2011 Toyota Prius
2011 Lexus CT 200h
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
2011 Honda CR-V
2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid
2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
2011 Lexus HS 250h
2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid
2011 Ford Escape Hybrid
2011 Lexus RX 450h
2011 smart fortwo electric
2011 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Ford Fiesta
2011 Chevrolet Cruze
2012 FIAT 500
2011 MINI Cooper
on 05.05.2011 14:30
In order to compare fairly, we’ve separated current-model hybrid cars from those with ordinary gasoline engines, providing the top five in each category (plus a few runners-up and a quick look at diesels). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides separate estimates for city and highway driving, plus a third figure for combined driving.
Among the hybrid-powertrain cars, Toyota’s Prius tops the frugality list by far, with an estimate of 51 mpg in city driving and 48 mpg on the highway, for a combined figure of 50 mpg. Runner-up is the new-for-2011 Lexus CT 200h, estimated at 43-mpg city/40-mpg highway for a total of 42 mpg.
Just behind, tied for third place, are Honda’s two hybrids: the Civic Hybrid sedan and the new CR-Z two-seat coupe. Both earn estimates of 40-mpg city/43-mpg highway for a combined figure of 41 mpg. However, with manual shift the CR-Z drops to 31/37 mpg (34 mpg combined).
Ford’s hybrid sedan duo ranks in fourth place. The Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ Hybrids are estimated at 41-mpg city/36-mpg highway, for a 39-mpg combined figure.
Hyundai’s Sonata Hybrid sedan scores the fifth spot for fuel economy, at 35-mpg city and 40-mpg highway, for a combined estimate of 37 mpg.More...
on 02.15.2011 18:04
For years, we’ve heard that buying a car is serious business. After all, for most people, it’s their second largest purchase, exceeded only by a home. Implicit in that remark was the notion that car-buying isn’t something that should be rushed. If you’re going to spend thousands—or tens of thousands—of dollars, surely you should be willing to devote the better part of a day to the process.
Now, the tables have somehow turned. Dealer advisers regularly exhort sales forces to speed up the process, citing the fact that everybody is so busy nowadays.
Today’s consumer is the “king and queen of choice,” said Mike Jackson, chairman/CEO of AutoNation, a major dealer group. Yet, what those consumers face is a “byzantine sales process.” Speaking to the Automotive News World Congress, Jackson lamented “all the hoops we ask customers to go through.”
Jim Lentz, president/CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, affirmed that “we have to respect people’s time.” Lentz explained that some shoppers avoid dealerships “at any cost.”
Improvements in the sales process might be needed more than ever, to help erase Jackson’s “hoops.” But rather than fretting so much about cutting down on the time involved, it’s vastly more crucial to make the process less complex. As anyone who’s bought or leased a new vehicle quickly learns, making the decision on what to buy can be the easy part. It’s when you get to the F&I (finance and insurance) office—where all the paperwork suddenly appears—that the real trouble starts. More...
on 02.14.2011 23:37
Like nearly all businesses, automobile dealers have specific hours. To accommodate the busy schedules of potential customers, many have extended those hours into early morning or late evening.
Some shoppers don’t care, because they never paid attention to closing times anyway. Instead, they follow a long-standing tradition of stalking car lots at night, when nobody else is around. Hard to believe in this era of security cameras and enthusiastic alarms, but for decades, used car lots and outdoor new-car storage spots have been havens for after-hours enthusiasts who like to see what’s available—but without interference from a pushy salesperson.
Of course, some of those car-lot stalkers weren’t likely prospects at all. Back when teenagers craved cars with barely-bridled passion, creeping through the aisles to survey the current automobiles was an urban adventure, whether done alone or with a bunch of buddies.
Dealers had to know that an open, unfenced lot was an invitation to car-crazed youngsters—and to older shoppers who simply didn’t want to endure a sales talk. As long as no damage was done, many seemed disinclined to tighten security or call in the authorities. More...
on 01.02.2011 18:28
The MINI now has one more appealing feature, as if its quality, economy, all-round cuteness and “The Italian Job” weren’t enough. The 2011 MINI will include as standard equipment an introductory year’s subscription to “SIRIUS Everything.”
"We are very excited to offer SIRIUS as standard equipment on 2011 MINI vehicles,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA. “It ensures that every MINI includes a well-rounded selection of in-car entertainment options. SIRIUS is fully integrated into all three of the MINI infotainment options, and allows MINI owners to further personalize their MINI driving experience at the push of a button."
The "SIRIUS Everything" package includes more than 135 channels, including 100% commercial-free music, plus premier sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic and weather information. SIRIUS XM delivers data services to more than 20 million subscribers in cars, trucks, boats and aircraft through a wide range of mobile devices.
All new 2011 MINI Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman and Countryman vehicles will include a factory-equipped satellite radio and a one-year introductory subscription to the "SIRIUS Everything" package. After the introductory subscription, the service will be subject to the standard rates.
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group.
Read our review of the new 2011 MINI Countryman.
on 12.03.2010 17:30
Because leasing is catching on again after a serious slump over the past few years, and tempting lease offers keep turning up, shoppers who never considered going that route in the past might be having second thoughts. Leasing a car has a number of advantages over a conventional purchase:
- Monthly payments are lower.
- The initial amount to be paid, on signing, is usually lower than the down payment on a purchased car—though some incentive programs promise unusually low down payments for purchases.
- You can get a higher-level car for a given monthly payment.
- The leased vehicle will be under warranty for most, if not all, of its lease term.
- You avoid the big value drop that occurs as soon as a new car is sold–and suddenly transformed into a used car.
If you're unfamiliar with leasing, on the other hand, you could be in for a few surprises—not all of them pleasant. For starters, fees and extra charges will probably turn out to be more abundant than expected. Some may be negotiable; most are not. Of course, you'd have to pay fees on a purchase, too. More...
on 09.24.2010 16:00
Volkswagen as a company is on a mission here in the U.S. Rather than being the fun alternative vehicle for those in the know, they want to go mainstream and compete against the major brands in a big way. And while the automaker recently introduced an all-new 2011 Jetta that is larger and more value-priced for the U.S. market, we think there’s a bigger story that’s already on sale—the Volkswagen CC Sport.
Many of VW’s current offerings are thought of as cute, likeable, and sporty. None has been considered drop-dead gorgeous—until now. While the CC is built on the popular Passat chassis, it’s design looks like it should be wearing a high-priced Italian label, or a snootier-badged German one at the very least.
Borrowing a page from the Mercedes CLS sedan, the Volkswagen CC features a sweeping coupe-like roofline on a four-door platform. Tasteful, simple fascias front and rear make the design even more alluring. And speaking of alluring, our Candy White tester featured a VW accessory body kit and handsome anthracite alloy wheels that made the already attractive design extra stunning. We haven’t tested a VW in years that has garnered so much praise. More...