Monthly Archives: February 2006

Flex Fuel Cars

Want to find out if your car is E85 (Ethanol) compatible. Check out the website put up by the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition.This site also allows you to locate the nearest E85 gas station. Currently GM claims Michigan has five E85 gas station, the latest being a Citgo in SouthField, MI. But if you go to the site you only get the address for four of them (including Citgo). Also car companies listed on this site are Daimler Chrysler, Ford, GM, Isuzu, Mazda, Mercedes, Mercury and Nissan. Currently these are the only car manufacturers who have certain models with are E85 compatible. This site was updated 10/24/2005. So if you are unsure check the owner’s manual of your vehicle.

Mazda3i AT Performance

My wife and I have been driving our Mazda3i AT for five weeks now and we are averaging 26.15 mpg/combined (26/34 city/hwy mpg). Our Mazda has been keeping its end up. The estimated annual fuel cost is $1,138.00 as of Jan 2006. the car handles really very well and since this is our first Mazda, we definitley have been experiencing that “zoom zoom” effect whenever one of us gets into the drivers seat. On the highway its performs really well and the red glow interior lights are way better and it makes the whole dash just pop up at night. Very sporty for the car and engine size (2.0L).

Why Go Green?

When considering buying a new car today, there are several factors that go in to our decision making (e.g. safety rating, performance, emission rating, price etc). Buying a “green car” today can become a very complex process and every automotive company has it own version of a “green car”. So I have started reviewing sites that are helful and informative and then I will post them accordingly. Now to address the question, going green is definitely the better way because protecting the environment is crucial to our own survival. Greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide is primarily emitted from burning of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, coal and this causes CO2 levels to rise drastically and hence trap more heat in the planet’s atmosphere and this leads to global warming and melting of the polar ice caps, you can guess where it goes from there. For example, a gallon of gasoline weighs just over 6 lbs. When burnt the carbon in it combines with oxygen from the air to produce about 19 lbs of CO2. But include the energy that went in to the production and distribution of the fuel, the total global warming impact is equivalent to 28 lbs of Carbon Dioxide emissions per gallon of gasoline. This could be one very good reason why we should go and buy a “green car”.

Wanted a Toyota Prius, but got a Madza3i

Hello folks, quick introduction as to where I popped up from, I am Mark’s high school buddy from Calcutta, India. I have finally settled in Michigan via London (4yrs), then Montreal(3yrs). So Krissy (my wife) and I were shopping around for an “affordable” green car. We had heard alot about the Toyota Prius and since we live close to Ann Arbor, we had seen quite a few on the roads. Now I myself, have always been an ardent supporter of mass transportation, and living in large cities such as Calcutta, London and Montreal, it makes more sense, so I had decided if I was going to get a car I was not going to give in to my reptilian brain and buy a gas guzzling vehicle. The Toyota Hybrid Prius looks very sleek and trendy, starting at $21,725 MSRP and depending on trim, etc, it could go up to $23,700. So I started reading the reviews, and this is what I found. The new Prius 2006 is pretty much similar to the 2005 model, apart for the the mp3 adapter, leather seat and navigation system. My initial search only kept bringing up positive reviews (vehix.com) and since I am new at the “buying a car game” this did seem alarming, but then again the Prius has only been around for a few years. The Prius is rated by the Federal Government EPA 60/51 mpg City/Highway 55 mpg Combined, however one is more likely to see 41 to 48 mpg, so if you think that this car is going to save you a whole lot of money on gas, then you are in for a a suprise, the reason you should want to buy the Prius is because of the extremely low emissions (http://www.vehix.com and toyota online specs brochure). This car virtually pollution free and all reviews state that it is environmetally friendly. Now the cons, the technology is very new, and hybrids work on gas and electricity, so your car is literally a huge traction Ni-Metal Hydride battery. So you just cannot take it in to you local mechanic. Toyota gives a 36 month-36000 miles full warranty and roadside assistance. That does not seem to good. So if you want to decrease air pollution and help save our planet,and if you can afford to shell out $23,000 go ahead (tax break as an added bonus) but I would wait till a little bit more, since there our other new technologies such as the Fuel cell and ethanol cars being tried out. My wife and I would have loved to get our hands on a Prius, but grad school and a wedding has done away with all our saving, the Prius was way out of our budget. So we settled for the Mazda3i, we could not pass over the Umich employee discount ($16,000) and the fact that we needed a good car immediately that was our only solution. As a mid-size sedan, it is very peppy, since the last car my wife owned was a 1991 GMC Jimmy, we are working our way towards more environmentally friendly vehicles.