Official: 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets 9,200-pound tow rating

Filed under: Truck, Diesel, Ram

The current-generation Ram 1500 is entering its fifth year on the market, but Ram’s half-ton truck is not showing its age whatsoever. While we continue to wait for the fuel economy figures for the all-new EcoDiesel V6, Ram has released towing figures for trucks equipped with this new engine, as well as models fitted with the upgraded gasoline-powered V6.

The EcoDiesel – a $2,850 option – will help the Ram compete with V8-powered trucks with its max towing capacity of 9,200 pounds, which is just 50 pounds shy of the 2013 Ram 1500 with the 5.7-liter V8. The true benefit here is that the diesel should return impressive fuel economy in the process, and even though official estimates have yet to be released, Chrysler has promised that it will achieve more than 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

But even with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, upgrades to the eight-speed automatic transmission have resulted in an increase in towing capacity, now up to 7,450 pounds. This number is expected to be best in class for base-engine trucks.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets 9,200-pound tow rating originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Jul 2013 13:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video]

Filed under: Sedan, Safety, Technology, Videos, Chevrolet

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is officially a safe car, earning a five-star safety score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

GM General Director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness, Gay Kent, says that the 2014 Impala was “designed to provide excellent crash safety,” and there’s a long list of safety features to back up that statement, some of which are firsts for Chevrolet. Only a few years ago luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, were pioneers of radar-based safety technologies. Now the technology has trickled down to more affordable cars, such as the 2014 Impala, which also features traffic-sensing radar (a first for a Chevrolet), adaptive cruise control that adjusts vehicle speed and can stop it in gridlock traffic, crash-imminent braking, collision alerts and lane departure warning. The car also has a rear-mounted video camera paired with an ultrasonic system to help with parking, 10 airbags and the list goes on.

Of course, driver aides such as traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes come standard on the Impala, too, as does OnStar, GM’s GPS-based service that will send an emergency call for help if it senses the vehicle was in a crash.

Scroll down to read the press release about the full range of safety features that earned it a five-star crash rating, and be sure to check out the video of the crash test below.

Continue reading 2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video]

2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 19:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Scion tC earns NHTSA five-star crash rating

Filed under: Coupe, Budget, Safety, Scion

2011 Scion tC

2011 Scion tC – Click above for high-res image gallery

The redesigned 2011 Scion tC coupe has officially earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thanks in part to no fewer than eight airbags, the little Scion managed to ace the government’s collision and rollover tests.

The tC features driver and passenger airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, driver and passenger knee airbags and side-curtain airbags.

In addition to its impressive airbag tally, the car also packs ABS, traction control, stability control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution and Smart Stop technology to help prevent the airbags from ever having to deploy. Click past the jump to see the full press release.

Gallery: 2011 Scion tC: Review

2011 Scion tC2011 Scion tC2011 Scion tC2011 Scion tC2011 Scion tC

Photos copyright (C)2011 Jeff Glucker / AOL

[Source: Toyota]

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2011 Scion tC earns NHTSA five-star crash rating originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 18:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Kia Optima receives five-star NHTSA crash rating

Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Safety, Crossover, Kia, Mini

2011 Kia Optima

2011 Kia Optima – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Kia Optima set the mark as the first Korean-built car to be officially five-star certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The all-new Optima recieved five-star ratings in the frontal, side-impact and rollover tests.

The Optima sports six airbags, active front headrests, side-impact door bars and height adjustable three-point seat belts for each seat. This five-star rating is indeed something worthy of bragging rights, as NHTSA imposed significantly stricter testing standards for 2011 models. Follow the jump for Kia’s press release.

Gallery: 2011 Kia Optima 2.0T: First Drive

2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T2011 Kia Optima 2.0T

Photos copyright (C)2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Kia]

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2011 Kia Optima receives five-star NHTSA crash rating originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Honda Odyssey earns five-star crash safety rating

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Government/Legal, Safety, Honda

2011 honda odyssey

2011 Honda Odyssey – Click above for high-res image gallery

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new testing methodology has proven to be remarkably tougher than its old tests. In the past NHTSA gave out five-star ratings like they were “massage” pamphlets on the Vegas strip, but the new regulations have led to only 11 five-star Overall Vehicle Scores out of 50 vehicles. So with that in mind it’s big news for Honda that the all-new 2011 Odyssey has earned an overall five-star rating for all three crash tests, test category and overall. In fact, the Odyssey’s only four-star score came in rollover testing. Honda points to its new Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure as a reason the Odyssey fared so well in NHTSA testing. ACE evenly distributes crash energy throughout the front end of the vehicle, making front-end collisions less dangerous for passengers.

The Odyssey’s big win from NHTSA comes after the popular minivan managed the top score of “Good” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Odyssey isn’t yet eligible for the Top Safety Pick designation since it hasn’t been tested for roof strength. Hit the jump to read over the Honda press release.

Gallery: 2011 Honda Odyssey: Review

2011 Honda Odyssey2011 Honda Odyssey2011 Honda Odyssey2011 Honda Odyssey2011 Honda Odyssey

Photos copyright (C)2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Honda]

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2011 Honda Odyssey earns five-star crash safety rating originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jan 2011 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Chevy Volt gets 93 mpge (and 37 mpg and 60 mpg) rating from EPA

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Chevrolet, GM, Electric

After yesterday’s 99 miles per gallon (equivalent) EPA rating for the Nissan Leaf, General Motors had to be eager to get the numbers for the Chevy Volt from the government – if for no other reason than because these efficiency stickers are the last thing holding up deliveries of the first production vehicles.

Today, GM shared the official numbers with the world, and they range from 37 miles per gallon to 93 mpge (equivalent) combined to 60 mpg “composite.” Sixty mpg composite is a “combined, combined” number, and will be completely different for everyone. You might want to think of it as a lifetime figure, since it accounts for both electricity and gasoline consumed. Oh, and it’s also best in class for compact cars. The Volt’s official electric-only range will be 35 miles, but GM, like Nissan, has been giving a range recently of 25-50 miles. The Volt now has an official total range of 379 miles, with 344 miles of that being extended range (i.e., gas) driving. As Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet product marketing director, said, “If you try to boil it down to a single number, it gets quite difficult.”

Doug Parks, Chevrolet Volt Global Vehicle Line Executive, said he is “quite pleased” with the numbers and understands that it is a complicated story to tell. GM and the EPA worked together to come up with this label to figure in all of the different modes that impact the vehicle’s efficiency. We’ve heard that the 2011 Volt will have a temporary EPA label, but Parks told us that what you see above will likely be what we see in next year, saying “Our intent was not to do something that was a one-year deal. Our hope is that this is very similar to the path that everyone will go down in the future. We tried to make the label look as similar as it can to next year.”

So, what about that “230 mpg” GM touted last year. Well, that was a different way to calculate things. “230 by itself was never intended to be a composite number,” Parks said.

[Source: General Motors]

2011 Chevy Volt gets 93 mpge (and 37 mpg and 60 mpg) rating from EPA originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Nov 2010 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan Leaf snags 99 mpg rating on official EPA sticker

Filed under: Government/Legal, Hatchback, Nissan, Electric

nissan leaf epa mpg label

As far as we know, the first production Chevrolet Volt models are still awaiting their official EPA stickers. Nissan, though, has received the details on what the government agency has rated its all-electric Leaf at, and it looks good: a combined rating of 99 miles per gallon (equivalent) which breaks down into 106 city/92 highway. The official EPA range for the car is 73 miles, which Nissan admits is a variable (we know it can be beaten), and the annual electric cost is estimated at $561. The Leaf is the first vehicle to get this new label, Nissan spokesperson Katherine Zachary told AutoblogGreen that 99 mpg puts the Leaf way in front into the “best” fuel efficiency rating for mid-size vehicle class. It’ll be interesting to see how Nissan uses this in upcoming advertisements, especially since the company has called the car a compact in the past.

So, how does the EPA calculate mpg for an electric car? Nissan’s presser says the EPA uses a formula where 33.7 kWhs are equivalent to one gallon of gasoline energy. Also, the EPA determined the Leaf’s efficiency is 3.4 miles per kWh, another number you can easily beat while driving, as the driver info screen can prove. Since the Leaf has a 24 kWh battery pack and can go, officially, 73 miles, then, the EPA says, it could theoretically go 99 miles if it had a 33.7 kWh pack (and everything else about the car remained the same). Make sense?

Maybe, but the car will also have another label from the Federal Trade Commission that it applies to all alternative fuel vehicles. That sticker will show that the Leaf gets 96 to 110 miles of range, so don’t trust everything you see. Check out Nissan’s official press release after the jump for more details.

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Leaf: First Drive

Photos copyright (C)2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Nissan]

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Nissan Leaf snags 99 mpg rating on official EPA sticker originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota lowers tow-rating of Tundra, but it’s a good thing

Filed under: Truck, Toyota

Automakers have been on the honor system when stating the tow ratings of their pickups, and that has led to lofty numbers that could only be achieved under a very particular set of ideal conditions. Claiming the biggest number for any truck spec is a big deal, but maximum towing capacity is the crown spec. So it was only natural that these automakers – mainly Ford, General Motors, Dodge (Ram), Toyota, Honda and Nissan – would feel the pressure to keep coming up with better and better tow ratings.

Enter the Society of Automotive Engineers and détente: Five of the six truck manufacturers mentioned above have agreed to assess their trucks’ tow rating based on SAE standard J2807. The new standard lays out several benchmark tests for pickups, so automakers won’t be allowed to simply find the right conditions and produce the highest tow rating possible anymore. For the J2807 test, a standardized trailer is hooked up and the truck is put through acceleration tests on level ground and an incline, and its response to effects like understeer, trailer-sway and braking are measured. Only Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Chrysler will be employing J2807 now, but by 2013 all pickup truck makers will be obliged to adhere to it.

Someone had to go first, and today we learn that Toyota has adjusted its pickup’s tow rating to the new standard, and so the Tundra can tow less on paper today despite not a single change being made to the vehicle. Its towing capacities were lowered anywhere from 400 pounds on the 2WD regular cab (10,800 to 10,400) all the way up to 1,100 pounds on the 4WD CrewMax (10,100 to 9,000).

This shouldn’t be viewed as a knock against the Tundra, because we won’t know where it really falls until we get revised ratings from each of the other five manufacturers, and we expect them all to shift downwards.

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

Toyota lowers tow-rating of Tundra, but it’s a good thing originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Aug 2010 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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