2021 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S

George “Elvis” Gray of Pirate Radio 104.7 assisted in an analysis of the electric VeeDub:

Dusk blue metallic paint with black painted roof, lunar gray leatherette seating for 5 – heated driver and front pass. seats and panoramic fixed glass moon roof with sunshade, weighs 4,782 lbs., 180.5” long and has 108.9” wheelbase – 30 cubic ft. of cargo capacity behind rear seat and 60 cubic ft. with second row seating folded down, 20” Polished alloy wheels and 235/50R20 Bridgestone all season radial tires, lane keep assist, forward and rear collision alert, radar cruise control, digital dash including one mounted to steering column, rear vision camera, 12” infotainment screen, 10 speaker  AM/FM/satellite premium stereo sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and blind spot monitor, 107 horsepower front electric motor and 201 horsepower rear electric motor (295 hp total) with single speed automatic transmission with dash mounted shifter, (total torque is 339) 4 driving modes and all wheel drive, $50,870.00  list price built in Mosel, Germany, fuel economy 88 mpg on highway, 98 in city, 93 overall – goes 240 mi. on a full charge

 

 

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE Sedan

George “Elvis” Gray of Pirate Radio helped analyze the Corolla at the studio parking lot:

Celestite Gray metallic paint with black premium Softex seating for 5 – heated driver and front pass. seat, weighs 2,850 lbs., 182.3” long and has 106.3” wheelbase – 13.1 cubic ft. of cargo capacity in trunk, 15” Alloy wheels (with covers) and 195/65R15 Michelin all season radial tires, lane keep assist, forward and rear collision alert, radar cruise control, rear vision camera, 8” infotainment screen, and 6 speaker AM/FM/satellite premium stereo sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and blind spot monitor, 1.8 liter, 121 horsepower hybrid four with a CVT automatic transmission, three driving modes, and front wheel drive, $27,191.00  list price – built in Toyota, Aichi, Japan, fuel economy 52 mpg on highway, 53 in city, 52 overall – 13.2 gallon tank  – goes 686 mi. on a full tank of gasoline

2021 Toyota Prius XLE AWD Hybrid

The Prius was driven to Pirate Radio for a review with the help of DJ George Gray:

Electric Storm blue metallic paint with black Softex seating for 5 – heated front buckets, weighs 3,220 lbs. and is 180” long – 27.4 cubic ft. cargo room in rear – 50.7 with seats flopped down, 15” – Aluminum wheels, two tone hub caps and 195/65R15  Dunlop radials, pushbutton/remote start, rain sensing wipers and leather wrapped and heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charger, color head up display, and Android / Apple integration, 7” multimedia infotainment screen – backup camera and 7 speaker XM/AM/FM stereo, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning, 1.8 liter hybrid four with 96 horsepower – CVT automatic transmission and all wheel drive, $31,629.00.00  list price  – built in Toyota, Aichi, Japan, fuel economy (47 mpg highway, 51 mpg city, 49 mpg combined)  10.6 gallon tank with 498 mi.range

                                                                                             

 

2021 Lexus UX-250h Luxury Hybrid AWD

The Lexus was driven to Pirate Radio for a review with the help of George Gray and Matt Arguello:

Nori green pearl paint with black Nuluxe seating for 5 – heated and ventilated front buckets, weighs 3,605 lbs. and is 177” long – 21.7 cubic ft. cargo room – zero to 60 in 8.6 seconds, 18” – two toned finish ten spoke aluminum wheels and 225/50R18 Bridgestone run flat radials, pushbutton/remote start, navigation, dual power seats, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel and moon roof, wireless phone charger, head up display, and Android / Apple integration, 10.3” multimedia infotainment screen – backup camera and 6 speaker Lexus XM/AM/FM premium sound system, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning, 2.0 liter hybrid four with 181 horsepower – CVT 10 speed automatic transmission and all wheel drive, $43,875.00.00  list price  – built in Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan, fuel economy (38 mpg highway, 41 mpg city, 39 mpg combined)  10.6 gallon tank with 434 mi.range

                                                          

 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD

Radio review at the Pirate featuring George Gray and Matt Arguello:

Supersonic red metallic paint with black roof and five passenger black Softex upholstered interior, heated and cooled front buckets – rear seats heated only, full panoramic moon roof with power tilt and slide feature, head up display in windshield and navigation in touchscreen, electric tailgate that can be foot operated, JBL stereo with 11 speakers, 42 miles of range on electric power, (I am getting 37.5 mpg on gas power), range is 550 miles, console mounted gear shift, continuously variable automatic transmission, 19” gray finish five spoke wheels with 235/55R19 Yokohama Avid GT all season radial tires, 302 horsepower 4 cylinder engine with plug-in hybrid system, 3.3 kw on board charger, $49,461 M.S.R.P.,  built in Obu, Aichi, Japan

2021 KIA Sorento EX Hybrid

Radio review on Pirate Radio featuring DJ’s George Gray and Matt Arguello:

Runway Red metallic paint, gray SynTex seating surfaces (feels like leather), panoramic moon roof, 7 passenger capacity, 189″ wheelbase (Explorer or Acadia size), four captain chairs, 1.6 liter turbo four with 227 horsepower hybrid drive train, front wheel drive, 6 speed automatic transmission with console dial (backup alarm like a dump truck – does not ride like one), 18.8 gallon tank, 39 mpg city rating providing over 600 miles range, 17″ alloys with Nexen 235/65R17 radials and remote start.

 

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier

Radio On-Air Review:

Slate Gray metallic paint with Dark Galvanized/Sky Cool gray leather interior with heated front and rear seats – Weighs 3,580 lbs. and is 164” long with a 102” wheelbase – 16.9 cubic ft. of cargo capacity behind the back seats (56.6 with them flopped down) – 17” Ultra Bright multi-spoke aluminum wheels and 225/45R17 Hankook all season radial tires – Lane keep assist, forward collision alert, cruise control, rear vision camera, and automatic emergency braking – 10.2” infotainment screen – backup camera, 7 speaker Bose AM/FM premium sound system – Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, fast phone charger – Electric 200 horsepower engine with single speed automatic transmission and front wheel drive – zero to 60 = 6.5 sec. – $43,735.00  list price  Built in Lake Orion, Michigan – Fuel economy (Highway – 108 mpg) (City – 127 mpg)  259 mi.range 

2015 Lexus ES-300h FWD Sedan

20150615_153629On a recent long weekend I was able to test a new Lexus for a trip to Nebraska, and it was the ES series hybrid model that has been available since early 2012.  The car was painted Atomic Silver and had black leather five-passenger seating.  Inside it was black perforated “Semi-Aniline” (a dying process) leather throughout, courtesy of the Ultra Luxury package that was included on this ES.   This added $2,435.00 to the base price of the Lexus ($40,430.00) and included power memory heated/air conditioned front buckets, ambient lighting, bamboo trim, power tilt/telescope steering column, rear sunshades, and driver’s seat power cushion extender.

Additionally, the car had blind spot monitor ($500.00), lane departure alert with intelligent high-beam headlamps ($1,015.00), navigation package with 8″  screen ($1,795.00), power trunk closer ($400.00), intuitive parking assist ($500.00), rain-sensing wipers with de-icer ($155.00),  and heated leather trimmed/bamboo steering wheel ($450.00).  Thus the base price and freight of $925.00 pushed the total M.S.R.P. to $48,605.00.

My father and I bought a brand new 1965 Corsair Corsa for about $46,000.00 less than that figure in Grant, Nebraska fifty years ago.  I bring that up because my 50th class reunion in that town was the reason for the road trip in the Lexus.  I tooled around Grant in the ES300h, a sedan considerably more accomplished than the old Chevy was, and although the Lexus is more expensive, the Corvair was over $20,000.00 if adjusted for inflation.  The Lexus’ current price adjusted back to 1965 dollars comes to $6,500.00, and it may be that Bullock Chevy/Cadillac there in Grant sold a Caddy for about that amount.  I don’t really know, but I do know that Dad and I didn’t bother to look at such a car.20150615_153920

As a popular Lexus hybrid, the ES has an Atkinson-cycle, 2.5 liter, four cylinder gasoline engine at its heart, and two electric motor/generators to contribute power.  An Englishman named Atkinson obtained an American patent on the Atkinson-cycle engine over 120 years ago, but the design wasn’t favored until recently because its efficient fuel consumption aspect was more than offset by its lack of torque.  Well, electric motors provide instant torque, so in the hybrid automobile the Atkinson engine goes with an electric motor like love and marriage.  And in the ES300h, the total package provides 200 horsepower and runs that through a continuously-variable automatic transmission. Reportedly, top speed is 112 mph and zero to sixty acceleration takes 8.1 seconds.

Size-wise, this ES is a luxo-Camry with 111” wheelbase and a 16-foot overall length.  It’s heavier than a Camry, though, at 3,700 lbs. with its big battery.  That battery restricts the trunk to 12.1 cubic feet, and on this ES the lid powers up and down.  No restriction is evident in the back seat, however, with seating for three and a big armrest in the middle.  Riding anywhere in the ES300h is a pleasure, and I felt the ride was superb while motoring up through northeastern Colorado and into Perkins County, Nebraska.  Lexus ES300h styling is suitable for me and me and Ruth really liked the Atomic silver tone.  The front-end styling is fine and so is the rear with the exhaust tips concealed, hybrid-style.

EPA ratings for the ES300h are 40-city, 39-highway, and 40-combined miles per gallon – electric power allows drivers to save fuel in the city.  My average, driving around Greeley as well as the road trip to Nebraska, was 41.1 mpg.  It’s hard to say how much driving is necessary to make a hybrid Lexus pay off; there are other factors involved in the calculations.  With resale value and pride of ownership factored in, this hybrid Lexus looks like a pretty good deal to me.