AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
SUV + MPG
There was a time when shopping for an SUV meant giving up fuel economy in exchange for extra interior room and cargo space. While that still may be the case for some models, there are plenty of fuel efficient crossovers and SUVs available in today’s marketplace, some of which get over 30 MPG on the highway.
Compared to last year’s Top 10 list, fuel economy has gone up across the board. Just a year ago the most fuel efficient SUVs had a worst combined MPG rating of 25 while the best vehicle saw 30 MPG combined. This year, the most fuel efficient model stickers for 31 MPG combined while even models at the bottom of the list are posting a 2 MPG improvement to 27 MPG.
So if you’re in the market for a fuel efficient crossover or SUV then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve listed the Top 10 most efficient models, based on their combined city/highway rating.
As you know, (or at least you should) our (usually) weekly feature Ask AutoGuide is all about helping readers in need (or for our own amusement). People require vehicle-buying advice and we provide guidance (it’s in our name after all). Give and receive, that’s how it works; it’s just like Christmas except Old Saint AutoGuide shimmies down the chimney 52 times per year not just once in late December.
Green Cars Coming Your Way
Hybrid technology is improving at an impressive rate and is continuing to find its way into more and more vehicles.
A significant number of new and exciting hybrids are coming to market this year and early next. No, these aren’t all Prius wannabes. There are some interesting cars on the way, like the ultra efficient VW XL1 seen above. Check out some of these hybrid luxury sedans, rugged crossovers and even a pair of supercars.
If you’re not yet convinced to hop on the hybrid bandwagon, this should help. And if you already are, but haven’t found the right gas-electric vehicle for you, perhaps it’s coming soon to a dealership near you.
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is getting a mid-cycle refresh, despite launching a mere two years ago in the U.S. The refreshed 2013 Outlander Sport will make its debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show.
The Japanese automaker will be giving the crossover new front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and an upgraded interior. In addition, the rear suspension of the Outlander Sport will be fine-tuned along with its CVT. Under the hood, the 2.0L four-cylinder should remain with 148-hp.
Chances are, the redesigned Outlander Sport will have some design influences from the 2013 Outlander, which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. Out in Switzerland, Mitsubishi spoke about its new design language and said it was “still being formulated.” Perhaps we’ll get a clearer picture of where the Japanese automaker intends to go with the redesigned 2013 Outlander Sport.
Nonetheless, the Japanese automaker did a light update to their Outlander Sport for the 2012 model year and the small crossover recently earned an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top safety award. The 2012 Outlander Sport received the highest score of “Good” in front-, side-impact, rear, and roof-strength crash tests.
IIHS did stress that the award only pertains to the 2012 model, where Mitsubishi strengthened the roof in order to improve rollover protection. In addition to the new roof, Mitsubishi also made some updates to quiet the cabin and recalibrated the transmission.
The unveiling of the new Outlander also symbolizes the beginning of an all-new generation of vehicles from Mitsubishi, where the Japanese automaker hopes to become a greener and more global brand. If you’re wondering why the new Outlander looks so different than other Mitsubishi creations in the past, wonder no more. You’re looking at the new design language from the Japanese automaker, which they say is “still being formulated.” (We hope so).
While the new Outlander is exciting and all, the more exciting news is the fact that it’ll be Mitsubishi’s first model to sport their EV-based plug-in hybrid (P-HEV) system. The Outlander with P-HEV is essentially an electric vehicle but is supplanted by a gasoline engine when needed – much like how Chevrolet is branding its Volt these days in their commercials.
What makes it different though is that it’ll be the first permanent 4WD electric car in series production, and thanks to its unique drivetrain combination of a front electric motor with rear electric motor, plus front engine, drivers will have the choice of three driving modes to choose from. There will be a Pure mode, which utilizes a Twin Motor 4WD EV setup, while the Series mode is a Twin Motor 4WD EV supported by an internal combustion engine (ICE). Lastly is the Parallel mode, which is the Twin Motor 4WD EV supplemented by a FWD-powered ICE.
The P-HEV system will allow the Outlander to travel 31 miles in 4WD electric mode alone. But the versatility that the Outlander offers is what might attract buyers to Mitsubishi’s new system. Drivers will be able to control the use of battery power and when they want to focus more on battery charging.
Standard engine options for the new Outlander will be a 2.0L gasoline engine with 147-hp and 144 lb-ft of torque. A 2.2L DiD Clean Diesel is also available with 147-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque with a manual transmission, or 265 lb-ft of torque with an automatic.
No pricing was announced yet for the new Outlander, but we’ll be sure to catch more when the vehicle gets officially unveiled on the show floor.
GALLERY: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander
Contrary to public belief, Mitsubishi still sells cars in America. And the company is hard at work on hybrid technology: they are planning to sell three electric versions of their vehicles: the i-MiEV, the Outlander, and the Outlander Sport.
The kidney-shaped i-MiEV is already available in America, and is fully electric-powered. But the other two vehicles will likely be plug-in hybrids: the compact Outlander Sport will be introduced first, while the larger Outlander will be available globally in 2013.
Like PBS, Mitsubishi is looking to be known as The Electric Company: by 2015 they aim to have eight vehicles that are either fully-electric or plug-in hybrids. To start things off, the i-MiEV will be available early next year across the country.
[Source: NZ Herald]
Mitsubishi is killing both its Endeavor crossover and Eclipse coupe and convertible due to slow sales, with both vehicles scheduled to die off in August.
The Endeavor never found much love amongst car buyers, but the Eclipse has a long history in the performance car segment, even if its moved further away from its original formula with each generation. Mitsubishi also announced the end of their famous Lancer Evolution sports car, and will eventually trim their model lineup to the Lancer, Outlander, Outlander Sport and Galant. Mitsubishi will also introduce the all electric i in limited numbers in late 2011.
Mitsubishi‘s American plant will transition from making less-than-thrilling cars like the Eclipse and Endeavor SUV to producing vehicles for the global market.
The transition will occur in 2014 as part of its new business plan. The vehicles will share a common platform with the Lancer compact car and Outlander crossover. Along with the Eclipse and Endeavor, the Galant mid-size sedan will also be axed.
Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said that an onslaught of all-new product will be made available to replace the discontinued vehicles. Osamu was vague with details but said that the “global small car” previewed this month would make it, along with the fully electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which would inexplicably be called “i powered by MiEV” in America. In addition to the i-MiEV, Mitsubishi is hoping to launch 8 EVs or plug-in hybrids by 2016.
[Source: Automotive News]
Mitsubishi‘s mid-size offerings, already long in the tooth and outdated, may have to soldier on to 2013, after which point they will be unceremoniously executed as Mitsubishi shifts its focus from heavy, lumbering mid-size cars to small vehicles and electric powertrains.
Mitsubishi is currently lacking in capital, and is investing all of its cash in the development of a new global small car, that is slated to be production-ready by late 2012. Until then, the U.S. Mitsubishi range will undergo no changes, save for the introduction of the Outlander Sport and iMIEV.
With no mainstream product in sight for another years, it will be a tough road for Mitsubishi to keep selling cars in the United States as the competition gets better and better.
A little over a month after the new Outlander Sport SUV (known as the ASX or RVR in the rest of the world) took a bow at the New York Auto Show, Mitsubishi has announced that it will be giving a variation of the sharp-looking crossover to Peugeot and Citroen, two companies which have had a long alliance with the Japanese automaker.
The Peugeot/Citroen variant will come with a very European 1.6-liter diesel engine, and the choice of either front or four-wheel-drive. Expected to launch in 2012, Peugeot and Citroen expect to move a combined 50,000 units per year, with the companies forecasting a 60% growth in SUV sales by 2015. While Europe is not usually thought of as hot spot for SUVs, compact crossovers (like this small, diesel powered model) are a hit and the ASX could potentially be a popular vehicle for locales with tight, winding streets and high fuel prices.
Official release after the jump: