If you’ve long since erased the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid from your memory bank, don’t worry. Buyers forgot about it at the same time, and the automaker is prepared to do the same.
When Volkswagen rolled out a list of changes to its 2017 year vehicles today, the Jetta Hybrid was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the automaker placed a note in its empty chair, reading “Jetta Hybrid no longer available.”
It was an undignified (but not unexpected) end for a very unpopular model — one the automaker doesn’t need weighing it down as it tries to streamline its operations in a bid to save cash. (Read More…)
The overwhelming majority of mileage I accumulated in manufacturer-supplied test cars in May was spent in direct hybrid rivals from Ford and Toyota.
The 2016 Ford C-Max SE, Ford’s base model, visited for one week. Then following a stretch in the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R, a base version of Toyota’s new, fourth-generation Prius was dropped off for an extended stretch.
I’ll take the C-Max, thanks.
Scratch that. I’ll take the Golf R.
But if left to choose between the dedicated hybrids from Ford and Toyota, the C-Max is the one I’d have. So why do car buyers plug their ears when they hear such a recommendation? (Read More…)
So, Honda’s two-seater hybrid sports car is officially belly-up in North America. There won’t be a well-attended service or procession, just a solemn trickle of old models off of dealer lots.
After TTAC confirmed that the CR-Z was done in Canada, and after a ‘Final Label’ edition bowed in Japan, word comes that the model has shuffled off into history everywhere else. Honda representatives confirmed to Car and Driver that the automaker has pulled the plug on the CR-Z in North America. (Read More…)
Electrified transportation isn’t catching fire in the new vehicle market, but sales are positively scorching at used car lots.
The top three fastest-selling one- to three-year-old vehicles in the U.S. today aren’t pickups or SUVs, but a low-volume plug-in hybrid and two EVs, according to automotive data and research company iSeeCars.com. (Read More…)
Hybrid fans looking to harvest free solar power as they drive (or park) won’t get that ability when the Toyota Prius Prime arrives in the U.S. this fall.
The automaker announced that European and Japanese buyers will get a solar roof version of the plug-in sedan, but Stateside customers will have to wait, Automotive News reports. Toyota faces an engineering and regulatory hurdle in the U.S. — America has stricter crash regulations, and its engineers haven’t been able to create a solar panel mount that doesn’t shatter during rollovers. (Read More…)
It’s easy to understand Toyota’s enthusiasm for selling 9 million hybrids worldwide since 1997. (Well, 9.014 million, but who’s counting?)
After all, have you sold 9.014 million hybrids? Don’t lie. You haven’t.
Toyota’s announcement comes as the world’s largest automaker accepts a challenge (from itself) to bring the total number of hybrid models sold to 15 million by 2020. It will do that by introducing more hybrid versions of its vehicles, then selling — it hopes — 1.5 million of them each year. (Read More…)
Rarer than an albino squirrel, the slow-selling Cadillac ELR was apparently shuffled into the afterlife three months ago.
Cadillac confirmed to Automotive News that the Chevrolet Volt-based luxury coupe ended production at GM’s Hamtramck facility earlier this year, with remaining units now dwindling from dealer lots.
Tell this news to any random person on the street, and you’ll very likely hear back, “What’s a Cadillac ELR?” (Read More…)
The newest luxury marque is already pursuing an electrification strategy to compete with the Germans.
Genesis, the upstart luxury division of Hyundai, rolls out its first vehicles this year, and plug-in hybrid models will soon follow, reports Automotive News.
The effort is all about battling competitors BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche on their own turf. Those luxury automakers are planning to increase their hybrid offerings in a market seen as more receptive to plug-ins. (Read More…)
Two sides, two seemingly valid arguments. And in the middle, five $1.1 million cars.
Through the province’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, Ontario taxpayers helped lower the price of five Porsche 918 Spyders last year, according to Canada’s national broadcaster, leaving many wondering why their cash helped fund supercars for the ultra wealthy.
The program shaved just over $5,500 off the price of each $1.1 million hybrid Porsche — a limited edition model possessing 887 horsepower, with a top speed of 210 miles per hour.
One of those vehicles has since burned to the ground in a Toronto-area gas pump fire, which, for some, serves as a perfect metaphor for taxpayer-funded EV incentives. (Read More…)
After finishing a close third behind the plunging Ford Explorer and Chevrolet TrailBlazer in 2006, the Honda CR-V went on to claim the top spot among SUVs/crossovers in America in eight of the following nine years, including the last four consecutive years.
A victorious ending to 2016 appears less certain for the CR-V. In the last five months, the best-selling utility vehicle in America was the Toyota RAV4, sales of which rose 14 percent in the first-quarter of 2016 as CR-V volume slid 3 percent.
Incidentally, the last SUV to unseat the CR-V on a calendar year basis was the Ford Escape. Back in 2011, the Escape was available with a hybrid powertrain, an option not offered by rival small SUVs. Fast forward to 2016, and the vehicle most likely to unseat the CR-V — the surging RAV4 — is likewise available with a hybrid powertrain. A meaningless, low-volume variant meant to bolster an automaker’s green cred? Perhaps that was the case with the Escape in 2011, but there’s an entirely different story to tell with the RAV4 five years later. (Read More…)