‘Tis the season for our favorite holidays, but nobody in the automotive industry gives a hoot about any of your Christmas, Hanukah or Wiccan Samhain wishes or celebrations, because ‘tis also the season for experts and industry analysts to begin naming their Cars of the Year for 2011. All that work and effort the world’s leading car manufacturers put into giving your whip its new car smell pays off over these next few months when publications will tell us sheep which cars to flock to.
First up, the Environmental Protection Agency has two things on its organizational brain – your wallet and, well, the environment, dummy. What did you think I was going to say, Marisa Miller? Get your mind out of the gutter. Anywho, the EPA has released its list of the Top 10 fuel efficient cars and leading the way to the surprise of absolutely no one is the Toyota Prius with 51/48 miles per gallon city/highway. The Ford Fusion Hybrid came in second, but the most balanced winner is Honda with four spots in the Top 10. The Honda CR-Z made the list twice for its manual and automatic models, which will be somewhat relevant… now.
Japan was the first of the major automobile manufacturing nations to name its Car of the Year, and based on the EPA’s Top 10 list you might think it would be the Toyota Prius like it was last year, but you are wrong, friends. The winner of this year’s special recognition in Japan is the Honda CR-Z. The new hybrid beat out the BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XJ, Mazda Premacy, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Nissan March, Peugeot RCZ, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Mark X, and Volkswagen Polo. For its accomplishments, the CR-Z will be sent to live in a luxurious parking garage where it will soon mate with a variety of sexy sports cars.
On November 29, seven automobile publications from throughout Europe will announce their collective choice for the continent’s Car of the Year. You hear that, Japan? That’s not just one country talking. It’s many countries picking the ultimate European dream machine. This year’s finalists include the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Citroën C3/DS3, Renault/Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max, Nissan Leaf, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and the Volvo S60/V60. Indeed each manufacturer is clamoring for these bragging rights, but only one thing in this competition is truly certain – these cars are all rude to the Ford.
- Since assuming control of Chrysler, Fiat will soon open 165 franchises in the U.S., featuring new models from the parent company, as well as Maserati and Chrysler. Each model will borrow from the positive aspects of both the American and European brands. Translation: More efficient cigarette lighters. (Bloomberg)
- General Motors is adding another longtime employee to the welfare line – Mr. Goodwrench. The brand will be eliminated in favor of a new certified service program. So much for going to college, Timmy and Janey Goodwrench. (After Market News)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- If we spent our gas money on people fuel for biking, we could travel approximately 26 miles on beef, 106 miles on beans, and 109 miles on rice. That’s funny, I get the most gas mileage out of tacos. *sombrero spins, chihuahua covers face* (Bicycle Universe)
- Not so shockingly, New York City leads the U.S. in public transportation passengers, registering more than 6 times as many transit passengers as the second largest system in the U.S., Chicago. I blame the Cubs. (APTA)