Archive for July, 2014
It was the Brits who first used the term “Yank Tank” to describe the cars produced by American auto builders. And, compared to the cars sold in Britain after WWII–around the time the term Yank Tank came into use–the cars of the UK were certainly smaller, better handling, and more efficient than those sold Stateside. It is perhaps ironic then that the most-expensive American-built car in 1977 was, in fact, by definition a compact car.
2014 Audi Q5 TDI quattro Tiptronic
Dates Tested: 3/05/2014-3/12/14
Miles Driven: 121
Fuel Used: 4.4 gallons
When the original Sonata was launched into the competitive midsize market for 1989, it stood as Hyundai’s flagship sedan with a strong value equation. But the company was in a tailspin brought on by quality problems, so sales never took off despite the car’s comparatively low price – a trend that continued through the second generation of 1995. But by the time the third generation appeared for 1999, the company’s famed 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10/100 powertrain warranties were in place, and the Sonata’s sales climb was impressive: from just over 14,000 for 1998 to more than 62,000 for 2001. The totals reached nearly 150,000 with the fifth generation of 2006, and that put Sonata in the big time.
If you put the entire 2015 Dodge Challenger lineup together in the same place, the new 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat sucks the air out of the room—figuratively and literally through the 8-liter air box and 92mm throttle body that serve the supercharger atop its snarling 6.2-liter Hemi V8. However, separated from the Hellcat—which we described in detail a few days ago—the rest of the Challenger line shows itself to be improved in a number of ways. It’s broader, too, with a new Scat Pack model and a trio of Shaker versions for V8-powered cars.
2014 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback with EcoBoost Fuel Economy Package
Dates tested: 7/17/2014-7/24/2014
Miles Driven: 316
Fuel Used: 10.4 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 30.4 mpg
This is all the Ram marketing folks’ fault. At the reveal event for the ProMaster City last month, sitting there in a corner of the tent was a meticulously restored Dodge A100. Though the Ram folks made no direct comparison between the two vehicles, the seeds were planted. How do the two diminutive, scrappy vans compare?
2015 Chrysler 200S AWD V6
Miles Driven: 314
Fuel Used: 15.0 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 20.9 mpg
2015 Honda Fit EX-L Automatic with Navigation
Miles Driven: 276
Fuel Used: 9.0 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 30.7 mpg
You have to feel a little sorry for the product-information specialists and executives at Dodge when the topic of the 2015 Challenger comes up. They’ve spent who knows how much time working up all kinds of explanatory material about revised styling this and new 8-speed automatic that—and it’s all going in one ear and out the other because everybody in their audience is staring slack-jawed at the Hellcat.