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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