Trading in for better mpg

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snyder66
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Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:02 pm

I guess I'm just thinking out loud. But, When would you consider trading in your vehicle for another with superior MPG. I currently have an 04 AWD Sienna that maybe gets 15. I would feel better with another AWD, I live in the NE. Winters have been pretty calm, but you never know. I would have no problems with a Prius, if it could get me where I need to go. Any thoughts?

Call_Me_Op
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Call_Me_Op » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:07 pm

I wouldn't trade-in for to get greater MPG - because the initial cost will be higher. If there is some operational feature that you really want, by all means trade-in for that reason.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

GeauxBR
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by GeauxBR » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:10 pm

Gas would have to be at like $10/gal for me to consider adding a car note to save money.

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SteveNet
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by SteveNet » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:22 pm

Depends on how much driving you do per yr to justify the added cost of a new vehicle that gets +mpgs.
I drive about 2500 miles a year, so to me it's a question of reliable transportation, mpg's not so much.
Being frugal is hard to learn, but once learned is hard to stop.

snyder66
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:28 pm

I was talking about adding another car or a new car. Simply trading what I have for a vehicle with better gas mileage.

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greg24
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by greg24 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:31 pm

A new Prius is a huge expense in order to reduce a rather small expense of gasoline. If its purely to cut costs, I'd consider trading in your Sienna for a 8 year old Corolla.

snyder66
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:43 pm

Not talking about a new Prius. But, I do have 3 kids that I sometimes need to haul.

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Peter Foley
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:09 pm

I would only consider doing so if I put on enough miles per year to justify the additional expense.
10,000 miles per year @ 20 miles per gallon = 500 gallons. 500 gal. X $4.00/gal = $2,000 in gas per year.
10,000 miles per year @ 15 miles per gallon = 667 gallons. 667 gal. X $4.00/gal = $2,668 in gas per year.

So in this example you save about $668 in fuel costs. At 15,000 miles per year you would save about $1000. A new car may have higher depreciation, higher insurance costs, lower repair costs, etc. If you ignore all that, you are still looking at many years of driving to break even if you drive a modest number of miles each year.

MathWizard
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by MathWizard » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:28 pm

It's hard to beat the Sienna for space and AWD. You may be overestimating your need for
AWD. All cars have 4 wheel braking, and stopping is much more imprortant than going.
front-wheel drive, good tires and traction control are what makes thing go well.

I have Buicks with front wheel drive and traction control (which uses ABS to keep drive wheels
from spinning.) I live in snow country and haven't had any problems. I haven't been stuck since
I had rear wheel drive cars. Only twice in the last 25 years have I had any problems, and that was
slowing on glare ice to avoid accidents. I didn't get involved in the accident, but the car did slide
slightly even with ABS. The only thing that would have helped there would have been studded tires.
(Chains are not allowed here, studs only in the winter, but almost nobody uses studs.)

My Buick Lesabre with its 3.8 Litre V6 gets 19 MPG in town, 25 MPG on the highway at 70 to 75MPH
(30MPG in places where I can only go 55), as do my two Buick Centuries. All would handle 3 kids easily.
I use my Grand Caravan for van duty (hauling or lots of passengers), and it gets only 19 MPG on the highway.

I do live in relatively flat country where the roads get plowed regularly, and I don't go on lightly
travelled gravel roads anymore, so that might change things if you do.

dickenjb
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by dickenjb » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:20 pm

It never makes sense to trade for better mpg imho.

Although the car marketers will tell you otherwise and view every spike in oil prices as an opportunity

Do the math, it is not difficult

reggiesimpson
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by reggiesimpson » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:57 pm

The Prius is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to crash tests. Wait awhile longer as the MPG improves annually with lots of cars.

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ryuns
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by ryuns » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:47 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:The Prius is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to crash tests. Wait awhile longer as the MPG improves annually with lots of cars.
[citation needed]

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/ca ... us/Safety/
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

TT
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by TT » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:58 pm

ryuns wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:The Prius is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to crash tests. Wait awhile longer as the MPG improves annually with lots of cars.
[citation needed]

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/ca ... us/Safety/
Crash tests are not the real world as the laws of physics will prevail.
Google "Crash Incompatibility "

Default User BR
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Default User BR » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:02 pm

snyder66 wrote:I guess I'm just thinking out loud. But, When would you consider trading in your vehicle for another with superior MPG.
As I drive 1995 full-size Bronco with the 5.8L engine, I'd say we have quite a ways to go. One way to put it in perspective, when I started as a young pup at MyMegaCorp in the early 80s, I drove a similar vehicle (1980 Blazer), gas was over $1 a gallon, and I made a fifth of what I do now.


Brian

slowlrnr
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by slowlrnr » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:28 pm

Peter Foley wrote:I would only consider doing so if I put on enough miles per year to justify the additional expense.
10,000 miles per year @ 20 miles per gallon = 500 gallons. 500 gal. X $4.00/gal = $2,000 in gas per year.
10,000 miles per year @ 15 miles per gallon = 667 gallons. 667 gal. X $4.00/gal = $2,668 in gas per year.

So in this example you save about $668 in fuel costs. At 15,000 miles per year you would save about $1000. A new car may have higher depreciation, higher insurance costs, lower repair costs, etc. If you ignore all that, you are still looking at many years of driving to break even if you drive a modest number of miles each year.
How do you compare this to lease? Currently Leaf and Volt are leasing around $200-$250 per month. Is this a better option?

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norookie
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by norookie » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:02 pm

Thoughts? I did this once, only once. Luckily for me the RAV4 returned its sold purchase price less than 12months later. All to save 2mpg. Not worth it, IMO.
" Wealth usually leads to excess " Cicero 55 b.c

snyder66
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:03 pm

That is, assuming you are driving a Prius and get hit by said vehicle. It is kinda silly to me.

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telemark
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by telemark » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:23 pm

Subaru Forester, or maybe a Legacy wagon, depending on how much interior space you need.

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Watty
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Watty » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:38 pm

Any thoughts?
The big question is how long you are planning on keeping your current car.

If you are only going to keep it for a year or two more anyway then I would wait until you happen to find a great deal on the replacement car at let that control when you get the next car.

harikaried
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by harikaried » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:21 pm

I believe Subaru's Impreza has the highest AWD MPG rating at 36 for highway especially at its $18k price. But how often do you need AWD or the capacity vs MPG? How many miles are you driving? How many of those miles are in snowy conditions?

From Peter's numbers, at 10k miles and 15mpg, it's $2668 in gas assuming $4/gal. The Impreza is 30mpg combined, so half the cost of gas at $1334 (and $1334 saving) for an upfront $18k. With a 50mpg PriusC and upfront $19k, you get an equivalent gas cost of $800 or $1868 saving compared to the current 15mpg.

So at those rates, it would take 13.5 years @ 10k miles/year to break even on gas+msrp for the Impreza and 10 years for the PriusC. If you traded in your Sienna for $6k (assuming the small sedan is suitable for your needs), that's about 9 years to break even (-- about the same amount of time you've had your Sienna). It doesn't really make sense to trade in for the PriusC though assuming you do want AWD for when you need it.

snyder66
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:14 pm

I only plan on keeping my car until it is feasible for me to get rid of it. My wife can haul kids and stuff in her car. I just may run this in the ground. It doesn't really make sense to get rid if it with those numbers. It's a minivan, but trading cars is often a fools game.

mortal
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by mortal » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:39 pm

Strictly from a financial perspective, this almost never makes sense.

I use this handy edmunds calculator to run the numbers.

http://www.edmunds.com/calculators/gas-guzzler.html

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Jerilynn
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Jerilynn » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:47 am

snyder66 wrote:I guess I'm just thinking out loud. But, When would you consider trading in your vehicle for another with superior MPG. I currently have an 04 AWD Sienna that maybe gets 15. I would feel better with another AWD, I live in the NE. Winters have been pretty calm, but you never know. I would have no problems with a Prius, if it could get me where I need to go. Any thoughts?
I just went from a Escape Hybrid getting around 29mpg to a Fusion hybrid that according to CR should get around 40ish.
My escape was AWD, but of course since I bought it we've had 7 years in a row of mild winters. ;)

Anyhow, my son will get it when my new one comes in from the factory.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

snyder66
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:02 am

That's a great calculator. It does only figure a financial calculation. It doesn't figure your saving on the environment.

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mike143
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by mike143 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:20 am

I have never driven in snow but I hear many say a FWD is usually effective and doesn't necessitate AWD. I would value FWD over AWD simply due reduced total cost of ownership (purchase price and maintenance).
Nothing is free, someone pays...You can't spend your way to financial freedom.

Valuethinker
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:49 am

TT wrote:
ryuns wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:The Prius is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to crash tests. Wait awhile longer as the MPG improves annually with lots of cars.
[citation needed]

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/ca ... us/Safety/
Crash tests are not the real world as the laws of physics will prevail.
Google "Crash Incompatibility "
No really. Give us a credible reference. It is a big contention just to make, and then to refute a recognized ranking by saying 'not real world'.

Valuethinker
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:53 am

snyder66 wrote:I guess I'm just thinking out loud. But, When would you consider trading in your vehicle for another with superior MPG. I currently have an 04 AWD Sienna that maybe gets 15. I would feel better with another AWD, I live in the NE. Winters have been pretty calm, but you never know. I would have no problems with a Prius, if it could get me where I need to go. Any thoughts?
your biggest cost of ownership is usually depreciation. Gas comes second (it can come third if you are in the wrong insurance category/ location).

So by holding onto this car, you avoid that. It is usually best to defer car purchase as long as you can subject to a car being safe and reliable.

Exception if you do really heavy mileage, especially if that mileage includes a lot of stop and go urban (where an efficient car really shines against an inefficient one, whereas at highway speeds, the gap is likely to be less dramatic).

I would set a mental date to replace (2 years? 3?) and start thinking and researching what you want to buy so when the moment comes you are a buyer of opportunity, can drive a good bargain.

Valuethinker
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:04 pm

snyder66 wrote:That's a great calculator. It does only figure a financial calculation. It doesn't figure your saving on the environment.
The cost of scrapping a car (and making a new one) is not insignificant.

Roughly speaking (and believe me this one has been researched with 'well to wheel' calculations for Volvos originally) and hotly debated, 15% of the lifecycle emissions of a car are in its creation, and c. 3% in its scrappage. That's very rough, and it's from memory.

So given that when you buy a new car for sure a new car is created, but your old car probably runs on for a few more years, it is generally environmentally better to keep the old car, run it into the ground, and defer purchase of a new car.

Some cars are so environmentally horrible (Hummer) that that's probably not true.

But in your situation (and I am a very green person by ideology) money etc. probably tip it that you keep the car at least 2-3 more years, unless it becomes unreliable or unsafe, or unless you drive really high mileage.

snyder66
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:11 pm

Excellent point, valuethinker. Until, I can convert my next car to a WVO conversion. I suppose I'll stick with the old Minivan.

Valuethinker
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:20 am

snyder66 wrote:Excellent point, valuethinker. Until, I can convert my next car to a WVO conversion. I suppose I'll stick with the old Minivan.
Minivans are often very good news. There's a reason the third world runs on minivan taxis-- they are generally cheaper and more flexible than municipal buses (which may not run at all).

Consider:

- 6 kids to a hockey practice. 3-4 parent drivers, each in own car, maybe SUVs. Or one parent and one minivan

- High Occupancy vehicle lanes. One of the alternatives to public transport infrastructure (expensive and inflexible, ill suited to suburban office parks etc.) is a network of minivans that start and drop off in shopping mall parking lots around the periphery of the urban area. We cannot possibly build enough roads for the traffic demand-- we have to make better use of road space-- and fixed rail etc. is only economic at much higher population densities than most North American cities have (and they really only work suburbs to downtown, not eg suburb to suburb). A network of minivans is the logical answer (especially with HOV).

- ditto trip to the old age home to take people on an excursion

- getting the builders to the site (if back of pickup is full)

- taxi type scenarios - not 3 airport limos, but one minivan for a corporate group

I think the evidence suggests that minivan drivers are careful drivers, too.

It's not just how much gas the thing burns per trip, it's consumption *per person* which has to factor in.

TT
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by TT » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:33 am

Valuethinker wrote:
TT wrote:
ryuns wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:The Prius is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to crash tests. Wait awhile longer as the MPG improves annually with lots of cars.
[citation needed]

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/ca ... us/Safety/
Crash tests are not the real world as the laws of physics will prevail.
Google "Crash Incompatibility "
No really. Give us a credible reference. It is a big contention just to make, and then to refute a recognized ranking by saying 'not real world'.
My point is that the crash test results should not be considered absolute as to what occurs in the real world
The value of crash tests are primarily relevant if impacts are on a stationary object or a vehicle of similar mass.

How many times have you read about a vehicle crash that involves 2 or more vehicles and the occupants of the SUV/Light Truck/Van with marginal crash test ratings walk away from the accident and the occupants of the passenger vehicle with "12 airbags" and "good" crash test ratings are critically injured or tragically killed. When a 4500 - 6500 lb vehicle impacts a 3100 lb vehicle the laws of physics will prevail.
The average passenger car has a bumper height of maybe 24 - 28 inches and Light trucks /SUVs has a average bumper height of 28 to 38 inches. Do you think frontal, side and offset crash test ratings will be valid when a mass that is 1.5 to 2 times greater impacts the passenger car at a height that overrides the front bumper or the side door beam?
The data below is referenced from NHTSA' web site regarding impacts between passenger cars and SUV/Light Truck/Van.

NHTSA defines it as Mass Incompatibility • Stiffness Incompatibility • and Geometric Incompatibility.


"In collisions between utility vehicles and cars,
4.1 drivers died in the car for every driver who was killed
in the utility vehicle. Clearly, the fatality toll in car-LTV
frontal crashes is disproportionately shouldered by the
drivers of passenger cars."


"Light trucks and
vans (LTVs) currently account for over one-third (updated data is 39%)of
registered U.S. passenger vehicles. Yet, collisions
between cars and LTVs account for over one half of all
fatalities in light vehicle-to-vehicle crashes. In these
crashes, 81 percent of the fatally-injured were occupants
of the car."

2009 stats from NHTSA
"In two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger car
and a light truck
3,632 passenger car occupants killed
954 light truck occupants killed"

mlipps
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by mlipps » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:01 am

We traded in our 2009 Liberty for a 2010 Matrix. We paid $1,000 out of pocket on the trade, plus about $400 in tax, fees, etc. No kids here though, just dogs, so we could afford to sacrifice the 10 cubic feet or so of space we lost. I did it for two reasons. One was MPG, the Liberty was around 16/19 for us; Matrix is supposed to get 26/31 (We get closer to 33 on 9 hour drives home to our parents' town in Ohio). The other was reliability; I'd like to keep the car until it falls apart and the Liberty had already started doing that, at least superficially. The Matrix is much more reliable and has 30k less miles to boot.

So, I think it makes sense to make it one of your considerations, but ultimately, the car has to suit your other needs too.

snyder66
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by snyder66 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:11 am

After my wife just got rear ended by a Dodge Ram, I tend to agree. Luckily, My children were not in the back seat. Don't think she would have faired so well in a Prius. Obviously, You can't predict vehicle will hit you where. But, You do feel safer in a larger vehicle.

Desert
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Desert » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:53 pm

This site has some interesting rankings based on "real-world" safety.

http://www.informedforlife.org/

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Jerilynn
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Jerilynn » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:34 pm

mike143 wrote:I have never driven in snow but I hear many say a FWD is usually effective and doesn't necessitate AWD. I would value FWD over AWD simply due reduced total cost of ownership (purchase price and maintenance).
the gas mileage is normally better on a FWD vs. AWD assuming the same make and model vehicle.

On my car, the FWD version had about 2.5 better EPA mileage vs my AWD.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

jbmitt
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by jbmitt » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:51 pm

harikaried wrote:I believe Subaru's Impreza has the highest AWD MPG rating at 36 for highway especially at its $18k price. But how often do you need AWD or the capacity vs MPG? How many miles are you driving? How many of those miles are in snowy conditions?

From Peter's numbers, at 10k miles and 15mpg, it's $2668 in gas assuming $4/gal. The Impreza is 30mpg combined, so half the cost of gas at $1334 (and $1334 saving) for an upfront $18k. With a 50mpg PriusC and upfront $19k, you get an equivalent gas cost of $800 or $1868 saving compared to the current 15mpg.

So at those rates, it would take 13.5 years @ 10k miles/year to break even on gas+msrp for the Impreza and 10 years for the PriusC. If you traded in your Sienna for $6k (assuming the small sedan is suitable for your needs), that's about 9 years to break even (-- about the same amount of time you've had your Sienna). It doesn't really make sense to trade in for the PriusC though assuming you do want AWD for when you need it.
I love my '12 Subaru Impreza. I don't see the aggressive MPG estimates in real world driving. Granted I'm probably a couple of miles over the speed limit, and I do have aero bars and a bike rack.

Valuethinker
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:06 am

TT wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
TT wrote:
ryuns wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:The Prius is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to crash tests. Wait awhile longer as the MPG improves annually with lots of cars.
[citation needed]

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/ca ... us/Safety/
Crash tests are not the real world as the laws of physics will prevail.
Google "Crash Incompatibility "
No really. Give us a credible reference. It is a big contention just to make, and then to refute a recognized ranking by saying 'not real world'.
My point is that the crash test results should not be considered absolute as to what occurs in the real world
The value of crash tests are primarily relevant if impacts are on a stationary object or a vehicle of similar mass.

How many times have you read about a vehicle crash that involves 2 or more vehicles and the occupants of the SUV/Light Truck/Van with marginal crash test ratings walk away from the accident and the occupants of the passenger vehicle with "12 airbags" and "good" crash test ratings are critically injured or tragically killed. When a 4500 - 6500 lb vehicle impacts a 3100 lb vehicle the laws of physics will prevail.
The average passenger car has a bumper height of maybe 24 - 28 inches and Light trucks /SUVs has a average bumper height of 28 to 38 inches. Do you think frontal, side and offset crash test ratings will be valid when a mass that is 1.5 to 2 times greater impacts the passenger car at a height that overrides the front bumper or the side door beam?
The data below is referenced from NHTSA' web site regarding impacts between passenger cars and SUV/Light Truck/Van.

NHTSA defines it as Mass Incompatibility • Stiffness Incompatibility • and Geometric Incompatibility.


"In collisions between utility vehicles and cars,
4.1 drivers died in the car for every driver who was killed
in the utility vehicle. Clearly, the fatality toll in car-LTV
frontal crashes is disproportionately shouldered by the
drivers of passenger cars."


"Light trucks and
vans (LTVs) currently account for over one-third (updated data is 39%)of
registered U.S. passenger vehicles. Yet, collisions
between cars and LTVs account for over one half of all
fatalities in light vehicle-to-vehicle crashes. In these
crashes, 81 percent of the fatally-injured were occupants
of the car."

2009 stats from NHTSA
"In two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger car
and a light truck
3,632 passenger car occupants killed
954 light truck occupants killed"
So your contention is not that the the Prius is unsafe, but that cars are less safe than other vehicles?

That's a long way from your original statement that the Prius is, amongst vehicles, unsafe?

As to SUVs. v. Cars.

Anecdotally, (because you've used that line of argument) how many rollover accidents are you aware of in the case of cars? Answer: almost none. SUVs and pickups? A lot more.

And how about accidents where the vehicle hits something other than another vehicle? Again, the laws of physics tell you have you have a bigger problem with a non-car: heavier weight tells you longer stopping distance, more kinetic energy.

There's also an issue about how people drive SUVs. Ie the more remote from the road feeling leads to poorer driving. A big part of accidents is driver error, and it's compounded by the sense of being 'above it all' in an SUV (or a pickup).

There was an issue with SUVs (being based on pickups) that they were '2 compartment not 3 compartment' vehicles, ie that they lacked crash safety because they were missing a crumple zone-- regulated as pickups not cars for safety. I *think* that has been fixed, and I *think* the rollover problems are much less, but for the first 10 years or so of the SUV, that was a big issue.

So basically your argument comes down to 'you want a bigger chunk of metal in an accident'. Fair enough, but you've ignored:

- whether you are more likely to cause that accident (due to physics and also the way humans subconsciously process risk-- I've seen that latter, SUV owners powering ahead on an ice clogged freeway, hello people, your stopping distance is not reduced by 4WD!)

What we'd really have to do is look at lethality SUV hitting SUV (after all the reductive assumption is we should all drive SUVs). We'd also have to look at the split of accidents (hit by another vehicle vs. hit something else).

None of this is an argument against a Prius, per se, amongst cars?
Last edited by Valuethinker on Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Valuethinker
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:13 am

Desert wrote:This site has some interesting rankings based on "real-world" safety.

http://www.informedforlife.org/
I can't find the backing info/ definitions (on a quick glance).

Also what does 'safest 10%' v. safests 1% (Honda Accord v Ford Explorer) mean? How many times less safe are you in a Honda Accord?

What I'd really like to see is the regression analysis. How significant is vehicle weight vs. other factors?

Complicating things even more we have the issue that driving patterns eg of SUVs differ. Miles, and where those miles are done. More fuel efficient cars would, logically, be driven more, and therefore less safe (unless per mile driven). Maybe on the other hand SUVs are more driven on rural roads-- driver fatality west of the Mississippi was always much higher than East, due to remoteness from medical treatment of accidents, tendency to speed on roads, and a much higher level of seatbelt compliance by drivers in the East than than the Western states-- I don't know if that is still true?

There is also the weird thing about 'risk budgeting'. Safer cars are driven less safely-- that even applies to wearing seatbelts. Road improvements increase road speed and therefore do not lower death rates. Risk experts have seriously suggested we should do away with auto safety improvements, because people just drive faster. Or as one risk expert said 'to end road deaths, take away seatbelts and put a spike in the middle of the steering wheel'. Actually just putting a soft rubber spike would probably help (the unconscious mind is a strange thing).

The worst are unconscious signals which are *wrong*: smoother ride, more cabin like, less road feel-- all of these make us drive less safely.

TT
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by TT » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:24 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Desert wrote:This site has some interesting rankings based on "real-world" safety.

http://www.informedforlife.org/
I can't find the backing info/ definitions (on a quick glance).

Also what does 'safest 10%' v. safests 1% (Honda Accord v Ford Explorer) mean? How many times less safe are you in a Honda Accord?

What I'd really like to see is the regression analysis. How significant is vehicle weight vs. other factors?

Complicating things even more we have the issue that driving patterns eg of SUVs differ. Miles, and where those miles are done. More fuel efficient cars would, logically, be driven more, and therefore less safe (unless per mile driven). Maybe on the other hand SUVs are more driven on rural roads-- driver fatality west of the Mississippi was always much higher than East, due to remoteness from medical treatment of accidents, tendency to speed on roads, and a much higher level of seatbelt compliance by drivers in the East than than the Western states-- I don't know if that is still true?

There is also the weird thing about 'risk budgeting'. Safer cars are driven less safely-- that even applies to wearing seatbelts. Road improvements increase road speed and therefore do not lower death rates. Risk experts have seriously suggested we should do away with auto safety improvements, because people just drive faster. Or as one risk expert said 'to end road deaths, take away seatbelts and put a spike in the middle of the steering wheel'. Actually just putting a soft rubber spike would probably help (the unconscious mind is a strange thing).

The worst are unconscious signals which are *wrong*: smoother ride, more cabin like, less road feel-- all of these make us drive less safely.


My point was simply that crash tests do not tell the entire story. I do not own any large 2 plus ton vehicles.

Today we have multiple airbags, head curtains, crumple zones, shock absorbing interioirs, reinforced roofs, protective pillars, side door beams, roll over bars, antilock brakes, tire pressure monitoring, electronic stability control, vehicle stability control, vehicle stability enhancement, lane departure avoidance, rear end collision avoidance and on and on. Are all these advancements going to help if you do not drive defensively and refrain from distractions while driving.

I feel that Safety is primarily a factor of a defensive driver and a vehicle designed to handle well under adverse conditions. Remember the old BMW ad - "the safe car is the one that avoids the accident"
Be Safe.

Austintatious
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by Austintatious » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:29 am

snyder66 wrote:I guess I'm just thinking out loud. But, When would you consider trading in your vehicle for another with superior MPG. I currently have an 04 AWD Sienna that maybe gets 15. I would feel better with another AWD, I live in the NE. Winters have been pretty calm, but you never know. I would have no problems with a Prius, if it could get me where I need to go. Any thoughts?
snyder66, the Prius will get you where you want to go in clear driving weather. Ours has done well in the rain, and in a couple of light snowfalls here in Texas ( one to two inches of fresh snow on the road). I don't know about conditions more extreme than that, although front wheel drive vehicle can perform well in snow and on ice. Our 2010 model has been very reliable, essentially trouble free for 97,000 miles ( we replaced the little devices that assist in raising the back hatch) and, to my surprise, notably more comfortable on long trips than expected. IMO, the two biggest negatives are a higher road noise level than desired, and a less than easy entry for a 6 footer, due to the design of the vehicle minimizing wind resistance. The mileage is every bit as good as promised, which is my greatest surprise. If you commute long distances or otherwise do a lot of driving as we do, you will be amazed at the savings. We'd been driving a Honda CRV and getting about 26 mpg, so our gasoline dollar literally gets us twice as far, at just over 51 mpg on average. I've read (still do) about the safety and other aspects of the vehicle, as compared to other vehicles, and I'm still quite satisified with what I've read. The Prius consistently does well in Consumer Reports. It's a vehicle that performs as promised, including the mileage. Talk to Prius owners in your area.

Finn
Posts: 70
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Prius crash testing

Post by Finn » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:41 am

Consumer Reports for April 2014, page 74, summarizes crash results from IIHS and NHTSA for the Toyota Prius.

IIHS ratings are Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor. The Prius is rated "Good" in all four of the safety tests.

The NHTSA ratings have five levels, from Better to Worse. The Prius is in the top two levels in all tests.

Non-research-related rant:

I learned to drive in snow country, though we don't live there now. In my opinion, AWD doesn't help much in snowy, slushy conditions, or on ice (just stay home when there's "real" ice). What helps is snow tires, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and weight over the drive wheels. Front wheel drive works well. AWD helps some in straight ahead driving, not so much in turning or stopping. Where SUVs have a real advantage is in deep snow, but that's because of ground clearance.

JMO, and as always, your mileage may vary.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:58 am

snyder66 wrote:That's a great calculator. It does only figure a financial calculation. It doesn't figure your saving on the environment.
My general philosophy is to first do everything that saves the environment that also saves me money. And, instead of net spending for personal conservation, I'd consider the possibility that a donation of the same net amount might do more good. Adding a car to your personal fleet might have a net effect that is the opposite of saving the environment. It causes a marginal increase in the demand for the production of another vehicle. Personal conservation has less effect than one might think on overall demand for fossil fuel. I think a donation that effects public policy can do more.

When to engage in net spending for energy conservation, it's like a charitable donation for a cause so you should consider overall cost/benefit.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:01 am

Does your Seinna have stability control and traction control?

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tadamsmar
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Re: Trading in for better mpg

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:10 am

snyder66 wrote:That's a great calculator. It does only figure a financial calculation. It doesn't figure your saving on the environment.
Have you explored your carpooling or vanpooling?

I save big bucks and the environment by driving a public transit van to work. My commuting costs are zero and I help eliminate about 400 miles a day of car commuting.

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