Tag Archive: hybrid

Dec 15

2017 Kia Niro Sets Guinness World Record Title For Lowest Fuel Consumption By A Hybrid Vehicle

Kia Nero, Road-Test.orgNew kind of crossover boasts a number of firsts for Kia, including a new, dedicated eco-car platform and a unique hybrid system

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 15, 2016 – Arriving at New York City Hall in downtown Manhattan, the 2017 Kia Niro officially received a Guinness World Record® title for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the USA from coast to coast (hybrid car).  The new record-setting mark is an incredible 76.6 mpg (3.07 L/100 km).

“We’re extremely pleased with the Niro’s record-breaking performance,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “We set out to build a vehicle that offers real-world utility, great looks and fantastic mileage, and setting the Guinness World Record® title confirms our achievement.” Read the rest of this entry »


Jan 18

Why Are So Many Auto Manufacturers Offering Electric Vehicles?

Road-Test.org, Electric Vehicles, Iain Shankland

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Almost every day now we’re seeing announcements of new electric vehicles arriving very soon. Although they’ve been around for a while now – the Chevrolet Volt is now entering its 2nd Generation, and the Nissan Leaf, which has been around since 2012 will be all-new for the 2017 model year. Ford have the Fusion, Focus and C-Max plug in/hybrid models and don’t forget the leader of hybrid cars/SUV – Toyota, as well as Tesla, Kia and now Hyundai.

It’s getting to the point that we’re going to have an abundance of electric vehicles to choose from in 2016 and 2017- and that’s a good thing. So why all this bombardment? Why are so many manufacturers jumping on the Electric Vehicle Bandwagon?

Range Anxiety
The biggest obstacle until now has been the limited range of electric vehicles. Who wants a car that only goes 84 miles (135 kms) – best-case-scenario (from Nissan) between a re-charge?! A re-charge that can take up to 20 hours when charged from 110/120 Volt outlet!! The Nissan Leaf is great if you never leave town, with its entirely useless 84 miles (135 kms) range (the EPA has it pegged at an even worse 75 miles/121 kms). If I left my house heading for Toronto – about 1 ½ hours away with bumper-to-bumper traffic I’d just about get there, but not home without a re-charge – talk about ‘range anxiety!! Nissan are touting the ‘NEW’ 2016 Leaf  will bump it to a “whopping” 107 miles (172 kms), so I’ll definitely reach Toronto, but still have to charge it to get home after spending the night in a hotel. Read the rest of this entry »


Jan 09

IONIQ – A Leap Forward For Hybrid Vehicles As Hyundai Introduces The First Car With Three Electric Powertrains

Hyundai IONIQ, Road-Test.org

A world first: Electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains available in a single body type

 December 7, 2015 Hyundai Motor has announced the name of its advanced, alternative-fuel compact vehicle due for launch in 2016: the Hyundai IONIQ. The car will be available with electric, plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid, or gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain – the first car from any manufacturer to offer customers these three powertrain options in a single body type.

As part of Hyundai Motor’s ambition to chart the direction of future mobility, while enhancing the lives of its customers, the IONIQ responds to rapidly changing customer lifestyles by breaking the mold for hybrid vehicles. As the world’s first model to offer customers the choice of three powertrain options, the IONIQ combines class-leading fuel efficiency with a fun, responsive drive and attractive design, a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »


Nov 06

Road Test: 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid

Road Test, Iain ShanklandIt’s been a little while since I’ve taken a hybrid out for a test, so I thought I’d try out the 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid while it’s still new and not ready for a re-design in the very near future.

Over the last 10 years I’ve had the opportunity to see a number of hybrid vehicles change and improve with each passing year. From the Toyota Prius, Escape and Highlander SUV hybrids to the mid-size Camry and Fusion – over the years they are considerably different from the hybrids we had just 3 years ago. While a number of manufacturers are looking at pure electric and hydrogen to propel vehicles of the future, the first kid on the block – the engine/electric motor/battery is by far the best combination because there are no unnecessary compromises like range and non-existent re-fueling stations.
Read the rest of this entry »


Dec 08

Volvo Cars introduces Twin Engine technology in world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV

2015 Volvo XC90, Road-Test.orgThe first Volvo designed from the ground up for plug-in/electrification compatibility, the XC90 T8 delivers all the performance of a luxury SUV, but with emission levels that even small hybrid cars struggle to match.

When designing the XC90 T8, Volvo Cars chose not to compromise on performance, driving pleasure, efficiency or even luggage space. By building on the new modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and successful Drive-E petrol powertrain, the company has created a uniquely roomy 7-seater SUV that delivers 400hp/640Nm combined with ultra-low emissions (59g/km) and high fuel efficiency (2.5 l/100km). The fuel economy according to the U.S. driving cycle is 59 MPGe.

“The XC90 T8 is a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one,” says Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. “The Drive-E engines already offer highly competitive performance versus the competition. The T8 takes it further into a leading position.” Read the rest of this entry »


Dec 04

Road Test: 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid – EX Premium

Kia Optima Hybrid, Road-Test.orgEver since I laid eyes on the Optima, I’ve loved its style and couldn’t wait to drive it. Well time flies and it took longer than expected to finally get behind the wheel. Half-way through its model cycle, the Optima gets a refresh for the 2015 model year (its subtle, but better looking inside and out), so it was important to grab the keys to a 2014 before the change, in order to compare them next year.

What Is It? 

  • Mid-size sedan
  • Full Hybrid – A traditional vehicle with an electric motor that can exclusively propel the vehicle at times or in combination with a gas engine. An example of this would be an electric motor that propels the vehicle from a stop, a gas engine that operates at highway speeds and both combine when extra power is required. A Full Hybrid charges its own batteries via electric motor or gasoline engine.
  • Depending on the state of charge and load, the electric motor may propel the vehicle for longer distances and speeds up to 100 km/h. I easily got up to 80km/h on the battery power only
  • Lithium-Polymer Battery – One of the smallest, lightest and most advanced hybrid batteries in the automotive world
  • Hybrid Engine Clutch – A ‘Hybrid Engine Clutch’ allows for a seamless transition between electric motor and gas engine. The entire seamless transition takes only six-tenths of a second
  • Traditional Transmission – A traditional 6-speed transmission is used instead of a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This allows for desirable shift feeling instead of a shiftless ‘golf-cart feeling’ 

Read the rest of this entry »


Nov 19

Road Test – 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL

Welcome to the new and improved styling of Road-Test. Living in a world where time is precious and summing up an experience is done in 140 characters or less, starting with this review we’ll provide readers with a more streamlined, concise overview of each test-drive. We welcome your comments, critiques and suggestions on our new format and hope that you’ll connect with us on Facebook to share your opinions. Check us out at www.facebook.com/RoadTest.org

© Road-Test.org, © Iain Shankland

2013 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL

The all-new C-MAX is a great looking little city runabout that’s sure to stand out in a crowd. With the world striving to go green, manufacturers are forever trying to find a way to make vehicles more fuel efficient. Each manufacturer has their own take on how to save the planet – for some it’s hydrogen, for others it’s diesel, hybrid, electric or combinations there-of. The C-MAX is a different animal – it straddles the realm between and EV and a hybrid. Its forté is that you can plug it in and run on electric-only for short trips around town – where the majority of pollutants are emitted in stop-and-go traffic. Unlike other EVs it has a real motor to extend its range, making the C-MAX far more desirable than your standard EV or hybrid.

What Is It?

  • Plug in EV (Electric Vehicle) Hybrid
  • It’s a plug in battery operated vehicle with the bonus of having a real 4-cylinder engine for longer commutes or when the battery runs out
  • Can be used as electric-only in town/city
  • Or set to Auto and allow computer to decide what’s most efficient
  • All-electric range is 43 kilometres, gas-plus electric is 1,221 km (highly doubtful based on my usage)
  • Re-charge overnight using standards 120-volt outlet
  • There is a regular hybrid version available too – called the C-MAX Hybrid
  • In Europe there’s a gasoline and diesel version called B-MAX Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 20

Road Test: 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Ford

Last year I drove the Ford Fusion SEL and was considerably impressed by it – so much so, that I recommended it to my brother-in-law when he was looking at buying a new vehicle. He loved it so much he bought one.

I’ve driven a number of hybrids over the years, but never the Fusion. I liked the regular 4-cylinder version, so I grabbed the keys to the hybrid to see if it was any better. One thing it for sure, they are quite different.

Read the rest of this entry »


Aug 10

The All-New 2013 Lexus ES is better and cheaper than the 2012 model.

Toronto, ON“Every trip in the new ES delivers a moment of achievement – of personal satisfaction – that rewards the driver at every stage. And we’re pleased to offer this experience to Canadian guests at a new price that makes true luxury even more attainable,” said Larry Hutchinson, Senior Executive Director of Lexus in Canada. “With performance enhancements, signature styling and the Lexus attention to detail, plus the first ES to be offered with a choice of conventional or hybrid powertrains, the 2013 ES establishes a new standard for luxury and refinement.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Mar 27

Road Test Special: Hybrid Vehicles – How Do They Work And Should I Buy One?

By Iain Shankland / Images: Honda, Toyota & Ford

2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid

In 2006 I had the opportunity to Road Test my fist two hybrid vehicles – the Ford Escape and the Toyota Camry. I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than good gas mileage and a very quiet engine. That was a long time ago and hybrids have come a long way since then with numerous manufacturers throwing their hat into the fuel-savings ring.

Each time I get the opportunity to drive a hybrid, my main goal is to learn if they actually sipped fuel as promised, or whether all the hype is just another game of smoke and mirrors that tree huggers have become so adept at feeding the general public by way of the media. I always get numerous questions come my way from friends, family and complete strangers. Most are somewhat confused about what exactly a hybrid is, and that got me to thinking – how many other people are confused about them? So, with my readers in mind, here is a brief explanation and summary of my experience with hybrids – the good and the bad – if there is any.

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