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Diesel vs. Hybrid

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by smoothoperator, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. #1 smoothoperator, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2012
    I really do not understand why people choose a Prius over a Diesel....Diesel vehicles are way more fun to drive and they get MPG's that are close to a Prius. I guess Prius makes a "hollywood" statement where as a diesel has a more "blue-collared" stigma attached to it?

    Before my daily driver became an electric, I daily drove diesel vehicles (from when I got my license up to 2010). I drove a friends Prius once and I think I would rather walk, take public transit, or bike than drive that vehicle; it is basically a soulless appliance.

    (moved from the Toyota Plug-in Prius thread)
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I had a modern VW TDI "clean" diesel. Cost 22 cents per mile just for dealer maintenance over the 95,000 miles I kept it. Every fill was a smelly mess. You couldn't park it in the garage because it stank up the garage every time you started it. Engine blew up at 80,000 miles (replaced under warranty so it doesn't factor into the 22 cents per mile). 22:1 compression and light-weight do not belong in the same sentence. And then there's the increased lung cancer from diesel exhaust. Had to be towed three times because the battery kept shorting out. Basically never again. I was fooled once. Just check out the owner satisfaction ratings between the two.

    As far as fun-to-drive goes my 2004 Prius is far better than the TDI ever was. The Prius actually accelerates at highway speeds while the TDI just sits there. Both the TDI and the Prius are the same off the line (see * below)

    And for MPG. Sorry not even close. (Bear in mind that diesel fuel is 10% to 20% higher than the regular fuel that the Prius uses so you have to subtract that amount from the diesel mpg to get an equivalent number):

    2004 Prius MPG from the logbook. (Complete years only):
    2003-2004 -- 50.8 mpg 17,628 miles
    2005 -- 52.6 mpg 14,688 miles
    2006 -- 56.3 mpg 16,174 miles
    2007 -- 57.3 mpg 18,384 miles
    2008 -- 59.9 mpg 21,755 miles
    2009 -- 61.4 mpg 16,177 miles
    2010 -- 65.2 mpg 12,134 miles
    2011 -- 66.9 mpg 11,272 miles

    2012 numbers:
    --- Trip to NE starts here
    01/07/12____128603____481____56.6 (4.2)
    -- 13 F here
    01/12/12____129042____438____52.7 (4.5)
    01/15/12____129420____378____50.3 (4.7)
    01/20/12____129094____481____56.2 (4.2)
    --- Trip to NE ends here
    01/31/12____130503____600____69.8 (3.4)
    02/23/12____131050____546____69.4 (3.4)
    03/07/12____131679____629____72.2 (3.3)
    03/23/12____132319____638____71.3 (3.3)
    04/12/12____132987____668____74.0 (3.2)
    05/02/12____133647____659____74.3 (3.2)
    05/18/12____134272____624____73.4 (3.2)



    Operating cost 12 cents per mile over 135,000 trouble-free miles for dealer maintenance, tires, and fuel combined.


    * The Prius' computers limit the top speed to about 105 mpg. The Prius accelerates strongly up to that point.

    About acceleration: There are a few things that fool people:

    1. When reviewers get 0-60 times, they rev the engine and pop the clutch (or the automatic equivalent). The Prius won't let you do this kind of juvenilia, but no one (who has to pay the bills) drives like that anyway so a few seconds to the acceleration times have to be added or subtracted depending upon which way you're doing the math.

    2. Because there is no shifting in the Prius, you don't get that gear change jerk, which some people equate with engine power.

    3. Because the engine RPM is not tightly coupled to vehicle speed as it is in an old fashioned car, some people use the sound of the engine RPM to tell when to back off on the accelerator. If you do this in a Prius acceleration will slow down. The Prius won't let the engine over-revv so backing off just slows acceleration. Note that many folks do this unconsciously because it's the way you accelerate in other cars.

    4. The Prius actually accelerates at highway speeds, unlike many non-sports cars.
     
  3. ManuVince

    ManuVince Member

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    You might have a been quite unlucky with your VW. I had 2 Audi TDI (A3 and A4), and the first had no problem at all and I sold it at 75000 Miles because I wanted a bigger car. The second one, the A4, had only minor electrical issues and it has reached 70000 miles and counting.
    In average, I get 60 MPG out of the A4 and was getting 65 MPG out of the A3. So I don't think it is that far from the numbers you give.
    And here in Europe Diesel is 30 Euro cent cheaper per liter than petrol.

    I never drove a Prius, so won't comment on the fun factor.
     
  4. NuclearPowered

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    In my work carpool, 2/4 days I drive an 2004 prius with 210,000 miles that I bought for $6900. It gets approximately 45 mpg round trip from speeds between 35 and 75 mph on a 62 mile round trip commute. My carpool buddy drives the other 2 days out of the week in a 2011 TDI wagon that gets 36-37 mpgdiesel and cost $25,000 on exact same route. These numbers are averaged over 8 months or so of driving, so any variability in weather, traffic, etc is accounted for.

    MPG is not comparable. Drive a diesel in a "sporty" way and watch the mpg suffer even more...

    I agree with Mark, I will not be buying anything other then a Prius unless it is full EV. Best car I have ever owned. If diesel was actually more cost efficient to operate, it would be more popular.

    If the prius came with a diesel ICE...now that would be a great car.
     

  5. Not to get too far off topic but it is possible to run carbon neutral on a diesel, and have the fuel costs rival those of an electric car. This is not possible on a Prius (unless you drive a PiP and have <8 mile commute to work).
     
  6. drees

    drees Active Member

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    Not on a "clean" diesel. Can't run more than 5% biodiesel in those. And you get 10% ethanol in every gas car.

    If you're going to claim that running biodiesel is OK in a "clean" diesel - I'll go ahead and say that running E85 is OK in a Prius.
     
  7. I was referring to SVO
     
  8. drees

    drees Active Member

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    My point still stands. You aren't going to run SVO or anything more than 5% BD in your modern clean diesel without voiding warranties - so a Prius slightly modified to run on E85 is the same thing.

    Never mind that SVO @ $2.50 still costs more to fuel per mile than your typical EV and is a much bigger pain to fill up, though you do get long range between fill-ups.
     
  9. strider

    strider Active Member

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    We've been running B100 in our 2005 Jeep Liberty for 100k miles now with zero fuel-related problems. The B5 thing is just ignorance/lawyers. They would have to prove that the bio caused the problem in order to deny the warranty claim. We brought our Jeep into the dealer for warranty work (again, nothing fuel-related) with biodiesel stickers on it w/ no problems.

    So if people have been running E85 in a Prius then I would say it's fine too. Don't have any experience w/ that though.
     
  10. You can store SVO/Filtered WVO in 55 gallon drums (what I used to do) and just fill up at home (quicker than charging). WVO cost me nothing. Filling E85 will actually diminish your fuel mileage and requires changes to the injectors of a Prius...I am not sure if that has changed with the current model Prius but the last gen Prius required an expensive injector change to use E85 (it is also much more expensive than WVO). I used to run B100 on my 2005 Mercedes and I never had a problem with the warranty (this was for 4+ years).
     
  11. drees

    drees Active Member

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    It might cost you nothing in the quantities you are using it, but if a significant portion of the automobile fleet tried to do the same thing they'd quickly find it reach prices similar to oil. WVO simply can't scale up in any significant volume.
     
  12. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    On this side of the English Channel diesel is around 12 pence / litre more.

    I drove a mark 2 Prius for a few days once. Not as dull as I'd expected but not in the same fun league as an Audi A3 2.0 TDI or Renault Megane Coupe 1.9 dCI.
     
  13. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    My 2004 Prius has been an excellent car. If I could not have an EV, the Prius would be my first choice. Diesel stinks and biodiesel is too much hassle for me. I get 50 mph on my road trips (which is 95% of the miles I put on it now).

    No, it's not a muscle car or a luxury car. The sound system is as good as my ears are, so anything better would be wasted. It has plenty of acceleration, as long as I'm comparing to the Civic I drove before it, and compared to the Xebra it's a powerhouse. No fair comparing it to the Roadster, which is a high-performance sports car and costs four times as much, or to the Model S, which is a high-performance sedan, and costs two to four times as much depending on trim level and options.

    The Prius technology was cutting edge in its day. Now it's yesterday's technology with EVs available, but the Prius is still the best choice for my road trips into country where there are no charging options better than 120-volt outlets. And forget about finding biodiesel where I drive the Prius.

    As for the PiP, it's too much money for too little battery in a mostly-gas car.
     
  14. When was the last time you drove a diesel vehicle? A lot has changed in 30 years
     
  15. drees

    drees Active Member

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    Even brand new cars stink - diesel or gas. Sure, they stink a lot less, but they still stink. The driver has the best spot - he leaves all the stink behind him. Following a stinker - not so great.

    Cold start - lots of stink.
    Heavy acceleration - still plenty of stink.

    Diesels before the recent CARB rules _really_ stink. Even the ones with "biodiesel" stickers on them. Most of the change has been a result of CARB regulations. But I still get behind one of those new "clean" diesels and still find they stink. Just not nearly as much as they used to.
     
  16. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    2004. I had a modern clean diesel car. It stank--couldn't keep it in the garage because of the fumes when you started it. Every fill was a smelly mess. Maintenance costs were through the roof. 22 cents per mile over the 95,000 miles I kept it. And it was actually worse than that because the first 36,000 miles were bumper to bumper. Never again.
     
  17. Luckily the "smelly mess" was diesel fuel, if this mess was actually gasoline it would have probably ignited.

    Which vehicle did you own in 2004?

    VW Jettas /Touaregs/Beetles/Passat's of 2004 had 4 year/50k Mile Bumper to Bumper & 5 year/60k mile powertrain warranties

    Mercedes/BMW/Audi/Jeep did not have a US diesel in 2004? Just curious which manufacturer had a 3 year/36k mile new car warranty in 2004 that also had a diesel option. Was it a passenger car or truck?
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The mess was on the pumps. Gasoline evaporates too fast to make a mess.

    The VW and it was only three years with 100K power train warranty (good thing too because the engine blew at 80,000 miles--this wasn't included in the 22 cents per mile). 2004 is the last year I drove it. It was the most disappointing car I ever drove. I really expected to keep it for 300,000 or 400,000 miles. As it was I got rid of it as soon as I could after the engine was replaced.
     
  19. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Ultra low sulfer diesel happend in 2007. VW changed over after their 2006.5 model year Jettas to 'clean diesel' and went straight to 2008 model year.

    Volkswagen Jetta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A lot changed for diesel in 2007. That said DPM is nasty smelling stuff, and it comes from clean diesel too.
     
  20. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I've never driven a diesel car. But when I worked on the farm in North Dakota they had diesel tractors and a gas pickup truck. So I pumped both fuels, and drove both kinds. (They even had a tractor that started on gasoline and then ran on diesel. Complicated starting process. But that's another story.)

    Gasoline smells awful but diesel was ten times worse. If I got any on my hands while filling the tank, it made me sick all day from the stink. And even "clean" diesel has much more lax emission standards because the stuff cannot be made as clean as gas. Emissions are one of the reasons I chose the Prius in 2004.

    Because biodiesel is carbon-neutral I have no gripe against people who use it, but since 95% of my ICE driving is my annual road trip up to Canada, biodiesel is not an option for me. A few strategically-located super-chargers, with enough slots available that I wouldn't have to wait to get in, would make an EV practical for those trips, but I don't expect to see those where I'd need them before I'm too old for the hiking trips that take me up there. At that point, if I can still drive, I could trade off the Prius and be EV-only. But the PiP is far too little, far too late, to hold any interest for me. In 2004 I might have bought it instead of the regular Prius, had it been available, as my 3-mile commute would have been all electric. But with several real EVs available now, the PiP is a joke.
     

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