Hybrid-Diesel-TDI 2011 Options

3 Jan

Shown above is the 2011 Fisker Karma,  the worlds first plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan. At a price of $87400 before tax credits. Gets 67 MPG

I’ve been researching a second car for some time, I already own a SUV so I want a family sedan type car. (The car pictured above is not in my range! Just a nice offer to the Hybrid world, some eye candy if you will) After tons of online research here is a some info that might help you with your decision as well…
Many people are interested in the fuel economy comparison between the three main types of cars that are being offered. Those three are gasoline cars, diesel cars, and the newest hybrid cars. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Gasoline Pros/Cons-
Gas engines produce high horsepower, and does it inexpensively.
The fuel is the most expensive, but cleaner than diesel.
Gasoline engines cost more than diesel engines.

Diesel Pros/Cons-
Diesel is cheaper than gasoline.
Not as powerful as gas, but offers more torque.
Diesel engines cost more than gasoline engines, which makes resale value higher. The engine and vehicle as a whole lasts longer.
Engines are load and emit dirty pollutants.
Clean diesel technologies, like ultra low sulfur diesel, are being looked into and implemented. As in TDI- Volkswagon and Audi both offer TDI options. (TDI is an acronym for Turbocharged Direct Injection)

Hybrid Pros/Cons-
Hybrids offer the best fuel efficiency.
Are lightweight, run smoothly and quietly.
Can also use electric power, which makes for low emissions vehicles.
Price is more than the regular gas counterpart.

So now that we know the pros and cons of each vehicle, lets compare them between each other.

Gas vs Hybrid-
Many people have the debate of buying a car or a hybrid of the same type. Some cars that have both a hybrid and gas counterpart are the Ford Escape, Honda Civic, Lexus RX, etc. The hybrid clearly gets more fuel economy than the gasoline engine. Most of the times the difference is at least 25%, but often more than 33%. On the outside, it seems like the gas savings will be great. However, it will take several years to catch up to the savings on gas due to the higher base cost of a hybrid. A hybrid usually is several thousand more than the regular model, and sometimes it is much more extreme. The Escape hybrid costs $8,000 more than the base gas model, and the Lexus RX hybrid costs over $10,000 more as a hybrid. The gas savings really is not there when you look at it from an energy cost standpoint. Fuel economy-wise though, hybrids blow gasoline cars out of the water. Now in 2011 they have tons of new options at better price points. If the main thing you care about is fuel cost and not what type of car you buy, then go with a Toyota Prius… Personally I don’t like the car at all but the new 2011 Prius gets OVER 50 MPG and starting at $23,000. The best on the market, in regards to MPG.

Diesel vs Hybrid-
This is where the fight gets much more closer. Diesel engines typically increase gas mileage by 30-35% over gasoline engines, and as do hybrids. So when it comes to fuel economy, they are actually fairly even. The break is then in the hybrids side because those cars are often ULEV, or Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles. Some diesel cars can’t even be driven in certain states because they don’t meet the emissions standards of those states. If you take the best hybrid vs the best diesel car, the hybrid will actually win. The Prius as I said is the top in the class right now and that gets 51 miles per gallon. The best diesel car may be the Jetta TDI and that gets about 20% less at 42 miles per gallon.

When you compare gas mileage between the three top types of cars, it is clear who wins. Hybrids offer the best mileage out of the three. Diesel comes in close, but other factors cause it to lose to a hybrid. Gas is in last place. Personally I want to go with a TDI, but now the options within the Hybrid category are getting more interesting.

Check out this link, Luxury Hybrids for 2011

Nobody on the list is topping the Prius’ 51 MPG, But the Lexus HS 250h is hitting 34 MPG, still a respectful number in the hybrid world. The car that catches my eye the most, that’s at good price point, has style, 4 doors, and great milage is the 2011 Lexus CT 200h…pretty much a souped up VW Golf, which is my second choice. The 4 door TDI of corse.

Listen, I want to help the earth as much as the next guy (gal) but I believe it can be done in your price range and without sacrificing your style/lifestyle… So thank goodness for BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, VW, (soon to be Porsche) getting on the “green” bandwagon and producing some quality choices.


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