I had always driven Ford Explorers, for many years. They were great cars, a man's car. They did NOT get great gas mileage, 14-16 mpg. It got expensive with all my driving as a home inspector, some weeks 1,200 miles!
In the spring of 2005 I heard that gasoline prices might hit $4/gallon that summer. I was taken aback by that. In speaking with a friend he said he knew of a Ford Escape Hybrid that happened to come available at his dealership. They were scarce and the waiting list was months. But I could have that one right away. The bonus - 33-36 mpg! That was the real reason I bought the car - great gas mileage and it could carry all my stuff.
SO I MADE THE UNFORTUNATE MISTAKE OF BUYING IT.
Why was it a mistake? It is not the man's car I was used to. It is a girl's car! Everything is small. It is weak. It is wimpy. The huge battery pack makes my ears ring and ruins the radio's reception. They lied about the gas mileage. My best is 26 mpg or so, far from what they promised, and the same as the non hybrid. In other words, they lied. I paid a $13,000 premium over the non hybrid for this car! Here is the picture of my car, minus my business sign.
Why am I upset? Despite all their promises...
I WILL NEVER BREAK EVEN!
Because of the crappy mileage, I will never have saved enough on gasoline expenses to break even.
Here's another kick in the teeth.
Today I had an emissions test so I can renew my tag for two years. It costs $28 (a couple of years ago it cost $10). Is that a lot of money? No.
So why does this test bother me? Because everything on the test is labeled N/A. The 18 HCppm, CO% and NOppm tests all registered N/A! The 8 other various tests registered the N/A! Why? Because a hybrid produces so little they are N/A on a test. So why should I have the test?
What passed? The fact that the car still has a catalytic converter and that my gas tank cap is tight. Oh, and my visible smoke inspection passed. There was no "visible smoke."
WELL, IT'S A HYBRID, THERE SHOULD BE NO VISIBLE SMOKE!!
So, I have to pay an emissions test fee for them to make sure I didn't remove my catalytic converter and that my gas cap fits tightly! What a waste! We all know why I am forced to have that test though:
$$$$$$$$$ As always it's the $$$$$$$$$
And don't try to console me by telling me that I am saving the world. That is as ridiculous as requiring me to get an emissions test!
My recommendation: Stick with your Explorer. And drive happy.
Thanks for listening Doctor. I feel much better. Same time next week?
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560