Auto Outlook


Toyota Camry Named 2012 International Sedan of the Year

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2012 International Sedan of the Year - Most Dependable by Road & Travel Magazine

2012 Toyota Camry Named International Sedan of the Year
- Most Dependable

by Road & Travel Magazine

2012 Toyota Camry Road Test Review
by Martha Hindes

Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year - Road & Travel MagazineSolid and safe. Smooth and dependable. For years, Toyota's Camry has stroked those family sedan needs with loyal, uncompromising predictability. So what's changed? For starters, like the few-days-old year of 2012, a 2012 Toyota Camry has been born as a new, seventh generation model. And like some previously highly-acclaimed versions, it again has won the hearts and minds of reviewers. For 2012, it won top honors as the 2012 International Sedan of the Year (ICOTY) for Most Dependable. Not bad for a re-born, right?

The 2012 Toyota Camry is indeed most dependable. And we love the safety and reliability it exudes, which is the reason it won in its category. According to ICOTY founder Courtney Caldwell (and publisher of Road & Travel Magazine), winning 2012 Toyota Camry Wins International Sedan of the Year - Road & Travel Magazine the honor of most dependable vehicle of the year is one of the most important as it lets consumers know in a word that this is a vehicle they can trust and rely upon to get their loved ones to their destinations safety. After all, the purpose of the ICOTY awards is to honor the qualities of new vehicles that best reflect our emotional needs at a specific time in our lives and lifestyles. Full Story


Audi A7 Wins 2012 International Car of the Year

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2012 Audi A7 - 2012 International Car of the Year - Road & Travel Magazine

2012 Audi A7 Road Test Review
by Martha Hindes

Automotive prestige sometimes comes in surprising packages. A slim, coupe line that hides the reality this is really a sedan. The ability to change one's underlying driving experience with chameleon-like ease. A glaring set of unmistakably identifiable headlamp eyes that announce, in one's rear view mirror day or night, it's best to pull aside and let a "real" car go by. Put those together in the new Audi A7 along with a wealth of its other talents, and the result should be predictable. How could any other vehicle have earned top honors as International Car of the Year for 2012? It couldn't. And didn't.

Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year - Road & Travel MagazineThe ICOTY honors, awarded each year to the most appealing auto on the planet, are sought out for their ability to identify that soul factor in vehicles that goes beyond the stuff of mechanicals and into the realm of desire. We're sure you know the synonyms: Being smitten, love at first sight, the kind of passion one would eagerly do penance for -- all those adjectives that make us glom onto something we idolize while remaining oblivious to what else is around.

Courtney Caldwell, who founded the International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) that honor the passion, presence and emotional punch that new vehicles can bring couldn't agree more. As the awards' executive producer and Road & Travel Magazine Publisher, she knows how such an emotional connection can win an unmatched sense of loyalty from consumers that few products can claim.

"The ICOTY Awards are not about power and performance, but rather about personality, passion and personal lifestyle," said Caldwell. "People develop a real emotional connection to their car for any number of reasons some of whom even consider it a member of their family," she muses.

Bridgestone, longtime lead sponsor and supporter of the ICOTY Awards, recognizes the consumer-product relationship as critical to vehicle success.

Bridgestone is proud to support the ICOTY awards, and applauds the Bridgestone Tire - Proud Sponsor of the 2012 International Car of the Year Awards Presented by Road & Travel Magazineefforts of Audi that like our company demonstrates a strong commitment to innovative technology,” said Michael Martini, president, Consumer OE, Bridgestone Americas. “Through the combined efforts of everyone in the auto industry, and led by automakers like those being recognized in the 2012 International Car of the Year Awards, we will continue to meet and exceed the demands of the motoring public.” Full story


Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year

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2012 Range Rover Evoque Wins 2012 International Car of the Year from Road & Travel Magazine

Range Rover Evoque Road Test Review

by Martha Hindes

Dwayne Duff said it best when he first got up close and personal with the 2012 Range Rover Evoque a few weeks ago. "Wow!" pretty much said it all. After examining the sweeping lines, the aggressive face, the black and red leather interior and handsome gauges, the Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan resident was well on the way to a decision. When he turns in his leased Cadillac SRX crossover next year, he'll be ready for Land Rover's dramatic new baby sport utility vehicle.

Duff's response to a first look at the Evoque in person, after scouring the internet for photos, wasn't unusual. As Road & Travel Magazine testers drove it around, we found it brought thumbs up gestures of approval, wide grins, women abandoning their shopping carts to get a closer look and even hoots of excitement. The Evoque isn't just another of those cookie cutter crossover vehicles. It's just smack down galvanizing.

Range Rover Evoque Named 2012 International Truck of the Year - Road & Travel MagazineIf fact the impact of this feisty newcomer is such an undeniable "gotcha" that a dozen ICOTY jurors found it so irresistible they named it Road & Travel Magazine's "International Truck of the Year" for 2012. And Kim McCullough, who is Brand Vice President of Land Rover, understands why people can't resist this all new small SUV that launches from Land Rover's traditional enthusiast base. "The breakthrough design and confident handling are undeniable and have led to a new generation of modern-day Land Rover enthusiasts," said McCullough, adding the coveted award is "a great way for the Land Rover brand to start off the New Year."

Courtney Caldwell, who founded the International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) that honor the passion, presence and emotional punch that new vehicles can bring couldn't agree more. As the awards' executive producer and Road & Travel Magazine Publisher, she knows how such an emotional connection can win an unmatched sense of loyalty from consumers that few products can claim. Full Story


Top 10 Green Cars of 2011

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The roads are getting greener every day, but it’s not just advanced electric cars and hybrids that are making a mark. Conventional gas engines, equipped with efficiency-inducing technologies are offering ultra economical rides at a fraction of the cost, as illustrated in this year’s “Top 10 Green Cars” list, compiled by Kelley Blue Book. Earning mileage that passes 40-miles-per-gallon, there’s no reason for today’s car shoppers can’t be earth-friendly… at the pump.

Who made this year’s list for leading green vehicles? 

2012 Ford Focus – 31 average mpg 
Admirable fuel economy from a very well-priced entry-level car, with just enough gadgetry to impress techy drivers.
2012 Fiat 500 – 33 average mpg
This mini mobile has been a stranger to the U.S. market for nearly 30 years, but we’re welcoming it back with open arms.
2011 Hyundai Elantra – 33 average mpg

The stylish silhouette of this four-door make it a fashion-friendly option for compact car buyers nationwide.
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI – 34 average mpg
A diesel engine makes this sporty hatchback stand out among the crowd. To top, it’s VW heritage promises a fun driving experience every time. 
2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid – 39 average mpg
Easily up the ante from ho-hum sedan to sustainable chic by parking a Fusion Hybrid in your driveway. 
2011 Honda Insight – 41 average mpg
A well-rounded sedan that’s both earth- and wallet-friendly… what more could you ask for?
2011 Lexus CT 200h – 42 average mpg
Luxury and efficiency blend in this roomy vehicle that’s ideal for soccer moms and dads alike.
2011 Chevy Volt – 93 average mpg
Uber mileage without the range anxiety makes Chevy’s new Volt an electrifyingly easy option for all drivers.
2011 Nissan Leaf – 99 average mpg
Topping the charts, the Leaf serves as the first true, mass-market EV, offering nearly 100 mpg. 

(Source: KBB)


Back Issues Available of EWP & RTM

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Did you know that our partner Road & Travel Magazine has been publishing since 1989? Among the hundreds of issues and thousands of articles published many have been dedicated strictly to environmental topics. There, in RTM's back issue section, articles have been archived back as far as 2001. Please feel free to search our back issue archives to find additional resources and articles on earth-friendly topics.

Did you know that Road & Travel Magazine was the first publication to give an award for the most environmental friendly car of the year? In 1997, RTM produced and hosted an auto awards show in Detroit which honored the GM - EV1 as the vehicle that was 'Most Likely to Change the World.'

The Earth-Friendly Award continued for several years but sadly there were so few competitors back then that we discontinued the award until more automakers joined the party. By 2009, most car companies had introduced various forms of eco-friendly vehicles from hybrid to diesel to now electric. As a result of their progress, we launched the Earth, Wind & Power Awards, which are dedicated to clean car technology. Stay tuned as we continue to expand the EWP Awards down the road.

Also visit the RTM Blog!

Please feel free to share EWP and RTM content with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We welcome and appreciate your support.


GM Announces Cities to Plug Into Electric Vehicles

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Volt-front2 The future of plug-in vehicles is now a reality. General Motors has announced a comprehensive plan of action to help communities get ready for plug-in electric vehicles such as the newly arriving Chevrolet Volt.

GM is working with key stakeholders in cities such as San Francisco to develop policies and enablers to accelerate the transition to plug-in electric vehicles. GM will undertake similar efforts around the country in communities such as Washington, D.D. These actions will help ensure the early success of the Chevy Volt and other plug-in vehicles.

“Collaborating with communities such as San Francisco and metropolitan areas such as Washington, D.C. – where there’s already an interest in plug-in vehicles – is another important step toward raising customer awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of vehicles such as the Volt,” said Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet.

Challenges that need to be addressed include consumer incentives to make this early technology more affordable; public and workplace charging infrastructure; consumer-friendly electricity rates and renewable electricity options among other things.

Click here for full story.


"SKY" Technology: Mazda's Eco-Revolution

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Car_photo_336064_7 Japanese car company Mazda has done some incredible work towards making vehicles more earth-friendly that can’t be ignored. With two eco-prototypes hitting car shows this year: the Kiyora and the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid, Mazda’s progressivism is undeniable.


While some parts of Mazda’s futuristic city car are set to appear in future Mazda models, the stylish vehicle is only a study. Innovative systems for the concept car include its high-tech solar roof which powers the cabin and a rainwater cleansing system which makes water drinkable. The Japanese Mazda Kiyora model, which is so cute and ovalescent it almost looks like a skittle, is being shown at this month’s Tokyo Motor Show for the first time. Mazda’s stop-start technology, regenerative braking and slippery aerodynamics combined with new SKY technology could deliver 75 mpg for the car.


Mazda will also display the two SKY engines and the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid vehicle, which is already in use by Japanese government agencies. The Premacy uses a hydrogen-burning rotary engine hybrid system.


For more auto outlook from RTM, visit our Planet Driven section.


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2009 Honda Fit Review

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Review by Kimberly Ewing

The 2009 Honda Fit is extremely impressive. Not only is this little beauty economical, it’s very affordable with a starting price of only $14,750. Our Honda Fit Sport starts at $18,960 which is an exceptional bargain. We averaged 29 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg highway. That’s two miles more per the EPA fuel economy estimates which are 27 and 33 respectively.

Fit-LrgGal01 Our journey took us from Detroit
to the west side of the Michigan, during which we found the Fit is very nimble in city driving and very easy to park even in the smallest of spaces. Even with high winds the car feels very safe. The Fit has ample safety features which include six airbags, energy-absorbing crush zones, anti-lock brakes, and active front head restraints. The Fit Sport also includes Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control. This little five door hatch with a five-speed automatic (also comes with a five-speed manual) has enough room for five adults.

If you are looking for a fantastic vehicle to get you around town and haul all of your goods, look no further than the Honda Fit. You’ll be glad you did. For more information, click here.

Visit Planet Driven for more on eco-friendly automotive.


Toyota Plans Yaris-Based Hybrid

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Yaris The hybrid war between Toyota and Honda is heating up with Toyota Motor Corp’s plans of a new small hybrid car to take on the Insight, the inexpensive hybrid by Honda.

The announcement, first reported last month by Japanese business newspaper, Nikkei, suggests Toyota is facing fierce competition with Insight hybrid estimated cost of $20,000 when it goes on sale this month, several thousand less than Toyota’s Prius.

"We are developing a low-priced hybrid vehicle like Honda's Insight," Akihiko Otsuka, the chief engineer on the third-generation Prius, told Nikkei. "We are going to compete by expanding our hybrid-vehicle lineup to smaller hybrids, in the class of the Vitz (sold in Japan) and the Yaris."

According to Automotive News (free subscription required), the new Insight is selling well in Japan, and Honda is planning to follow-up with a gas-electric version of the Fit compact.

So, keep your eye on the horizon for a price war consumers.

More on this from Automotive News.


Ford Escape Hybrid Taxi

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Ford Escape Taxi Major metropolitan cities utilize a lot of taxis. Not only are the vehicles wasting fuel by waiting for passengers, they are also driven at speeds where fuel economy is not efficient. New York City currently has over 250 Ford Escape Hybrid taxis. We all want to be fuel-conscious and Ford is making a difference:

·         The EPA rates the Escape Hybrid at 34 miles per gallon in city driving which can provide for 500 miles per fill-up. This makes the front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs available.

·         We all have been on erratic taxi rides. The Escape Hybrid is remarkably durable even in the most severe driving conditions. Ford offers a standard eight-year/100,000-mile limited warranty for unique hybrid components which also includes the battery pack.

·         The Ford Escape Hybrid meets the cleanest emissions standard available for a vehicle that utilizes fossil fuels. This drastically reduces smog-forming emissions which aids in less pollution in major metropolitan cities.

Remember, your next eco-friendly hail will be saving our environment.

For more information visit Planet Driven.