Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Hybrids and FlexFuel revisited: recommend banazir's next car!

Poll #701270 What would Bana drive?

Bana is getting a new car! What should he get?

Ford Lincoln Town Car (4.6L, 2-valve, claimed 17 city/25 highway MPG, no 4WD)
Toyota Prius hybrid electric 4-door sedan (1.5L, claimed 51 city/60 highway MPG, no 4WD)
Honda Civic FA hybrid electric 4-door sedan (1.3L, claimed 49 city/51 highway MPG, no 4WD)
Toyota Highlander hybrid electric SUV (part-time 4WD, 31 city/27 highway)
Ford Escape hybrid electric SUV (all-wheel drive)
Something else

If you selected "something else", please provide the make and model of the vehicle you recommend (and list specs as above, if you know them).

If you selected "something else", please provide a URL to the vehicle's spec sheet.

Is your recommendation a joke?


Some notes:

  • SUVs: When it comes to SUVs, I'm leaning towards holding out for an E85 hybrid. Even the Ford Escape Hybrid E85 (whose prototype was unveiled in January, 2006) isn't out yet.
    Since I don't have a wife or kids yet, I figure I should wait until Toyota unveils a Higlander Hybrid E85 - those things seat 6-7 people!
    The Ford Taurus sedan and station wagon, which I was considering, come in an E85 non-hybrid variety, but it was discontinued for commercial sales in 2005 and is being sold exclusively to rental fleets this year.

  • FlexFuel (E85-compatible) Cars: The Lincoln Town Car is in the above list because it comes in an FlexFuel version that can take E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline), which I forgot to mention. I don't know the claimed mileage, though.

  • Hybrid mileage: There has been some controversy over inflated mileage claims for hybrids1, as you may have read.

  • Hybrid battery life and replacement costs: The cost of a hybrid battery replacement can run about $3000-4000, according to many sites.2, 3 I've heard $3500 and I've heard $5000. I think the estimates far over $4000 are exaggerations, courtesy of the anti-hybrid lobby. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

1 Gartner, J. (2004). "Hybrid Mileage Comes up Short", Wired News, May 11, 2004.
2 "Reliability", The
3 "Batteries are Key",

Tags: biofuels, cars, e85 vehicles, energy, ethanol, fossil fuels, hybrid electric vehicles, nonrenewable resources, petroleum, renewable resources

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