News In Brief

NOT WITHOUT ME, YOU DON'T

You may recall an item in this space Jan. 29 about a plan by the mayor of Bogota, Colombia, for a night when only women would have the run of his city - to put a dent in the crime rate. Well, it happened, and, sure enough, police reported a drop in incidents of all sorts. So, to make things fair, last Friday night was for men only - and guess what? It bombed. Neither the weather nor the fairer sex cooperated. Rain wiped out many planned special events. And few women were willing to stay home. Said one: "Men are really irresistible; it would be crazy to leave them alone."

HONEY, I'LL PICK UP DINNER

Ray Hutcherson was among those affected late last week when a delivery truck overturned on a Houston freeway, stalling traffic for five hours. But he didn't mind a bit. In fact, from his point of view it was time well spent. No, he didn't clinch a business deal over his cellphone. The truck spilled 23 tons of processed chicken, and our man filled his car with boxes of it for free.

In the market for a new car? Here are 2001's top picks

The seventh-generation Honda Civic EX was ranked as the best small car this year in a Consumer Reports magazine survey of 2001 models. The newly redesigned Toyota RAV4 was picked as the best small sport utility vehicle overall. The magazine rates new cars, trucks, and SUVs after testing them on such criteria as emergency handling, acceleration, braking, fuel economy, and comfort. The top picks according to Consumer Reports April auto issue:

Family sedan or wagon: Volkswagen Passat

Small car: Honda Civic EX

'Green' car: Toyota Prius, a hybrid gas/electric

Most fun to drive: Honda S2000

Upscale sports sedan: BMW 330i

Small SUV: Toyota RAV4

Midsized SUV: Lexus RX300

Pickup truck: Toyota Tundra

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

- AutomotiveWire

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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