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Why does hybrid get such a bad press?

21721 Views 34 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  9zero7
Most of the magazine reviews I have read suggest the 1.2 petrol is the best choice, with the hybrid being noisy under acceleration and slow to respond unless you bury the throttle pedal, when economy suffers greatly.

I have chosen a hybrid, and found the performance very similar thanks to the electric motor.

Any thoughts?
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I think maybe this is between the ears of the reporters...

The biggest power of petrol model is 85 kW/5600 r/min and the hybrid's 90 kW (116 and 122 hp)
Maximium torque in petrol C-HR is 185 Nm/1500 r/min and the hybrid's 142 Nm/3600 r/min,
I think here is the reason, petrol has more torque in low revs than hybrid.

Anyhow the hybrid is more economical in fast driving than petrol.

I don't mind the hybrid's engine noise under acceleration, it's only sporty :-D
No the hybrid has more torque than the 1.2 petrol, you forgot to add the electric motor (additional 207 Nm). The problem is that they don't know how to drive a hybrid. It require some time and experience to fully enjoy and get the best of the hybrid driving. Problem is that hybrid is very silent but when you go pedal to the metal, the engine goes full revs and it seems louder. Also, the acceleration seems more linear than a traditional 6 speed manual, you think you don't accelerate but you actually do it well ! check the numbers, hybrid has same acceleration than 1.2 petrol (+/- 0.1 sec) :)
hellric said:
The problem is that they don't know how to drive a hybrid.
That is the main reason and the dealers that I have spoken to agree.

I currently drive a Prius and it took me about six months to learn how to drive it (my wife still cannot drive it - but that's another story). If you try to drive any hybrid in the same manner that you drive a "normal" car then you will not get the best out of it.

I quite often have a smile to myself when stopped at traffic lights and the car in the next lane thinks that because it is a Prius that they can out accelerate me - I just let them get on with it in the knowledge that I can leave most cars standing if I put my mid to it, but I see little point in wasting petrol!
It might be a bit off topic, but could you give some advice on how to drive a hybrid?
Normally you just drive it and it goes, but there are a couple of tips that help.
1. For best fuel economy (and comfort) drive gently. Dont floor the pedel and dont brake hard. The hybrid uses regenerative breaking so when you push the brake pedal gently it does not apply the brakes it creates drag by charging the battery - only applying the brakes at very low speed and if you brake hard. (at my last service the engineer checked the brake pads and asked if I ever use the brakes!)
2. There is a trick to get more ev (electric) driving by accelerating to just above the speed you want to travel at, removing your foot from the accelerator and then putting it back on with just enough weight to maintain a constant speed. When you lift off it goes into ev (switching off the petrol engine) and by gently holding your speed it will stay in ev ( on level ground anyway). This can increase fuel economy quite a lot.

You will understand from the above why journalists dont appeciate the hybrid as they are petrolheads who just floor the accelerator to "see what she can do".

There are some good articles on how the hybrid works, and the best thing to find out about is how it controls the smooth flow of power from the engibne and electric motor using a power split device (PSD). Its really quite ingenious. I wont try to add urls here but if you search for Toyota Prius PSD you will find several.
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The Prius that I have just traded in had its 10 year service in Sept 15 I was told that the breaks were only 1/4 worn.
Really helpful comments there. Was wondering how best to drive it.
The best way to drive a hybrid is with cruise control - but on most roads in the UK that is rarely a practical option.
I noted on my test drive that the C-HR cruise control comes up with a message about only using it on motorways. Might be because it is adaptive. It might limit cruise control usage ( ie not in 30mph limits). I am looking forward to getting mine (this week!) to try it out.
I have "all speeds" adaptive cruise control in my Prius which will stop the car completely, and can then just be reactivated by tapping the stalk up to RESUME the preset speed and distance between vehicles when the traffic starts moving again. The salesman told me the same system is on the CHR, so if it is, you can use it on any road, although you will probably find it more convenient just to use it on longer trips and faster roads.
My dealer representative during my test drive told he was trying this in the city, so he managed to ride from ~20km without using pedals at all (except for traffic light when he was first in lane :))
Actually, the adaptive cruise control is perfect for slow traffic - following the previous vehicle the car stops fully and you only need to touch the accelerator when the car in front starts moving. In faster and heavy traffic it is better to use your foot.

As for the hybrid driving, the tips above are right on the spot - accelerate using the engine and coast on electricity. Some additional tips:
1. Avoid accelerating uphill or in full power. Try to use only the green Eco-zone of the power meter.
2. Never drive faster than 95km/h (60mph), unless driving downhill on a motorway and the car accelerates by gravity alone
3. Try to reduce the climate control temperature in cold weather or if possible turn it off. Otherwise the engine will be running just to keep you warm
4. Avoid constant changes in speed - best possible driving is to use only electricity to maintain the speed or even decelerate slowly.
JulianoG said:
4. Avoid constant changes in speed - best possible driving is to use only electricity to maintain the speed or even decelerate slowly.
From the manual:
For the first 1600 km (1000 miles):
• Do not drive at a constant speed for extended periods.
So it seems at first it's better to change speed constantly :)
Going back to adaptive cruise control. I put it on at 30mph on a local road that curved gently to the right. On the left was a pull-in (bus stop?) with a car parked in it. As we approached it, although the road ahead was totally clear, it saw the stationary car and started to pull up quite sharply. I wondered what was going on at first and so did the man behind! Perhaps this is why they suggest it for motorways only - as they are straighter?
Alexr, manual explains such situations. It's not just slight curves
Yes but I was exploring why it advises to only use it on motorways.
Enjoy, Alex!
Probably because it's harsher in sound than the petrol and there is no different in performance essentially meaning Toyota are essentially competing with themselves. Toyota missed an opportunity to give the hybrid version real performance by fitting a larger Li battery pack (instead of Nimh) and fitting / enabling more power from the motors. The C-Hr hyrbid could have been 180-200 bhp of green power. Instead it's pretty similar to the petrol in performance but with more noise. As for CO2, yes it's better but are drivers really going to care that much after April when all cars attract £140 flat rate? I think a majority would prefer good green credentials and performance than excellent green credentials and mediocre performance.

I reckon a 180-200bhp hybrid AWD version with manual box would have been a great seller and would have complimented the 1.2T version perfectly giving a choice of small engine and low insurance or green performance.
RHC said:
Probably because it's harsher in sound than the petrol and there is no different in performance essentially meaning Toyota are essentially competing with themselves.
Don,t think so you must compare it with the petrol version with CVT, The problem with the harder sound is in the CVT or similar the Hybrid.
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