Hybrid Car Shopping

I'm in the market for a new car and not quite yet want to be in the market for a new planet.

Yes, I'm in the market for a new car. My car might last a few more years, it only has 70,000 miles on it.

I've been saying for the past few years, the next new car I buy would be a Tesla. However, there are many factors leading me away from that. First, they're freakin' expensive. Second, I would have to install something at my house to get the Level II charging which takes the charge time from something like days to overnight. Third, I'm not sure right now is the right time.

So instead of Tesla, I've been looking at 2019 Hybrid models, like the Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq, and the Honda Insight. They all seem like good cars. However, I want a hatchback, since I currently drive a hatchback, so the Insight loses a point, and I want 55 mpg. So the final choice would be the Ioniq. The choice between the Insight and the Ioniq will be left up to test drives of each, but I hope the Ioniq is good enough, because I want that car :)

So, I was doing some math on the choice to go hybrid. The one constant drive in my life is to and from work. The trip is 14 miles round trip. I've measured the MPG for my car, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring. It has a 14 gallon tank. It has been getting 20 mpg for the trip, which is highly reminiscent of city driving. The Ioniq and Insight both advertise 55mpg city.

14 miles per day, figure in 4 weeks of vacation (not figuring in working from home some days). Figure 240 working days a year where I'm making the 14 mile round trip, so 3360 miles. Just for work.

At my current car rate, I will use 168 gallons of fuel per year. Again, this is just counting as if all I ever used my car for was back and forth to work, nothing else. With a gas tank of 14 gallons, this would require a fillup 12 times a year.

At 55mpg city, I will use 61 gallons of fuel, requiring a fill up of (on the Ioniq's 11.9 gallon tank) 5 times per year.

Gas prices change so I will just measure in fillups per year. I've owned my car since May or June of 2012, so 6 and a half years. I bought it with 8K miles on it. So I've put on 62,000 miles. I don't know how many times I've filled up, but I would wager that I've only averaged maybe 22-25 miles per gallon. We'll be generous and call it 25.

By that number I've used 2,480 gallons of gas, or have filled up 177 times. By the same token, if I got the Ioniq, and it kept close to advertised mpg (or, let's be less generous and say it *only* ends up getting 45 mpg), after 62,000 miles, I would have used 1,377 gallons of gas, and would have filled up 115 times. Here the fill up number is misleading, at that scale a 2.1 gallon difference, or 15% smaller tank, makes a big difference, I would use over 1000 gallons less.

At $2.50 current gas price, I would save $2,500 over the 6.5 years I've owned the car.

So that's not a lot of money. However, I'm still going to get it!  I need a new car. I joked with some people, the 2011 Elantra Touring is falling apart around me, in a few years I'll just be driving a frame around :)  The car works, it gets me places, however there's nothing cool about it. Ok, it's got roof racks. I'll miss those. If I really wanted to keep them I would seriously consider the Kia Niro. But the Ioniq has a .24 coefficient of drag. 55 city, 54 highway! That's pretty awesome. It pretty much matches up in tech against the Insight, however, the Insight has that sweet electronic parking brake, while the Ioniq has just the foot brake. My Elantra even has a hand brake!  Oh well. 

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