Thursday, February 25, 2016

Enormous, gas-guzzling Range Rover is an elegant way to say F.U. to the environment

Land Rover's overweight Range Rover is powered by a supercharged V-6 engine that returns a combined 19 mpg in city and highway driving. A dirtier turbocharged diesel returns a combined 25 mpg. A long-wheelbase model with a supercharged V-8 gets a combined 16 mpg.

Land Rover vehicles finished 28th in J.D. Power's 2016 auto dependability study, with an average of 198 problems per 100 vehicles, a loss of two places when compared to the 2015 study.

MSRPs range from $84,950 to $139,995.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I 'summon' my Tesla out of home garage; Model S outsells big German luxury cars

Using the Tesla app on my iPhone, I was able to "summon" my Tesla Model S. In other words, I stood outside and the car started and backed itself out of my flooded garage, below.

When I park my Model S in the garage, the driver's door is next to the drain.


The "Summon" feature is the latest addition to Tesla's autonomous-driving features in the Model S, and I didn't really think I had any use for it.

But when torrential rains lashed my house today, water poured out of the garden and onto the sunken floor in front of the entrance door to our detached garage.

I used the garage-door opener, intending to enter from the driveway, but there were 3 inches to 4 inches of water swirling into the interior drain opposite the driver's door of the car.

That's when I opened my phone's Tesla app, hit the "Summon" button, and watched the car start and back out of the garage into the driveway, until I hit the "Stop" button.

Cool. I climbed into the car without getting my shoes soaked.

By the time I returned 30 minutes later, the rain had stopped and the water had drained out of the garage.

Tesla advises owners to use "Summon" only on private property, but is expected eventually to enable owners to "summon" their cars from far greater distances.

Tesla outsells Germans

Here is a post from the Gas2 blog on Tesla outselling German luxury cars:

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Toyota turns back on Prius as hybrid mileage champ, emphasizes performance

The 2016 Toyota Prius gets better gas mileage than the previous generation, 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. The engine and electric motor produce a total of 121 horsepower. 


I have yet to meet a car that is as fast as my Tesla Model S in a stop-light grand prix -- that sprint from zero to 30 mph or 40 mph.

It certainly wasn't the 2016 Prius that was next to me at a light near Route 80 in northern New Jersey the other night, when I blew off his doors.

But I figured the young driver had seen the Toyota TV ad with bank robbers getting away in the redesigned Prius, first shown during the Super Bowl, and thought he owned a really fast car.


How trite, I thought when I first saw the ad.

Now, Toyota has turned its back on the environmental benefits of more than 15 years of producing the world's most popular gas-electric hybrid.

Just about every automaker tries to appeal to the boy racer in prospective car buyers, ignoring women altogether.

Aren't you sick of seeing Mercedes-Benzes, Audis and BMWs in lurid slides or Nissans and Lexus sedans racing across sun-baked desserts?

Now, you can add the Prius to that list, and that's a sad development.