Some Hybrid Vehicle Owners Are Dissatisfied with Their Fuel Economy, Including Me

I’ve owned a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid for more than five years now, and we’ve leased a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid since the summer of 2008, so we’ve got lots of driving experience with them.  As enthusiastic as I am about finding ways to save gasoline and money, and have our country import less foreign oil, I have to say I’ve been disappointed with our experience with these two vehicles.  The Civic Hybrid has not lived up to its claims about 40+ mpg, and although the Camry Hybrid has done so, its lackluster handling and other driving aspects means we won’t be leasing another one.  Other Civic Hybrid owners agree, in today’s Greensboro, NC News & Observer article in which we are interviewed:

When they bought their hybrid Honda Civics back in 2006, Aneil K. Mishra and Jeffrey A. Wald expected to save a lot of money on gasoline. And both men hoped that, by their examples, they would encourage more North Carolinians to buy fuel-thrifty hybrid cars.

“I felt like, as an early adopter, I was supporting the market for more energy-efficient vehicles,” Wald, 45, of Cary, said Monday.

“I wanted to be on the cutting edge,” said Mishra, 49, of Durham.

Mishra’s family also has a hybrid Toyota Camry, which has delivered better fuel economy than the Civic but is not much fun to drive, he said. If the Civic was delivering mid-40s mpg, he said, he’d consider buying another one.

Instead, he plans to sign up for the class-action settlement against Honda and wait for his $100 check. He’s checking out plans in Detroit for new clean-diesel cars.

“The hybrids just aren’t attractive to us right now,” Mishra said.