Occasionally, the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov website will leak a new car’s fuel economy before the automaker has the chance to make it public. That just happened with the 2017 Civic Type R.
According to the EPA’s website, the 2017 Honda Civic Type R will achieve 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. Its estimated annual fuel cost is $1,700, and the site claims a Civic Type R owner will spend $1,750 more in gas over five years than the average new car. Also, it will apparently require premium gasoline, although it’s unclear if it’s mandatory or just recommended.
Honda has not responded to our request for confirmation as of this writing, but it’s not like the EPA is making this stuff up. It lists the car as a 2017 Honda Civic with five doors, a 2.0-liter I4 engine and a turbocharger. There’s no other Civic that fits that bill — the Civic Si uses a modified version of the 1.5-liter I4 found in higher Civic trims.
The Civic Type R’s fuel economy stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Civic lineup, which achieves between 30 and 32 mpg city, and between 36 and 42 mpg highway. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, because traditional Civics keep thrift in mind, whereas the Type R is built for pure, outright performance.
25 mpg combined isn’t too bad for a car pushing 306 horsepower at the crankshaft, all of which is sent through the front wheels. It’s about on par with some of its closer competitors, like the VW Golf R (22/31/25) and the Ford Focus RS (19/25/22). The CTR is the only front-drive car of the group, though — the other two are all-wheel drive.
Testing self-driving cars in public is all well and good, but if you want to create a series of repeatable situations for learning purposes, you’re better of doing it somewhere devoted to that kind of work.
The South Korean government hopes to open K-City later this year, BusinessKorea reports. Occupying about 88 acres, or 360,000 square meters, K-City is a “city” built for the express purpose of autonomous-car development. It’ll be loaded up with bus lanes, expressways, parking lots and other areas self-driving cars will need to learn to navigate.
K-City will offer something public testing cannot — repeatability. You can’t just tell all the traffic in Seoul to stop, back up and drive the same route again. By having a more controlled area, the South Korean government believes K-City can offer even more help for the automakers and suppliers currently working on self-driving cars.
Right now, both Hyundai and Kia are working on autonomous-car solutions in South Korea. A number of tech companies are getting in on the action, as well, including SK Telecom and Samsung. The hope is that all these companies will be able to use K-City and benefit from it.
There are other perceived benefits, as well. BusinessKorea says experts could benefit from additional data collection done on-site. The data obtained during all this testing could be used for urban planning or insurance purposes, for example.
K-City is expected to have a soft opening in October, with only the expressways offered up. The government is expected to finish work on the facility in 2018, with a full-on opening slated for the second half of next year.
Korea’s autonomous-testing facility can be likened to Mcity in Michigan. Mcity is a research facility at the University of Michigan, and it functions much in the same way as K-City, offering automakers and other companies a controlled environment for development and testing. K-City will be much larger, though, coming in at 88 acres, compared to Mcity’s 32-acre footprint.
Given the opportunity for a quick spin, a 40-mile round-trip up and down the California coast in the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid, I took turns enjoying the ocean view and monitoring the instrument cluster to see how engine and electric motor interact in Nissan’s newest hybrid offering.
Although the speedometer displayed a green icon that meant the car was ready to drive via electricity, the tachometer needle didn’t drop to zero unless I came to a full stop. As I drove on the highway and through a small shopping center, trying different throttle strategies, the Rogue Hybrid’s engine remained alive, burning gasoline.
Nissan previously said that the Rogue Hybrid could run fully electrically for up to two minutes at 25 mph, so it seems that the system uses narrower parameters than most recent hybrids I’ve driven. And with EPA fuel economy of 31 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive version, moments of electric driving wouldn’t seem to matter. However, during my drive the car’s trip computer — not always a reliable gauge — hovered around 26 mpg.
Nissan launched the Rogue Hybrid last year, adding a powertrain option for its popular small SUV in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. The Rogue Hybrid competes directly with, and seems like a response to, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which came out a year earlier.
The Rogue Hybrid retains the five-passenger layout of its gasoline-only counterpart, although takes a slight trim, amounting to 1 cubic foot, on cargo space due to the lithium-ion battery pack under the cargo floor. It looks much the same as the standard Rogue, although features hybrid badges on sides and rear. Nissan makes two trim levels, SV and SL, available, with the latter boasting LED headlights and an in-dash infotainment system.
Nissan gives its popular Rogue model…
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Nissan attempted hybrid systems on several of its models, such as the Altima and Pathfinder, but none of those stuck. This latest example uses a smaller four-cylinder engine than the standard Rogue, 2.0 liters versus 2.5 liters, and complements it with a 30-kilowatt electric motor. Nissan lists total system output as 176 horsepower, 6 more than in the standard Rogue.
As with other hybrids, the Rogue Hybrid uses regenerative braking to charge its battery, then uses that electricity to help drive the wheels.
Other than my reservations about real-world fuel economy, the Rogue Hybrid drove comfortably, with the kind of neutral, hassle-free experience that makes small SUVs so popular. The acceleration felt strong enough for passing and merging, while the riding position gave me a good view of the road, and the oceanside vistas. An optional panoramic sunroof lit up the cabin nicely.
The ride quality felt about average for a small SUV, comfortable enough for long road trips. And there were no surprises with the handling, good nor bad. The Rogue Hybrid steers easily, without drama. A surround view camera system, a Nissan signature technology from way back, helps prevent parking-lot disasters.
As I drove, I took the Rogue Hybrid through its three drive modes: Eco, Standard and Sport. Predictably, throttle response went from muted to strong, letting me tailor the driving experience somewhat. The buttons for these modes sit low on the left underside of the dashboard, making them a distraction to use while underway.
Adding to that distraction, the drive mode controls sit in a double-bank of buttons, making them even more difficult to choose by touch alone. Another button along the row locks the all-wheel-drive torque distribution, which can be a very useful feature, and one not often found in crossovers.
Although I didn’t spend much time digging into the navigation system on this short drive, the 7-inch touchscreen looked small, with bland graphics. However, Nissan makes up for that limited real estate with hard buttons to the side of the screen, allowing quick access to navigation and audio sources. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto here, but connect a phone to the system and it will do online destination search.
As a fan of hybrids, I like that Nissan applied the technology to its Rogue crossover, especially as this small SUV segment becomes incredibly popular. However, I have reservations about how well this new hybrid system will work in the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid. Nissan’s history in this area doesn’t shine, and my admittedly short driving experience didn’t show the typical benefits of a hybrid drivetrain. However, the Rogue Hybrid deserves further testing once we can do a full review.
To its benefit, it boasts good interior space, with almost no compromise for the battery pack. Despite poor ergonomics from the button placement, the inclusion of torque locking for the all-wheel-drive system should help out if it gets stuck in snow or mud. The driving dynamics proved comfortable and easy, and if its EPA fuel economy proves out, then that and its horsepower make the Rogue Hybrid a clear win over the standard Rogue, especially considering only a $1,000 price premium, based on the Rogue Hybrid SV’s $26,240 price tag.
Dodge’s latest nightmarish creation, the 9-second Challenger SRT Demon, is a staple in “The Fate of the Furious,” so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when one of the movie’s biggest actors ends up as a spokesman for the automaker.
Vin Diesel is the latest spokesman to tout Dodge’s performance products. He’s going to be the face of Dodge’s new ad campaign, “The Brotherhood of Muscle.” In addition to the commercials embedded in this article, Diesel will lend his skills to additional television and social media spots.
Diesel was also present for the release of the Dodge Demon at the New York Auto Show earlier this month. Wiz Khalifa was there, too, but odds are Dodge would prefer that their advertisements not consist entirely of weed smoking, which is primarily what Khalifa brings to the table (he toked up during the Demon unveiling, no joke).
Dodge’s ad spots go beyond the Demon, though. The first three commercials see Diesel behind the wheel of a Challenger SRT Hellcat, a Charger SRT Hellcat and a Durango R/T, all three of which come with some proper V8 engines.