First Drive: 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan TDI Euro Spec

First Drive: 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan TDI Euro Spec

Let’s start with what a kick it is that Volkswagen allowed Clean Fleet Report to drive the 2014 Tiguan TDI 4Motion Euro Spec. Was it a bit of a tease? Yes. Did it accomplish what they were seeking to do: get journalist input on this crossover and our opinions on how it would fit as a U.S. model? Definitely!

April 17, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2014 (January-March)

Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2014 (January-March)

While overall sales languished a mere 1.3 percent above the first quarter of 2013, high-mileage electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and clean diesels continued a torrid pace similar to what they were experiencing during most of last year. The only laggard in this group was gas-electric hybrids, which dropped almost 16 percent compared to last year, based heavily on declining sales of several Prius models.

April 16, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Electric Car Charging Etiquette

Electric Car Charging Etiquette

Mixing cars that need to be plugged in with traditional vehicles has created a whole new interaction. Here are some of the rules.

April 15, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Overview: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu With Start-Stop System

Overview: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu With Start-Stop System

In a somewhat surprising move, the entry-level Malibu LS now comes standard with a start-stop system, the first midsize sedan sold in the United States that is so equipped. Combined with refinements of its base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a new six-speed automatic transmission, the LS has a significant fuel economy increase compared with the outgoing model (now 25 city; 36 highway).

March 31, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Engine Downsizing Gains Ground

Engine Downsizing Gains Ground

The global drive to reduce greenhouse gases and increase vehicle fuel efficiency is pushing automakers to reduce the size of their engines – while trying to keep all of attributes consumers expect from their cars. Engineers from GM, Porsche and VW have pushed the limits of technology to produce engines that are more efficient, meet increasingly stringent pollution standard and yet make better horsepower and torque than previous generations.

March 29, 2014 | 4 Comments | Read More »

Comparison Road Test: 2014 Toyota Prius & Prius Plug-in

Comparison Road Test: 2014 Toyota Prius & Prius Plug-in

Whether you spend your time tooling around in-town or are venturing out on the open road, if you value paying as little as possible for each mile driven, then the Toyota Prius should be on your shopping list. Not many cars get the outstanding fuel economy of the Prius family.

Yes, you will pay a bit more for a hybrid versus a gasoline-powered car. But, if you are putting a lot of miles on your car or like the ability to cruise around town in pure electric mode …

March 24, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Texas Dealers Stymie Tesla

Texas Dealers Stymie Tesla

Tesla Motors, seller of the much desired Tesla Model S, is no foreigner to the realm of legislative battles. Within more than a few states, including New York and North Carolina, Tesla has managed to win lawsuits and prevent blockage of their non-dealership sales technique, resulting in more of the electric luxury cars on the road than ever.

Unfortunately, Tesla seems to have hit a wall in Texas.

March 16, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Tesla Battles With Dealers and State Legislatures

Tesla Battles With Dealers and State Legislatures

Tesla has set out from the beginning to challenge everything in the auto industry. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk characterizes himself as an outsider selling a an electric car the auto industry has said it couldn’t build or sell and he set up a network of dealers and chargers all owned by his company. The vertical integration might be something a founding titan like Henry Ford might have appreciated, but it has run into problems in 21st century automotive retail business world.

The issue is state-by-state franchise laws, which …

March 15, 2014 | 3 Comments | Read More »

Road Test: 2014 Subaru Forester

Road Test: 2014 Subaru Forester

The 2014 Subaru Forester is the first all-new model for this brand since 2009. It is slightly larger than the outgoing edition, looks only a little different but has an unexpected surprise – it’s more fuel efficient.

March 10, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Toyota is “all in” on fuel cell electric vehicles

Toyota is “all in” on fuel cell electric vehicles

The race to provide the car of the future is heating up and it should surprise no one that one of the world’s largest car companies, Toyota, is right in the middle of chase to provide it. For Toyota, that future car is powered by a fuel cell that produces electricity on-board from hydrogen.

March 8, 2014 | 1 Comment | Read More »

Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2014 (January-March)

Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2014 (January-March)

While overall sales languished a mere 1.3 percent above the first quarter of 2013, high-mileage electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and clean diesels continued a torrid pace similar to what they were experiencing during most of last year. The only laggard in this group was gas-electric hybrids, which dropped almost 16 percent compared to last year, based heavily on declining sales of several Prius models.

April 16, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Smart EV Wins Best Eco Car Award

Smart EV Wins Best Eco Car Award

ACEEE ranks the Top 10 environmental cars and finds smaller is better and small hybrids are best, although it found the smallest electric car sold in America as the best of the best.

February 24, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

10 Best Engines Named By Magazine

10 Best Engines Named By Magazine

Ward’s 10 Best Engines contest hits its 20th anniversary but the field of contestants has changed. Winners this year were led by three diesel engines, an electric motor and a three-cylinder gas engine.

February 6, 2014 | Leave a comment | Read More »

My Top 10 Cars & Trucks for 2014

My Top 10 Cars & Trucks for 2014

These are the 10 or more cars and trucks I’m looking forward to spending some time with in 2014. I hope they all make, but I probably should also have saved a spot or two on the list for some surprises. In 2013 we had a few of those and I’m expecting more in 2014.

January 8, 2014 | 2 Comments | Read More »

My Top 10 High-MPG Cars of 2013

My Top 10 High-MPG Cars of 2013

No one should doubt that 2013 was a breakthrough year for advanced technology vehicles, whether running on electricity, gasoline, diesel or some combination of the three. The choices expanded, prices dropped and infrastructure exploded (for plug-ins). This year presents an abundance of riches; as I wrote earlier, we (at least we in California) now have 10 pure electric vehicles to choose from–and 2014 promises and expanded roster of choices. I had the opportunity this year to sample more than half of those available. Add in plug-in …

December 31, 2013 | 1 Comment | Read More »

Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2013

Top 10 Best-Selling High-MPG Cars of 2013

The year 2013 is almost over and the auto industry is moving toward the best sales year in half a decade. High mileage electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and clean diesels are drafting along with the positive sales year and going beyond, with each segment besting the overall market as new models enter and draw attention. The expectation is for aggressive selling to continue through the rest of the year, but it’s a good time to regroup and declare the Top 10 winners for the year.

December 14, 2013 | 1 Comment | Read More »

Top 10 Best Fuel Economy Cars for 2014

Top 10 Best Fuel Economy Cars for 2014

The federal Environmental Protection Agency spends a good portion of its time and manpower compiling a guide that compares like vehicles’ fuel economy, spaciousness (interior space) and engine technology. The result for 2014 vehicles (cars and trucks) is now available on www.fueleconomy.gov and has a new benchmark – the Top 10 cars in fuel economy all feature a plug. Some are pure electrics and others are plug-in hybrids. The fuel economy numbers are astronomical by historical standards, but are setting the new benchmark for what a modern …

December 5, 2013 | 4 Comments | Read More »

Top 10 Markets for Electric Cars

Top 10 Markets for Electric Cars

The Nissan Leaf was the best selling plug-in car in July and has just lost the lead for the year-to-date electric car sales to the hot-selling Tesla Model S, another pure electric. It’s fair to say that where the Leaf is selling well, electric cars are selling well. Here are the Top 10 markets for Nissan Leaf sales.

September 3, 2013 | Leave a comment | Read More »

Top 10 2014/2013 AWD & 4WD SUVs/Crossovers with the best MPG

Top 10 2014/2013 AWD & 4WD SUVs/Crossovers with the best MPG

Sport utility vehicles and crossovers are popular because they are functional. One trip to Costco is enough to convince many families that a Prius won’t cut it. Regular trips up to the mountains in the winter to ski could similarly motivate a car buyer to look for an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle rather than the front-wheel drive found on most high-mileage hybrids. All of which leaves the environmentally conscious consumer with some tough choices.

May 13, 2013 | 3 Comments | Read More »

The Top 10 Electric Cars You Can Buy–Finally!

The Top 10 Electric Cars You Can Buy–Finally!

For all the twists and turns that the auto industry undergoes, it looks like 2013 will be a clear milestone for electric cars. The point here is to look at how far we have come and note the arrival of the electric car industry. It’s no longer a model or two, but a substantial variety of vehicles from major manufacturers that the EV-conscious consumer can choose from.

April 29, 2013 | 6 Comments | Read More »