High Mileage Wars

Wednesday, December 24th 2008, 10:21 am
By: News On 6

By Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OK -- Ever since last summer's high gas prices, Kelly Wood from Riverside Toyota has seen lot of customers looking to hybrids like the Toyota Prius.

"You have the hybrid that gives you better gas mileage, then of course as the gas fluctuates we know it always goes back and forth, we're going to get better economy and save a lot of money. Battery and electric motor backup, along with a gas motor, so the gas works minimally and the electric motor kicks in and gives it better gas mileage. The Prius gets an average 45-47 mpg," said Kelly Wood.

But another older technology is trying to win customers with its high mileage.  Randy Holloway of Green Country Imports says diesel cars like the Volkswagen Jetta TDI are the cars of the future.

"They're down to practically zero emissions, they're quiet, lots of power and still very economical. You can't even smell the exhaust, you can't tell it's a diesel.  The noise suppression inside the car, once you're going over ten miles an hour you can't tell if you're in a gas car or a diesel. You're seeing real life on the Jetta diesels in the 35 around town 45 on the highway realistically, we do have customers come back and say they're getting up to fifty," said Randy Holloway.

Is newer technology of the Prius better? Kelly thinks so.

"There was a first generation that did well up to 2002, this is a third generation in the Prius and it's gotten better and more efficient and more dependable," said Kelly Wood.

"These have a lot more torque, and that's your get-up-and-go, your 0 to 60, that's your torque. They just make for a more ‘enlightening' driving experience," said Randy Holloway.

"Uses regular gasoline, you don't have to do anything special to them, you drive them change the oil and filter every 5,000 miles like any other car. You park them in the garage, don't have to plug them in, and it's got a very comfortable entry level, they're not hard to get in and out of," said Kelly Wood.

But Randy still likes the simplicity of the diesel engine.

"There's no spark plug, there's no coil and there's no electronics to speak of like a gas engine has, very little wear-factor, and that's what makes diesel's neat, because they'll last forever," said Randy Holloway.

So who will win in the high-mileage wars:  hybrid or diesel. Well perhaps both. Volkswagen announced it has developed a diesel hybrid that claims to get over 70 miles per gallon. The clear winner may just be the consumer.