Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Used Hybrid 4x4 Truck

January 27, 2012

A used hybrid 4x4 truck is a new option for people that are in the market for a used vehicle. What better way is there to save money and protect the environment. The popularity for hybrid vehicles is increasing in the United States, and if you are worried about the rising fuel costs and increasing pollution levels, this may be the right vehicle for you. It will be important for any perspective owner to take into account some of the advantages and disadvantages that a hybrid truck carries.

Advantages of Used Hybrid 4x4 Trucks

Lower fuel costs. Over half of the oil we use is imported, and our dependence will increase as we use up domestic resources. Therefore, it is up to us to reduce this economic impact by reducing our demand. A Hybrid 4x4 is a good solution to the problem. A hybrid car's gas mileage is noticeably higher, anywhere from 8 to 10 percent, or 2 to 3 mpg.

Lower emissions. Over 1.7 billion tons of CO2 is released into the atmosphere each year by our vehicles. This contributes to potential drastic changes in the global climate. A used hybrid truck emits up to 97 percent less toxic fuel emissions and half as much carbon dioxide.

Disadvantages of Used Hybrid 4x4 Trucks

Additional weight. As a general rule, consumers can expect hybrid 4x4's to weigh up to 20 percent more than their conventionally powered counterparts. As part of their hybrid drive system, hybrid trucks must carry a heavy battery pack. Power that's generated by the hybrid drive system is stored in these batteries for later use. For drivers who normally don't leave city streets, this extra weight might not be an issue, but drivers that intend to use their truck's for heavier off-road driving may find the hybrid version to be a little less capable. The extra weight may be an issue when travelling on soft surfaces.

Lower power. Although there have been improvements in the power and response capabilities of hybrid 4x4 trucks, many people still feel as if the hybrid powertrain is lacking in these areas. The thing that you have to understand as a consumer is that the hybrid drive system's main purpose is to conserve fuel, and for that reason performance takes a back seat to efficiency. Anyone who is expecting to use their 4x4 for extensive off-road driving or towing might be more satisfied with the extra oomph offered by a conventional 4x4.

Higher cost than conventional used 4x4 trucks. One of the primary downsides of choosing a used hybrid 4x4 is the price. You can expect to pay an extra premium between 15 and 25 percent for choosing the hybrid option. Hybrids are more expensive for a few reasons. The hybrid drive system is much more complex than a conventional motor, and all the extra components raise the overall cost of the vehicle. Hybrid vehicles are also currently in high demand, and that also has an effect on price. Although the better fuel mileage may offset that extra cost over time, you should still take it into account that you may end up paying more for a used hybrid 4x4 truck than you would for a comparable conventional truck.

Other concerns. There are some other concerns for more serious 4x4 enthusiasts. Mostly these concerns are centered around the hybrid system's battery pack. The NiCad battery that stores electricity for use by the hybrid's electric motor operates at extremely high voltage and may present a hazard if the vehicle is exposed to standing water while off road. It's also unclear how the longevity of the hybrid 4x4 truck's system might be affected by the extra stress of consistent off road use over longer periods of time.

5 Common Misconceptions about Used Hybrid 4x4 Vehicles

Although Hybrid 4x4 trucks are rapidly increasing in popularity, there is still a lot of misinformation circulated about Hybrid 4x4 vehicles and the way they operate, perform and are maintained. So, here is a list of the five most common misconceptions about hybrid 4x4 vehicles.

Limited Accessories and Options
Many people are under the mistaken assumption that hybrid vehicles don't come with as many accessories or options as standard gas powered engine vehicles. Many people believe that additional accessories or power options put a greater strain on the hybrid vehicle battery; therefore, these types of vehicles don't contain as many power hungry accessory options.

However, hybrid vehicles come with every accessory and option available on gas engine powered vehicle counterparts. Most hybrid vehicles recharge batteries using regenerative braking technology and coasting. So, accessories such as power windows or a power sunroof place no greater strain on the electrical components than they do on the gas powered engine used in standard vehicles.

Poor Acceleration
Because many hybrid vehicles use the electric motor when first starting off, many people are under the assumption that hybrid vehicles don't accelerate quite as fast as gas powered engine vehicles. This is simply not the case. In fact, many people that buy hybrid vehicles purchase them because in many cases they accelerate faster than gas engine vehicles. The torque created in an electric motor is much higher than in most gas powered engines at low rpm levels. So, most hybrid vehicles do an excellent job of accelerating quite quickly.

Batteries Need to be Replaced Often
Another common misconception about hybrid vehicles is that the batteries need to be replaced often. This is not true at all. Most batteries that power the electric motor in hybrid vehicles are designed to last between 80,000 and 100,000 miles. In fact, some newer battery types being used in hybrid vehicles are designed to run for at least 150,000 miles. With proper care and maintenance, many owners have reported driving 200,000 miles or more on the original battery in their hybrid vehicle.

You Have to Plug Them In
Hybrid vehicles are not all-electric vehicles and therefore don't need to be plugged in. Many people believe that hybrid vehicles need to be plugged into an electrical outlet to charge the batteries. However, hybrid vehicles use the brakes and a coasting method to charge the batteries in the vehicle. Also, the battery is recharged by the gas engine when not being used.

They Require More Maintenance than Standard Vehicles
Some people are wary of hybrid vehicles because they believe they require a lot more maintenance than standard gas engine powered vehicles. However, manufacturers of hybrid vehicles and surveys of hybrid vehicle owners report that hybrid vehicles require no more maintenance than the standard internal combustion engine vehicles. The only exception to this is the possibility that brake pads may need to be replaced a little more often because of the regenerative braking technology used to recharge batteries in hybrid vehicles.

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