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While we wait on Volt: Choices available today

8692 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  pdt
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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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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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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