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Tagged : suvs

Green Test Drive: 2011 Scion xB

February 11th, 2011

The Scion xB is a funky, frugal urban utility vehicle with remarkable interior roominess and quirky charm. But this automotive trendsetter – it was the first starkly boxy compact, paving the way for the Nissan Cube and others – could use some updates beyond the minor changes found in the 2011 Scion xB.

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 158 horsepower powers the Scion xB. The engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The combination provides serviceable uummph for daily driving but fuel economy isn’t what you might expect these days for a car this size. In an era when more efficient six-speed automatic transmissions or continuously variable transmission are common, use of the trailing edge technology costs you at the pump. The EPA estimates the fuel economy of the 2011 Scion xB to be 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg in highway driving. We got just over 24 mpg in a mix of backroads cruising and stop-and-go shopping trips.

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Battle of the boxes: Rating a new generation from Kia and Nissan

July 24th, 2009

By Clint Williams
Green Right Now

There is a reason big, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles continue to crowd parking lots. SUVs are eminently practical – capable of hauling any combination of people and stuff. There is plenty of storage space for snacks and wipes and coloring books and CDs and on and on.

The downside to such handiness: horrific fuel economy.

But there is a new breed of vehicle that offers much of the practicality of a big SUV and boasts 30 mpg, give or take. Can you chauffeur six soccer players to practice? No, but you can shuttle four. And how often are you filling up an SUV cargo hold with lumber or bales of pine straw?

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A guide to ‘Cash for Clunkers’

July 8th, 2009

By Clint Williams
Green Right Now

Desperate automobile dealers are slashing sticker prices, passing on rebates and offering zero percent financing to move metal, making this a good time to buy a new car. And the good times are about to get better thanks to the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program kicking off later this month.

The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) signed into law last month is designed to help car makers and the environment by providing vouchers of $3,500 to $4,500 toward the purchase of a new vehicle in exchange for a gas-guzzling clunker. The program essentially inflates the trade-in value of older cars and trucks, providing drivers an incentive to go ahead and buy a new, more fuel-efficient rig right now.

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GM’s 20/20 vision

February 18th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

There’s a chart on fueleconomy.gov that’s a graphic illustration of what happened to GM. The chart is a compilation of 2009 hybrid vehicles. It lists 27 hybrid vehicles in descending order from the highest mileage cars to the lowest.

At the top of the chart, perch some of the highest mileage vehicles available on the market, the Toyota Prius, the Honda Civic and the Nissan Altima. The top two clock in at 40 mpg and up. The Altima at 33-35 mpg.

The lowest mileage vehicles reside at the bottom of the chart. And the bottom five are all GM products: The GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado and Cadillac Escalade.

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