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Want another hybrid, but they seem to be either disappearing or not offering really great mileage

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Rodney

I lease a 2013 Honda Civic hybrid. I'd get another, but Honda has discontinued it for 2016. I get about 35 MPG driving in D.C. traffic. I'll need to get a new lease this year.

  • The only other Honda hybrids are the Accord (which is probably outside my price range) and the Insight (which is boring AND doesn't get as good MPG as the Civic). The Fit gets good MPG without hybrid, but it seems a little like a toy.
  • Had two Nissan Altimas, but the MPG was only ~19 on my commute.
  • I really like the Ford Fusion hybrid, buteven if I was willing to stretch my budget, Fordnever seems to have very good lease deals.
  • Like the idea of the RAV-4 hybrid, but it doesn't get real hybridMPG.
  • Looked at the Prius, but I'd have to get the top model to feel comfortable in it, and I really don't like the instrument cluster in the center.
  • Camry Hybrid is probably outside my price range.
  • Sonata hybrid seems iffy to me. Haven't driven it, but I didn't like the Elantra.
  • I like the looks of the Kia Optima hybrid, but I don't fit in the car. It's smaller than the Civic inside.
  • Love Mazda in general, but they don't have hybrid. Oddly, I fit better in the 3 than in the 6, but the 3 is still tight. The seat back is so narrow that it falls between my shoulder blades.
  • Ford Focus was OK, but the double clutch is sometimes hard to drive.
  • Chevy Cruze was OK, but the steering is very loose. And it's a Chevy.
  • Subaru Crosstrek hybrid: MPG too low for the cost.
  • Is the Mazda CX-3 any bigger inside than the Nissan Juke (which was fine vertically and front to back, but tiny side to side)?
Other issues:

  • Would really like a CD player, but these seem to be disappearing. 2016 Civic doesn't have one.
  • It would be good to have an elevated seating position; my elderly mother has trouble lowering herself into the Civic.
  • I like leather, but I don't care about sun/moon rooves. Don't get why the carmakers always tether them.
  • I want a nav system. But I'd prefer Android Auto b/c it should be cheaper. At the moment, Honda has only Apple Carplay.

That's a lot of stuff. I'll be interested to see what people suggest.

Priorities: Fuel economy / Front seat room / Front seat support & comfort

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Sedan / Hatch

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town

Primary Driver(s): Tall driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 28000

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Response from jasonmreece

7:54 pm February 3, 2016

A few follow-up questions-

Was the Optima that you sat in a 2015 or a new 2016?

You specify a max of $28k, is purchasing an option or are you only interested in a lease?

According to Cars.com, there are 151 2015 Civic Hybrid models at dealers within a 200-mile radius of D.C. Have you thought about one of those?

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Response from Roccaas

8:02 pm February 3, 2016

I have a Fusion Hybrid with 54,000 miles in 13 months. 40.9mpg but 85% highway mileage.

"A" pillar is thick and hard to see around, no spare, reduced luggage space w/ batteries in the trunk. Not particularly tall seating position. Seats are comfortable, I have cloth, but use an orthopedic seat insert. Get the power driver's seat. No sunroof.

Quiet on the road, but the usual hybrid noises as the gas engine cuts in and out in city driving. Grabby brakes until you get used to them like all hybrids with regen braking.

No problems with car, only every 7,500 mile services. Michelin tires still have 30% tread.

Im 6"2 and Fusion has more drivers space than Taurus. If headroom is an issue, look at the Impala-what I'd buy next.

Also the new Malibu looks great, same size as Fusion; dont know about hybrids.

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Chevrolet Impala
Ford Fusion
Chevrolet Malibu

Response from zcd1

10:32 pm February 3, 2016

Kia Soul? Will probably average more like 26mpg, but great for a tall driver and has a nice seat height. At 6' 2", I basically slide sideways, not downwards/upwards, into/out of the seat.

CX3 is really tight inside. Too tight for me, and WAY too tight for rear-seat passengers. Looks cool, though.

CX5 is nice, too and much roomier inside. If the bigger 2.5 liter motor had been available in the CX5 when we bought the Soul, we'd have given the CX5 a serious look. Skyactiv technology does seem to offer some real MPG benefits too.

Final suggestion is a 2015 Chevy Volt. Burns NO gas for 35 miles after each charge. A friend has one and has averaged 135 mpg (yes, really) since new because he mostly drives in town, meaning on electric power.

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Kia Soul
Mazda CX-5
Chevrolet Volt

Response from jasonmreece

2:41 am February 5, 2016

I'm putting the 2016 Ford Fusion SE Hybrid at the top of the list. I used a D.C. zip code and it appears that there is a lease deal for $3,020 down and $300/month for 39 months (12k miles/year). That includes Package 502A- 10-way power driver's seat w/ memory, Heated leather seats, Fog lamps, Reverse Sensing System, Voice-activated NAV w/ CD player and Andoid Auto + Apple CarPlay.

Ford will also be motivated to move the 2016 models because the Fusion is getting a 'mid-cycle refresh' for 2017. The differences are largely superficial, so the 2016 is still a great deal and very good car.

I would also suggest taking another look at the Kia Optima EX Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Limited Hybrid.

The Honda Accord Hybrid is also one of the best, but I don't think the 2016 model is available yet. Take a look at the 2015 and see if it meets your needs.

Hope this helps!

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Ford Fusion
Kia Optima
Hyundai Sonata

Response from mkaresh

9:35 am February 5, 2016

The Optima Hybrid hasn't been redesigned yet. It's still the same as the 2015. The regular Optima has been redesigned, and as with the Sonata it's a big improvement. I enjoyed driving the 2016 Sonata Hybrid, but much prefer the styling of the Kia, especially inside. If at all possible I'd wait for the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid among the midsizers.

The 2016 Sonata Hybrid will be the next review I post, hopefully within the next week. I've already posted reviews of the Honda and Toyota. No great leases on those?

The Fusion is an even better car in some ways, but I don't like its driving position as much. See what you think.

The Malibu Hybrid could be quite good, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's pricey at first. The Volt, especially the new 2016, is probably also worth a look. They might have some great leases.

Finally, I really liked how the Ford C-Max drove. Excellent higher than a sedan driving position, and far better handling than a Prius. It feels very European. You can get leather without a sunroof. I don't like the front end styling. It has been redesigned for Europe, but not yet for North America. Perhaps for 2017? If the lease is attractive this could be a very good fit. Leases SHOULD be attractive, as the C-MAX didn't sell well even when gas was expensive.

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Ford C-MAX

Response from Rodney

7:01 pm February 24, 2016

Some responses to the replies:
1. The Optima I sat in was the first model year. 2010, maybe? I took a look at the Kia page, and to get the car equipped as I'd like, it would be more than $30K.
2. Yes, only a lease. I can get more car for the money and I'm perfectly happy with a monthly payment forever.
3. My lease is up in late October. It's unlikely that many 2015s will still be available then. When I got my current car, a 2013, in late 2013, there were no 2012 models to be found.
4. I've driven the Fusion and really liked it. It was only when I got back to the dealership that it became obvious that Ford was unwilling to provide a good lease rate, mostly because of the money factor. For my Civic, the money factor is something like .0000001; for the Fusion it was closer to 0.0035, which may not seem like much, but it makes for a difference of about $140 per month.
5. I thought about the Soul, but I think I've been spoiled by my hybrid MPG. Also, I've never had a car that came anywhere close to its EPA rated MPG. The Altimas I had were supposed to be 23-24 city/32-33 hwy, but the best MPG I ever got was on a road trip, and that was about 30. 25 was its average until I started working in downtown DC, and then it dropped to the teens.
6. I really like Mazda in general, the 3 in particular, but it's just too tiny for me. The back seat is so narrow that the seatback sits between my shoulder blades.
7. Sadly, I live in an apartment, so I can't have an electric car: no place to charge it. Otherwise, I think I'd love one.
8. "a lease deal for $3,020 down and $300/month for 39 months (12k miles/year)" That's not a good lease deal to me. The sticker price on the Civic was $27,815, and I pay $299/month, nothing down. I also don't need 12k miles/per year: after 28 months, I have about 16K miles on the Civic. I don't drive very far; it just takes a while to drive it.
9. I was not a fan of the Elantra, and it seemed to have more room inside than the Sonata. But I will take another look
10. Pricing out the Cmax, a Fusion is cheaper; the Cmax starts $2K higher than the Fusion hybrid.

Thanks for all of the answers! I really appreciate your suggestions.

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Response from mkaresh

7:30 pm February 24, 2016

I'd keep checking for new lease deals every month. Hybrids can't be selling well right now, and at some point they're going to have to load on incentives.

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Response from Rodney

11:11 am February 26, 2016

I got around to crunching some numbers, and getting a hybrid is going to cost me more money overall. I hadn't factored in the premium cost of the hybrid. The largest difference in price that I've found is for the Toyota Camry hybrid: similarly equipped regular and hybrid models have a $6K difference in price. The smallest difference was for the Accord hybrid, about $1600. In any case, I think my search will be expanding to the crossover area, and I want to look at the Honda HR-V, the Mazda CX-5, and the Kia Soul (as a previous commenter suggested).

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Response from htmlspinnr

11:36 am February 29, 2016

Think again on the Camry Hybrid. They're actually much cheaper than a Prius at similar trim levels as they're built domestically. I've seen them reasonably equipped at $28k.

Also, real-world testing of the RAV4 Hybrid have shown that EPA MPG is easy to attain or beat.

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Toyota Camry
Toyota RAV4

Response from colasanti

11:58 am February 29, 2016

The only hybrid I didn't see listed here was the Lexus CT200 F sport. (My car) I found it to be cheaper than the Camry hybird. F sport model comes with navigation. Something I couldn't afford in the Camry. They lease 4 low amt. in my state. Not sure about all over. I get 43 mpg average (up to 59mph). I feel it is small car, like civic. But the seat is made for large person. I find I have to choose which side of seat to seat in because it is so wide. Also I pull the seat so far up it makes the car smaller. But noticed when backed up there is lots of leg and head room. Big difference between the CT 200 and CT 200 fsport. Both hybirds. And basically a prius in a Lexus jacket. Happy hunting. BTW fully loaded used was $24,000 vs Camry hybird loaded used at $27,000 (last summer) I did not care for inside of prius or ride of it either. Fsport is loaded and better ride. But the visors are too small for windsheild. They are cheaper than prius too. Not sure why.

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Lexus CT

Response from Rodney

12:22 pm February 29, 2016

1. I find it incredibly difficult to believe that a Lexus that starts at around $36K could have what I would consider an affordable lease rate.

2. "Think again on the Camry Hybrid. They're actually much cheaper than a Prius at similar trim levels as they're built domestically" I guess that depends on your definition of "reasonably equipped." It's nuts to me that you have to go to the top model to get a dimming rearview mirror. And it's apparently factory-installed, so I couldn't even get it as an accessory. However, I will look around.

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Response from mkaresh

5:35 pm February 29, 2016

Response from colasanti

6:04 pm February 29, 2016

Wow!? $36,000?? Where do you live? CA or NY? I was just trying to help. No need to get snippy. I just pulled up lease deals for the Lexus CT200 one was 200 a month the other 299. Thought that was pretty good for a hybird. Guess you can go get a corolla for 139 a month. But it won't be a hybrid. You can take a natural gas bus. :)

I do not work for lexus. Seems you have shot everyone down so far.

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Response from colasanti

6:55 pm February 29, 2016

I don't need to think again about the Camry. I've done my shopping. I love Camry. Owned my last one 16 yrs. Decided my next Camry would be a hybird. I started there. Agree with you about the prius packages. That's how I ended up looking at the CT200. The lease offer for 200 a month. Made me think there is a lexus and hybird I can afford. They come loaded for $31,000. Where I live too. Lease offers can vary greatly from state to state.
Camry hybird only 10-15 mpg gain for price
Camry hybird less powerful than gas model
Prius very economy feeling. Unless v package $$$

CT200 43-59 mpg. More powerful better ride. Most prius v package options standard on CT.

Best regards, Hope you find your perfect deal.

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Response from htmlspinnr

7:24 pm February 29, 2016

For those considering the CT200h - it *is* just a Prius powertrain wrapped into a different body (based on the Toyota Matrix and Corolla), tighter suspension, bigger/better tires, and different engine performance mapping (especially for Sport mode). It has no more or less power than a Prius.

That shouldn't stop you from buying one, but don't confuse it for something it's not.

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Lexus CT

Response from colasanti

8:17 pm February 29, 2016

That sport mode engine mapping for the CT does tune to direct acceleration and a boost from 500 volts to 650. Yes the prius v does also list a max pwr mode of 650v. But not mapped quite the same. It is helpful when wanting to accelerate past someone climbing a hill on the interstate. ;)

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Response from Rodney

9:02 pm February 29, 2016

colasanti: I wasn't intending to be snippy. I live in DC. And the sentence about thinking again on the Camry was a quote from htmlspinnr to me, telling ME to think again, and I was quoting it back at him. I didn't mean to offend. Also, I don't really think I'm "shooting people down." I appreciate all the suggestions whether I follow them or not.




mkaresh: Yes, I see that now.

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Response from Rodney

9:05 pm February 29, 2016

Once I add a nav system (one of my requirements) to the Lexus CT, the sticker price is$37,680. The nav system alone is $3500, which is INSANE. Also, I can't even get a rearview camera (another requirement) without stepping up to the CT f sport, and then I can't get both the nav system and the camera. I have no idea why that makes any sense at all.

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Response from mkaresh

11:12 pm February 29, 2016

Lexus configurations are very confusing. They offer a limited combination of packages, and this combination often differs by region.

The camera is only a separate option when you don't get the nav system because the nav system includes one, along with an upgraded audio system. Still, $3,500 does seem steep for what it includes.

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Response from colasanti

11:45 pm February 29, 2016

That is insane. I live close to TX. All things big.... trucks, suv's, american. Maybe that is why the more than $7,000. difference? Guess I got lucky? I got every option available except rain sensing windshield wipers. I did buy used (3 yrs old) for $24,000. At the time there were 5 others in my area (on Car Max) for under 20,000. But as far as the lease deal... I Googled it after 1st text. And still see offers for 200 a month.....probably jumps to 299 with options? Sorry about the mix up on the Camry second look. Honestly I miss my Camry. (Comfort, trunk room) But 412 miles for under $15 w/CT is nice!

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Response from colasanti

12:08 am March 1, 2016

That is insane. I live close to TX. All things big.... trucks, suv's, american. Maybe that is why the more than $7,000. difference? Guess I got lucky? I got every option available except rain sensing windshield wipers. I did buy used (3 yrs old) for $24,000. At the time there were 5 others in my area (on Car Max) for under 20,000. But as far as the lease deal... I Googled it after 1st text. And still see offers for 200 a month.....probably jumps to 299 with options? Sorry about the mix up on the Camry second look. Honestly I miss my Camry. (Comfort, trunk room) But 412 miles for under $15 w/CT is nice! Now Ford fusion that's a different story. They are around $46,000- $48,000 for the hybird. This area.

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Response from Rodney

8:46 am March 1, 2016

$46,000- $48,000??! I went to the Ford website and "built" Fusion Titanium Hybrid with just about every option available, and it came out to about $37K. I don't understand how Ford can advertise that price, but dealers can convince people to pay $10K more. I'd tell those dealers to f--k right off.

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Response from colasanti

10:47 am March 2, 2016

it's all about market demand. People don't really care about gas prices where I live. A couple times a yr. Ford offers incentives of 6,000 to 15,000 off certain models. That would be the only time ford fusion hybird would even come close to 38,000. You notice those websites ask you for your zip code?

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Response from Rodney

11:12 am March 2, 2016

The sites claim that the zip code is for searching local inventory. I tried 4 different zip codes (from CA, NY, TX, and MN) and got the same prices every time.

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Response from Rodney

11:13 am March 2, 2016

Response from colasanti

12:14 pm March 2, 2016

if I could share a screen shot of prices I get I would. But I can't even figure out how to get this off of bold print. I believe once you put in a zip code it does give you the same price for other zip codes. Try again tomorrow on another device and start with CA or AK. It really doesn't matter though. You can't go to another state and get their price. Not without paying excise taxes, along with sales tax, and multiple title fees. By the time they are done with you buying out state will not save you.

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Response from Rodney

12:34 pm March 2, 2016

I think you just need to highlight the text and click the "B" on the toolbar above the text. I opened another browser that I'd never used on the Ford site before, used an AK zip code, and got the same prices. I also opened a private browsing window, and when I went to the Ford site, it asked me for a zip code. Gave the AK zip (99501) and got the same prices.

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Response from mkaresh

1:32 pm March 2, 2016

I'm not sure what's going on with the bold on your computer. If you do figure it out, let me know.

On varying incentives, I've rarely seen large differences, and most often there are none at all. I don't think you can get a different region's incentives by buying a car there--the incentives usually have residency requirements, they check your address. Same with sales taxes. You end up paying whatever the sales tax is where you live.

You might get some sense of actual pricing from TrueCar and/or Edmunds. If you have a Costco membership, they have an excellent buying service that probably provides the best prearranged pricing. Log in to their site and I think you can see their prices.

All of this said, I'd keep an eye out for especially good lease deals. With fuel prices low, hybrids must be piling up, and at some point they'll have to clear them out.

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Response from Rodney

2:03 pm March 2, 2016

I'm not wanting to buy in another state; I just don't think that the Ford site changes the MSRP based on your zip code.

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Response from mkaresh

4:15 pm March 2, 2016

Response from NormT

10:08 am July 26, 2017

To bring an older question up to speed today:

2017 Malibu Hybrid lists for $29K, dealerships advertising $22,000 and almost 50 mpg. These mid size car hybrids will not be the tincan, econobox of your Civic Hybrid. I love been in one during an autocross school and it is a piece of junk compared to the Fusion, Volt Malibu, or Accord.

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Chevrolet Malibu
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