Tag: hybrids

By on May 14, 2020

2018 Toyota Sienna red - Image: Toyota

It seems that Chrysler’s Pacifica won’t be the only available hybrid minivan for long.

While the Ontario-built model, which challenges Toyota’s Sienna by adding all-wheel drive for 2021, remains the only hybrid people mover in the segment, it’s possible the Sienna might soon become the only AWD HEV minivan. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2020

Back when your author was the (soon to be not) proud owner of a 93-horsepower Plymouth, Toyota was prepping the American populace for a new kind of driving experience. A futuristic one, and a thrifty one, to boot. Two decades ago, it debuted a model that first appeared in its home country three years earlier: the Prius.

Eighty trillion jokes later, and after selling more than 1.9 million of the things to U.S. consumers, Toyota is marking the Prius’ 20th anniversary in this country with a limited run of special edition models. And they happen to look better than the stock Prius. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2020

2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e blue - Image: Toyota

It’s the Toyota Prius’ party and it can cry if it wants to. Two decades after its North American debut, the Prius is reportedly set to mark the occasion with a special edition. Whether or not the new reigning champ of the hybrid scene, the Prius’s own RAV4 Hybrid stablemate, is invited to the bash remains unknown.

Yes, the Prius has come a long way since its 2001 introduction, but time can either solidify a front-runner’s position or see it fall behind the pack, overtaken by changing trends. The Prius falls into the latter category. (Read More…)

By on April 20, 2020

2018 Lexus NX 300h front quarter

Overseas trademark applications are nice, but the significant differences between those markets and our own often make such appearances a harbinger of not much. Europe is far more likely to go green, while American buyers, depending on state, don’t see nearly as much punishment for choosing the least efficient models.

Less taxation and far cheaper fuel conspire with geographical and cultural realities to make green cars a tough sell stateside, even a decade after things really kicked off in earnest.

Which is why the recent appearance of a plug-in hybrid in trademark filings an ocean away were worthy of interest, but no guarantee of U.S. availability. Until now. (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2020

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

With a new Lexus NX compact crossover expected to arrive next year, trademark applications on both sides of the Atlantic point to increased powertrain diversity — and more available power for U.S. customers.

Overseas, at least, the little Lexus (but not the littlest Lexus) CUV stands to go even greener. (Read More…)

By on April 14, 2020

2019 Toyota RAV4 HybridWhen I first drove the newest generation of Toyota’s popular RAV4, I was lukewarm on the hybrid model. I liked the previous-gen hybrid better. At the time, I wrote that the best new RAV4, in this reviewer’s opinion, is the Adventure trim.

I stand by that statement, but I also think, upon further reflection, that I was a bit too harsh on the hybrid.

A week’s worth of time with a vehicle will do that. Sometimes week-long loans expose flaws that aren’t apparent in the stage-managed environs of a press junket, and sometimes it’s the other way around.

This is an example of the latter.

(Read More…)

By on March 24, 2020

Unless you’re the owner of a Honda Civic and find its fuel economy lacking — a rare combination — the Insight probably isn’t on your radar. Despite being this first hybrid model to grace North American roads, selling more units than Honda predicted, the original Insight was quickly overshadowed by the Toyota Prius. Successive generations performed better by adhering to greater levels of normalcy, with the current generation appearing for the 2019 model year after a prolonged absence.

For 2021, the Insight is due for a refresh. Honda’s keeping the changes light, focusing on adding a handful of safety options and new “Radiant Red” metallic paint hue. Sure, it won’t send people running to the dealership, though it might sway a few prospective Prius customers — a community that’s been shrinking since 2013(Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

fca

Not long ago, Subaru announced its intention to bring transmissions to Indiana. Now, Fiat Chrysler plans to replace some of its tranny-building capacity with engine production. Either way, it’s good news for the Hoosier State.

Lost in the shuffle late last week was news that FCA intends to spend $400 million converting the shuttered Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo to a home for the automaker’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. (Read More…)

By on February 6, 2020

hyundai

Hyundai usually waits a bit before revealing the hybrid variant of the Sonata, and the Korean brand continued the tradition with the latest iteration of its midsize sedan. Sporting the same polarizing styling as its gas-only sibling, the 2020 Sonata Hybrid delivers significant improvements in fuel economy while debuting a gimmicky feature that Hyundai says amounts to “free miles.”

Good thing it’s always sunny in Chicago. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2020

We told you late last year how the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the hybrid the Toyota Prius wishes it could be. The two models have essentially swapped positions, with eco-minded American consumers now eschewing the pius hatch in favor of the brawnier image and accommodating cabin of the gas-electric compact CUV.

It brings to mind this morning’s QOTD, frankly.

End-of-year sales starkly illustrated the diverging paths of these two models. This week, the automaker is basking in more good sales news, both for hybrids and conventional vehicles. On the electrified front, at the very least, there’s good reason for Toyota to be very optimistic about 2020. (Read More…)

By on January 29, 2020

Given that Nissan finds itself in dire financial straits, an updated utility vehicle line seems like the best way to boost sales and revenue. Having already finished revamping the bulk of its passenger car lineup and its Titan and Titan XD full-size trucks, the automaker’s attention is now turning to its CUVs.

A report out of Britain casts some light on a seldom-mentioned Nissan crossover while also calling into question changes planned for another model. (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2020

BorgWarner

This new era of electrification has caused many an automaker to eye a competitor’s business, and suppliers are no different. Announced Tuesday, BorgWarner has decided to buy Delphi Technologies, uniting the two businesses to better capture the growing market for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The powertrain giant pegs Delphi’s enterprise value at $3.3 billion, making this acquisition its largest to date. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2020

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV front quarter

The only hybrid vehicle in Mitsubishi’s meager lineup, the Outlander PHEV, will don a larger gasoline engine when it arrives for the 2021 model year. In a nod to the Gretas of the world, Mitsu will offset the boosted displacement with additional gas-free range.

Documents filed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal details of the upcoming midsize crossover, which should be the first Mitsubishi-branded vehicle to borrow serious kit from its alliance partners. (Read More…)

By on January 21, 2020

Crosstrek Hybrid

Like it or not, Subaru plans to make up for lost time by delving deep into the world of electrification. In a technical briefing Monday, the automaker outlined a plan to draw 40 percent of its global sales from electric or hybrid vehicles by the beginning of the next decade.

Currently, the automaker only sells the Crosstrek Hybrid, but that will change as its newly strengthened partnership with Toyota starts to bear fruit. (Read More…)

By on December 23, 2019

toyota

Buyers of the revamped-for-2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid seem pleased with their vehicle’s upgraded fuel economy, but ask them about range, and you’re liable to get an earful.

In an unusual development not often associated with non-EVs, RAV4 Hybrid owners have begun complaining about lackluster driving distance — an issue that stems from the model’s redesigned gas tank. (Read More…)

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