Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - badbusdriver

Reading a roadtest in Car Magazine I was struck by the huge differences in the economy achieved on test between three very similar cars. Those were the new Ford Kuga, the Peugeot 3008 and the Volvo XC40.

The cars all covered the same route at about the same pace yet the test mpg varied wildly from the Peugeot’s disappointing 34.1 to the Ford’s exceptional 97.5(!), with the Volvo filling the middle ground at (still decent enough) 62.7.

The Peugeot having the lowest consumption can be explained to a degree by it having the lowest electric only range of 21 miles. The difference between the Volvo and Ford is a bit more baffling as they ‘appeared’ to both have the same electric only range (31 miles vs 21 for the 3008). I say appeared because another figure on the stats seemed to imply the Kuga can actually do 44.7 miles on the electric motor(?).

I was also intrigued at the mechanical differences between the three cars. The Peugeot and Volvo both having small petrol engines, a 1.5 3cyl in the XC40 and a 1.6 4cyl in the 3008. The Kuga on the other hand uses an engine a full litre bigger than the Volvo, a 2.5 4cyl. Yet the Kuga had the least power of the three with a combined total of 222bhp, the 3008 had the most with 296bhp and the Volvo on 258bhp.

The Kuga was also, by a big margin, the cheapest on test, £10k less than the XC40, which was in turn a couple of grand less than the 3008. Though these figures are slightly deceiving as the Kuga was in a pretty low spec, where the other two were pretty much top of the range. The Peugeot especially, as it is also available with a less powerful 2wd single motor setup, with about the same power as the Kuga.

The Kuga did win the test, being both the nicest to drive (though it was stated that compared to other Fords, it was a bit dull dynamically), and the roomiest, as well as that very impressive real world mpg. The Peugeot was the most comfortable overall to ride in (the Volvo’s harsh ride letting it down here), but the Volvo did had the nicest cabin (no surprise).

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - mcb100

Do we know if it was the same driver doing three laps, or cars running in a convoy?

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - Avant

I was impressed with the Kuga that I test-drove, and it was high on the shortlist until I finally decided to go 'pure electric' with the E-Niro. If I'd chosen a PHEV it would have been between the Kuga and the BMW X1.

The Kuga was indicating 67 mpg at the start of my test drive: after an hour of mixed driving it was up to 72 mpg. Impressive, athough anyone thinking about one should make sure they can live with the strong self-centring of the steering, which to me felt a little unnatural.

The 3008 I found distinctly unimpressive: it wouldn't run on electric power alone (good old French electrics again) and the rear seat backrest would only fold down to 30 degrees from horizontal - no good for me. I was fine with the small steering wheel but not the touchscreen. And I'm not paying £46k for a 3008. If you take a Kuga Titanium (as tested by CAR) and add the necessary options, it's still comfortably under £40k.

The Volvo was slightly less expensive (not much when you've added options) and again over-reliant on the touchscreen.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - badbusdriver

MCB, not 100% sure how they work it, but I’d always worked on the assumption that there will be at least as many drivers as cars on the roadtest, with the actual journo doing the piece spending time in each car. So while different drivers will almost certainly result in mpg differences, I find it very hard to believe that alone would account for the difference between the Peugeot and Kuga.

Essentially the engine in the Kuga kicked in far less than the other two, particularly the 3008.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - madf

I thought the KUGA has a problem with battery fires?

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - Avant

I read this week that Ford had found a fix for this.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - brum

I read this week that Ford had found a fix for this.

Yes, they are changing out the battery packs. Similar issue with BMW phevs. Shoddily manufactured battery packs that can catch fire. An expensive fix for the manufacturers, and dangerous and mega inconvenience for an owner who have been told not to charge their cars until they are fixed.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - sammy1

Having two engines in a car is plain stupid and how environmentally friendly do you really think these cars are? If you can afford one of these then I would suggest that so called "miles per whatever" is hardly going to concern you. The depreciation and the second hand market for these would be my concern as I do not believe that they have a future compared with an EV

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - alan1302

Having two engines in a car is plain stupid and how environmentally friendly do you really think these cars are?

I don't know - let us know.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - brum

Real World economy in PHEV is down to personal driving patterns, habit and must vary extemely widely.

Problems that rule out PHEV for me:-

Initial cost!!!!

Complexity (2 drive trains melded together), future repairs/maintenance could be collosal being that would likely have to be dealer only. They are only available in auto (dsg/powershift anyone?) Doubt if DIY is feasible or even possible

80 mile round B road trip to work leaving at 6:50 am and returning at 10pm with no charging facility at work. Park outside house on the cul de sac but not on a driveway. Charging point would need to be put somewhere. Not the type who would religiously follow a plugging in routine as often too tired when getting back and often in a hurry to get off in the morning. Also when its peeing down with rain and blowing a gale I doubt even the most devout PHEV follower would bother plugging in. Also the not minor problem of security, can anyone just park and plug into your personal charge point when house is empty? Given the area and the local record of vehicle crime, I doubt the charge cable would last very long.

Neither am I willing to be an early adopter or beta tester of any make, been there, still have the mental scars. Especially given that VAG or Ford not reknown for auto gearbox reliability which are not only compulsory but far more complex and convoluted for PHEV. Also have doubts about the reliabilty of an engine that could end up having a wierd duty cycle. Major costs beyond warranty is a distinct possibility.

And touch screen everything, no thanks, whatever make.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - Will deBeast

My neighbour hasn't plugged in his mitsubishi Phev in the five years he's lived here.

I believe he got it because he pays a lower rate of BIK income tax.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - madf

My neighbour hasn't plugged in his mitsubishi Phev in the five years he's lived here.

I believe he got it because he pays a lower rate of BIK income tax.

My daily walk takes me past a PHEV parked by the side of the owner's house.

Four out of five days it is not plugged in.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - bathtub tom

I believe Toyota hybrids run ICE in Atkinson cycle. That explains to me their efficiency.

Good for economy, but I wonder what happens if the driver needs full throttle for an extended period?

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - daveyjp

As drag racing isn't what these are for why would you need full throttle for an 'extended' period.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - galileo

As drag racing isn't what these are for why would you need full throttle for an 'extended' period.

Drag racing is for 1/4 mile from a standing start, elapsed time can be from about 5 to about 14 seonds, so not what one would call an 'extended' time.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - galileo

As drag racing isn't what these are for why would you need full throttle for an 'extended' period.

Drag racing is for 1/4 mile from a standing start, elapsed time can be from about 5 to about 14 seonds, so not what one would call an 'extended' time.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - DavidGlos

I believe Toyota hybrids run ICE in Atkinson cycle. That explains to me their efficiency.

Good for economy, but I wonder what happens if the driver needs full throttle for an extended period?

The Kuga also runs the Atkinson cycle. There’s a Facebook group for owners, with lots of info being shared around the aforementioned fix re the battery fires. As has been said, no charging is currently allowed, but plenty of owners are still getting 50+ mpg, which isn’t bad at all. I suspect the Kuga does a decent job of harvesting energy from deceleration and braking, which puts a small amount of charge into the battery.
Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - craig-pd130

My neighbour hasn't plugged in his mitsubishi Phev in the five years he's lived here.

I believe he got it because he pays a lower rate of BIK income tax.

That was one of the reasons why I got my 225xe (now gone back to the lease company, unfortunately): switching to a PHEV saved me £100 per month in BIK tax compared to the Volvo diesel I had previously (which in itself was very good on BIK, as it was in the under 100g/km tax bracket).

But I really liked the 225, always fun to drive and when flicked into 'sport' mode it was very quick. The total cost of petrol plus electricity worked out at an average of 50mpg in the 3 years and 26,000 miles I had it - which is better than any of my previous company cars (Passat PD130, Mondeo IV 2.0 TDCI, 2x Volvo V60), despite the fact that the BMW was both heavier and quicker than any of them.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - Terry W

Hybrids are a short term gap filler before EVs with their increasing range and shorter recharge times take over.

Fuel economy is principally a function of how the car is driven, weight and aerodynamics. Two drive trains means that hybrids add weight, complexity and cost.

There is no good reason for so large a difference in comsumption unless the test was fundamentally flawed - eg:

  • starting and ending with same level of battery charge
  • distance favouring cars with longer battery range (a 30 mile drive in a hybrid with a battery range of 31 miles uses no fuel at all!)
  • different electronic control parameters - eg: to what level of charge are batteries allowed to fall before ICE kicks in.
Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - Avant

Oddly enough, Craig's good experience with a PHEV point up the reason why I've finally chosen to order a 'pure' EV.

Audis have a convenient long-term trip meter, and I never reset ours. Thus over 31,000 miles the petrol 2.0 Q2 has averaged 38 mpg (creditable) and SWMBO's petrol 1.5 A3 convertible has done 44 mpg, mainly on shortish journeys. If it had predominantly done longer trips, the mpg would have been in the high 40s at least.

50 mpg from the 225xe is good, but it doesn't justlfy - for a private buyer - the extra cost of a PHEV over its petrol or diesel equivalent. I'm hopeful that the lower running costs of the E-Niro that I've ordered will indeed justify the extra. We'll see.

Edited by Avant on 07/11/2020 at 11:48

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - craig-pd130

50 mpg from the 225xe is good, but it doesn't justlfy - for a private buyer - the extra cost of a PHEV over its petrol or diesel equivalent. I'm hopeful that the lower running costs of the E-Niro that I've ordered will indeed justify the extra. We'll see.

Agree 100%. Our electricity tariff is 13p per KWh, and charging to 100% from 30% battery capacity used about 5KW, which cost about 65p (the main battery on mine was 7KWh). That would give me a safe 15 miles of pure EV driving with no danger of the ICE kicking in. 65 pence worth of petrol is about 1/8th of a gallon so I was getting the equivalent of around 120mpg in pure EV mode.

I'd be very interested in your findings when you get it. Did you go for the full-house 64KW version? What's the estimated delivery time?

All the reviews I've read state that the 280-ish mile range is achievable in real-world driving, and the 290lb-ft of torque and instant throttle response make them fun and rewarding to drive.

Plug in hybrid ‘real world economy’ - Avant

Yes, it's the 64 KWH battery,and it was the realistic range that sold me the idea of a BEV rather than a PHEV (PHEVs of course make perfect sense as a company car). Depending on how you drive it and on weather conditions, the range is likely to be between 250 and 300 miles.

On average twice a month I, or SWMBO, or both, do a 200-mile round trip from Dorset to Berkshire. That can of course be done in the A3 (which will actually do the return trip twice on one tankful) but it would be preferable for either car to be able to do it.

I don't want it till next spring, when the Q2 is three years old: that seems to suit Kia as well, as the waiting list is about 4 months at present. If anyone is interested, the similar Hyundai Kona Electric was available from stock at the dealer where I test-drove one. (In several ways I thought the E-Niro had the edge over the Kona.)

 

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