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RiverC0il Goes for a Test Drive: CT 200h, JSW TDI, Mazda3, & Elantra

hammer

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That's a bummer. What's it been in for? I'm looking into a WK2 down the road as a replacement for my WJ.
Last visit ended up being nothing...I think...

Had the water pump replaced about a month ago (made noises for months) and a leak repaired in the AC system a few weeks ago (second leak in 3 months). Techs didn't clean up the engine area afterwards so some of the excess liquids (coolant and refigerant) were left around and some of the refrigerant apparently dripped its way down by the front differential. When I saw it it looked like an oil leak to me.

Will be keeping an eye on things to make sure that there isn't another problem there.

The DW and I really like our new Jeep, drives well, looks nice, and does a decent job towing our camper in the summer. First model year of a redesign, though, so it has not been as reliable as it should be IMO. Debating whether to purchase a service contract or not.
 

Glenn

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The press has given the WKII glowing reviews. I'm interested in seeing how they hold up long term. Bummer yours has been in a few times. Hopefully, that's the last of the problems.
 

o3jeff

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What happens to the TDI mileage if you're in a lot of stop and go, lot of agressive Mass Pike at 75 mph driving and driving in Boston and city driving in general?
 

Geoff

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What happens to the TDI mileage if you're in a lot of stop and go, lot of agressive Mass Pike at 75 mph driving and driving in Boston and city driving in general?

A hybrid is always going to out-perform a diesel in city traffic.

I don't consider 75 mph aggressive. In my GTIs, 75 mph instead of 65 mph might cost me a couple of MPG in the summer and 3 or 4 MPG in the winter when the air is thicker and less humid. I really notice my fuel economy going to hell when I'm going 80 mph when it's subzero.

I would think a diesel would proportionally have the exact same behavior since the aerodynamics of a Jetta Sportwagen are identical to a VW GTI. The amount of power needed to maintain that speed is the same no matter what engine you are using.
 

riverc0il

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What happens to the TDI mileage if you're in a lot of stop and go, lot of agressive Mass Pike at 75 mph driving and driving in Boston and city driving in general?
You'd want a hybrid for that type of driving for sure. I bet even a standard gas engine with high MPG would be as good as a TDI in heavy city driving. TDIs good mileage comes from minimal power to keep propulsion once at speed. Speeding up sucks the fuel significantly faster.
 

Geoff

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You'd want a hybrid for that type of driving for sure. I bet even a standard gas engine with high MPG would be as good as a TDI in heavy city driving. TDIs good mileage comes from minimal power to keep propulsion once at speed. Speeding up sucks the fuel significantly faster.

No, a TDI's good mileage comes from the fact that the fuel it burns has 30% more energy in it than gasoline.
 

Geoff

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Not buying that at all dude. Rocket fuel has more energy in it than any car but it gets a lot worse MPG. More energy does not equal more MPG.

Of course it does. Assuming the engines weigh the same, miles per gallon is a function of the energy content of the fuel and the thermal efficiency of the engine. Diesel contains more energy than gasoline. A direct injection turbo diesel engine is about 40% efficient up to about 1800 RPM. The fanciest direct injection turbo gasoline engines get to about 35% efficient. More energy in the fuel and a more thermally efficient engine. In the diesel vs gasoline comparison, the energy content gain and thermal efficiency gain are about the same. If you're comparing a 1950's technology low compression pushrod V8 to a modern diesel, the thermal efficiency gain in a diesel is huge. The thermal efficiency advantage isn't so pronounced with modern gasoline engines.

External combustion engines are even more thermally efficient but nobody is going to run a stirling cycle steam engine in an automobile.
 

riverc0il

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Yea, people definitely need to think this stuff through when looking at more expensive tech. I did a lot of math regarding taking the diesel plunge because you get hit at purchase and at the pump. I can't recall what my break even point was but I think it was something like 120k miles or something like that? Might have been even more. It certainly isn't worth it for someone that upgrades every three years. My decision to buy the TDI was with intention to drive it well over 200k and own for a dozen years or more.

The great thing about the TDI is the fun factor, you certainly don't get that with a Prius even though Prius will return slightly better MPG, costs less at the pump, and costs less for a base model. But it is an ugly car with a stigma, so no love lost there from me.

Prius has actually become a very good buy on paper. $24k base for 51/48 MPG is pretty damn good. A lot of comparable economy cars base around $16-18.

I think this article might be taking a pot shot at larger hybrids (cars, cuvs, suvs) and expensive tech. I think for most people, there are better choices. There are a lot of CUVs getting 30 MPG. Paying the hybrid tax for a sub-30 highway MPG vehicle is kinda bananas IMO, just pick a more efficient gaser with similar dimensions.

The current generation of compacts getting 40ish MPG highway are really pushing hybrids/diesels to improve even more. Again, if you flip cars, the fuel efficient compact is going to be a much better buy.

Another issue is that as MPG increases, your savings decreases. It is not linear. The improvement from 20 to 30 MPG is WAY better than the improvement from 30 to 40 MPG and from 40 to 50 MPG is even less savings. Any savings is good and less fuel consumption is a great thing. But the savings at the pump decreases proportionally to the MPG improvement. Here is something I put together before buying:

50 MPG at 200,000 = 4000 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $16,000
45 MPG at 200,000 = 4444 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $17,776
40 MPG at 200,000 = 5000 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $20,000
35 MPG at 200,000 = 5714 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $22,857
30 MPG at 200,000 = 6666 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $26,666
25 MPG at 200,000 = 8000 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $32,000
20 MPG at 200,000 = 10000 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $40,000
15 MPG at 200,000 = 13333 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $53,333
10 MPG at 200,000 = 20000 Gallons * $4.00/Gallon = $80,000

That gives a good ball park for your lifetime savings if you can keep the same car and drive it until 200k. Going from an average of 30 MPG to 40 MPG is only worth $6,666 at $4/gallon for 200k miles. Puts it in perspective. Going from your standard 30 MPG average economy car to a 50 MPG prius is worth $10k over 200k miles, that is worth the premium (at $4/gallon).

44.1 MPG on my last tank. One tank = Two round trips to Boston from central NH and two weeks worth of in town driving. :D
 

deadheadskier

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You definitely pay big upfront for Hybrid or TDI technology and need to be someone who holds onto a car for a long time to realize savings.

I wonder what vehicles are going to be like in 2025 when CAFE regulations mandate a 54.5mpg fleet average.
The two best selling cars in America are the F150 and Silverado. Are we going to see such trucks with 14K pound towing capability average 40 mpg?

Crazy to think that technology is expected to change/improve that much over the next 13 years. Of course by then, gas will probably be $10/gallon and we will all be saving nothing from our weekly fuel expenses....

...and still bitching about it

:lol:
 

riverc0il

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That CAFE standards stuff is a bunch of crap. People will begin to drive more efficient vehicles as fuel continues to increase. I don't know where the breaking point is, but I'm sure we'll get there before 2025 with or without regulations just based on economics.
 

MR. evil

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Not sure about Hybrids, but TDIs really hold there value much better than there gas powered cousins. So even if you do only hold onto the car for 3 years you will still probably be doing better $$$ wise vs. the gas version of that same car.
 

riverc0il

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In response to Geoff's hypermiler commentary... had a fun time going 60+ mph up the Jay side of Route 242 this past Saturday around the turns. Its nice to get the MPG when I want it but still have fun when I feel like laying into some turns.

It was nice to hear news that VW brought the Passat Alltrack to the recent NYC show. Previous announcements indicated there was no chance this would make it to the USA. But they brought it to the show as a "concept car" looking for interest, which is at least a good sign (how is a car already available for sale in Europe a "concept"?).

Looks a little girthy for my tastes, too much Outback in the overall size, big ugly bootie. I might be able to deal with that for a TDI AWD wagon. Not happening any time in the next few years if at all, but who knows? Considering TDIs are killing it compared to gas in the JSW and Subaru had really good sales with their bloated Outback, maybe VWoA will follow suit?

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/02/vw-bringing-passat-alltrak-to-new-york-as-a-concept-w-poll/

http://www.leftlanenews.com/volkswagen-alltrack.html
 

wa-loaf

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In response to Geoff's hypermiler commentary... had a fun time going 60+ mph up the Jay side of Route 242 this past Saturday around the turns. Its nice to get the MPG when I want it but still have fun when I feel like laying into some turns.

It was nice to hear news that VW brought the Passat Alltrack to the recent NYC show. Previous announcements indicated there was no chance this would make it to the USA. But they brought it to the show as a "concept car" looking for interest, which is at least a good sign (how is a car already available for sale in Europe a "concept"?).

Looks a little girthy for my tastes, too much Outback in the overall size, big ugly bootie. I might be able to deal with that for a TDI AWD wagon. Not happening any time in the next few years if at all, but who knows? Considering TDIs are killing it compared to gas in the JSW and Subaru had really good sales with their bloated Outback, maybe VWoA will follow suit?

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/02/vw-bringing-passat-alltrak-to-new-york-as-a-concept-w-poll/

http://www.leftlanenews.com/volkswagen-alltrack.html

It looks a hell of a lot nicer than the Outback.
 

Geoff

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In response to Geoff's hypermiler commentary...

The AC is broken in my GTI (and in the SUV). With the high temps and humidity, I got 34 mpg driving from KMart to Logan Airport yesterday. I didn't realize how costly it is to run the air conditioner in that car.
 
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