The Green, The Bad And The Ugly: Our Least Favorite Green Cars Page 2

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Where to start? Noisy engine that nonetheless delivers marginal performance, an astoundingly loud continuously-variable transmission (CVT), unimpressive gas mileage, and hard, nasty, ugly plastics inside.

Any good points? Ummmm...the seats are comfortable.

  • Rating: On, we rated the 2008 Dodge Caliber at 7 out of 10.
  • Gas Mileage: Official EPA estimates range from a mediocre 24 mpg city /29 mpg highway with the 1.8-liter engine all the way down to 21 mpg city / 24 mpg highway for the hot-rod R/T model with a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive.

2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d

2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d

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(5) 2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d diesel. We kinda don't get the big, heavy SUV thing; we're station wagon people. So while we've politely ignored the gasoline-guzzling variations of the X5, we were hopeful for the new 265-horsepower, 3.0-liter twin-turbo clean-diesel variation (and, yes, that's its full, correct model name above).

But the same engine that's so delightful in the 2009 BMW 335d sedan has noticeable a throttle lag in the X5; it just doesn't feel good. What are they smoking in the tuning department in Munich?

The culprit may be weight; the diesel BMW 3-Series sedan weighs 3,825 pounds, while the X5 is a porcine 5,225 pounds. Just getting that mass to move requires different tuning--but it's nowhere near as nice for the driver. Disappointing.

  • Rating: On, we rated the 2009 BMW X5 (the entire line, not just the diesel) at 8.4 points out of 10.
  • Gas Mileage: The EPA ratings are 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway, far better than even the best gasoline X5.

Gas gauge

Gas gauge

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[Headline appropriated from TreeHugger with thanks]

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Comments (3)
  1. Gee....I actually LIKE the Caliber styling...but that's just me. As for how it drives, I cannot comment, as I've never had the pleasure...

  2. Yeah the Caliber is almost a perfect design, great preconception design.

  3. Now making things like green pick up trucks is a benefit to the environment in more ways than one. Co2 emissions are becoming more talked about everyday and car manufacturers are producing cars to meet the demands of the government but others are pushing boundaries and trying new things.

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