Browsing all articles from September, 2013
Sep
30

The Most Fuel Efficient Crossovers on the Market Today

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers, Fuel Efficiency     Tags

One of the reasons that crossover SUVs have supplanted full-size truck-based SUVs in many American households is their fuel economy. As gas prices show no signs of ever 2013 Nissan Jukedropping, fuel efficiency has become a high-priority for just about everyone. The more miles per gallon your vehicle gets, the less you spend at the pump, and the less CO2 emissions you throw into the atmosphere. But we can’t all drive hybrids subcompacts – and that’s where crossovers come in. Here’s a list of the most fuel efficient crossovers currently available:

  1. The Toyota RAV4 EV: There just aren’t any vehicles that can beat the RAV4 EV – unfortunately, unless you live in California, you can’t buy one either. If you are so lucky as to track down one of the few that were made, you’ll see a combined 76 mpg equivalent rating.
  2. The Lexus RX 450h: This premium crossover is the best performing hybrid with a 30 mpg combined rating from the EPA. It’s also a powerful, refined, and luxurious choice, that, if you can afford it, will easily meet just about anyone’s needs.
  3. The Nissan Juke: The Juke is small, and it makes no bones about it. While the small size may restrict cargo capacity somewhat it also helps the turbocharged four-cylinder Juke to yield 29 mpg combined.
  4. The Mazda CX-5: This crossover uses the Mazda SkyActiv direct injection engine to achieve an impressive 29 mpg combined. It’s a well balanced blend of style, performance, and comfort.
  5. The Toyota Highland Hybrid: The Highlander is a big vehicle, with seating for seven, but with a hybrid powertrain, it yields fuel economy numbers that put smaller traditional SUVs to shame: 28 mpg combined.
  6. The Subaru XV Crosstrek: This distinctive SUV clocks in at 28 mpg, but for what it’s worth, that’s an estimate with all-wheel drive. Many vehicles on this list get their best fuel economy with only front wheel drive. A hybrid version of the XV Crosstrek is slated for 2014 release, so look out for that.
  7. The Ford Escape: When equipped with the EcoBoost turbocharged 1.6L engine this crossover yields 28 mpg combined.
  8. The Buick Encore: Another American choice, this compact crossover also gets 28 mpg combined.
  9. The BMW X1: The BMW X1 is the smallest SUV available from the German maker, and clocks in at 28 mpg combined.
  10.  The Mini Cooper Paceman: This little crossover also has BMW genes. It yields 27 mpg combined in the most fuel efficient version.
Sep
18

The Best Cars For Big Families

Author JoeC    Category Family Cars     Tags

If you have a big family you know that trying to pack everyone into an inappropriate vehicle is a nightmare. Here are a few vehicles that can make everything from the trip 2014 Odyssey 3to the grocery store to the cross-country tour that much easier for you and your brood!

  1. The Honda Odyssey: With smart features like easily folding seats, available vacuum cleaner, a fuel efficient 3.5L V6, and plenty of space for you, your family, and your luggage, the Odyssey is an easy choice. It’s far from the least expensive minivan on the market, however.
  2. The Toyota Sienna: Toyota’s minivan costs a bit less than Odyssey, but packs almost the same amount of comfort, convenience, and efficiency. Some standard features include leather seats, and plenty of storage.
  3. The Toyota Highland Hybrid: With a fantastic fuel economy rating of 28 mpg combined based on EPA estimates, it’s hard to imagine a more economical vehicle for large families than this three row crossover.
  4. The Lincoln MKT: This upscale crossover gives you three rows of seating and a long list of standard features, along with something that most family haulers can’t boast: style.
  5. The Chevrolet Suburban: This long running truck-based SUV is ideal for those who really do need a ton of space and many many tons of towing capacity. The Suburban can also tackle some off-road terrain if necessary and can seat up to nine with available bench seats.
  6. The Mazda Mazda5: This mini-minivan is perfect for families of up to six. It’s more maneuverable and more fuel efficient than many full-size minivans, but offers plenty of space inside!
  7. The Dodge Durango: The old Durango was a rugged, truck-based SUV, but the new model is a smooth riding, easy to drive, comfortable crossover, with three rows of seating.
  8. The Infiniti QX56: This luxury SUV comes packed with high-tech features, including available preventative safety features like adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, and collision warning systems. If safety is your first priority look out for these features.
  9. The Chevrolet Traverse: This three row crossover should be on every large family’s list. It offers convenient features like remote start and a parking aid standard.
  10. The Nissan Pathfinder: Much like the Durango and the Highlander, the Pathfinder has made the jump to a crossover format from its old truck-based setup. Nissan nailed the execution and the current Pathfinder is a comfortable, spacious, and stylish three row crossover.
Sep
3

Chevy Suburban vs. Ford Expedition

Author JoeC    Category Comparisons     Tags

The full-size SUV market has dwindled recently, as many drivers have switched over to the smoother ride of crossover utility vehicles. However, for the driver who still 2013 Ford Expedition 2needs to carry a lot of cargo while still having plenty of room for a large family, the full-size SUV still makes a lot of sense. There aren’t a lot of these models left on the market, but both Ford and Chevy still manufacture the best you can find. Let’s take a look at how the 2014 Chevy Suburban compares to the 2014 Ford Expedition.

Price

Full-size SUVs are never cheap, but the Ford Expedition comes with the lower starting price than the Suburban. A new Expedition has an MSRP of $39,075 while the Suburban is priced at $45,065. The question then is it worth it to pay more for the Suburban? Let’s see exactly what you’ll be getting.

Power and Capacity

If you’re looking for a work horse, then this is probably the most important category. Both engines come with a V8; Chevy’s 5.3L is capable of 320 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque while Ford’s 5.4L has an output of 310 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. That extra torque translates to a larger towing capacity: the Expedition can tow up to 9200 pounds while the Suburban can do 8100 pounds.

Before you discount the Suburban though, it does spoil you with choice. Both vehicles are Flex Fuel compatible, but the Suburban is more fuel efficient. It’s rated at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway (one better than the Expedition in both categories) and its gas tank holds three more gallons of gas, meaning fewer trips to the pump. The Suburban can also hold more cargo: 137.4 cubic feet vs. 108.3 cubic feet. That may make a big difference to some people.

Vehicle Features

That extra $6000 in the price tag does count for something as base Suburban models do offer a lot more features than the standard Expedition. You get Bluetooth, navigation, satellite radio, better seat materials, remote ignition, a rearview camera, and more. All of those are either optional or unavailable on the standard Expedition. If you’re very interested in features, then the Suburban may be the better buy.