SEARCH BLOG: AUTOMOBILES
CNN ran a story about the new Ford Flex:
As I drove a 2009 Flex on a family trip, one comment I heard over and over was "That thing must suck gas like crazy!"On our recent trip to Wisconsin in a 2008 Ford Taurus, I measured our gas consumption on a single tankful of gasoline beginning with a fill in Madison, a leg to Milwaukee, another jog to Delavan, and then through Chicago construction on I-294 to I-94 around Gary to our home near Detroit.
Unfortunately, the Flex's design emphasizes, and even exaggerates, its size. When plans for the Flex were first being laid down, that might have seemed like a good idea. But these days, it might just scare customers away from what is, really, an excellent alternative to the typical minivan. It's a big box designed to carry a lot of people and stuff and it more than looks the part
While the Flex looks enormous in person it's really no longer than the old Freestar minivan it essentially replaces. Its fuel economy, too, is about the same as minivans like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Town & Country.
For those looking at SUVs, someone who buys a Flex instead of a full-sized SUV like the Ford Expedition, for instance, could save almost $1,200 a year in gasoline while having even more room for back-seat passengers to stretch out in. They also get to enjoy a much cooler-looking box-on-wheels.
This car comfortably transported my wife and me and my 6'3" 270 lb. son [even in the back seat with the front seat back] and his girl friend and all of our bags.
Our measured single tank usage was 17.7 gallons for 490 miles... just under the 28 mpg advertised as the highway mpg.I suspect this will improve somewhat as the engine gets a few more miles.
So, my questions are:
- Do you really want to be crammed into a Mini Cooper-sized vehicle with compromised safety for a few extra mpg?
- Or do you want to spend thousands of dollars more upfront for an expensive hybrid powertrain... and the prospect of thousands more to replace a battery pack?
- Restricting oil drilling and subsequent supply
- Restricting refinery expansions and new refineries capable of actually producing the government-mandated new diesel formulation
- Refusing to accept European diesel engines as they are
Why doesn't the government just mandate some hybrid tractor-trailers? Just use 1/4 of the trailer for the battery pack...