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4 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 260256 18-Nov-2019 08:44
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Kia ora,

 

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm looking for some advice on buying a low emissions car, as we've decided to time to ditch our 2000 Ford Laser. What we'd like is as environmentally friendly a car which will meet our needs. We don't drive a lot (avg about 8000 km per year) and it's a mix of very local trips like dropping the kids off at school, going to the supermarket etc, and longer road trips as we really tend to go on a few camping trips each year.

 

So ideally we'd like something that we can put a roofbox on and go camping with two kids and all the stuff that entails, but is as environmentally friendly as possible. Budget can stretch to 25K, but would prefer less if possible. We've looked at a second hand Outlander Phev and I'm struggling to decide if it's worth spending money on that or if it would make more sense just to go for an efficient hybrid or something else.

 

Any suggestions or perspectives would be great!


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4353 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2355532 18-Nov-2019 09:43
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The PHEV Outlanders within that budget will be older cars, and that model had a relatively small battery-only range; I've no knowledge of how well the batteries in those stack up after a few years (ie, whether they suffer much of a reduction in range over time/use like Leafs can), but given the range was small to begin with this is something to check up. That said, depending on what your daily usage is, it may still be enough to get you through the day on electricity-only.

 

Noting your preference for carrying camping equipment etc, of the standard hybrids many will be too small, eg Prius. But a Camry hybrid will be within your price range. Not as convenient as the Outlander will be for taking equipment, though, given it's a sedan (that said, it's got a large boot; just not the convenience of filling it up to roof level). It also won't be as cheap or low on emissions when running around town as the Outlander would be.

 

I'm doing similar research to you, for similar reasons, thinking about what my next car will be - these two cars (but more recent models) are the current front-runners; I took the new Camry hybrid for a test drive on Saturday, and was really impressed how far it has come in terms of handling and refinement. I also took the new Rav4 hybrid for a drive, and that did nothing to convert me to SUVs over 'normal' cars. For me, that's probably the biggest thing against the Outlander - I love the plug-in format, but simply don't like the way SUVs handle. If that's not an issue for you, then I'd certainly keep the Outlander on your shopping list.

 

Have you taken any cars for a test drive? I suggest you do this, and try to drive multiple cars on the same day so you can get a good sense of the differences (as I found driving the Camry and Rav4 back-to-back).

 

 




4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 2355689 18-Nov-2019 12:59
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Thanks for the advice. I did take the Outlander on a test drive, and it seemed fine (but I have low standards coming from a very old car). I'll look into the Camry hybrids, and was thinking of test driving a prius just to see the difference so maybe I should give that a go as well.


 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek

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  # 2355707 18-Nov-2019 13:28
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Sure, the more cars you try out the better the information you have to make that decision. My concern would be the size of the Prius - they're not particularly large cars, and given you have kids and go camping... Especially as your kids get bigger, size may become more important (especially if you're a one-car family).

 

I understand one thing to watch with the earlier PHEV Outlanders is they couldn't fast charge, so it's not cost-effective to pay for using a fast charger (as they also charge per minute); that said, I imagine most of your charging would be at home (where, if you're only doing small distances most days, takes little time and can cost next to nothing - we charge my wife's Leaf @16A within our hour of free power from EK, and that nearly always covers that day's driving).

 

Interestingly, I read that the next Outlander may have an EV-only range of up to 100km, which is a significant increase; our Leaf, with 10/12 bars, only makes 135 now on a full charge!


gzt

11052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2355716 18-Nov-2019 13:39
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Five seater Prius Alpha is good. Different name in nz. Having said that it's underpowered with a full family and all the gear on kiwi holiday roads. 7 seater NZ model is lighter haven't tried it and would not really want to put anyone in the rearmost backseat for safety reasons.

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Uber Geek

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  # 2355730 18-Nov-2019 13:56
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Firstly, I will say I love my Camry Hybrid. It produces better fuel figures than our Suzuki Swift. It can carry 4 adults in complete comfort and has a reasonable boot. But it can only tow 300-400kgs (depending on year) and is a big car to park, those being its only shortfalls in my usage case.

 

I looked at a new RAV4 and really liked it, but couldn’t justify the changeover cost. I do like the Toyota “Hybrid Synergy Drive” over the (usually DCT) transmission offerings from other hybrid manufacturers.

 

I found the Outlander a horrible ‘boat’ to drive.





Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

220 posts

Master Geek


  # 2355745 18-Nov-2019 14:35
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I think trying to find something to suit all the requirements at that budget will be hard. Would keeping the current Laser be a viable option? If so you could use it for the longer trips but get something more suitable for the quick around town trips ie Leaf Prius etc. 




4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 2356956 18-Nov-2019 20:13
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Thanks for all the ideas! One of the reasons for getting rid of the Laser is that it the safety rating is pretty bad. We did think about buying a leaf and then hiring a car for camping trips but that seems like too much hassle for us.  I'll check out the Hybrid Camrys and the Prius Alpha. I agree that it'll be hard to get exactly what we want, so I guess it's just figuring out the best of the possible options.


 
 
 
 


590 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2357103 19-Nov-2019 09:26
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Pateke:

 

Thanks for all the ideas! One of the reasons for getting rid of the Laser is that it the safety rating is pretty bad. We did think about buying a leaf and then hiring a car for camping trips but that seems like too much hassle for us.  I'll check out the Hybrid Camrys and the Prius Alpha. I agree that it'll be hard to get exactly what we want, so I guess it's just figuring out the best of the possible options.

 

 

I guess it depends how often you're going camping. If you're going camping every long weekend then yeah, that might become a bother but if it's once a year is the inconvenience level actually that high?


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Uber Geek

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  # 2357116 19-Nov-2019 09:50
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Obraik: I guess it depends how often you're going camping. If you're going camping every long weekend then yeah, that might become a bother but if it's once a year is the inconvenience level actually that high?

 

 

From the very first post:

 

... as we really tend to go on a few camping trips each year.

 

So, yeah, I can see that would be more hassle than it's worth renting a larger ICE car for those times.

 

TBH, if you're a one-car family I'd have thought a PHEV Outlander or, to a lesser extent potentially a hybrid Camry, would work perfectly for all circumstances and with very few compromises - very economical/low emissions around town, where most driving would be, but no range anxiety for longer trips and large enough (and substantial enough to take a roof box) when you need that.

 

I imagine the real-world economy of a PHEV Outlander on the open road over long trips isn't incredible, given it's fairly large and non-streamlined, but overall all driving you'll do it's going to be way lower than a standard ICE.


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  # 2357173 19-Nov-2019 11:20
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For $25k you might be able to get a second hand Kia Niro if you're lucky. Otherwise the Camry Hybrid suggested above seems like the obvious option. 


gzt

11052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2358332 20-Nov-2019 22:49
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I saw a Mondeo hybrid sedan on the road today. It must have been an import.

Offtopic I noticed Ford have a Mondeo Hybrid Wagon coming to NZ:

https://i.stuff.co.nz/motoring/road-tests/116019220/road-test-review-ford-mondeo-hybrid-wagon

+ some existing and new plug in hybrids

NZ model Prius Alpha has the forward li-on battery btw lighter than jap model and maybe more boot.

888 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2358350 21-Nov-2019 06:14
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Had a chance to drive a fair few KMs in the Mondeo Wagon a few weeks back. Good economy, a little shy of the latest Camry Hybrid, but pleasing to see the model is being looked at here. You do lose a bit of boot to batteries, similar to the last Camry Hybrid, so the wagon is a good option to recover that space. Feels more modern to drive than a Toyota, although you notice the reduced power.

156 posts

Master Geek

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  # 2358354 21-Nov-2019 06:37
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I just saw this thread, and noticed the mention of PHEV Outlanders. I have owned one for nearly two years so here is my experience.

 

Driven 23000 km, used 200 litres of petrol, so that is a fuel economy of under 1.0 L / 100 km. But that is highly dependent on commute distance, driving style, etc. Our typical weekday carpool is under 40 km and we have not been on many long road trips.

 

My electric range after an overnight charge for city driving speeds: when new it was around 42-50 km depending on weather. (50 km in warm dry weather, low 40s in wet or cold.) Almost two years later, it is around 35-42 km depending on weather - but degradation tends to be fast and first and then plateau to a slower decline.

 

Battery degradation: two important points here. First point is that PHEV Outlanders appear to degrade much worse than other EV / PHEV models. Second point, general consensus on owner forums is that this is largely "software" - the battery management unit just being too pessimistic. There are lots of reports of owners of older models doing a "reset" (trick the BMU into forgetting its history) and getting much greater electric range again. I expect it is probably not good for battery health to do more than one or two of those over the battery lifetime, however. I've no plans to do one myself.




4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 2358764 21-Nov-2019 15:41
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Thanks,

 

That's useful to know!


gzt

11052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2358981 21-Nov-2019 23:04
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heapsort

Model year? Thx.

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