(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)
Driving a blue Honda Fit EV down El Segundo Blvd. in Los Angeles, I began to feel a bit guilty. To my left stretched a massive complex, a big stretch of beachfront property devoted to a Chevron oil refinery. As the Fit EV whispered by this facility, which Wikipedia told me later was founded in 1911 and gave the town of El Segundo its name, I thought of all the oil workers the little electric car I was driving would put out of a job.
Lacking a gas tank and exhaust pipes, this Fit EV would never need to sully itself at one of the many gas stations I passed on this drive through Los Angeles, except maybe to top off the air in the tires.
The Fit EV represents one of the new breed of electric cars, which current battery technology is making more practical for daily use. And in my drive I found the Fit EV the… [Read more]
Toyota has slipped behind competitors in drivetrain technology and now must play catch-up against the likes of…[read more}
Also in this episode: Carroll Shelby’s Ford Mustang GT500 KR goes up for auction, and the Chevy Spark shows off its wares. [read more]
Ok, question: would you pay $32,295.00 for a dressed up Civic with a 150 hp 2.0 liter four banger? When, for an extra $1,700 you could have a bigger, better TSX with the 201 hp 2.4 liter four banger? Maybe? Well, keep reading.
Honestly, this car confuses me. It’s a compact sedan with a leather, voice activated nav and a backup camera. Do you need a backup camera in a car this size? I dont think you do. And if you’ve read any of my reviews, you know that I usually ignore the nav systems. (The only exception was the Audi A6, which was freaking awesome with the Google Earth birds-eye view.) The leather was nice, though. The stereo sounded good and the moonroof was cool, too. But none of this made me forget that I was basically driving a Civic.
Ok, yes, the ILX looks a bit better than a Civic. It drives a bit better than a Civic. But $10,000+ better? I’m not sure. The girlfriend and I took it out for a weekend getaway, and even though there is more sound deadening than youd find in a Civic, there was a surprising amount of road noise on the freeway. It was comfy, though, and it did handle the twisty back roads well. But still, with just 150 hp there is not a whole lot of oomph.
Gas mileage is good but not great. It gets 24 city, 35 freeway. The Civic gets 38 city, 39 highway and only gives up 10 hp (but its lighter, too). And the 2013 Ford Fusion, which is quite a bit larger, is expected to get 26 city and 37 highway with the 1.6 liter Ecoboost.
My test car came equipped with a five speed auto. Sure, thats fine, but seems a bit old school when most are going to six speeds or more (or CVTs). And though I generally like Honda/Acura trannies, I thought this behaved a bit strangely in low speed traffic situations. [read more]