Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    1,962

    Hybrid or turbo diesel or something else

    I have recently moved from Japan to Vernon bc and am rebuilding my stuff. I have already bought the seemingly obligatory Tacoma but my My wife needs a second car and I would prefer to commute around in something better on gas when possible.

    I was looking at hybrids but was told (by a less than credible source) that hybrids arenít quite suited to mountain driving as long climbs end up relying solely on an underpowered gas engine that gets even worse with elevation. Add to this that hybrids are heavier,which is more of a factor in climbing. This same character was trying to sell me on a turbo diesel, which admittedly does post pretty decent mileage numbers, if not as good as a comparable hybrid in normal conditions.

    If I was driving mega commutes at super high elevations this would make a lot of sense but realistically, my main mountain commute will be the 21 km, 800m in elevation gain to 1200m, drive to Silver Star.

    What are peopleís experiences with the efficiency of hybrids in the mountains? What do people think about turbo diesels as an quasi green alternative? Is there anything else I should be considering? The last car I bought before the taco was a 2003 Toyota Hilux pickup so I am a bit out of the loop on modern cars.
    Days on snow this season: 54 Last Season: 83

    www.poachninja.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,007
    Diesels do get good efficiency under load, which is why they're the tool for people that tow a lot. But modern emissions systems seem to be a bit fragile and expensive to fix.

    I'd consider a hybrid. Either a RAV4 or an AWD Prius if saving fuel is your goal.

    I have a 2015 Golf wagon TDI that I really like, but it's the only diesel I'd consider buying because it comes with an 11 year/260k km warranty on a shit load of stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    76
    Your skepticism of the turbodiesel-pusher's assertion is justified. Attributing a hybrid's efficiency solely to its ability to recover kinetic energy with its electric motors (which he argues is moot in the course of a purely/mostly sustained hillclimb, nevermind that any drive up a mountain is rarely like that) ignores all the other efficiency-improving designs/features present in common hybrids. Some of those coming immediately to mind:

    • Miller/Atkinson-Cycle Thermodynamic Efficiency - The so-called "underpowered gas engine" is "underpowered"* for increased efficiency. The lower specific output of a Miller/Atkinson-cycle engine is significantly more thermodynamically efficient, which is to say that more of the energy released in the course of combusting a unit of gasoline is harnessed into kinetic energy than lost as thermal energy (i.e. waste heat in the exhaust gasses) relative to a conventional Otto-cycle engine. Yeah, the lower specific output implies that the hybrid is carrying around more displacement (and hence more engine mass) than something with a higher specific output... but this isn't merely lower specific output. Less waste heat also means less demand on the cooling and exhaust systems, and hence less mass in those systems.
    • (Potentially) Better Aerodynamics - Some hybrids (esp. Kammback designs such as the Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, etc.) are designed with a greater-than-average emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency, mostly because the stated intent of a hybrid allows car designers to go there and away from more-traditional forms without turning-off its target buyers. The smaller cooling system made possible by the Miller/Atkinson-cycle engine also allows a smaller radiator opening. (This isn't applicable to all hybrids, as some share platforms and body styles with conventional cars.)
    • Reduced Rolling Resistance - Hybrids are invariably (at least from the dealer) equipped with low-rolling-resistance tires. It should also be noted that these are often spec'ed narrower than comparable conventional cars for both the purpose of reducing rolling resistance, and also a reduction in frontal area... yup, for improved aerodynamics. (You can see the most extreme example of this with the BMW i3, with its 155/175-width tires.)
    • CVT - Once again, the stated intent allows the use of a CVT (despite the consumers' general preference for discrete gears), which allows the engine to stay in its efficiency sweet spot more than would be possible with discrete-geared transmissions.


    * "Underpowered" relative to what? For getting up a mountain? I was getting myself up mountains in a sub-100-hp carburated Corolla decades ago. People were getting themselves up mountains in much less-powered (and sometimes heavier!) vehicles.

    So the turbodiesel-pusher's argument is indeed an oversimplification that ignores other reasons why hybrids are as efficient as they are, and are not affected even in a pure/mostly sustained hillclimb. But in the end, the sum of a hybrid's designs/features/compromises/drawbacks/etc. in terms of efficiency for this specific application is hard to say. I don't think any one design/feature makes such an overwhelming difference that a winner can be declared on theory alone.

    This may not be totally relevant to your situation, but here's a data point...

    I drive a Prius from the Bay Area (almost sea level) to Lake Tahoe (175 miles up 6200 feet) or Lassen (220 miles up 8500 feet). For each of these I average about 40 mpg on regular, as I'm a reformed leadfoot (the Prius obviously helped with this process). The Prius was a replacement for a Lexus IS300, which with my driving got about 20 mpg on premium for this same purpose.

    Edit: Actual fuel consumption datapoint 2019/04/26-27. East-Bay-to-Squaw-and-back, 42mpg with a Yakima Skybox 12 on the roof, freeway cruising at 75mph (and slower w/traffic and faster on passing) on cruise control.
    Last edited by DtEW; 04-29-2019 at 11:47 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Western MT
    Posts
    1,049
    Another data point. The Prius is one of the most uncomfortable boring cars that I have ever driven. There is no way I would want to own one. However, the TDI Sportwagen is one of the most comfortable fun driving cars that I have ever driven. Surprisingly, the gas Golf Sportwagen that we replaced the diesel with during the emissions scandal gets almost as good of fuel economy as the diesel did.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    da hood
    Posts
    911
    The new RAV4 hybrid awd has noticeably more hp than the gas version and still gets 40+ Mph. It’s like a much quicker and faster outback, even at elevation. Quieter and smoother ride too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,184
    I ran diesel VW's for business, I did the expensing/CCA write down, they are nice to drive they are comfortable even the 90hp engines were good in the mountains

    BUT when I ran them the price of fuel was almost always 12cents a litre ( 50cents a gal for our ill litre ate neighbors ) cheaper than rug which is not the case now days when fuel price seems to be all over the map.

    IME running diesel made $$ sense when fuel was cheaper but it would not if I could buy RUG at the same or cheaper, the cars are more expensive to buy and you REALLY need to drive a lot to get your cost per KM down, SO the way prices are now I would choose an econo gasser over trying to save money running a diesel. depending on distances if you want to save money I would seriously look at electric for a second car

    you do have 2 VW dealers pretty close to you

    not sure what they run nowdays but last time I grabbed a cab at YVR I noticed all the cabs were priius so I asked the driver about his car, he intended to get 675,000 kms out of the car
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    5,893
    The Prius is a perfect car for people who give zero fucks about cars. Otherwise they are infuriatingly bad to drive. Lots of other Hybrids that suck less.

    And contrary to popular TGR wisdom, I think diesel sucks unless you're towing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,184
    [QUOTE=I've seen black diamonds!;5654734 contrary to popular TGR wisdom, I think diesel sucks unless you're towing.[/QUOTE]

    well ya nobody actuly runs the figures to calculate cost-per-KM they just feel that a diesel is cheaper cuz they read it somewhere, IME small diesel is huge in yurp but the fuel is way cheaper

    Duno how diesel power in a small car is now days but i had 2 and I liked driving them, IME they only sucked if you drove them like the old man who is in 5th gear at 30ph

    if you keep that engine on the boil always above 2000rpm ( advice from ze cherman head mechanic at the dealer) they are a fun cherman sports sedan

    and if you didn't keep the revs up the EGR would plug up the engine
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Western MT
    Posts
    1,049
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    well ya nobody actuly runs the figures to calculate cost-per-KM they just feel that a diesel is cheaper cuz they read it somewhere, IME small diesel is huge in yurp but the fuel is way cheaper

    Duno how diesel power in a small car is now days but i had 2 and I liked driving them, IME they only sucked if you drove them like the old man who is in 5th gear at 30ph

    if you keep that engine on the boil always above 2000rpm ( advice from ze cherman head mechanic at the dealer) they are a fun cherman sports sedan

    and if you didn't keep the revs up the EGR would plug up the engine
    I concur on keeping RPMs up on the diesel cars. I loved the smooth acceleration at high speeds of the diesel VW and the cornering with low profile performance tires. The gas version is snappier in town, but more boring on the interstate. Still a very nice car for the money though. My ex got 40 mpg out of the Golf Sportwagen TSI (gas version) last year on a trip from Montana to Arkansas. Pretty impressive for a turbo gasoline engine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    324
    If you want a cheap town car buy a used leaf and donít buy any gas at all. Only go like 60 miles in the winter though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,184
    again MPG means SFA becuz quoting MPG stats does not compare apples to apples,

    you need to compare the cost of RUG vs Diesel at the time you buy it which IME used to be more static but is now a moving target SO all that matters in the $$$ analysis is cost per KM unless you don't care about the money ?

    and then you are always one big repair bill away from mechanical suicide, it sounds like american VW dealers have trouble fixing TDi's possibly because there are not so many TDi's in America whereas in Canada tdi's were a much higher % of the cars sold so the dealers could fix them

    I sold my last TDi to a buddy, he didn't change the timing belt ( belt and all pulleys with VW parts every 120,000 km) he ran it until the engine became a very expensive boat anchor at about 40,000 kms past the scheduled belt change

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/ar...A-So-xBQQ5fGLE

    an artical about EV and the shrinking costs as the tech gets better
    Last edited by XXX-er; 04-21-2019 at 01:30 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Western MT
    Posts
    1,049
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    again MPG means SFA becuz quoting MPG stats does not compare apples to apples,

    you need to compare the cost of RUG vs Diesel at the time you buy it which IME used to be more static but is now a moving target SO all that matters in the $$$ analysis is cost per KM unless you don't care about the money ?

    and then you are always one big repair bill away from mechanical suicide, it sounds like american VW dealers have trouble fixing TDi's possibly because there are not so many TDi's in America whereas in Canada tdi's were a much higher % of the cars sold so the dealers could fix them

    I sold my last TDi to a buddy, he didn't change the timing belt ( belt and all pulleys with VW parts every 120,000 km) he ran it until the engine became a very expensive boat anchor at about 40,000 kms past the scheduled belt change

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/ar...A-So-xBQQ5fGLE

    an artical about EV and the shrinking costs as the tech gets better
    No idea what all this blather means or if it's directed at me??

    If so, long story short VW bought back TDI, bought brand new TSI, put 7K in bank. So no regrets, $7,000 pays for a lot of fuel/maintenance.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,184
    Quote Originally Posted by 3PinGrin View Post
    . My ex got 40 mpg out of the Golf Sportwagen TSI (gas version) last year on a trip from Montana to Arkansas. Pretty impressive for a turbo gasoline engine.
    well of course you don't so you are quoting MPG in a thread about diesels vs gas vs wtf becuse people don't quantitatively know but they do feel

    so just say " alot " i supose
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NAZ
    Posts
    394
    I recently went through a similar decision. We already have a Landcruiser, so I was looking for something to compliment that with better mpg. My in-town commute is almost always on bike, but I drive 120mi out to another office every week. My budget was ~$10k and I looked at Prius, Honda Fit, TDIs and a few others. I went with a Jetta Sportwagen TDI for these reasons:

    -Way more fun to drive and much more comfortable on the highway.
    -More room than any of the other cars I was looking at (same storage space as my old cr-v)
    -The hybrids in my price range were limited almost exclusively to Prius's very close to or over their 100k mi warranty on the battery
    -The US emissions scandal and buy-back has created a flooded market of TDIs. $10k in the US gets you a VW TDI with 60k miles and a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty.

    Essentially, in the US and in my price range, the value of the TDIs was much better than hybrids. So far I'm getting 36 mpg combined and if I keep it mellow driving two lane highways I get high 40s mpg. Diesel is actually a few cents cheaper than unleaded at the gas station closest to my house.
    It sucks to suck.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    1,129
    +1 for TDI

    Extended warranties
    Torquey yet snappy performance.
    Easy to work on.
    Good to excellent gas mileage.
    Roomy and better interiors than most competition.
    Great aftermarket.
    Plenty on the market and prices coming down.
    Huge international online forums for mechanical guidance.
    Seriously fun to drive.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Retardbumville
    Posts
    560
    Far from groovin'. Fuck VW. Go with reliability. Toyota ." Only jerks drive Jettas",Car Talk.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Western MT
    Posts
    1,049
    Quote Originally Posted by senior researcher View Post
    Far from groovin'. Fuck VW. Go with reliability. Toyota ." Only jerks drive Jettas",Car Talk.
    Most unreliable vehicle I ever owned that cost over $2000 was an 08 Tundra, total POS with endless electrical issues. Front and rear diffs both went out by 100K, couldn't wait to dump that thing.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Retardbumville
    Posts
    560
    Untypical.That sounds, more like a VW. However ,newer Tacoma's suck. Look at the resale on a Toureg. EEOU! You were not upside down on the Tundra,even with it's lemon freshness? Look at the cost to own a prius vs a turbo.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Retardbumville
    Posts
    560
    How many Nicks to change a light bulb?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    191
    Get a plug in hybrid and leave home with a full charge. Great for optimizing the gas usage and usually electric rates provide savings vs. fuel. Hybrids are cool, but the plug in takes it to a new level! Do it and you'll never look back.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NAZ
    Posts
    394
    Quote Originally Posted by senior researcher View Post
    Far from groovin'. Fuck VW. Go with reliability. Toyota ." Only jerks drive Jettas",Car Talk.
    We have a Toyota too...early 2000s Landcruiser that's a POS with never ending electrical issues. Never had good luck with Toyotas. Hondas, on the other hand, have been great for me in the past.
    It sucks to suck.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    1,962
    Quote Originally Posted by Breomonkey View Post
    Get a plug in hybrid and leave home with a full charge. Great for optimizing the gas usage and usually electric rates provide savings vs. fuel. Hybrids are cool, but the plug in takes it to a new level! Do it and you'll never look back.
    I was thinking about this route but the selection here is still quite limited and the are quite a bit pricier. Is there a model you would recommend
    Days on snow this season: 54 Last Season: 83

    www.poachninja.com

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    2,508
    Quote Originally Posted by carlh View Post
    If you want a cheap town car buy a used leaf and don’t buy any gas at all. Only go like 60 miles in the winter though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Breomonkey View Post
    Get a plug in hybrid and leave home with a full charge. Great for optimizing the gas usage and usually electric rates provide savings vs. fuel. Hybrids are cool, but the plug in takes it to a new level! Do it and you'll never look back.
    Quote Originally Posted by StuntCok View Post
    I was thinking about this route but the selection here is still quite limited and the are quite a bit pricier. Is there a model you would recommend
    I'm here to echo the comments recommending an EV for commuting. I love my Chevy Bolt EV, and it's saving me over $100/month in gas. You can get a used Nissan Leaf for under $10,000USD, but know that its battery is small. Great for around-town daily commute though.
    A used Chevy Volt PHEV can be fetched for around $15,000USD and gets you the best of all worlds - no range anxiety on road trips, and gasoline-free daily commuting.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,184
    " realistically, my main mountain commute will be the 21 km, 800m in elevation gain to 1200m, drive to Silver Star "

    I do a similar ski commute up HBM which costs about 10$ a day in a small PU so 60 x a season thats 600$ a yar to go skiing that ^^ road up to SS is a really short/easy commute as ski hills go and Vernon is a small town,

    yes there are cheaper ways to get up a ski hill ( the HBM bus is free) but consider how much $$$$$ in car cost money do you want to spend chasing how many $$$ in gas savings money is my point ??

    Given the price of fossil fuels and where its going I would think very strongly about some kind of EV if not now in the future as the tech gets better especialy for a second vehicle

    if was commuting in a medium sized city like Vangroovy an EV would be a no brainer
    Last edited by XXX-er; 04-23-2019 at 09:47 AM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,007
    21 km really isn't a long enough drive for a diesel unless you're going lots of highway driving elsewhere.

    The particulate filters need long (30+ min) highway runs to make sure they don't get clogged.

    And on the drive home it wouldn't warm up.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •