2018 Chevrolet Volt Electric Hybrid Hatchback (Review)

As gas prices have continued to climb in recent years, more consumers are seeking fuel efficient vehicles that not only have a stylish exterior, comfortable interior, and technologically advanced features, but fuel efficiency that can be felt with fewer trips to the gas station. The new 2018 Chevrolet Volt embodies all of those characteristics and so much more. Chevrolet has introduced a hybrid sedan that saves gas, money, time, and provides one of the best hybrid driving experiences available today.

The Volt is a mid-size, plug-in electric hybrid vehicle that comes in two trim levels- LT and Premier, and has become one of the most popular hybrids in North America. It is powered by an electric motor that delivers 149 horsepower and 273 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor receives power from a 18.4 kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack until the charge is 70% used up, at this point the vehicle’s 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder gas engine kicks in and powers the electric motor.

There are various driving modes, such as normal, sport, a mountain mode for rougher terrain conditions, and a hold mode, which turns of the all-electric propulsion mode until the best driving conditions are met, permitting the vehicle to achieve optimal efficiency.

Standard features for the LT trim include- keyless ignition/entry, heated mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, remote ignition, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, LED running lamps, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, cruise control, an auxiliary audio jack, automatic headlights, a height-adjustable driver seat, satellite radio, an iPod/USB interface, Bluetooth and phone connectivity, OnStar communication with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, 8-inch touch screen display, a 6-speaker audio system with CD player, and Chevrolet’s MyLink system, which offers Smartphone integration and voice controlled audio functions. For 2018, the leather-wrapped steering wheel is not a standard feature; instead it is available with certain packages.

The Premier Trim adds leather upholstery, heated rear outboard seats, a wireless charging pad for smartphones and other devices, a center armrest, heated front seats, a removable rear seat, better 17-inch wheels, an automated parking system, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

A Driver Confidence package is available for both the Premier and LT trims and offers rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

For the Premier trim, a Driver Confidence 2 package can be added to the Driver Confidence package, which offers adaptive headlights, forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control and an upgraded automatic emergency braking system. A navigation system is optional for the Premier trim.

Increased safety packages are also available for the Volt and include a rearview camera, forward collision and lane departure warning functions, front parking sensors, and rear parking sensor. A 7-speaker Bose Audio System, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a navigation system with digital music storage and voice controls are optional.

Unlike an all-electric vehicle, such as the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt is a hybrid, in which the vehicle operates in electric mode for about 38 miles and then the 1.5-liter, 4 cylinder gas engine switches on to generate electricity to help prolong the Volt’s mpg by an estimated 300 miles. Between the battery and an 8.9-gallon fuel tank, the Volt delivers an impressive 420-mile range, which makes it the perfect choice for long distance trips.

Compared to many hybrid competitors, the Volt definitely has a longer electric range. Many of the Volt’s plug-in competitors can only operate in electric mode for  about 10-20 miles before switching over to hybrid mode, whereas the Volt can achieve in electric mode more than 35 miles. This makes the Volt the best choice for commuters who typically drive shorter distances to school, work, or in the city, eliminating the need to visit a gas station for a very long time with the Volt’s Hybrid System yielding an astounding 101 in the city and 93 on the highway.

It is necessary to plug the car into either a 120 or 240 volt outlet to recharge the battery. I recommend using a 240 outlet, because it greatly reduces the charging time to only about 4.5 hours, whereas the 120 outlet takes about 10 hours to charge completely.

Unlike many other hybrids, the Volt has an attractive and sleek exterior that looks very much like the Chevy Cruze Hatchback. In fact, from certain angles, it is nearly impossible to tell them apart, aside from the Volt’s distinctive badge and rear/tail that sits higher to better repel air in the best way possible.

The interior of the Chevy Volt is stylish, modern, with a quiet cabin, comfortable seats, and high-end materials. The front cabin feels spacious and there is plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers. The Volt’s interior has a twin-cockpit design with elegant black and silver accents. I like the layout of the dashboard with the big 8.0-inch touch screen display and I noticed that the soft “touch” controls that were in the first generation of the Volt have been replaced with easier to use traditional buttons, which work much better. Cargo space is somewhat limited with no cover to hide items in the trunk, and the bottom of the front of the vehicle seems to scrape the ground when entering or exiting some driveways.

On the road the Chevy Volt provides a smooth, comfortable ride, navigating curves and tight corners extremely well, without any roll feel, and handles bumpy road conditions with ease. The Volt has a refined demeanor and feels composed even on rougher terrain. The hybrid engine is quiet and there is only a small amount of noise heard from the tires when driving over rougher surfaces.

Currently, for the 2018 Volt, a 7,500 federal tax credit is available and many states in the U.S. are offering generous incentives, which make it one of the most affordable hybrid vehicles available and with a starting MSRP of only $33,220, it is definitely worth taking a look at.

To find out more about the 2018 Chevrolet Volt, please visit- www.chevrolet.com

 

2017 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback (Review)

Without a doubt, the Prius is the most popular and distinctive hybrid vehicle that Toyota has ever produced and is a pioneer in hybrid technology, delivering one of the best mpg of any vehicle. Since its introduction in the 1990’s, other hybrid vehicles have entered the automotive scene in more recent years, but no other has been able to surpass the popularity of the Prius. With a unique style, smooth handling, and excellent fuel economy, such as with the Prius Eco yielding an impressive 56 MPG combined, it is very easy to see why it is still the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle.

The 2017 Prius was completely redesigned during the previous model year and now features a lower, ergonomic, and improved supportive driver seat, increased front cabin leg and headroom, 14 percent more cargo/trunk space, better handling, and a sleek, new exterior design.

The four-door hatchback seats up to five passengers and is available in seven trim levels- One, Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four, and Four Touring. The Prius One and Two come fitted with similar features, except the lower One trim does not come with a rear window wiper.

The Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter hybrid engine with a mixed production of 134 horsepower that is connected to a (CVT) continuously variable transmission. A plug-in version is also available, however; due to its heftier batteries, it can reach 62 MPH solely on electric power. Other trims are available, such as the bigger Prius V Wagon and the smaller and less expensive Prius C hatchback.

Standard features for both the Prius One and Two trims include- height adjustable driver and passenger cloth seats, split-folding rear seatback, storage center armrest, hands-free entry, 4 one-touch power windows, clock, trip computer, external temperature display, cruise control, front and rear cup holders, front door pockets, overhead console with storage, front seatback storage, electric power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, sound and cruise controls on steering wheel, rear view camera, interior air filtration, climate control, simulated alloy steering wheel, dual illuminating vanity mirrors, 6 speakers, AM/FM stereo, auxiliary audio input and USB with external media control, radio data system, USB connection, Telematics, and Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone connectivity.

The Prius Two Eco is fitted with illuminated keyless entry on three doors, two-tone wheel covers, ultralow-rolling-resistance tires, an inflation kit instead of a spare tire, and a lighter lithium-ion hybrid battery.

The better equipped Prius Three includes- a navigation system, white interior accents, leatherette steering wheel and armrest trim, a 7-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, a wireless phone charging pad, and Toyota’s Entune Infotainment System that comes with HD Radio, weather, current traffic, stock and fuel prices, sports, and apps such as Yelp, Pandora, OpenTable, and iHeartRadio.

The Prius Four comes with automatic wipers, leatherette upholstery with contrasting white stitching, rear cross-traffic alert, a rear cargo cover, blind spot monitoring, seatback storage pockets, heated front seats, and a power driver seat with adjustable lumbar. The Three Touring and Four Touring add larger 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, LED clearance lights, unique rear bumper styling and leatherette upholstery with contrasting blue seat stitching, and come with the Toyota Safety Sense package, which includes full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, a pre-collision warning system, and automatic high beams.

An Advanced Technology Package upgrade is available for the Prius Three and Four trims, which adds a sunroof, Toyota Safety Sense equipment, and a head-up display. A Premium Convenience Package that includes a self-parking system, safety connect emergency help, and a JBL 10-speaker premium sound system, is available for the Prius Four and Prius Four Touring trims.

The 2017 Toyota Prius has a high safety rating and is one of the safest hybrid vehicles available. It comes equipped with 4-wheel ABS, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, auto delay off headlamps, 2 front headrests, 3 rear headrests, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation, rear center 3-point belt, stability control, traction control, rear folding headrests, tire pressure monitoring, first aid kit, an Emergency Assistance Kit, and a security system with impact sensor.

On the road, the Prius has great driving dynamics and has a stable, yet lightweight feel. A Plus Performance package is available, which improves the driving experience, adding a rear sway bar, lowering springs, and 17-inch wheels.

The interior of the Prius is simple, yet very modern with easy to use controls. Road noise is minimal and both the front and rear cabin are spacious with enough head/legroom for taller passengers. Even though there are a lot of hard plastics throughout the front cabin, the layout looks clean and uncluttered. I like that all of the controls are easy to reach and operate while driving and the interior is surprisingly roomier than it appears from the exterior. Trunk space is quite accommodating and can be expanded with the split folding rear seats to haul larger items.

The 2017 Prius is the perfect choice for consumers desiring a vehicle that can be driven all day in both the city and on the highway delivering optimal fuel economy and a fast charging rate.  The Prius is also very affordable with a starting MSRP of only $23,475.

If you have been looking for a hybrid vehicle that is fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, and affordable with excellent fuel economy, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2017 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback.

To find out more about the Prius, please visit- www.Toyota.com

 

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

 

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring 4-Door Sedan (Review)

As gas prices remain high and as concern for the environment increases, more consumers are seeking more fuel efficient vehicles that help save money and reduce carbon emissions, but yet still are stylish and fun to drive.  Honda has responded to this need and desire by introducing the Accord Hybrid Touring.

The Accord Hybrid comes in three trims- Base, EX-L, and Touring. I tested the Touring and was very impressed with the excellent way the vehicle feels on the road, comfortable interior details, and hi-tech features, but it is more expensive than some other midsized hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius.  The Honda Accord Hybrid is one of the best hybrids in its segment and yields an amazing 49 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway.

The base Hybrid trim comes fitted with- automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, an 8-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar, key-less ignition and entry, cruise control, an auxiliary audio jack, a large 7.7 inch infotainment display screen, Pandora, active noise cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, rear view camera, a 6-speaker audio system, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The EX-L trim adds a sunroof, leather upholstery, auto-dimming rear view mirror, a 4-way power front passenger seat, driver memory settings, heated front seats, satellite and HD radio, smart phone connectivity, a better sound system with 7 speakers, an additional USB port, and a 7-inch touch screen in addition to the 7.7-inch infotainment display screen that comes standard on the base model.

Finally, the top of the line Touring trim adds a navigation system, LED headlights with automatic high-beam control, front and rear parking sensors, and heated rear seats.

Inside and on the road, the Accord Hybrid does not disappoint with a well-designed cabin, comfortable seating in the front and rear cabin, quiet interior, quick acceleration, and advanced technologically advanced features. There is so much to like about this vehicle and is sure to please even some of the most selective drivers.

As far as price is concerned, the Accord Hybrid is definitely higher than many of its rivals with a starting MSRP of $29,605; however, you do get a lot more upscale features for the money with the base trim, such as a full driver assistance suite, LED daytime running lights and taillights, power seats, push-button/remote start, and keyless entry.

What I really like about the Accord Hybrid is that it looks so much like the gas powered Accord, and it is hard to tell them apart, unlike the majority of hybrids, the Accord Hybrid does not appear to be a typical hybrid vehicle.  The headlights are different and there are small, blue-accented badges that show that the vehicle is a hybrid and eco friendly, but other than that, the Accord Hybrid has a mainstream and attractive exterior with a smooth and aerodynamic design that sets it apart from the competition. The Honda Accord Hybrid is also available in four exclusive colors.

Safety features include-  a rearview camera, active front head restraints, antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags, side blind-spot monitoring, Lane Watch, forward collision warning and forward collision intervention with automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane and road departure intervention.

On the road, the Accord Hybrid is quick and takes off smoothly and silently when gently pushing the accelerator pedal in electric mode and when the engine comes on, it works with the electric motor in a tandem way to help replenish and power up the battery pack in the Hybrid Drive mode. When you lift your foot off the accelerator, then the motor becomes a generator to change unnecessary energy to electricity to recharge the battery.

Although the Honda Accord Hybrid has great features, an elegant design, advanced technology, and is a strong performer on the road, I also recommend checking out the Honda Fit EX because, even though it is smaller, it definitely has a lot to offer too, is comfortable, has plenty of cargo space, is inexpensive, fun to drive, fuel efficient, and has an MSRP of only $16,090.

 

In summary, I highly recommend the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid to anyone who is looking for a stylish hybrid with a beautiful exterior, excellent fuel economy, quiet and luxurious interior, advanced technology, quick acceleration, and great on the road performance. It is definitely one of the best fuel efficient and high performing hybrid sedans available today.

To find out more about the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, please visit- www.Honda.com

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

2016 Toyota Prius Hybrid 4-Door Hatchback (Review)

Without a doubt, the Prius is the most popular and distinctive hybrid vehicle that Toyota has ever produced and is a true pioneer in hybrid technology. Since the Prius was introduced in the early nineties, other hybrid vehicles have entered the automotive scene in more recent years, but none other has been able to surpass the popularity of the Prius. With a unique style, smooth handling, and excellent fuel economy with the new Prius Eco yielding an amazing 56 MPG combined, it is easy to see why it is still the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle.

The 2016 Prius has been completely redesigned with a lower, ergonomic, and supportive driver seat, increased front cabin leg and headroom, 14 percent more cargo/trunk space, improved handling, and a sleek, new exterior design.

The four-door hatchback seats up to five passengers and is available in six trim levels- Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four and Four Touring. Also available are the compact Prius C and larger Prius V models.

Standard features include- height adjustable driver and passenger cloth seats, split-folding rear seatback, storage center armrest, hands-free entry, 4 one-touch power windows, clock, trip computer, external temperature display, cruise control, front and rear cupholders, front door pockets, overhead console with storage, front seatback storage, electric power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, sound and cruise controls on steering wheel, rear view camera, interior air filtration, climate control, simulated alloy steering wheel, dual illuminating vanity mirrors, 6 speakers, AM/FM stereo, auxiliary audio input and USB with external media control, radio data system, USB connection, Telematics, and Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone connectivity.

The Prius Two trim features- automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, cruise control, LED running lights and taillights, automatic climate control, dual 4.2-inch driver information screens, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 6.1-inch touch screen display, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice recognition with Siri Eyes, CD player, a 6-speaker sound system, an auxiliary audio jack, and a USB port.

The more efficient Prius Two Eco comes equipped with two-tone wheel covers, illuminated keyless entry on three doors, a more lightweight lithium-ion hybrid battery, ultralow-rolling-resistance tires, and an inflation kit instead of a spare tire. A rear wiper that is standard on the other trims is not included on the Two Eco.

Standard features for the Prius Three trim include- a navigation system, leatherette steering wheel and armrest trim, white interior accents, a wireless phone charging pad, satellite radio, HD radio, Toyota’s Entune premium infotainment system with a bigger 7-inch touch screen display, real-time traffic, weather, and fuel price information, as well as easy access to apps such as- Yelp, iHeartRadio, OpenTable, and Pandora.

The Prius Four comes fitted with a power driver seat with adjustable lumbar, leatherette upholstery with contrasting white stitching, a rear cargo cover, automatic wipers, blind spot monitoring, seatback storage pockets, rear cross-traffic alert, and heated front seats.

Standard equipment for the Three Touring and Four Touring trims include all of the aforementioned features that the Prius Three and Four models have, but add LED clearance lights, fog lights, a pre-collision warning system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, leatherette upholstery with contrasting blue seat stitching, automatic high beams, 17-inch alloy wheels, and unique rear bumper detailing.

An Advanced Technology Package that includes a head-up display, sunroof, and the Toyota Safety Sense System is available and the Prius Four and Prius Four Touring trims can be equipped with a Premium Convenience Package, which adds a self-parking system, a premium JBL 10-speaker sound system, and Safety Connect emergency services.

The interior of the Prius is simple, yet very modern with controls with easy to use controls. Road noise is minimal and both the front and rear cabin are spacious with enough head/legroom for taller passengers. Even though there are a lot of hard plastics throughout the front cabin, the layout looks clean and uncluttered. I found that all of the controls were easy to reach and operate while driving and the interior was surprisingly roomier than it appears from the exterior. Trunk space is quite accommodating and can be expanded with the split folding rear seats to haul larger items.

The Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter hybrid engine with a mixed production of 121 horsepower that is connected to a (CVT) continuously variable transmission. A plug-in version is also available, however; due to its heftier batteries, it can reach 62 MPH solely on electric power. Other trims are available, such as the bigger Prius V Wagon and the smaller and less expensive Prius C hatchback.

The 2016 Toyota Prius has a high safety rating and is one of the safest hybrid vehicles available. It comes equipped with 4-wheel ABS, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, auto delay off headlamps, 2 front headrests, 3 rear headrests, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation, rear center 3-point belt, stability control, traction control, rear folding headrests, tire pressure monitoring, first aid kit, an Emergency Assistance Kit, and a security system with impact sensor.

On the road, the Prius has great driving dynamics and has a stable, yet lightweight feel. A Plus Performance package is available, which improves the driving experience, adding a rear sway bar, lowering springs, and 17-inch wheels.

The 2016 Prius is the perfect choice for consumers desiring a vehicle that can be driven all day in both the city and on the highway delivering optimal fuel economy and a fast charging rate.  The Prius is also very affordable with a starting MSRP of only $24,200.

If you have been looking for a hybrid vehicle that is fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, and affordable with excellent fuel economy, then I highly recommend looking at the 2016 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback.

To find out more about the Toyota Prius, please visit- www.Toyota.com

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron ultra (Review)

2016-audi-a3-e-tron-side-picture-view

The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron is a four-door, compact luxury plug-in hybrid hatchback. The e-Tron is the first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle that Audi has ever introduced and stands out for being the only A3 available in a hatchback style.

The A3 Sportback e-tron is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige and comes equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine that is paired with an electric motor. The rechargeable 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located beneath the rear seats. The gas engine produces 150 horsepower and 184 lb. ft. of torque on its own, while the electric motor adds an additional 102 horsepower and 243 lb ft. of torque, so with both motors in operation, the e-Tron delivers a combined 204 horsepower and 258 lb. ft. of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels by a 6-speed automatic S tronic transmission.

2016 Audi A3 e-tron front picture view red

Standard features for the base Premium trim include- a panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, automatic wipers and headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, LED daytime running lights and taillights, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, 8-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment, leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, LED interior lighting, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Audi’s MMI electronics interface with a 5.3-inch display, satellite and HD radio, CD player, front and rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker sound system, and an SD card slot.

The Premium Plus trim adds heated front seats, Audi’s digital music interface, 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, upgraded trim, an iPod cable, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The top of the line Prestige trim adds a navigation system, a larger 7-inch display, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, Audi Connect online services with a 4G LTE connection, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, an advanced MMI system that includes a touchpad that can read finger handwriting, a set of driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure prevention, blind-spot monitoring, and a frontal collision warning system with automatic emergency braking.

A Sport package is available for both the Prestige and Premium Plus trims and adds sporty front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sport steering wheel. For the Premium trim, there is an available MMI Navigation Plus package, which adds Audi Connect and a better MMI system. A Technology package can be added to the Premium Plus trim which adds blind-spot monitoring, a basic MMI system, and Audi Connect.

There are four different hybrid and EV modes that the A3 e-tron can function in- EV, Hybrid, Battery Hold, and Battery Charge. The EV mode utilizes only electricity for totally silent and emissions-free driving. The Hybrid mode is activated when the battery is low on electric power and the gasoline engine kicks in to increase the e-Tron’s driving range. The Battery hold mode is beneficial for preserving the battery’s energy level throughout extended road trips and the lastly, the Battery charge mode continuously uses the gas engine in order to add EV range to use ahead of a trip, but because of its extensive use of the gas engine, it is not as efficient as the other modes.  In addition to the four hybrid and EV modes, there are also four Drive Select modes- Comfort, Dynamic, Automatic, and Individual. From testing, my favorite driving mode is comfort, because it provides a smoother and quieter driving experience and seems to use less fuel. As with other hybrid vehicles, onboard regenerative braking adds some power to the battery while the A3 e-Tron is being driven and like some other plug-in hybrids, the actual mileage will vary significantly depending on how much all-electric driving is utilized.

There is a charging port that is hidden in the grille area behind the Audi rings and with just the turn of a knob, the chrome rings are lifted and reveal the charging area. The battery can be charged from a 240-volt outlet in approximately 2.5 hours using the provided charging cord and an estimated 8 hours from a standard 110-volt outlet.

When the e-tron is completely out of electricity, you can still expect 39 mpg in combined driving with the standard 16-inch wheels. It is important to note that the top speed in only EV mode is 80 mph, which makes the e-Tron totally efficient even when it’s running entirely on battery power alone. The e-tron’s hybrid powertrain delivers an impressive 83-86 mpg in mixed driving, offering the perfect blend of both electric and fuel power that gives the ability to drive longer distances.

Safety features for all A3 e-tron trims include- stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front and rear side airbags, and an Audi Pre-Sense system which automatically pre-tensions the seatbelts and closes all of the windows when a frontal or side collision is imminent.

The Prestige trim comes with all of the aforementioned safety features, but also adds- blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure prevention, and an Audi Pre-Sense Front system that includes a radar-based frontal collision mitigation system as well as optical and audible warnings with automatic emergency braking to decrease damage in front collisions.

Even though the e-tron has the same kind of interior features and technology that the A3 sedan has, in my opinion, the A3 Sportback e-tron has a more upscale appearance with the stylish hatchback design and has a heavier, more planted feel on the road. The e-tron’s interior has a simple, yet luxurious look with high quality materials throughout the front and rear cabin.  The front seats are comfortable and supportive, but because of the A3’s compact design, there is limited head and legroom in the rear cabin for taller passengers. There are many sophisticated and well-appointed elements, such as the MMI display that glides modestly into the top of the dashboard when the power is turned off, but unlike the A7 and some of the other new 2016 Audi models, there are no USB ports to connect certain devices to.

Cargo space is good measuring approximately 13.6 cubic feet and the amount of space can be increased greatly when the rear seatbacks are folded down. The hatchback design is more accommodating and makes loading and unloading larger items easier to do.

On the road, the e-tron is a strong performer and is one of the best hybrids available, providing an enjoyable and smooth ride in a variety of road conditions and navigates easily around tight corners and in heavy traffic with excellent handling and responsiveness.

The 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron has a starting MSRP of $37,900 for the base Premium trim and a fully loaded Prestige trim can be about $48,000. A little pricey? Maybe, but I think it is well worth the price, because the e-tron is the perfect blending of plug-in hybrid technology, style, quiet and comfortable interior, luxury, and very quick on the road performance that stands out among other hybrid vehicles in its segment.

To find out more about the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, please visit- www.audiusa.com

 

 

 

picture-blue-mom Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

 

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX Sedan (Review)

The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid is a luxurious, midsize sedan with an upscale feel to it and smooth on the road performance that is reminiscent of higher priced luxury vehicles in its segment.  The Optima Hybrid comes in two trims- LX and EX and was completely redesigned a few years ago and now the new model is better than ever with changes that can be both seen and felt, helping to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics and fuel economy with the LX yielding 36 MPG in the city/38 MPG on the highway and the EX yielding 35 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway.

The Optima Hybrid EX comes equipped with a stout 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder hybrid engine that produces 199 horsepower and 235 lb. feet of torque. The engine is powerful, yet amazingly quiet. Acceleration is quick and getting up to highway speeds is easy, almost effortless.  The interior cabin is quiet as well with little to no road noise. The Optima Hybrid is one of the only Kia vehicles I have tested besides the K900 and Cadenza that possesses these qualities.

Standard features include- a 6-speed automatic transmission, 4.3-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, push-button start, a cooled glove box, and dual-zone automatic temperature control. My test vehicle came equipped with power-adjustable seats, leather seat trim, an Infinity Sound System, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, Kia’s voice-activated UVO infotainment system, blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, HD radio, gloss black interior trim, a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen display power windows and door locks, SiriusXM Radio, and a panoramic sunroof.

Both trims come with standard safety features, such as- dual front advanced airbags, front seat mounted aside airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, anti-lock braking system, vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, traction control, hill start assist control, and 3-point seat belts. A blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, rear view camera, and rear parking sensors, and an UVO System that includes roadside assistance and automatic collision notification are optional.

I tested the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX Sedan and I was very impressed with the luxurious and spacious interior, uniquely styled front grille, smooth on the road performance, and comfortable seating in both the front and rear cabin that feels a lot like an Audi A6 or Lexus ES 350. During the testing period, my daughter sat in the in the 2nd row and liked the design, spaciousness, and appearance of the vehicle. She is about 5’6 and thought the rear cabin was more spacious than a Nissan Versa and was amazed by how much legroom the Optima Hybrid EX offered.

The 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX is the best midsize hybrid sedan I have ever driven with a sleek design, luxurious interior, advanced technology, and top notch performance for less than $38,000.

If you have been looking for a stylish hybrid vehicle that is both spacious and fuel-efficient, then I highly recommend checking out the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid EX.

To find out more about the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid, please visit- www.kia.com