Best Hybrids for the Money 2014


Gas prices remain historically high and volatile, and one of the most successful ways automakers and American motorists have adapted is by embracing hybrid technology. Though a few full-size hybrid trucks from GM have been discontinued, 2014 sees as many models as ever. No matter why you may want a hybrid, you might want to know how well it meets its mission.

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To determine if a hybrid's added expense is worth the cash, we devised an efficiency-cost rating. It's simply the EPA's combined mpg rating divided by the base price (meaning MSRP plus destination charge). We then multiply that result by 1,000. This formula can be applied to any type of vehicle, hybrid or not. A high mpg rating and low price provide a high efficiency-cost rating. A higher score is the better score.

We don't account for equipment levels, quality judgments, cost of ownership or any variances from EPA mileage estimates. The goal here is to pay the least for the most mileage, barring all other considerations.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 14, 2014 | Comments (12)

2013 BMW 7 Series: First Look

2013 BMW 7 Series

  • Competes with: Audi A8, Mercedes S-Class, Jaguar XJ, Bentley Continental
  • Looks like: BMW’s flagship gets a host of needed technology updates 
  • Drivetrain: 315-hp, turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder (740i/Li); 445-hp, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 (750i/Li); 535-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 (760Li); 335-hp hybrid system with a 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder (ActiveHybrid 7); eight-speed automatic transmission 
  • Hits dealerships: Late summer 2012

As BMW has been busy updating its more affordable models — the 3 Series, X3 and 5 Series — the 7 Series has been left to languish with older powertrains and tech features. No more, however, as the 2013 7 Series gets a host of important updates, including a new standard eight-speed automatic transmission, a new hybrid powertrain and exterior updates, among other changes.

All models now come with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, which was previously only available for the V-12 and hybrid models. Auto start/stop and brake regeneration are also standard on the 740i/Li and 750i/Li, and a self-leveling rear air suspension is now standard on all models. A new Eco Pro button can decouple the engine when the vehicle is coasting from 30 to 100 mph, increasing fuel efficiency by 20%, according to BMW.

By Colin Bird | May 25, 2012 | Comments (6)

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