Tag Archives: Hybrid

Keys of the Week: 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

40490_1_1 As I drive around in the latest iteration of VW’s American-market Passat, now featuring the 1.8 TSI engine, driving impressions of the outgoing 2014 Sonata in Hybrid guise – a car I drove the week prior - flashed into my mind. The Sonata that this 2014 Hybrid is based on was introduced back in 2009, and the newly revised 2015 Sonata will be hitting dealerships around the time you read this (though the Hybrid version soldiers on in current form until a new one bows for 2016). 40468_1_1 Though the Passat was new for the 2012 model year, it too is an old guard among the current mid-size sedan crowd – the Accord, Fusion, Mazda 6, Altima, Malibu and 200 are all newer. And while the Sonata Hybrid and Passat 1.8T appear quite different on paper, they’re remarkably comparable in the real world; especially when it comes down to price. 40491_1_1 For an in-depth review of the current Sonata Hybrid, you can find my extended write-up of the 2013 model here. Changes to the 2014 are few, limited to some minor interior enhancements like a color touchscreen audio display, a backup camera, and LED dome lights. Changes in programming now allow the Hybrid to run in electric-only mode at highway speeds when appropriate, though that didn’t translate into a discernable difference at the pumps, with the 2014 averaging 34.1 MPG in my hands to the 2013’s 35.0. Different driving conditions are likely at the root of the disparity. 40479_1_1 That’s still plenty respectable economy for a mid-size sedan that requires little in the way of sacrifice for the Hybrid treatment, but even the non-hybrids of this class can approach low 30s in mixed driving by way of naturally aspirated and small-displacement turbocharged four-cylinders. You also won’t have to put up with the Sonata’s, ahem, distinctly hybrid-like brake and steering feel that I touched on last year. 40478_1_1 Elsewhere, the Sonata is better resolved from a driver’s perspective. Take-off is eerily quiet thanks to electrified propulsion, and even when the gas engine does kick on, the transition is seamless and silent. You won’t feel penalized for ticking the hybrid option box when you put the hammer down, either – there’s enough grunt on tap to easily keep pace with fast-moving traffic. The six-speed automatic is well programmed, and earns brownie points from me simply for not being a CVT. And the ride-and-handling balance feels better resolved than the Passat I’ll review next week - though the Sonata’s LRR tires dissolve into understeer far sooner than normal all-seasons. 40475_1_1 As a value proposition, the Sonata Hybrid stands up quite well, which prompted its comparison to the Passat SEL in the first place. The VW rang in at $31,715, just a grand shy of the Sonata’s $32,685 sticker. Were it not for the $1,000 panoramic sunroof of our tester, the two would be priced within spitting distance of one another. However, in the Hy-Hy (Hyundai Hybrid) you get real-world economy that shades the Passat’s, a lengthier standard equipment list and an arguably “tech-ier” driving experience. The Passat counters with enough trunk and rear seat room to support a fledgling limo business. 40473_1_1 There’s still plenty to like here, even though the new Sonata is around the corner – proof of just how solid the work that Hyundai did on this generation was, as well as how pivotal this car has been to the brand’s image revival.   2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited Base price: $31,560 Price as tested: $32,685 Options on test car: Panoramic sunroof ($1,000), Floor mats ($125) Powertrain: 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, 270V lithium polymer battery, permanent magnet electric motor, six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive – 199 combined system horsepower S:S:L-observed fuel economy: 34.1 mpg Hyundai provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the manufacturer.

Driven: 2014 Toyota Prius

IMG_5077-2 I’ve admitted on these pages before to not being the World’s Greatest Hybrid Fan. Yeah, I can see their purpose, and although their net impact on global sustainability remains questionable and hotly debated, I do at least understand that a reduced dependence on fossil fuels is a goal we should all be working toward. If in the near term we accomplish that by building vehicles with battery packs that greatly reduce fuel consumption, so be it. But that still hasn’t burnished a place in my heart for the Prius as a vehicle I would recommend to my friends when they ask me, the car guy in their lives, for advice. IMG_5080-5 That could be starting to change, though. For a little background, this is now the fourth Toyota-built hybrid vehicle I’ve driven for our website. I tend to receive a fair number of the Japanese automaker’s vehicles from the local press pool, and over time (as is probably the goal) they’ve started to cement a case for themselves in the cold light of weekday commuting duty. Especially in America’s great outposts of suburban sprawl, like my native Tampa Bay, there are fewer and fewer roads on which to enjoy a fun car during one’s daily commute – most of my route to work and back is straight, clogged and flat as a board. Why grind through it to the tune of mileage in the mid-20s when you can have the same level of comfort and practicality at twice the economy? IMG_5074-1 Such was my mindset after the week in the Prius. Point-A-to-Point-B appliancedom has always been the Prius’ forte. It’s not fun to drive, at least from a driving enthusiast’s perspective. The steering offers nil for feel and the cornering, while pleasantly flat, is light on grip from the efficiency-minded LRR tires and never tempts you to explore the limits. Likewise, the brake pedal exhibits that classic hybrid elasticity as it jumps between slowing the car and recovering energy for the batteries. Dialed back to the type of daily driving 95% of us do, the Prius shines. The ride is smooth and, surprisingly for what many would consider an economy car, the cabin is hushed at speed. The only noise that really makes itself known is that of the powertrain when you dip the pedal into the “power” range on the dash consumption meter. IMG_5082-1 Hybrids have a way of forcing a heavy right foot to buckle under the pressure of the various dashboard doo-dads monitoring your instant and average economy, tempting you into greater and greater returns on your last investment at the gas pump. I decided to turn all of that stuff off this time around, and drive the thing the way I try to drive every car – with gusto. That means hitting the “POWER” button on the dash by the gear selector every time I started the car up, thereby returning more acceleration for a given prod of the throttle. I figured when I tallied up my efficiency report card at the end of the week, I’d see mileage in the high 30s or somewhere thereabouts. Maybe I’d crack 40 if I was lucky. IMG_5078-3 The result? 47.1 MPG. That’s just about bang on the money for Toyota’s claimed economy numbers (51 city/48 highway/50 combined), which I almost never hit regardless of vehicle. The fact that I achieved it without trying to keep that efficiency meter in the black just speaks to the car’s engineering. That it also managed to be comfortable for four, quiet at speed, have a killer A/C system that kept the cabin chilled even during a week of early-summer Florida humidity, a pretty decent stereo, plus a nice-sized cargo area, and I now realize that I’d be hard-pressed to recommend a better car for someone with a budget around $25 grand and no interest in “dynamics”, but instead sturdy, reliable, roomy and comfortable transportation that also happens to blow other compacts and midsizers away when it's time to fill up the tank. For a commuter, you can’t ask for much more than that, really. IMG_5083-2   2014 Toyota Prius III Base price: $26,525 Price as tested: $26,525 Options on test car: None Powertrain: 1.8-liter four cylinder engine, CVT transmission, 60 kW electric motor and Ni-MH battery pack, front-wheel drive – 134 horsepower S:S:L-observed fuel economy: 47.1 mpg Toyota provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the author.  

Cephalexin For Sale

IMG_4078 Cephalexin For Sale, The thought of hybrid loanership for a week usually fills me with the sort of dread reserved for visiting a dentist’s office with a dull ache in your jaw – the only way through the period of time ahead is to envision how much better you’ll feel when it’s behind you. It’s not that hybrids are bad cars, discount Cephalexin, Cephalexin pics, mind you – they certainly serve a purpose for a portion of the buying public – but very rarely are they geared toward car lovers, and instead tend to focus so single-mindedly on efficiency that the duty of actually driving becomes drudgery in their presence, get Cephalexin. Cephalexin steet value, Such was the case when I approached the Sonata Hybrid pictured – “here we go again”.

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The Sonata starts off on the right foot, online buying Cephalexin hcl, Cephalexin without a prescription, though – first of all, there’s no CVT in sight, where to buy Cephalexin. Cheap Cephalexin no rx, Instead, a normal 6-speed automatic rests in its place, herbal Cephalexin. Hopefully that means the drone of a wheezing four-cylinder will be mercifully absent, with powertrains of that ilk often producing more noise than forward motion, Cephalexin For Sale. Real brand Cephalexin online, There’s little noise of any kind, in fact – the car is so well-insulated that only a gimmicky start-up song alerts you to the car’s ready state, purchase Cephalexin. Buy Cephalexin online no prescription, Even when the four-cylinder does kick on, it’s sometimes hard to tell except for the fact that the green “EV Mode” light in the cluster has gone out, Cephalexin recreational. Cephalexin pictures, Otherwise, there’s just smooth forward thrust, order Cephalexin no prescription, Buy Cephalexin from mexico, and enough of it to keep you out of harm’s way – but not enough to get you in trouble. At 199 ponies, Cephalexin reviews, Cephalexin samples, the Sonata’s got a leg up on most of its battery-aided competition.

IMG_4079 Cephalexin For Sale, In other ways, the Sonata falls victim to some of the drawbacks of over-electrification like many other hybrids. The brakes can be tough to modulate smoothly, Cephalexin class, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, producing too much retardation in the first half inch of travel, then not enough for the next inch, cheap Cephalexin, Buy Cephalexin from canada, and then finally the right amount. It’s a Goldilocks reenactment at every stop sign, Cephalexin price. Cephalexin dose, The steering also bears little resemblance to a traditional hydraulic rack, forgoing feel for boosted assistance and exhibiting little sense of gumption on-center, Cephalexin coupon. Cephalexin online cod, Handling and ride quality are at least nicely balanced, and road noise is admirably dampened, Cephalexin brand name, Cephalexin price, coupon, at least up until the limits of the low-rolling-resistance tires are met. Summer tires would be on my immediate list of aftermarket upgrades, Cephalexin For Sale.

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Inside, australia, uk, us, usa, Where can i order Cephalexin without prescription, the Sonata remains a nice place to spend time, confirming for me that the design that seemed so ahead of its time in 2010 (and a leap forward in interiors for Hyundai back then) has aged well, buy Cephalexin without a prescription, Cephalexin maximum dosage, despite being on the market for nearly four years. A lot of competent midsizers have joined the fray since then, rx free Cephalexin, What is Cephalexin, but the Sonata’s cabin does a good job of making a case for itself. It’s well-equipped, where can i find Cephalexin online, Cephalexin use, too, packing in heated front and rear leather seats, generic Cephalexin, Cephalexin without prescription, a panoramic sunroof, navigation with a quite good touch-screen, order Cephalexin from United States pharmacy, Cephalexin no prescription, a 400-watt sound system, keyless entry and a lifetime warranty on the hybrid battery for $32,490 as tested. That compares favorably with its midsize hybrid sedan competition, coming in cheaper than the Fusion and Accord and a little pricier than the spartan Camry.

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IMG_4082 Cephalexin For Sale, The Sonata suffers a bit in the EPA ratings against the Ford and the Honda, with estimates of 36 miles per gallon on the highway and 40 in the city against the brand new Honda’s 50/45 ratings and the Ford’s 47 all around. I achieved 35 mpg overall in my time with the car, nothing to shrug at, as I’m not known to be overly judicious with my right foot. On the whole, it's a valiant first attempt at hybridization for Hyundai's midsize sedan. The fact that the Sonata provides a solid platform to start with is evident in the way the Hybrid conducts itself. A few inherent gas-electric personality quirks aside, I'm sure the Sonata Hybrid would provide enough shoppers in the market with a compelling reason to save a few bucks over a comparable Ford or Honda.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

Base price: $31,345

Price as tested: $32,490

Options on test car: Panoramic Sunroof ($1,000), Floor Mats ($110), iPod cable ($35)

Powertrain: 2.4-liter I-4 engine, Lithium Polymer battery & electric motor, 6-speed automatic transmission – 199 hp

S:S:L-observed fuel economy: 35.0 mpg

Hyundai provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the author.

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Efficient Luxury Transport for the Pleated Set

IMG_3612 Buy Tindamax Without Prescription, Put yourself in a place for a moment – one where Porsches, Mustangs and Corvettes are of little concern. Hard to imagine, I know, Tindamax brand name, but bear with me – at some point, Tindamax interactions, many car shoppers decide they’ve endured the stresses of enthusiast auto ownership for too long. Maybe they bore the brunt of a few too many high dollar repairs, or been left stranded in the office parking lot for the last time, Tindamax alternatives. They’ve grown weary of having something “sporty” and all the compromises that go along with that. Tindamax dose, It’s time for a change – they want something comfortable, relaxing, quiet and luxurious – maybe even something that gets really good gas mileage, purchase Tindamax online. For one reason or another, maybe a diesel is out of the question – you wouldn’t want your significant other accidentally topping off the tank with gasoline, you know, Buy Tindamax Without Prescription. That can make for a hefty repair bill. Tindamax description, They’d even be willing to consider a shade of beige for the paint color. If only there was a car that fit those exacting needs…

Enter the Lexus ES300h.

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While that scenario I just described may not exactly our readers’ loins afire, Tindamax from mexico, you’ve got to admit – there’s probably a large subset of the new-car-buying population that holds those values very near and dear to their heart. Buy Tindamax Without Prescription, Maybe your parents – your aunt and uncle – hell, give yourself a few more hard-earned years and the ES’ air-conditioned seats might start looking pretty good. Buy no prescription Tindamax online, After an impromptu 200-mile road trip one afternoon in the ES, my back and hindquarters were still sitting pretty; absent was the fatigue that typically plagues my back after a few hours on the road. The ES300h’s highway manners are without fault, Tindamax over the counter, providing a serene, Tindamax cost, quiet and comfortable place for one to pass the hours. It’d probably make a great cross-country car, this one, buy Tindamax online cod, given that it gets nearly 40 to the gallon at an 80 MPH lope and delivers you in unfettered relaxitude. Tindamax forum, The stereo’s not bad, either.

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But how does it line up against its non-hybrid sister, the ES350, Buy Tindamax Without Prescription. I had one a while back, low dose Tindamax, and it shared the same characteristics of comfort and unobtrusive operation. Tindamax gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, However, the ES350 rings in about $3 grand cheaper than the 300h. Despite staring at a 13-MPG in-the-real-world economy deficit, where can i order Tindamax without prescription, the ES350 would still enjoy a four year price advantage before the 300h’s higher upfront cost started to pay out for a typical, Cheap Tindamax, 15k–mile-per-year driver. 4-year ownership certainly isn’t out of the question for a Lexus owner, although with leases taking a considerable chunk of new-vehicle acquisitions, buy cheap Tindamax no rx, for some that payout will never be realized.

IMG_3648 Buy Tindamax Without Prescription, Upfront prices that are difficult to justify versus a non-hybrid equivalent are part of the hybrid experience, though – nothing new there. Tindamax for sale, In fact, there’s an intangible value being missed in the equation I laid out above – the value to an owner of simply running a hybrid. It doesn’t make much sense on paper, where can i buy cheapest Tindamax online, but it’s pretty empowering to have a 500-mile range show up in the trip computer on a full tank – depending on driving habits, Purchase Tindamax for sale, it could be weeks before your next fill-up. And that fill up will be regular unleaded, thank you very much – no pricey diesel or super unleaded required here, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal. Absent are the tin can interior acoustics and general lack of power at any speed normally associated with hybrid ownership – while the 200 combined horsepower provided by the Lexus’ engine and battery/motor setup isn’t going to light up the front tires, Comprar en línea Tindamax, comprar Tindamax baratos, it’s at least enough to move with the general flow of highway traffic.

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The ES300h’s three driving modes - Sport, Eco and Normal - provide different-enough settings of throttle and transmission response that you’ll actually get some use out of them, Buy Tindamax Without Prescription. After a day or so, I decided to simply get with the program and embrace the Hybrid Way of Life®, Tindamax use, leaving the car to its own devices in Eco mode. Ordering Tindamax online, When a bit more gusto is required underfoot, a quick toggle to Sport mode is all that’s needed. Interestingly, Tindamax maximum dosage, the Charge/Power hybrid meter to the left of the speedometer changes to display a traditional tachometer when “Sport” is enabled: a neat gimmick. Doses Tindamax work, Otherwise, there’s little inside to generate awareness of the ES300h’s method of propulsion. Buy Tindamax Without Prescription, An “EV Mode” is on offer via a button near the shifter, but in most circumstances besides parking lot dawdling, any summoning of acceleration will relight the gas burner. And of course, where to buy Tindamax, rather than the traditional 6-speed auto in the ES350, Buy generic Tindamax, the hybrid makes do with a CVT – it’s not especially drone-y, this combo, but the 2.5-liter four’s engine note is not an especially sonorous one, purchase Tindamax online no prescription, so you’ll probably want to spend less time near redline in it than with the 350’s sweeter six. My Tindamax experience, IMG_3630

Otherwise, the driving impressions mirror the ES350 I sampled – subdued road impacts, a general lack of tire and wind roar of any kind, order Tindamax online c.o.d, fingertip-light steering and an absence of chassis feedback, Tindamax schedule, either wanted or unwanted. This makes it an ideal “luxury” ride for the types of drivers that want to get in, sit down, Tindamax wiki, and be comfortably transported to the next stop using both a minimum of fuel and fuss. Is Tindamax safe, IMG_3636

 

2013 Lexus ES300h

Base price: $39,745

Price as tested: $49,064

Options on test car: Blind Spot Monitor ($500), Lane Departure Warning ($965), Power Trunk Closer ($400), Intuitive Parking Assist ($500), Rain-Sensing Wipers ($155), Ultra Luxury Package ($2,435), Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio Package ($3,745), Heated Wood/Leather Steering Wheel ($450), Cargo Net ($64), Trunk Mat ($105)

Powertrain: 2.5-Liter four-cylinder, NiMH battery pack and electric motor; total system output: 200 horsepower

S:S:L-observed fuel economy: 37.9 mpg

Lexus provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the author.

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Around the middle of my third day driving the Prius c Buy Prozac Without Prescription, , I realized the car had won. It had succeeded in turning me into the equivalent of one of Pavlov’s dogs, dutifully following the throttle-based energy monitor’s screen until I had achieved sufficient “eco” status while driving, real brand Prozac online. If I was really good, Prozac interactions, I’d even trigger EV-only operation. Much salivating commenced.

As a bit of a lead-foot, Prozac gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, I never expect to get anywhere near manufacturer-rated mileage estimates for whatever car I’m driving. If I’m lucky, I’ll average just above a car’s rated “city” figure, Buy Prozac Without Prescription. Prozac use, The Prius family, and particularly the city car-sized “c”, breaks driving down into a more basic element: not stop, Prozac without prescription, not go – just metering out of energy. Prozac maximum dosage, Whether that energy comes in the form of gasoline or the car’s on-board battery pack depends on your driving style and travel patterns. If you’re tooling around town at low speeds, with an optimally charged battery, Prozac blogs, you might see half your travel time occur on battery power alone. What is Prozac, That’s an empowering figure, and one that draws many a customer to Toyota’s doorstep. Buy Prozac Without Prescription, But for car enthusiasts, there’s not as much pleasure to be found in eking out every last mile to the tank as there is in burning around corners and masterfully executing a heel-and-toe downshift. None of that matters to the Prius c, where can i buy cheapest Prozac online. Its mission is to get you to your destination with a slightly fuller wallet than you would have after a trip in almost everything else on the market today. Prozac no rx, It’s an econobox of the most pure form. That isn’t to degrade the car; it’s just a statement of fact. Everything about it screams economic sense and sensibility, a quality that’s recently come back in roaring fashion, Buy Prozac Without Prescription.

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Design/Interior:

Toyota did a pretty good job of melding the design language of the regular Prius line and the Yaris hatchback on which the c is loosely based, buy no prescription Prozac online. Both the front and rear end slope away from the roof toward the ground, Buy Prozac from mexico, forming a fully curved roofline and enabling the lozenge shape that so aids fuel efficiency. It’s not a bad looking shape on our tester’s 15-inch alloys, although the severely pinched rear end limits visibility out of the backlight, order Prozac from United States pharmacy.

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Inside, Purchase Prozac online, the Prius-meets-Yaris theme continues, with a center-dash digital gauge “cluster”, traditional gated shifter on the floor, online buying Prozac hcl, and simple radio and climate controls. Buy Prozac Without Prescription, I found it easier to work with this car’s interior than that of the traditional Prius, preferring the floor-mounted shifter to the Prius’ joystick-like controller, and reveling in the absence of that car’s reverse warning chime. Prozac canada, mexico, india, The multicolor digital gauge display also appears better executed in the c, although I’d still prefer it if it was directly in front of the driver instead of canted off to the side. Interior space is quite decent considering the car’s miniscule footprint, comprar en línea Prozac, comprar Prozac baratos, handling four adults with relative ease for an hour at a time. Prozac natural, Road noise is noticeable though, with excess sound deadening tossed out in favor of keeping the c’s weight (a paltry 2,500 pounds - 500 pounds lighter than the standard Prius) down, get Prozac.

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Powertrain:

Like its bigger brother, Buy cheap Prozac, the c features an inline-four cylinder engine mated to a nickel-metal hydride battery pack and AC electric motor, driving the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission, though all the power-related bits are slightly downsized relative to the Prius to take into account the c’s smaller and lighter stature, order Prozac from mexican pharmacy. The four-cylinder is a 1.5-liter (plucked from the original Prius) rather than the larger car’s 1.8L, and together with the more compact batteries and electric motor, hum to the tune of 99 total system horsepower and 82 lb-ft of torque, Buy Prozac Without Prescription.

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Driving experience:

Though the Prius c is svelte at the scales, Low dose Prozac, there’s no getting around the fact that its power-to-weight ratio is equivalent to sticking a 198-horsepower engine in a 5,000-pound truck. Acceleration requires mindfulness and planning, is Prozac addictive. Also in the back of your head is the understanding that mashing the accelerator to keep with the flow of bustling interstate traffic will also cut into your combined fuel economy figures. Prozac australia, uk, us, usa, Like I said before, Prii have the ability to change even the most hardened car tester’s driving habits. Buy Prozac Without Prescription, I know this, because although my week in the car heavily featured 70 mph highway driving, a scenario in which the Prius c sucks down fuel with no respite to catch its breath on battery power, I still achieved a 45 mpg average.

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Value:

All Prius c models have the ability to deliver this kind of exceptional fuel economy, Prozac photos, because they feature identical running gear. Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, At a $19,875 price of entry, the Prius c One still brings buyers all the niceties one would expect in any new car, Prozac pics, including automatic climate control, Prozac over the counter, power everything, Bluetooth streaming audio and iPod connectivity. Shelling out a grand more for the Two brings a six-speaker stereo, after Prozac, different seat fabric and more adjustability for the driver, Purchase Prozac online no prescription, a 60/40-split folding rear seat (in place of a one-piece folder on the base car), cruise control and an armrest. The $22, purchase Prozac for sale,560 Three adds color-keyed door handles, Prozac recreational, a touchscreen audio system with Navigation and Entune app suite, voice command and a smart key system. Our $25, doses Prozac work,103 Four tester had every option except the proverbial kitchen sink thrown at it, Prozac used for, including SofTex pleather trim, heated seats, 15” alloy wheels and foglights, Prozac no prescription.

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As an economical city runabout or an entry point into the Prius brand for a potential first-timer, Rx free Prozac, or perhaps a family that wants to add a smaller member to an existing Prius fleet, the c serves as a solidly recommendable spendthrift.

 

 

 

2013 Toyota Prius c Four

Base price: $24,220

Price as tested: $25,103

Options on test car: Rear bumper protector ($89), Carpet Mats/Trunk Mat ($399), Moonglow white paint ($395)

Powertrain: 1.5 Liter 4-cylinder VVT-i engine w/ Hybrid Energy Drive System, CVT transmission – 99 horsepower combined output, 82 lb-ft torque

S:S:L-observed MPG: 45.1 combined

Toyota provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the author.

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If shoppers in this category were driven purely by rationality, they’d be in line for a Lexus ES350 rather than a GS350, Aricept For Sale. After all, buy Aricept online cod, the ES350 I had last month was a perfectly nice car – most Lexus drivers have one, Effects of Aricept, in fact. And therein lies the rub, you see, Aricept overnight. Midsize executive car buyers are looking for the X factor – something that says, Buy Aricept online no prescription, “Yes, I certainly could have had something more sensible, but I went for this simply because I could.” They’re after something most people can’t have, Aricept natural.

Traditionally, Fast shipping Aricept, an E-class or 5-series fit this role perfectly. Aricept For Sale, Maybe an Audi A6 if you were an out-of-the-box thinker or found a Saab too plebian. The Japanese carmakers arrived late to the midsized luxury game and try as they might to make up lost ground with quite competent models, their offerings never made as big a splash in the pond as they’d hoped, herbal Aricept. The original Giugiaro-designed GS300 bowed in 1993, Aricept dangers, but as the mid-1990s yen to dollar exchange rate became less and less favorable for Lexus’s bottom line, each successive generation of the GS bore the responsibility of “turning it all around” for the model. The quad-headlighted second gen shared most of the original’s handsome fastback roofline, cheap Aricept, but by the time the third generation rolled around, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, its design had become a bit too anodyne to stand out against the likes of the then-brash Bangle-styled 5-series and edgy CTS.

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Lexus has now addressed what many felt was the only true criticism to be leveled against the old car, the styling, buy Aricept without prescription. Whatever you think of the fourth-generation GS, you’re unlikely to label it bland, Aricept For Sale. Particularly the spindle-grille-dominated nose, Aricept recreational, whose design ranges from bold on the standard model to downright daring on the F-Sport. Although it took some warming up to, by the end of the GS350’s stay with me, get Aricept, I felt the Lexus designers had pulled off the F-Sport look convincingly. Aricept pics, The current M-Sport 5-series and AMG package E-are no longer what you could call subtle, so it appears buyers in the segment are ready for the creases and swoops these sport packages are increasingly offering. Walking around the sides and back of the GS, buying Aricept online over the counter, you’ll see the design theme continued and finished off with dual exhaust tips integrated into the rear bumper similar to the IS-F. Aricept For Sale, The F-Sport conveys its mission well and overall, I found it to be quite handsome. Order Aricept from United States pharmacy, 600-11

For the GS to be able to compete with a straight face, though, the “sport” in F-Sport needs to be more than skin-deep, buy Aricept from mexico. The $5, Purchase Aricept online no prescription, 690 F-Sport package contains the aforementioned swoopy front bumper and underspoilers but more importantly, a plethora of chassis upgrades. Chief among those are the staggered 19” Dunlop SP Sport Maxx performance summer tires wrapped around wheels in a “dark graphite” finish, Aricept photos. They can call it whatever they want, Order Aricept no prescription, I know black when I see it, and against our tester’s Liquid Platinum (aka silver) paint these black wheels look quite good. The F-Sport also sits atop adaptive dampers, variable gear-ratio electric power steering (at its quickest ratio – 2.2 turns lock to lock – it’s very quick indeed), and 14-inch, two-piece front brake rotors with four-piston calipers, Aricept For Sale. Our car also had the optional rear-wheel steering system, purchase Aricept, and with it the GS proved nimble and light enough to be accurately placed wherever you want it. After Aricept, Grip levels with the summer tires are high, and on them the car can be tossed around with abandon.

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Steering feel and chassis feedback aren’t as crystal clear as those in a harder-edged sports sedan would be, Aricept forum, a sentiment Byron noted when he reviewed a GS350 F-Sport earlier this year, Buy Aricept no prescription, but the GS350 still turns into corners with alacrity and never tempers your sporty intentions with mushiness or slurred responses. I grew to appreciate the power steering, which while light, where can i buy cheapest Aricept online, makes up for its electric-based roots with its speed and accuracy. Aricept For Sale, Its variable ratio is also a godsend in that it slows down nicely on highway slogs when you don’t feel like playing DTM driver. Aricept results, In fact, the whole car pulls off the dual-character thing very well – playful when you want it to be, unobtrusive and dignified when you don’t, where can i find Aricept online.

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The familiar 305-horsepower 3.5-liter direct injection V6 and 6-speed torque-converter automatic transmission pull double duty in the GS350, Taking Aricept, and do so quite well. The automatic doesn’t quite provide the snappy shifts of the best dual-clutches, but neither does it stumble in stop-and-go traffic or away from a hill stop as those transmissions often do, Aricept canada, mexico, india. The V6 moves the GS with far more urgency than its 305 horsepower and 3, Online Aricept without a prescription, 795-pound curb weight would suggest, an intake sound tube piping in engine growls to convincing effect. The BMW 535i, which the Lexus squarely targets, makes do with similar horsepower but is 295 pounds heavier at the curbs, Aricept For Sale. While it’s got two more speeds in its gearbox and 300 of the strongest Bavarian horses in the business, Aricept brand name, I think it’d still be a close fight at the stop lights between it and the GS350. Aricept reviews, 600-14

As a value proposition, it appears the GS350 has finally exorcised its old exchange-rate demons, since a similarly optioned 535i with the M Sport package, order Aricept from mexican pharmacy, navigation, Order Aricept online overnight delivery no prescription, a high end stereo to rival the Lexus’s frankly outstanding 17-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson system and other assorted options will run well past the Lexus’ as-tested sticker of $60,349, Aricept dosage. Not every GS shopper needs the F-Sport package, but in all honesty it’d be hard for us to pass up – it imbues the Lexus with the necessary amount of “sport” to really take the fight to its autobahn-bred competitors. The fact that even a standard GS350 presents such a convincing case for itself speaks volumes about Lexus’ work on this car and hopefully signals future direction that we enthusiasts can really look forward to. And it also makes us realize just how good a full-fat GS-F version would be. Lexus, can you hear us.

2013 Lexus GS350

Base price: $47,775

Price as tested: $60,349

Options on test car: F-Sport Package ($5,690), Blind Spot Monitor ($500), Heads Up Display ($900), Mark Levinson Surround Sound System ($1,380), Navigation Package ($1,735), Intuitive Park Assist ($500), Lexus Dynamic Handling System ($1,700), Cargo Net ($64), Trunk Mat ($105)

Powertrain: 3.5 Liter DOHC V6 with Direct Injection, 6-speed automatic – 305 horsepower, 277 lb-ft torque

Lexus provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the author..

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Wellbutrin SR For Sale

Prius6-600 Wellbutrin SR For Sale, Since its introduction, Toyota’s Prius has strived to be many things to many drivers – from fleet workhorse for taxi operators, to buck-stretching commuter car for normal working slobs, to eco status symbol for the planet-savvy or those who just aspire to be. About Wellbutrin SR, Now, with the Plug-in Hybrid model, Wellbutrin SR samples, Wellbutrin SR no rx, the Prius aspires to be…a Chevy Volt. Well, where can i buy Wellbutrin SR online, Real brand Wellbutrin SR online, not really, but that’s the general concept: provide a full electric option for owners that have access to a wall plug, order Wellbutrin SR online overnight delivery no prescription, Wellbutrin SR brand name, and a gasoline motor for everyone else. I spent a week with one to see how it fared in everyday commuting and city travel, Wellbutrin SR use, Wellbutrin SR from canada, and to see whether a plug-in hybrid is any use at all to a condo/apartment dweller without regular access to a garage wall outlet.

I’ll preface this by once again reinforcing the fact that during my time with the Prius, Wellbutrin SR treatment, Order Wellbutrin SR from mexican pharmacy, I did not have access to a wall outlet to charge it. I did, however, stumble upon a local supermarket with an electric car charging station, Wellbutrin SR For Sale. In my metro area, buy Wellbutrin SR without prescription, Wellbutrin SR results, charging stations aren’t all that prevalent, limited to about a dozen installed by the city and a few dozen more by privateers in select areas, Wellbutrin SR recreational. Where can i order Wellbutrin SR without prescription, Over seven days and 400 miles, I encountered exactly one, Wellbutrin SR description. Buy Wellbutrin SR from canada, During the 25 minutes spent charging at this particular 240V source, I garnered 3.5 miles of electric-only driving; nearly enough to travel back from the market to home, Wellbutrin SR photos. Buy generic Wellbutrin SR, Prius5-600

Using a 4.4 kW-hr lithium-ion battery pack as opposed to the 1.6 kW-hr nickel metal hydride unit on offer in the standard car, the Prius Plug-in charges quickly and depletes that charge even quicker, Wellbutrin SR schedule. Wellbutrin SR For Sale, Standard 120V wall outlets will top off the Plug-in’s battery in around three hours, and on 240V that time is halved – a useful savings over the Volt’s four hour minimum on high-power, and 10-16 hours on 120V. Buy no prescription Wellbutrin SR online, A full battery in the Prius will take you 11 miles on electric-only power, but during those miles you’ll probably need to dip into the gasoline engine’s 98 horsepower on at least one occasion simply to get out of another driver’s way, is Wellbutrin SR safe. Generic Wellbutrin SR, Forward progress in an electric-only Prius is far from stately. But, online buying Wellbutrin SR hcl, Where can i find Wellbutrin SR online, if you can avoid crazed traffic, you’ll be whisked silently from village to dell in relative comfort, purchase Wellbutrin SR. Wellbutrin SR alternatives, The air conditioning system has no trouble keeping the cabin cool in whichever drive mode you’re in, an important factoid if you live in a humid southern state like this author does, where can i buy cheapest Wellbutrin SR online.

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Our “Advanced” package tester also came with a host of goodies seemingly designed to help you drain that battery power just a bit quicker – LED headlights, premium navigation with Entune, “SofTex’’ power heated pleather seats, radar cruise control, a collision warning system and a heads-up display are all included in the $7,525 package price tag, Wellbutrin SR For Sale. Is Wellbutrin SR addictive, Couple that to an MSRP already inflated by $7,845 over a base Prius, Wellbutrin SR overnight, Purchase Wellbutrin SR online, and the Plug-in suddenly appears to be a very pricey way of shouting one’s eco-consciousness.

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Especially when you consider that the Plug-in drives much like every other Prius ; it’s a fairly unobtrusive device that dissects the most basic aspect of driving – getting from point A to point B – and serves up exactly that function in the most efficient way possible, Wellbutrin SR gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Australia, uk, us, usa, Far from being a hypermiler, I still averaged close to 50 mpg during the Prius’ week-long stay with me, Wellbutrin SR trusted pharmacy reviews, Wellbutrin SR interactions, and that was with just a single three-mile jaunt on wall-provided electric power. The rest of the time, where can i cheapest Wellbutrin SR online, Buy Wellbutrin SR no prescription, the Prius was doing its thing with the battery, electric motor and gasoline engine to provide me with just enough “go” to get me where I needed to be, Wellbutrin SR cost, Herbal Wellbutrin SR, and not a drop more.

Prius9-600 Wellbutrin SR For Sale, Now, for the enthusiast driving subset that frequents S:S:L, there’s not a lot of joy to be found in that last paragraph. But as we all know, Wellbutrin SR pictures, the motoring public as a whole simply doesn’t care that much about lateral –g and steering feedback, by a pretty vast majority. And if you look past its design roots as a vehicular appliance, you can still extract a modicum of real-car pleasure where you least expect it. Though wholly devoid of feel, the Prius has a pleasingly quick steering rack, and coupled with a fairly flat cornering attitude, it can make tight freeway off-ramps and decreasing radii corners honest points of interest – especially as you’re trying to balance the fine line between tire scrub and pure-electric power. Finding that delicate balance becomes its own reward after a few miles behind the Prius’ compact helm.

The overwhelming sense I got during my week with the pricey Prius wasn’t one of cynicism – it was an understanding that for a select group of buyers, the Prius Plug-In actually makes a lot of sense, Wellbutrin SR For Sale. And truthfully, that rational mindset is the one the Prius as a brand has appealed to all along. Much like the cab operator, the budget-savvy commuter and the greeny fashionista, the urban dwellers whose commutes are often short and terminate with charging provisions at both ends will find the Prius Plug-in Hybrid to be the perfect complement to their lifestyle. It also provides all the upscale tech you could ever want in a wrapper that won’t raise any eyebrows – although other Prius drivers that haven’t yet acclimated to the plug-in concept might look on lustfully at the sight of your Prius tethered to a nearby wall.

 

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Base price: $32,840

Price as tested: $40,365

Options on test car: Advanced package ($7,525)

Powertrain: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder + 4.4kWh Li-Ion battery; 134 combined system horsepower

Toyota provided the vehicle for testing purposes and one tank of gas. Photos by the author.

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Glucophage For Sale

2013_Lexus_GS350_Fsport_003


Photos courtesy of respective manufacturers. Glucophage For Sale, For the past few model cycles, Lexus has made a push to revitalize its image with enthusiast shoppers. Like the folks at Cadillac, the Lexus marketing team likely sees sportiness as a means to attract affluent young buyers away from BMW and Audi. How effective that strategy is, Cheap Glucophage, I can’t really say, but if it means Lexus continues to build cars like the refreshed Lexus IS-F, then I think the real winner is the enthusiast buyer.

In this piece, we’re going to look at two flavors of the midsized Lexus: The GS350 F-Sport and the GS450h, buy Glucophage no prescription. If we’re going to evaluate the GS properly, we need to answer three big questions. First: In a vacuum, is it fun to drive, Glucophage For Sale. Second: Does it sacrifice luxury in the name of sporty driving. Discount Glucophage, And third: How does it compare to its peers, specifically with its closest analog at Infiniti. Let’s get started.

Contestant #1: Lexus GS350 F-Sport ($60,142 as-tested, canada, mexico, india. Glucophage For Sale, F-Sport, Nav, Radar Cruise, Dynamic Handling)

When the GS350 F-Sport was announced, I must admit I felt a bit cheated. I wanted Lexus to build a GS-F in the tradition of its smaller sibling. I wanted V8 power, a trick transmission and track-oriented goodies. Low dose Glucophage, While they may yet build such a car, the F-Sport is not it. There’s no power bump: the 3.5L, 306-horsepower V6 carries over from the base GS350. In fact, what you get is quite similar to a BMW M Sport or Audi S-Line package: fancy wheels with summer tires, big brakes, some aero goodies and some performance-tuned chassis bits, Glucophage For Sale. I’m sure the similarity to the Germans’ offerings is no accident, real brand Glucophage online. On the plus side, Lexus throws in variable-ratio (not to be confused with variable-effort) steering, which is a bit of a killer app for this segment. Glucophage photos, We’ll come back to that.

The first thing I noticed after climbing into the GS was the seating position. Glucophage For Sale, You sit high up in this car. I’m used to that sensation after many years of driving cars built on the Ford C170 and C1 (Focus) platforms, but it feels strange here. I’m sure the desired effect is the same (Ford called it “command seating” for a reason) but it’s a bit odd since it makes most other large cars feel low-slung by comparison, taking Glucophage. It’s a distinctly truck-like orientation, which some drivers may appreciate, but it doesn’t quite harmonize with the F-Sport’s more aggressive edge. Is Glucophage safe, Being low in the chassis gives you a better sense of a car’s center of gravity, and helps your body interpret weight transfer more effectively. In simpler terms, you don’t feel like you’re sitting in the car, but on the car, Glucophage For Sale. Picture a stagecoach driver, perched high over his horses with an excellent view of his surroundings.

Any GS equipped with the Luxury or F-Sport package gets Drive Mode Select, buy generic Glucophage. If this sounds a lot like Audi’s “drive select,” that’s no accident. Like the Audi system, Glucophage results, Drive Mode Select allows you to alter the steering, suspension and throttle depending on your desired level of aggression (or lack thereof). Glucophage For Sale, Unlike Audi, however, Lexus constrains you to presets: ECO, EV (hybrid only), Normal, Sport S and Sport S+. Little explanation is really needed here. ECO is the least aggressive, most fuel-friendly setting, Glucophage gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Sport S+ hardens the electronically-manipulated Active Variable Suspension and tightens up the throttle and steering effort. Normal and Sport S fall in between, and I’m sure you can interpret the progression.

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The F-Sport’s “normal” suspension setting is already augmented by the 19” forged wheels that come standard with the package, Glucophage For Sale. Buy Glucophage from mexico, It’s a bit disjointed, as the larger wheels are eager to give feedback which the suspension is equally eager to ignore. Higher-frequency impacts, such as the thwack of an expansion joint or the pop of a solitary pothole, are heard and even sometimes felt, comprar en línea Glucophage, comprar Glucophage baratos, but the bulk of incoming information is filtered out.

As you dial up the aggression, the feedback comes through more clearly, Glucophage trusted pharmacy reviews, but even in the sharpest Sport S+ setting, you feel like the tires are writing checks that the chassis can’t cash. At one point, while experimenting with the Drive Mode Select, I hooked a right turn on to a state highway from a standstill with the stability and traction control disabled, Glucophage mg. Glucophage For Sale, The engine roared, the rear end slewed out to the left and my mirrors filled with tire smoke—sure signs of traction loss—but I couldn’t feel what was happening. I couldn’t really hear it, either. The amplified engine noise (real, Glucophage duration, via a noise pipe, not synthetic) overwhelmed the rear tires’ pained cries for mercy. I grinned anyway. Kicking up big clouds of vaporized rubber in a Lexus. Yeah, count me in, even if the tactile feedback could be better, Glucophage For Sale.

On the go, buy Glucophage without a prescription, the GS acquits itself fairly well. Between the high seating position and the comfort-first suspension, this isn’t a dedicated sports sedan, Glucophage no prescription, but it’s certainly more engaging then previous iterations of the GS, and more fun to toss around than, say, an Audi A6.

Contestant #2: Lexus GS450h ($71, doses Glucophage work,407 as-tested. Luxury, Nav, Where can i find Glucophage online, Pre-Collision, HUD)

Both of our GS testers were loaded to the proverbial gills, so the noteworthy differences are found when evaluating the drivetrain and suspension. Glucophage For Sale, The former is rather self-explanatory. The 450h employs Lexus’ revised dual mode hybrid system, boosting the 3.5L V6 to 338 total system horsepower and an unspecified torque figure, buy cheap Glucophage no rx. Lexus claims the combination is good for a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds. That’s not bad for a 4,200lb luxury car, Purchase Glucophage for sale, but if you believe Lexus’ own literature, even the GS350 will do it in 5.7.

The upside here, of course, is the mileage, Glucophage without prescription. The GS450h is good for 29mpg in the city and 34 on the highway, for a combined EPA figure of 31mpg, Glucophage For Sale. That’s up from 19/28/23 in the vanilla GS350—not a trivial difference, and it comes with a suitably non-trivial increase in MSRP. At $58, Glucophage price, 950, the GS450h is $10,000 more spendy than the GS350 F-Sport when optioned identically ($12,000 more if you skip the F-Sport trim entirely).

2013_GS_450h_012


When the GS450h was introduced for the 2007 model year, Glucophage images, it was an alternative to the existing V8-powered car and it offered nearly identical power without a mileage penalty. Now, however, Glucophage wiki, there is no V8-powered GS. Glucophage For Sale, The hybrid is the range-topper, which makes a certain amount of sense. The only true penalty is complexity, but given the proven reliability of Toyota/Lexus hybrid powertrains, that’s not much of a penalty at all.

Since the F-Sport package isn’t even an option on the GS450h, buy Glucophage from canada, it more faithfully executes the luxury formula than does its brasher, less expensive twin. The most notable dynamic difference between the hybrid and the F-Sport is the absence of the latter’s variable-ratio steering. Glucophage treatment, The Sport S + mode in both cars increases steering effort, but only on the F-Sport model does the ratio change. What you get is a heavy car with heavy steering, Glucophage For Sale. Heavy steering without additional speed is somewhat pointless, I think, and since you can’t alter those characteristics individually, online buying Glucophage hcl, you’re stuck with it if you want the other benefits of Sport S+ (aggressive throttle and firm suspension).

The Competition: Infiniti M37/M Hybrid

Infiniti’s midsize luxury car is often faulted for being short on said luxury when compared to the competition, but with Lexus’ renewed interest in attracting driving enthusiasts, Generic Glucophage, it’s only fair to compare these cars based on their ability to bring a smile to the face of today’s cynical buyer. If you follow SSL, you know we’ve come away impressed by the V8-endowed M56 and the M hybrid in the past. How does the new GS compare.

2012 Infiniti M Hybrid

Glucophage For Sale, The two match up pretty well on paper, with the M offering a bit more power in both trims (330hp vs. 306 in base trims; 360hp to 338 in hybrid guise) and carrying a bit less weight as a hybrid (~100lbs), Glucophage schedule. The M hybrid feels a good bit quicker than the GS450h, and probably is. Without instrumented testing of the two back-to-back, Glucophage use, it’s hard to say for certain, but in terms of feel, the Infiniti gives you the shove in the back you’d expect from a V8. The Lexus, with its ECVT-based drivetrain, Glucophage long term, delivers calmer, more luxurious acceleration. There’s still plenty of it, but the authoritative kick one expects from a V8 or V8 alternative is conspicuously absent, Glucophage For Sale. I’ve said before that a well-executed CVT is the future of luxury transmissions, Glucophage recreational, and Lexus illustrates my point flawlessly. But there's something to be said for a more traditional automatic in a sporting sedan, and the M's 7-speed is exactly that. Mated to the electric drive by a clutch, the more conventional 'box delivers gear changes quick enough for spirited driving and offers the familiarity that the paddle-selected ratios in the Lexus can't quite match, no prescription Glucophage online.

Once underway, the dynamic strengths and weaknesses of both cars are obvious. Glucophage For Sale, The M’s ride is firm—at times probably too firm for luxury-oriented buyers –but communicative. Super-wide tires (even the base 18” wheels come with 245mm high-performance all-seasons) are mostly to blame for that, My Glucophage experience, but the suspension tuning is firmer too, and we haven’t even factored in the Sport Package yet. The GS350 F-Sport gets 235/265 staggered tires on 19” forged alloy wheels, hence the extra feedback from sharper impacts, but the softer suspension tuning keeps the ride on the luxurious side, Glucophage for sale, even with sportier modes engaged.

2012 Infiniti M Hybrid

But as comfortable as the GS may be, Infiniti’s chassis tuning gives the M the edge when the road starts to wind. Buy Glucophage without prescription, The M corners flatter and bites better, and when things get squirrely, the feedback from all four corners is far less muted. The low-slung seating position helps you push the M harder and more precisely, feeding information to your senses that you can use to place it exactly where you want it on the road, Glucophage For Sale. The M37's more high-strung VQ V6 doesn't quite have the silky smooth character of Lexus' 3.5, but it is willing and able to rev, ordering Glucophage online. You'll welcome the ability to wind it out too. Despite the 3.7's displacement advantage, it actually produces less torque than Lexus' direct-injected offering.  You'll pay for those extra revolutions at the pump, however. The 3.7L is thirstier, too. Glucophage For Sale, To the credit of both manufacturers, the GS450h and the M35h are both as honest as hybrids come. Both returned almost dead-on the mileage stated on their stickers, the M hovering around 27-29mpg and the GS almost unwaveringly at 30mpg. ECO mode was acknowledged, but never used. Make of that what you will. And fear not, the M Hybrid will roast its tires as eagerly as the GS450h will, but the chassis communicates well enough that you can control the progressive break-away in the all-season rubber and turn a pointless burnout into a glorious, rubber-shredding launch more worthy of a Dodge Challenger than a Japanese executive sedan--a hybrid executive sedan.

For the individual who prioritizes luxury and fuel efficiency, the GS is the car to buy, especially in hybrid guise, Glucophage For Sale. When it comes to having fun, though, the Infiniti steals the show. Neither of these cars is perfect; both are compromises. The most important take-away here is that the GS no longer asks you to compromise on your enthusiast desires nearly as did previous generations. It may not be the star athlete in the segment, but in all but the most demanding of circumstances, it can certainly keep pace with its peers.

Lexus provided the GS350 F-Sport and the GS450h for review. Infiniti was not asked to provide a car for comparison purposes, and all references contained are based on prior loans/reviews by the author. .

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Thrifty Thrust — Lexus CT200h vs. Kia Optima Hybrid vs. Infiniti M35h

Photos courtesy of Infiniti, Lexus and Kia media relations.

It's hard to believe that more than ten years have passed since the introduction of the Prius--a car which either revolutionized the vehicular landscape for the better or, alternatively, represented the beginning of the end for automotive enthusiasm, depending on who you ask. Over the past decade, hybrids have made their way into just about every segment, and while production hybrid sports cars aren't quite here yet, several manufacturers have tested the waters of marketing hybrid vehicles to the enthusiast crowd. Honda did it first with the Accord Hybrid back in 2005, if you'll recall, and the result wasn't pretty. While very few critics disliked it, it was outwardly identical to regular Accord, and boasted a heavier, more complicated, more expensive powertrain that returned only marginally better gas mileage than the V6 on which it was based. Oh, and the engine interacted with the stereo. That was kind of a big deal back then, though if you lurk on any BMW-friendly message boards, you know it's still kind of a big deal now.

Sporty hybrids have come quite a long way since the aforementioned Accord, and now that they've come into their own a bit, we feel it's time to give them a good, solid look from an enthusiast perspective. In this post, we'll take a look at three hybrids marketed to enthusiast buyers--the Kia Optima Hybrid, the Infiniti M35h, and the Lexus CT200h--and rank them from least to most attractive from a driver's standpoint. I know what you're thinking. Hybrids? On Speed:Sport:Life?  Fear not, my friend. We're not here to figure out which cars are the best at being hybrids. That's for other people. We're here to determine which hybrids are the best at being cars--fun cars. We’re somewhat infamous for doing money-no-object comparisons in the past, and this will be no different, but the point here is to figure out whether any of these greenwashed go-getters hits the enthusiast sweet spot. And with that, let's jump right in. Third place: Lexus CT200h. We start with our least favorite. If you've been reading SSL for a while, you know that I had great things to say about the refreshed Lexus IS F last year. With the bar thusly set a bit high, I welcomed the opportunity to check out their new hybrid hatchback. Here, unfortunately, the news is not so good. Let’s start with the positives. While our CT tester lacked the F-Sport suspension and tire/wheel package, its relatively compact size and diminutive curb weight makes it the most nimble and lively of the bunch. It may lack the Infiniti’s brash, hybrid pony car attitude, but it makes up for it with agility. The fantastic seats back up the CT’s sporting credentials, representing the only truly conventional sporting aspect of the interior. But while the Lexus is the lightest of the tested hybrids at ~3,200lbs, it's also the least powerful by a significant margin. With a power plant sourced from the Prius, the CT only boasts 134 ponies--72 fewer than the mid-pack Kia and 226 shy of the beastly Infiniti. To make matters worse, the parallel/series hybrid arrangement of the Prius also carries over, so not only is the car lacking in power, but it delivers it sluggishly and noisily. It’s not a pleasant sort of noise either, as anybody who is used to CVT-style NVH can confirm. There’s no rumbling or purring here, just a harsh blarble of constant-RPM engine noise set against vibration from the drivetrain. And while this combination of low power and a hyper-efficient drivetrain makes it a great hybrid, it doesn't do much for the fun factor. It’s no surprise that Lexus makes the best hybrid here (we averaged 40mpg on the dot in mixed driving), but the best performance hybrid? Afraid not. Like the original 2008 IS F, a great deal of potential is wrapped into this somewhat middle-of-the-road first effort. The chassis is promising and the ride is almost perfect, but the power delivery is a disappointment. Here’s hoping that Lexus can work the same magic they did on the refreshed IS F and bring us a second-effort CT that really hits it out of the park. Second place: Kia Optima Hybrid

If you’re familiar with my earlier evaluation of Kia and Hyundai’s latest efforts, then you already know that I came away relatively impressed satisfied by the Optima and Optima Turbo. For better or for worse, that formula carries over to the Optima Hybrid. Everything we expect form the Optima is here—an attractive, functional interior (with a few too many buttons for my taste, but nothing out of control); great exterior styling; sporty suspension tuning (compared to the Sonata, anyway) and great power delivery. Like the big Infiniti, the Kia mates a traditional step-geared automatic to its electric assist system. While this makes it less potent as a hybrid, the more conventional drivetrain setup is a little more inviting to performance drivers. Sport and Economy modes for the hybrid system provide different throttle and electric power delivery settings, but in the real world, don’t actually seem to make a big difference in fuel economy. One black spot on the drivetrain is the gear selector. Manual mode feels very vague, resulting in missed shifts after a bump of the selector doesn’t quiiiiite make it to the sensor. A mild frustration, but a notable one. And on that subject, the overall fuel economy of the Optima Hybrid didn’t exactly blow me away. Between myself and another contributor, we weren’t able to do better than 33 or 34mpg in a handful of commuting arrangements varying from around 75% city to almost 90% freeway, and this in a car rated at 35mpg city and 40 on the highway. As a hybrid, I must admit, the Optima doesn’t really impress.

As an enthusiast car, however, the Optima fares much better. The roughly 200hp combined from the hybrid system made the Optima much more satisfying to drive than the Lexus, even with nearly 3,500lbs to haul around. Here, my friends, is a mainstream hybrid sedan that quite adequately gets out of its own way. Toyota’s latest Camry has moved in this same direction, so the gap to their Synergy Drive systems isn’t nearly as big as it once was, but the added thrust is welcome in a segment that was until quite recently dominated by rather sleepy offerings. There’s one last thing which carries over from the original Optima, and that’s the steering calibration. This was part of the 15% or so of the original which we found fault with. It’s not awful, but it’s just not there—the type of system where you find yourself constantly correcting the car’s trajectory on the highway. Part of this is likely down to the tire selection, but honestly, it’s just not something I can get my head around. So while the Optima represents an excellent effort and a breath of fresh air for the hybrid family car segment, unfortunately for the Kia, it’s not quite enough to take on our favorite of the current performance hybrids. First place: Infiniti M35h

I know what you’re thinking: The Infiniti won because it’s the most expensive, most powerful, and most luxurious. Hold that thought, though, because that’s not the point. The Infiniti wins because it’s so much like its V8-powered stable mate that it almost-allllmost makes the M56 obsolete. Let’s start with the numbers: ~360hp, some ungodly amount of torque (Infiniti doesn’t advertise its total system torque output, but it has to be somewhere between 300 and 450lb-ft), and 4,100lbs. Yes, it’s heavy, but it’s got the grunt to back it up. The M Hybrid will crack off 0-60 sprints in under 6 seconds, making the Optima’s mid-8-second runs feel lethargic and the CT’s 10-second figure look positively pedestrian. It’s an unfair comparison to be sure, but it’s necessary for context. Here’s some more: A ~5.5-second 0-60 run in the M Hybrid makes it only a half a second slower to 60 than the M56 we tested last year (a gap that it maintains through the ¼ mile). That’s not just adequate, folks. That’s quick. And the fuel economy? Our best average in the M56 was ~20mpg. The Hybrid? 27mpg, no matter how we drove it. That’s a 35% improvement over the V8 in exchange for a 10% drop in acceleration. So how does it drive when the wheel isn’t pointed straight? Quite well, in fact. The hybrid-friendly, all-season tires did little to subdue the M’s already tail-happy attitude. Getting fully crossed-up when turning onto a highway from a stop prompted grins from passengers (and this driver, of course) and cross-eyed looks from passers-by. The M35h cannot be had with the M37 or M56’s sport package, so you have to make do with the 18” wheels and standard suspension, but since Infiniti tunes their vehicles' ride and handling a lot more aggressively than some of their competition, the Hybrid’s chassis doesn’t feel like a compromise.

Where you do have to compromise is the transmission. Like the Optima, the Infiniti uses a traditional automatic, and like the Kia’s, it’s a bit awkward to use with sporting intentions, and even with all that power and torque available, it’s easy to get lost in the M’s 7 gears. And while the Infiniti’s interior is by far the most comfortable and attractive, it’s not the most sporty. The seats are big and soft, the dash very decadent and expensive-looking, but nothing really screams sporty. The nod goes to the Lexus here. So yes, I may have confirmed all of your expectations so far, but here’s the kicker. The Infiniti doesn’t win because it’s the most powerful, the most expensive and the most luxurious car we tested. In fact, the Infiniti wins because it’s fun, fast, and surprisingly, a very good value. The M35h costs less than the M56—$5,500 less, to be precise—despite delivering nearly-identical performance. That’s no insignificant chunk of change. Consider for a moment that the Optima Hybrid carries a $600 premium over the base Turbo model—a car with which it can’t possible compete on performance—and the value proposition of the M makes more sense. Yes, the M35 Hybrid is expensive. As it has been said, in this, as in all things, context is king.   Lexus CT200h Premium: Base price: $30,900 As-tested price: $36,725 Fuel economy (observed): 40.1 mpg Kia Optima Hybrid: Base price: $25,700 As-tested price: $31,750 Fuel economy (observed): 33.6mpg Infiniti M Hybrid (M35h) Base price: $53,700 As-tested price: $65,645 Fuel economy (observed): 27mpg

2011 NAIAS — Business up front, party in the back.

by Carl Modesette. NAIAS Photography by Zerin Dube, Mark Fields photo courtesy of Ford From 10,000 ft, the glow of Detroit after sunset could be that of just about any other Midwestern city. Altitude and darkness impose a serenity that belies the nocturnal unrest below. Even the vast expanses of unused industrial property and the inch-thick dusting of snow that come into focus right about the time the landing gear drops are anonymous this time of day. The nighttime approach is a stirring equalizer. With the departure of the sun goes any character, and it's not until you cross over from the too-white lighting of the airport terminal into the dingy glow of sodium-vapor lamps that your senses really have a chance to recalibrate. By the end of your cab ride, reality has set in. The auto industry has recently undergone a similar reboot. Self-imposed isolation from the economic and social realities of the last decade finally broke down, and the house of cards came dangerously close to giving way. Two and a half years later, the repercussions are still visible, and even the boldest of manufacturers were cautious in their delivery. Even Ford, a close second to only the Germans for sheer gusto (Volkswagen took the cake here, hosting a media "reveal" for the new Passat for which they opted not to actually bring a car to reveal), stuffed their rhetoric with confidence and bluster, and then filled Cobo Arena not with the glorious roar of V8s, but with blue paper butterflies. The introduction of a new ROW Ford Ranger was mentioned several times, yet they chose not to dwell at all on their Truck-of-the-Year winning Explorer. Make no mistake though, humility was not the name of their game. Even in the midst of a greenie spiel from Ed Begley, Jr., Ford took undisguised shots at the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. They had attitude to spare. And if we weren't privy to the realities of corporate communications strategies, we'd suspect that Toyota's P.R. staff had simply sat in the back of the Arena, scribbling furious notes throughout Ford's conference in hopes of finding some decent material. From an opening shot at Bob Lutz to scripted-in laughter pauses for poorly-written and dubiously-executed jokes, the Prius family introduction felt like a last-minute book report that was due five years ago. As for the Toyota, Scion and Lexus brands themselves? Well, I think Mr. Toyoda confirmed (if only in passing) that they do indeed exist. The stories were pretty much the same everywhere you went. With a few exceptions, everybody was talking about downsizing. "Electrification" was this year's buzzword. Even the manufacturers who had nothing new to show were quite enthusiastic about their electrification efforts, despite the fact that they were showing more or less the exact same electric cars they've been showing for years. Mini, I'm looking at you.

Hyundai and Porsche provided welcome reprieves from otherwise mundane reveals.

So if your only exposure to the show was in sound bites and recaps, you'd probably assume that it was a pretty dull affair. For the most part, you'd be right. It wasn't a thrill ride by any means, and hearing line after line about Ford building the new Focus in the same plant where it once built trucks, well, yeah... it got old. But hit the floor, and you got the feeling that the product communications staff were winking at you as they parroted the details of the hybrid this or electric that. It's as if their eyes were darting over to the Boss 302 Mustang or the loaded-up Explorer. Maybe the bright-freakin'-yellow LFA sitting on the Scion side of the Lexus display. A little nod and a twinkle was all it took. Yep, we're still building those. Step out of the bright lights around the podium and into the darker, seedier, yellow-hued side aisles. Stay here long enough and you almost expect to hear the boo-boop of an illicit slot machine or muffled laughter from an invitation-only poker game. Yes, there's still fun to be had here, even if it's out of the public eye. In a way, NAIAS has become the most cynical of all the American auto shows--Motor City, home of the small-block V8 and Woodward Avenue, hosting the least performance-oriented show on the major U.S. circuit. To be fair to the domestic manufacturers in particular though, it's here that they're most under the spotlight. NAIAS draws more international media than any other in the States, and with everybody watching, nobody--especially not GM or Chrysler--wants to be caught with a hand up Mrs. Horsepower's skirt at a hometown show. Ford, though lacking in interesting debuts, did at least put on a good show, and the Vertrek concept (rumored to be the next Ford Escape) was promising, boasting sleek exterior styling and a throaty exhaust note from what was claimed to be a 1.6L EcoBoost engine. Though I suppose with the hood closed they could claim it's powered by a 2-cylinder diesel and we'd be forced to take them at their word.

1.6L EcoBoost? Sounded more like a 6.1L V8, but we'll take it anyway.

Chrysler didn't show us anything we hadn't already seen to some degree. The 300 was revealed in pictures ahead of the show, and the several years late refresh delivered as expected. There's really not much left to learn about this car until we have the opportunity to drive one, and we look forward to reporting on that in the coming weeks. And then there was Chevy. Phew. What is there to say? They trotted out a crowd of local, overdone hipsters who played a song "live" using instrument apps on their iThings (As if we're to believe that any network service in Cobo is actually reliable enough that they could pull this off), showed us the new Sonic for all of five minutes, and then tried to convince the gaggle to stick around by offering free booze. Did I mention that they were the last show of a nearly-13-hour schedule of conferences? I'm not sure who they pissed off, but if I had to guess, whoever was in charge of booking for the event must have been a former Buick/Pontiac/GMC/Saturn dealer principal.

You won't find this in the transcript of a GM press conference.

So maybe it wasn't the most interesting show in recent memory, but it was far from an outlier. For NAIAS, it was very much business as usual for the 21st century automaker. Up front, anyway.