Also would like to know the projected retail price. I am actually curious about the transit connect, as I would love a small PHEV cargo hauler. On the last buying cycle, I liked the space in the transit, but the drivetrain put it behind the Mazda5. (smaller engine, but less efficient transmission, so it made more noise, felt like a they inserted a rubber band, and it got worse gas mileage than the Mazda)
Unfortunately Toyota doesn't see fit to import their hybrid minivan, the Estima. We have had great luck with our first gen Prius, which turns 12 in 3 months. I also remember well the "Moon cruser" toyota I bought in 84. Besides being impossible to kill, you could fit 4x8 sheet goods in the back, and close all the doors afterwards, yet it was no longer than the same vintage Civic.
Of course perhaps I should have considered the Fit - 2 weeks ago, I saw someone move a single manual late German harpsichord (with stand) in one. Admittedly they had to fold the front passenger seat forward, and lean the nose on it, and their passenger had to ride behind the driver, but it was 7 feet long, and wide enough to fit a 5 1/2 octave keyboard.
Only semi related: I was talking with a friend the other evening, who does Ford fleet sales. Apparently the transit's are shipped from Turkey with rear seats installed to get passenger car tarifs, but once in port, the seats are removed, shipped back to Turkey, and installed in the next batch off the line. Some sets of seats have made a half dozen trips...
I agree with Lou, it's in the larger cars where fuel consumption needs cutting most. Of course, the manufacturers have to start somewhere and it makes sense to begin with the simpler problems and smaller weight/efficiency issues and quantities of smaller vehicles, and then scale up.
The high number of Fords is really interesting. They've changed their appraoch to the market. Instead of only offering one EV and waiting to see if it sells, they started with a braod range of choices of EVs and hybrids to let the market decide.
Brilliant! I hope other manufacturers look at that model and start to lose their fear of innovation.
Good point on the size of the car, Naperlou. As traditional combustion engines become more efficient, it becomes harder to make a case for the high-priced hybrids and EVs. This is especially true when it comes to small traditional combustion engines.
Wow. I was really impressed by the growing array of choices and pretty laudable metrics these cars boost in terms of efficiency. I hadn't even heard of many of the cars that made this list. Are some of the models just sold in overseas markets and not in the United States?
A better measure would be a cost of "fuel" per mile based on a stated cost of fuel. By fuel I am talking gasoline and electricity. Since both vary by location, all you would have to do is compare your price to the standard to get your cost per mile. This is what is important anyway. The measures we do have were born of a time when cost was not as big an issue. The question was more how many far can I go before I need to fill up.
I did notice that most of the vehicles in your slide show were small vehicles. There are a couple of mid-sized cars, and that is good. It is in the mid and large size vehicle that we really need to cut comsumption.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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