Showing posts with label hybrid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hybrid. Show all posts

Friday, July 08, 2016

One bad idea; The Nissan Murano Hybrid.


A terrible idea.
Basically, it'll cost $3000 more to gain about 4MPG.
26/30 vs 21/28 for the regular model.

We were all making fun of GM a few years ago when they were doing the same thing with their "mild Hybrid" models.
Charging around $3000 for it. Same stupid idea.
At least, GM learned from that mistake.

But not Nissan. You thought they did when they canceled the Hybrid version of the Pathfinder because no one was buying it.
(No one was stupid enough.)
But now they repeat the mistake by offering the same power train (The one nobody wanted) in the Murano.

How weird???

This was unveiled a while ago as a "China only" model. So I am not sure if the one sold here will be imported from China or not.
No matter what, there are supposed to be only about 600 of them in the US.

Another weird thing. Why even bother???


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lexus LC




Just a few new pictures. (Or at least they are new to me since I haven't seen them before)
This particular one is the Hybrid version.

While it does look great even in red. (Most pictures of the LC are of the red one)
In a more "regular" color it looks really fantastic.

Even the Lexus grille everyone loves to hate works here.
It just feels part of the whole thing. A lot has to do with the lines at the edge of the headlights matching the meeting the smaller part of the grille. All these lines got where they are supped to.
Unlike most other Lexus models.
(I simple thing done wrong most of the time.)

I actually cannot wait to see this. And I know there will be plenty of them around here in L.A
Lexus has already hinted it might be priced slightly bellow the BMW 6 series.
(As it should be, really)

So they're not pulling an Acura on us. Who priced the NSX like an Aston Martin.

This is what an expensive car should look like.

Monday, May 02, 2016

2017 BMW i3


It pretty much looks the same.
Except maybe, the dark wood finish inside, which I haven't seen before?

And, finally, the large sunroof will be available in the US. (It was only available last year as part of some limited edition series)

The big news is the new battery.
It now gets a 115 miles range.
Much better than the 81 miles from the current version.
But really, still behind the best. In just a few months, the cheaper Chevrolet Bolt will be available with a range of over 200 miles.
It is also a "short while roomy" hatchback.

I really like the i3 though. It drives great, and the new range is a bonus. Plus the range extender is still available which adds about 95 miles using gas.
And the availability of that giant sunroof makes it more attractive. (Neither the Volt of the Bolt offer a sunroof option. )

Currently, the i3 is quite expensive. As it starts at $42 400 before  incentives.

BUT... They do offer a really good deal on the lease, which starts at $319 a month.
And $349 for the one with the range extender.

While the Volt is almost $10 000 less. The official lease offer right now is $299 a month.
So only $50 less than an i3 with range extender.

Sure, much longer range etc... But basically a BMW for only $50 a month more than a Chevy.

What do you think?



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Honda Clarity EV and Plug-In Hybrid coming up





Honda will start selling pure EV and Plug-In hybrid versions of the all new Clarity next year.
The "regular" Hydrogen version is still on track for later this year.

I think this is a great move from Honda. they have just announced their 2017 Accord Hybrid.
And there is no plug-in version this time. This will be the Clarity's job.
They also claim that version will have over 40 miles of pure EV range.
Which is better than anything else in the segment, except the Volt.

I sat in the Clarity and I can tell you it is quite roomier than the Volt.
Although the trunk is pretty tiny. And it is not a hatchback.

And... It doesn't look much better in person.
Granted, it looks 100 times better than the poor Toyota Mirai. But really, what doesn't...

The design is way overdone. The starting shape is fine, but they added so many bits and parts everywhere that it ends up looking like an 80's rejected design from Citroen.
Which is really too bad.

Maybe the "non-hydrogen" versions will be slightly different. (These rear fenders covering the wheels... What were they thinking?)
I think the first generation actually looked much nicer.

Inside, it is also vastly nicer than the Mirai.
As the Toyota is not only ugly and weird, but also really cheap.
The Clarity has a much nicer interior.

But when you compare it to many other current "regular" cars, it's really not that amazing. I think it should really be more futuristic.

It will all depend on price of course. Will all the incentives included, the Plug-in version might end up costing less than the Accord hybrid.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2017 Buick Lacrosse Hybrid

This is, so far, for the Chinese market.

We did have a hybrid version of the previous generation Lacrosse available over here.
For a few years. ( I even test drove one for a week)

It was an OK car. Had more power than the base 2.4 Engine. But it wasn't that amazing and the gas mileage wasn't that much better either. So, really, why???

They claim this one gets 50MPG. Which is, of course, in the Chinese test driving cycle.
But, GM said it is a 35% improvement.
Which, here, would mean around 40MPG combined.

Which wouldn't be bad at all for such a large car. Actually competing with the Lexus ES Hybrid .
This would be a good move for Buick in the US.
I mean, a large Buick with 40MPG.

The "old" Lacrosse was  not a true Hybrid. Instead, relying on that weird eAssist Technology from GM. ( A.K.A "eASS") Which usually resulted in just about a 3MPG increase for a $2000 price increase.
Not something anyone should ever consider.

With its new 1.8 Liter engine, the new version seems to be using the same power train as the 2016 Malibu.


I think a great move for Buick here would be to make it standard. Price the Hybrid the same as the V6 version.
Lincoln is already doing it with the MKZ, so why not...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2017 Hyundai Ioniq US version





Still a really good looking car. In my opinion.
I do hope this sells a lot and steals from the new Prius. With its inexcusable ugly design.

But.. The final specs aren't that great.

As mentioned before, there are there versions.
The regular Hybrid is powered by a 1.6 Liter engine and a 6 speed auto. A total of 139HP
No MPG specs yet.

The Plug-in version has a range of "more than 25 miles".
Sure, that is better than the new Prius Hybrid's 22 miles. But we are in 2016!
When a Volt gets over 53 miles on EV mode.
So this is kind of disappointing. Unless it is price really well. Which means much less than the Prius.

Finally, an all electric version is available.
With a 110 miles range. Again, not that great. It matches the latest version of the Leaf.
But an all new Leaf is scheduled for next year.
And the 200 miles Bolt is around the corner.
So again, pricing will be key. This needs to be cheaper than the Leaf equivalent.

The Ioniq seems really cool, but doesn't bring anything really new. Or more advanced than the competition.

At least it looks good.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2017 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid


These are still just illustrations.
But it shows a clear version of what they have in store for the New York Auto show.

Weird they changed it that much from the regular one. I mean a whole new front and rear?
Which, I must say, is a bit of an improvement.

Not sure what the EV range will be, but I really don't think it'll match the Volt's 53 miles.

And we'll see how it competes with the new Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In and its 30 miles range. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Malibu Hybrid; 47MPG (46HWY)


A pretty amazing figure for quite a large car.
It uses a version of the Volt power train, with a larger 1.8 Liter engine. And obviously, no pure EV mode.
Although, apparently, it can still reach 50MPH before the engine starts. (With a very light foot I bet)

That compares very well to its competition:
- Fusion Hybrid: 44/41
-Sonata Hybrid: 40/44

The Hybrid starts at $27 770. Not such a good deal when compared to the other choices:

-Fusion Hybrid: $25 675
-Sonata Hybrid: $26 000.

And it is also about $3800 more than the "regular" Malibu LT.
Which gets 24/34MPG. So again, you'll have to save over $3800 to make it worth it...



Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Chevrolet Volt test drive. Part Three


 Here are a few more observations about the new Volt, after driving it for a full week.

I do like the design a lot. Even though I do understand people who miss the more original 1st generation.
It is a little bit blender, but still very modern.
More so than most other compacts out there. And, it is still a hatchback. But looking more like a 4 door coupe now.
it is really slick looking. And has a more upscale feel and look to it.

 Inside, the first thing you notice is the new screen.
The first thing I wanted to do with it is angle it more toward me. But it's not adjustable.
(So don't ever try that. I'm begging you!)

So it lays a bit flatter than it should. But it's actually fine, and not much of a problem to get used to.
Plus, it is quite large and very sharp. And perfectly positioned above everything else on the dash.

The shiny bits have more of a satin finish now. Which is much nicer, and again, more upscale.
The plastics are hard, but everything does look and feel very solid.
(Except the super cheap feeling and sounding turn signal stalk)

The doors still have that heavy feel to them, which I like.

 There is enough room for 4 adults. As you can see. There is a seatbelt for a 3rd human in the back seat, but I cannot imagine how legs would even fit.


 The one thing still missing, is a sunroof. Or some kind of glass panel. At least as an option.
As the roof is pretty low.
GM still gives the "weigh excuse". Which I don't buy. (The new Hyundai ionia will offer a sunroof)

The Bose stereo sounded very good. Although, like most Bose car systems lately, it wasn't very loud.

Overall, I loved my week with the new Volt.
It feels as solid and sporty as the old one.
But it is much quieter when the all new gas engine comes on.
And when it does, power seems to be almost the same as in the EV mode.
The ride is very comfortable, and the car feels super solid over any surface.
The steering is really nice, a little bit on the heavy side, which is a welcome change from most other cars.

As I mentioned before, I got 56 miles out of a full charge (it is rated at 53)
And my gas mileage when the battery was empty was 46 on the freeway and 42 in the city.
Which is, again, better than the official numbers.

I think the Volt is the best way to get into an EV right now.
As a range of almost 60 miles of pure EV is plenty for most people.
Plus, once it's empty, you end up with a very comfortable, quick car that gets great mileage anyway.
It is truly the best of both worlds.
Until we can charge a 300 miles battery everywhere in 15 minutes, the Volt is the best option.
(The Model S is still a rich guy's toy)






BUT....
There is one thing that drove me crazy, most of the time.
As you can see, the stereo system had a lot of trouble recognizing songs from my phone.
As most playlists showed "empty".

When switching to Apple CarPlay, things were different.
But NOT better. As  playlists after the letter "B" were non existent.
Using a different phone, different cables, restarting the phone never fixed the problem.
It would work one time, and nothing a few minutes later, etc..

I checked various forums online, and it looks like quite a few people have that problem.

A few of the solutions included upgrading to the latest version of iOS.
( I did have iOS 9 already)
And, weirdly enough, getting rid of the Pandora app.
I did all these, but it was too late to really check it.
It was working the last evening I had the car.

After mentioning this to GM, they decided to send me another Volt for a few days in a couple of weeks.
Which is really nice.

So I will check this again.
I hate to be picky, but the car is , in general,  my favorite place to listen to music. And I do want to make sure this isn't a general issue with this otherwise great car.

Friday, February 26, 2016

2017 Toyota C-HR


 After a few years of showing us cool concepts (even one as a Scion), Toyota is finally showing the production version of the small C-HR SUV/crossover thingy.

Of course, development of this started back when the Nissan Juke was the only game in town. And it shows.
Since, we now have more more tasteful design available in that segment. Like the Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V or Mazda CX3.

So I think this will still be mainly a Juke competitor.
The main attraction here will be the Hybrid power train.
It is smaller than the all new Kia Niro, but could still compete against it.

I guess it might use the power train from the tiny Prius C. Or an updated version of it.
It might actually be killing the Prius C. Since Toyota has been saying they don't see much future for a whole Prius family anymore.
And the new Hybrid version of the Rav4 could very well replace the Prius V.



Here is what it looks like ext to the 2 previous concepts versions.

Even without the big wheels, it's been toned down. Way down...
It looks quite heavy and clumsy now...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chevrolet Volt test drive. Part one.

 I got the Volt yesterday. For a week.
It had an EV range of 45 miles when delivered to me. (Not the full 53 I was hoping for...)

Still, plenty for a few day-drives.
I was curious about the gas mileage when the car is not in EV mode.
So I used the "hold" mode, which saves "the juice" for later. A very cool feature.

 As you can see. For these few miles, MPG was very impressive.
But I also noticed that it did use some of that juice. By the end of the day, in the "hold" mode, my total EV range was only about 39 miles...
(The picture above was taken today, after charging)



At the end of the day, I plugged it in. At a regular 120 outlet. So technically, it should take about 13 hrs to get a full charge.
Which I didn't need since it still said "39".

But, about 13hrs later, I was still at "just"  49 miles. Not the 53 miles advertised for the full charge.
Maybe that plug at the lot where I parked the car was defective? Or something else...
Who knows.

 
 The rear hatch is really big. And quite heavy.
But the inside cover is just a rather flimsy cloth sheet. Unlike the solid stuff found in most other hatchbacks. Maybe to save weight?
 Someone was asking me about rear legroom. so here it is.
I am 5'11" and drive pretty far from the steering wheel, and that's what's left behind me.
Which isn't bad. Technically, the new Volt has a bit more rear legroom.

And here is what it looks like whith an actual super good looking human.

Someone was also asking about visibility. 
And I was mentioning the rather high position of the rear window.
So this is what it looks like when you turn around. 

Not that you really need to, since it comes with a back up camera.

So far there is plenty of power all the time. If you drive in a relaxed manner, the engine almost never comes on during normal city driving.
And when it does, it is much quieter than before. It just seems to be far away...

Next, I will try to compare MPG when the battery is completely empty.
And, of course, check the actual range of the full EV mode.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Hyundai Ioniq Vs,Toyota Prius


 It's that time again. Every time I see new pictures of the Ioniq, I feel like comparing it to the new Prius.

Like I mentioned before, I never disliked the previous generation Prius.
It's not something I would get for myself, but a few friends of mine have one, and it is OK.
(Even though many car nerds love to hate it.)

But this one is horrible. It is trying way too hard.
It is basically a visual mess, inside and out. And there is no excuse for it.

I mean look at both cars above. One seems confident, the other one is like crazy kid on speed.


 And it's even worse in the back!


 A tale of two shifters.
 One that looks classy and even quite upscale.
The other one, trying to re-invent the wheel. Ending up looking like a gadget sticking out of a Japanese toilet.
 Nothing to compare here. Since the new Prius doesn't even offer a sunroof anymore...

Trunk space seems pretty similar. At least on these pictures.
The Prius might have a small advantage here actually. (Its floor seems a bit lower)

Now, Kia just announced their "50MPG Niro Crossover".
Which is larger and heavier than the Ionic. Yet uses the same power train.
So the Hyundai might even end up being more fuel efficient that the new Prius!

I really think Toyota messed up. And might end up paying the price by seeing former customers switching to other brands.

Plus, this is 2016. There is no excuse for any car to look like that...