Hybrid Vehicles Makes a Turn for the More Powerful Vehicles in the Auto Industry:

Written by Jenny McLane

It is common knowledge among car enthusiasts and car owners thatrepparttar biggerrepparttar 102741 vehicle,repparttar 102742 biggerrepparttar 102743 amount of fuel it consumes. With this in mind, several automobile producers have begun diverting a big chunk of their efforts to producing more hybrid 4x4s inrepparttar 102744 year 2005.

Taking onrepparttar 102745 Fleet First. The big three - Ford, Dodge and General Motors have seemed to agree that 2005 isrepparttar 102746 perfect opportunity to introducerepparttar 102747 hybrid versions of some very popular vehicles.

Ford Introducesrepparttar 102748 Ford Escape Hybrid,repparttar 102749 first vehicle to combine SUV capability withrepparttar 102750 outstanding fuel economy and low environmental impact of a full hybrid. "Full" hybrid means it automatically switches between pure electric power, pure gasoline or diesel engine power or a combined operation to optimize efficiency and performance. The no frills Escape Hybrid drives normally, performs superbly and offers allrepparttar 102751 features you'd expect fromrepparttar 102752 SUV leader. The Hybrid Ford Escape features lots of room, comfortable seating for five, an adaptable cargo area, 1000-pound towing capacity, and an optional Intelligent 4WD System which producesrepparttar 102753 same all-weather grip and off-road competence available in conventional Escape models. Full hybrids can achieve 50% or more improvement in fuel economy during traffic induced stop-and-go type of driving, whereinrepparttar 102754 electric motor is most efficient. The Escape Hybrid delivers more than 75% fuel economy improvement in city driving when weighed against a conventional V-6 powered Escape XLT. The Escape Hybrid can travel more than 400 miles in city driving on a single tank of gasoline. Ford has already manufactured and soldrepparttar 102755 4,000 units Ford Escape Hybrid in 2004 and its resounding success has prompted it to build a “modest” 20,000 more for 2005. Ford wants to make sure it is not just a fad and people would seerepparttar 102756 practical, economical and environmental impact a Hybrid vehicle can induce. The Escape Hybrid costs $3,300 more thanrepparttar 102757 V-6 powered Escape.

Dodge and General Motors follow suit. Ford has beenrepparttar 102758 first to produce and setrepparttar 102759 bar inrepparttar 102760 large vehicle Hybrid market segment and Dodge and GM cannot afford to lag behind. General Motors and Dodge are not that far behind though. Inrepparttar 102761 last quarter of 2004, General Motors introduced electric hybrid versions of its 2005 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The trucks were only available to those who are in Florida, California, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. GM expects to produce about 2,500 units in 2005 - 1,875 Silverados and 625 Sierras - withrepparttar 102762 hopes of launchingrepparttar 102763 vehicles on a national scale by 2006. Dodge manufactured only 100 diesel-electric 2005 RAM pickups, targeted for utility company fleets. The diesel will produce better fuel economy, with an additional 15% mpg boost overrepparttar 102764 conventional diesel Ram coming fromrepparttar 102765 electric side. Diesels are generally considered more “environmentally disastrous” onrepparttar 102766 ecological front. The Dodge Ram Diesel Hybrid is expected to sell for around $40,000 a somewhat larger cost thanrepparttar 102767 non-hybrid models.

Heftier Price Tags. Althoughrepparttar 102768 price tags may vary from state to state,repparttar 102769 average increase forrepparttar 102770 cost for a Hybrid option may run well up to $3,000. The GM versions ofrepparttar 102771 Hybrid engine are soft-hybrids, which mean that an electric motor provides a boost up on accelerations. The GM version of a hybrid large vehicle has a stop-start system that turns offrepparttar 102772 gasoline engine at traffic lights. It possesses a 120-volt, 2,400-watt generator system that can provide power for electrical equipments. The Silverado and Sierra hybrids also serves as power generators, with two conventional, three-prong plug-ins that can be found underrepparttar 102773 rear seat, two extra plug-ins can also be found inrepparttar 102774 rear bed ofrepparttar 102775 trucks. The four 120-volt, 20 amp electrical supplementary power outlets can supply power for electric coolers, electric ranges, sound systems video consoles and other electrical equipments that can be lugged around. The power supply can be utilized whilerepparttar 102776 engine is running or even afterrepparttar 102777 engine is cut andrepparttar 102778 keys are taken out ofrepparttar 102779 ignition. Ground fault detection systems are installed inrepparttar 102780 power supply circuits so that overloads and short circuits can be prevented. According to General Motors,repparttar 102781 new hybrid pickups could sustain enough power to last for up to 32 hours non-stop before needing to fillrepparttar 102782 tank again. This function new feature proved to be very useful when GM loaned some of their new Hybrids’ to hurricane stricken Florida when they were used for some relief operations, they were vital in some areas were electricity was incapacitated. The hybrid models ofrepparttar 102783 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks are foreseen to develop fuel savings of up to 10% over analogous trucks withoutrepparttar 102784 hybrid benefit.

Suzuki Forenza Wagon 2005: The Weekly Driver Review

Written by James Raia

As an entry level wagon,repparttar 2005 Suzuki Forenza offers budget-minded buyers a spacious wagon with a good supply of standard features. But as a debut vehicle, it's also unproven inrepparttar 102740 resale market and has shortcomings that ideally define its position inrepparttar 102741 marketplace.

My weekly test drive wasrepparttar 102742 LX wagon, one of 10 available Forenza models in 2005. The 2.0-liter, 16-value, 126-horsepower engine has a four-speed automatic transmission,repparttar 102743 only option.

The vehicle has good mileage estimates for its class, andrepparttar 102744 wagon accelerates adequately in city driving scenarios. But it's sluggish and needs a full-throttle jolt onrepparttar 102745 steady highway inclines or in a quickly needed lane-change situation.

The Forenza wagon isn't particularly quiet onrepparttar 102746 open road andrepparttar 102747 ride quality is marginal, with bumps easily felt andrepparttar 102748 overall feel a little stiff. But as an economically priced wagon,repparttar 102749 Forenza also has several features that warrant its consideration.

The vehicle's exterior is designed nicely, with a contoured body, alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a power tilt slide sunroof. My test vehicle's test color was listed as "Fantasy Black," andrepparttar 102750 exterior was complemented by cloth light gray seats.

Several passengers mentioned that while Forenza looks small fromrepparttar 102751 outside, they were surprised byrepparttar 102752 interior spaciousness. One 6-foot-2 friend sat inrepparttar 102753 back seat and had more than a one-inch clearance. He saidrepparttar 102754 headroom was more than he's had inrepparttar 102755 back seats of some SUVs.

The same is true fromrepparttar 102756 driver's seat perspective. As a 6-foot driver, I had good head clearance and leg room. The spacious interior extends torepparttar 102757 cargo area, which is wide, easily accessible fromrepparttar 102758 back seat and has a convenient hatchback style entry.

The interior of Forenza seemingly has one general theme - simplicity. Radio controls and other instrumentation are easy to use and have a straightforward design. The instrument panel numbers have retro-style lettering, andrepparttar 102759 back panel has an attractive light green tone when illuminated. Another nice feature isrepparttar 102760 dashboard design. Its textured pattern looks like (and feels like)repparttar 102761 surface of golf balls - if they were black.

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