Unfortunately, all I can go off of is the EPA estimates, because I know that each vehicle is going to vary greatly depending upon conditions, the actual car, and driving styles. With the 2011 Prius having 51/48 (city/highway) and the 2011 Jetta TDI rated at 30/42.
That combined with diesel normally around 30 cents higher around here than low-grade fuel, and I just can't justify getting one.
Anyhow, today I actually went and looked at the Priuses. They didn't have the 2011 models in yet, so I just took a look at the 2010's. My wife and I were really impressed with all the gadgets I didn't even know it had, and how roomy and comfy it was.
Overall, my wife's 100% sold on the Prius, and I'm about 95% -- unless something different comes out within the next year or so, we're more than likely looking at getting something at the beginning of 2012. I hear some rumors about Ford coming out with some hybrid getting 100mpg or something crazy, but we'll see if anything comes into fruition...
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I have one and My wife has one. We use them for company cars as we drive 30k a year each. Spring and fall I get up to 54 mpg in winter and summer I get about 44mph. The reason for the lower mileage is the heater and Air conditioning. The engine runs more with either one.
I find it to be comfortable and I'm 6'4" and all legs. It is fun to drive has lots of room. I have ridden in the back seat of my wifes and had plenty of leg room.
I joke that ours are the only Prius with out Obama stickers. I don't drive it for the environment as I just hate sending any more money over to sheiks and I really like filling up with 9 gallons, the tank lasts longer and I'm out of the gas station before the suburbans are 1/4 full
several things should be mentioned here. as far as i know, the prius and the volt are the only hybrids on the market that can run on electric only. this means their 'in town' fuel economy is going to be far better then their 65 mph cruise mph. if you plan on commuting mostly in town, i think a prius would benifit you. if you plan on commuting over a stretch of 10 miles or more, i would reccomend a tdi jetta wagon or something similar..
"the path of greatest resistance reaps the greatest rewards"
The Prius runs on a gas engine that drives a generator that charges battery and at this time is not a plug in. Most of our driving trips are 15 miles to 50 miles and the 54 to 44 MPG that I spoke of are those distances.
My opinion is that the extra expense of purchasing a hybrid makes sense if you drive a lot . If you don't drive very much, the added expense of buying a hybrid probably won't be offset by the fuel savings.
From what I have read that the Prius is not that Eco friendly as the pollution generated to manufacture the batteries offsets any decreased pollution by the higher mileage. That is if you buy into the whole global warming thing.
the added expense of buying a hybrid probably won't be offset by the fuel savings.
That part is key, I can't remember what publication it was, C&D, R&T one of those, but they compared two higher end lexus'. The hybrid would have to go over 300k miles before it made up its additional cost.