Taking into account air pollution, fuel economy, green house gases, evaluations by the Environmental Protection Agency, and consumer opinions regarding gas mileage and performance some vehicles have moved into the spotlight for consumers seeking more environmentally friendly vehicles along with improvements in gas mileage. For moms, finding such a vehicle while at the same time meeting the need to be able to haul kids, pets, and groceries can be a challenge. The vehicles that get the very best gas mileage and are also environmentally friendly are typically too small to satisfy mom’s needs. However, there are a handful of vehicles that offer the room busy moms need as well as being more environmentally friendly and offering improvements in gas mileage.
The new for 2012, Prius V, pronounced “Prius Vee”, is the first Prius hatchback. With an all new body design one should envision this vehicle as a mix of a minivan, station wagon, and compact crossover. The Prius V is about the same size as the Mazda 5, but the Prius has no third row seating, thus allowing for ample cargo space.
Prius V has Toyota’s Hybrid synergy drive system with two electric motors and a 1.8 liter, four cylinder engine that yields 134 horse power. Heavier than the original Prius by 232 pounds the Prius V takes more than 10 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. The original Prius touts an amazing 50 mpg, while the new and heavier Prius V gets 42 mpg, still amazing gas mileage for a larger vehicle.
The best thing about the new Prius V is the increase of 3 cubic feet in passenger space and a 70 percent increase in cargo space. The Prius V offers 34 cubic feet of space behind the second row of seats and with the second row of seats folded down the Prius offers 67 cubic feet of storage space.
The Prius V is sturdy and steady on the road. This vehicle is not one for speed junkies or drivers wanting sports car handling. The noise while driving full throttle is intolerable, but speed is not what attracts Prius owners anyway. Moms wanting to do their good deed to the environment and still have room for the kids, the dog, and the groceries will love this vehicle.
For Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid combines an efficient gas engine with two electric motors creating a 2.3 liter, four cylinder, 133 hp vehicle. Turning the ignition key in the Ford Escape Hybrid starts the electric motors, which ignites the gas engine. At constant low speeds, such as one finds in downtown traffic, the electric engines do all of the work. The gas engine fires up at speeds of between ten and 20 mph.
The Ford Escape Hybrid is a four-wheel-drive vehicle that sits on knobby all-season tires and the design of the vehicle is not aerodynamic, but test drives still found that the vehicle yielded the promised 33 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. The Ford Escape Hybrid accelerates from 0-60 in about eleven-seconds, not fast, but it weighs 350 pounds more than the Ford Escape four-wheel-drive. Tester found that the Ford Escape Hybrid demonstrated acceptable passing ability. Offering the extra room moms need the Ford Escape Hybrid has 27.8 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use and 66 cubic feet of cargo space with he rear seats folded down. The Ford Escape Hybrid offers ample room, good gas mileage for its size and rugged performance just right for moms requiring a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Lexus RX 450 Hybrid
The Lexus RX 450h offer luxury with a refined power train and excellent fuel economy. This rare combination of hybrid luxury offers a high tech interior, smooth performance and gas savings. The Lexus RX 450h offer all the great benefits of the standard Lexus RX 450 such as superb interior quality, a smooth, quiet ride, high tech controls with a mouselike interface, and an amazing sound systems. Moms are going to love the luxury of this vehicle which affords the room they need and is friendly to the environment.
The Lexus RX 450h gets 32 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with a combo gas/electric engine with V6, 3.5L, 240 hp performance. The gas engine kicks in for heavy acceleration, but acceleration is still somewhat impeded due to the heavy weight of the vehicle. The vehicle holds the road well for its size, but the earmark of the Lexus RX 450h is the ultra comfortable cruising.
The Lexus RX 450h is a very roomy, five person vehicle. The rear seats recline and the front driver and passenger seats have ten-way adjustable comfort control. Moms will love the lumbar support when they spend those long days driving kids to school, shopping, taking the dog to the vet, and all the after-school sports and activities. Plus, busy moms will never get lost with the optional Remote Touch Navigation system with voice command. There are back-up cameras for added safety and the kids will be kept entertained with the optional dual-screen entertainment system in the rear seats, complete with wireless headphones. Storage in the Lexus RX450h is a favorable asset with 40 cubic feet if all seats are in use and 80 cubic feet with the rear seats folded easily out of the way.
I hope this helps you choose which eco-friendly car is perfect for your family!