Archives – May 19, 2014

Hybrid Car Clubs

auto picnicAlthough it isn’t as unusual as it used to be, being the owner of a hybrid car may have had your neighbors or work mates labeling you the “wacko conservation nut.” Luckily, as hybrid and electric cars become more mainstream, and more of the public understands the importance of reducing vehicle emissions, the next term floating around may become “wacko pollution lover.”

While neither term adequately describes the true beliefs of those labeled as such, there can be a lot said about the positive feelings a person experiences from knowing they are doing what they can to avoid adding more vehicle exhaust to the atmosphere.

Having a positive, happy experience is something that people want to share with others who are like minded and this always leads to people getting together to spread the word about things that they like. Having a hybrid or electric car is no different and there are thousands of groups all over the world that you can join and have a lot of fun.

Why Join a Group

When you own a hybrid or electric car, joining a group or club has many positive things to offer. Probably first and foremost is that they are social gatherings where you can make new friends. The ice is already broken because you and everyone else are there because of the type of car you own. Undoubtedly, you will have an opportunity to get to know some members online before meeting in person. Meeting in person after becoming acquainted online is always good fun.

Another advantage of joining a group of people who own the same kind of car you have is obtaining advice. Just like any other car owner, you want a good mechanic for when your car needs work, and there is nothing better than getting recommendations from people you know. There are bound to be people who have needed the services of a mechanic before you and they will be happy to share their experiences with you – good or bad. Therefore, not only will you likely get the names of good mechanics, you’ll also know which ones to avoid.

If you like accessorizing your car, being in a club also can get you great advice on where the best prices and best service are to be found.

Also, like any car club, there are gear heads for hybrid and electric cars, too. They are always tinkering and learning about their choice of car and are almost always willing to offer advice.

Finding a Group

Obviously, finding groups can be as easy as searching the Internet for hybrid car clubs. Inputting the name of your city along with your club search can certainly help narrow the results. You can also try to find a group or two if you’re not in the mood for doing a lot of sorting.


Leave a Comment May 19, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SE Four-Door Sedan

VW_Jetta_Hybrid_(8505263006)In the U.S., the Jetta Hybrid is the first hybrid passenger car release from Volkswagen. The vehicle comes with a 150-hp, 16 valve, 1.4-liter I-4, turbocharged engine and a lithium-ion battery. The transmission is a 7-speed auto-shift manual with over drive and auto-manual for smoother shifting and less work on the driver’s part.

With prices starting around $26,500, the car is not out of reach of the average car buyer looking for a hybrid. It also scores an impressive gas mileage of 42 city and 48 highway. Owners of the 2013 version state that a lot of the difference in gas mileage has to do with the type of driving you do. Easy going and mellow gets better mileage, while aggressive and fast will cost you some mph. Aside from this being the case with all cars, with this Jetta, it may be worth taking to heart because it requires premium fuel.

Based on reviewers’ reports however, this may be more challenging than it seems because of the sporty handling and turbocharged engine. The Jetta Hybrid offers precise steering, nimble handling, and seamless shifting that make it hard to distinguish from an all gas car.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the Jetta Hybrid an overall 5-Star rating for safety. Just some of the reason for that has to do with Volkswagen Intelligent Crash Response System, which comes standard. In the event of a collision the system will automatically unlock all doors, turn on the hazard lights and stops further fuel from getting to the fuel line.

Standard Features

The 2014 VW Jetta Hybrid comes with some impressive features as standard:

  • Front seat dual-zone automatic climate control
  • iPod interface
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Touch screen display and six speaker audio system
  • Satellite radio
  • Auxiliary input
  • VW’s Car-Net that links the car navigation, maintenance and security to smartphone apps

Reports from test drivers say that the controls are intuitively placed and that operating the audio system is a no-brainer.

There isn’t much left to be desired, but if you want, you can have an audio system from Fender with eight-speakers, a touch-screen navigation system, or a rearview camera at extra cost.

The interior of the Jetta seats five and is praised for having ample room inside, especially in the rear, where passengers are typically left to feel like sardines. Although some reviewers stated that certain plastics give the interior the feel of poor quality, more reviewers reported that ample padding and soft-touch fabrics provide a luxury car feel.

Overall, the VW Jetta Hybrid SE sedan offers a lot for the money: a car that is fun to drive despite being a hybrid, a comfortable, roomy interior, plenty of standard features, and great mileage.


Leave a Comment May 19, 2014

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