December 2007


 Toyota Prius

Today, with the increasing price of fuel and the threat of global warming, consumers are looking to own vehicles which are both fuel efficient and eco-friendly. Japanese automaker Toyota is widely considered by many to be at the top when it comes to providing vehicles matching those attributes.

The Toyota Prius, the iconic gas electric hybrid car from Toyota, is also known to be the most popular green vehicle today. And this month, the automaker is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Prius. The decade marks the Prius setting the bar for other vehicles when it comes to fuel efficiency. Even today, Toyota’s rivals are yet to come up with a vehicle that can be called quite a match to the Prius.

One of the main reasons for the Prius’ popularity is its use of a hybrid system. The said system is composed of a small internal combustion engine and a powerful electric motor. The electric motor powered by a battery pack helps the gas engine power the car. With the electric motor taking over during light load operations, fuel consumption is cut resulting to cleaner emission and better fuel efficiency.

Another reason why the Prius is popular with consumers is its ease of handling which is surprising due to the fact that hybrid vehicles in the past are known for not being too consumer friendly. And contrary to what others believe, the Prius is easy to maintain.

In the first ten years of the car’s life, there have been about 900,000 units of the Prius sold across the world. Of that number, it is estimated that more than 81,000 units were sold in Europe. In the said continent, the Prius was only offered from 2000. With the release of the 2004 Prius, many consumers took notice and got enticed by the green credential of the vehicle which resulted to a boost in demand for the Prius.

Earlier this year, Toyota announced that they have already sold more than a million hybrid vehicles. The bulk of that is not surprisingly attributed to the Prius. In the United States, the Prius has become more than a green car – it has become the poster car of the green revolution thus propelling Toyota to the top.

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 2008 Honda Accord Sedan

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has voted the new 2008 Honda Accord sedan as the “Best New Family Car” in the 26th annual AJAC Canadian Car of the Year competition. Winners will be announced on February 13 at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

In the event, the Honda Accord EX Sedan competed against five other rival products in the Family Car category. The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe, powered with V6 engine that comes with 6-speed manual transmission, on the other hand, competed against two other finalists in the “Best New Sports/Performance Car Under $50,000” category.

The 2008 Honda Accord will be available in sedan and coupe body styles. There will be two variations of a 2.4 L 4-cylinder engine and two iterations of the 3.5 L V-6 engines. With manual transmission, the two L4 engines will produce 177 and 190 horsepower, respectively. They have estimated city/highway fuel economy rating of 9.4/6.4 L/100km. On the other hand, the 3.5 L i-VTEC V-6 engine will produce 268 horsepower. This other engine comes with a new generation of fuel-saving advanced Variable Cylinder Management (TM) (VCM) technology, which will be operating in six-cylinder mode for power in and 4- and 3-cylinder modes for efficiency. Thus, the vehicle will be an estimated city/highway fuel economy rating of 11.0/6.7 L/100 km.

Since Honda intends to provide comprehensive approach for vehicle safety, every 2008 Accord will be integrated with sophisticated safety technology. It includes driver’s and front passenger’s dual-chamber side airbags; side curtain airbags; dual-stage, dual-threshold driver’s and front passenger’s airbags; and active head restraints designed to reduce neck injuries in the event of a rear collision. Standard active safety features will include the VSA and four-wheel-disc anti-lock brake system with brake assist and electronic brake distribution.

The 2008 Accord will be equipped with an Advanced Capability Engineering (TM) (ACE) body structure to enhance frontal collision compatibility with vehicles of varying sizes and bumper heights.

Honda Motor Company Ltd., a Japanese automotive manufacturer, has been supplying a wide range of dependable vehicles, motorcycles, power equipment and marine engines to Canadian customers. It has 130 manufacturing facilities in 29 countries around the worlds. Each year, it attracts over 20 million customers. At its two assembly plants in Alliston, Ontoria, Honda Canada is manufacturing the Honda Ridgeline and Civic, and the Acura MDX and CSX.