Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"Mo Miles" in News

I sincerely hope this story takes a more positive turn. It's all pretty frustrating. This from Wired News yesterday.

33 Comments:

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Kristofer Hood said...

Dude, what's wrong with your Civic Hybrid? You should not be getting 33 mpg, but I can see how upset you are with your purchase. If I were you, I would send the car back.

I have a Civic Hybrid, but I am feeling all right about my purchase because I achieve 50+ mpg on many tanks of gas: driving in the city (35-50mph) and highway (65-80mph). Therefore, I am saving a significant amount of gas (and $$$!!!) these days. In fact, I am searching for fellow Hybrid owners who can tell me how to get even better mileage with my Hybrid.

I had to register with this Blogger website in order to reach you, and try to help you. Perhaps your car is a lemon, or perhaps you could brush up your driving habits. Whatever the case may be, something is obviously amiss with your story.

Although you have gone through much trouble to wade through the PR in order for Wired to make a story of you, I think there's yet hope. Feel free to email me with your concerns about using the Hybrid to drive more efficiently. k233210@yahoo.com. My name is Kristofer Hood.

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I would really not expect a response from Honda at all. I just recently sold a 2002 Honda Accord Coupe because of massive quality problems. Previously I had been a Honda owner and had owned probably 5 or 6 Hondas that had been ultra reliable cars and easily took the high mileage driving that I inflict on my cars. The 2002 I purchased was constantly in the shop and easily qualified for lemon law procedings. The reason I say not to expect anything from Honda is a Honda Customer Service representative told me point blank "we don't care if you buy another car from us, someone else will". At that point it was pretty stupid for me to argue with these people. I lost a little money in resale value but Im rid of that overpriced tin can and know to stay away from Honda as a make forever.

I have given up on Honda cars and have entered the world of Mercedes Diesel cars. My massive 1982 model 300SD with 300k+ miles is not only more reliable than my 2002 Accord it gets better fuel economy. My Accord got 25 highway and my Mercedes gets 30. Forget hybrids. I get my cake and eat it too with a car that can take high mileage and get great fuel economy. Not to mention being a much more comfortable and large car with a huge trunk and plenty of room for passengers.

Mercedes, VW and Jeep all have diesel models. Ditch that hybrid (price the main battery replacment sometime) and get yourself a TDI Jetta or Golf. Not only do the TDI's VW's get 49-50 mpg they are MUCH nicer cars than any recycled diet coke cans that Honda dumps onto the market.

Robert Chase
beostar@sdf.lonestar.org

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also purchased a Honda Civic Hybrid and have put over 45,000 miles on it so far. I feel I must point out that it takes a while to learn to drive the car to get advertised mileage. I just completed a one day trip to Dallas and back to San Antonio (545 miles) on less than one tank of gas (10.8 gallons used out of 13 total capacity). I can almost get 60 miles to the gal. if I 'work' at it.
When I first bought the car I was experiencing the same mileage as you and was equally disappointed. Rather than attacking Honda I decided to see if I was the factor bringing the mileage down. It turns out that I was precisely the problem. The first step for you to take in the quest for better mileage is to drive at the posted speed limits. Jack Rabbit starts have to go as well. The next step to to use the cruise control and see how it operates the engine in various road conditions and try to duplicate the way uses the engine. With a little effort you can get 59 miles per gallon over 100's of miles. Granted, with the A/C running full blast I can only get 48 mpg. The problem is the way you/we drive, not the car. You can't hurry to get good mileage. Try driving the speed limit and see how much better the car performs. And keep the speed constant. Most people do not realize that they speed up when a car approaches to pass them and they slow down after the car has past. They also slow down when they are passing trucks and speed back up after they finally get around them. All this contributes to low gas mileage. What it boils down to is this:
If you really want the great mileage this car offers, you will have to learn to drive efficiently. If you want to bitch about it, continue to run the Indy 500 to and from work.

 
At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also an HCH owner, with over 11,000 miles since October and measured milage over 46 MPG for the car lifetime. Some thoughts:

* I'm in Northeast Ohio - generally flatter than Cincy. Hills kill milage - it's that simple. No car will do close to EPA with heavy hills.

* Someone else mentioned this already, but speed limits are the key. Driving 75 will hurt milage a huge amount.

* Check the tire pressure. Honda's recommendation is insanely low. On my CVT, I have them at 38, and am thinking of going a little higher (the OEM Dunlops go to something like 51 PSI but the ride gets very rough after a point).

* The car changes the way it drives at 5,000 Mi and 10,000 Mi. I had a 35 mi mostly-highway drive right before and right after 10,000 mi, the same drive, and the milage went from reported 42 MPG to reported 56 MPG (the car always reports a little higher than what I calculate, it seems).

None of the cars I've ever owned have come close to EPA numbers in real life.

 
At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do feel for you. I bought a Hybrid in Feb thinking I was going to get MUCH better gas milage then my fellow workers and low and behold I have not ever gotten it over 38mpg.

I have 1 tripometer that I reset every time I pump and one I dont to see what the over all i have been getting and average since I have gotten it has been 37mpg.

I got it mostly because I drive 12 miles to work in stop and go traffic and thought this would be a better solution then my SUV that gets a whopping 15mph. I am very dissapointed in the milage and didnt think there was anything I could do till I saw you got /.ed.

I have tried all kinds of variations of driving, going the speed limit, not going the speed limit, using only the cruise control...I cannot for the life of me get past 38mpg. If you want to trade comments on this or add my name to whatever list to help your situation please email me at rfanch3r@yahoo.com.

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is always Biodiesel: www.veggieavenger.com - Trade up to a spiffy Jetta TDI. :-)

 
At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hondas and Mileage: I drive a 1988 CRX SI and am still getting 45+ mpg on hwy driving. In city 35-38... I started looking at hybrids hoping to gain more mpg but your blog has me thinking(negatively). One thing I have noticed that Honda has steadily gotten worse on mpg during the last 15 years on non-hybrids. Chalk it up to cars getting bigger and heavier. The auto industry has gone in exactly the wrong direction these last 15 years with the SUV craze... bring on $5.00/gal gas and see who is still smiling at the gas pumps... hummer or hybrid owners

 
At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster that said you have to keep your speed constant... that is actually incorrect. You have to keep the amount of fuel going to the engine constant... ie the accelorator in the same spot. Cruise control will do this if you are on a level road but if you live in the north east where the roads are hilly it wont help you much. However if you keep the fuel constant you will go slow up the hill and fast down it :)

On a side note I have a 2003 Acura RSX Type-S. Needless to say I LOVE the car. The sad part is I am 26 and it is a sports car so you know I do jack rabbit starts all the time and wont pass up a race to save my life. Tripple digit speeds get hit more often than they should and I get at worst 25 miles per gallon. I actually average 27 miles per gallon.

Now if my choise is to drive like an old person and go slow and get 32 miles per gallon in a hybrid or to drive in a sports car the way most people would like to drive and get 27 miles per gallon on average (I have had tanks that have been 33-35 miles per gallon) it seems like a no brainer I am going to go with the sports car.

 
At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a Jetta/Golf TDI - they actually deliver without any compromises (e.g. never accelerating quickly or driving over 65). My Jetta TDI's worst mileage was an entire tank spent on heavy stop-and-go Los Angeles city driving - a miserable 41mpg. My daily 20 mile commute at 75-90mph with a fair amount of city traffic on both ends averages ~45mpg.

As a plus side, the handling's awesome and you don't pay a premium or have to wait for delivery.

 
At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the key to getting good mileage on you hybrid is to drive it like it's a Geo Metro? No thanks, I'll just get another Saturn when it's time to get a new car. I get over 30 MPG Highway on my '93 SC2 that has over 170k miles and is reliable as a mother.

 
At 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny...

I have a '97 Porsche 911 that I drive regularly over 100 MPH (actually, it's rare when I drive to not get to at least 100 at least once). Fast starts and uneven pressure on the gas pedal are a staple for driving that car. I average 24 miles/gallon, more on road trips. I don't even worry about mileage really. I keep the car in great condition - it's always tuned up, and I base my oil changes on time rather than mileage. I check the tire pressure frequently too.

Trade your car in for a Porsche. There is no substitute.

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was thinking about getting a Honda, but I've seen that attitude before and I thank the previous poster for the tip. I was thinking about the Ford Escape as I've had Fords for years (unhappy with Windstar) but I'm totally underwhelmed by mileage increase. I love the idea of moving toward better mileage through new technology and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but it sounds like the modest gains in savings are cancelled out by higher purchase prices.

 
At 1:36 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I have a Honda Civic Hybrid and also have averaged only a bit better than 34 mpg (if my conversion from 6.8 l/100k is correct). When I'm sitting in traffic with the engine automatically stopped I realise I'd be getting much worse from normal vehicles.

However, I am very aware the consumption varies greatly dependng on what I do. A roughly 200 mile trip in the country, including hills, gave an average of 40 mpg; travel in town where I live tends to give the worst (7.4 litres/100km) but has also given me the best economy (60mpg over several miles) when I put into practice ideas for better driving I worked out from seeing those variations in performance.

What I'd like to see (from people here and official figures) is not a simple average but a 90% confidence interval, standard deviation, etc. In other words, indications of the variations they get (and possibly an analysis of WHY) - the trip counters are helpful on the Civic Hybrid.

I realise not everybody buys these cars to get super efficiency (e.g they have acceleration at low speeds better than much larger engines), but if you worry over fuel economy I reckon you've got to practice until you can get a 60mpg result over at least a mile before considering yourself skilled as a hybrid driver in the tradition of Scrooge McDuck.

 
At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your story proves interesting and balmfully truthful. I'm doing a story on this actual same subject, and so I chose to add your blog on it for credibility. I've already spoken to both Honda and Toyota and they have supplied me with a number of material to use, which state that they have NOT mislead any consumer. I hope the article proves unbiased, however, and we shall see what happens....Perhaps, if my story is actually published by my editor, you could link it up....My email is jaclyn.roco@bobit.com, and hopefully we'll see this in print! if not, best of luck to you.

 
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