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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