It isn't easy to compare gasoline and electric vehicles.
Sure, you can look at EPA stickers, sit in them and appreciate the way they drive, but comparing like-for-like on an economic basis is requires some thought.
The U.S. Department of Energy has simplified the process with its new eGallon calculator, showing potential electric vehicle drivers just how much cheaper it is to run one than the equivalent gasoline vehicle.
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The DoE describes an eGallon as "the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline". ( Continue… )
Ford's updated Fiesta SFE is offering even better fuel efficiency for the 2014 model year.
The Fiesta uses a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, developing around 120 horsepower. It's a fun little car to drive, but the main focus here is economy.
With EPA-rated mileage figures of 30 mpg city, 41 highway and 34 combined, it uses less fuel than any other subcompact--save for Toyota's hybrid Prius C, of course.
The smallest Prius comfortably beats the Fiesta SFE on every measure--and a full 23 mpg in the city--albeit for extra cost.
A closer comparison might be Nissan's 2013 Versa, which loses 1 mpg to the Fiesta on the highway but remains 1 mpg better overall--highlighting the issue with advertising highway mileage alone. Buyers may also cross-shop with the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic, capable of 29 city, 40 highway and 33 mpg combined, with a 1.4-liter engine and manual transmission. ( Continue… )
The Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup truck in America. Even so, it doesn't have it so easy. Not only does it fend off the pair of excellent new GM pickups this year, it's also challenged by the former Dodge Ram--now the Ram 1500, now every bit the competitor to the other big sellers in the full-size truck class.
Now that the Ram 1500 has some of the best EPA stats and infotainment features in the truck segment, does the Ford F-150 have more to worry about?
It does, though we'll give away the ending and tell you upfront we rate both trucks at the same numeric score, for different reasons.
Let's start with styling. The F-150 has heavy-duty, Tonka sensibilities and lots of sharp angles. It's tough-looking outside, no doubt, but it moves smartly into luxury territory inside once it treads into Limited, Platinum, and especially King Ranch trims. It was the first of the big trucks to go countrypolitan, and it's never suffered for it. The Ram? It adapted quickly, and since 2011, it's been at least on par with the F-150 in terms of interior quality--maybe a shade nicer, especially if that shade is brown. From the outside, the Ram just nails its semi-semi style, wrapping in some heritage with some modern cues like its mesh grille and LED lighting. We'd tip our hat to the Ram here. ( Continue… )
It's time to put the Jeep Liberty to pasture and for 2014 its replacement brings back a legendary nameplate: the Cherokee. Introduced at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, the Jeep Cherokee is nothing like the vehicle it replaces. It's a crossover that focuses on design, fuel economy, and technology. Priced from $23,990 including destination, the new Jeep Cherokee will take on segment leaders such as the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V.
The Cherokee will be available in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk. Jeep has been quick to mention that the Trailhawk model is the trim it feels will resonate with Jeep enthusiasts, while the Sport, Latitude, and Limited are aimed at conquest sales.
The base Sport features power mirrors and locks, Uconnect with a 5.0-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth hands-free and streaming audio, 3.5-inch color display in the gauge cluster, 10 air bags, and much more. Available options will include Jeep Active Drive I 4x4 system with a Selec-Terrain drive mode selector. A backup camera will also be available.
Move up to the $25,490 Latitude model and you'll add body-color mirrors and door handles, tinted windows, fog lights, fold-flat front passenger seats with in-seat storage space, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and a 115-volt power outlet. An 8.4-inch touchscreen with Uconnect infotainment is available along with a 506-watt Alpine premium audio system. For those seeking all-weather capability there's either Jeep Active Drive I or Jeep Active Drive II 4x4 systems. ( Continue… )
The Mercedes-Benz S Class has been the perennial leader for new technologies in the automotive sector for decades, and with the launch of the latest generation that trend looks set to continue.
The new 2014 S Class’ tech features are numerous but the big ticket items are its advanced safety technologies and autonomous driving ability--yes, the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class will be the first production vehicle that will be able to drive itself (in certain situations).
This video gives a good rundown on some of the features, though it should be noted that the model presented is a European-spec car and some elements may not be offered on versions delivered to the U.S. market.
As you may have guessed, the area Mercedes engineers focused on the most in developing the new S Class is in the area of safety. Here, numerous sensors located around the car (26 in total) help monitor the vehicle’s surrounding in all directions.
These sensors work together with the vehicle’s active braking systems which can determine if you’re about to crash into an object, including moving ones such as cross-traffic or pedestrians that may happen to jump out on the road, and alert you and even apply the brakes independently if necessary. ( Continue… )
After the first two European races of the year, Formula One’s mid-season flyaway takes teams to Montreal for race number seven, the Canadian Grand Prix.
The race once again takes place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuv, which is built on a man-made island in the St Lawrence River and has been the home of the Canadian GP since 1978.
The 2.71-mile track is quite challenging for drivers, due to its four long straights and tight slow corners. This makes it particularly hard on the brakes. Eleven of the 14 corners at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are taken at below 100 mph.
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It’s similar to the last race in Monaco in some respects, being a street circuit with a number of the corners and straights very close to the walls. However, the surface lacks grip at the start of the weekend because it's not used much throughout the year.
Weather is also a factor here as the low temperatures can cause trouble for the tires due to the circuit layout, and rain and high winds are always a threat. The current weather prediction for the weekend is for mild temperatures and partially cloudy skies. ( Continue… )
The current-generation Acura TL has been around since the 2009 model year and a successor is due soon, most likely badged as a TLX. To help keep interest in the current model alive, Acura is giving plenty of incentive for buyers via the launch of a special edition model.
Introduced late in the 2013 model year, the new Acura TL Special Edition is priced from $38,300, including an $895 destination fee.
This slots it in just above the base 2013 TL, which is listed from $36,800, including the same $895 destination fee, but it comes with plenty of standard goodies that make it quite the deal.
The TL Special Edition features distinctive 18-inch alloys as standard, along with a deck lid spoiler and Special Edition badging. Four exterior colors are available for this model: Bellanova White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl, Graphite Luster Metallic and Silver Moon Metallic.
The car also gets standard keyless access with pushbutton start adds and leather trim with contrast stitching. Owners get two key fobs that each have a memory function so that things like the driver's seat, steering wheel, exterior mirrors and climate and audio settings are all automatically adjusted as soon as the driver’s door is opened and the particular key fob recognized. ( Continue… )
The Toyota Corolla has been the most popular compact car in the U.S. for more years than we can count.
But this year's model is the oldest model in a category that has seen every one of its competitors refreshed in the last three years.
The new 2014 Toyota Corolla, the 11th generation of a nameplate that's almost half a century old, aims to catapult the popular compact back to the front of the pack.
It has a new exterior design--with lines that were previewed by the Furia Concept shown at January's Detroit Auto Show --that's still recognizably a Corolla, but slightly longer, lower, and wider than its predecessor.
It just keeps rising: Average gas mileage for new cars has once again hit a new high in the U.S.
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When UMTRI began taking figures in October 2007, the average gas mileage of new cars was just 20.8 mpg, illustrating the constant improvements carmakers have made to improving fuel efficiency--and the public for buying the new cars.
The figures are calculated from the monthly sales of individual models of light-duty vehicles--cars, SUVs, minvans and trucks. ( Continue… )
Cadillac has achieved its highest rate of growth since 1976. The American luxury icon’s year-to-date sales at the end of May for the U.S. market were 69,750 units, an increase of 38 percent compared with the same period a year ago.
This represents the brand’s highest year-to-date sales growth since 1976, when sales grew 45 percent over the previous year to end at 135,258 units.
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Importantly, the latest results also mean that Cadillac is the fastest growing major automotive brand in in the country. ( Continue… )