2018 Kia Niro PHEV

2018 Kia Niro PHEV This subcompact crossover helps take plug-ins mainstream. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | August 2018 What is this vehicle? The Niro is a subcompact SUV that was added to the Kia lineup for 2017. The first Niro to roll out featured a super efficient hybrid powertrain, and this year, Kia added the PHEV plug-in hybrid model to the Niro family. There isn’t anything quite like the Niro PHEV on the market right now, but it’s fair to expect that rivals might follow suit in the near future as small crossovers continue to dominate the market and automakers invest more in electric and hybrid technology. The Niro is an affordable and practical path to better efficiency. Who is this vehicle for? Take a look at the Niro PHEV if you want a new, modern subcompact crossover with great technology features and excellent efficiency. The Niro does have some drawbacks, namely that it is not available with all-wheel drive and that it isn’t especially fun or interesting to drive. However, if those factors don’t matter to you, the Niro PHEV could be a very good choice for a subcompact SUV or crossover. Furthermore, not all potential buyers will necessarily see a benefit from the plug-in hybrid drivetrain, because the hybrid Niro is already super efficient. Why is this vehicle important to you, the buyer? Plug-in hybrid vehicles are becoming [...]

2018-09-24T17:36:50-04:00Sep 2018|Car Reviews|

2018 Toyota Prius c

2018 Toyota Prius c This subcompact hatchback is extremely easy to live with. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | Apr 2018 What is this vehicle? The Prius c is the smallest vehicle in the Toyota Prius lineup. It’s designed for high density, urban areas and boasts great fuel economy ratings, a reasonably comfortable interior, and a lot of useful and interesting features. The Prius c is an alternative to regular gas-powered subcompact cars as well as larger and more expensive hybrid models. It was added to the Prius lineup in 2012 as part of a larger expansion of the Prius nameplate. For 2018, the Prius c got refreshed exterior styling. The most significant change is a more cohesive front end design. Who is this vehicle for? The Prius c blends into the crowd better than most other Prius models, so it’s a good choice for buyers who want a vehicle with good gas mileage but dislike the trend of self-conscious, standout styling that you’ll find on many hybrids and EVs (including some of Toyota’s other vehicles). Like most subcompact cars, it’s designed for city living and is perfect for students, young singles and couples, and other urban dwellers who will use it primarily for short trips. It’s a little more expensive than regular compact and subcompact cars, so it’s best for buyers who don’t mind paying a little more up front in [...]

2018-05-01T19:57:38-04:00May 2018|Car Reviews|

Electrified Vehicles: The Basics

Electrified Vehicles: The Basics By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | March 2018 With so many different categories, there is understandably some confusion among consumers about electrified vehicles. When we talk about “EVs” we usually mean vehicles that run only on electricity—the industry calls these Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs). But there are many categories of vehicles that have various degrees of electrification, and there can be overlap. If you’re thinking of electrifying your lifestyle, we’re here to help cut through the haze! What is an electrified vehicle? Before we get into the differences between all these categories, let’s talk about the similarities. Nearly all electrified vehicles have the goal of improving efficiency—there are a few that are just about performance, but you probably can’t afford one of those. Mostly they do this by keeping your car from giving off a bunch of heat, which would just be energy lost to the environment. If instead of creating heat the vehicle can use that energy in other ways, it can be much more efficient. Photo credit: Brembo Brakes are one great example. Most cars brake using friction, which heats up the calipers and rotors. Electrified cars use “regenerative braking,” which basically turns your brakes into little generators powered by the car’s momentum. While they’re slowing the car down, they’re also pumping that energy into a battery for later use. But the biggest creator of heat in [...]

2018-03-21T00:56:47-04:00Mar 2018|News, Research|