December 5, 2007 |
We have established that GM knows how to make a two-mode hybrid. Witness the Green Car of the Year*, the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, which utilizes a powerful electric motor in concert with an internal combustion engine. Still, GM continues to build its "mild" hybrids, using the belt-alternator-starter system, yielding in the Chevy Malibu a grand total of 2 mpg in city/highway fuel economy over the standard four-cylinder.
September 1, 2007 |
The hatch is back. After enjoying a brief vogue in the 1970s, the hatchback is again a familiar sight in U.S. showrooms. And unlike the first time around, when misfires such as the AMC Gremlin, Ford Pinto and Chevy Chevette carried the flag, the latest crop features some of the hottest -- and hottest-selling -- vehicles in the market. The Honda Fit, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen Rabbit and Nissan Versa all notched double-digit sales increases in July, when new-vehicle sales were down overall.
August 3, 2007 |
Federal fines levied against automakers for failing to meet vehicle mileage requirements may be too weak to encourage production of more fuel efficient cars and trucks, Congress' investigative arm said. Automakers paid $678 million in penalties in the model years 1983 through 2005, but the fine has not increased in a decade and may not be a strong deterrent for making less fuel efficient vehicles, according to the Government Accountability Office.
February 24, 2007 |
A new feature on the federal government's gas mileage website is letting consumers know what revised ratings for 2008 models will do to those fuel economy numbers that almost no one gets after they start driving their new vehicles. As expected when the new test was unveiled last year, today's most fuel-efficient vehicles will lose the most. Toyota's Prius hybrid, now rated at 60 miles per gallon in city driving, will drop 20% to 48 mpg.
December 11, 2006 |
Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which sees the success of its new Lancer sedan as critical to reversing a dramatic slump in its U.S. sales, already faces a handicap as it prepares to launch the compact car in March. Competing in a segment in which gas mileage usually figures prominently in buyers' decisions, the 2008 Lancer will be the first vehicle to be rated under tough new federal fuel economy standards scheduled to be announced today.
August 9, 2006 |
The good news: I got a promotion. The bad news: I landed in one of my newspaper's suburban bureaus -- a wonderful spot, but about 35 miles from my front door. I didn't own a car, the job started in two weeks, gas prices were climbing, and a 70-mile commute (instead of 10 friendly minutes by bus) was looking expensive. The Insight, Honda's two-seater hybrid with amazing gas mileage, sounded almost too good to be true. A lot of reports said it was -- real drivers don't get the numbers Honda touts.