2010 Toyota Prius vs. 2010 Honda Insight: The Commute

Last week, we ran our latest Mileage Challenge featuring four ultra-fuel-efficient cars, and before that we rounded up six fuel-sippers to see which one was the best daily driver. But none of these reports put a brutal, real-life morning and evening commute to the test.

That’s exactly what I did in the new 2010 Honda Insight and 2010 Toyota Prius, the two most affordable hybrids on the road. We hear a lot of car shoppers say they buy hybrids to help save on their gas costs and cut down on emissions during their commute. But how did the two do in terms of fuel efficiency, comfort and entertainment for my often 90-minute morning commute and 45-minute afternoon commute? Let’s find out.
By David Thomas | October 27, 2009 | Comments (18)

Cars.com Podcast: Porsche Panamera

This week’s podcast is a bit like the classic Pink Floyd album “The Wall,” especially considering the line, “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.” In the case of this week’s podcast, you’ll have to listen to our editors discuss last week’s mileage challenge and how it came together before you’ll hear about Mike Hanley’s seat time in the full line-up of the new Porsche Panamera.

You can check it out in iTunes here or just hit the play button below.

Cars.com Podcast

By David Thomas | October 26, 2009 | Comments (1)

Mileage Challenge 5.5: Final Thoughts

Beyond the numbers that we so diligently broke down yesterday, driving four different cars for six hours can be telling in many more ways than just fuel economy. Our editors share their thoughts on the cars and pick which car they’d log another six-hour trip in.
By Kelsey Mays | October 23, 2009 | Comments (10)

Mileage Challenge 5.4: The Results

Our latest mileage challenge had editors logging more than 300 miles each in three hybrids and a diesel: the 2010 Honda Insight, 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 2010 Toyota Prius and 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. We tallied up all the numbers and corrected for a brief photography stint between Legs 2 and 3. (Angling cars around for the camera — complete with rapid stops, starts and idling — has a way of dinging your mileage, and it’s not representative of real-world driving.)

The results were striking.
By Kelsey Mays | October 22, 2009 | Comments (19)

Mileage Challenge 5.3: Dizzying Displays

Most people think all of the advanced technology in today’s hybrid cars is under the hood. While automakers continue to enhance new engines, batteries and drivetrains, they’re also working on ways to wrangle the one factor they can’t control — the driver.

To gain maximum efficiency in a hybrid, a driver must be taught to drive properly so fill-ups are few and far between. In the crop of cars we tested on our mileage drive, there were a dazzling array of displays to teach people to drive as green as possible.
By Matthew Raskin | October 21, 2009 | Comments (2)

Mileage Challenge 5.2: Avenues and Interstates

Our latest mileage challenge took three hybrids — the Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid and Toyota Prius — and one diesel, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, from Chicago to Fond du Lac, Wis., and back. The total distance came to just over 300 miles: The first 38 miles were in urban gridlock, the next 230 miles or so consisted of relatively open highway driving and the final 35 miles took place in afternoon interstate traffic.

As in our other mileage challenges, the ground rules remained largely the same: Four editors filled the tires to their recommended pressure, kept windows and sunroofs closed, drove as we normally would and switched cars at each leg to control for driving habits. But this being a challenge with hybrids there were some added things to look out for that could sway the results.
By Kelsey Mays | October 20, 2009 | Comments (7)

Mileage Challenge 5.1: Hybrid vs. Diesel

Despite gas prices averaging below $2.50 a gallon nationwide, hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles are as popular as ever. The redesigned Toyota Prius is one of the country’s best-sellers, and Volkswagen’s TDI diesel was in short supply after it debuted at dealers earlier this year. With interest in these types of vehicles still high, we held another mileage challenge with the most popular of these cars and included both hybrids and VW’s most efficient diesel.
By Kelsey Mays | October 19, 2009 | Comments (21)

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