Archive for August, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Volt

Consumer Guide’s loaded test Chevrolet Volt listed for $40,640 including destination charge (pun not intended).

Consumer Guide Automotive Test Drive

2014 Chevrolet Volt

Dates tested: 8/07/2014-8/14/2014

Miles Driven: 300

Fuel Used: .9 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 333.3 mpg 

1996 Acura SLX, Early Japanese SUVs

Anxious to exploit the exploding consumer interest in SUVs, Acura tapped Isuzu for a version of that maker’s Trooper. The SLX became Acura’s first truck.

Fact: Japanese automobile manufacturers were just as willing as American makers to build fuel-thirsty trucks, they just weren’t as good at selling them. Had early versions of the Nissan Pathfinder or Toyota 4Runner sold nearly as well as the Ford Explorer, history might recall said companies less as the “green” good guys they came to be considered.

Wagons of 1990

At $26,500 including destination charge, the Peugeot 505 Turbo SW8 was the 4th most-expensive wagon available to American shoppers in 1990.

It is Consumer Guide managing editor Rick Cotta who first began noting vehicles that are turning 25 years of age, and thus becoming “classic.”

In Illinois, home to Consumer Guide Automotive© and Collectible Automobile magazine, a car is officially an antique when it crosses the quarter-century line.


Consumer Guide’s test Kia Optima arrived in SX Turbo trim. Loaded with options, our test car came to $33,900, including the destination charge.

2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo

Dates tested: 7/21/2014-8/04/2014

Miles Driven: 633

Fuel Used: 26.1 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 24.3 mpg

UAZ 469

Sadly, the UAZ 469 “Hunter” is not among Russia’s five best-selling vehicles. In truth, this cold-war-era relic didn’t make the top 20. We’re using the classically tough-looking Hunter as our feature image because Russians vehicles just look so darn normal these days.

Serbians knew it as the Zastava Koral, we, for a brief moment in time, knew it as the Yugo GV. To no one’s surprise, a peoples’ car designed around then 20-year old Fiat technology built behind the Iron Curtain didn’t sell especially well in the United States. Mostly we pointed and laughed. For you youngsters out there, the Yugo was a really bad car import from what was then known as Yugoslavia for the 1984-1991 model years. They didn’t sell well.


Consumer Guide’s test Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG arrived well equipped. Our test car listed for $54,525 including the $925 destination charge.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Miles Driven: 172

Fuel Used: 8.5 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 20.2 mpg

1985 Pontiac Fiero, Hall and Oates. Sporty Coupes of 1985

Sometime between the height of their popularity and acquiescing to record a Christmas album, Hall and Oates take time to scuff the finish of a 1985 Pontiac Fiero.

It has taken a while, but demographers seemed to have coalesced around 1985 as the year dividing the people identified as Generation Y from those we’ve labeled Millennials.

2015 Hyundai Genesis, 2015 Hyunda Genesis V8

Consumer Guide’s test Genesis arrived in 5.0 guise with the Ultimate Package. With the destination charge our test car came to $55,700.

New-Car Review 2015 Hyundai Genesis V8

Miles Driven: 548

Fuel Used: 33.6 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 16.3 mpg

5 Habits to Break for Better Gas Mileage

Are you inadvertently wasting gas? Here are 5 bad habits to break if you want to use less fuel.

We all know what we can do to save some gas. We know that we’re obliged to avoid jackrabbit starts, that we should travel at close to the posted speed limit, and that we’re committed to religiously checking the air pressure in our tires. Noted.

We’ve seen the list before. But, you ask, what else can we do? A better question might be, is there anything we should stop doing? The answer is yes. In fact, there are five things you can stop doing immediately in the name of improved fuel economy.

2015 Ford Expedition

The updated 2015 Ford Expedition is shown here in King Ranch trim. A new Platinum trim level tops the lineup.

Among large SUVs, Ford’s Expedition has long played second fiddle to its popular quartet of GM rivals, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and the similar GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. But maybe it shouldn’t … at least, not based on our drives of the revised 2015 edition.