Aerodynamics are key to electric vehicle (EV) efficiency and driving range. The basic principle is simple; the lower the coefficient of drag (cD), the further you can travel per charge. The slickest cars follow nature. A bird that’s shaped like a brick cannot fly. Unfortunately, electric vehicle aerodynamics have taken a back seat to the whims of the market. In the quarter century since the introduction of the General Motors EV1, it’s 0.19 cD remains unrivaled.
Vehicle subscription services offer a compelling alternative to traditional ownership, leasing, and rental. They are useful in situations that prevent long-term commitment. Think of it as an in-betweener for those times when a traditional rental is too expensive and a lease is too burdensome. Need a car for a month or two (maybe six)? A subscription might be right for you. The primary differentiators between car subscription plans include service areas, monthly costs, upfront fees, mileage limits, flexibility, and vehicles offered. A slew of companies have launched in recent years and the marketplace is evolving rapidly.
With auto manufacturer and supplier exhibits spread throughout Detroit’s cavernous Cobo Hall, finding the most efficient route through the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) can be a daunting task. If you’ve ever wished you had an app on your smartphone to provide navigation within the winding aisles of a gigantic car show, your prayers have been answered.
Enter ZF AutoShowMe!
The ZF AutoShowMe App runs on iOS and Android devices. ZF is providing the app free of charge via Google Play and the iPhone App Store. Download ZF AutoShowMe for NAIAS 2014 and you’ll chart a course to auto show nirvana.
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
- Audi A4
- Suzuki SX4
- Subaru Legacy
- Subaru Impreza
- Subaru Outback
- Jeep Compass
- Ford Escape Hybrid
- Jeep Patriot
- Subaru Forester
- Mazda Tribute Hybrid
- Mercury Mariner Hybrid
- Honda CR-V
- Volvo S60
- Volvo V50
- Volvo S40
- Toyota RAV4
- Cadillac CTS
- Cadillac STS
- Lexus IS 250
- Nissan Rogue