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Discussion Starter #1
Toyota Prius vs Jeep Patriot: the great MPG test


Introduction

Eager owners sometimes present a Toyota Prius as David Attenborough on wheels - decent, environmentally aware and beyond criticism. And yet there are nagging doubts that the Toyota is not nearly as irreproachable as Britain's national treasure. You don't have to look very hard on the web to find American buyers questioning the official fuel consumption figures, while some Europeans question whether a simple diesel engine would not be equally economical.

So, we decided to conduct the ultimate test, pitting the Prius (easily the world's biggest-selling hybrid with just over 1 million sold to date) against the devil's own tool; an SUV. Our choice of SUV was simple. Jeep was recognised in 2007 for having the most improved fuel consumption across its model range, and has won a Green Award for the Patriot. The Patriot Diesel is one of the most economical 4x4's available on the market today (thanks to its VW engine) and boasts lower CO2 emissions than, say, a Renault Scenic 1.6.

The rules would be simple; both drivers were to drive the way they normally would, but in order to ensure that driving styles didn't interfere with the results, they would swap half way and all speed limits would be adhered to.
The test

Despite being very different animals, the Patriot and the Prius are both acknowledged as family cars, so our route would take us on a typical family day out to the south coast. Starting from Tower Bridge in the centre of London, we set off at 10am to avoid the rush hour traffic heading out towards Brighton and our first waypoint.

The first impressions of the Patriot were not great - the first few seconds were spent scanning the truly nasty plastics of the interior. Once we had got used to the dashboard, we could not help noticing that it did not actually contain very much - even though we had the range-topping Limited model, there was no sat nav and only a basic radio and CD/MP3 player. However, once on the move, things rapidly improved, as it proved remarkably easy to pilot the Patriot around the city. Despite its size, it didn't feel awkward, and was comfortable inside.

The interior of the Prius was less offensive to the eye and came with more kit than the Patriot. The sat nav was easy to program, so it was decided that the Prius would lead the way. However, it took time to get used to the odd automatic gear lever, which sits on the dash next to the steering wheel. When we first tried to pull off at a set of lights the electronic parking brake wouldn't release and the gearbox refused to select 'drive'. It took quite a bit of persuasion before the electronic systems agreed to let us go on our way.

As we approached the motorway the two on-board computers were reading very different figures. The Prius was showing around 58mpg, whilst the Patriot showed just below 40mpg. The Prius is almost silent whilst driving in the city, but on the motorway you could hear the engine working quite hard - it is only a 1.5 litre unit and the batteries are no help at cruising speed. Nonetheless, by the time we reached the Brighton seafront the trip computer was claiming over 62mpg. In contrast, the Patriot's 2.4-litre diesel engine feels effortless at cruising speeds and the uncouth growl you get from it around town almost disappears. It also feels more spacious than the Prius, which would be a little cramped with the whole family aboard.

After stopping at Brighton, the rest of the journey took us along the coastal route for a few miles before we stopped again to swap drivers and headed back towards London. The entire route took us over 160 miles covering coastal, motorway and city roads.

The result

Had we relied on the onboard computers, the Prius would have won by a landslide, as by the end of the trip they read 57mpg and 42mpg for the Prius and Jeep respectively.
However, to get the real figure, we calculated consumption based on how much fuel each car had used over the 160 miles. The result was astonishing: both cars had used nearly identical amounts of fuel. The Jeep had averaged 38.9 mpg - only 3.1 mpg less than its computer had recorded. However, the computer of the Prius appeared to be telling whoppers: it actually achieved just 39.9 mpg - a massive 17.1 mpg less than it had claimed.

Whereas, the first impressions of the Patriot had been overwhelmingly negative - it's an SUV with interior plastics apparently supplied by a Chinese Christmas cracker factory - it converted us by the end of the day. It had been a better experience for both driver (more pleasant to drive) and passenger (more space). Our test also raises the question over the economy of hybrids overall - a subject to which we will be returning. Certainly it might feel like you're contributing to a greener world, but most manufacturers are constantly improving their diesel cars to make them greener and more efficient. It seems that if economy is what you're after from a family car, there are better, and - let's face it - more stylish, options than a Prius.

http://www.cleangreencars.co.uk/jsp/...46&pageid=2382
 

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Great post. Proof that gasolin hybrids are a joke. Clean Diesels are green, responsive, and fun to drive and often beat many putt putt hybrids. About 6 weeks ago in Europe a BMW 520D weighing 700 pounds more than a Prius was tested from London to Geneva. The 520D beat the Prius by 0.1mpg. Even if it had lost, the torque, size and weight of the BMW make the results even more impressive.

In 2006 C&D did a maximum freeway fuel economy test and the results are self explanatory.
400hp Vette: 27mpg
Accord Hybrid: 33mpg
Prius: 41mpg
Jetta Diesel: 49.9mpg

Just drive a VW TDI and there is no comparison to a Prius, you may as well ride a scooter.
 

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I like this sort of stuff, to put an economic spin on it:

Patriot 38.9 mpg -> 7.26 l/100km x $1.744 = $12.66 per 100 km

Prius 39.9 mpg -> 7.08 l/100km x $1.489 = $10.54 per 100 km

300C V6 on Gas -> 14.4 l/100km x $0.659 = $9.49 per 100 km

Woo Hoo, 300C wins hands down again. :cool:

Fuel prices were the Perth metro prices for May 2008

300C will hive much higher CO2 emissions due to higher fuel consumpstion, so not quite as enviromnentally griendly as the other two, but then LPG is supposed to burn a lot cleaner in terms of other emissions I beleive.

Taxis routinely do 1 million kilometers on gas without touching the engine, how long do those Prius batteries last?
 

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I love the stories debunking economy & greenhouse gas crap too. Joe Public is getting conned.

I am prepared to concede that vehicles are suited to particular applications, eg. Prius for city commuting, 300C CRD for touring (?), and pitting two vehicles together in the one mixed test may not be real world (but mixed driving is real world for most of us eh?).
 

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Don't forget the other driver (sic) for going to electric / hybrid vehicles is (so they say!) reduction of pollution in city centres etc. Diesels still pollute city centres, even the cleaner running ones!.

This isn't to say the hybrid vehicles (even fully electric ones) are clean (yet!). The electricity for a fully electric vehicle will use power from a (typically) dirty power station (esp' here in OZ), all EV's do is move the filth generation from the tailpipe (& city centre) to rural areas. If you take into account the losses in power generation & transmission maybe the net negative environmental impact is greater than burning fuel on board the car, where you can at least heat the cabin with waste heat.

Much in the same way the water is shipped into cities from pristine rural catchments, the city dwellers want to ship the crap out to rural populations.

My solution, build small nuclear fission* power stations in the cities, that way waste heat can be used for heating. (& make city dwellers drink water from their roofs, then they'd clean up their act!)

*OK, maybe Fusion reactors would be better:)!. or realistically, what about gas, Australia has heaps of this:pat:

Maybe, eventually hybrid hydrogen/electric vehicles will be the go, however an easier short term option would be CNG/LPG gas hybrids. Which means we'll all be driving Hyundai's (already have gas hybrid Excels) rather than Toyota's (currently petrol hybrids) soon.

Small local power gen stations are installed in a number of European cities, sometimes operating off of bio gas from rubbish dumps, or even the rubbish itself (co-gen incinerators, hot water, electricity & waste reduction, all in one, neat huh!)..

The options are pretty wide, but big oil holds sway & no pollies have the cajones to actually do anything to jeapordise their gold plated pensions.

....& I don't car so long as there is petrol or gas to fuel SRT4ME till it or me rusts away.

Once the oil runs out I still don't care, coz, electric motors & steam engines are unique in that they develop maximum torque at zero revs, = scorching acceleration away from the lights.....:fing02:

Given that speed limits will probably then be down to 60 kph, (coz congestion means no-one can do 80 or 100 kph, & why would they have speed limit no-one can break!) then traffic light grand prix starts will be all we have look forward too..

It's Sunday afternoon, it's raining & I was bored!

Ps I live in the countryside!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
HSV boss pours cold water on hybrids

Andrew Heasley and Richard Blackburn, drive.com.au, June 20, 2008



Holden Special Vehicles boss Tom Walkinshaw claims most hybrids are less-efficient than petrol engines. Andrew Heasley and Richard Blackburn report
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Diesel cars, alternative powertrains and alternative bio-fuels are not the broad environmental panaceas they are made out to be, Holden Special Vehicles boss Tom Walkinshaw claims.

The performance car expert, whose company is investigating the idea of developing a diesel model for its range of high-powered Holdens, claims most hybrids are less fuel-efficient than regular petrol-powered vehicles.

Hybrid engines make sense on large commercial vehicles, less so on cars, he says.

"There's a lot of BS at the moment about hybrid cars. If you actually study the fuel consumption of most of the hybrids out there (they) are worse than a petrol-driven car. But it's a nice marketing thing.

''At best they're no better than anything with a conventional powertrain,'' he said.

The comments, made at a press conference to announce the limited edition, VE Commodore-based HSV W427, put Walkinshaw at odds with HSV managing director Scott Grant, who regularly spruiked the advantages of hybrid technology in his former role as head of Lexus in Australia.
“Lexus also offers diesel variants, but its long-term view is that hybrid will prevail over all single-fuel sources,” Grant said at the launch of the GS450h in 2006.

In the past, Grant has also refused to rule out a hybrid HSV, while Holden recently announced it should have a hybrid Commodore on Australian roads by 2010.

But Walkinshaw believes diesels are a more logical solution, although he says governmental tax policy on fuel is critical to the environmental debate.

"At the moment you have the answer to fuel consumption by looking at diesel, but governments then charge extra taxes on it so they make that option really unavailable to the public because they chose to put a levy on the fuel.

"Goverments throughout the world have to sort themselves out: are they really serious about cutting down fuel consumption or are they just interested in raising tax?''

"At the moment there is a lot of stuff done under an environmental heading that's only just a veiled cloak for increasing tax revenues.

"Diesels will get you 30 per cent better fuel consumption so if they're interested in cutting down the consumption of fuel, then why not make that fuel the same tax levy as petrol? They don't.

''It's not a genuine attempt to solve the problem,'' he says.

As for so-called bio-fuels (such as ethanol or bio-diesel) derived from crops, their production method raises another set of problems, he says, including robbing poor countries of land for food production.

"I don't know that cutting dowm rainforests to plant soya beans to generate fuel is too good for the planet.

"How can you use ... food production to fuel motor cars without causing a problem for people ... in poor countries.

"Where are they going to get the food to eat? If you're taking millions of acres of food producing land and say that's now going to be fuel producing land, where's the food going to come from?'

Substituting fuel for food production has serious global consequences, he warns.

"We've got a whole lot of social unrest coming down the track at the moment at a million miles an hour if we're not careful.

"I don't see how you can take a whole lot of food production out the chain without having a massive social effect,'' he says.

Despite his scepticism about hybrid cars, Walkinshaw, who heads a group of automotive companies, confirmed his European engineers were developing diesel-electric hybrid technology for commercial use in trucks and buses.

Development is based on a 2.2-litre diesel engine that acts not as a propulsion unit, but a generator for an electric motor. The technology is about a year away from being able to be commercialised.

"I think there's a big opportunity for efficiency in buses and commercial vehicles for hybrid that could make a huge impact,'' he said.

"There's a lot of pollution that comes out of that type of vehicle - so there's a lot of potential for making quite a significant improvement.''

Local governments in European cities are quite interested in the technology to clean up their cities, he says.

"Before we started, we had a lot of sounding out of governments and cities throughout Europe that were all very receptive to the concept of being able to cut down the pollution in the city,'' he says.

Other measures that his companies were investigating include "stop-go'' and cylinder de-activation engine technology to eke out better fuel economy.

"You have to ... be at the forefront of anything that's being developed,'' he says.
 

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Hybrids dont need recharging SRT4ME, they use the petrol engine to recharge the batteries
 

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I wonder why the numbers for the prius was way off? I owned a prius before and regularly get 850-900km on a fuel tank (45litres).
now with my 300crd I get 700km (70+ litres). same route back and forth to work...
 

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My guess is that the prius works pretty hard at highway speeds, probably does a lot better around town in traffic, does this sound right. Factory figure is 4.4 l/100km. Small 4 cylinder cars typically return around 7-9 l/100 km, prius would probably do the same or possibly worse due to extra weight if running on petrol alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hybrids may help save the planet, but they won't save you money
Barry Park, The Age, June 25, 2008


A big four-wheel-drive costs as much to run as three small cars, according to the latest survey by Victorian motoring club, the RACV. Barry Park reports.

At more than $400 a week, the Toyota LandCruiser off-roader, powered by a 4.2-litre V8 engine, was the most expensive car surveyed for the third year running.

Owning a hybrid car could cost you up to $50 a week more than its petrol equivalent, the latest annual RACV survey of car ownership costs shows. And owners of large four-wheel-drives are paying the equivalent of running up to three small cars.

The survey of 60 of the best-selling cars on our roads, released today, accounts for all the weekly costs of owning a car.

At more than $400 a week, the Toyota LandCruiser off-roader, powered by a 4.2-litre V8 engine, was the most expensive car surveyed for the third year running.

In contrast, the Hyundai Getz light hatchback, powered by an economical 1.4-litre engine, costs just over $120 a week, the second year running it has taken the honour as the cheapest to run. However, this year it costs an extra $6.29 a week.

The survey considered such factors as how much a car costs when new, the value it loses as it ages over five years, and running costs including the price of fuel, tyres, servicing and insurance.

The results should help guide car owners the next time they think about buying a new car, says RACV chief vehicles engineer Michael Case.

Fuel for thought for potential hybrid car buyers is the revelation that the Toyota Prius, which uses an electric motor to help the petrol engine, costs about $50 a week more to run than its closest petrol equivalent, a Toyota Corolla small hatch, and up to $5 a week more than a mid-sized four-cylinder Camry.

The Honda Civic hybrid costs about $23 a week more to run than its four-cylinder petrol equivalent, the survey shows.

That should change when the hybrid Camry stars rolling off Toyota's Port Melbourne assembly line in two years, Mr Case says.

The Camry hybrid is expected to cost about $4000 more than its petrol equivalent, compared with the Civic and Prius, which cost about $10,000 more than their petrol equivalents and add substantially to ownership costs.

The survey also shows that sometimes smaller is not better. At $233 a week, Subaru's four-cylinder Liberty powered by a 2.5-litre engine worked out more than $7 a week more expensive to own than a 3.5-litre, V6 base-model Toyota Aurion. And Holden's Epica mid-sized sedan, powered by a 2.5-litre six-cylinder engine, won its category, costing only $196 a week to own, beating down its four-cylinder rivals.

Of the big six-cylinder cars, the average weekly cost of owning a Falcon sedan rose by more than $13 a week to $242, while the Commodore's cost rose by $6 a week to $239.

The E-Gas dedicated LPG Falcon and Commodore fitted with an LPG dual-fuel system both worked out to be slightly less expensive a week to own than their petrol equivalents, but both were more expensive to run than the Aurion.

Smaller soft-roaders, one of the fastest growing parts of the passenger car market, showed very little difference in their ownership costs. Only $7 separated the cheapest (Honda CR-V, $214 a week) and the most expensive (Nissan X-Trail, $221).

Surprisingly, a diesel-engined car was the cheapest to own in the small-car category, despite costing $2500 more than its petrol equivalent and diesel fuel being up to 20 cents a litre more at the pump. The Hyundai i30 hatchback worked out to be about 50 cents a week cheaper to run than its petrol version, mainly because the diesel engine uses less fuel on the road than its petrol equivalent.

Overall, car ownership costs rose by 7% compared with last year's survey.

Mr Case said the operating costs survey should help buyers make a more responsible choice when next they start shopping around for a new car.

"A lot of people feel like they need to buy a new car when in fact they could buy a late-model second-hand one instead," he said.

"In fact, they should really consider whether they need a car at all."
 

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I like this sort of stuff, to put an economic spin on it:

Patriot 38.9 mpg -> 7.26 l/100km x $1.744 = $12.66 per 100 km

Prius 39.9 mpg -> 7.08 l/100km x $1.489 = $10.54 per 100 km

300C V6 on Gas -> 14.4 l/100km x $0.659 = $9.49 per 100 km

Woo Hoo, 300C wins hands down again. :cool:

Fuel prices were the Perth metro prices for May 2008

300C will hive much higher CO2 emissions due to higher fuel consumpstion, so not quite as enviromnentally griendly as the other two, but then LPG is supposed to burn a lot cleaner in terms of other emissions I beleive.

Taxis routinely do 1 million kilometers on gas without touching the engine, how long do those Prius batteries last?
Please explain the difference in the price of gas used in the Prius (presumably) and the 300C V6.
 

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One of my mates is a bit of an alternative energy freak and runs around in a Prius. I quizzed him on the economy figures and he reckons 5 l/100km is fairly typical with a reasonable mix of city and country driving. This is a bit closer to the official economy figures and makes the overall economics of the proposition look a bit better. That is if you can cope with driving around in a fairly plain looking rice cooker. :drive:
 

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One of my mates is a bit of an alternative energy freak and runs around in a Prius. I quizzed him on the economy figures and he reckons 5 l/100km is fairly typical with a reasonable mix of city and country driving. This is a bit closer to the official economy figures and makes the overall economics of the proposition look a bit better. That is if you can cope with driving around in a fairly plain looking rice cooker. :drive:
I recommend that he calculates the figures based on kilometres and litres rather that the trip computer.

It is documented that the Toyota Prius trip computer is overoptimistic, ie. BS. Much like japanese horsepower ratings. :nono:
 

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I recommend that he calculates the figures based on kilometres and litres rather that the trip computer.

It is documented that the Toyota Prius trip computer is overoptimistic, ie. BS. Much like japanese horsepower ratings. :nono:
I think all japanese trip computers are overly optimistic - my wife's 2004 Nissan Maxima's trip computer swears that I'm getting 10.5L per 100 and yet I never get even 500k'm from my 60L tank (according to the trip computer, I should get close to 600ks)

as for 5L/100 in the pious [I mean Prius ;) ], my 2007 Polo diesel gets 5.3/100 (on k's VS L - not trip computer) and has at least twice as much torque - much more fun to drive!
 
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