Ring one up for Mazda. The Japanese brand's midsize offering, the Mazda6, has been named Popular Mechanics' Car of the Year. The 6 received a comprehensive reworking for the 2014 model year that saw it adopt sleek, sexy sheet metal; a clean, logical interior; and powertrain technologies that allow it to net some of the best fuel economy available in a gas-powered, non-hybrid sedan.
It's that time of year again. Time for just about publication out there to come up with their Car of the Year winner, and Popular Mechanics is getting into the game for the first time with its Auto Excellence Awards. For its inaugural champion, the crew over at PM have named the 2013 Ford Escape as the Car of the Year.
It looks like Popular Mechanics had room for two vehicles this year on its annual "Top Products" awards list. Both the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf were named Breakthrough Products for 2010. PM praised the ride quality and technology of the Volt, stating that it's "more than the sum of its cutting-edge parts." In addition, the publication prominently touted the Volt's range-extending abilities, possibly as a jab at the other winner.
It looks like Popular Mechanics had room for two vehicles this year on its annual "Top Products" awards list. Both the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf were named Breakthrough Products for 2010. PM praised the ride quality and technology of the Volt, stating that it's, "more than the sum of its cutting-edge parts." In addition, PM prominently touted the Volt's range-extending abilities, possibly a jab at the other winner.
Sure, these days everyone wants to win the MPG race. But it wasn't that long ago (yesterday? the day before?) that all that mattered to most automakers was having the most powerful engines under the hood. The prevailing mentality didn't stop some companies from emphasizing their high-miles vehicles, though, and Popular Mechanics thought a little trip down memory lane was in order for our $4/gallon $3/gallon sub-$3/gallon time. The cars that Popular Mechaniccs picked to be on the list of the Top
It seems that Popular Mechanics is nearly as interested in fuel efficiency as we are these days. To wit, the online mag has grabbed the keys to three of the latest fuel-sippers on the market in order to wring them out. The goal? Not performance, but fuel efficiency. While the Jetta TDI and the Prius are clearly the headline bearers, we shouldn't forget the lowly Chevy Cobalt XFE. This is the model that General Motors was able to massage EPA ratings of 25 miles per gallon city and 35 highway from
Popular Mechanics is handing out its breakthrough awards, and Ford's SYNC made its way into the tech magazine's top 10 breakthrough products. SYNC's reasonable $395 price tag and voice recognition capability gave Ford and Microsoft's joint project the edge, and Popular Mechanics also really liked the fact that SYNC can read your text messages to you. SYNC will be available on 12 Ford products for the 2008 model year, with more availability in 2009.
Yesterday, Ben Stewart over at Popular Mechanics had a close encounter of the prototype kind while spending some time on the Angeles Crest Highway in So. Cal. He caught a glimpse of a camo'd current generation Accord sitting in a local lot and, knowing that it could be driven away at a moment's notice, began snapping pics of the moribund mule.
I don't envision myself needing the power and capability of an SUV any time soon in my life, but the Durangoneer is one ute I would drive just for fun. It's a HEMI-powered 2004 Dodge Durango chassis that's been shortened and strengthened wearing the body of a 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer - early SUV looks with late model technology and capability. The Durangoneer was built as a project car for Popular Mechanics and was apparently at this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, but we must've walked right by
Three green car-related technologies have won Popular Mechanics' Breakthrough Awards this year. They are the Tesla Roadster, Mercedes' BlueTec engine and an electrolyzer from GE that can extract hydrogen from water on the cheap. The Tesla Roadster won because it blows away (in under four seconds) the most common complaint about EVs: range. BlueTec won because of its incredible meshing of diesel's power and low-fuel consumption with low emissions.