Your car's fuel economy gauge may be lying to you.
Well, exaggerating at least.
Some are worse than others, though: Edmunds tested a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid and found its readout to be 19 percent overstated.
Getting an accurate fuel economy reading requires more than a quick glance at the dashboard.
The best way to ascertain your car's true fuel economy is to track fuel consumption over enough miles that the tank can be drained several times.
Six or eight full tanks, at around 300 to 350 miles each, means accumulating 1,800 to 2,800 miles on the car. Being thorough takes time.
Ideally, the car being tested should be filled at the same pump each time, at the same time of day. It's also important to test it over the same mix of city, suburban, and highway driving.
If maximizing fuel economy is a top priority, consider buying the smallest car possible for your needs. It may be cheaper to rent a larger car when you need it, rather than purchasing one and spending extra money on fuel.
Once you've chosen your car, drive it gently and conservatively. Also consider combining trips or carpooling, only using your car when absolutely necessary.
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The noble rest stop: an oasis of the interstate where weary travelers can relieve themselves, grab a soda, and do a few jumping jacks to perk up for the long drive ahead.
Now, the rest stop is also the place to make phone calls and send text messages -- at least in New York State.
This week, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new program to combat distracted driving. It doesn't require any office buildings, no new governmental agencies, just the addition of several hundred signs along the state's thoroughfares. ( Continue… )
Discussions of Tesla Motors sometimes seem couched in the terms of a religious tale: Tesla as David vs General Motors in the Goliath role.
One company is the plucky Silicon Valley electric-car startup that's never built a vehicle with a gasoline engine.
Yesterday, we learned that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee -- which was supposed to arrive in July -- has been delayed for a third time. Now, another vehicle in the Chrysler/Fiat family has had its debut pushed back: the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C.
The 4C marks Alfa Romeo's return to the U.S. When it was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show in March, Sergio Marchionne said that he expected the 4C to arrive in America by the end of 2013. Fiat has stuck to that timeline, even confirming it at an event for the 500L earlier this month.
Unfortunately, it ain't happening. Fiat has announced that the 4C won't arrive in the U.S. until the second quarter of 2014 -- at the earliest.
Why the delay? No one knows.
No automaker wants to delay the launch of a new vehicle -- especially one as hotly anticipated as the 4C. To announce two such holdups in the span of just a few days? That's got to feel terrible. ( Continue… )
It's one of the most common questions asked of any new car: "So what kind of gas mileage does it get?"
The answer most often comes from the car's gas-mileage readout on the dashboard, generally specified to the tenths of a mile per gallon.
But as Edmunds determined, those readings vary considerably in accuracy. ( Continue… )
While we've had no issues expressing our qualms about the driverless future of cars, we also can't help but find the technology interesting, even amazing, even at this early stage in its development. But most car buyers don't have a warm fuzzy feeling about self-driving cars, according to a new survey.
ORC International, at the behest of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies (via Forbes), recently surveyed 1,000 car-buying adults to see how the public really feels about a computer being in charge of the wheel. The result? Only 18 percent said they'd buy an autonomous car.
What's the major concern? Trust. ( Continue… )
If you really want to go green, why not get rid of your car?
That's the logic behind ridesharing and carsharing services.
In theory, they provide all of the convenience of a car, without the need to own one. These services are pitched as an alternative form of transportation for urban areas.
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GM has even broader ambitions for its Cadillac brand than today's lineup. Its latest vehicles, the ATS and CTS, have won rave reviews, and its own version of the Chevy Volt architecture comes late this year in the form of the Cadillac ELR extended-range electric car.
But could the brand have more green cars in its future?
Though he offhandedly referred to battery-only electric cars as a "panacea" in an interview with the Detroit News, GM CEO Dan Akerson confessed that Tesla Motors [NSDQ: TSLA] is a competitor for the GM luxury brand--and that "ultimately," General Motors will compete with Tesla Motors.
What would a Tesla competitor from Cadillac look like? Though GM showed a plug-in hybrid Cadillac XTS at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, it's unlikely that vehicle will be forthcoming. Potential plug-in hybrids from the ATS/CTS architecture are possible, but haven't been discussed. ( Continue… )
China is the future of the electric car.
At least, that's what Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn believes.
Speaking to the Associated Press at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, he said the car industry is carefully watching China to see how it decides to reduce emissions.
When the Chinese do make their move, it will bring on "the explosion of the electric car," Ghosn said. (His words, not ours.)
While no one wants exploding electric cars, it's not surprising that Ghosn is hoping for an increase in demand from China. ( Continue… )
It's won awards, thrilled thousands of buyers, and demolished a lot of stereotypes.
But among the things you may not know about Tesla is this: The Model S requires almost no maintenance.
Without the valves, camshafts,a crankshaft, connecting rods, gears, clutches, and more found in a gasoline car, the Tesla Model S, like any battery-electric car, needs almost no almost no regular adjustment.
About the only parts that need regular replacement are four tires and two windshield wiper blades.
Even brake pads, which you might expect to need regular replacement on such a high-performance car, last many times longer than those on comparable gasoline cars. ( Continue… )