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Top 10 Large Sedans With the Greatest Range
There’s something magical about going on a road trip. Whether it’s the allure of visiting a far-flung destination or just the call of the highway, piling into a car and eating up miles satiates mankind’s wanderlust.
Of course some vehicles are better for long-distance drives than others. A quiet interior, comfortable seats and smooth ride are prerequisites, but plentiful cup holders and storage spaces for snacks can’t hurt, either.
In a lot of ways large sedans were tailor-made for cross-country trips. They’re roomy, relatively efficient and don’t beat you up like a race-prepared Miata. Last week we examined 10 such cars, ranking them based on trunk space. This week we’re comparing those same four-doors but focusing on driving range.
We took each car’s EPA highway fuel-economy rating and multiplied it by the total gallons of fuel in their respective tanks to arrive at a maximum possible range. So, which of these full-figured cars is the ultimate bladder-buster? Click ahead to find out!
The distinction between a hybrid and a range-extended hybrid is still confusing to some people, and GM’s European branch, Vauxhall, is getting in some hot water after misleading people in ads for the Ampera, sister car to the Volt.
Something might be amiss in the world when bringing battery technology up to par is considered a “game changer” as GM CEO Dan Akerson described it in an employee meeting, but then again maybe not.
Ford recently announced the EPA fuel efficiency rating for its electric Focus model. Since it doesn’t burn any gasoline, the number isn’t in miles per gallon (MPG), but was given as miles per gallon gasoline equivalent, or MPGe. A new term to the automotive lexicon, it’s worth exploring exactly what MPGe means and how an MPGe rating is determined, especially as the number of electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids on the roads continues to increase.
The BEV, which isn’t named yet, will share underpinnings with the Nissan Leaf, but with more emphasis on power and aggressive styling.
“It was designed to be a luxury vehicle first and an electric vehicle second,” Infiniti marketing manager Sam Chung told The Detroit Bureau.
As Nissan’s second electric-only car, it underscores the value placed on such vehicles by the automaker. While ideas surrounding the car’s styling are little more than speculation, we’re wondering how much the Emerg-E concept that debuted in Geneva earlier this month might come into play.
Infiniti’s BEV will, however, adopt the mid-cycle changes headed for the Leaf. Those include an improved electric cabin heater that will be less taxing on the car’s battery, improving range and cold weather driving. The update will also bring an improved battery with better range, though the same principles apply to BEVs as do gasoline engines: the more output, the poorer the range.
Given that, it seems like the better battery will at least make it into the car if not as an even beefier version, but that coupled with a performance-first attitude suggests the vehicle’s range will probably be compromised.
Still, the new BEV will adopt an updated 6 kw charger, over the current-generation Leaf’s 3 kw charger, which will offer improved charging times, both to new Leaf customers and those interested in the more luxurious Infiniti.
We’ll be reporting live from New York next month, so check back for more details as they become available.
“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer for the Focus Electric. “The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency.”
The company’s first foray into all-electric vehicles achieves a stated 110-mpge city and a 105-mpge combined, giving a six mile-per-gallon equivalent advantage over the Leaf. It seems unlikely that those extra miles would come into play very often, though.
Range anxiety will probably be enough to keep most EV drivers reasonably far from exhausting their charge, or even testing the extra range claims that differentiates the Focus.
Instead, it really wins over the Leaf by offering more interior space, half the charging time and the chance to blend in with other cars if you don’t always want to brandish the green cars cause.
Ford is positioning itself to have a lineup of efficiency-minded cars with the 2013 Fusion getting a 1.6-liter EcoBoost with a projected 37-mpg highway consumption rating.
Ford says that will round out their lineup with 10 fuel-efficiency leaders across various segments. It’s important to note that the Focus beats Nissan but still isn’t the most efficient EV available. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV gets 112 mpge combined or 126 city.
UPDATE: The Focus Electric has a 76-mile range on a single charge.
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is paid to piss you off, it’s what he does best. Maybe someone should have forwarded the memo to Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk.
Musk probably should have taken Top Gear’s pot shots with a laugh and kept doing business, but it’s easy to understand why he might be feeling defensive. His company keeps hitting nasty potholes in the road to success, like the “bricking” problem that apparently compromises the battery system in Tesla vehicles, a costly repair.
This Top Gear drama started back to December 2008 when the show gave a mixed review to the Tesla Roadster. Their program said the car failed to meet its advertised 200-mile range, instead only achieving 55 miles. That figure came from running it on a track where any vehicle would have less than optimal range, electric or otherwise. They also bashed the Roadster for having deficient brakes.
Brakes and range aside, it’s essential to remember that Top Gear is first and foremost an entertainment program. The episode depicted crew members pushing a “dead” roadster into a hangar, though the facts emerged during Tesla’s lawsuit. Surprise, surprise, the car wasn’t dead and the shot was used for effect.
This isn’t terribly dissimilar to the infamous Bugatti Veyron versus McLaren F1 drag race episode, where the show managed to eek out a Veyron victory, only after several F1 first-place finishes. Again, Top Gear is for show first, reporting second.
British Justice Tugendhat threw Tesla’s claims out in October, 2011, saying the company’s lawyers needed to amend their malicious falsehood claims.
The final chapter, (one would assume), in this one-way pissing match closed today. Justice Tugendhat dismissed Tesla’s revised claim which said there were “reasonable grounds to suspect that each of the Claimants [Top Gear] had intentionally and significantly misrepresented the range of the Roadster by claiming that it had a range of about 200 miles in that its true range on the Top Gear track was only 55 miles”.
Hopefully Tesla can move past this cat fight and focus more on the bricking issue at hand. Small car startups have enough problems without taking British TV bullies to court.
Check out Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussing the Top Gear episode in the video after the jump.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
Has Nissan already cracked the range sweet spot of electric vehicles? According to Mark Perry, director of product planning and strategy for Nissan North America, Nissan Leaf drivers average a distance of 37 miles in a single day. Moreover, the average length of a single trip is a short seven miles. According to these findings, Nissan Leaf’s current 70-plus mile range is already more than necessary for day to day use and a long range EV isn’t necessary says Perry.
The findings are derived from daily use cycles of approximately 7,500 Leafs in the United States as well as data from the Department of Energy’s EV project. They also prove consistent with data from conventional gasoline powered cars, which shows that 72 percent of Americans drive less than 40 miles per day and 95 percent drive less than 100 miles per day.
GALLERY: Nissan Leaf