Driving Clean Diesels in Las Vegas

Alternative Fuels and Vehicles 2008 conference attendees were in for a rare treat at the Bosch sponsored a clean diesel ride-n-drive event on Monday evening, May 12th. After opening remarks from diesel hot rodding legend Gale Banks, attention turned to the race course laid out though the parking lots of the Rio Hotel and a … Read more

BMW 3-Series Gas Mileage: 1978 – 2011

Over the years, BMW’s 3-Series have earned a well-deserved reputation for delivering a convincing combination of performance and handling, while achieving reasonable gas mileage (for those blessed with the constitution to keep their foot out of it). The current crop of BMW 328s and 335s are no exception, with highway gas mileage ratings in the mid to high twenty mile per gallon range.

The return of diesel-powered BMWs to America heralds a new era of fuel efficient sporting transport. We had the opportunity to review the BMW 335d and found it to deliver a stunning combination of fuel-efficiency and performance.

Rumor has it that the 335d will not be offered in 2012. We can only hope that the 3-series diesels return quickly, as the mileage ratings are nothing less than stunning.

In the UK, the diesel-powered BMW 320d ES is rated at 47.1 miles per Imperial gallon (MPG) urban, 68.9 MPG extra-urban, and 58.9 MPG combined with a six-speed manual transmission. That equates roughly to 39.2 city, 57.4 highway, 49 combined here in America. The 320d is no dog … as turns in a 0-62 mile per hour (MPH) time of 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 143 MPH.

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BMW 535d Diesel

One short ride in a BMW 535d is sure to blow away any preconceptions you might have about diesel engines.

I took a quick spin around the block in a 2007 535d M Sport this week, while at the Green California conference. I flew cross-country for the chance and brought my camera to share the ride.

Now I’ll freely admit … for my entire life, I have succeeded in resisting the lure.

I could never picture myself driving a BMW.

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Best Gas Mileage Four Wheel Drive

Need a four wheel drive with the best gas mileage? Get ready to downsize. None of the best gas mileage four wheel drives (4WDs) are jumbo-sized sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Simply put, the aerodynamics and vehicle weight of the bulkiest SUVs cause gas mileage to suffer, leading to many a painful transaction at the pump. The trick is to get small(er), lighter, and more slippery. Credit Subaru for getting the ball rolling with popularizing economical 4WD drive passenger cars in the early days. Since 1997, every vehicle Subaru’s offered in America has been all wheel drive.

These days, it’s not just Subaru. There are plenty of four wheel drive choices that are neither truck nor SUV. And forget the notion of pint-sized economy cars. You’ll find a generous helping of 4WD luxury from manufacturers including Audi, Volvo, Cadillac, and Lexus … in fact, you’ll find many of their offerings in the 2008 list of best gas mileage four wheel drives.

Purists will gladly share that there’s a difference between four wheel drive and all wheel drive (AWD). And surely there is … but for a great many folks, it comes down to two simple questions: will it go in the snow and will I go broke feeding it?

At the other end of the spectrum, the little Suzuki SX4 delivers plenty of bang for the buck, by combining the best four wheel drive gas mileage with a low sticker price (for those who don’t just think miles per gallon … but miles per dollar.)

Along with its corporate cousins, the Ford Escape Hybrid proves the exception to the rule as the highest all around mile per gallon (MPG) four wheel drive vehicle. If you can’t get a great deal on an Escape Hybrid at your local Ford dealer, take a look at the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. And if you happen to live in Southern California, the Mazda Tribute Hybrid HEV might be an option … as long as you’re able to snag one of the 350 Tribute HEVs built for this test market.)

2008 Best Gas Mileage Four Wheel Drives

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