The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons / carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Most SUVs produced today use unibody contruction (as per passenger cars), however in the past many SUVs used body-on-frame construction.
These features make a hybrid vehicle particularly efficient for city traffic where there are frequent stops, coasting and idling periods. In addition noise emissions are reduced, particularly at idling and low operating speeds, in comparison to conventional engine vehicles. For continuous high speed highway use these features are much less useful in reducing emissions.
While the adoption rate for hybrids in the US is small today (2.2% of new car sales in 2011),[91] this compares with a 17.1% share of new car sales in Japan in 2011,[92] and it has the potential to be very large over time as more models are offered and incremental costs decline due to learning and scale benefits. However, forecasts vary widely. For instance, Bob Lutz, a long-time skeptic of hybrids, indicated he expects hybrids "will never comprise more than 10% of the US auto market."[93] Other sources also expect hybrid penetration rates in the US will remain under 10% for many years.[94][95][96]
The Range Rover P400e uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine assisted by an electric motor. Together they produce 398 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to get this big SUV moving with some haste. Land Rover claims the P400e will do 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, and reach a top speed of 137 mph on pavement. But, as with other Range Rover variants, the P400e is set apart from other utility vehicles by genuine off-road capability.
While hybrids benefit from engine-shut-off and more EV (electric-only) driving in the city, the latest generation Toyota hybrid systems feature highly efficient gasoline engines for highway driving; the system can even enter EV mode while cruising on a highway in certain conditions. Toyota’s hybrid system will seamlessly determine and optimize what combination of electric and gas engine power is required based on your driving conditions.
In 2010, Toyota released a device for the third-generation Prius meant to alert pedestrians of its proximity.[200] Japan issued guidelines for such warning devices in January 2010 and the US approved legislation on December 2010.[201][202] Models equipped with automatically activated systems include all 2012 and later model year Prius family vehicles that have been introduced in the United States, including the standard Prius, the Prius v, the Prius c and the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.[203][204] The warning sound is activated when the car is traveling at less than 15 mph (24 km/h) and cannot be manually turned off.[205]
The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2007 on concerns that quiet cars like the Prius may pose a safety risk to those who rely on engine noise to sense the presence or location of moving vehicles.[197] Blind pedestrians are a primary concern, and the National Federation of the Blind advocates audio emitters on hybrid vehicles,[198] but it has been argued that increased risks may also affect sighted pedestrians or bicyclists who are accustomed to aural cues from vehicles. However, silent vehicles are already relatively common, and there is also a lack of aural cues from vehicles that have a conventional internal combustion engine where engine noise has been reduced by noise-absorbing materials in the engine bay and noise-canceling muffler systems. In July 2007, a spokesman for Toyota said the company is aware of the issue and is studying options.[199]
Several automakers developed electric vehicle warning sounds designed to alert pedestrians to the presence of electric drive vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and all-electric vehicles (EVs) travelling at low speeds. Their purpose is to make pedestrians, cyclists, the blind, and others aware of the vehicle's presence while operating in all-electric mode.[63][64][65][66]
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the populary of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large sedans and station wagons. More recently, smaller SUVs and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 36.8% of the world's passenger car market in 2017.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the Prius as among the cleanest vehicles sold in the United States, based on smog-forming emissions.[1] The 2018 model year Prius Eco ranks as the second most fuel efficient gasoline-powered car available in the US without plug-in capability, following the Hyundai Ioniq "Blue".[2][3]
A racing version of the Prius was unveiled by Toyota in 2013. This racing Prius replaces the 1.8-litre Atkinson-cycle engine with a 3.4-litre V8 RV8KLM engine which is mid-mounted in the car. The hybrid drive train of the car's production Hybrid Synergy Drive is retained but with a larger lithium ion battery.[215] The RV8KLM is in fact the same engine featured in multiple Le Mans Prototypes such as the Lola B12/60 and Rebellion R-One. The car took class pole position[216] and finished sixth at the 2012 Fuji GT 500km.[217]
Minivans are the ultimate solution for moving people and their stuff. In this segment, the Sienna offers the best all-around package. Its long list of pluses includes a comfortable ride and an energetic powertrain that returns respectable fuel economy. And those looking for an all-wheel-drive minivan quickly realize the Sienna is the only option out there. The cabin is spacious, with convenient folding seats and available seating for eight. The interior is nicely furnished, with top versions dressed with upscale materials and trim accents. The fancy top-line Limited versions offer second-row lounge seating, complete with footrests. Its strong reliability track record and abundant standard advanced safety features make the Sienna a savvy choice.

In constructing the Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass instead of petroleum. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, commonly known as China grass, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax. Toyota says this is a particularly timely breakthrough for plant-based eco-plastics because 2009 is the United Nations' International Year of Natural Fibres, which spotlights kenaf and ramie among others.[62]
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the populary of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large sedans and station wagons. More recently, smaller SUVs and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 36.8% of the world's passenger car market in 2017.
The Range Rover helped define the modern SUV, and it’s still one of the best examples of the breed around. With a luxurious interior and impressive off-road capabilities, it’s hard to think of a vehicle that offers more in a single package. Now, the Range Rover is also available as a plug-in hybrid, part of a plan by Land Rover and sibling Jaguar to offer electrified powertrains in every new model.

The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2007 on concerns that quiet cars like the Prius may pose a safety risk to those who rely on engine noise to sense the presence or location of moving vehicles.[197] Blind pedestrians are a primary concern, and the National Federation of the Blind advocates audio emitters on hybrid vehicles,[198] but it has been argued that increased risks may also affect sighted pedestrians or bicyclists who are accustomed to aural cues from vehicles. However, silent vehicles are already relatively common, and there is also a lack of aural cues from vehicles that have a conventional internal combustion engine where engine noise has been reduced by noise-absorbing materials in the engine bay and noise-canceling muffler systems. In July 2007, a spokesman for Toyota said the company is aware of the issue and is studying options.[199]


There is no commonly agreed definition of an SUV, and usage varies between countries. Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis, however broader consider that any vehicle with off-road design features is an SUV. Crossover SUV is defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as per passenger cars), however in many cases crossovers are simply referred to as SUVs. In some countries— such as the United States— SUVs have been classified as "light trucks", resulting in more lenient regulations compared to passenger cars.
The Prius uses electric motors in the hybrid propulsion systems, powered by a high voltage battery in the rear of the car. There has been some public concern over whether the levels of electromagnetic field exposure within the cabin are higher than comparable cars, and what health effects those fields may present, popularized by a 2008 The New York Times article.[192] However, Toyota[192] and several independent studies[193][194] have indicated that aside from a brief spike when accelerating, the electromagnetic fields within the Prius are no different from those of a conventional car and do not exceed the ICNIRP[195] exposure guidelines.
In 2019 the term "Self-Charging Hybrid" became popular in advertising, though cars referred to by this name do not offer any different functionality than a standard hybrid vehicle provides. The only self-charging effect is in energy recovery via regenerative braking, which is also true of plug-in hybrids, fuel cell electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles.[90]
The Prius uses an all-electric A/C compressor for cooling, an industry first.[44] Combined with a smaller and lighter NiMH battery, the XW20 is more powerful and more efficient than the XW10.[45] In the US, the battery pack of 2004 and later models is warranted for 150,000 miles (240,000 km) or 10 years in states that have adopted the stricter California emissions control standards, and 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years elsewhere.[46][47] The warranty for hybrid components is 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years.[48]

While its price tag may seem high at first glance, when you break down all the features, it’s one heck of a deal. Let’s not forget the federal tax credit of $7,500 and any applicable state credits that pull the sticker price down. We wouldn’t just pick the Pacifica Hybrid over any other minivan; we’d seriously consider it over some of the better midsize SUVs.
This practical, fuel-efficient sedan has all the virtues that small-car shoppers seek, backed by its strong reliability track record. Despite its compact proportions, the Corolla has a relatively roomy interior, with a spacious backseat. Handling is secure, and the ride quality is a cut above for its class. The ho-hum engine with middling power won’t excite drivers, but the trade-off is stellar fuel economy of 32 mpg overall. On our highway test circuit, the Corolla achieved 43 mpg. Also very meaningful: This car comes standard with advanced safety features that include forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. The Corolla is a smart purchase that won’t let you down.
2 less than an equivalent family vehicle with a diesel engine. Average calculated on 20,000 km a year." Points of contention were the vehicles chosen for comparison, whether "'up to' one tonne less" adequately communicated that reductions could be lower, and whether the distance used was appropriate: 20,000 km per year is around a US car's average annual driving distance, while a UK car's is 13,440 km.[206]

The E-Hybrid’s swoopy sheet metal hides a twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter V6 engine that makes 330 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque on its own. It works with a 136-hp electric motor linked to a 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The total output checks in at a V8-like 462 hp, but the drivetrain also provides up to 30 miles of electric range at no more than 90 mph.


In constructing the Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass instead of petroleum. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, commonly known as China grass, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax. Toyota says this is a particularly timely breakthrough for plant-based eco-plastics because 2009 is the United Nations' International Year of Natural Fibres, which spotlights kenaf and ramie among others.[62]
There is no commonly agreed definition of an SUV, and usage varies between countries. Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis, however broader consider that any vehicle with off-road design features is an SUV. Crossover SUV is defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as per passenger cars), however in many cases crossovers are simply referred to as SUVs. In some countries— such as the United States— SUVs have been classified as "light trucks", resulting in more lenient regulations compared to passenger cars.
Hydraulic hybrid and pneumatic hybrid vehicles use an engine to charge a pressure accumulator to drive the wheels via hydraulic (liquid) or pneumatic (compressed air) drive units. In most cases the engine is detached from the drivetrain, serving solely to charge the energy accumulator. The transmission is seamless. Regenerative braking can be used to recover some of the supplied drive energy back into the accumulator.
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