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Fuel Economy

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BUSINESS
June 1, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
Not everything you've heard about increasing gas mileage is true. There are plenty of legitimate ways to stretch your mileage: slow down, keep tires at proper inflation, avoid quick acceleration, don't pile luggage on a roof rack, use a properly fitted gas cap. But at this time of skyrocketing gasoline prices, several myths are circulating. The claims were tested by car experts at the Automobile Club of Southern California and Consumer Reports magazine.
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BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - Cars and light-duty trucks for the 2012 model year exceeded new federal standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The 2012 fleet averages 23.6 miles per gallon, up from 22.4 for the previous model year - one of the greatest improvements in fuel economy in 30 years, according to a report released Friday. And the cars and trucks pump out an average of 286 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, nine grams less than the EPA standard.
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AUTOS
January 4, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Walk blindfolded into a Nissan dealership and you'll soon bump into a vehicle with a CVT. Twelve models come with this new type of transmission. No other brand has so thoroughly embraced the technology. Honda sells four vehicles with such a setup; Toyota has one. So it's with a bit of irony that, after a week of testing the all-new Rogue crossover, our biggest headache came from - yes, the CVT. For all the development Nissan has put into the gearbox, it apparently still can't figure out how to build one that drives well.
AUTOS
April 4, 2014 | By Brian Thevenot
Diesel-powered cars save on fuel, but many of them won't save you any money. That's because they cost thousands more to buy in the first place, compared with similar gas-powered models. And many automakers usually offer diesel engines only in combination with a pricey set of standard features. So it can take years - if ever - to make up for those upfront costs through savings at the pump. That's what makes the latest addition to Volkswagen's growing diesel fleet, the Jetta TDI Value Edition, so intriguing.
AUTOS
April 4, 2014 | By Brian Thevenot
Diesel-powered cars save on fuel, but many of them won't save you any money. That's because they cost thousands more to buy in the first place, compared with similar gas-powered models. And many automakers usually offer diesel engines only in combination with a pricey set of standard features. So it can take years - if ever - to make up for those upfront costs through savings at the pump. That's what makes the latest addition to Volkswagen's growing diesel fleet, the Jetta TDI Value Edition, so intriguing.
AUTOS
February 27, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Hyundai Motor America is inching closer to a settlement of claims it inflated the fuel economy ratings of its vehicles. Details of the deal are still to be worked out, but the automaker is expected to reach a settlement in 38 lawsuits on the fuel economy mislabeling, which have been combined and are being heard in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Its corporate sister, Kia Motors America, is expected to also settle the litigation. Photos: Vehicles with overstated fuel economy claims In November, the South Korean automakers said they overstated the fuel economy on nearly 1 million late-model vehicles after the discrepancy was discovered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors the fuel economy tests by automakers.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Fuel economy is the top feature buyers consider when shopping for a new car, according to a recent survey by Consumer Reports. The magazine, an influential force on car buying choices, said that 37% of the respondents in an April telephone survey listed fuel economy as their top consideration when shopping for a new car. Quality was a distant second at 17% followed by safety at 16%, value at 14% and performance at just 6%.  “These results...
BUSINESS
March 14, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
With national gasoline prices averaging about $3.80 a gallon and above $4 in many states, consumer auto information sites are taking a new look at the fuel economy of vehicles and making recommendations. Edmunds.com has a report about the vehicles that have made the biggest leaps in fuel efficiency, and the gains are pretty startling. It's obvious the automakers know that gas prices are top of mind with consumers. Edmunds looked at the fuel economy of vehicles in the 2008 model year and again this year.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Gas prices continue their relentless climb and consumers are reacting.  Small cars were the hottest segment of auto sales last month. About 24% of the vehicles sold last month were small cars, according to Erich Merkle, the sales analyst at  Ford Motor Co.  That compares to less than 20% just two months ago, he said. The consumer move toward purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles appears to be more than just a reaction to gasoline price spikes. It is a much longer trend.
AUTOS
July 16, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Riding the success of sales across its hybrid lineup, Ford Motor Co. plans to offer drivers a substantial upgrade in vehicle performance to improve fuel economy. The changes should help address some of the complaints lobbed by Ford hybrid owners that the cars fall short of Environmental Protection Agency estimates for fuel economy. “Just as individual mileage can vary based on driving styles and environmental conditions, we expect fuel economy improvements will differ from customer to customer depending on individual driving habits,” Raj Nair, Ford's vice president of global product development, said Tuesday.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
After years of improving car reliability, automakers have shifted into reverse while attempting to exact better fuel economy and add in-dash technology, J.D. Power & Associates reported in its 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. Owners of 3-year-old vehicles reported more problems than in the same study from the prior year, the automotive research firm said Wednesday. It was the first increase in problems reported since 1998. The slip in quality might be the first sign in a trend toward declining reliability in cars, according to the firm, whose research identified transmissions and infotainment systems as key trouble spots.
AUTOS
February 6, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Subaru, a brand known for its all-wheel-drive, crunchy, love-centric ad campaigns and turbocharged engines, also wants to be known as a sedan company. It made this much clear during Thursday's 2014 Chicago Auto Show when it unveiled its all-new 2015 Legacy. Why? Sedans sell. Most mainstream brands sell more of their respective midsize sedans than anything else on the lot, and therefore take the segment very seriously. This kind of competition has made it hard for a smaller company like Subaru to keep up. PHOTOS: 2015 Subaru Legacy unveiled in Chicago The outgoing Legacy was a well-conceived car but never made it onto many shoppers' lists: In 2013 the Toyota Camry outsold this midsize Subaru by nearly 10 to one. Subaru hopes this 2015 Legacy will change that.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Mustang versus Camaro. BMW versus Mercedes. Camry versus Accord. These are among the biggest rivalries in the automobile world. Get ready for the next epic battle: aluminum versus steel. "This has become a real competition," said Golam Newaz, an automotive materials engineer at Wayne State University in Detroit. The growing contest between the two metals was evident in the new car introductions at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week. Automakers are looking ahead to the stringent federal standard requiring a near-doubling of fuel economy by 2025.
AUTOS
January 4, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Walk blindfolded into a Nissan dealership and you'll soon bump into a vehicle with a CVT. Twelve models come with this new type of transmission. No other brand has so thoroughly embraced the technology. Honda sells four vehicles with such a setup; Toyota has one. So it's with a bit of irony that, after a week of testing the all-new Rogue crossover, our biggest headache came from - yes, the CVT. For all the development Nissan has put into the gearbox, it apparently still can't figure out how to build one that drives well.
AUTOS
December 26, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Volkswagen Group of America will easily clear sales of 100,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. this year, marking a milestone for both the German carmaker and the auto industry. Although diesel engines date back to the dawn of the automotive age, it's a technology that American consumers have never taken to. Credit their memory of an older generation of smelly, smoky and hesitant diesel cars. But by building a generation of fuel-efficient, clean and quiet turbo diesels with lots of zip, and making a diesel an engine option in almost every vehicle VW and its luxury Audi brand sell here, the German company has become a pioneer for the technology.
AUTOS
December 23, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America, the U.S. sales arms of the sibling South Korean automakers, said Monday they have reached a settlement in class-action litigation over inflating the fuel economy claims for their vehicles. Hyundai will offer the owners of the models with the inflated ratings a lump sum payment that will average $353. The payment varies depending on whether the vehicle was purchased or leased. Kia's average payment will be $667. Owners can also decline the offer and stay on a previous plan initiated by the automakers last year.
BUSINESS
October 15, 2012 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
Lincoln is several weeks away from introducing its all-new MKZ sedan, which means you can expect bits of information to begin trickling out now. Like today. Ford's luxo-nameplate announced Monday morning that the hybrid version of the 2013 MKZ had been rated by the EPA at 45 mpg in the city, highway and combined. This should come as no surprise as the car the MKZ is largely based on, the 2013 Ford Fusion, was recently rated at 47 mpg across the board. This mpg rating means the MKZ Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient luxury car available and is a much-needed arrow for Lincoln's quiver in its fight against Lexus.
AUTOS
January 7, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
American drivers appear to be slowly getting fuel economy religion. The average fuel economy for all vehicles sold last year climbed by 1.3 miles per gallon, or 6%, to a record high of 23.8 mpg,  according to University of Michigan researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle. The fuel economy of cars people purchased over the last year increased even though gas prices have dipped slightly. AAA said the average price of a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.297 as of Monday, compared with $3.371 a year ago. PHOTOS: Best car values for fuel economy Since 2008, the first full year of monitoring by Sivak and Schoettle, fuel economy has risen 14% -- from 20.9 mpg. On a monthly basis, fuel economy in December was 23.9 mpg, a slight drop from 24.1 mpg in November.
AUTOS
December 12, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
America's cars, trucks and SUVs took a record step in 2012 toward a cleaner future, with the average fuel economy for new vehicles hitting an all-time high of 23.6 miles per gallon, according to a new report released by the EPA. That average is a 1.2 mpg increase over 2011 vehicles, a jump that is the second highest in the last 30 years. Fuel economy has increased in seven of the last eight years, the agency announced in Thursday's report. "Today's new vehicles are cleaner and more fuel efficient than ever, saving American families money at the gas pump and helping to keep the air that we breathe cleaner," Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement.
AUTOS
November 20, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Subaru added a little heat to its lineup Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with the global introduction of the all-new 2015 WRX. A turbocharged version of the compact Impreza, the WRX has earned a cult-like following by mixing all-wheel-drive handling and a high-strung four-cylinder in a practical car that starts at about $26,000. The 2014, offered in four-door form only, will also be offered in more extreme STI trim. “The WRX is the everyman's pocket rocket,” said Mike Wall, an analyst at IHS Automotive.
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