2014 Electric Cars in the USA: Here’s the new lineup

As the U.S. government continues to promote cleaner vehicles and offer subsidies for both personal and public charging stations as well as for environmentally friendly cars themselves, we expect the number of EVs and their market availability to increase. New additions to dealerships include: Chevrolet Spark EV, Honda Accord plug-in hybrid, Honda FCX Clarity, Porsche Panamera, Smart Electric Drive, Tesla Model X, and Think Electric.

This list includes all vehicles that have a significant all-electric range, both pure EVs and plug-in hybrids. If you are interested in purchasing a non plug-in hybrid, look for our upcoming 2014 U.S. hybrid car lineup.

Note: All retail costs listed exclude federal tax credits. You can find more information about the credits here at the Fuel Efficient Vehicle Tax Incentive Information Center.

Alvarez Electric Motors Company

In the fall of 2013, Alvarez Electric Motors began selling short-range (30-40 miles) all-electric commuter cars, trucks, and vans in select California dealerships. See the story here: Alvarez electric vehicles. The vehicles range in price from $10,000 to $18,000 and have a max speed of 25 mph. The company expects to bring a motorcycle to its lineup shortly.

Courtesy of Audi
Courtesy of Audi

Audi Electric Cars

Audi released several e-Tron plug-in hybrid concept vehicles and consequently scrapped further plans, but these are now officially making their way to the marketplace:

A3 e-Tron – Audi’s A3 sportback plug-in hybrid will be named the A3 e-Tron. A TFSI combustion engine is combined with an electric motor that consumes 0.40 gallons of fuel every 62 miles and provides a range of 542 miles. Sales should begin in early 2014. See more information here: A3 e-Tron sales begin in early 2014.

A4 e-Tron – Originally unveiled as a concept at the Detroit 2010 auto show, this plug-in hybrid sedan may hit production lines in 2014 and be sold as a 2015 model. Expect the electric range to be about 37 miles.

R8 e-Tron – This spring, Audi announced that yes, it will produce an all-electric R8 e-Tron—ten of them precisely—but no, they will not be sold to customers. Here’s more on the R8 e-Tron for testing and development.

Courtesy of BMW
Courtesy of BMW

BMW Electric Cars

i3 – BMW released substantial concept information about the all-electric 170-hp i3. A DC-fast charger can be used to achieve an 80% recharge in about 30 minutes. If the car’s 80-100 mile range isn’t sufficient, the concept offers an optional REx small gasoline engine that will transform the car into a plug-in hybrid. No mention of production or sales for U.S. customers, but UK customers did get a recent i3 test drive.

i8 – BMW also released information about its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car concept. Its 200-hp 3-cylinder engine consumes 0.71 gallons of fuel every 62 miles and can travel 20 miles on electric power alone.

Build Your Dreams (BYD) Electric Cars

Chinese-based BYD electric vehicles are making their way to America, but you probably will not be able to drive one:

E6 – The E6 all-electric hatchback could finally come to America, but in the form of a green taxi or electric rental cars at Hertz.

K9 – Starting in 2014, this electric bus will be produced in California, BYD’s first overseas factory.

Cadillac Electric Cars

ELRCadillac’s ELR is arriving to dealerships in early 2014. The ELR’s lithium-ion battery is nearly identical to the Chevrolet Volt, but has been tweaked to provide an extra 58 horsepower. The electric range is about 35 miles. See this ELR review for more information. Fuel efficiency is not yet rated and the estimated cost is about $70,000.

Chevrolet Electric Cars

Volt – The 2014 Volt model is currently in production and comes with a few slight changes: new color choices, new functionalities, and new convenience features. See more information on 2014 Volt product changes here. No pricing details yet on this plug-in hybrid. 2013 models started at $39,145, got an estimated 38 mpg, and traveled 380 miles on a full charge and full tank of gas. The 2013 Volt can go about 35 on electric power alone.

Spark EV – The Spark is now available at participating California and Oregon dealerships starting at $26,685. Total range when fully charged is 82 miles. A full charge on a 120V charger takes seven hours, while a DC fast-charge station will charge the battery to 80% in 20 minutes. Impressively, the Spark EV generates more torque than other in-class cars, including the Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche Carrera S.

Chrysler Electric Cars

FIAT 500e – As predicted last year, the FIAT 500e has arrived but is only available at select California FIAT Studios. There are two charging devices: one will recharge the battery to full within 4 hours while the other will give you 9-10 miles of range for every 3 hours of charging (a full charge in under 24 hours). Its range is about 87 miles. The FIAT 500e starts at $31,800 or can be leased for $199 for 36 months.

CODA Electric Cars

CODA Sedan – Despite CODA filing for bankruptcy, California drivers can apparently still get a CODA car for about $38,145 and drive up to 125 miles on a single charge. A two-hour charge will get you going for 50 miles, while 6 hours will fully recharge the battery, depending on charger type. If you must have one and live outside of California, you may be able to put your name on a reservation list at their website for $99.

Courtesy of Commuter Cars
Courtesy of Commuter Cars

Commuter Electric Cars

Tango T600 – Billed as ‘the world’s fastest urban car,’ this two-seater will get you someplace fast: 0-60 in under 4 seconds, to be exact. 2014 brings no changes to this car, which can be charged via a regular A/C outlet and will go 80 miles on a full charge for about $200,000. U.S. consumers receive the kit only—the car is not fully assembled.

Dodge Electric Cars

Dodge is testing out a Lotus-based EV, but no word on whether it will make it to an American market.

Electric Mobile Cars

This American company continues to offer a 7-passenger van, cargo can, and ¼ ton pickup for commercial fleets, but still no word on consumer vehicle offerings.

Fiskar Electric Vehicles

Karma – This luxury electric vehicle sold for $103,000 just years ago but now fails to garner eBay bids above $50,000. The Fiskar company went bankrupt, which halted the design and development of two other Fiskar models: the Surf station wagon and the Atlantic sedan.

Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Electric Cars

Fusion Energi – This plug-in hybrid gets an estimated 44/41/43 fuel efficiency rating and can drive about 620 miles fully charged and fueled. A full charge can be obtained overnight using a standard outlet. The electric-only range is 21 miles. The Energi starts at $40,500.

Focus Electric – No change in this year’s Focus, which gets 76 gas-free miles with a top speed of 84mph. The Focus Electric starts at $35,000.

C-Max Energi – Ford’s newest-to-market plug-in hybrid gets a combined 108/92/100 MPGe, the best in class. Drivers will get about 620 miles on a full charge and full tank and the car can be fully charged in under 3 hours (with advanced charger) or overnight using a standard charger. Skip the gasoline and you can go 21 miles on electric power only. The C-Max Energi starts at $33,345.

F-550 – Still no word on Ford’s promised plug-in hybrid diesel option.

Courtesy of American Honda Motor Company
Courtesy of American Honda Motor Company

Honda Electric Cars

Accord Hybrid Plug-in – The newly released Accord Plug-in offers 10 gas-free miles and a fuel efficiency of 47/46. Using a 240-volt charger, the car can be fully recharged in under an hour. It starts at $39,780.

Honda FIT EV – Honda’s second new release is the FIT EV. It can be leased for only $259 for 36 months, which includes a 240-volt home charging system (excluding installation and materials), maintenance costs, and roadside assistance. The 240-volt charger will provide a full range of 82 miles in 3 hours.

FCX Clarity – Honda will offer about 200 fuel-cell electric FCXs in the next three years, primarily in Southern California – areas close to hydrogen refueling stations. Fuel costs about $5/kg and a full tank will take you about 270 miles. A three-year lease costs $600 per month, which includes maintenance costs and physical damage collision coverage.

Hyundai Electric Cars

Hyundai seems to be leaning more toward developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, claiming electric cars leak energy and are range-challenged. We’ll be interested to see what direction Hyundai takes, but it seems an Hyundai all-electric might be on the horizon soon.

Infiniti Electric Cars

Infiniti announced that it has halted production of its electric luxury Le sedan with the belief that more advanced and cheaper technology will soon be available.

Jaguar Electric Cars

C-X75 – Still just a concept, the plug-in sports car was once slated to start production in 2013. However, Jaguar’s CEO himself said he is not a fan of electric vehicles, denouncing governmental subsidies. This could mean the C-X75, which can run 30 miles on electric power alone, will not see the assembly line for some years. No news on Jaguar’s other concept car, the XJ_e.

Jeep Electric Cars

AMP Jeep Grand Cherokee – Previously, the only way to get an all-electric Jeep Grand Cherokee was through an AMP Electric Vehicle makeover. However, AMP will now only direct conversions to electric medium-sized commercial vehicles.

Kia Electric Vehicle Cars

Keep your eyes out for a potential 2014 Kia Soul all-electric with a range of 120 miles. It could reach speeds of 87 mph and may have a price point of about $35,000.

Land Rover Electric Cars

Range_e – Land Rover has confirmed it will produce a plug-in hybrid Range Rover. The 25-mile electric-range vehicle won’t be available until after 2015, but before 2020. No word on which markets will receive the Range_e.

Mazda Electric Cars

Only two months after ending production of its last rotary-engine powered car, Mazda has announced that it is reopening that plant to bring an extended-range electric vehicle to market in 2014. Instead of propelling the vehicle, the rotary engine will instead act as a generator to charge EV batteries.

Mercedes Electric Cars

B-series – Next year, U.S. dealerships will get Mercedes Tesla-powered EVs with a 115-mile range. If charged with a 240-volt device, the car can go an additional 60 miles in less than two hours. Expect prices in the mid $30,000s.

MINI Electric Cars

MINI E – A MINI field trial is still underway in the Los Angeles and NY/NJ metro area. The MINI E has a range of about 100 miles, a 95 mph top speed and can recharge in about 3 hours.

Courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors
Courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Electric Cars

i-MiEV – The 2012 i-MiEV is still the most current model and features a 62-mile range. Three charging options will provide power in 30 minutes to 22.5 hours. The i-MiEV starts at $29,125.

Nissan Electric Cars

Leaf EV – The 2014 version will get minor changes on the heels of a revised 2013 model. Nissan added a few standard features to the 2014 including RearView Monitor and an updated EV-IT technology information system that includes voice destination entry and SMS readout. The 2013 Leaf offers a range of 75 miles for $28,800. The 2014 model will be available in October 2013.

Porsche Electric Cars

918 Spyder – Three years after the rumors began, a Porsche 918 plug-in hybrid will soon come to market, but don’t expect to snag one: only 918 of these $900,000 vehicles will be made, starting on 9/18. Its V8 engine goes from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, or in 7 seconds using electric power only. Combine the engine power with electrical output and you’re looking at 887 horsepower and a max speed of 211 mph (93 mph on electricity alone).

Panamera – Porsche’s more affordable and accessible plug-in hybrid is arriving this summer, but will set you back $99,000. Its high-voltage battery is recharged in about 2.5 hours using a 240-volt charger. Its electric-only range is 22 miles and the 416-hp V6 engine hits a max speed of about 83mph. No word yet from Porsche regarding the Panamera’s fuel economy.

Scion Electric Cars

iQ EV – Ninety of Scion’s iQs have arrived in the U.S., but only for campus and car-sharing purposes. There are no talks to release EVs to consumers at this time.

Smart Electric Cars

Electric Drive – This two-seater commuter car is now available for pre-ordering. Pricing starts at $25,000 or $199 for 36 months. A fully charged battery will take you 68 miles and if using a 240-volt charger, your car will be ready to go in 6 hours.

Subaru Electric Cars

Subaru has announced plans to release its first Subaru plug-in hybrid that can travel up to 25 miles before relying on a gas engine. This could be a limited release compliance car.

Courtesy of Telsa Motors
Courtesy of Telsa Motors

Tesla Electric Cars

Model S – No changes on the 2014 Model S, which can go up to 265 miles on a single charge. The Model S starts at $579 per month.

Model X – Tesla is now taking reservations for the Model X SUV, which will be delivered in 2014. Innovative features include falcon wings, which provides easy access to third-row seating. Like the Model S, options include a 60 or 85 kWh engine, which can hit 60 mph in under 5 seconds. The reservation fee is $5,000, but no pricing details have been released.

Further, Tesla has confirmed that a smaller electric vehicle will be released in the $30,000 range about 3-4 years after Model X.

Think Electric Cars

Reservations for a Think Electric vehicle are still being accepted in select states and pricing is based on geographic area. The car can reach 100 miles on a full charge.

Toyota Electric Cars

Prius Plug-in Hybrid – The Prius plug-in has received no changes for 2014. It offers 11 gas-free miles and a combined fuel efficiency of about 50. The 2013 model starts at $32,000.

RAV4 EV – California residents can now purchase the RAV4 EV SUV for $49,800. A full charge will cover 103 miles at a max speed of 100 mph. Charge times range from 5 hours to 52 hours, depending on charger type.

Volkswagen Electric Cars

Volkswagen doesn’t offer any EVs in the U.S., but overseas drivers will soon be able to purchase the E-UP! In 2014 expect the e-Golf to be released in the U.S. as the manufacturer aspires to become a leader in electric vehicle production.

Wheego Electric Vehicles

LiFe – No change to the 100-mile capacity car, which can charge from 50% to 100% using a 240-volt charger in five hours. It’s available for $32,995.

Volvo Electric Cars

No U.S. EVs just yet, but that doesn’t mean Volvo isn’t interested in the technology. They have worked with Siemens to develop a new fast-charge system that cuts charge time down to 90 minutes. In addition, they are exploring alternative EV strategies including electric roads to power battery-free EVs.

2014 Hybrid Cars in the USA: See the new lineup

The U.S. hybrid vehicle market is expanding rapidly as lower prices make the initial investment a more attractive long-term investment for buyers. New to the market are the Audi Q5, Honda Accord, Infinity Q50, Infinity QX60, Mercedes-Benz E400, and Subaru XV Crosstrek, with several others to debut in 2014.

Our list includes cars, SUVs/CUVs, and pickups. If you are in the market for a plug-in hybrid, see our 2014 electric vehicle list.

Courtesy of Acura
Courtesy of Acura

Acura Hybrids

ILX hybrid – No changes to Acura’s only hybrid sedan, launched in 2013. The ILX gets 39/38/38 mpg and retains its starting price of $29,000.

RLX – The RLZ’s hybrid engine is not yet offered but may arrive to dealerships this fall as a 2014 sedan option. No specs have been released yet.

Audi Hybrids

Q5 hybrid – The Q5 hybrid CUV was released last fall. Pricing for the 2013 starts at $50,900 and the Q5 hybrid maintains an average of 24/30/26 mpg. It does not appear that any changes will be included in the 2014 model. However, similar to other Audi models, anticipate a price hike to $51,300 for 2014.

A6 hybrid – The Audi A6 hybrid sedan will enter the U.S. market a bit later than expected: sometime in 2014. Reports claim that the anticipated fuel economy rating should be about 44 combined mpg. No word yet on pricing.

Courtesy of BMW of North America
Courtesy of BMW of North America

BMW Hybrids

ActiveHybrid 3 – No changes to this model, which was redesigned for 2013. The sedan hybrid gets 25/33/28 mpg and starts at $49,700.

ActiveHybrid 5 – New for 2013, this midsize sedan gets 30 highway mpg and starts at $61,400. A slight mid-cycle revision may appear in 2014 5-series models, but no word if that will transfer over to the ActiveHybrid 5.

ActiveHybrid 7 – Like the ActiveHybrid 3, this luxury sedan was revamped in 2013 and starts at $84,300. Also like the ActiveHybrid 5, it gets 30 highway mpg. The 7-series 2015 models will be redesigned, particularly where vehicle weight is concerned, but no word on whether this will affect the hybrid model.

Some believe that BMW’s next hybrid move, whose lineup is currently devoid of a hybrid SUV/CUV, might take the form of an hybrid X5.

Courtesy of Buick: General Motors
Courtesy of Buick: General Motors

Buick Hybrids

LaCrosse with e-Assist – The new 2014 model, slated for fall sales, will come standard with Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system and will offer subscription-based XM Travel Link. New interior and exterior touches are present, along with enhanced safety features. Details haven’t been released yet, but the 2013 model got 25/36 mpg and started at $31,660.

Regal with e-Assist – A redesigned Regal will hit markets this fall and comes standard with e-Assist. New interior and exterior safety and technology features are included, similar to the LaCrosse. The 2014 will also include a new 259-hp turbo engine and available AWD. No word yet on pricing or fuel efficiency, but the 2013 regal gets 19/31 mpg and starts at $29,015.

Cadillac Hybrids

Escalade hybrid – The Escalade hybrid will be discontinued for 2014 as it makes way for an all-new 2015 Escalade model. The outgoing 2013 hybrid model starts at $74,425 and gets 20/23.

SRX – An SRX hybrid option may be available when the re-designed SRX enters the market in 2015. The same source also hints at a potential hybrid XTS for the 2015 model release.

Chevrolet Hybrids

Silverado hybrid – This year, the V8 Silverado pickup comes with an optional ECOTEC hybrid engine that packs 332-hp. 2WD models get 23 highway mpg while 4WD models get 22 highway mpg. The Silverado hybrid starts at $32,200.

Tahoe hybrid – The 2013 Tahoe SUV gets the same mpg and offers the same horsepower as the Silverado. Its base price is $53,620. A 2014 Tahoe hybrid model may include a lower curb weight, increasing the Tahoe hybri’s fuel efficiency even more.

Chrysler Hybrids

Still no definitive word on a Chrysler’s first possible U.S. hybrid and whether that will come in the highly-anticipated form of a 300.

Dodge Hybrids

Still no U.S. hybrids on the horizon for Dodge.

Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Hybrids

Fusion hybrid – Redesigned in 2013, no major changes to the 2014 model, which gets 47/47 mpg and starts at $27,391.

C-Max hybrid – Released last year, there will be no changes in 2014. The C-Max hybrid also gets 47/47 and starts at $25,200, or can be leased for $239 for two years, which may be when we see the C-Max’s design refreshed.

GMC Hybrids

Yukon hybrid – A 2014 Yukon hybrid model may have been spotted (or is that a Chevrolet Tahoe?) that sports a new platform and powertrain. The 2013 model starts at $54,154 while the Yukon Denali hybrid starts at $61,960. Both models get 20/23 mpg, but expect this rating to increase in the 2014 model if the powertrain is upgraded sufficiently and vehicle weight lowered.

Sierra 1500 hybrid – The Sierra has been redesigned for 2014, featuring a more comfortable and refined interior including high-quality seat foam, as well as added conveniences to the center console, a USB port, and improved rear-seat legroom on certain models. The 2014 Sierra hybrid gets 18/24 mpg and starts at $32,700.

Courtesy of American Honda Motor Company
Courtesy of American Honda Motor Company

Honda Hybrids

Insight – Changes are expected to the 2014 Insight. Speculated are engine enhancements and a smaller frame–upping the fuel efficiency–and also a lower price. The 2013 model has a fuel economy rating of 41/44 mpg and starts at $18,600.

Civic hybrid sedan – The Civic hybrid’s recent changes mirror the 2013 updates to the entire Civic line, including premium design elements and cosmetic interior touches. The 2014 Civic hybrid remains unchanged and gets 32 mpg combined (automatic). The Civic hybrid starts at $24,360.

CR-Z sport hybrid – The 2014 model has received some updates including an upgraded battery pack, which increases the horsepower by 8 for a total of 138-hp. Exterior changes are minimal but the CR-Z now features a rear spoiler. No word on the fuel efficiency or pricing of the 2014 model. The 2013 gets 36/39 mpg and starts at $19,975.

Accord hybrid – The Accord hybrid will arrive to dealerships this October, offering a projected fuel efficiency of 47 mpg combined. No word yet on pricing.

Hyundai Hybrids

Sonata hybrid – 2014 model redesigns are confirmed, but details have not yet been released. We expect changes that increase the car’s fuel efficiency, currently at 35/40. The 2013 Sonata hybrid starts at $25,650.

Infiniti Hybrids

M hybrid – A redesign is planned for 2014 to incorporate a more sleek, refined exterior appearance. We don’t expect any changes to the 2014 model, however, which gets 32 highway mpg and starts at $48,700.

Q50 hybridInfinity has announced pricing for their hybrid sedan that features a 328-hp V6 engine that is estimated to achieve 36 highway mpg. Pricing starts around $44,000 and cars will be available at U.S. dealers this summer.

QX60 hybrid – The QX60 V6 hybrid CUV will hit dealerships this summer. Infinity has not released the fuel efficiency rating but already claims it will be “best-in-class.” Speculation suggests we’ll see a 26 mpg combined fuel rating and anticipated starting price around $45,000.

Jaguar Hybrids

Several hybrid models are currently in testing, including the C-X16, C-X75, and XJ, but none have been slated for production.

Jeep Hybrids

Jeep is not offering any hybrid vehicles at this time.

Kia Hybrids

Optima hybrid – The Optima was updated for 2013, so no changes for 2014. This hybrid gets 37-38 combined mpg depending on trim and starts at $25,900.

Land Rover Hybrids

Range Rover Diesel-hybrid – Not only will European drivers get to experience a 3.0-liter diesel-hybrid Range Rover, American drivers will, too. The Range Rover will arrive at overseas dealerships sometime after 2013, with American sales to follow.

Courtesy of Lexus
Courtesy of Lexus

Lexus Hybrids

ES 300h hybrid – The ES sedan, released last year, offers 200 total horsepower and still achieves a 40/39 mpg. The 300h starts at $39,250 and the 2014 model will see modest changes, including an updated front grille.

CT 200h hybrid – This sporty hatchback comes in two trims and both get 43/40 mpg. The CT200h starts at $32,050 while the CT F Sport starts at $33,050. The CT is only one of two Lexus models that has not yet been fully upgraded, so a 2014 refresh may be in the works.

RX 450h hybrid – This hybrid CUV packs a total of 295 horsepower and received a cosmetic update for its 2013 model. It achieves 32/28 and starts at $46,310. Anticipate a redesigned 2015 model (including potential engine efficiency upgrade) to arrive at dealerships in early 2014.

GS 450h hybrid – No word on changes to this sedan, which was redesigned last year. The 2013-2014 model gets 29/34 mpg and starts at $59,450.

LS 600h L hybrid – A V8 engine and electric motor provides 438 total horsepower to this luxury hybrid. With no 2014 model changes, the sedan gets 19/23 mpg and comes with a heftier price tag of $119,910.

NX 300h hybrid – Lexus officials have indicated that a Lexus compact hybrid SUV will be forthcoming, but have yet to announce whether the vehicle will be sold in the U.S.

Lincoln Hybrids

MKZ hybrid – Lincoln’s only hybrid remains the MKZ, which was redesigned for 2013. The 2013 model now gets 45/45 mpg and remains at the same price point of $35,925. Lincoln expects the MKZ to be a successful competitor in the hybrid market and therefore has recently announced a 50% increase in production of the Lincoln hybrid 2014 model, which shares the same price as its non-hybrid twin.

Mazda Hybrids

While a Mazda3 hybrid has been announced, it will only be sold in the Japanese market. Mazda has no U.S. hybrid models for sale.

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Hybrids

E400 hybrid – The latest Mercedes hybrid is now at dealerships. A V6, 3.5-L engine combined with electric motor achieves 329 total horsepower. Fuel efficiency is rated at 24/30 mpg and pricing starts at $56,700.

S400 hybrid – The Mercedes 2014 S-series sedan is receiving an update, including a redesigned exterior, technological upgrades, and enhanced safety features. No word on fuel efficiency or pricing, but the 2013 S400 hybrid started at $92,350 and got 19/25 mpg.

Porsche Hybrids

Cayenne S hybrid – The Cayenne SUV is due for a mid-cycle facelift in 2014, which includes technical updates, styling changes, and a plug-in hybrid trim. Expect the redesigned vehicle to debut as a 2015 model. The 2013-2014 model gets 22 highway mpg and sells for $66,800.

Panamera – The Panamera S hybrid has been discontinued for 2014 and replaced by a Panamera plug-in hybrid model.

Scion Hybrids

Scion officials indicated that a hybrid powertrain is a possibility for the FR-S mid-cycle update.

Courtesy of Subaru of America
Courtesy of Subaru of America

Subaru Hybrids

XV Crosstrek – Subaru is bringing its first hybrid to U.S. dealerships this fall: the 2014 XV Crosstrek. The hybrid SUV is rumored to get 10% better fuel economy than its gasoline-only model. No indication on pricing just yet.

Toyota Hybrids

Avalon hybrid – The Avalon hydrid line will be fully redesigned to incorporate a trendier, more sleek body. Technological upgrades are also incorporated. No indication if the powertrain will be upgraded, but the three 2013 hybrid trims get 40/39/40 and start at $35,555.

Camry hybrid – The 2014 Camry may be up for some mid-cycle updates such as color choices or minor performance/equipment changes as Toyota prepares for a 2015 model upgrade. The 2013 model gets 25/35 mpg and starts at $22,235.

Highlander hybrid – The Highlander SUV has been fully updated for 2014 although no prices or fuel efficiency ratings are available yet. In line with the Avalon, the Highlander’s exterior has lost some of its boxiness in favor of a sleeker look. Interior changes include alternative fabrics and increased interior legroom for the third row. No indication of pricing or fuel efficiency. The 2013 Highlander achieved 20/25 mpg and started at $29,020.

Prius – Details of the 2014—or possibly 2015—Prius model are sketchy, and conflicting at best, with some sources indicating little external change and others indicating a massive exterior redesign. More importantly, expect a 2015 hybrid powertrain upgrade that may reach up to 60 mpg combined. The 2013 model gets 51/48 and starts at $24,200.

Prius c – There is no definitive evidence that the city-oriented Prius c hatchback, which gets a slightly better 53/46 fuel efficiency rating than the Prius, will receive a facelift for 2014. The 2013 model starts at $19,080.

Prius v – Like the Prius, the largest Prius model could follow suit and get a 2015 facelift. The v models hatchback gets 44/40 mpg and starts at $26,650.

Volkswagen Hybrids

Jetta hybrid – The Jetta hybrid was released last year and therefore may get minor changes, if any. The 2013 sedan gets 42/48 mpg and starts at $24,995.

Toureg hybrid –The redesigned 2014 model is now available, but contains no anticipated powertrain changes. The 2014 model gets 24/28 mpg and packs 380 horsepower. It starts at $64,170.

Volvo Hybrids

Although Volvo offers a plug-in hybrid model, no future hybrids are planned.

2014 Diesel Cars in the USA: Here’s What’s Available

While the demand for U.S. diesel vehicles cannot match that of the overseas market, development and sales of diesel cars, CUVs, and SUVs are taking off in the States as a fuel efficient alternative to hybrid and electric vehicles, although lagging them when it comes to air quality.

The three biggest reasons why diesel automobile sales lag in the US seem to be related to the memory of terrible diesels of the 1970s, the higher cost of diesel fuel (and the engine itself) compared to gasoline, and the clean diesel requirements that make for a much lower number of diesel engines that can pass our strict air quality rules here.

We’ve looked at current and potential diesel models from all the major car manufacturers to track where this promising industry is headed.

New additions to the 2014 lineup include the Audi A8L, Audi Q5, Audi A6, Audi A7, BMW 328d, BMW 535d, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes E250 BlueTEC, Mercedes ML250 BlueTEC, and Volkswagen Beetle TDI convertible.

You can read our previous coverage of diesel cars and trucks available in the US in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009. (Wow, we’ve been writing about this for a long time!)

Continue reading “2014 Diesel Cars in the USA: Here’s What’s Available”

6 Pickups with the Best Gas Mileage for 2013

by Stephanie Lezotte

Yesterday’s gas-guzzling pickup trucks have come a long way. Advanced engineering has brought hybrid engines and fuel-efficient technology to some of the most rugged trucks, allowing drivers to save money at the pump and to be somewhat more environmentally conscious without sacrificing the hauling capacity of a pickup.

According to EPA fuel economy data, the most fuel-efficient 2013 pickup trucks with the best gas mileage numbers are manufactured by six companies: Toyota, Chevy, GMC, Nissan, Dodge, and Ford. Among these six manufacturers, dozens of models and trims are offered with an MPG combined rating of 17 or better, with the best model being the Toyota Tacoma 2WD manual transmission that gets a combined MPG of 23.

We looked at 50 pickup trucks to provide you with this comprehensive list of the six most fuel-efficient 2013 trucks and notable others. Our list includes regular gasoline 4-to-8-cylinder engines and hybrids. All models listed come standard with an automatic transmission unless otherwise noted.

Continue reading “6 Pickups with the Best Gas Mileage for 2013”

2013 Diesel Cars in the USA: Here’s the Lineup

Thinking about buying a new 2013 diesel car and looking at the options? We’re here to help.

Diesel offerings continue to gain ground. New for 2013 are the BMW 33d Sports Wagon, Chevy Cruze Diesel sedan, Mercedes GL250 BlueTEC SUV,  Porsche Cayenne Diesel SUV, and the Volkswagen Beetle TDI. With tougher diesel emissions standards being implemented in Europe in 2014, we may see even more diesel engines crossing over the Atlantic to U.S. shores in the near future.

Continue reading “2013 Diesel Cars in the USA: Here’s the Lineup”

2014 Mercedes CLA sedan: More Aerodynamic than a Prius or Tesla!

2014 mercedes CLA

When you think about the most aerodynamic cars, you typically think of the high mileage hybrid or even full electric cars like the Tesla or the Prius.

But Mercedes has taken aerodynamics to a new level with the 2014 CLA sedan, that should hit showrooms in the fall of 2013.

As Mercedes describes it:

With a Cd figure of 0.23, the CLA sets a new benchmark among not only Mercedes models, but also all series-production vehicles. The frontal surface area, Cd x A – which is crucial to aerodynamic resistance – also leads the field at 5.49 sq. ft.

The good air flow characteristics, which have a major impact on fuel consumption under everyday driving conditions, are the result of extensive aerodynamic optimization. These include a low A-pillar shoulder with adapted A-pillar geometry, aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, low-drag wheel trims and serrated wheel spoilers on the front and rear wheel arches.

Extensive underbody cladding, additional cladding at the center of the rear axle, an aerodynamically optimized muffler and a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.

The Mercedes CLA is a new sedan that takes design cues from the CLS coupe.

Although the car is billed as the most aerodynamic production car on the market, it is not marketed as a high mileage vehicle, and it will not be available as a hybrid or a high mileage clean diesel, at least initially.

Read more at Autoblog.

2014 Audi Clean Diesels Coming to USA: A8, A7, A6 and Q5

Audi introduced not one but four clean diesel models at the L.A. Auto Show on November 29th. The 2014 A8, A7, A6 and Q5 will all be offered in a TDI clean diesel model.

Each TDI vehicle will feature a 3.0 TDI V6 engine that delivers as much as 30 percent better fuel economy and 30 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline engines. Audi says the new TDI engine generates 240 horsepower with 406 lb.-ft. of torque.

“Owners of Audi TDI engines have helped save over 4 million gallons of gasoline, or the equivalent of more than 240,000 barrels of foreign oil, since the introduction of Audi TDI to the U.S. in 2009,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “And, TDI technology delivers better fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.”

2014 audi A8 TDI diesel
A8 TDI – Courtesy of Audi of America

Audi A8 TDI

The A8 TDI, Audi’s flagship full-size luxury sedan, will offer a manufacturer-estimated fuel efficiency of 24 MPG city and 36 MPG highway. For 2014, the A8’s engine options are dramatically expanded, moving from two variants (4.2 liter V8 and W12) to five: a 3.0T V6; a 4.0T V8; a new S8 4.0T V8; a 6.0 liter W12; and the new 3.0 TDI V6. The TDI engine powers the A8 from 0 to 60 in 6.4 seconds. It will arrive at dealerships in the spring of 2013.

2014 Audi A7 TDI diesel
A7 TDI – Courtesy of Audi of America

Audi A7 TDI

Not too many details were revealed about the Audi A7 TDI clean diesel 4-door coupe, other than it is “more fuel-efficient than ever” and that it will arrive in showrooms in the fall of 2013.

2014 Audi A6 TDI diesel
A6 TDI – Courtesy of Audi of America

Audi A6 TDI

Not much was revealed about the A6 TDI sedan either, except that it will also be available in the fall of 2013.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI diesel
Q5 TDI – Courtesy of Audi of America

Audi Q5 TDI

The new TDI clean diesel engine is the fourth engine option to be offered for the Q5, adding to the current four-cylinder 2.0T, the 3.0T V6, and the Q5 hybrid. The Q5 TDI will arrive in showrooms in the fall of 2013.

Audi Q7 TDI

The currently available 2013 Audi Q7 TDI SUV also sports the same new clean diesel engine and has increased its fuel efficiency to 19 MPG city and 28 MPG highway.

Want to read more?

Car and Driver reviews the diesel version of the Audi A6 here. USA Today covers the new diesel models. And Autoblog covers the diesel introduction at the L.A. Auto Show.

See our post about the complete lineup of 2013 diesel cars for the US market.

We will keep you posted as more details become available.

2014 Mazda 6: first Japanese clean diesel car to hit the USA market

Mazda6 2014 Diesel
Courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

We’ve waited and waited for a Japanese car manufacturer to bring a clean diesel engine to the USA market, Mazda’s long-awaited clean diesel is finally coming. They announced Thursday at the L.A. Auto Show that the all-new 2014 Mazda6 will be offered with a SKYACTIVE-D 2.2-liter diesel engine. The diesel-equipped version will arrive at dealerships in the second half of 2013. There are no EPA fuel efficiency numbers available yet, but Mazda says they are targeted to be “class leading.” Mazda will be the first Asian manufacturer to offer the U.S. public a modern-technology clean-diesel engine.  The 2014 Mazda6 also will also feature Mazda’s new capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system called i-ELOOP.

“We’ve dangled the carrot long enough and we couldn’t be more excited to officially introduce North America to our latest next-generation product, the 2014 Mazda6…” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations.  He continues: “…our Los Angeles announcements are only tips of the iceberg.  The best is yet come.” Continue reading “2014 Mazda 6: first Japanese clean diesel car to hit the USA market”

2013 Hybrid Cars in the USA: Here’s the Lineup

2013 Acura ILX hybrid
Acura ILX hybrid – courtesy of Acura

Wondering what’s in store for 2013 hybrid vehicles? There are plenty in the works for 2013 and beyond. New vehicles being introduced include the Acura ILX Hybrid, Audi Q5 Hybrid, BMW ActiveHybrid 3, Chevy Malibu Eco, Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Lexus ES 300h, Mercedes E400 Hybrid, Toyota Prius C and Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid. Note that we only cover traditional hybrids in this article. If you’re looking for plug-in hybrids, check out our 2013 Electric Cars in the USA article.

Acura Hybrid Cars

ILX Hybrid – (39 city /38 highway MPG) The 2013 ILX is Acura’s first hybrid car. The sedan shares the same engine as the Honda Civic Hybrid, but it doesn’t achieve the same gas mileage. Pricing starts at $29,000 and it is already in showrooms.

RLX Hybrid – Acura’s second hybrid is scheduled to arrive in early 2013. It is expected to have 370 HP and get 30/30 MPG. Pricing will be north of $50,000.

 

Audi Hybrid Vehicles

Q5 Hybrid – Audi introduces its first hybrid to the U.S. this fall with the Q5 crossover SUV. EPA fuel economy ratings are not yet available but it should be somewhere around 34 MPG combined. Pricing is expected to be around $50,000.

A6 Hybrid – The hybrid version of the A6 sedan is also supposed to arrive this fall. It is expected to return about 35 MPG combined and have a price north of $55,000.

Audi has an A8 Hybrid debuting in Europe but does not appear to have plans to bring it to the U.S. Continue reading “2013 Hybrid Cars in the USA: Here’s the Lineup”

2013 Electric Cars in the USA: Here’s the Lineup


The number of electric car offerings continue to grow at a rapid pace. The options are getting more diverse and the price is coming down a bit. Just 7 EVs were available in 2011, but there will be 16 by the end of 2012 and an additional 19 models are scheduled for 2013 and beyond. New models launching this summer and fall include the Audi R8 E-Tron, Fiat 500 EV, Ford C-MAX Energi, Honda Fit EV, Smart ED, Tesla Model S, Toyota Prius Plug-in, and the Toyota RAV4 EV.

A few notes on the cars and stats listed here:

* This list includes all vehicles that have a significant all-electric range, both pure EVs and plug-in hybrids. If you’re looking for non-plug-in hybrids, look for our upcoming 2013 Hybrid Cars in the USA article.

* The electric range is an extremely variable number, and often the manufacturer quotes the range under “ideal” conditions (low speed, flat roads, moderate temperatures, no heat or A/C on). Be aware that the range can change significantly in not-so-ideal conditions. The Nissan Leaf website has a good explanation on range (click the colored squares for different conditions). The Leaf’s range goes from 138 to 62 depending on conditions!

* The battery charging times are also extremely variable, depending on how high the voltage is, and whether they are quoting time from 0-100% charge, or 20-80% charge, or something in between. Wherever possible, the times we quote are from 0-100% from a dedicated 240-volt outlet.

* Pricing is given before any tax credits. You can view information on federal tax incentives here, and state tax incentives here.

 

Alvarez Electric Motors

This fledgling California company has announced they will be offering three inexpensive, Chinese-built EVs. All have a short range and top speed of only 25 MPH. But the price is nice: $10,000 for a 2-seater, $17,000 for a van and $18,000 for a truck. Their first dealership is opening in Irvine, CA, in August.

 

Audi Electric Vehicles

A3 E-Tron – Audi brought 17 test models of its plug-in electric car to U.S. cities this summer, but it looks like it won’t be hitting showrooms until 2014. It is expected to have 134 horsepower, a top speed of 89 MPH and a 92-mile range.

R8 E-Tron – The plug-in version of Audi’s R8 high-end sports car is expected to go on sale this fall. It has set electric car speed records and is reported to go from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, with a 124 MPH top speed and  a 134-mile range.

Plans for electric versions of the A1 and A2 have been discontinued. Continue reading “2013 Electric Cars in the USA: Here’s the Lineup”

2012 Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC Diesel: Review Roundup

photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz USA

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC diesel sedan? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The Mercedes S350 is equipped with a 3.0 liter diesel V6 that generates 240 horsepower and an “incredible” 455 lb.-ft. of torque. It is the second-cheapest model of the S-Class and is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch — even better than the hybrid. The EPA rates the fuel economy to be 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. MSRP is $92,550. Continue reading “2012 Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC Diesel: Review Roundup”

2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Diesel SUV: Review Roundup

2012 VW Touareg diesel reviews
photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel vehicle and thinking about the 2012 VW Touareg TDI SUV? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2012 Touareg TDI comes in three styles — the Sport, the Lux and the Executive. A 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine powers all three models. The engine generates 225 horsepower and a amazing 406 lbs-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings are 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. All styles feature 4-wheel drive and include automatic transmission, a navigation system, Bluetooth, iPod input, Satellite Radio, side/curtain airbags, and stability and traction controls. MSRP: From $46,875 for the Sport; $52,355 for the Lux; and $57,755 for the Executive. Continue reading “2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Diesel SUV: Review Roundup”

2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI Diesel: Review Roundup

2012 volkswagen golf tdi
photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the 2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI Diesel? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Golf TDI is the 2.0 liter, four-cylinder clean diesel engine that gives the car 30 MPG in the city and 42 MPG on the highway. Its power may be considered somewhat modest with at 140 horsepower. However, it does provide 236 lbs-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm and since the engine is a turbo, it moves quite quickly. MSRP starts at $24,235

Autos.aol.com — 2012 Volkswagen Golf Expert Review: New Car Test Drive

AOL Autos starts out calling the Golf “enjoyable to drive, smooth and fuel efficient.”

The Golf is offered with a choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic referred to as the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). AOL Autos notes that the Golf is slower from 0-60 than the gas model, but the higher level of torque at lower RPMs results in “responsive performance around town” Continue reading “2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI Diesel: Review Roundup”

2012 Buick Regal eAssist Sedan: Review Roundup

2012 buick regal eassist review
Photo courtesy of General Motors

Shopping for a 2012 hybrid vehicle and thinking about the 2012 Buick Regal eAssist sedan? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2012 Regal is one of two cars in the Buick line that comes with eAssist technology.  It includes a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder ECOTEC gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery pack, which powers the motor as well as the radio, climate control and other accessories. The motor provides a 15-horsepower boost and the technology permits the car to achieve EPA fuel economy ratings of 25 MPG city and 36 MPG highway. There is also a start/stop technology that seamlessly shifts power from the gasoline engine to the electric motor and back, thus conserving fuel. Stepping off the throttle turns the gasoline engine off, stepping off the brake restarts the gasoline engine. In other words, you can coast using the electric motor, but it doesn’t power the drivetrain by itself. Other features include regenerative braking, which harvests the energy from the brakes and diverts it to the battery. Continue reading “2012 Buick Regal eAssist Sedan: Review Roundup”

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Review Roundup

2012 hyundai sonata hybrid reviews
photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Shopping for a 2012 hybrid car and thinking about the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2012 Sonata Hybrid is a midsize sedan that competes in the family car category with the Ford Fusion and the Toyota Camry. It features a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine and Hyundai’s Blue Drive fully parallel hybrid system.  The powertrain generates 206 horsepower and achieves an EPA fuel economy rating of 40 MPG on the highway.  The car was introduced in the 2011 model year. The Hyundai Blue Link Telematics system, a three-piece moonroof,  a navigation system with a 7-inch touchscreen and HD radio are new for 2012.  MSRP starts at $25,850. Continue reading “2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Review Roundup”

2013 Acura ILX Hybrid: Rumor and Review Roundup

2012 acura ilx hybrid
photo courtesy of Acura

Considering a new 2013 hybrid and wondering about the 2013 Acura ILX hybrid? Here’s a roundup of what we know about the vehicle so far. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2013 ILX hybrid isn’t totally a secret. We didn’t have to contract the CIA to find out about it. In fact, a concept of the car was displayed at a number of auto shows including the 2012 Chicago Auto Show held in February. Acura’s website is showing videos of the car and it’s due out in late May. If you want to get in on the ground floor, so to speak, there is a page on the Acura website where you can sign up to receive details on the vehicle before it is released. According to Acura, the registration commits you to nothing and you can opt out of the process at any time. Pricing for the hybrid ILX starts at $28,900. Continue reading “2013 Acura ILX Hybrid: Rumor and Review Roundup”

2012 Toyota Prius V Hybrid Wagon: Review Roundup

2012 Toyota Prius v
photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, USA

Shopping for a hybrid vehicle and thinking about the 2012 Toyota Prius v hybrid wagon? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The Toyota Prius was the first hybrid to really get the attention of the American public when it was introduced in the 1990s. Now the Japanese manufacturer has expanded the line to include a plug-in hybrid, a wagon known as the v, and a smaller model called the Prius c.

The Prius V has an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. MSRP is $26,400. Continue reading “2012 Toyota Prius V Hybrid Wagon: Review Roundup”

2012 Mercedes R350 BlueTEC Diesel People Mover: Review Roundup

2012 mercedes r350 diesel
photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz USA

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTEC crossover diesel? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

It is the diesel turbo engine of the Mercedes R350 that excites consumers. The 3.0 liter turbodiesel V6 engine generates 210 horsepower and the vehicle has a maximum towing capacity of 3500 lbs. It gets 18 MPG city and 23 MPG highway. MSRP is $53,840.

Kelly Blue Book — 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

Kelley Blue Book starts out with a comment on the design of the vehicle:  “It’s definitely not a minivan nor is it really a crossover (even though that’s what Mercedes-Benz calls it). Rather, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class has staked its territory as a no-nonsense rolling monument to practicality.” They like the diesel engine, noting: “the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTEC is quick enough to keep you from lamenting the diesel engine…. This great engine proves the viability of the right diesel in the right machine.” Continue reading “2012 Mercedes R350 BlueTEC Diesel People Mover: Review Roundup”

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Diesel: Review Roundup

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel Reviews
photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the Volkswagen Jetta TDI? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The Jetta experienced a redesign for the 2011 model year.  The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Diesel is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel inline 4-cylinder that generates 140 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. VW also offers an optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It has an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 MPG in the city and 42 MPG on the highway. Standard equipment includes a navigation system, Bluetooth, iPod input, Satellite Radio, side and curtain air bags, and stability and traction control. MSRP starts at $22,775.

Car and Driver — 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan TDI Diesel

Car and Driver noted that the Jetta is larger since its redesign in the 2011 model year and that the base price of the car was reduced. They mark the highs as a roomy back seat, good fuel economy, efficient diesel engine, a good base price, and a sports-sedan handling and feel. They identify low to be the interior, which they say lacks the “richness” of the previous version.

They conclude, “Despite cost cutting, the Jetta is still a solid-feeling sedan with good steering and handling.”

Cars.com — 2012 Volkswagen Jetta

Cars.com reported that the standard manual transmission features stiffer clutch pedals than any other compact car they have driven. They also cautioned that they stalled more than once, but not from a standstill: “Every stall happened at low speeds when I thought 2nd gear was called for, but the engine bogged and stalled. Once I started keeping it in 1st gear longer, the stalls stopped.”

They found the car to be “punchy” after driving it.  “The Jetta TDI moves away from lights and passes quickly. There wasn’t lag at any point, and it always felt like there was more power on tap,” they said. They also said that the car’s performance made it fun to drive. This is because the car has more torque than other cars in its classification due to the diesel engine.

They liked the steering too. However, they did comment that it required more effort. “The payoff is that it also gives you more feedback and you feel more connected to what the car is doing… It’s my favorite steering in this car class.”

Handling also passed muster with them. “It feels planted to the road, and the suspension and chassis are well-tuned. The Jetta doesn’t squat or roll as much as others in this segment do, so it feels level going through turns. The suspension absorbs bumps very well for a small car, and that gives you a sense of security at high speeds. The road doesn’t beat up and toss the car around,” they said.

They noted that the car is not as “light and sprightly” as the previous version.

C&D concluded, “To my mind, the new Jetta isn’t a dilution of the previous model, it’s simply a slightly different take on the car — but the spirit of the machine remains.”

Edmunds.com — 2012 Volkswagen Jetta

What jumped out to Edmunds was the roomy interior and that the car was more affordable.

Their review identified the pros to be a spacious interior and trunk, that the car was well-equipped and featured a smart electronics interface, and that the diesel engine was fuel efficient.

They defined the cons to be “lackluster interior materials, sluggish throttle with automatic, and numb steering.”

They cautioned that the newly designed Jetta may be lacking in what it had in the previous models because the German manufacturer wants to attract more entry-level buyers. The car has been downgraded somewhat and the price has been reduced substantially. “The Volkswagen Jetta once presented a good middle ground between Japanese compact sedans and entry-level German luxury. It offered a sturdy chassis, tasteful interior materials and enough sport to make the package lively around town. Most buyers felt the premium quality was worth the extra price of admission. But Volkswagen thought the premium price discouraged an even greater amount of shoppers. So last year it made its redesigned Jetta a centerpiece of an aggressive new pricing strategy,” they reported.

On interior design and special features, Edmunds wrote, “ We particularly like the available touchscreen stereo interface and its redundant dial knob that’s ideal for controlling an iPod. The associated navigation system, however, is a bit of a letdown due to the small screen and limited amount of displayed information.”

Their driving impressions were pretty good. “Though it’s notably more expensive than the 2.5-equipped SE and SEL, the TDI is a keen choice thanks to its meaty low-end torque and frugal fuel economy. The manual would again be a preferred choice, though the [automatic], with its automated and manual modes, works well as a best-of-both-worlds choice,” they said.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Clean Diesel TDI Review Summary

In conclusion, the consensus appears to be:

Likes:

  • Roomy back seat
  • Good fuel economy
  • Efficient diesel engine
  • Good base price
  • Sports-sedan handling and feel
  • Good steering
  • Punchy
  • Great torque
  • Cruising range

Dislikes:

  • Interior not as rich
  • Stiff clutch pedals
  • Stalling problems with manual transmission
  • Handling not as light and sprightly

Do you own this car, or have you driven one? What’s your take?

Leave a comment and help out the people who are researching this car!

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Diesel: Review Roundup

Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel 2012
photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the Volkswagen Passat TDI? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2.0 turbocharged diesel inline 4 engine in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat has a dazzling EPA fuel economy rating of 31 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. Although many may find that it lacks punch on initial acceleration, it’s been clocked at 9.1 seconds in the 0-60 mph test.

The Diesel Driver — 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Review and Report

 The Diesel Driver wrote, “I found the Passat TDI to be an excellent Autobahn cruiser.  Expansion joints, bumps, and potholes go practically unnoticed. Passengers will not be disturbed. It is Verboten.”

It was the torque that they really liked. “Ultimately, it’s the torque of the diesel engine we’re after, not the horsepower, and the omnipresent 236 pound-feet available to the driver made overtaking on highways something to look forward to,” they continued. Continue reading “2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Diesel: Review Roundup”