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 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid Review – A Little Technology for the Geek in All of Us

Friday November 6th, 2009 at 8:1111 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid
By Derek Mau

Pros

  • Excellent for around town driving and taking care of all the necessary family functions
  • The benefits of a hybrid without sacrificing luxury amenities
  • Conservative styling upgrade easily blends in with the thousands of other Lexus RX’s on the road today
  • More technology gadgets but with less driver distraction

Cons

  • Batteries and electric motors add up to a serious weight penalty with regards to braking and cornering
  • Electronic steering control is good for mothers on their way to PTA meetings, but not so good for relaying feedback from the road
  • Horrific blind spot
  • No towing capacity

The new generation Lexus RX blends the geekiness of high technology with the green consciousness of driving a hybrid car. Launched in the summer of 2009 as a successor to the RX 400h, Lexus’ new RX 450h builds on the success of the company’s first luxury hybrid SUV. Visually similar to the RX 350, the 450h has a few of its own unique styling features, including an exclusive grille, hybrid badging with blue-trimmed Lexus logos, unique front bumper, special 19-inch wheels, blue-tinted headlamps and taillamps, and optional LED headlamps.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, hybrid, Lexus |Tags:, , || 4 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 »




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