New York Auto Show: Green Cars And Concepts Roundup

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The 2014 New York Auto Show is fast approaching, and as usual a small roster of green vehicles will be making their debuts.

This year it's mainly about production vehicles, with very few green concepts in attendance.

That's not such a bad thing though--while there's little truly fuel efficient going on sale, plenty of high-selling models are getting small improvements that will benefit drivers in the real world.



2015 Chevrolet Cruze

The Cruze is one of Chevy's most important vehicles worldwide--more than 2.5 million have found homes since its launch in 2009. The updated model due in New York gets some Malibu-inspired styling revisions to keep it fresh, as well as various connectivity options.

Powertrain options remain the same. That means the 33 mpg Cruze Eco (28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway) and 33 mpg Cruze Diesel (27 mpg city, 46 mpg highway) continue to trade blows as the most efficient models. The latter has a highway driving range of over 700 miles. Both go on sale this fall.


2015 Fiat 500

How do you update a retro-styled car without making it... well, less retro? If you're Fiat, you give the 500 only detail updates for 2015. Biggest of those is a new 7-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster, the result of a shuffle-around that's seen the tachometer and fuel gauge move to the outside where the speedometer used to be.

The speed readout itself is now digital, within the new screen. It's much more modern, without detracting from the 500's stylish retro vibe. The car's 1.4-liter engines are as modern as ever though. No 2015 EPA figures have been announced just yet, but the old car was capable of up to 34 mpg (31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway) with the manual transmission.


2015 Ford Focus

Like the Chevy Cruze, Ford's high-selling Focus (the highest-selling nameplate worldwide, in fact) gets a 2015 update and a facelift. Ford's is more significant though, as it introduces the 1.0-liter Ecoboost power unit as found in the Fiesta.

Too small an engine for too big a car? We weren't overawed when trying one in Europe a few years back, but a six-speed manual gearbox should allow drivers to make the most of its performance. We await economy figures with interest--the Fiesta Ecoboost is rated at 37 mpg combined (32 mpg city, 45 mpg highway) with the SFE package and manual transmission.


2015 Hyundai Sonata

Finally, an all-new model--Hyundai's new Sonata will appear in New York. While based on the same platform as the previous car, the new Sonata has gained significant tweaks to its chassis, it's a little longer and wider (for greater passenger space) and styling inspired by the new Genesis.

In terms of powerplants, Hyundai is going down the turbocharged route. The old 2.4-liter engine is likely to disappear, with 1.6 and 2.0-liter four-cylinders occupying the regular gasoline lineup. Hybrid fans will be glad to hear the hybrid model should carry over into the new car--though we'd expect some tweaks for extra efficiency.

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