Browsing all articles from May, 2013
May
25

A Look at Fuel Efficient Trucks: 2013 Chevy Silverado 15 Hybrid vs. 2013 GMC Sierra 15 Hybrid

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags
2013 Chevy Silverado Hybrid

2013 Chevy Silverado Hybrid

In these times of high gas prices, fuel efficiency has become one of the most sought after aspects in a new vehicle. Even pickup trucks like the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra have had to create more options based on fuel economy to stay competitive in today’s market.

Engine Size

The Chevy Silverado 15 Hybird sports a beefy 8.0L V8 engine while the GMC Sierra 15 hybrid offers up a 4.3L V6. However, more expensive trims of the Sierra have larger engines, like a 6.3L V8.

Basic Fuel Efficiency

The Silverado Hybrid offers 21 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined fuel efficiency. The GMC Sierra comes up a little short with 17 mp city, 20 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined efficiency. The average efficiency for vehicles produced for the 2013 production year is 23 mpg, higher than both these trucks. This means, if fuel prices remain at the current level or close, you will spend $1,000 more on gas over a five year period with the 2013 Chevy Silverado and $4,250 more with the GMC Sierra, than if you were to choose a smaller hybrid.

Environmental Impact

The 2013 Chevy Silverado 15 hybrid will burn through 15.7 barrels of gasoline on average in a year. One barrel of gasoline is equivalent to 42 gallons of gas. It will also create 418 grams of greenhouse gas per mile. The GMC Sierra will burn through 19.4 barrels of gasoline in a year and produce about 533 grams per mile of greenhouse gases. This means in a 10-year ownership period, the Sierra will have produced 1,150 more grams per mile than the Silverado and will have burned through 37 more barrels or 1,554 more gallons of gasoline.

Safety Ratings

The Silverado and the Sierra have essentially identical safety ratings: four star ratings in front safety, five stars in side impact safety, and four star ratings in roll over safety, for an overall four out of five safety rating.

Final Verdict?

While both vehicles are solid trucks, the 2013 Chevy Silverado is simply the better choice for somebody interested in fuel efficiency and limiting their environmental impact while still being able to tow and haul like a pickup should.

May
20

Fuel Efficient Large Cars

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags
2013 Ford C-MAX

2013 Ford C-MAX

In our last blog post, we looked at a couple two-seat Smart Fortwo models. This time we’ll turn to the larger, fuel efficient brothers. Most people these days want superior fuel economy, but most need more space than one of those tiny European imports. Let’s take a look at the affordable Ford C-MAX Hybrid and the luxury electric Tesla Model S.

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is a wagon-type car introduced in late 2012 as a lower-priced competitor of the Chevrolet Volt—it starts at $25,200—for those interested in cars like the Toyota Prius. Ford’s hybrid has a 2.0L four-cylinder capable of 141 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid part of it, the electric motor and lithium-ion battery, bring power up to 188 hp. It also has a CVT (continuously variable transmission) which boosts fuel economy.

The C-MAX Hybrid gets 47 mpg in both city and the highway. There’s also a more expensive plug-in hybrid version, called the C-MAX Energi, which can travel 21 miles on electric power.

The 2013 Tesla Model S

Tesla is a relative newcomer to the car scene. Their goal is to try to promote electric car technology, even collaborating with other automakers to do so. Right now, they offer the 2013 Tesla Model S, which is about as high end for an electric car as you can get. It starts at just under $70,000, but you could easily spend $100,000 for the higher trims.

What’s very nice about the Model S is that it offers the option of four different powertrains with more range and power as you go. The most basic level produces a very nice 235 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque that can take you to 60 mph in only 6.5 seconds. This one has a range of about 125 miles.

The best option has a range of 265 miles, and it’s super powerful. The Tesla Model S Performance has access to 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, which can take it from zero to 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds. All models can be charged through normal outlets, and Tesla is also building charging stations across the country to promote cross-country trips.

May
16

Fuel Efficient Two Seat Cars

Author JoeC    Category Smart Cars     Tags
Smart cars make city driving easy!

Smart cars make city driving easy!

In this crummy economy, people are looking for fuel efficient hybrids, alternative energy vehicles, and smaller cars. One of the vehicles you’re likely seeing more of on the streets are those two-seat Smart cars. Officially called the Smart Fortwo, these tiny cars are fun commuters and perfect for squeezing into tight city parking spots. Smart Automobile is owned by Daimler AG who also own Mercedes Benz and Chrysler. Let’s take a look at the fuel efficiency of their Cabriolet and all-electric models.

The 2013 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet

The benefit of a small car is it only needs a small engine to propel it. The Cabriolet comes with a 1.0L three-cylinder engine capable of 70 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque. You’re not going to go racing in one of these—its top speed is 90 mph—but it’s enough to get you to work every day or navigate around an urban environment. It does take 14.1 seconds to get up to 60 mph, but most drivers aren’t going to choose this if they do a lot of highway driving anyway.

In terms of fuel economy, these vehicles get 34 mpg city and 38 mpg highway, which is going to really help with a commute. The Smart Fortwo has an 8.7 gallon fuel tank and takes premium fuel.

The 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Coupe

If you’re only planning on driving a Smart car around the city or to work—it’s not like you would be taking a road trip in one of these—then it might make sense to go electric. Electricity costs only about $0.96 for every 25 miles; in comparison, that’s $2.66 with premium gasoline.

The Smart Electric Coupe comes with a 55 kilowatt electric motor that’s powered by a lithium-ion battery. The engine produces 47 hp and 96 lb-ft torque and has a “burst mode” that can get it to 70 hp. It can actually reach 60 mph in less time than the gas version, 11.5 seconds, but can only go up to 78 mph.

In terms of fuel economy, the vehicle is rated at 122 mpg city and 93 mpg highway with its electric motor. On a full charge, it will go 68 miles, which is plenty for commuters and city crawlers.