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In HJ today; What do we think of this answer?


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Would an older hybrid car suit a 500-mile weekly commute?
I'm about to go from 100% home-based to a 400/500-mile per week commute. Currently, I have a 2009 Land Rover Freelander 2 with 144,000 miles on it, going strong. I've put 130,000 miles on it myself over 10 years and serviced it every 5,000 or so miles, but that is still a lot of mileage to be piling 500 or so per week onto. The Freelander will become car number 2 in the household and I need a car for work. I prefer SUV as I've been driving Land Rovers for 25 years and don't enjoy the lower-down position of saloon cars at all. I don't do depreciation or PCPs - my income is too intermittent for that kind of commitment to be comfortable, so £40K+ new cars are out for me. Instead, I take my time and find very low mileage cars where the age has helped depreciation reduce - as was the case with my Freelander - and I look more at mileage than the registration date, as I put a private plate on it anyway.

I've been looking at lower mileage Freelander 2s, which are carrying premium prices still, or at low mileage Range Rover Vogue Diesels of 2012-2016 vintage, which are looking good value and well in budget. And...up has popped a Lexus RX450h - registered 2011, under 42,000 miles and at a great price with FSH from Lexus main dealer. I would buy it immediately, but are hybrid batteries of this age (albeit low mileage) bound to have some issues? Short of buying the thing and finding out the hard way that this is the reason for the great price, what can I actually look for or check out? Thanks.

Asked on 7 July 2021 by Roy Rodford

dan-p-polaroid.jpg Answered by Dan Powell
A commute of 500 miles is a lot. I would avoid buying an old, worn-out premium SUV that will give you a long list of running costs and headaches. I think you'd be better off buying a diesel hatchback. The old shape Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC has a good reputation for reliability and returns up to 65mpg: www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/honda/civic-2012
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Just a quick one here, bear in mind the type of road you'll be on. Motorway cruises, aren't a hybrid's best friend, so the Civic might be a good shout. On the other hand, if most of the miles are going to be in traffic, totally different story. Maybe its worth asking if dealer will offer a warranty or see if thats an option from a third party?

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31 minutes ago, Mr Vlad said:

I think Dan Powell hates Lexus cars and is a Honda employee. 

First honest answer so far Vlad. Have 50 points credited to your a/c from me.

He knows nothing Lexus RX. BRING BACK THE ORIGINALHJ (PETER LORIMER)

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500 miles a week in a Honda Civic Diesel?  Could be me but if my commute would be that long and i would have to spend that amount of time in the car every day there are more things important than penny saving. Comfort, relaxation stress free motoring and safety to name a few. A Civic Diesel? 

 

and calling an RX 450h from 2011 with under 42k miles an "  old worn out SUV that will give you a long list of running costs and  headaches" ?? I am not sure Mr Powell is a motoring journalist?

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Had a Honda Accord Coupé 2.2 and did about 800km weekly a few years. Deduction in tax paid for gasoline and tyres etc. Working in a car company so maintenance was costing nothing.

Do not know if government pay you for your commute to work in UK, but driving in the Honda was very comfortable.

I think a Lexus would be just as good.

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41 minutes ago, dutchie01 said:

500 miles a week in a Honda Civic Diesel?  Could be me but if my commute would be that long and i would have to spend that amount of time in the car every day there are more things important than penny saving. Comfort, relaxation stress free motoring and safety to name a few. A Civic Diesel? 

 

and calling an RX 450h from 2011 with under 42k miles an "  old worn out SUV that will give you a long list of running costs and  headaches" ?? I am not sure Mr Powell is a motoring journalist?

Exactly my thoughts Bernard old chum and why I POSTED here.🤞

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John:- firstly i thought the honest john website had gone into administration then Heycar acquired it. Then last week i read somewhere probably another forum that HJ does not write for the Telegraph now. Heycar would promote their sponsors maybe Honda are a sponsor hence the recommendation. Wondering now if this reporter is a motoring journalist . In any case its a decent commute i would want comfort and would be concerned about purchasing a diesal car now with the expected hike in cost of the fuel. Surely the RX will only be just run in. Nah im with Bernard and Vlad here. Now i wonder where HJ is.

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I still have petrol and diesel civics. Hopefully getting sold this year in Germany, both are at about the 50k miles mark and 3-4 years old. One mine, the other my better half's. We both had long commutes. Mine about 50 miles each way, and hers about 35 miles. I would get 55MPG out of the petrol, and she consistently got 70MPG out of the diesel. I was once able to eek out 97MPG out of the diesel, not the 100MPG record they set for that engine but close enough. So that's fuel economy. As for comfort, the newer civics are as big inside as my old Accord, so comfort wise they are up to the task. Some have complained that the seats are "American Size" and they slide around in them. I am American sized and the seats were ok, not Lexus comfortable, but you get what you pay for. I've driven both 700 miles between Germany and here in one go with a 35 minute break for the eurotunnel and a one stop refuel. I prefer the petrol, quieter engine, and a year newer, so has ACC and LKAS making the drive much easier, but the diesel wasn't torture on a 700mile 12 hour trip. Those civics are mile munchers and don't go wrong. Oh and are both 5 star Euro NCAP rated as well as top safety picks in NHTSA testing.

Seat image not mine, never took an image of the seats, but example of our petrol spec'd one.

DSC_0767.JPG

DSC_0545.JPG

2017-Honda-Civic-Sedan-leather-front-seats_o.jpg

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well, I would just take particular care that whatever you buy doesn't have headlamps where you can't replace the bulbs and a new one at £1000 is the only option !

That aside I'm sure you'll buy the right car for you

NOW for example, (my 56 plate)  the Honda Legend is an amazing silly cheap car to buy right now looking at auto..der ....  capable of huge miles, with comfort and reliability when serviced properly ( like any car ) ......  but this year's Road Tax is at £600 and due 1st August 😵

A good serviced car would probably give you a lot of what you want but the mpg ain't for the miserly and tight fisted tho' :yahoo:

Good luck whatever you decide too get

Malc

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9 hours ago, ALAW said:

John:- firstly i thought the honest john website had gone into administration then Heycar acquired it. Then last week i read somewhere probably another forum that HJ does not write for the Telegraph now. Heycar would promote their sponsors maybe Honda are a sponsor hence the recommendation. Wondering now if this reporter is a motoring journalist . In any case its a decent commute i would want comfort and would be concerned about purchasing a diesal car now with the expected hike in cost of the fuel. Surely the RX will only be just run in. Nah im with Bernard and Vlad here. Now i wonder where HJ is.

Morning Brent.

The reason I posted was that I thought the answer provided was complete rubbish given by a Journalist lacking knowledge and living off the back of a motoring journalist (HJ-PETER LORIMER) who in my opinion was second only to LJK Setright. You Bernard and Vlad are all spot on.

Yes, the Original website was taken over by  Heycar who staffed it with less than competent motoring journalists who proceeded to undo all of the fine work performed by HJ.

I have  been scouring the Telegraph for the last 2 weeks looking for HJ`s column and have come to the conclusion that he has moved on to where I am yet to find out. I do know that he recently considered going on tour and inviting audiences to throw questions at him !

Let`s all watch this space !

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This Saturday in the Telegraph “Ask the Expert” was hosted by Alex Robbins. Looks like HJ has moved on. Shame.

 

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2 minutes ago, Alan305 said:

This Saturday in the Telegraph “Ask the Expert” was hosted by Alex Robbins. Looks like HJ has moved on. Shame.

 

And he did it last week Al.

I think that HJ has either retired, or is unwell or will relaunch himself using another name.

Let`s all keep our eyes open.

I saw him recently on  a Facebook Zoom type motoring phone in. 

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I went on to the HJ site to look for that article but couldn't find it. I did however see lots of answers from a D Powell recommending different cars.

I would love to give him a piece of my mind for a most pathetic answer to a simple question. Blimey fancy recommending a hatchback when the OP categorically stated he didn't want a hatchback but a SUV type car.

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http://www.nobelman.nl/uploads/5/1/8/8/5188595/published/img-9433.jpg?1548850649

LJK Setright.   The Legend. His choice of words and never ending knowledge of the motor industry were exemplary. Always my first read when Car Magazine came out in the old days..

 

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29 minutes ago, dutchie01 said:

http://www.nobelman.nl/uploads/5/1/8/8/5188595/published/img-9433.jpg?1548850649

LJK Setright.   The Legend. His choice of words and never ending knowledge of the motor industry were exemplary. Always my first read when Car Magazine came out in the old days..

 

Not too many know of him Bernard. I`ve just translated that article to English.

Many thanks.

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3 hours ago, Alan305 said:

This Saturday in the Telegraph “Ask the Expert” was hosted by Alex Robbins. Looks like HJ has moved on. Shame.

 

I know Alex. Good man.

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2 hours ago, Mr Vlad said:

I went on to the HJ site to look for that article but couldn't find it. I did however see lots of answers from a D Powell recommending different cars.

I would love to give him a piece of my mind for a most pathetic answer to a simple question. Blimey fancy recommending a hatchback when the OP categorically stated he didn't want a hatchback but a SUV type car.

As Del Boy might say "what a plonker" 🤣

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I can't tell you more than you probably already know. HJ went into administration and I assumed the man himself had retired.

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On 7/12/2021 at 10:57 AM, royoftherovers said:

Not too many know of him Bernard. I`ve just translated that article to English.

Many thanks.

No ill be honest ive never heard of him

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I have been doing lots of kilometres in Honda cars and the first gen CRX was not comfortable but fun. Had a Civic and went from Denmark to South Spain in it twice without problems, not fantastic comfortable either, but were younger then. Honda Accord Coupé is absolutely in no way less comfortable than many other comfortable cars and as I see it the new Civic is almost same size as the Accord was 10 - 15 years ago. Honda makes excellent diesel engines. Their marine diesels last forever.

Only thing I find wrong in the answer is that the RX450h is mentioned as worn out because it is from 2011 with 42000 miles and that is stupid if well maintained. Of course it will be more comfortable than a Honda Civic, but if only economy counts, then the diesel could be having an advantage.

That is the old CRX that was used to commute to work around 55 km each way. Winter is no problem as soon as the engine is warm.

billede.thumb.png.6f0543b05030a1451d30f675558a5ca4.png

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Thanks John. It an extremely poor answer by someone who knows nothing about RX models and as a result he did no favours to his readers.

In fact the answer devalues the entire motoring column known as HJ.

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Agree with @royoftherovers - the answer is a total rubbish! I have nothing against Hondas (apart from cheaper interior compared to Lexus) but the buyer clearly said he doesn't want anything with low-seat position i.e saloons, hatchbacks! Why would you suggest Civic? This should be at least CR-V! 

Sounds like the guy (advisor) never seen a Civic but have read somewhere that it is reliable and economical choice! 

wrt to RX450h, it would be bulletproof motoring but the running cost will be higher than CR-V for example, I think.

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On 7/14/2021 at 3:14 PM, Vlady said:

Agree with @royoftherovers - the answer is a total rubbish! I have nothing against Hondas (apart from cheaper interior compared to Lexus) but the buyer clearly said he doesn't want anything with low-seat position i.e saloons, hatchbacks! Why would you suggest Civic? This should be at least CR-V! 

Sounds like the guy (advisor) never seen a Civic but have read somewhere that it is reliable and economical choice! 

wrt to RX450h, it would be bulletproof motoring but the running cost will be higher than CR-V for example, I think.

Actually the civic generation (9th) he's suggesting has a hip point on par with most crossovers as the fuel tank is under the driver seat. You will be eye level with the Mazda CX-3, Lexus UX, Kia Niro to name a few. Most saloon hip points are in the 50's cm above the ground. Cross overs in the 60's (where surprisingly the civic is), full size SUVs in the 70's and the massive ones just about crack 80cm. Of course I'm not putting vans or full size pickups in the mix, those can get up as high as 120cm off the ground (that's a commanding view, SUVs not so much). So he may not be as dumb as you think.

You can check the numbers at www.ridc.org.uk (they do advanced car measurements for people with disabilities, including a database of hip point measurements).

Before you ding me for saying that SUVs don't have a commanding view, I owned and drove this for several years so SUVs no longer float my boat on commanding views.

29092015454.jpg

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