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In the US we only get the 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder, 140hp version. Also to note, this Passat is bigger than the European Passat.
Speaking of driver training... I would hope anybody driving a car with an automatic transmission would only use one foot anyway. Sean, perhaps you could train yourself to use the brake pedal with that one foot of yours in order to let people behind you know that you're coming to a stop. For self-preservation, if nothing else. If not, we could ask the government to pass a law that states that cars with regen have brake lights that operate in sync with the regen.
Bernard, I agree that making a direct comparison is difficult. It may be even more difficult than you imply. Diesel engines are torquier than gas engines. Take the Dart/Jetta comparison that you cite. The 2.0 TDI engine in the Jetta has 236 lb-ft of torque vs 184 lb-ft for the Dart. Although these two cars are roughly the same size, what this means is that the diesel engine can be (and in Europe is) used in larger vehicles that would normally get a six cylinder or even eight cylinder gas engine. For example that same 2.0 TDI engine can be found in the VW Multivan and Mercedes even offers a four cylinder Diesel in the S-Class in Europe. In these instances, the 18% improvement in fuel economy is probably an understatement, not an overstatement.
It's great that Ford is offering this engine in the upcoming Transit van, which I am sure will be a huge improvement over the old van, but it would be even better if they offered this engine in all of their larger vehicles.
I would hardly call this an "aggressive" stance. Now, if they offered the 2.0TDI across the range, that would be aggressive. And if they offered the A3 TDI with quattro, they'd probably see the TDI take up an even higher percentage of the A3s sold. Ditto for the stick shift and the TDI. Clearly an A3 TDI quattro stick shift is too much to ask for.
It's a shame that we cannot get Peugeot in the US. Peugeot's willingness to combine diesel, hybrid and all wheel drive make the Prius and other hybrids here look like a joke.
I have a Jetta built in Mexico with the 2.0L engine and a stick shift. I bought it new in February 2000. I have 106,000 miles on it and it has yet to cause me any major problems. I would buy another Volkswagen without hesitation and likely will. If I were buying a car today I would buy the Jetta wagon TDI. I just wish I could have that with all wheel drive in the US.
It's difficult to compare mileage & CO2 emissions between the EU and US since the way cars are tested result in different numbers. It would be very interesting to see a direct comparison between this Civic Diesel and the Civic Hybrid. A few cars in the US, mostly from Mercedes and Volkswagen are starting to be available in both hybrid and diesel (although diesel hybrids as of yet). It seems the larger cars (S Class, Toureg) do better as diesels and the smaller as hybrids (Jetta).
We used to have those in Philly and we used to have a lot of trolleys with tracks too. We still have some trolleys with tracks and one trolley line that was recently restored, but mostly we have buses. The upfront infrastructure cost is a lot less. The main problem with buses in Philly is that the buses get through traffic very slowly. Biking is often faster, and for shorter distances, walking is faster. There are various ways to speed up buses, some of which have been implemented in other cities. I'm no expert on that topic, but if somebody could figure out how to speed up the buses in Philly it would make a lot of people happier.
Harvey, I'm not sure that passengers would agree that less frequent buses are desirable... Here in Philly, we have some hybrid buses and one of the huge advantages of them, besides the obvious one of consuming less fuel, is that they are much quieter on start-up. The old buses take a lot of power to get moving from a stand-still after stopping to pick up passengers or just at a stop sign where there's no bus stop. Some of them are horrifyingly loud. The hybrids make roughly 1/4 as much noise. If you're sitting at a sidewalk cafe at a corner trying to have a conversation, this difference is very noticeable and very much appreciated.
Harvey, they're "supposed to" get 50mpg? I don't care what they're supposed to get. Look at The 3 Series is rated as follows: 328i (4 cylinder) RWD, AT: 23/33 $36,500 335i (6 cylinder) RWD, AT: 23/33 $42,800 Active Hybrid 3 (6 cylinder) RWD, AT: 25/33 $49,300 So, for 2mpg city you need to spend $6500 over the 335i and $12,800 over the 328i. Furthermore, if you want all wheel drive or a stick shift, you need to opt for the non-hybrid. Maybe some hybrids get the 50mpg that they're "supposed to" get. The BMW Active Hybrid 3 is not one of them. Now a BMW Active Hybrid 3 with all wheel drive and a 2.0 liter turbo diesel, that would interest me. They have all the parts, they just don't feel like putting them together in that beautiful combination.
Of course, none of these cars will be available in the US. Instead we get the $49,000 Active Hybrid 3, which gets about the same fuel economy as the $36,000 328i. Why anybody would buy the hybrid is completely beyond my comprehension.
The Prius v may be great, but it does not seat seven. Let's give credit to Toyota (and Ford) where it's due, for making some great, fuel efficient vehicles, but let's not give credit where it's not due and exaggerate the differences between the Prius v and the C-max.
I think the most significant thing here is the assembly line, which can crank out gas, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric versions of the same cars. This will give Ford the ability to respond quickly to consumer demand. If we really want people to buy more fuel efficient cars, we need to have the whole array of choices be available across the whole lineup of cars, not just Car A is electric, Car B is hybrid, Car C is plug-in hybrid, etc. Although even Ford hasn't yet achieved that, this is a definite step in the right direction.
From a technology standpoint this car is amazing. However, I have to wonder how many they will sell. It carries a heavy premium over a 335i and a very heavy premium over the 328i (which has a 4 cylinder engine). It seems to me that people who don't care about fuel economy will buy the 335i, people who really care about fuel economy will buy a Prius and people who care a little about fuel economy and want a BMW at a lower price will buy the 328i. I think it would make more sense for them to offer the hybrid with the 4 cylinder from the 328i (or better yet the diesel from the European 320d) at a price point similar to the 335i. Fuel economy and price would both be improved. Also disappointing is the lack of all wheel drive, which is available in the non-hybrid 3 series. And the lack of a wagon. How can we honestly expect people to buy more fuel efficient cars if we don't offer them all the choices they get when they buy gas guzzlers?
I'm not necessarily in the EV camp, but even if I were, I certainly don't consider more electricity coming from nuclear and natural gas to be good news.
I have to disagree with you, yoatmon. I doubt Peugeot cares one way or the other if they sell hybrids, electrics, diesels, gasoline-engine cars or whatever. They made this product a hybrid rather than an all-electric because they believe that it has competitive advantages over a similar all-electric car. Do you honestly think they could produce a competitive all-electric product, competitive on range, price, performance, all wheel drive, cargo capacity, passenger room, towing capacity, etc? I think not. Personally, I think this is a phenomenal piece of technology and fills in some of the blanks that we are missing on hybrids in the US, notably a diesel engine and all wheel drive.
What you seem to mean is "every house with a driveway". There are plenty of houses without driveways, even single family non-attached homes without driveways, along with twins, row houses that are attached on both sides, etc. You also said "this is a non issue". It's not a non-issue unless all the companies selling plug-in cars have no interest in selling cars to people who live in condos, co-ops, twins, row houses and non-attached homes without driveways. My point is simply that lots of people live in places where they can't pull their car up to their home. Unless we simply decide that these people will never, ever be able to have plug-in cars, this issue needs to be addressed. Pretending it's not an issue is not helpful.
Harvey, that is not at all true. I live outside Philadelphia. Although I have easy access to an electrical outlet in my driveway, I have many friends who live in the city. These folks live in apartments, condos and single family attached homes with no driveway. On street parking is not necessarily in front of their house or anywhere near their house. It absolutely is an issue. Although many people take public transit or bike or walk to work, many others drive to work, sometimes to the suburbs. An electric car would often be adequate for this type of commute but there is no way to charge the car when one returns home. You are the second person here (at least) on GCC who seems to think "everybody has a driveway or parking spot". Not sure where you all live, but most of the older cities in the US are set up as I have described and without some kind of smart outlets installed into sidewalks, electric cars will not take off in those locales.
I would love to know if this setup is more biodiesel-friendly than the setup we currently see on the 2.0TDI in the US on the Jetta, Jetta Wagon, Golf and Beetle. I would also love to know if we'll see this setup on the 2.0TDI on any of those cars in the US.
Agreed, Mahonj. Boring, but significant nonetheless. There is a 1.6TDI in Europe that we don't get in the US and a 1.2 TDI (which I think is a three cylinder) available in the smaller VWs (Polo and Fox), which we don't get in the US. Personally, what I think is really missing from VW's US lineup is the availability of the 4 cylinder TDI engines combined with 4Motion, also available in Europe, but alas, not in the US.
How does raising taxes on people evading taxes equal control? As for bigots, homophobes, racists and sexists, I will call those people those things regardless of what economic policies they espouse. And I will disagree on economic polices with people whom I disagree on economic policies regardless of the social policies they espouse.
Well said ai_vin. I would also add that much of the trouble in the euro zone is caused by the unified currency not being appropriate for disparate economies. This has nothing to do with taxes or spending.
ejj, tax breaks aren't the cure-all you think they are. If the government guarantees a loan and the borrower defaults, the government loses money. If the borrower doesn't default, the government doesn't lose money. With a tax cut, the government is always left with less money. Furthermore, a loan guarantee can provide a start-up with needed capital that is otherwise unobtainable. Tax breaks can't do that. Even with a tax rate of zero, if I can't get start-up capital, I won't be in business and my tax rate will be zero anyway. A loan guarantee helps a business get started up with the possibility that that company will become profitable and eventually start paying taxes. Tax cuts are incapable of doing that. Sure, if we got our military out of the Middle East and oil went to $200 a barrel or more, alternative energy companies would probably have an easier time getting start-up capital without loan guarantees. I don't personally think we should do that, at least not right away, because, if we withdrew from the Middle East, oil would go up in price quickly whereas it would take a while for alternatives to ramp up to the scale needed to replace all that oil.
There's actually not a whole lot that is mandated by the constitution. Making sure oil flows freely isn't either. I'm fine with eliminating subsidies, so long as we eliminate all of them. Realistically, though, what we should be doing is continuing to make sure the oil flows freely while giving equal subsidies to alternatives while they ramp up and become competitive while we wean ourselves off oil. Lots of folks don't want to do this because 1) they're making money off of oil or military contracts, or 2) they don't recognize the subsidy that we give to oil in the form of military might as a subsidy.