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I have owned an XLE Hybrid for a couple of months and love it. Most people on this message board do also. And most of the US reviewers.

But the Brits hate it!

I have read several reviews online and they all dislike the new hybrid.

The latest is here with a sub-title "Hold on before buying that hybrid."

Is the car significantly different across the pond?

Is Toyota sending the good cars to the US and all others abroad?!

What's up?
 

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They have amazing diesel power plants there with lots of low end torque, its not comparable.
we have two options, gas or hybrid.
hybrid is far better than gas but there is something special about diesels low end power
 

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The British have the advantage of having diesel RAVs available, withheld from us arbitrarily by Toyota in North America who would wish to have one) and they achieve better miles per gallon than the hybrid RAV. Part of the evaluation from the article (and of course this is only one opinion):

"Fuel consumption of 55mpg (for the hybrid) (on the combined cycle) isn’t much to write home about. And the CO2 emissions (which affects tax) of 118g/km aren’t all that, either — a diesel-powered Nissan Qashqai can return 61mpg and emits 120g/km of nasties. Even Toyota’s own RAV4 diesel, the D-4D, manages 60mpg and 123g/km."

The mpg fuel consumption of course refers to the Imperial gallon, about 20% larger than that in the U.S. Having lived in Europe, the Europeans generally have more vehicle choices than we do in North America.
 

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They have amazing diesel power plants there with lots of low end torque, its not comparable.
I absolutely agree. When I spent some time there the power, silence, and swiftness of the diesels was simply amazing. There was no black smoke belching from the exhaust either. Mind you this was some years back so current diesels there are no doubt even more sophisticated. Multiple times I had to ask the driver if the engine was diesel or petrol....in all cases it was diesel and I couldn't tell.

Prior to that my thoughts of diesels were relegated to the giant Ford truck next to me at the stoplight rattling so loudly that it drowned out conversation. I can see why the Brits are less than enthusiastic about the RAV Hybrid. For the USA market it's a revelation, over there it's a big yawn.
 

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I absolutely agree. When I spent some time there the power, silence, and swiftness of the diesels was simply amazing. There was no black smoke belching from the exhaust either. Mind you this was some years back so current diesels there are no doubt even more sophisticated. Multiple times I had to ask the driver if the engine was diesel or petrol....in all cases it was diesel and I couldn't tell.

Prior to that my thoughts of diesels were relegated to the giant Ford truck next to me at the stoplight rattling so loudly that it drowned out conversation. I can see why the Brits are less than enthusiastic about the RAV Hybrid. For the USA market it's a revelation, over there it's a big yawn.

And until their North American diesel emissions debacle, VW's car diesels achieved great fuel mileage and also are quiet. A friend at church has one and when it idles it is quieter than my RAV's engine at idle. Hopefully VW will sort out its emissions situation. My sister's VW Golf TDi achieves 48 mpg at 75 mph. Maybe Toyota will get the message someday soon, but I won't be holding my breath in anticipation.
 

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The technology is available for car diesels to meet U.S. NOx emissions standards. The Euro curreent Tier 5 standard is 80mg/km and the U.S. EPA current Tier 3 standard equates to about 54mg/km (check my arithmetic). Diesel pickup trucks and light duty trucks sold in the U.S. (and other diesel engine uses) meet U.S. standards (higher emissions rates are allowed for these). A problem is that manufacturers of cars for the U.S. market (apart from VW) generally have alleged that U.S. car buyers don't want diesel cars, probably influenced by the GM car diesel fiasco of the 1970s-1980s and by allegations that diesel fuel isn't widely available in the U.S., which are outmoded since there are many diesel pickup trucks and motor homes which are diesel powered, and diesel fuel certainly is widely available in this part of the country.
 

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Very true - but that technology has typically come with a penalty in either cost, performance or fuel economy which is why the VW cheating scandal was exposed. No one could figure out how VW was able to make a clean, high mileage diesel engine with power at a reasonable cost. Turns out that they didn't.

I tend to be very suspicious of collusion arguments. I don't doubt that it occurs but I suspect that the influence on consumers is very limited. Most consumers today don't remember the car market of the 70/80's and probably could care less what they put in their cars as long as it is reasonably priced and they can buy it without much trouble. As technology advances, clean diesel without the price/performance penalty will likely become a reality and we may see diesel's popularity soar.
 

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I don't believe that collusion is involved concerning negativity regarding diesel cars in the U.S. but companies and engineers of individual companies do recall past disasters regarding various technologies, if for no other reason than the fear of inducing another economic fiasco. The auto industry in the U.S. has engaged in somewhat subtle attempts to influence car buyers not to want diesel vehicles. As an example it seems that every time the topic is raised in car magazines the industry response in interviews is to negate diesel cars, and now they can point to VW's skullduggery as evidence. Also, car industry folks have reminded potential diesel buyers of the possibility of getting diesel fuel onto one's hands while fueling, with the supposed impossibility of getting the smell washed off - a throwback to diesel fuel and fueling nozzle problems of years ago.

I hope that you're correct in your statement, " As technology advances, clean diesel without the price/performance penalty will likely become a reality and we may see diesel's popularity soar." Hyundai says that they have a clean diesel and they have indicated that they intend to use it in their (possibly) forthcoming Santa Cruz, but that is one of those PR statements which I will believe if/when that vehicle and engine combo actually materializes.
 

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Diesel is transitional for light-duty vehicles. The future is hybrid using hydrogen fuel cells to charge the batteries while mobile. At least until a totally new battery technology comes along.

That being the case, the USA and other countries adopting hybrid will be better positioned for the future than diesel based infrastructures.
 

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Generating hydrogen fuel is either highly energy-intensive as in electrolysis, or relies upon utilizing natural gas in steam/methane reforming, which also relies upon the application of energy. Hydrogen storage is potentially problematic because of the possibility of leakage and possible explosion and fire. One must question whether producing hydrogen now requires more energy inputs and potential safety hazards than are justified by its use in fuel cell technology. Of course, hydrogen technology may improve in the future. In the meanwhile I would prefer diesel.
 

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I've noticed the people who build the highest of high-tech cars. Those who are the very best at getting the most power from limited fuel. I see Formula One is all over diesel. NOT!! They use hybrid technology because they know it is the best option available right now.
 

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The technology is available for car diesels to meet U.S. NOx emissions standards. The Euro curreent Tier 5 standard is 80mg/km and the U.S. EPA current Tier 3 standard equates to about 54mg/km (check my arithmetic). Diesel pickup trucks and light duty trucks sold in the U.S. (and other diesel engine uses) meet U.S. standards (higher emissions rates are allowed for these). A problem is that manufacturers of cars for the U.S. market (apart from VW) generally have alleged that U.S. car buyers don't want diesel cars, probably influenced by the GM car diesel fiasco of the 1970s-1980s and by allegations that diesel fuel isn't widely available in the U.S., which are outmoded since there are many diesel pickup trucks and motor homes which are diesel powered, and diesel fuel certainly is widely available in this part of the country.
And what ticks me off about this is it's perfectly legal for these with little brain in their giant duallie pick-ups to add in a bully dog or some other after market chip and take off from a stop and blow out black smoke so thick you literally can't see through it. I have personally seen an almost been in an accident myself from this. There's no fine, no ticket, no epa or govt regulation, and the local cops won't do anything about it either. I don't know what the emison output is when they engage this system but it's nowhere near a legal limit......
 

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Generating hydrogen fuel is either highly energy-intensive as in electrolysis, or relies upon utilizing natural gas in steam/methane reforming, which also relies upon the application of energy.
Which is no different from refining petroleum products, and its certainly a cleaner process.
Hydrogen storage is potentially problematic because of the possibility of leakage and possible explosion and fire.
Hydrogen is less dangerous or explosive than gasoline by far. And lets not even get into the massive ground/water contamination issues over the years from leaking gasoline/fuel tanks.

Hydrogen is clean technology, period.
 

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And what ticks me off about this is it's perfectly legal for these with little brain in their giant duallie pick-ups to add in a bully dog or some other after market chip and take off from a stop and blow out black smoke so thick you literally can't see through it. I have personally seen an almost been in an accident myself from this. There's no fine, no ticket, no epa or govt regulation, and the local cops won't do anything about it either. I don't know what the emison output is when they engage this system but it's nowhere near a legal limit......

Sounds like diesel trucks now are in PA are like they were in CA and OR about 20 years ago. In both CA and OR the police are supposed to cite vehicles which emit visible emissions, but especially in our area of OR the city police seem to ignore the occasional polluter, while the state police generally are rather aggressive about enforcement.
 

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Which is no different from refining petroleum products, and its certainly a cleaner process.

Hydrogen is less dangerous or explosive than gasoline by far. And lets not even get into the massive ground/water contamination issues over the years from leaking gasoline/fuel tanks.

Hydrogen is clean technology, period.
The process of obtaining hydrogen from natural gas involves the use of superheated steam which has to be produced by the burning of fossil fuels, as does petroleum cracking.

Having lived in Europe with its generally more advanced vehicle engineering and willingness to adopt new technologies, if hydrogen were to be the fuel of the future (which it may be at some point) the Euros would have done much more than they have so far to utilize it.

Underground gasoline storage leakage - for example the situation in CA was idiotic. When tetraethyl lead was used as an octane booster there was concern about underground leakage and contamination, and many service stations had to dig up and replace their tanks and clean up any surrounding contaminate soil. Then after MTBE as an octane booster was eliminated many of those stations had to repeat the process even if there had been no leakage.
 

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Hydrogen is clean technology, period.
That is,until the environmentalist whackos decide that the product of hydrogen combustion is a pollutant ! Not possible,you think?
Remember when Catalytic converter technology was first coming into it's own,and they were touted as being able to convert polluting exhaust into "water & carbon dioxide...the gas in your soda can" ? Years later,that harmless gas became a contributor...nay...the major CAUSE of global warming. Well,CO2 is a MINOR greenhouse gas in comparison to water vapor. When your Hydrogen powered auto gets widespread acceptance,be assured that some con man in government will find a new way to make you pay for the "damage" you are causing.
 

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I've owned my hybrid for 3 weeks now and likewise I used to own one of those Japanese diesel back in the late 90's so I can relate to this article. I read the article and I like to point out things that I agree and did not agree then my own feedback
What I Agree
I've own my hybrid for 3 weeks, I agree with the author saying it feels that there is a dead weight being dragged, nonetheless it's also had less body roll during turns.
I also agree with the suspension, not a smooth ride compared to my
Not responsive, but i'm still happy anyway.
What I did not agree
The author is all over the place in comparing various vehicle brand and types, from sporty car to luxury brand.
These are not apples to apples comparison, he's comparing hybrid with diesel. I think it's fair to compare this model with same type and category.
Feedback
The author is just being an "author" trying to draw an audience by saying something not good. Also I think the author is biased to nissan brand. by trying to sway buyers for that vehicle.
Audience for that article is assumed to be in UK, which is not applicable for Canadians. Along with this many comments from this forum. Variant availability are limited for north americans.
 

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I've owned my hybrid for 3 weeks now and likewise I used to own one of those Japanese diesel back in the late 90's so I can relate to this article. I read the article and I like to point out things that I agree and did not agree then my own feedback
What I Agree
I've own my hybrid for 3 weeks, I agree with the author saying it feels that there is a dead weight being dragged, nonetheless it's also had less body roll during turns.
I also agree with the suspension, not a smooth ride compared to my
Not responsive, but i'm still happy anyway.
What I did not agree
The author is all over the place in comparing various vehicle brand and types, from sporty car to luxury brand.
These are not apples to apples comparison, he's comparing hybrid with diesel. I think it's fair to compare this model with same type and category.
Feedback
The author is just being an "author" trying to draw an audience by saying something not good. Also I think the author is biased to nissan brand. by trying to sway buyers for that vehicle.
Audience for that article is assumed to be in UK, which is not applicable for Canadians. Along with this many comments from this forum. Variant availability are limited for north americans.
A quick answer to sonicbook "I do not agree section": you're right in stating that You should compare apples with apples, but what the author did, was to take the perspective of a typical european buyer that actually compares the mileage performance of turbo diesel engines being the reference with the other kind of engines (and gears, since automatic gears are not so common and slightly reduces the mileage performance).

This is the exact comparison I did a couple of months ago and my final decision was finally to go with the hybrid since I am quite tired of diesel engines for several reasons (for example the higher maintenance cost, the increasing restrictions due to the nasties, ...)

So since a week I own my first hybrid rav4. Time will day if this is a good choice.


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