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Fuel-efficient car/small suv with seating for five plus a golf bag. I drive 31,000 miles average per year. Hybrid?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

raybrothers

I have a 2010 GMC Terrain 4cyl that has the room I need and I get 27mpg in mixed driving (60% highway, 40% city/rural). I have put 127,000 miles on it in just over 4 years so reliability is important. It is OK on long trips, however, my wife does not care for the ride quality. I was looking at a Ford Fusion Hybrid, but, with only a 100,000 mile warranty, I'll use that up in only 3.5 years. I understand the Li-ion battery is only warranted for the same 100,000 miles in Ohio (150,000 in California) and cost US$ 6K to 8K to replace. Nice car, BUT, I don't think I can take the risk of having to pay up to $8 K after only 3.5 years. Or, I would need to buy an extended warranty for another 50K miles for something like US$3000.

I like the hybrid but I was told that I am the worst candidate for one. I was told you should not buy one if you put more than 100,000 miles on the car in less than 4 years. Maybe a diesel VW, Chevy Cruze, maybe another Terrain (wife will not be happy) or something I have not yet looked at. Any help is appreciated.

Priorities: Fuel economy / Quietness / Reliability & durability / Front seat support & comfort / Ride smoothness

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan / Hatch / Wagon / SUV

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 35000

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Response from mkaresh

1:32 am May 21, 2014

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a LIFETIME warranty to the battery (first owner only, leases excluded).

Other hybrid components are covered for 100,000 miles.

The Sonata will be redesigned for the 2015 model year, but many people prefer the current styling.

Unlike most other hybrids, the Sonata manages higher mpg in highway than in city driving (EPA 36/40), which also might better fit your needs.

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Hyundai Sonata

Response from wcpowell12

8:55 am May 21, 2014

Here is a review from a real world 12 month experience with a Sonata Hybrid. Around town - 40 mpg; long trip on interstate - 35 mpg. Reliability? It has performed flawlessly with only trips back to dealer for oil service and tire rotation. You do need to understand this hybrid system operates a little differently than the mainstream models. It will not run on battery until it goes below a certain charge but rather by the time you are at 23 mph the gas engine will take over or run in tandem with the electric motor. Coasting down hills will go to battery power and certain times during systained interstate driving you will see the EV (electric vehicle) mode. The two motors synchronize so that you rarely notice without looking at the overkill dash board funtions. The dealer could not tell me what some of the displays meant.

I purchased at Rick Case Hyundai in Ft. Lauderdale and got a 20 year, 200,000 mile warranty. It is a good advertising gimmick as few would ever keep it that long. You may want to consider a road trip to purchase your next car! Opt for the Limited model - better sound system, all of the bluetooth array. I love the Bluelink for your smart phone.


The lifetime warranty on the hybrid battery was a compelling factor to me for choosing the Hyundai as two Prius long term owners in my office have had to face the replacement delima of a new battery or trading. Expensive battery.

I am reading some very good things about the new Honda Accord Hybrid that will give you 50 mpg. I do not know the price point on this vehicle, however. Michael may know that better.

VW Passat TDi - wonderful driving and handling vehicle. Your wife will thank you after each and every trip. And the diesel engine will fill your high mileage needs. Just know that there has been about a 3-4% failure rate on the high pressue fuel pump (HPFP). When it fails, the impellers pulverize and contaminate the entire fuel system, up to and including the fuel tank. VW has been very slow to admit, or step up and offer assistance on the $8,000 repair but rather say it was bad fuel. This does not help their PR at all. For 2014, engineers did lower the fuel pump pressure which seems to have helped. I have heard of no 2014 model failures. You would think a redesigned fuel pump would have been the real fix.

Would I take the chance on a VW TDi? Without hesitation. There are so many stories of people getting 50 mpg on trips with the 38-40 mpg being the city average.

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Hyundai Sonata
Volkswagen Passat

Response from Member6055

9:01 am May 21, 2014

You seem to leave your options high and wide here for sedan/hatch/wagon/SUV. For under $35, I think there is plenty.

I agree the battery life and warranty makes hybrids a good idea for a lease, but a bad idea to own long term. We just return our VW Jetta Turbo Hybrid off lease.

If your preference is small SUV, then consider the VW Tiguan TDI diesel. It one of few cars that actually made in their main factocy in Wolfsburg, Germany. Not that it makes a difference. VW TDI engines and their turbos in general are just amazing engines, in term of fuel economy, torque curve, and driving response.

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Volkswagen Tiguan

Response from willied

9:59 am May 21, 2014

Response from mkaresh

7:46 am May 25, 2014

The Honda Accord Hybrid is relatively expensive, and has a relatively short warranty.

The Kia Optima doesn't have a lifetime battery warranty like the Sonata does.

The Tiguan TDI isn't offered in North America. Only gas.

VWs aren't yet a good bet for people who put a high priority on reliability, though some people do drive the TDIs 300k+.

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Response from willied

8:36 pm May 25, 2014

Oh, that's weird. I'd assume the Optima would since it's basically the same as the Sonata in a lot of ways.

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Response from raybrothers

11:19 am May 28, 2014

Thank you all. I looked this morning at the Tuguan and was surprised that they don't offer the diesel in the U.S. So I took a look at the Passat TDI. I will be visiting a dealer shortly to look at one first hand. If that doesn't work out, it looks like I will check out the Hyundai.

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Response from wcpowell12

3:38 pm May 28, 2014

You will find yourself very happy with the Passat. It is an all around very good vehicle. One more point - the seats on the SEL model (of course, the most expensive) are a different design. By different, much more comfortable on longer trips. Why VW did not choose this seat for all models is disappointing, but one more marketing bullet for upselling you to the SEL. It does have a much better sound system and several more features. I would go for the SEL.

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