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10. (TIE) 3-Series Hybrid, Mercedes E400 Hybrid, Infiniti M35h, Buick LaCrosse/Regal eAssist: 29 mpg
Who is to say that luxury car buyers aren’t affected by high gas prices? If you want to drive in comfort, style, and have the latest high tech goodies in a car, you shouldn’t have to pay more at the pump for it. Here are our picks for the top 10 most fuel friendly luxury cars, ranked in order of their combined city/highway mpg numbers.
Quite a few luxury cars hit the 29 mpg mark combined. The most impressive of the bunch is the Buick LaCrosse, which manage to get solid fuel economy, despite its bigger size. The Infiniti, Mercedes and BMW vehicles make do with a high-power pairing of a six-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which gives the end result of over 300-hp.
The Buicks use a mild hybrid system called eAssist which pairs a 2.4L four-cylinder engine with a conventional automatic, and a compact lithium ion battery to get its impressive fuel economy numbers.
The Lincoln brand might have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to competing in the luxury segment, but perhaps they’re on to something with hybrids. According to some recent figures released by the Ford luxury arm, a total of 394 MKZ Hybrids were sold in February, over a fifth (22 percent to be exact), of total MKZ sales that totaled 1,774.
There’s good reason for the preference, namely that the 41/36-mpg (city/hwy) car is priced identically to the non-hybrid model at $35,180.
By comparison, the mechanically-similar Ford Fusion Hybrid sold 1,379 units in February, with its much higher sticker price relative to the rest of the Fusion lineup meaning it accounted for just 6 percent of overall sales.
Green Car Journal has announced its candidates for its Green Car Of The Year award, with the five car field being composed of some pretty serious competition,
Naturally, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are the leading contenders, with the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid rounding out the field, and the Ford Fiesta being the sole nominee that runs solely on a gasoline engine and no electric components. Regardless, the Fiesta can still get 40 mpg on the highway, making it a worthy candidate.
The winner will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November
Hit the jump to see the official press release
[Source: Green Car Journal]
The finalists for the 2011 Green Car of the Year award have been announced and unlike in years past there’s a lot of competition, not to mention a lot at stake. Some serious heavyweights are on the list for 2011 including the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. Other finalists include the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Interestingly, the Ford Fiesta has also made it through to the top five and is the only vehicle of the group that doesn’t incorporate some sort of electric drive. Notably absent this year are any diesel offerings.
The Leaf is touted as the world’s first mass-production electric car with a 100 mile range, while the Volt is able to travel anywhere from 20-50 miles on electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to charge the battery packs and add an additional 300 mile range. Lincolns MKZ Hybrid is rated at 41/36-mpg (city/highway), while the Sonata Hybrid achieves 37/40-mpg. As for the Fiesta, it can achieve up to 40-mpg on the highway using conventional internal combustion technology.
“These five 2011 Green Car of the Year finalists reflect an auto industry in transition,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. “It wasn’t long ago when electric drive was a novelty. Now, it’s expected that auto manufacturers will include electric drive in some form among their model offerings.”
According to the Green Car Journal nominees, “must stand out as exemplary models that forward environmental performance in meaningful and quantifiable ways,” while the “newness” of the technology and its ability to penetrate the market are also important.
The winner of the 2011 Green Car of the Year award will be chosen by a panel of judges that include Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society and Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA. And let’s not forget Jay Leno and Carroll Shelby and the editors of the Green Car Journal.
The winner of the award will be announced at the LA Auto Show on November 18th. We do, however, suggest you take the announcement of the winner with a grain of salt, as last year’s winner was Audi A3 TDI.
Official release after the jump:
Lincoln‘s MKZ Hybrid will be priced identical to the least expensive V6, giving consumers a strong incentive to opt for the 2.5L four-cylinder hybrid. The hybrid retails for #35,180, the same sticker as the front-drive V6 model, and a few hundred dollars less than a Lexus HS250h.
The MKZ, based on Ford’s much acclaimed Fusion Hybrid, gets 41 mpg in the city, 6 mpg better than the Lexus, while coming in a more conventional looking wrapper. The fuel economy bump is a definite advantage, but the lack of a distinct look for the hybrid may be a detriment – after all, many people choose the Toyota Prius just so they can let the world know that they are driving a hybrid.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Posting identical numbers to its sister car, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Lincoln MKZ has garnered an identical EPA rating of 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
This might be a snooze to some, but the MKZ Hybrid bests its nearest rival, the Lexus HS250h, by 6 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. The MKZ Hybrid is also a much more discrete looking vehicle, which may or may not work in Lincoln’s favor. We’ll find out when the car goes on sale this fall.
Earlier today Lincoln announced plans to introduce a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan, which has now just been officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show. Based on the same platform as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, the MKZ Hybrid also uses the same hybrid drivetrain to achieve an impressive 41/36 mpg (city/highway)
Ford’s plan with the car is that the hybrid buzz will get buyers into Lincoln showrooms and hopefully even draw over buyers from Lexus showrooms and away from the HS250h – the car’s main competitor. Plus, as the MKZ Hybrid uses the same hybrid setup found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the higher asking price and profit margin on Lincoln products will put more money in Ford’s coffers.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes with plenty of standard technology and safety systems, such as a reverse sensing system, heated and cooled front seats, Ford’s MyKey system and SYNC. Plus it gets a version of the SmartGauge with EcoGuide on the dash. Lincoln is hoping all this will help it compete with the Lexus HS. It might not have the craftsmanship, but the larger and more functional MKZ Hybrid is also more fuel efficient.
Pricing will be released later this year when the car officially goes on sale.
GALLERY: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid World Premiere in New York
Official release after the jump:
While Ford has poured a lot of money into the Lincoln brand over the past few years, with new products and designs, the Blue Oval hasn’t seen much return on its investment. Now, however, it may just have a plan that could work: It’s called the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and it just so happens to be the most fuel efficient luxury car in America.
Ford is not only hoping the hybrid buzz will get buyers into Lincoln showrooms, but its hoping that right now it can conquest sales from Lexus. Plus, as the MKZ Hybrid uses the same hybrid setup found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the higher asking price and profit margin on Lincoln products will put more money in Ford’s coffers.
As mentioned, this is the very setup found in the Fusion, which shares its platform with the MKZ and Mercury Milan. So it’s not exactly new, but that doesn’t mean it’s not impressive. Remember, the engine won awards in the Fusion and is still one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road with a 41/36 mpg (city/highway) rating. That being said, it out-greens the Lexus HS250h (its closest competitor) by a considerable margin.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid will also come with plenty of standard technology and safety systems, such as a reverse sensing system, heated and cooled front seats, Ford’s MyKey system and SYNC. Plus it gets a version of the SmartGauge with EcoGuide on the dash. Lincoln is hoping all this will help it compete with the Lexus HS, however, we doubtful the Lincoln can compare to the Lexus’ luxury and build quality not to mention the fact that the Lexus also offers some truly impressive (if expensive) technology features. What the MKZ offers, however, is better fuel economy and more usable space.
The real competitor for the MKZ Hybrid may just remain its two siblings, which have always drawn customers down market with similar product offerings at a lower price point.
One of the biggest factors will be the car’s price, which Ford says will be released later this year when the MKZ Hybrid officially goes on sale.
Lincoln will officially debut the car later today at the New York Auto Show and AutoGuide will be on hand to bring you more info and plenty of live photos.
For up-to-date New York Auto Show coverage, see the link below:
GALLERY: 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Official release after the jump:
Lincoln will debut a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show later this week, according to a report by The Detroit News. No details on the hybrid Lincoln are available, but it’s expected to share the same hybrid format used in the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid, where it gets 41/36 mpg (city/highway) and can operate on electric power at speeds up to 47 mph.
The MKZ Hybrid will be the first hybrid in the Lincoln lineup and Ford hopes it will be an attractive offer to those in search of a luxury hybrid. Currently, affordable luxury hybrids are rate, with the only other competitor being the Lexus HS250h, which only gets 35/34 mpg (city/highway).
Unfortunately for Ford, the company only has a limited number of hybrid drivetrains that it can produce. That means every Lincoln MKZ Hybrid built is a Ford Fusion Hybrid that isn’t built. Fortunately for Ford, until it can produce more hybrid drivetrains, the higher dollar value of the Lincoln should equate to higher profits.
The real question will be if hybrid Lincolns, like the rest of the Lincoln lineup, sell at all.
We’ll be sure to bring you more details with full 2010 New York Auto Show coverage starting March 31st.
Click the link below on or after March 31st for live updates.
[Source: The Detroit News]