Early adopters tend to buy their share of electric vehicles, hybrids and high-mileage performance cars long before others in their social circles. As for the next logical customer segment, how about nerds?

That's the premise behind newly launched website RideNerd. Nerds take pride in making smart purchase decisions, and this site offers a template for comparing cars on the market all in one place. Users can benchmark new cars against each other by fuel economy, smog and greenhouse gas emissions and cost of ownership.

If you were to compare two popular hybrid models, the Toyota Prius and the Ford C-Max, say, you'll see that the Prius inches past the C-Max – 8.2 out of 10 vs. 7.9 on the RideNerd scale. You'll see them going neck-to-neck, with the Prius doing better in fuel economy and air quality. If you scale down the chart, you'll find five reasons why the Prius scored higher and only one for the C-Max – better highway driving range (634 miles vs. 571). RideNerd lets you study annual costs, which factors in acquisition costs and fuel expense under typical city/highway driving routines with 55 percent city miles. You can also see ratings and read reviews provided by Cars.com, Kelley Blue Book and The Car Connection.

You can also study specifications, including engine and drivetrain, power and handling, suspension and safety features. That's a lot of data, but this a consumer group that wants to dig deep before making that purchase decision. "We are just a bunch of geeks who are trying to create an easier way to research cars," according to RideNerd's Brenden Sherratt.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      This site if effed up, if you compare the Honda Fit EV & Ford Energi under fuel economy the fit gets a rating of 7.2, while they rate the Energi a 9.4. How does the Energi(hybrid) score worse than a pure electric vehicle? But if you compare the Nissan Leaf to the Ford Energi under fuel economy the leaf gets a 9.7 while the Energi score is "revised" down to 9.2. Why does the Energi score change when you compare it to different vehicles? This site appear as though it is offering impartial vehicle information, but in reality it seems as though the results are skewed to promote some vehicles over others by fudging numbers.
        • 8 Months Ago
        There are numerous other factual errors that leads me to be skeptical of their overall methodology to say the least. For example the Chevy Volt maximum horsepower is listed as 83hp @4,500 rpm. They are using the Volt's 1.4L engine only and not including the 149hp electric motor that actually propels the car! Then under the Volt's price they use the old MSRP instead of the newer MSRP of $34,185 which is $5000 less. Not only do they list the price wrong they don't take into account the tax rebates in determining "Annual Costs Which is the smarter choice for your wallet over 5 years?" That would make a huge difference in their formula against say the PIP. Also when comparing the Volt to the PIP it states under "Reasons to consider the Toyota PIP" that the PIP has "Much better city driving range" with 540 miles vs the Volt's 40 miles. That is a useless, weird and incorrect comparison. It makes it sound like the Volt can only drive 40 miles a day. Both cars are plugin and both can drive beyond their electric range so why does the Prius have its total range listed but not the Volt? You can imagine how weird the comparison would sound if it were reversed. The Volt has a much better city driving range with 380 miles vs. the Prius' 11 miles. Anyway I didn't check the all of the other cars for inconsistencies but I'm sure they are there.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nice of them to keep displaying Ford's discredited mileage numbers for the C-Max instead of the revised 43mpg combined which would probably give the vehicle a much lower score.
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