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.
Savin' Money at the Pump
Toyota’s Prius has become the go-to vehicle for people looking to save money at the gas pump. Sure, it looks like an alien science project gone wrong and its driving dynamics are less fun than a trip to the ER, but this car’s groundbreaking combination of high technology, phenomenal fuel economy and unimpeachable reliability have made it a perennial favorite.
There’s a new smart for two coming and that’s great news.
Made in Germany ... Except Not
Cultural stereotypes aside, Germany is known for its advanced technology, engineering prowess and top-quality manufacturing. The land of beer, bratwurst and BMW is especially famed for its automobiles, which are renowned the world over for their driving dynamics and Autobahn-proven performance.
So Long, Summer
Like memories of band camp August is dead and buried. Regrettably the eighth month of the year didn’t go quietly; it took summer down with it. Sure, the season’s not officially over but we’re too emotionally devastated about the loss to care. At least new-vehicle sales in the U.S. were strong.
The next Smart ForTwo and ForFour are scheduled to be revealed later today, but images of the cars meant to showcase their JBL speaker systems are revealing them early.
April Showers Bring Sales Power
After one of the worst winters in recent memory America’s northern extremities are finally starting to thaw out. In addition to longer days, spring is also bringing warmer temperatures as the sun wakes up from hibernation. But were April car sales as nice? Did better weather get more people in the mood… to buy a car, that is?
All told automakers sold nearly 1.4 million new vehicles in April, an increase of about 8 percent compared to the same month last year. The change was modest but headed in the right direction, and that’s what matters.
For the first four months of 2014 deliveries have topped 5.1 million units. That’s approximately a 3 percent increase compared to the same time period last year. Again that’s small but really there’s nothing to complain about. Here’s a list of top-performing brands along with the companies that didn’t do as well.
The folks at Daimler’s smart division revealed a new concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Supposedly their forjoy design study is a forerunner to a next-generation car.
The 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is just days away and more automakers are teasing what they’re going to be revealing at the event. Getting in on the action, smart released photos of and information about an electric concept they’ll be unveiling in Germany next week.
Three unloved vehicles battle it out
We are back with the latest installment of ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’ where this week the choices will make you cringe with indecision.
Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Non-Hybrid Cars
People buy hybrids because they think the “H” word is synonymous with fuel savings. While that’s true, hybrid appeal leaves a wide grey area between mildly improved mpgs and real returns at the pump, not to mention the higher cost of entry into the gasoline-electric segment.
Toyota’s success with the Prius often leads people to believe that anything called a hybrid offers immensely improved fuel economy. Not so. Take the Honda Insight. It even looks like a Prius, but the two are on different planes.
Then there’s the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, which gathered negative press and was even named the most “disliked car” of 2012 by Fortune magazine.
Why is everyone gaga for hybrids when many would be happy with reasonable mileage? The mystery remains, but in the spirit of spending less time at the pump, AutoGuide has compiled a list of the 10 most fuel-efficient non-hybrid cars of 2013.
The list excludes electric cars and uses EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimated average fuel economy figures.
Disclaimer: As many know, the EPA’s utopian estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt. This story uses them for consistency. Please don’t write angry letters if your car falls short.
Honorable mentions: both the Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Cruze Clean Diesel deserve to be mentioned. The diesel Cruze will be available in dealers soon and according to the EPA, offers 46 mpg on the highway, but falls just short of the list for combined fuel economy. In the same way, the Cruze Eco uses clever gearing and cuts weight to save gas.
Denver will become the 10th North American city with car2go service on June 8 when the Daimler subsidiary begins offering its car sharing service there.
Affordable and Practical
When it comes to the most affordable hatchback, there’s quite a few options out there. Unlike the Honda GEAR concept pictured above (which could preview a new affordable subcompact for the Japanese brand) all the cars on this list are easily attainable, and are competitively priced. Our top ten is seperated by a slim $4,000 margin from cheapest to most expensive. Check out the whole list, and see which cheap hatchback is the right choice for you!
Because Creativity is Overrated
What’s the most important step a manufacturer undertakes when creating a new car? Building a great chassis? Getting the interior ergonomics right? Providing the perfect drivetrain to complement the new product? Nope. All wrong. The really, really important factor for any new car is getting the name right.
All joking aside, a vehicle’s name is very important. Slap a clever name on a car and it can help boost sales. Conversely, choose a bad name for a vehicle, like Probe or Dictator, and it can hurt sales. Manufacturers spend a lot of time and money analyzing potential model names.
Well, that’s usually what happens, but sometimes, the creativity well runs dry. Every now and then a new vehicle receives a name that leaves us all wondering: “Really? That’s all they could think of?” Not to get confused with naming conventions that are just lazy, like Mazda’s numbered sequence or Mercedes-Benz’s lettered sequence. No, we are referring to model names that give the perception maybe the marketing team forgot to show up one day and the engineers were left in charge of naming the new ride. “We are pleased to announce the latest from Hyonbaru Motors, ‘The Car!” Don’t laugh, some the following models are even worse.