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Toyota’s Prius v is the wagon in the four-model Prius line-up, and returns unchanged for 2014 along with its outstanding spaciousness-to-mpg ratio. Called the “v” for versatility, the mid-sized car borrows its powertrain and styling cues from the world’s best-selling hybrid, the Prius Liftback, and ranks in the U.S.’ top-five. Now a couple years into […]

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Coinciding with an E-Class mid-cycle refresh, Mercedes-Benz’ choice of a four-cylinder diesel for the new E250 BlueTEC is its first for a U.S. sedan since the mid-1980s, and it replaces the V6 of the previous E350 BlueTEC. The all-wheel-drive 4MATIC we drove for over 1,300 miles also happens to be priced at the entry point […]

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Last week in Indianapolis we had opportunity to drive a Ford E-350 van converted to a plug-in series hybrid by ALTe while learning also of the company’s plans for the alternative energy fleet market. Before retrofitting a 2.0-liter Ford Focus four-cylinder engine/generator, two Remy motors, and 21.6-kwh A123 Systems battery pack, the Ford got around […]

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After a couple years of pilot testing and now as emissions certification are being completed, VIA Motors anticipates launching its VTRUX series hybrid vans around June and pickup trucks around this September. When – after some delays – it’s finally given the green light, the Utah-based company spun off in 2010 will begin filling multiple-unit purchase […]

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The Chevrolet Spark EV is General Motors’ first electric car since the EV1 was discontinued in 1999, and more’s the pity it’s only available in California and Oregon. In the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” GM was implicated, and if the Spark EV helps redeem it, one could still say GM has given birth […]

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Adding to Audi’s increasingly well-stocked stable of U.S. diesel variants is its new-for-2014 Q5 TDI quattro. The midsized crossover SUV benefits from big-V8-like torque and a scooch better mpg than the Q5 Hybrid while costing almost $5,000 less and selling much better. In fact, the oil-burning Q5 for March was the sixth best-selling diesel passenger […]

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Introduced a year ago at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, BMW’s 328d proved a satisfying long-legged runner to take back to the 2014 NYIAS this month. Powered by the company’s first four-cylinder diesel brought to the U.S. – an engine that’s seen duty in Europe for several years now – the 328d is […]

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Honda built a legacy of innovation by taking the high road when engineering automobiles that became known as the “Honda Way.” This determined focus resulted in the Civic CVCC engine, the first engine to comply with the 1975 Clean Air Act without a catalytic converter in 1974. Several other “firsts” followed: The world’s first mass-produced […]

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Audi’s midsized A6 has long been a well-regarded luxury performance sedan and this year the German automaker is offering it to the U.S. in diesel flavor. Counting the extra-potent S6, there are now five A6 variants available, and the 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo diesel in the A6 TDI quattro Tiptronic might just make choosing between these […]

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Toyota’s Prius c has established itself solidly as the third-best-selling hybrid being the lowest price Prius, and the highest mpg car “without a plug” sold in America. The subcompact c is a full hybrid and one of four Prius “family” members, the others being the regular “Liftback,” the wagon-like Prius v, and the Prius Plug-in […]

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