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!

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).

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 like the plug-in version offers, then the additional initial expense will be worth it to you. The reliability of the Prius and being the market-leading hybrid should give you confidence that this car will be in your garage for many, many years.

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.

ROAD TEST: 2013 Honda Civic Natural Gas

When looking at alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid, electric and diesel are the most common options based on sales and choice. One other fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG) doesn’t get much attention, probably because there is only one mass-produced CNG-fueled car on the market–the Honda Civic. So if Honda alone believes in this technology for passenger cars, what are they seeing that their competitors aren’t and what is the future for CNG?

Test Drive: 2013/2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 With Start-Stop

Mercedes-Benz has added start-stop technology to its compact SUV, the GLK, along with direct injection and diesel engine technology, to boost fuel economy. It’s a win-win-win with better fuel economy, more power and all of the usual Mercedes luxury.

Road Test: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Crew Cab

n the market for a truck? How about a really nice truck that seats five or six big adults very comfortably, comes ready to act as your office on wheels, can tow pretty much anything you have in mind and if necessary, can get you through the mud and muck over hill and dale? Or maybe you are looking to “feel like a man,” which is what the SoCal Chevrolet dealers radio commercial told me that driving the 2014 Silverado will do. Other commercials note that the Chevy pickup’s V8 gets better fuel economy than rival Ford’s V6. That must be some truck!

Road Test: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda gives lie to the dire expectations of those who thought environmental correctness came only with sacrifice. With the 2014 Accord Hybrid, we have entered a new world of mainstream motoring: Look around at all the inefficient, uninspiring cars on the road. Given the option of driving the one that is ultimately efficient and surprisingly fun, who wouldn’t come up with the extra three bills?

Road Test: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel LT

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is rated at 46 Highway/27 City with an average of 33 MPG. Sounds pretty good, but it can get even better because, if you have a light foot on the accelerator, you might even get closer to 50 MPG on the highway. So, what’s not to like about GM’s Mileage King?

Road Test: 2014 Chevrolet Impala LT

The 2014 Impala is so completely different from its predecessor that from this point forward let’s agree those previous versions did not even exist. The new Impala carries an air of sophistication, but not snobbiness, with a comfortable modern interior and clean contemporary styling. The 2014 Impala comes in three engine options: 2.5L 4-cylinder, 2.4L 4-cylinder with eAssist (GM’s mild hybrid system) and the 3.6L V6, which is what was powering the car we tested. The eAssist model delivers 35 MPG on the highway and 29 MPG combined, the tops in this class. It even beats the Audi A8 TDI and easily bests the Ford and Chrysler competitors.

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 hybrids and the list of EV choices almost doubles, while traditional hybrids, clean diesels and high-MPG gasoline vehicles ranks keep growing both in number and popularity.

Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen Touareg TDI R-Line

The Touareg is one of the rare SUVs that comes with three engine options: gasoline, clean diesel and hybrid, along with six trim levels. we’ll take an in-depth look at one of them. The 2014 Touareg TDI I was driving had the R-Line package, It puts the punch in a premium SUV.

Road Test: 2014 Toyota RAV4

The 2014 RAV4 is a compact crossover that doesn’t waste a square inch of passenger or cargo room. It has surprising amounts of both in a body that has presence on the road without occupying too much of it. In addition to Toyota’s-brand quality and resale value, you get above-the-traffic ride height, comfortable seating for five, and just enough off-road capability to keep you out of trouble — or get you into it.

Road Test: 2014 Chevrolet Volt

The 2014 Chevrolet Volt which uses a plug-in battery and gasoline engine technology to deliver a smooth, quiet and comfortable driving experience that will most likely get you to work and back without buying any gasoline, but then can take you across the USA – all while delivering in excess of 40 mpg.

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 automobile needs to achieve to be considering a state-of-the-art environmental leader.

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