numbers are even more on the hybrid favor as long as you don't have mayor repairs
Now, I admit, there is the three-huger factor of liking to emit less CO2 which of course weights my decision too, some of you might think this is complete B.S, no need to digress here on politics, I'll just say that I rather trust the majority of the scientific community and I feel I need to put my grain of salt towards a better world

Now, because this is a HR-V (Vezel) forum and not a Rav4 forum, I will give some numbers also on a theoretical US version of the Vezel hybrid existing in Japan or a HR-V hybrid, but you've got to bear with me for a little.
First, I know you can't just translate prices or fuel economies from one market to another, testing standards and components can differ, but I will just create "theoretical conversion rates" from what we know of the Japanese market and the US market, for example, the lower trim of Vezel in Japan has advertised numbers of Fuel economy of 20.6 km/L and a price of 1,923,429円 (
For the US I will use a combined fuel economy of 31 MPG which is now official and a theoretical price of 21,000 $ (which is my best guess for the low trim CVT version of the Vezel)

Then, the theoretical conversion factors would be
1.505 [MPG]/[km/l], note that this is different than the real and direct factor of 2.35 that a conversion table would give you. this 1.505 is comparing Honda Vezel Japan with Honda HR-V US
For price we get 0.01016 USD/JPY, which also is different to today’s exchange rate of 0.0083

If we use those "theoretical" conversion factors to convert the existing lower trim of Honda Vezel hybrid to US numbers, which costs 2,417,143 円 in Japan and has a published fuel ec of 26 km/l in the front wheel drive version we get a theoretical HR-V hybrid that costs 26390 USD in its lower trim and has a mileage of 39.12 MPG combined!!! Not as good as a Prius but a great deal for the amount of cargo it carries

If we go back to the same calculations of before, driving 12000 miles a year, and assuming based on my previous calc that the HR-V hybrid will cost 5390 more than the gas one,.
1$/gal: 562$
2$/gal: 1125$
3$/gal: 1687$
4$/gal: 2250$
This savings are the 8 mpg increase of going for gas to hybrid, a loan of 5390$ will only be 1162$ the first 5 years based on an interest rate of 3%, after 5 years is all gas savings minus repairs, and other factors could make this savings even better, with the numbers I used the hybrid is on the break-even point at gas on 2.1$/gal gas prices

You might disagree with me and that's fine, especially based on the cost of repair side of the discussion, but, you can't simply claim that from a fuel consumption point of view hybrids don't make sense just because the car is more expensive, or if you do, feel free to back it up with numbers just like I backed up my position, the one person who can prove me wrong would be the one who can pinpoint to a quantified increase of repair cost over the life of hybrids, not of a single horror story but a statistically sound study over a large population of owners.

Thanks for reading this long thread if you had the patience
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Thanks for the thorough analysis! Very interesting.

I heard that the RAV 4 hybrid is supposed to also be more powerful than the standard model. It might be a good alternative to spend more money for the hybrid than to spend money for a turbo for more power?
Nice analysis.

One thing I might add is important if like me you live up in the cold in Northern Canada.
With a hybrid car, if you turn on the heat/defroster during the winter, the engine must run.
Only the Gasoline engine makes heat.
So if you winters are 50% of the year, you can almost cut those savings in half.

If I lived in the US, I"ld be all over a hybrid
Can only cite my own personal experience with the Honda Civic hybrid as follows:

Honda Civic Hybrid averaged 40 miles per gallon.
My regular gas Honda Civics (2) average 36 miles per gallon.

At the time of purchase the Hybrid cost about $5000 more, so it would take me 60 years to save enough money to justify (break even) the extra cost if gas was $2.50 and I drove 12,000 miles per year. Add to that the cost to replace the battery $1800 with an expected battery life of 100,000 miles, you quickly get to a point of no return. In addition the hybrid Civic was less responsive than the straight Civics.

However back when the government subsidized the hybrid purchase with tax credits, fast lane priviledges, gas prices were higher, and I was driving 24,000 miles per year - so it sort of made sense at the time.

Not a tree hugger by any means so for me the numbers ($) have to make sense, and they just don't any longer, so no more Honda hybrids for me.

Yes this is just one example, however my numbers (MPG) were shared by many other Honda owners as well.
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Consumer Reports evaluates the "ownership costs" of every car they review. They look at more than just fuel economy versus added cost of a hybrid:
"Getting a good deal when buying your car is important. But it's just as critical to look down the road at how much a vehicle will cost you to own. Here are the models we've tested that have the lowest and highest owner-cost estimates, per category, over the first five years. The estimates factor in depreciation, fuel cost, loan interest, insurance premiums, sales tax, and maintenance and repairs. These vehicles are equipped with typical options and an automatic transmission, unless noted otherwise."

They collect data from thousands of their readers on repair history, and do their own fuel economy tests rather than rely on the EPA ratings, which are actually prepared by the manufacturers following EPA guidelines for methodology. I won't go on; their full methodology is on their website.

Bottom line, certain makes consistently rank highest in reliability (including Toyota, Lexus, Subaru, Mazda, and yes, Honda); certain makes and models hold resale value the best (including Prius, Civic, etc.); etc. etc.. This leads to a fairly detailed analysis of which cars have the lowest ownership cost by class -- of course, it doesn't make sense to compare apples (e.g., sub-compacts) to oranges (e.g., luxury sedans).

Among sub-compacts, Toyota Prius C has the lowest cost of ownership over 5 years (they also evaluate one, three, and eight years). Among compacts, Toyota Prius 4. Among mid-sized sedans, Toyota Camry Hybrid. Among large cars, Toyota Avalon Hybrid. For Luxury sedans, Lexus ES300h. For sporty cars, Honda Civic Si manual. For small SUVs, Subaru Crosstrek Premium. Well, I won't go on.

One thing that became clear to me is that there is no generalized answer to "are hybrids worth the extra cost?" Some are, some aren't. Also, how well does a particular car meet your lifestyle needs (e.g., cargo capacity, ease of parking, legroom, etc.)? How important is handling to you? Sometimes it's like trying to put a dollar value on love.
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Also, in California our hybrid cars used to be able to use the carpool lanes. That alone was worth the premium paid. Save me at least an hour of traffic everyday to work for a good five years. So the premium was priceless.
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