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Discussion Starter #1
Having had a Kia Optima Hybrid that I loved until the dead 12v battery left me stranded on my daughters wedding day, I found there were few techs who wanted touch a hybrid. Always contacting remote assistance in California.

Unlike Toyota places that work on a lot of hybrids due to Prius sales.

So bought a used 2016 Sonata Hybrid and had 1 display of Check Hybrid System that gave me pause but never came back.

With so many gas only cars getting near 30 city and 40 highway, I wonder if it’s best to avoid the surprise service of a major hybrid failure as I have no warranty...

Thoughts


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I am surprised and disappointed with what you say about your support. I would think that replacing the 12 volt battery would be a simple thing but during a wedding not so. The 12 volt part is simple just like the days of old so it looks like their running scared of technology. I have done Toyota teaching with my job and as I said its simple old school technology to replace the 12 volt battery and don't see any problem with Kia or Hyundai. .
 

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Knowing that the battery was the issue from the beginning was the first problem. In a non-Hybrid you get the usual clicking sound or lights dim. The error on the Hybrid is more of a hybrid system problem so you thing “uh oh”.

Once the new battery was in, I had nothing but odd behavior our of the car, hybrid warnings, basic instability.

THAT is what they couldn’t figure out...


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I currently have one and would not replace it with another hybrid, why, simple, most gas engines can go 10-20 years for me and rack up a couple of hundred thousand miles. Unfortunately I do not put on many miles now and to break even on a hybrid (assuming one has to pay for the cost of a replacement battery), is not cost effective for me. Daughter has a Prius and at 150,000 miles paid $2,000 to have battery replaced but she has enough miles and saved enough in gas cost to have more than broken even on the cost. Me, I only have 70,000 on a 7 year old vehicle and the estimate to replace it is 4,000-5,000 when it dies. My warranty is only 8 years so thinking of trading it before warranty is up. I get around 44 MPG but the gas savings so far would not justify a new battery.


Now, Hyundai is the only manufacturer with a lifetime warranty (to original owner only ) on the battery but not crazy about the Hyundai hybrids. So, one has to look at the miles driven and savings given the price of gas and cost of battery. Now, when I purchased mine I thought that we would be paying around 5/gal for gas by now and that just has not happened. Other thing is one is truly stuck with a dealer on a hybrid, no one will touch it for any electrical/hybrid issues, only a dealer is an option for service. Further, as you noted, if the area/dealer does not sell many hybrids their expertise is not going to be great.


Toyota still charges a premium for a hybrid, the RAV 4 hybrid is 800-1000 more than a gas engine model same equipment, so to break even just on the purhcase price alone at the current price of gas and 15,000 miles a year it would take 2-3 years to do so without even considering a battery.



Hybrids are great but climate is an issue also, if I lived in Canada, the Northeast, Midwest I would never consider a hybrid. Cold weather significantly affects MPG as to extreme heat and the A/C. Hybrids give the best MPG in a moderate climate 50-80 degrees.
 

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I don’t think a hybrid is a good choice.. Overly complex with not much gain compared to a non-hybrid.. back when they first were used, they made more mpg compared to others.. now you can get similar mpg without the cost and complexity.. Now it’s more of a novelty and a selling point for sales droids to misuse.. It was a step towards electric propulsion.. Pure electrics have caught on and hybrids don’t make a good argument anymore.. IMO.
 

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And if you live in a state like Ohio, where I live, the state government is implementing not only a 10.5 cent-per-gallon gas tax increase, they are implementing a $100 fee on hybrid registrations and a $200 fee on plug-in registrations.

The expected gas guzzler is supposed to see an estimated $57 a year cost increase while mine will be about $125 a year.

If you're in Ohio, run to the nearest DMV and renew your plates for the longest period you can.
 

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My high mileage car consistently gets low 40's (best readout for 22 miles was 52.6). And reading here the typical mileage of a hybrid...I would say they are not worth it at this point.
 

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With so many gas only cars getting near 30 city and 40 highway, I wonder if it’s best to avoid the surprise service of a major hybrid failure as I have no warranty...

Thoughts


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Well a hybrid will use about 36% less gas around town. However, gas is cheap and if you don't care about global warming, then a non-hybrid makes more sense money wise. If you can use the $7,500 tax credit, then a Honda Clarity may be worth taking a look at.



Personally, I'm thinking of trading in my Sonata hybrid plug-in for an electric car, probably a Tesla, in a couple of years.
 

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I currently have one and would not replace it with another hybrid, why, simple, most gas engines can go 10-20 years for me and rack up a couple of hundred thousand miles. Unfortunately I do not put on many miles now and to break even on a hybrid (assuming one has to pay for the cost of a replacement battery), is not cost effective for me. Daughter has a Prius and at 150,000 miles paid $2,000 to have battery replaced but she has enough miles and saved enough in gas cost to have more than broken even on the cost. Me, I only have 70,000 on a 7 year old vehicle and the estimate to replace it is 4,000-5,000 when it dies. My warranty is only 8 years so thinking of trading it before warranty is up. I get around 44 MPG but the gas savings so far would not justify a new battery.


Now, Hyundai is the only manufacturer with a lifetime warranty (to original owner only ) on the battery but not crazy about the Hyundai hybrids. So, one has to look at the miles driven and savings given the price of gas and cost of battery. Now, when I purchased mine I thought that we would be paying around 5/gal for gas by now and that just has not happened. Other thing is one is truly stuck with a dealer on a hybrid, no one will touch it for any electrical/hybrid issues, only a dealer is an option for service. Further, as you noted, if the area/dealer does not sell many hybrids their expertise is not going to be great.


Toyota still charges a premium for a hybrid, the RAV 4 hybrid is 800-1000 more than a gas engine model same equipment, so to break even just on the purhcase price alone at the current price of gas and 15,000 miles a year it would take 2-3 years to do so without even considering a battery.



Hybrids are great but climate is an issue also, if I lived in Canada, the Northeast, Midwest I would never consider a hybrid. Cold weather significantly affects MPG as to extreme heat and the A/C. Hybrids give the best MPG in a moderate climate 50-80 degrees.
One issue here is that you are comparing an old Prius battery (NiMH) versus the Lithium Polymer batteries used in newer hybrids, like the Sonata. There is a reason that Hyundai feels comfortable offering a lifetime warranty on the battery -- because their testing indicates the battery should last for at least 300,000 miles. This type of usage has been confirmed by taxi companies that use hybrid cars. This is also the reason why battery prices are still high for LiPo batteries, as compared to the Prius batteries -- there just aren't enough being replaced to get economy of scale (or to offer refurbished battery packs).

As for a hybrid, it really depends on the type of driving you are doing. If you do a fair amount of city driving for longer than 10 to 15 minutes, than a hybrid has a huge advantage. If you do mostly very short trips, such as to the store (5 to 10 minutes) or long road trips, then hybrids make less sense -- the big advantage in fuel economy is in city driving with a warm engine.

I will say that some of the newer hybrids have also improved -- where the current Camry and Accord get near 50 mpg average, 10% or more better than the Sonata. And then there is the Prius and Ioniq which get should average over 50 mpg. So, for the right usage, you can still save on fuel costs. Of course, much depends on what happens with fuel prices.

Last, I'll agree there are issues with getting a hybrid serviced; not just in finding a mechanic but also in how complex the system is.
 

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I love having a hybrid and it surely comes down to location and how it will be used. For me, driving in Southern California traffic on a daily commute of 15 miles each way (that takes 30 to 45 minutes) I can get near 60 MPG and up to 800 miles from a tank. Also, gas prices here are as ridiculous as they come. The weather, climate, and driving conditions here are very ideal to maximize the benefits.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well a hybrid will use about 36% less gas around town. However, gas is cheap and if you don't care about global warming, then a non-hybrid makes more sense money wise. If you can use the $7,500 tax credit, then a Honda Clarity may be worth taking a look at.



Personally, I'm thinking of trading in my Sonata hybrid plug-in for an electric car, probably a Tesla, in a couple of years.


I will wait to see if Tesla is around and has a better service network. Heard some horror stories for places where they’re not as prevalent.


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Is a Hybrid worth it? I can only speak for myself here, and for me, yes, it is worth it. Back in the days when I drove gas only cars (12’ civic, 14’ Elantra) I was always going to the gas station it felt like. On average around once a week. With my 16’ HSH I see the gas station once a month! I love it!

Also, I see people here posting that Hybrids aren’t worth it because gas prices are low. It’s great they are low. It won’t last forever. ****, I’ve seen a jump in gas prices over the last couple months (Arizona). Back in February our gas prices were around $2.40 ish. It’s over $3 now! Of course that could just be the summer blend? Who knows.

BUT! The one thing that does terrify me on owning a Hybrid is future cost of operations. When it breaks down after the warranty is up, what kind of expense will I deal with? With a regular gasoline car I can just take it to a shop, and not the dealership, to get a better price. The Hybrid, not so much. So, that basically leaves me with having to trade it in every 5 years, when the warranty expires. Kinda sucks because that means I’ll always have a car payment.
 

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When I bought my '16 the price was very good, in part because the sales person said they couldn't give them away due to the low gas prices and the higher initial cost. I've had zero problems so far and I'm coming up on 50,000 miles. Brakes are still like new and all original tires are still at 8/32", which I had to have the dealer show me because I was ready to replace the front ones due the to mileage. My only maintenance, so far, has been routine inspections and oil changes. I'll have the hybrid starter generator belt replacement in about a year which will be expensive. But probably the same or less than brakes.
 

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Some places allow hybrids and electrics to drive in special lanes with only a driver. Gas vehicles have to have 2 or more people. Using these commuter lanes saves lots of time if other lanes congested.

Just got new carbon taxes here to push people towards hybrid/electrics. Registration is the same, insurance costs I’m not sure if they are higher.
Lack of Charging facilities for people in apartments probably make it pretty difficult to own one.

Hauling approx 500 pds of extra electrical stuff at hiway speeds for most of your drive, doesn’t help any. You need to be doing lots of city driving.

Eventually there be shops that specialize in the new electric drive systems. Manufacturers will have to release enough information for independents to service vehicles.

If I was an electrical tec, like say Autospark, I would probably fall over myself to buy one of these vehicles.
 

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Is a Hybrid worth it? I can only speak for myself here, and for me, yes, it is worth it. Back in the days when I drove gas only cars (12’ civic, 14’ Elantra) I was always going to the gas station it felt like. On average around once a week. With my 16’ HSH I see the gas station once a month! I love it!

Also, I see people here posting that Hybrids aren’t worth it because gas prices are low. It’s great they are low. It won’t last forever. ****, I’ve seen a jump in gas prices over the last couple months (Arizona). Back in February our gas prices were around $2.40 ish. It’s over $3 now! Of course that could just be the summer blend? Who knows.

BUT! The one thing that does terrify me on owning a Hybrid is future cost of operations. When it breaks down after the warranty is up, what kind of expense will I deal with? With a regular gasoline car I can just take it to a shop, and not the dealership, to get a better price. The Hybrid, not so much. So, that basically leaves me with having to trade it in every 5 years, when the warranty expires. Kinda sucks because that means I’ll always have a car payment.

After stating the above how can you say it is worth it, including depreciation have you really saved any money with the hybrid, assuming that normally you would have kept the car longer than 5 years. calculate your mileage, cost of gas and compare that to what you would have spent on gas, not how often you went to the gas station before you had the hybrid.
 

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We like my wife's 11 Sonata Hybrid. It has been reliable and we are pleased with the gas mileage. Yes it goes down in the winter, but so does the mileage with my 15 Elantra Sport, so that is not a hybrid only issue. The only issue we really have is driving in parking lots and surprising people who can't hear it coming.

We usually keep cars for 10+ years and plan on keeping the Sonata. It has little resale value so we will drive it until it dies, but I don't see a battery replacement in the future due to cost, but we do hope the car will be junk before the batteries die.

We just replace the 12v battery and have had no issues after the replacement. Just don't let the dealer rip you off as there is no justification to charge $350 for it.
 

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Is a Hybrid worth it? I can only speak for myself here, and for me, yes, it is worth it. Back in the days when I drove gas only cars (12’ civic, 14’ Elantra) I was always going to the gas station it felt like. On average around once a week. With my 16’ HSH I see the gas station once a month! I love it!

Also, I see people here posting that Hybrids aren’t worth it because gas prices are low. It’s great they are low. It won’t last forever. ****, I’ve seen a jump in gas prices over the last couple months (Arizona). Back in February our gas prices were around $2.40 ish. It’s over $3 now! Of course that could just be the summer blend? Who knows.

BUT! The one thing that does terrify me on owning a Hybrid is future cost of operations. When it breaks down after the warranty is up, what kind of expense will I deal with? With a regular gasoline car I can just take it to a shop, and not the dealership, to get a better price. The Hybrid, not so much. So, that basically leaves me with having to trade it in every 5 years, when the warranty expires. Kinda sucks because that means I’ll always have a car payment.

After stating the above how can you say it is worth it, including depreciation have you really saved any money with the hybrid, assuming that normally you would have kept the car longer than 5 years. calculate your mileage, cost of gas and compare that to what you would have spent on gas, not how often you went to the gas station before you had the hybrid.
You got a point. I mean, I bought the Hybrid version for other reasons, not just because it’s fuel efficient. I mean, I drive rush hour Monday through Friday and I save a ton in gas just in that commute. The other reasons is because I like the power of the Hybrid vs. the non Hybrid version, plus it makes me feel like I’m leaving a small carbon footprint (too each their own if it actually does).

But, I got a great deal on my HSH when I purchased it. When I shop around now, I’m not seeing those savings that were once offered. I don’t regret my Hybrid purchase, but, I’m also on the fence about what to buy next. My fear is that gas prices will jump to $4 or $5 a gallon in the coming years. IF that happens, then a Hybrid will be a great benefit.
 

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My outlook is your gonna get screwed whichever way you go. Governments take billions in fuel tax so without it they just look elsewhere. Disgraceful yes it is but taxes are a fact of life.
Where paying around AU $6.50 a US gallon now.
 

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My outlook is your gonna get screwed whichever way you go. Governments take billions in fuel tax so without it they just look elsewhere. Disgraceful yes it is but taxes are a fact of life. Where paying around AU $6.50 a US gallon now.
Well put.

That looks like $4.66 USD. I know California is hitting $4 a gallon now or $5.66 AUD. Interestingly, when I was in Hawaii last year the gas was cheaper than in California.

We're about $2.59 USD / $3.61 AUD in Ohio right now and it's going up by ten and a half cents a gallon in July. And our governor decided to add $100 to the annual license plate fee if you drive a hybrid or $200 if you drive a plug-in. That's four tanks of gas for me or two months. Effectively my mileage just went down 17% or from 43 MPG to 36 MPG.

The cost of 12 months of gas today gets me 10 months of gas next year. <sigh>
 
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