Advertisement

Making The Transition To A Hybrid Car? Here’s What To Expect Page 2

Follow Nikki

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Toyota Prius V

Enlarge Photo

A few quirks

While anyone with a driving license should feel at home in a hybrid car, there are a few differences which may catch out first-time hybrid owners. 

First, because the car’s on-board computer controls when the engine is used, the engine may unexpectedly turn on or off while the car is switched on. 

That’s because hybrids switch off the engine when it is not needed. For all hybrids, that means the engine may switch off at stop lights and when braking, provided the engine has warmed up.

It’s important to remember however, that your car hasn’t stalled. In fact, because hybrid cars use computers to control the engine, it’s generally impossible to stall them. 

Second, in full hybrids, the electric motor may also be used to get the car moving when you lift your foot off the brake. 

To begin with, the lack of engine noise can make it feel as if the car is rolling on its own. However, car is under full control, and as soon as sufficient speed has built up -- provided you haven’t selected the car’s “electric only” mode -- the gasoline engine will automatically start when the car needs it. 

Finally, in hybrids with CVT transmissions, you may find that the engine speed seems disconnected from the car’s speed. 

When accelerating, that often means the engine roars at first, slowing down as you reach your desired speed. 

2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3

2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3

Enlarge Photo

That’s because unlike an electric motor, in a gasoline engine, maximum power is delivered when the engine is spinning at several thousand rpm.

And because hybrids with CVT transmissions are programmed to give the best possible efficiency, the on-board computer will run the engine at the best speed to yield the best mix of power and efficiency for any given situation.


Five New 2012 Hybrid Cars To Consider Steering Clear Of

Take a test drive

As with any new car, becoming familiar with a hybrid car can vary from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on how easily you adjust to different cars. 

While any hybrid car is likely to be more fuel efficient than a standard gas car, it will likely take you a few weeks of driving, learning how to best drive it, before you’re maximizing gas mileage. 

Did you recently make the switch from regular gasoline to hybrid? 

What tips do you have for others considering the switch to hybrid? 

Let us know your tips and thoughts in the Comments below. 

+++++++++++

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.


Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (2)
  1. Few weird things about the Prius that have not been mentioned.

    1) When pressing the Power button to turn the car on, have your foot on the brake or the car will not truly be on. It will be in an "accessory" mode and you can't drive.
    2) the Prius shifter is odd. You move the lever to, say, D and then it snaps back to the middle. It doesn't stay in the D position although the car will function as if it is in D
    3) There is a separate button for P or park that is different from the D/N/R selector.

    Once you are driving, you don't have to think about any of that silliness.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. Just bought a Prius C, my first hybrid. Gets upper 40's on highway and mid 50's on city streets. The brakes take a few days to get accustom to and you really have to floor it to get on the highway. It is the base model and has normal key, regular shifter, and small info screen. Drove a regular Prius which has a better ride but hated the big info screen! Major distraction and confusing to use. Still prefer dials and knobs. Over all I like the car and love the mileage, but if money were not a factor I would be in a VW Golf diesel.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.

Find Green Cars

Go!

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.