USA Auto transport

Car shipping, Vehicle transport safety

Archive for April, 2009

Kelley Blue Book releases Top 10 Green Cars for 2009

Posted by autotran on April 29, 2009

Top 10 Green Cars for 2009

Top 10 Green Cars for 2009

On last year’s list of Top 10 Green Cars, we cited skyrocketing gas prices, a weak economy and growing environmental consciousness as the major reasons more car buyers were focusing on fuel economy. As we approach Earth Day 2009, gas prices have come back to Earth but the shaky economy is trumping most other concerns and causes. Result: far fewer car buyers.

The current sales slump is unfortunate for many reasons, one of which is that 2009 is shaping up to be a banner year for fuel efficiency. The year’s arrivals include an all-new Toyota Prius that’s even more fuel-efficient than its world-beating predecessor, a new Prius alternative in the Honda Insight and a range of new 50-state clean-diesel cars, among others.

In addition to these newcomers, this year’s list highlights some familiar faces, and it was again compiled to include a variety of vehicle shapes and sizes because not everyone who wants to get greener can go smaller. Just as buyers would, we considered characteristics like comfort, performance, utility and technology – not just fuel economy and price – in picking our winners.

Here, presented in order of combined EPA-estimated fuel economy, are Kelley Blue Book’s Top 10 Green Cars for 2009:

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius | 50 mpg (51 city, 48 highway)

The third-generation Prius has arrived with sleeker looks, added creature comforts, upgraded performance and even-better fuel economy. Despite a larger engine, 24 additional horsepower and quicker acceleration, the new Prius manages to deliver four more miles per gallon than its predecessor. The coolest new option is a glass moonroof with a solar-powered ventilation system, but the list also includes voice-activated navigation and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist.

2010 Honda Insight

2010 Honda Insight

2010 Honda Insight | 41 mpg (40 city, 43 highway)

With a starting sticker price of $20,470, the all-new Honda Insight is the least expensive full-production hybrid available in the U.S. Even the top-level Insight EX with Navigation that includes features like a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, upgraded audio system and electronic stability control is just $23,770. These figures should give the Insight a clear price advantage compared to the newest Prius, for which pricing has yet to be announced.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid | 39 mpg (41 city, 36 highway)

The Ford Fusion is getting better with age, and perhaps the best addition is the hybrid version. For the 2010 model year, the lineup benefits from new exterior styling and an interior redesign, which grace the new hybrid version that handily out-economizes both the Toyota Camry (33 city/34 hwy mpg) and the Chevy Malibu (26 city/34 hwy mpg) hybrids. We were fans of the Fusion before, but even bigger believers after seeing and driving the latest iterations.

2009 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI

2009 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI

2009 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI | 34 mpg (30 city, 41 hwy)

Not long ago, VW’s familiar diesel moniker vanished from the automaker’s top-selling Jetta, but it has made a proud return for 2009. This time, the Jetta TDI and Jetta SportWagen TDI will be available in every state, a point that surely helped the Jetta TDI take home the 2009 Green Car of the Year award. Returning mpg that’s roughly 40% better than its gas-powered equal, the Jetta SportWagen TDI combines utility, world-class efficiency and Euro driving dynamics in one well-rounded green machine.

2009 MINI Cooper | 32 mpg (28 city, 37 highway)

2009 MINI Cooper

2009 MINI Cooper

The MINI Cooper balances fun and efficiency like nothing else on the road. Responsive steering, a sport-tuned suspension and diminutive dimensions combine to deliver a driving experience that instantly evokes allusions to the proverbial go kart. Combine that kind of athleticism with highway fuel economy up to 37 miles per gallon – and a personality bigger than the car itself – and you’ve got a unique brand of feel-good fun.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid | 32 mpg (34 city, 31 highway)

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

We like compact crossovers for their smart mix of utility and efficiency, and the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV in the country. After undergoing a major overhaul for the 2008 model year, the Ford Escape Hybrid is improved again for 2009 with smoother braking and electric-to-gas transitions, plus a one-mile-per-gallon improvement in highway fuel economy.

2009 Honda Fit | 31 mpg (28 city, 34 highway)

2009 Honda Fit

2009 Honda Fit

The Toyota Yaris remains the category’s mileage champ, but the Honda Fit so handily outshines its competitors in our eyes that it’s making the list again this year. We’re especially fond of the Sport model and its performance-tuned suspension and paddle shifters, but even base models are fun. If you’re more interested in pure practicality than driving pleasure, be sure to check out the Fit’s flexible back seat and impressive cargo-carrying abilities. The Honda Fit may be a little car, but it’s a lot of car.

2009 BMW 335d | 27 mpg (23 city/36 highway)

2009 BMW 335d

2009 BMW 335d

BMW’s new diesel-powered 3 Series is one of those cars you really have to drive to believe. First off, its zero-to-60 mph time of 6.0 seconds is only four tenths slower than that of the category’s gas-powered gold standard, BMW’s 335i. For most buyers, that’s a small price to pay for an increase in fuel economy of about 35% (the 335i is 17 city/26 highway mpg). Throw in all the driving feel and cornering ability that made the 3 Series a living legend, and you’ve got the greatest diesel car America’s ever seen.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | 26 mpg (27 city, 25 highway)

The Highlander Hybrid remains the most fuel-efficient three-row vehicle available today, earning it an automatic bid at the top of many families’ shopping lists. On top of room for seven and exceptional fuel economy, the Highlander Hybrid offers proven reliability and the added all-weather confidence of standard all-wheel drive.

2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid | 21 mpg (21 city, 22 hwy)

2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

If fuel economy is a major concern, then buying a truck doesn’t make much sense. But what if you need the utility of a truck? Shouldn’t you, too, be able to enjoy the benefits of hybrid technology? GM thinks so. That’s why GM’s Two-Mode hybrid system is available in the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. Despite delivering up to a 50% improvement in city mpg, this pickup retains its essential truckness by offering nearly 1,500 pounds of payload capacity, a 6,100-pound tow rating and a big full size bed.

source:

http://www.kbb.com/KBB/green-cars/araticles.aspx?BlogPostId=1483&r=647798926218157800&r=90627449129178860&r=64932961012956536

Posted in Auto Shows | Leave a Comment »

Safe & Secure: Choosing the right car seat for your child

Posted by autotran on April 29, 2009

Infants

Newborn babies and infants require special protection while in a vehicle. In a collision, properly installed rear-facing car seats can save your child’s life.

Birth to 9 kg (20 lb.)

Birth to 9 kg (20 lb.)

Infant car seats should face the back of the vehicle, rest on a 45-degree angle and move no more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) side-to-side or forward at the base. If necessary, use a towel or a foam bar (pool noodle) under the base of the child car seat to adjust the angle. Harness straps should be slotted at or below a baby’s shoulders. You should not be able to fit more than one finger underneath the harness straps at the child’s collarbone. The chest clip should be flat against the chest at armpit level.

When the child outgrows the maximum height and weight of his/her infant seat, you may require a convertible rear-facing seat until your child is ready to be facing forward. The law requires using a rear-facing car seat until the baby is at least 9 kilograms (20 lb.) The law is a minimum requirement.

The law is a minimum requirement. It’s best to keep your child rear-facing until they are at least one year old or until they have reached either the maximum height or weight limits of the rear-facing seat.

  • Birth to 9 kg (20 lb.)
  • Rear-facing seat
  • Use away from an active airbag

Top of page

Toddlers

By law a child can ride facing forward when they are over 9 kg (20 lb.) or more.

All forward-facing car seats must use a tether strap. If your vehicle does not have a tether anchor in place, contact a dealership to have one installed.

To prevent the car seat from moving forward and causing injury in a collision, it is important to use the tether strap exactly as the manufacturer recommends.

To install a forward-facing car seat, fasten the tether strap, then use your body weight to tighten and fasten the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS).

Ensure that the shoulder straps are at or above the child’s shoulders. Straps should be snug, with only one finger width between the strap and the child’s chest. Avoid using aftermarket car seat products. They can become projectiles or may have hard or sharp surfaces that can hurt the child in a collision.

  • 9 to 18 kg (20-40 lb.)
  • Forward-facing seat
  • Use with a tether strap

Top of page

Pre-school to 8 years old

child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.)

child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.)

The law requires booster seats for children who have outgrown a child car seat but are too small for a regular seat belt.

Booster seats are required for children under the age of eight, weighing 18 kg or more but less than 36 kg (40-80 lbs) and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall.

A child can start using a seatbelt alone once any one of the following criteria is met:

  • child turns eight years old
  • child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.)
  • child is 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall.

A lap and shoulder combination belt must be used with all booster seats. Your child’s head must be supported by the top of the booster, vehicle seat or headrest. The shoulder strap must lie across the child’s shoulder (not the neck or face) and middle of the chest, and the lap belt must cross low over the hips (not the stomach/abdomen). Never use seatbelt adjusters.

  • Between 18 and 36 kg (40—80 lb.)
  • Booster seat
  • Use with lap and shoulder belt

Top of page

Youth

Seatbelts are designed for adults and older, larger children. Once your child can sit all the way against the vehicle seat back with legs bent comfortably over the edge of the seat, and with the shoulder belt flat across the shoulder and chest, he or she is ready to move from the booster seat to the vehicle seatbelt.

Over 36 kg (80 lb.), 145 cm (4' 9”) tall or 8 years old

Over 36 kg (80 lb.), 145 cm (4' 9”) tall or 8 years old

Make sure the shoulder strap lies across the child’s shoulder and the middle of the chest (not the neck or face), and the lap belt crosses over the hips (not the stomach).

Children under 13 years of age are safest in the back seat. Never put two children in the same seatbelt or place the shoulder strap behind the child’s back.

Remember, one person, one belt. There must be a seatbelt for each person in the vehicle.

Use a seatbelt for every trip and teach your child to wear a seatbelt by always wearing one yourself!

  • Over 36 kg (80 lb.), 145 cm (4′ 9”) tall or 8 years old
  • Vehicle seatbelt or booster seat

Top of page

Important tips to keep your child safe and secure…

  • Use the right seat for the child’s weight and development.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for correct child car seat installation and use.
  • Be sure to secure the child correctly. Make sure harness straps are snug and tight. Use a tether strap with a forward-facing child car seat. Keep children away from all active air bags. Children under 13 years of age are safest in the back seat.
  • Use caution when buying or using a pre-owned child car seat. Buy new, or from someone you know, and check it carefully. Make sure the car seat has:
    • instructions and all necessary hardware
    • not been in a collision
    • a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) sticker
    • not expired or is not older than 10 years
    • no discoloured (stress) marks or cracks and the harness is not worn or torn.

Top of page

How Do I Know the Seat is Installed Correctly?

Carefully follow the owner’s manuals for both your vehicle and the child car seat. Click here for step-by-step Tips for Installing Child Car Seats with photos.

Most importantly, ensure the seat is tightly secured. If you are having difficulty or want to have your child car seat installation inspected, contact your local public health unit.

To find a public health unit, check the blue pages of your phone book, call the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care information line at 1-800-268-1154, or visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: http://www.health.gov.on.ca – Public Health Units.

For more information about child car seat safety contact:

Ministry of transportation – MTOINFO – 1 800 268-4686

Web: www.mto.gov.on.ca

Your local public health unit

Posted in Safety | Leave a Comment »