HOT WIRE— The 2012 Mitsubishi i electric vehicle has scored first-place honors on the EPA’s list of “Fuel Economy Leaders: 2012 Model Year” in the governmental agency’s annual Fuel Economy Guide thanks to its EPA-rated 112 combined/126 city/99 highway MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). At a combined rating of 50 miles per gallon, the Toyota Prius continues to be the highest-rated vehicle powered by a conventional internal combustion engine.
AUTO REVIEW— Despite its popularity, the Toyota Prius is too small for many Americans. Never mind that it’s classified as a mid-size car by the EPA. According the Center for Disease Control, 34 percent of the population is obese—not just overweight (that’s 68 percent). Enter the Prius V. It’s a super-sized Prius. The Prius V is like ordering a large Coke and getting an extra-large—with free refills. There’s also a larger bootie to boot. Now Prius owners can also put more junk in their trunk.
HOT WIRE— White/white pearl has emerged as the fastest growing color to tie with silver as the world’s leading automotive color choices, according to the 2011 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report. A substantial increase in the popularity of white/white pearl globally in 2011 has enabled it to surpass longstanding rivals black and gray, to join silver at the top of the world color ranks in this year’s report.
AUTO REVIEW—It’s been widely reported that Volkswagen has its sights set on surpassing Ford, GM and Toyota to become the top dog of global automotive sales. There’s one big obstacle with this picture: It’s called Hyundai. If its recent offerings are any indication, expect to see Hyundai dominating the car market the way that Samsung dominates the flat screen monitor market. A good case in point is the car we have on review here: The Hyundai Sonata 2.0T.
LA CAR REPORT— With reports coming out that teens are starting to prefer smartphones over cars, Operation Ignite is designed to light a fire of enthusiasm for cars in teens and young adults. Operation Ignite is a cluster of programs by Hagerty (of classic and collector car insurance fame) dedicated to encourage further interest in cars among the younger generation. We sent out two of LA Car’s youngest to check out one of the Operation Ignite programs—the Hagerty Driving Experience. Eric Dorman reports.