Posts Tagged ‘opel’

Car Buying Advice?

For Europe where gasoline costs over 1.4 euros per liter. My parents are looking for a new little used one.

The old Opel had a trouble free ten years, and having another in the same line might be a good idea. At least it’s a marque where historically reasonably tall people could find a comfortable driving position. Vectra is the new model in question.

Mazda 6 has a good reputation for no faults and feels good, except it sometimes suffers from horrible rust because of some philosophical issues at the factory, it seems. The 6 year body warranty might not entirely give enough peace of mind. Is Japan even fine as a political statement, with their protectionism and other politics..?

Ford Mondeo. Related to Mazda. It’s a common car and seems to be ok. But friends and relatives know little about it. I read about some underside rubber cover failures in cold weather leading to expensive overhauls in the long run.

Skoda Octavia. Could be a winner. One might even get a diesel version relatively cheaply (ie not that much more expensive than gas). Even a new car, with a TSI turbosupercharged 1.2 liter gasoline engine that has a big torque right above the idle speed costs not that much more than a few year old ones of other cars and uses much less fuel. The problem is the “not that much more”.

Volkswagen. Seems overpriced. Is their quality any better compared to Skoda? They might be a tad more modern perhaps.

Honda and Audi seem even more expensive. Nevermind Toyota where people ask ridiculous prices even for 6 year old cars.

French cars might have good qualities but the stories of the number of constant pestering small faults from many examples rule that out.

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Chevy Volt

Jay Leno testing one briefly. It’s a plugin series hybrid, the gasoline engine doesn’t “help” the acceleration like in the parallel hybrid cars produced so far, and it’s supposed to come out in 2010. But a 1.4 liter gasoline engine seems awfully big and probably increases weight of the vehicle – which is a lot, about 1700 kg. The car is so heavy because of the electric stuff though that maybe the large gas engine is necessary as well.

Why does 1.4 liters seem a lot? Well, since it’s a series hybrid, you only need to produce the average power, the batteries handle the bumps. Typically cars ¬†use only a fraction of their available peak power. But in a series hybrid the gas engine can be tuned to being small and running at pretty high constant RPM to make it light and efficient as well. Many ordinary gasoline cars of 1000+ kg mass have 1.4 liter engines over here, hence it looks like a huge displacement for a series hybrid.

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