Wed Feb 19 2014 17:28:14 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Toyota Prius Vs. Ford C-Max Hybrid: Pros And Cons.
For several years, Toyota had the hybrid market pretty much sewn up with its Prius.
Okay, so it never reached the heady economy highs of the original Honda Insight, but it was far more practical and electric running made it the hybrid of choice in city driving.
That's until the Ford C-Max Hybrid appeared, at any rate. If you're in the market for one of the cars, the chances are you're also in the market for the other--so we've pulled together the pros and cons of each to help you decide on your next hybrid family car.
Thu Oct 31 2013 20:38:22 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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Thu Oct 24 2013 18:57:37 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Next-gen Mini could sire 10 different models including PHEV.
The first generation of the reimagined, BMW-backed Mini was a simple things, confined to two body styles – hatchback and four-seat convertible. It wasn't until the second-generation platform came along that Mini began truly expanding, offering a long-wheelbase model, a roadster, a coupe, a five-door crossover, and a three-door, um, thing?
According to an interview between Automotive News Europe and the BMW board member that oversees Mini, Peter Schwarzenbauer, the funky British brand will be expanding far beyond the seven body styles it currently offers. "With the new ULK architecture, we currently have in mind eight to 10 models," Schwarzenbauer told ANE. That architecture he mentions, will also underpin the BMW 1 Series GT and the BMW X1, meaning that BMW is aiming for 10 to 12 different vehicles from just two brands off one platform (and that's only what we know about).
The growth in the Mini line isn't just limited to body styles, but overall production capacity, adding a new contract manufacturer in the Netherlands, with Schwarzenbauer telling ANE, "If I told you [Mini's total production capacity] I would be revealing exactly what our growth plans are. What I can say is that last year we produced and sold 300,000 units and right now we are expanding that capacity."
Besides growth plans, Schwarzenbauer hints that Mini's range of three- and four-cylinder, turbocharged, gas engines may be joined by EVs, plug-in hybrids and the long awaited (for US customers) diesel model. The EV and PHEV models are especially notable, as it signifies both that Mini is ready to expand into alternative energy, which it's avoided outside of the Mini E, while also pointing out that BMW's i division won't be the only ones playing with electricity.
Closing out, Schwarzenbauer let slip some details of availability on the third-generation Minis, saying that while cars will arrive at European and US dealers in the spring of 2014, there won't be regular inventories until later in the summer. Head over to Automotive News Europe for the full interview.
Tue Oct 15 2013 16:12:06 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Turning Over an Old Leaf: Nissan Adds Leaf EV to CPO Program.
Nissan announced that it is adding the all-electric Leaf to its Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle Program. Beginning this month, a certified Leaf will have a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty on its EV system and powertrain components, up from the 5-year/60,000-mile coverage offered from the original on-sale date when new.
This is in addition to the Leaf’s 8-year/100,000-mile battery-defect warranty and its 5-year/ 60,000-mile battery-performance warranty. Roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, rental reimbursement, and 90 days of satellite radio are all included as part of the program.
To qualify, a Leaf must be less than five years old and have less than 60,000 miles on the odometer. The car must have a clean Carfax history and at least 9 out of 12 bars of battery capacity as indicated by the vehicle’s battery-capacity gauge. It also has to pass a 167-point inspection prior to certification.
Nissan is not the first in the EV world to offer such coverage. Tesla takes that honor with a specific CPO program for the Roadster (certified Roadsters have their own 37-month/37,000-mile warranty); the gas-electric Chevrolet Volt is eligible for GM’s CPO program, with 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage in addition to 8-year/100,000-mile coverage on the battery and Voltec components.
This definitely increases the comfort level for buyers of used Nissan Leafs, and other manufacturers are sure to follow suit as the fleet of used electric vehicles proliferates.