The good folks over Times Online did a “real world” mileage comparison of the Toyota Prius and BMW 540d. Guess who won? The BMW!
After hearing people complain about not being able to get the EPA rated mileage from their Prius’s, Times Online decided to do a real world test. The results? The BMW got 41.9 mpg, and the Prius only mustered a cool 40.1 mpg. Now, you get more energy per gallon of diesel than gasoline, so it’s not really fair to compare a diesel car to a gasoline car. But, I think it brings up a good point: People need to chill out about hybrids and stop thinking they are so eco-friendly by buying one.
I personally never really liked Hybrids. I’m all for better fuel economy and supporting new technologies, but I think that hybrids are a bunch of hot air. It’s simply a poor strategy to try to support two fundamentally different drive-trains like that in a car (electric and gasoline motors). Pick one or the other, and engineer it properly.
To be honest, I think that Hybrids have become a huge marketing ploy. Remember the Geo Metro Xfi:
43 mpg city, 51 mpg highway (1993, from fueleconomy.gov). No expensive batteries. No complicated hybrid drive-train. How about the Honda CRX HF:
41 mpg city, 50 mpg highway (1989 from fueleconomy.gov)
Sure, these cars a bit a bit ugly these days. But these are gasoline only cars with technology that’s over a decade old. Why the hell are we supposed to be so excited about expensive, bloated hybrids that really don’t perform all that well? Yeah, these older cars didn’t have as much saftey equipment (federally mandated side impact bars, no dual airbags), but you’d think that 10 years of development would be able to overcome such hurdles. What happened to efficient 1 liter engines. Do they even sell a car in the US anymore with a 1 liter engine?
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not in love with gasoline. In fact, I think electric cars are the answer (you can decouple the energy and transportation problems and attack them separately). But until we get them, WTF guys, what’s with these lame-ass, non-impressive hybrids. I don’t know, I’m guessing companies make more money off of hybrids than super efficient commuter cars? That’s fine… just stop pretending that buying a hybrid makes you so special.