Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

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Crow Hunter
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Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by Crow Hunter » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:27 am

After the first of the year I will be in the market for a 2020 RAV 4.

I am currently trying to decide which version to get. I have never owned a hybrid and have only driven one a single time.

I drive about 30 min each way to work every day. Most of that is on a 65 MPH highway. So I was leaning towards the conventional IC engine, however, my 2010 Corolla onboard computer says my average speed has been 45 MPH over the last 173,000 miles. That leads me to believe that a hybrid would likely save me more gas than I originally anticipated.

My other concern is the CVT. My only experience with CVTs is the rubber belt versions on All Terrain Vehicles which makes me suspicious about their durability on full size passenger vehicles. However, from what I have researched it seems the Toyota CVT is durable so maybe that isn't a major concern.

I also have some concern over the life of the battery packs. My typical vehicle lifecycle target is 10 years/200k miles. I believe that I have read the Toyota "guarantee" on the battery packs is now 8 years. I live in the SE US so hard winters aren't typical for us but heat is.

What is the B.org's collective wisdom?

batpot
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by batpot » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:33 am

Why don't you test drive them both?

For a 30 minute commute averaging 45mph, you're going 22.5 miles each way. You'll have to do your own math as to whether the hybrid makes more economic sense.

I'm more surprised that after 173k miles in a 9 year old Corolla, that you even feel the need to get a gas guzzling SUV at all.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:39 am

Had a 2010 Fusion Hybrid. Put just under 80,000 miles on it in 9 years. Averaged mid 30 mpg. No issues with the CVT.

Now have a 2018 Fusion Energi PHEV. Only has a 21 mile range (more like 18, and 12 in the winter). Drove a 2,000 mile round trip including a few hundred miles of local driving, including plugging in each night at a hotel. Averaged 52 mpg.

Our Ford dealer told us they've never had to replace a hybrid battery.

I would not hesitate to buy a hybrid or a PHEV.

As to the economics, unless you're getting a decent rebate, you have to run the math. When we bought our 2009, it was Cash for Clunkers, plus still a hybrid rebate. When we got our 2018 (lease), there was a rebate plus Ford had huge rebates on that model, making it $4,000 less than the hybrid. A no brainer (also much less than the gas model we would buy, which would have the bigger gas engine than the standard one which had inadequate HP).

My total maintenance on the 2010 Fusion, was limited to oil changes, tire rotations and one replacement set, replacement of the rear brakes (design flaw caused them to rust), and a front suspension replacement due to pot holes that was covered by insurance except for the deductible. Oh, and one update of the car's system when it threw a faulty error. In total I spent $2,200 in 9 years.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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quisp65
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by quisp65 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:42 am

I've heard that hybrid CVTs are a different beast than non-hybrid CVTs. No similarities over than the name but I'm no expert. I got 10 years on my Honda Civic and plan to try to go at least another 5 partly because I am scare of getting a non-hybrid CVT. However I would also never get a hybrid due to they cost more and more complicated. If you are frugal and wanna keep a car 10 years or more you have to figure an extra 3k plus figuring replacement batteries. I guess frugal and hybrid vehicles don't go together.

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susa
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by susa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:52 am

All CVT's are simple to service as DIY.

There are 2 bolts, open 1st the overflow (usually on the side of the transmission), then the bottom drain 2nd. Once drained, tighten bottom and fill to spec volume and verify small quantity comes out of overflow/check bolt opening. Re-install overflow bolt.

All CVT's perform best with more frequent fluid changes since you are only replacing partially with a single change. We service all our cars with a partial transmission fluid change every OTHER engine oil change.

TBillT
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by TBillT » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:59 am

Hybrid RAV-4 would be on my list -- not sure about my better half's list.
The Toyota hybrid system is quite reliable, and you can just forget about it.
Our 2006 Prius in approaching 200k miles no new brakes yet, so I would look at fuel savings and low maintenance.

I am not sure if the RAV4 has the lithium or NiMH batts (Toyota mixes it up). We have very little battery life info from Toyota but I am not aware of a single failure of the lithium batts (out since 2012 Plug-In-Prius now). The more numerous NiMH in Gen2/Gen3 Prius have some low failure rate but it seems to me to be really low failure rate now. Mine is 13-yrs approaching 200k miles. Yes southern heat is more difficult.

Yes it sounds the newer Toyota hybrids have 8-year batt warrnty, whereas it used to be extra to 10-yrs in the so-called CARB states. No big deal now, I would say Gen2 Prius it was important to get the extension if you could, since Gen3 Prius (2010) they have improved the battery software to prevent accidental discharging in most cases such as running on an empty gaso tank. If you are Southeast state you probably only ever had 8-yrs warranty. My theory is batt life has improved from very good to excellent but there is no data just my impression. Consumer Reports had a useful Prius battery survey in 2012 but we would need an update to know anything.

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Crow Hunter
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by Crow Hunter » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:25 am

batpot wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:33 am
Why don't you test drive them both?

For a 30 minute commute averaging 45mph, you're going 22.5 miles each way. You'll have to do your own math as to whether the hybrid makes more economic sense.

I'm more surprised that after 173k miles in a 9 year old Corolla, that you even feel the need to get a gas guzzling SUV at all.
I definitely plan to but test driving to me is much less important that reliability/cost of ownership over the long term. I actually drive 65 most of the way to and from work but apparently I do drive slow enough in other areas that my overall average is down around 45 MPH which leads me to believe there is enough stop/go/slow driving that a hybrid would gain some benefits over the ICE.

I don't feel the need, my wife does. :annoyed

She uses the company car for lots of business trips and it is a compact SUV. The trips that she makes in the Corolla to visit family compared to the much longer company business trips have convinced her that she would be much more comfortable in a small SUV than a small car.

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susa
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by susa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:29 am

Before deciding on make/model, please visit the online car-specific forums.

Toyota and Honda, both, have major problems with various parts in their late models. All are documented, to a degree, on NHTSA but some VERY harrowing 1st hand examples are in the make/model forums from owners.

Dealers with lie, hide and obfuscate and claim "I known nothing...." (Sergeant Schultz/John Banner)

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Crow Hunter
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by Crow Hunter » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:33 am

TBillT wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:59 am
Hybrid RAV-4 would be on my list -- not sure about my better half's list.
The Toyota hybrid system is quite reliable, and you can just forget about it.
Our 2006 Prius in approaching 200k miles no new brakes yet, so I would look at fuel savings and low maintenance.

I am not sure if the RAV4 has the lithium or NiMH batts (Toyota mixes it up). We have very little battery life info from Toyota but I am not aware of a single failure of the lithium batts (out since 2012 Plug-In-Prius now). The more numerous NiMH in Gen2/Gen3 Prius have some low failure rate but it seems to me to be really low failure rate now. Mine is 13-yrs approaching 200k miles. Yes southern heat is more difficult.

Yes it sounds the newer Toyota hybrids have 8-year batt warrnty, whereas it used to be extra to 10-yrs in the so-called CARB states. No big deal now, I would say Gen2 Prius it was important to get the extension if you could, since Gen3 Prius (2010) they have improved the battery software to prevent accidental discharging in most cases such as running on an empty gaso tank. If you are Southeast state you probably only ever had 8-yrs warranty. My theory is batt life has improved from very good to excellent but there is no data just my impression. Consumer Reports had a useful Prius battery survey in 2012 but we would need an update to know anything.
I was not aware of the warranty difference between CARB and other states.

I'll do more research on the battery types.

Definitely will look at total cost of ownership, not just the fuel mileage.

Thank you.

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Crow Hunter
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by Crow Hunter » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:35 am

susa wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:29 am
Before deciding on make/model, please visit the online car-specific forums.

Toyota and Honda, both, have major problems with various parts in their late models. All are documented, to a degree, on NHTSA but some VERY harrowing 1st hand examples are in the make/model forums from owners.

Dealers with lie, hide and obfuscate and claim "I known nothing...." (Sergeant Schultz/John Banner)
That was one of the other reasons I was leaning towards the hybrid model over the conventional based on early reports of transmission aggravations on the Toyota 8 speed but I haven't looked closely recently. I had enough problems with other Honda products and my experience working with them in a Tier one capacity that I would choose a couple of American companies before I would a Honda. Any recommendations for Toyota forums?

RetiredAL
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by RetiredAL » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:48 am

When cruising down a hwy, a regular hybrid only gives you a small fuel savings. Where a hybrid really shines is in stop/go or speedup/slowdown traffic.

IMO, the decision comes down to will you save enough to pay for the added cost of a hybrid.

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RootSki
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by RootSki » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:02 pm

Hybrid, but because that's the powertrain with the most available total power and torque.

Also, the hybrid will have less wear/tear on brakes and engine hours. You'll still do oil changes at the same interval as the non-hybrid, so you'll benefit from always running "fresher" oil.

I wouldn't worry about battery life depletion or replacing it in the future. The battery will last 10+ years.

+1 on the advice to find a Toyota or Rav4 specific forum and find out from the locals what life with the new Hybrid is like.

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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by mighty72 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:40 pm

moved to personal consumer issues by mighty72

batpot
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by batpot » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:56 pm


TBillT
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by TBillT » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:29 pm

Re: MPG
I think the latest RAV4 Hybrid (2019) had a nice bump up in EPA MPG.
It seems Toyota always takes a few years to optiimize MPG. I recall Camry Hybrid had about 33 MPG in 2006 now it is 50 MPG.
RAV4 is now very good fuel savings I would say for size of vehcile.

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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by randomguy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:39 pm

Crow Hunter wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:27 am

My other concern is the CVT. My only experience with CVTs is the rubber belt versions on All Terrain Vehicles which makes me suspicious about their durability on full size passenger vehicles. However, from what I have researched it seems the Toyota CVT is durable so maybe that isn't a major concern.
CVTs have been a problem in a lot of cars. Google subaru or Nissan CVTs. However Toyota has used the eCVT in the prius hybrid for like 15 years now and it has been really reliable. The newest version with its tweaks hasn't been out for a long time, but given the history I would be willing to gamble on it. How you feel about the way the hybrid generates power is sort of personal. I found it much better than the CVTs in conventional cars. YMMV.

As far as battery back reliability, the ones in prius have been really good. The failure rate on the gen2 (10-15 years old now) cars is down around 1% for out of warranty repairs. I am sure that number will climb as the cars start pushing 20 years old. Battery packs lasting 300k miles is not unheard of.

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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by ncbill » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:08 pm

Reviewers much prefer the hybrid powertrain over gas-only for the RAV4.

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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by Sandi_k » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:13 pm

batpot wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:56 pm
https://www.rav4world.com/forums/
Yes, these are pretty active, especially the current Gen5 RAV4 hybrid subforum.

https://www.rav4world.com/forums/4-5-ra ... ybrid.201/

I bought a MY 2019 RAV4 Hybrid LTD this past weekend. It has all of 300 miles on it, and I really like it. I've averaged 42+ mpg on the first half tank of gas even with mountain roads getting it home from the dealer. I keep it in ECO mode when under 35 mph, and the mileage just climbs and climbs. Totally worth a look.

z0r
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by z0r » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:19 pm

quisp65 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:42 am
I've heard that hybrid CVTs are a different beast than non-hybrid CVTs. No similarities over than the name but I'm no expert.
this is accurate, most hybrids use a single fixed gear ratio transmission with a motor/generator on the input and another on the output, and create different effective gear ratios by running the electric motor/generators against each other, or with each other, or locked, depending. it's a really interesting design and worth reading about if you like mechanical things

z0r
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by z0r » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:20 pm

oh and, being basically a single gear transmission, not even with a reverse, they are usually very reliable

mmmodem
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by mmmodem » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:23 pm

Well, anecdotally, we have a 2005 Prius with over 150k miles and a 2012 Prius Plug-in with over 150k miles. Both have not had any transmission or battery issues. So you know where I stand on reliability.

To be more precise, Toyota hybrids use an (electronic) eCVT. It's a transmission that mimics a CVT but has no belts to break whatsoever. It's one of the reasons why it's so reliable. (and also really expensive to repair if it does fail.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Sy ... ansmission

Heat is the enemy of a long life battery. An easy way to ensure battery longevity is judicious use of air conditioning especially in hot areas. The batteries are air cooled by a fan in the backseat pulling in cabin air.

There's a Corolla hybrid now that approaches 50 mpg. The Rav4 Hybrid only manages up to 40 mpg. It's something to consider if you're used to a Corolla.

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Crow Hunter
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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by Crow Hunter » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:07 am

Excellent information. Thank you!

My ICE Corolla now averages 38 MPG according to the internal computer. I have manually checked it a few times and it is very close. So a RAV 4 that gets slightly more would actually be an upgrade and it would make my wife happy. :)

I tried to talk my wife into another Corolla. We have had one since 2001 but she is adamant that she is not going to have another Corolla and she didn't like the Camry we test drove.

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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by Fire2030 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:03 pm

My wife drives a 2010 Camry Hybrid (118K miles) that we bought new in 2009 , so far the battery is doing very well and just regular maintenance. We were concerned about the 8yr battery warranty as well.

We are looking at the Highlander Hybrid 2020 to replace my 2002 Camry (160K miles) when available in the spring. My concern is that the 2019 Hybrid had 300 HP but 2020 only has 240 but better fuel efficiency. We will need to test drive it and decide.

Rav4 Hybrid on the other hand has 219 HP compared to 203HP for the non-hybrid and better fuel efficiency. You might be aware of the 3/4 tank fill issue with RAV4 hybrids , not sure if it's fixed in the 2020 RAV4s but it's concerning that both Toyota and Honda don't seem too concerned with issues in their recent models :oops:

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Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

Post by strafe » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:31 pm

z0r wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:19 pm
quisp65 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:42 am
I've heard that hybrid CVTs are a different beast than non-hybrid CVTs. No similarities over than the name but I'm no expert.
this is accurate, most hybrids use a single fixed gear ratio transmission with a motor/generator on the input and another on the output, and create different effective gear ratios by running the electric motor/generators against each other, or with each other, or locked, depending. it's a really interesting design and worth reading about if you like mechanical things
+1
quisp65 is spot on.
the hybrid CVT is a planetary gearset similar in concept to a differential. Nothing at all like the CVTs described by other posters, in fact it's more akin to not having a transmission at all. many of the replies you've received re CVT don't apply at all to this car.

the issue to sort out is whether you want a hybrid, not which has a more reliable transmission.

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