What happened with this 1.6T engine?

Every once in a while an engine comes around that’s promising on paper, but underwhelming in reality. It’s looking like the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder introduced in the 2013 Hyundai Veloster and now available in the 2014 Kia Forte could be such an engine. On paper, the smallish turbo four is good for 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb-ft… More →

Is Hyundai struggling with mpg?

Jump back a few years, and Hyundai seemed to have moved from worst to first in fuel economy. Their new cars were managing EPA highway ratings near 40, and they were on track to meet future fuel economy standards ahead of everyone else. Then the news broke that they had made some iffy assumptions when calculating their EPA figures. The… More →

People who drive a lot drive these cars

Among the many things we check when preparing the reliability stats are unusually high odometer readings. Some people add an extra zero by mistake. Others simply spend an insane amount of time on the road. The latter is especially likely with two cars: VW’s Golf/Jetta/Rabbit TDIs (diesels) and Toyota’s Prius. Looking at 2010s, with readings averaged over the past four… More →

Buick Verano vs. BMW 528i xDrive: which gets better gas mileage?

This week I’m driving a Buick Verano. Last week I had a BMW 528i xDrive. The first, based on the Chevrolet Cruze, is the smallest car Buick has offered since the J-Body Skyhawk was discontinued back in 1989. It weighs in at 3,300 pounds (midsize territory) and is powered by a 180-horsepower, 171 pound-feet 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The latter, for… More →

Sign of the times: the 2010 Mazda CX-7 gets a non-turbo four

Though fuel prices have moderated, as long as the economy remains soft car buyers will be focusing on fuel economy, not horsepower. In response, manufacturers are rushing to offer at least the alternative of a less powerful, more efficient engine. The Mazda CX-7, a compact SUV, is a case in point. When the CX-7 was introduced three years ago, only… More →

A 230 MPG EPA rating for the Chevrolet Volt

Back in September 2008 I suggested how gas mileage should be calculated for range-extended electric vehicles like the upcoming Chevrolet Volt: one set of numbers for electric use, and a second set for after the batteries have discharged. General Motors, of course, saw things differently. It wanted the highest possible numbers, both for CAFE and for advertising purposes. And it… More →