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I'm in the market for a replacement for our 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The JGC is very plush and solid, but get's a miserable 12 mpg. This is a car Osama would love. I want a car Osama would hate!

But then reality sets in, there aren't alot of choices that offer a combination of (1) Fuel efficiency - also must run on biofuel (2) Roominess - Need room for my wife and two car seats (3) Safety (4) Affordability

In my search, it looks like the one vehicle that meets the grade on all four criteria is the Ford Escape Hybrid (also badged as Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute). Only problem with that is that they are scarce.

As soon as Volt is available in the southeast, I'm all over it, but until then, I need a solution.

Can anyone offer any other options for me. I'm willing to consider a crossover vehicle too.
 

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Prius. Now before you turn your nose away let me explain. There are a lot of them around and you can use it for the next three years and sell it when you buy the Volt. Second and most importantly you are buying the concept of a hybrid. This is a powerful statement. Much like a vote. You are voting against gas. If you think in these terms your friends might forgive you (or you might forgive yourself) for buying a Toyota. We need as many people out there driving hybrids and electrified platforms. The name on the back is not as important. Keep your eye on the prize.
 

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If you're saving your pennies for a true alternative for gas, don't waste the money on a hybrid and GO CHEAP.

Lots of great cars on the market today. I love my '05 Honda Accord and '05 VW Passat TDI, although they're as expensive as a Prius. The diesel gets just as good fuel economy as the Prius.
 

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Just remember this. When a hybrid is sitting in traffic (and the battery is charged up to its set point) The engine is not running. If you sit in a lot of traffic a hybrid might be the way to go. Plus, you get experience with electric drive. The cost is the purchase price minus the sell price when you are about to buy the Volt. Add to that all the other things but sometimes people forget about the sell price. A Prius has great resale value. I say hybrid! Of course going with the small car concept is also prudent. Not as cool but prudent. Oh, Did I mention that if you get itchy in a few years you can always drive down to the local conversion shop and have some lithium-ion batteries installed in a few hours. Maybe the price will come down significantly in two years. Pure plug-in pleasure.
 

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Well... a few weeks ago I traded my 2005 Toyota Tacoma quad cab 4x4 for a brand new 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid LOADED. I do mostly city type driving and was getting about 16mpg in the Tacoma. @ $3.45 a gallon I had had enough.

I now am getting 38mpg in the Camry and loving it :D Not to mention I got $22K in trade on the Tacoma and it was over half paid off. So I had about $12K to put down on the $32K Camry. My payment went up $4. Plus the Camry has GPS, Leather, heated seats, nice stereo, keyless everything, blue tooth, sun roof.... yada yada yada.

I really like the performance of the Camry. It's not a "rocket" but it's pretty quick, much better performance than I expected. Once you get use to finding the sweet spot in the gas pedal you can get it to run off the battery pretty much at will. All the toys are NICE!!! but I'm a techie by trade. The CVT tranny takes some getting use to after driving a stick for the past 16 years, but it performs very well. I'm VERY happy with the car so far, and a Prius it is NOT! (Prius's are Fugly) Oh... and the 2008 Camry Hybrid has a .27 or .28 drag CD too depending on who you believe too.

Now I look down the road to the Volt... I put about 8000 miles a year on my vehicles so I think I will be in a good place to trade my loaded Camry for a Volt. I think that the Volt will increase demand for all other Hybrids so I think I will get another good trade on the Camry.

As long as the Volt is under $40K I'll be all set to get one :cool: I'm rooting for GM on this big time to bring me back from the dark side. And my sister-in-law sells Toyotas so I know I can get an awesome deal any time I want there. But the Volt and the tech behind it is the future. I want to drive an American car again, and the Volt will be IT, if GM gets it done!

Chris
 

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I was looking at the responses to your original question and none of the responses seem to really answer it. A couple questions... Do you need the size of your JGC? Are you towing? If you do, then suggestions like the Prius or a TDI aren't very helpful.

The Ford Escape is a nice car but going from a Grand Cherokee you will be sorely disapponted in the loss of roominess. Plus the hybrid version is difficult to justify price wise even with the high cost of gas.

The car that I feel best answers your 3 requirements is another JGC. But this time get the diesel, It will run great on bio, and gets an automatic 15-20% improvement in fuel efficiency over your current Jeep. The only drawback is the current price of diesel negates the saving in mpg vs. the gas model.

If you are willing to forgo the biodiesel requirement, the best car out there for roominess, safety and (relative) fuel efficency is the Ford Taurus X, or if you want used, a 2007 Ford Freestyle. It's called a crossover, but it's essentially a staion wagon. They seat 6 Adults comfortably, you can fold down flat the 3rd row for significant cargo room, and they came with side curtain airbags. the 2007 had a CVT transmission and get about 24mpg on the highway. the taurus X has a 6 speed trans and gets more like 22mpg but can tow more.
Hope it helps. matt
 

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diesel vs gas hybrid

If you're saving your pennies for a true alternative for gas, don't waste the money on a hybrid and GO CHEAP.

Lots of great cars on the market today. I love my '05 Honda Accord and '05 VW Passat TDI, although they're as expensive as a Prius. The diesel gets just as good fuel economy as the Prius.
But, at least where I live, diesel is 30% more expensive than gas and diesel engines are much dirtier in terms of particulate and NOx emissions, especially one built in 2005. I'm fairly sure that is why you can't buy a new TDI now, because they can't meet emissions standards.
 

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But, at least where I live, diesel is 30% more expensive than gas and diesel engines are much dirtier in terms of particulate and NOx emissions, especially one built in 2005. I'm fairly sure that is why you can't buy a new TDI now, because they can't meet emissions standards.

I disagree about the emissions and ability to buy them. You can get them now from VW (new Jettas anyhow in most states). I do agree diesel is going to make me take out a second mortgage.

The good news is my mileage kicks a$$. 38-42 mpg.
 

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emissions are a problem

I disagree about the emissions and ability to buy them. You can get them now from VW (new Jettas anyhow in most states). I do agree diesel is going to make me take out a second mortgage.

The good news is my mileage kicks a$$. 38-42 mpg.
Diesel emissions are a problem due to the soot, which requires a particulate filter in the exhaust, and the NOx, which requires complex and/or expensive exhaust components (either a urea tank and a catalyst or a catalyst with very high precious metal content that requires periodic cycling to a rich condition, decreasing fuel economy).

The emissions requirements on diesel engines have recently become much more strict and will be even more strict in the future. 2005 vintage diesels only had a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) which removes CO and hydrocarbons, but leaves essentially engine-out particulate and NOx to go out the tail pipe. The DOC is not too different from a typical 3-way catalyst on a car in terms of cost and complexity of engine operation.

Please send a link to a 2008 diesel car under $30k if you know of one (I don't see any on www.edmunds.com or on www.vw.com).

I'm very interested in this diesel vs. hybrid question. It will be interesting to see what happens for passenger cars under $30-35k in the US.
 
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