SageBrush wrote:A used Prius is a better value than a used Diesel because they are way more reliable and similar or better fuel economy and price. The trade-off is less torque. The notion that Diesels got stellar fuel economy based on range per tank is a crock. That was true because the car has a big tank.
I don't know if I can agree with all that. Not that I don't respect or appreciate your posts or that you have to agree with me.
The main reason I haven't gotten rid on my ol' 1985 diesel is because the thing just won't die. It had over 400,000 miles when I bought it and it still runs like a champ. And no, I haven't done a thing to the engine except change oil and filters. In the 8 years that I've owned it the car has never let me down. I think it's because it's just to simple. The only things that could go wrong with the engine is either the mechanical fuel injecting pump, the glow plugs, the timing belt, the oil pump or the cooling system. There are no sensors or electronics of any sort to go wrong.
Of course things may be much different for modern diesels. They are probably much like gasoline engines. Prior to the Leaf I had a Chevy Astro with 160,000 miles that started acting up. Even with the Factory Repair Manual and a GM Tech 2 diagnostics tool I could not get that engine to run right even after replacing nearly the whole engine and everything that goes on it.
I think hybrids are a good idea, but there are a few things that scare me away from them. One is the off-on way they work. Ever since I was a boy I've always been told that the hardest thing on an engine is starting it. If you look at any owners manual you can let engine maintenance go well over twice the distance if you use the vehicle for long drives instead of short ones. The more you turn the engine on and off the more frequently you're supposed to change the oil and filters. Now add to that that you also have two propulsion systems to go wrong on a hybrid. I'm going on 500,000 miles in the diesel. I'm really hoping that a bunch of hybrid owner's will respond to this post and state that they have 200k, 300k, or more miles on their hybrids and are still running strong without ever having any major issues.
But in favor of hybrids there is the fact that some hybrids, especially plugin hybrids, end up using the ICE considerably less. That can add reliability and longevity to the car.
As far as fuel mileage in a diesel goes I can attest that it's not just the fuel tank size. My mother-in-law lives in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Go to any map and you'll see that it's at least 590 miles between Gunnison and Juarez. Yet I've done that trip several times in the ol' diesel with its 12 gallon fuel tank, fueling first in Gunnison, getting to the in-laws, then drive around Juarez with them for a week Then I fill up (630 miles after the last time I filled up) and drive all the way to Gunnison! And once I get to Gunnison I fill up and check what I used: Less than 21 gallons for a >1,200 mile trip.
The fact that I've done this trip every year for the past 8 years and have always gotten repeatable results is proof that diesel can be very efficient.
Not that hybrids can't achieve that kind of highway mileage and get better town mileage at the same time. Part of the reason is because hybrids have their engines sized for fuel mileage, not acceleration. They get their acceleration from the combination of the electric and gasoline motors. But that can cause a problem here in the mountains. Quite a few hybrid owners that I know complain that while going up mountain passes the battery quickly depletes and then they're stuck with only the gutless, feels-like-it-won't-make-it, tiny gasoline engine, whereas diesel engines can be sized for good continuous acceleration and yet still get steller highway fuel mileage.
Now add diesel and hybrid together and you get a VW XL1 capable of getting over 130mpg.