2009

  • Mini E electric vehicle

    One of the earliest electric-car prototype test fleets of the modern day was made up of several hundred MINI E two-seaters, which hit U.S. roads on two-year leases from 2008 through 2010. MINI E drivers who loved driving electric--which is to say, many of them--were offered replacement BMW ActiveE electric cars, and the electric MINIs were taken back by BMW. DON'T MISS: First Drive: Mini E Electric Vehicle Is Far From Ready For Primetime Now, however, a few Delaware residents can have the chance to lease a piece of electric-car history. The University of Delaware is offering a "small number"...

  • 2009 BMW X5
    Recall: 2009-2010 BMW X5 Diesel Crossovers Fuel Heater Issue

    BMW has announced the recall of more than 1,500 2009-2010 BMW X5 diesel models to correct a fuel filter heater issue. The xDrive35d models, manufactured from June 13, 2009 through November 9, 2009, could be affected by an issue that causes the filter heater to remain on and overheat. The fuel...

  • 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid
    Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says

    Automaker Honda used to be the darling of Consumer Reports, with its models perpetually scoring better than average in CR testing. The 2012 Honda Civic dampened the publication’s enthusiasm for the Honda brand; it was the first Honda Civic we can recall that wasn’t recommended by CR...

  • Mini E and BMW ActiveE in New Jersey (photo: Michael Thwaite)
    Living With The Mini E Electric Car For Two Years: Memories

    So, first, a little history. Our family car was a 2008 Audi A6 Avant S Line, silver with a black interior. My husband Michael had a 2005 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works. Both were very nice cars. In February 2008, Michael discovered the Tesla Roadster, and decided he had to have one. We did the...

  • Mini E and BMW ActiveE electric cars, New Jersey, Dec 2011 (photos: Tom Moloughney)
    After 30 Months In A Mini E Electric Car, BMW ActiveE Coming Up

    I took possession of my 2009 Mini E electric car (serial number 250) on June 12, 2009. At the time, I signed up for a one year lease, which is all BMW was offering. It was made perfectly clear that after 12 months, we would have to give the car back and that there would be no exceptions. One...

  • 2010 mini e electric vehicle ev la auto show live 009
    MINI E Meetup: End Of The Line For Electric Car 'Experiment'

    The Northeast MINI E Meetup in New Jersey was the last before drivers of the experimental MINI E test fleet must return their cars to BMW to be dismantled and crushed.

  • Filling up the Mini E at the gas station; photo, Michael Thwaite

    You might think having a 2009 Tesla Roadster while your electricity is out for a week would be a challenge, but Michael Thwaite actually found out how little extra bother it entailed.

  • 2009 BMW X5
    2009 BMW X5 Diesel Recalled For Faulty Fuel-Filter Heater

    Clean-diesel vehicles, a slowly growing segment of the market, unquestionably return higher fuel economy figures than their gasoline-engined counterparts. But they have their own set of issues, too, including recalls specific to some of the diesel engine components. The NHTSA has issued a recall...

  • John and Helen Taylor depart on the Smarter Driving Tour. Image: Shell
    Aussie Hypermiling Couple Hit 64mpg In 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco

    You might remember a few weeks ago we brought you news of Australian couple John and Helen Taylor. Rather than enjoying the usual trappings of tourism, the Taylors wanted to break their own 48-U.S.-state hypermiling record, previously set in a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI at 67 mpg over 9,505 miles...

  • 2010 mini e electric vehicle ev la auto show 022
    BMW's UK MINI E Test Ends: Drivers Happy, But...

    A few months after BMW and MINI's electric car study ended in the United States, a similar scheme run in the U.K. has also come to a close, and the results are in... ...and if you've read the results of the American tests, the figures coming from the U.K. will all look very familiar. Basically, all...

  • 2009 VW Passat wagon test car w/Bosch-Mahle turbocharged 1.2-liter, 3-cyl engine, from WardsAuto.com
    Smaller, More Efficient: VW Passat With 1.2-Liter 3-Cylinder Engine

    How large an engine do you need in a mid-size car? Just a few years ago, the answer would have been a V-6 of 2.8 to 3.5 liters, perhaps with a base model offering a four of 2.4 to 2.8 liters. Then Hyundai announced in late 2009 that it would abandon V-6 engines altogether for its 2010 Sonata...

  • 2010 mini e electric vehicle ev la auto show 022
    Mini E Driver Study: Some Caveats On Electric-Car Happy News

    The recent study of Mini E drivers may need to be taken with a few grains of salt.

  • MINI E

    BMW can’t be accused of rushing into the electric car market. After nearly two years of BMW Mini E testing and countless hours of feedback sessions from test participants, BMW is just about to start its second round of electric car testing with its 1-series based Active-E. But if you want to actually buy an electric BMW you’ll have to wait even longer until BMW officially starts sales of its closely guarded 2013 i3. However, with every Mini E driver who took part in the 450-strong lease scheme content with the car’s performance, range and comfort, we wonder if BMW should...

  • Traffic Jam
    Bill Uses California Traffic To Fuel EVs Instead Of Road Rage

    It's ironic that as the world becomes more interconnected, America is trying to become more independent. Nowhere is that more obvious than in our energy policy, where we talk a lot about the dangers of depending on foreign oil and the importance of generating our own energy. A new bill moving...

  • 2011 Alfa Romeo 4C Concept live photos
    We 4C Alfa Romeo Coming Back to the U.S.

    If you love Alfa Romeo and the cars they build then the news that the adorable and diminutive Fiat 500 is coming to the U.S. probably set you on edge as an indicator that Alfa Romeo might come back too. Now with the 2011 Geneva Motor Show behind us we have learned that the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car...

  • 2004-2009 Toyota Prius battery pack, second generation
    Horrifying Web Advice & Why Prius Batteries Aren't That Mysterious

    Don't believe everything you read on the web. From the Department of Dangerously Wrong Information comes a horrifying piece on Yahoo's open content network, entitled "What New Prius Batteries Cost and How You Can Save Thousands." It looks like one of many articles that respond to consumer worries...

  • Sergio Marchionne at Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant
    Sergio Marchionne: Hybrid Minivan Will Join Chrysler 300 Hybrid In 2013

    Earlier this week we heard from Sergio Marchionne, the demanding CEO of Fiat-Chrysler, that a hybrid version of the new 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan would arrive sometime in 2013. Now, at Chrysler’s Windsor plant in Canada, Marchionne has revealed that the hybrid 300 will be joined in 2013 by a...

  • David Peilow Drives Tesla Roadster on Long-Distance Challenge
    Tesla Fan Drives Epic Electric Car Trip To Prove BBC Wrong

    The British Broadcasting Corporation, considered to be the center-pin of television and radio in the U.K., has always had a cautious view of the benefits of electric vehicles, often choosing to illustrate the limited range of electric cars in articles rather than the positive benefits. In typical...

  • MINI E at MTTS 2010 in Denver, Colo.

    As people on the other side of the globe ring in their New Year, we continue to roll towards our own celebrations here in the States. In just under seven hours the eastern seaboard will ring in the New Year, so we better get a move on for the second half of our count down to 2011—the best of 2010. For August 2010 the auto industry saw reports on the Lithium-Ion supplies delaying the VW Blue-E-Motion, our first drive of the new 2011 Scion tC, dealerships charging up to $20K over Volt MSRP and the 2011 Ford Fiesta winning an Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick. It truly was an...

  • 2009 Smart Passion Cabriolet: Great Smart Car Road Trip First Fill Up
    Counting Down To 2011: Top ASC Article for July 2010

    July is a good time in the U.S. Generally it is warm as summer is in full swing and it bring the celebration of our Independence Day. In fact, on July 4th we ran an article on the 2011 Honda CR-Z, Honda’s first sports hybrid. Other headlines that posted during the month included the start of...

  • 2009 Nissan Cube
    Revisiting the 2009 Nissan Cube After a Year of Service

    The 2009 Nissan Cube made quite a statement when it came on the auto scene. It was a car that pushed the comfort zone of some consumers with its odd shape, Jacuzzi inspired interior, picture frame windows and square of shag carpeting on the dash. In fact, it still does. However, time has passed...

  • 2009 Toyota Prius
    Toyota To Service, Not Recall, Hybrid Cooling-Pump Components

    Toyota plans to service approximately 650,000 of the more than 2 million Prius hybrids it has built to date, to correct a potential flaw in a cooling pump that could cause overheating. About 390,000 of the affected models are in the U.S. While the company hasn't yet released details on what it...

  • Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid
    First Hydrogen Filling Station In U.S. Opens For Fuel-Cell Cars

    Did you notice? Us either. Nonetheless, last week, the first commercial hydrogen filling station in the country was opened in Wallingford, Connecticut, by startup firm SunHydro. The company generates hydrogen onsite using electricity from an array of photovoltaic solar cells that splits apart water...

  • 2009 Toyota Corolla
    2009 Toyota Corolla Makes Top 10 Most Stolen Cars

    Finding out that your car has been stolen is probably one of the worst feelings you can have as a car owner, especially if it gets stolen while you our out and about. The good news is that some cars just aren’t popular cars to steal. The bad news is that the cars that are popular to steal...