Hybrid Rental

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Gray
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Hybrid Rental

Post by Gray » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:41 pm

I’m thinking about doing a road trip from Northern Virginia up through New England to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, over to Labrador during the second half of June, over two weeks.

The imperative for the trip will be comfort and fuel economy. I typically use USAA’s site to find a rental with unlimited miles. Does anyone know of a hybrid rental of sufficient size to reduce the mileage hit? There may be Ford Fusion Hybrids for rent but I have not confirmed.

Maybe I should suck it up and just get an SUV. Thoughts?

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:56 pm

Whatever you decide to do for a vehicle, make sure you let the rental outfit know that you plan to take the vehicle to Canada. Officially, there is an insurance card, unique to Canada, that is needed to bring any car into the country. I have never been asked for it (I cross the border by car 4-5X a year) but it is a legal requirement.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

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Gray
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Gray » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:46 pm

Great advice. Thanks

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:48 pm

A Fusion Hybrid will get mid to high 30 mpg on the highway, low 40s city.
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IMO
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by IMO » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:12 pm

Gray wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:41 pm
I’m thinking about doing a road trip from Northern Virginia up through New England to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, over to Labrador during the second half of June, over two weeks.

The imperative for the trip will be comfort and fuel economy. I typically use USAA’s site to find a rental with unlimited miles. Does anyone know of a hybrid rental of sufficient size to reduce the mileage hit? There may be Ford Fusion Hybrids for rent but I have not confirmed.

Maybe I should suck it up and just get an SUV. Thoughts?
Can you actually specifically rent a hybrid? I've never seen that, and I just went to USAA's rental car site and there wasn't any hybrid's that seemed to come up even under the "Specialty" car tab? I've only seen vehicle class/size as the selection factor on car rental sites. Vehicles listed on sites say "or similar" when it comes to the car class/size and I've never been able to guarantee a specific car unless it was at a local Enterprise neighborhood type of location where I could call and ask what was available that day.

More logically, it seems you should be comparing the overall cost difference in the vehicle type and then factoring typical mpg and gasoline cost expected for the trip for cars in the specific class size.

I'd also check various on-line rental sites and sometimes USAA is as cheap as other sites (either travel sites or directly with rental car agency sites), sometimes it isn't. However, if you rent via USAA they did have some agreements with various rental companies that give you additional benefits for USAA members, for example, below is from USAA site:

Rent a car with Enterprise using your USAA membership and receive benefits* including:
Car rental discount on everyday low rates
No fee for drivers under 25
No additional driver fee for spouses or USAA family members
Primary liability coverage included
Unlimited mileage on most vehicles
Loss of use fee waived
Loss damage limits


Edit: I've had to "educate" the Enterprise car rental upgrade salesman on this a few times because they did not know of the above USAA agreement (just FYI in case they are trying to upsell insurance coverage at the rental site).

adamthesmythe
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:30 pm

Even IF you find a company that rents hybrids (and according to IMO this does not seem to exist) you may not actually get that car.

Better to focus on saving $ on the rate and on the insurance.

random_walker_77
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by random_walker_77 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:42 pm

MPG varies so much from car to car, and rental companies generally just guarantee you a car in your reserved "category" or "better"

i.e. if you have a reservation for an intermediate sedan, but all they have are SUVS and minivans, you'll find yourself with a free upgrade to a SUV, whether you want one or not.

Note that a non-hybrid toyota camry will get nearly 40 MPG on the highway, as will the smaller corolla. The new Camry Hybrid gets 53 MPG on the highway, but I doubt you'll find that at a rental agency.

Topic Author
Gray
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Gray » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:47 pm

I always use USAA for the agreement with unlimited miles. I figure I can shoot for a vehicle that gets relatively good mileage. I’ll ask around if they have any sites with hybrids.

https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/products ... ection.jsp

megabad
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by megabad » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:03 pm

If you are doing mostly highway, I would just get a japanese small or mid sized sedan and not worry if it is hybrid or not. A new japanese sedan will get high 30s highway. A fusion hybrid will only net you a few more mpg than this. What is this maybe $7 in savings per 1000 miles? Probably better to focus on getting a cheap rental. If you can get a japanese hybrid with no price increase, than that seems like a slam dunk but I don't think I have seen any camry/accord hybrids at most of the rental places I have been to.

Sandi_k
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Sandi_k » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:04 pm

My local Toyota dealer has a rental kiosk in their dealership. I recently rented a MY 2020 hybrid Corolla from them It granted 200 miles per day with the rental, and I averaged 52 mpg over the 4 days I rented.

Maybe your local Toyota dealership also rents...

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Mursili
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Mursili » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:34 am

When I rent from National in Kansas City, I have regularly chosen a Fusion hybrid. I like them. I have been seeing fewer of them on the lot lately, however.
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jacksonm
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by jacksonm » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:43 am

I rented a Prius in Seattle a couple of years ago when it was offered to me as an upgrade to what I had originally booked. There was an increase in cost but the agent assured me we would make up for it in gas savings.

I never did the math but I believe the agent was full of poop on the gas savings. I did enjoy watching the graph displayed on the dashboard even though I never figured out what it was trying to tell me.

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grabiner
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by grabiner » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:05 pm

jacksonm wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:43 am
I rented a Prius in Seattle a couple of years ago when it was offered to me as an upgrade to what I had originally booked. There was an increase in cost but the agent assured me we would make up for it in gas savings.

I never did the math but I believe the agent was full of poop on the gas savings. I did enjoy watching the graph displayed on the dashboard even though I never figured out what it was trying to tell me.
You can work it out. My 2017 Prius gets 56 MPG. My previous car, a Honda Civic, got 32 MPG when I drove it in the same area. On a trip of 224 miles, the Prius would use 4 gallons of gas, and the Civic would use 7 gallons, a difference of 3 gallons, about $9 at today's prices. So, how far are you planning to drive that rental car?
Wiki David Grabiner

Bacchus01
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:16 am

Mursili wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:34 am
When I rent from National in Kansas City, I have regularly chosen a Fusion hybrid. I like them. I have been seeing fewer of them on the lot lately, however.

I’m actually surprised any of the big players have Hybrids. Why would they? Cost more. Costlier to maintain. The fuel savings doesn’t matter as they don’t pay for the fuel. And they are less environmentally friendly.

Valuethinker
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:35 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:16 am
Mursili wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:34 am
When I rent from National in Kansas City, I have regularly chosen a Fusion hybrid. I like them. I have been seeing fewer of them on the lot lately, however.

I’m actually surprised any of the big players have Hybrids. Why would they? Cost more. Costlier to maintain. The fuel savings doesn’t matter as they don’t pay for the fuel. And they are less environmentally friendly.
1. they are environmentally less friendly? For high mileage vehicles I doubt that is true. I think you have bit into an urban myth (I am aware this has been highly debated, but the concomitant of that is there are a lot of research papers out there, many of high quality, estimating "well to wheel" environmental costs of vehicles - this one has been debated to death).

2. costlier to maintain? There's a reason cabs and airport limos have gone to the Prius, worldwide - it's quite striking, I first noticed this in New York but it's also true of London minicabs (i.e. not licensed black taxis). One is fuel economy, yes. But another is they are relatively reliable and regenerative braking means less wear and tear on brakes.

I suspect the real reason is Toyota does not have a huge incentive to shift excess stock of cars -- particularly hybrids. That's where rental companies usually get their car fleet - at very low cost from a manufacturer who needs to reduce inventory/ maintain production schedules.

Sidenote

The number 1 country for the Toyota Prius is apparently Mongolia. For 2 reasons:

1. Japan has stiff inspection rules on older cars (some would argue to maintain the car market). So it's easier just to get rid of a 3+ year old car and buy a new one. Lots of used Priuses (Priui?) shipped from Japan (albeit presumably with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car?)

2. cold start. In -40C (= -40F) gasoline congeals and the engine won't start. Electric motors will start. Who knew?

Bacchus01
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:40 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:35 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:16 am
Mursili wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:34 am
When I rent from National in Kansas City, I have regularly chosen a Fusion hybrid. I like them. I have been seeing fewer of them on the lot lately, however.

I’m actually surprised any of the big players have Hybrids. Why would they? Cost more. Costlier to maintain. The fuel savings doesn’t matter as they don’t pay for the fuel. And they are less environmentally friendly.
1. they are environmentally less friendly? For high mileage vehicles I doubt that is true. I think you have bit into an urban myth (I am aware this has been highly debated, but the concomitant of that is there are a lot of research papers out there, many of high quality, estimating "well to wheel" environmental costs of vehicles - this one has been debated to death).

2. costlier to maintain? There's a reason cabs and airport limos have gone to the Prius, worldwide - it's quite striking, I first noticed this in New York but it's also true of London minicabs (i.e. not licensed black taxis). One is fuel economy, yes. But another is they are relatively reliable and regenerative braking means less wear and tear on brakes.

I suspect the real reason is Toyota does not have a huge incentive to shift excess stock of cars -- particularly hybrids. That's where rental companies usually get their car fleet - at very low cost from a manufacturer who needs to reduce inventory/ maintain production schedules.

Sidenote

The number 1 country for the Toyota Prius is apparently Mongolia. For 2 reasons:

1. Japan has stiff inspection rules on older cars (some would argue to maintain the car market). So it's easier just to get rid of a 3+ year old car and buy a new one. Lots of used Priuses (Priui?) shipped from Japan (albeit presumably with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car?)

2. cold start. In -40C (= -40F) gasoline congeals and the engine won't start. Electric motors will start. Who knew?

Sorry, but 1 is not fact. All the reports have been done by biased groups that have not looked at the entire value chain. Strip Mining lithium in China is way more environmentally impactful (negative) than extremely modern and clean oil processing.

Taxi’s use the Prius because of fuel. Next to labor, fuel is their highest cost. It’s not maintenance or being green, it’s fuel.

Gasoline congeals at that point? Really? I guess I’ll have to go second guess all the engineers down the hall. Diesel does, but not gasoline. Do you know what that cold cycle does to a battery? It significantly diminishes its life.

Valuethinker
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:21 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:40 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:35 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:16 am
Mursili wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:34 am
When I rent from National in Kansas City, I have regularly chosen a Fusion hybrid. I like them. I have been seeing fewer of them on the lot lately, however.

I’m actually surprised any of the big players have Hybrids. Why would they? Cost more. Costlier to maintain. The fuel savings doesn’t matter as they don’t pay for the fuel. And they are less environmentally friendly.
1. they are environmentally less friendly? For high mileage vehicles I doubt that is true. I think you have bit into an urban myth (I am aware this has been highly debated, but the concomitant of that is there are a lot of research papers out there, many of high quality, estimating "well to wheel" environmental costs of vehicles - this one has been debated to death).

2. costlier to maintain? There's a reason cabs and airport limos have gone to the Prius, worldwide - it's quite striking, I first noticed this in New York but it's also true of London minicabs (i.e. not licensed black taxis). One is fuel economy, yes. But another is they are relatively reliable and regenerative braking means less wear and tear on brakes.

I suspect the real reason is Toyota does not have a huge incentive to shift excess stock of cars -- particularly hybrids. That's where rental companies usually get their car fleet - at very low cost from a manufacturer who needs to reduce inventory/ maintain production schedules.

Sidenote

The number 1 country for the Toyota Prius is apparently Mongolia. For 2 reasons:

1. Japan has stiff inspection rules on older cars (some would argue to maintain the car market). So it's easier just to get rid of a 3+ year old car and buy a new one. Lots of used Priuses (Priui?) shipped from Japan (albeit presumably with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car?)

2. cold start. In -40C (= -40F) gasoline congeals and the engine won't start. Electric motors will start. Who knew?

Sorry, but 1 is not fact. All the reports have been done by biased groups that have not looked at the entire value chain. Strip Mining lithium in China is way more environmentally impactful (negative) than extremely modern and clean oil processing.
Saving gasoline has a huge positive externality. Using gasoline has a huge negative externality - "modern and clean oil processing" does not solve it. And the lithium of course does not go to waste because it can be recycled.

The rest? "biased groups that have not looked at the entire value chain". And your sources are -- unbiased? This is a subject bodies like the EU and the UK CCC have had studied to death by recognized firms of automotive analysts such as Ricardo. Also the US National Research Labs have done work.

The work I found online has moved on to the question of EVs v ICE cars. Hybrids get mentioned in passing. There are some concerns re Life Cycle Analysis - it's not been done consistently.

But roughly speaking 15% of the total lifecycle emissions of an ICE car are from its manufacture, and 3% from its disposal. So c 80% are from its use. If a hybrid gets 1/3rd better gas mileage, to make the 2 LCA emissions equal would require the hybrid to have 2x the emissions in manufacture over an ICE vehicle - just how likely is that?

I did find this:

https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication ... s-analysis

which looked fairly authoritative.

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/81517338.pdf is an interesting survey.

https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/up ... l-2013.pdf

after page 140 has summaries of research re cars. PHEVs rather than HEVs, but you can get a sense of the underlying position. The CCC is in charge of administering the UK govt's law on the field.

Taxi’s use the Prius because of fuel. Next to labor, fuel is their highest cost. It’s not maintenance or being green, it’s fuel.
The (Lincoln driving) airport Limo driver told me they are also very reliable - he wants one.
Gasoline congeals at that point? Really? I guess I’ll have to go second guess all the engineers down the hall. Diesel does, but not gasoline. Do you know what that cold cycle does to a battery? It significantly diminishes its life.
[/quote]
That suggests you work for a manufacturer who has a distinct bias against these cars?

I've not heard about cold and lithium ion batteries (actually the Prius uses a metal hydride?).

However the source re Mongolia was a good one (I can't remember whether it was The Economist or The Financial Times) -- and Mongolians would not drive things that won't cold start.

It might be I am underestimating how cold it gets in Mongolia (-50s or -60s is certainly possible) and the problem with gasoline starts appears then? It was not something I had heard about. Go back to Edmonton in the 1970s and people would not buy Japanese cars because they couldn't take the cold, but that problem has been fixed. In fact my friend who lives outside of Edmonton has just bought -- a RAV4 hybrid.

smitcat
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Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by smitcat » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:32 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:21 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:40 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:35 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:16 am
Mursili wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:34 am
When I rent from National in Kansas City, I have regularly chosen a Fusion hybrid. I like them. I have been seeing fewer of them on the lot lately, however.

I’m actually surprised any of the big players have Hybrids. Why would they? Cost more. Costlier to maintain. The fuel savings doesn’t matter as they don’t pay for the fuel. And they are less environmentally friendly.
1. they are environmentally less friendly? For high mileage vehicles I doubt that is true. I think you have bit into an urban myth (I am aware this has been highly debated, but the concomitant of that is there are a lot of research papers out there, many of high quality, estimating "well to wheel" environmental costs of vehicles - this one has been debated to death).

2. costlier to maintain? There's a reason cabs and airport limos have gone to the Prius, worldwide - it's quite striking, I first noticed this in New York but it's also true of London minicabs (i.e. not licensed black taxis). One is fuel economy, yes. But another is they are relatively reliable and regenerative braking means less wear and tear on brakes.

I suspect the real reason is Toyota does not have a huge incentive to shift excess stock of cars -- particularly hybrids. That's where rental companies usually get their car fleet - at very low cost from a manufacturer who needs to reduce inventory/ maintain production schedules.

Sidenote

The number 1 country for the Toyota Prius is apparently Mongolia. For 2 reasons:

1. Japan has stiff inspection rules on older cars (some would argue to maintain the car market). So it's easier just to get rid of a 3+ year old car and buy a new one. Lots of used Priuses (Priui?) shipped from Japan (albeit presumably with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car?)

2. cold start. In -40C (= -40F) gasoline congeals and the engine won't start. Electric motors will start. Who knew?

Sorry, but 1 is not fact. All the reports have been done by biased groups that have not looked at the entire value chain. Strip Mining lithium in China is way more environmentally impactful (negative) than extremely modern and clean oil processing.
Saving gasoline has a huge positive externality. Using gasoline has a huge negative externality - "modern and clean oil processing" does not solve it. And the lithium of course does not go to waste because it can be recycled.

The rest? "biased groups that have not looked at the entire value chain". And your sources are -- unbiased? This is a subject bodies like the EU and the UK CCC have had studied to death by recognized firms of automotive analysts such as Ricardo. Also the US National Research Labs have done work.

The work I found online has moved on to the question of EVs v ICE cars. Hybrids get mentioned in passing. There are some concerns re Life Cycle Analysis - it's not been done consistently.

But roughly speaking 15% of the total lifecycle emissions of an ICE car are from its manufacture, and 3% from its disposal. So c 80% are from its use. If a hybrid gets 1/3rd better gas mileage, to make the 2 LCA emissions equal would require the hybrid to have 2x the emissions in manufacture over an ICE vehicle - just how likely is that?

I did find this:

https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication ... s-analysis

which looked fairly authoritative.

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/81517338.pdf is an interesting survey.

https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/up ... l-2013.pdf

after page 140 has summaries of research re cars. PHEVs rather than HEVs, but you can get a sense of the underlying position. The CCC is in charge of administering the UK govt's law on the field.

Taxi’s use the Prius because of fuel. Next to labor, fuel is their highest cost. It’s not maintenance or being green, it’s fuel.
The (Lincoln driving) airport Limo driver told me they are also very reliable - he wants one.
Gasoline congeals at that point? Really? I guess I’ll have to go second guess all the engineers down the hall. Diesel does, but not gasoline. Do you know what that cold cycle does to a battery? It significantly diminishes its life.
That suggests you work for a manufacturer who has a distinct bias against these cars?

I've not heard about cold and lithium ion batteries (actually the Prius uses a metal hydride?).

However the source re Mongolia was a good one (I can't remember whether it was The Economist or The Financial Times) -- and Mongolians would not drive things that won't cold start.

It might be I am underestimating how cold it gets in Mongolia (-50s or -60s is certainly possible) and the problem with gasoline starts appears then? It was not something I had heard about. Go back to Edmonton in the 1970s and people would not buy Japanese cars because they couldn't take the cold, but that problem has been fixed. In fact my friend who lives outside of Edmonton has just bought -- a RAV4 hybrid.
[/quote]

"It might be I am underestimating how cold it gets in Mongolia (-50s or -60s is certainly possible) and the problem with gasoline starts appears then?"
I always thought that Lithium -ion batteries freeze at about -40?

BBBob
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:25 pm

Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by BBBob » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:42 am

You might also take a look at:
https://www.betterworldclub.com/travel- ... sultation/

Better World Club is an alternative to the AAA, has been around for decades, and is attuned to environmentally-sensitive travel choices in addition to providing great roadside protection (for bicycles and autos) in my experience.

researcher
Posts: 1166
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by researcher » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:01 pm

Gray wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:41 pm
The imperative for the trip will be comfort and fuel economy.
I would forget about a hybrid for your trip.

According to Fueleconomy.gov, a Toyota Prius gets 50 MPG on the highway, and a Toyota Camry gets 40 MPG.

If you plan to drive 2000 miles and gas averages $2.75/gallon, you will only save $27.50 by driving the Prius.

jlawrence01
Posts: 1563
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Southern AZ

Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:20 pm

Hertz rents a number of hybrids but you will pay 50-75% more than a conventional vehicle and they MUST be ordered in advance.

The problem with the Ford Fusion Hybrid is that the battery back really cuts down the size of the trunk to less than you would get in the normal standard compact car.

For the record - and you probably don't want to hear this - is that I have received better gas mileage renting a 2018 Toyota Corolla or a 2018 Hyundai Elantra (both with gas engines) than I did with the 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid on largely highway driving. I know that is an "inconvenient truth."

stoptothink
Posts: 6547
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Hybrid Rental

Post by stoptothink » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:29 pm

jlawrence01 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:20 pm
For the record - and you probably don't want to hear this - is that I have received better gas mileage renting a 2018 Toyota Corolla or a 2018 Hyundai Elantra (both with gas engines) than I did with the 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid on largely highway driving. I know that is an "inconvenient truth."
I've gotten better highway mileage in my jetta (mid 50's) then I did driving a prius previously. City mileage is a different story, obviously. Some of these new small turbo engines are incredibly efficient if you stay off boost. You don't get a hybrid to save money if you are doing a lot of highway driving.

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