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Best Hybrid and Green Cars of 2010

Monday November 1st, 2010 at 8:1111 AM
Posted by: AKramer

CarReview_Best_Green_Car_2010By Alex Kramer

What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago gas was cheap, the SUV was king, and fuel efficiency was one of the last things car buyers were concerned about. Surprisingly, it was also ten years ago that Honda and Toyota introduced a seemingly radical technology that involved strapping batteries and an electric motor to a gas engined car, creating the first hybrids.

Fast forward ten years and the traditional SUV has all but died out, gas is $3 per gallon, and hybrids are as common as apple pie. More importantly, awareness of global warming and our dependence on foreign oil, along with a depressed economy, has made fuel efficiency a far more important criteria for car buyers. This, in turn,  has spurred the automotive industry to pursue smaller, cleaner and more efficient designs. The result is a plethora of choices for buyers seeking a more fuel efficient, greener set of wheels.

Although hybrid cars are perhaps the most effective way to significantly increase fuel efficiency, with 9 out of the top ten most fuel efficient cars featuring a gas electric drivetrain, not everyone will be happy with the increased cost and performance sacrifice that often comes with hybrid ownership. Luckily we now also have a new generation of clean diesels that are nothing like the noisy, smoke belching diesels of the past, instead providing excellent performance along with hybrid worthy fuel efficiency. And for those who are wary of all of this alternative technology, there are finally plenty of efficient, well made small cars available in America.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Ford, Lexus, Mercury, Toyota, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , || 4 Comments »


2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid Review – The hybrid sedan for the non-hybrid crowd

Tuesday December 8th, 2009 at 11:1212 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid

Review by Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Outstanding gas mileage
  • Good balance between performance and fuel economy
  • Excellent suspension tuning
  • Plush & roomy interior

Cons:

  • Cautious exterior styling
  • Sketchy tire selection
  • Somewhat steep sticker price

After a decade of reliable service and strong sales, hybrid cars are no longer just a novelty and will likely become more common and mainstream in the future. Although Ford has the distinction of being the first American manufacturer to offer a hybrid car (in the form of the Escape Hybrid SUV, launched in 2005), the blue oval has lagged a bit in spreading this fuel saving technology to other models in its lineup, which is a shame given the increasingly strong demand for more fuel efficient, environmentally friendly cars.

Fortunately, Ford has weathered the storm of the economic recession and is renewing its commitment to gasoline-electric hybrids and increased fuel efficiency in general. With the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid sedans, Ford not only challenges the Japanese hybrid hegemony, but has also succeeded in producing one of the most well rounded hybrid cars on the road today.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, hybrid, Mercury |Tags:, , || No Comments »


CarReview's 2009-2010 Hybrid Buyer's Guide

Monday October 26th, 2009 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: ggaillard

Honda CR-Z

By Greg Gaillard

Hybrids Come of Age

Just 10 years ago Honda released the Insight as the first US mass market hybrid combustion/electric car.  Its two seat aerodynamic teardrop shape, light weight and focused engineering delivered spectacular fuel economy that generated quite a bit of media attention.  In the real world however, the Insight represented significant compromises in terms of utility, performance and perceived safety.  Launched at the height of the SUV boom alongside inexpensive gasoline, sales weren’t significant and to many people the Insight was another Honda engineering experiment; a car that Honda’s Asimo robot might drive, but not something American families would put in their garage.

What a difference a decade makes.  Last week the EPA released its annual Fuel Economy Guide for 2010 and hybrids swept the podium with 9 out of the top 10 MPG scores.  At least in terms of EPA ratings, hybrids are the drivetrain technology of the moment.  Perhaps more important than MPG is how the technology has evolved into a variety of solutions that can be used across a range of body styles without many of the original Insight’s compromises.

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Posted in Chevrolet, Feature Articles, Ford, GMC, Honda, hybrid, Lexus, Mercury, Toyota |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , || No Comments »


2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Review – Frugal and Comfy

Monday October 13th, 2008 at 6:1010 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Review by Gary Chan | Photos by Derek Mau

Pros

  • Gas mileage (better than most small CUV’s)
  • Intuitive touch screen
  • Ride quality

Cons

  • Braking
  • Electric-only mode limited to very slow starts
  • Noisy engine when pushed

Ruling
I’ve driven both the last generation Prius, and did a road trip/review in the 2008 Civic Hybrid, but both left me longing for one thing: more space. The Mariner answered this question in abundance, and was a pleasant surprise to drive as well as sipping gas (for a vehicle in this class).

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2009 Mercury Mariner Review – the Hybrid SUV that can (and does) impress!

Monday September 29th, 2008 at 6:99 AM
Posted by: hollyrrr

Review by Holly R. | Photos by Derek Mau

Pros:

  • Really impressive (and decent) acceleration at speed
  • Mileage, mileage, mileage
  • Didn’t have to open the entire tailgate to get into the back of the vehicle
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • XM Satellite Radio and built-in Bluetooth

Cons:

  • Ack, the grill – not my thing
  • Engine takes an inordinate amount of time to reach “idle” after starting the car
  • The seats were pretty flimsy

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