E85 – Alternative Fuels

E85 – Alternative Fuels
E85 Alternative Fuel - Fuel Efficient News, Car Features and Reviews - Automobile Magazine
E85 ranks high on the list of alternative fuels but is fraught with controversy. Cutting through the fact and fiction is a complex process.

The natural reaction to any spike in gasoline prices is a search for creative alternatives–anything that might help us balance our budgets and maintain our lifestyles. E85 ranks high on the list of alternative fuels but is fraught with controversy. Cutting through the fact and fiction is a complex process.

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2009 Volkswagen Routan S

2009 Volkswagen Routan S
2009 Volkswagen Routan S - Volkswagen Minivan Review - Automobile Magazine
The upmarket VW touches are easy to spot if you’re familiar with the Chrysler minivans, but they’re still nice, including a better shifter, nicer interior door trim, and much more substantial inside door handles.

As a long time VW fan, I was hoping the Routan wasn’t going to be what logic tells you it is; a warmed over Chrysler minivan. I’m sorry to say that all my fears were accurate. Sure, the seats are more comfortable and offer more support. Additionally, the dash materials and gauges are slightly better. But in the end, there’s no hiding from the fact that the Routan is based on a vehicle that is lackluster at best. The creaks and groans that afflict our long-term Town & Country are present in the VW as well. This base, 3.8-liter engine is low on power, and the sounds it emits would make any longtime VR6 fan sad.

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First Drive: 2009 Nissan Cube

First Drive: 2009 Nissan Cube
2009 Nissan Cube - Second Generation Nissan Cube First Drive Review - Automobile Magazine
After a long wait, America is finally getting the Nissan Cube. If you’re looking for a funky, inexpensive car that is decent to drive, the Cube may be your perfect box.

After a long wait, America is finally getting the Nissan Cube. The first version launched in Japan in 1998 and stayed around until 2002. It lacked the unique design of the second-generation Cube that was sold from 2002 through 2008. We had a Japan-spec version of that car in the office last year and loved the funky styling, small size, and tight turning circle. The latest Cube keeps most of the cute styling of the last version but loses some of the odd features such as the column-shift automatic transmission and an electrically powered rear axle that gave the Cube four-wheel drive at low speeds.

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