Sport utility vehicles and crossovers (crossovers being sport utility vehicles based on a car rather than truck chassis) are popular even as the general trend toward higher MPG vehicles moves forward. The reason is simple: 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. Cars don’t always cut it.
All of which leaves the environmentally conscious consumer with some tough choices. If your lifestyle points you toward an SUV or crossover, you still want to do what you can to minimize your contribution to further CO2 in the atmosphere. There are no electric SUVs, no plug-in hybrids (yet) and only a few hybrid and clean diesel models, so the key is to check out the most fuel efficient models that fit your needs. Since one of those needs with this class of vehicles usually entails a good amount of distance travel, we’re using the highway fuel economy as the benchmark for our Top 10 list.
Compared to last year, hybrid sales for the first four months are up 12.3%, almost double the overall market’s gain. Plug-ins are on a tear with 130% growth, but on relatively small numbers. Diesels have taken a dip so far this year, dropping 6.2%, but are expected to rebound when high-volume cars like the Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, Mazda6 SkyActiv-D, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 hit showrooms later this year. Both the hybrid and plug-in electric segments are also adding models as well.
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.
You can mark 2012 down on the automotive history calendar. For the first time in almost hundred years, consumers have a real choice in cars. We’re not talking about the usual body style, color and equipment choices, but the substantial choice of what kind of powertrain you want under the hood if your focus is [...]
Superstorm Sandy, “Snowmegeddon,” El Nino. You need a great car or crossover SUV when that 100-year storm hits. These new all-wheel drive (AWD) cars, crossovers, and SUVs have the best AWD mileage in the United States in 2013. The range from fun, yet thrifty, from Subaru to luxury turbo diesels and hybrids from Audi. We’ll also give you a peak at future plug-in hybrid AWD wonders from Tesla, BMW, and Mitsubishi.
America leads the world in carsharing with one million members – some 65% of the global market. For many people living in university towns and cities, transit, walking, bicycling, and carsharing meets their mobility needs. They do not own a car. For others, carsharing allows households to own only one car, instead of two or three. For many Americans, their first chance to drive an electric car has been in carsharing where costs are as low as $7 per hour or even 35 cents per minute to drive the new electric cars from Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Smart, BMW and other automakers.
Here are 10 pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars expected to be sold with starting prices between $29,125 and $39,995 in the U.S. in 2012 and 2013. The list includes small city cars, 5-seat hatchbacks full of electronic wonders, and a crossover SUV. At the top of the low cost list, at least for now, is the Mitsubishi I electric car can now be reserved for $29,125. The following is our list of electric cars….
New hybrid cars can save you thousands of dollars in gasoline over the years that you drive. The Toyota Prius Liftback and new Prius c continue to top the list at 50 mpg. There is now a Prius Family (Prii) including the new Prius V SUV. Lexus and Lincoln battle for luxury hybrid leadership. Hybrid buyers have growing choices in sedans, hatchbacks, sports cars, and new crossovers with the room of small SUVs. This year’s top 10 all deliver 40 mpg or better in combined highway and street driving.
Ten all-wheel drive cars and four-wheel drive SUVs, crossovers, and AWD cars are compared, priced, and ranked by those that delivered the best mileage. Compare the AWD vehicles that save the most at the pump from Subaru, Audi, MiniCooper, Ford, Toyota, Lexus and others. Are SUVs important in snow and ice? Do you need AWD for snow and heavy rain?
The best selling all-electric car in 2012 is the Nissan LEAF. The Chevrolet Volt is the best selling plug-in hybrid. In 2013, Toyota, Ford, and Tesla have intensified the battle for electric car leadership. How will U.S. electric buyers vote with their pocketbooks for electric cars? See the list of Best Electric Cars and Plug-in Hybrids for 2012 and 2013.
Automakers continue to increase our choice of plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars and crossovers in 2013. Competition is intense for electric car United States leadership. Electric car sales triple in the U.S. each year – 20,000 in 2011, 60,000 or more in 2012, 180,000 or more in 2013. The Chevrolet Volt leads plug-in hybrid sales. The Nissan LEAF leads all-electric sales. Ford has multiple electric car and plug-in hybrid offerings. 20,000 Teslas are on the road or on order. The Smart Electric starts at $25,000.
Hybrids are in demand now that oil prices have doubled since March. Some 2010 hybrids have double the MPG of others. The third generation 2010 Toyota Prius tops the list with the best fuel economy and lowest carbon footprint in the United States. Honda, Ford, Nissan, Lexus, and Chevrolet also made the Top 10 list.
The Clean Fleet Top 10 Low Carbon Footprint Passenger Vehicles include the expected (Prius) and the unexpected (an SUV). The vehicles are generally gas misers (in one case a CNG miser). Some are roomy midsized sedans and one is the king of legally parking where none of the others qualify.
Four-door sedans have always been popular. In growing demand, especially by fleets, are four-door sedans with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. The Toyota Prius faces new competition from the Honda Insight and the Ford Fusion Hybrid.