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July 31, 2013

2014 Audi allroad

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:36 am

Introduced more than a decade ago, Audi’s original A6-based Allroad was a moderately rugged wagon built to tackle on- and off-road adventures in style. After a few years’ hiatus, the Allroad returned to dealer showrooms last year. This time based on the A4 platform, the 2014 Audi Allroad is smaller and more city-oriented. It still has the goods for all-weather pursuits and light off-road travel, but now it’s basically an A4 wagon with extra ground clearance and extra body cladding.

As is typically the case with all things Audi, though, the Allroad’s primary strength is its exquisitely appointed cabin. The design is modern and upscale, and materials quality is never less than first-rate. In the tradition of the finest luxury automobiles, even the smallest details seem to have been carefully thought through with the driver’s comfort in mind, from the gentle, eye-friendly gauge illumination to the satisfying way in which the steering wheel fits in the hands.

Handling is easy and agreeable, and the Allroad delivers the smooth ride quality that well-heeled city dwellers and suburbanites will expect. Standard all-wheel drive makes the car a suitable companion for those who slosh through rain and snow. In addition, with 7.1 inches of ground clearance and standard skid plates, it can take on deeper snow and maintained dirt roads when the need arises.

LED strip light

Standard features on Premium models include 18-inch wheels; a panoramic sunroof; automatic headlights; cruise control; leather upholstery; automatic climate control; split-folding rear seats; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar); a dash-mounted Multi Media Interface (MMI); Bluetooth phone connectivity; and a 10-speaker sound system with an iPod interface, a CD player and satellite radio. This trim is available with a Lighting package that includes bi-xenon headlights and LED running lights.

The features in the Premium trim and Lighting package are included on the Premium Plus trim, along with heated exterior mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, driver memory functions, three-zone automatic climate control and auto-dimming mirrors. An optional MMI Navigation package adds a navigation system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, voice controls, HD radio, a color trip computer screen, Bluetooth audio connectivity and Audi Connect (enhanced Web-based navigation, information and WiFi access). The MMI controls are also relocated from the dash to the center console. A blind-spot warning system is available as an option.

The Allroad Prestige comes standard with all of the features in the Premium trim and MMI Navigation package, plus adaptive headlights, a blind-spot warning system, manual sunshades for the rear doors and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system (optional on Premium Plus).

The Driver Assist package (offered on the Prestige trim) includes adaptive cruise control and adjustable settings for the steering and transmission. The Sport Interior package (offered on Prestige and Premium Plus) adds sport front seats and a three-spoke steering wheel with transmission shift paddles. Nineteen-inch wheels are available on the Prestige and Premium Plus, while rear side airbags are optional on all levels.

July 30, 2013

South Simcoe Police remind you of headlight importance

Filed under: LED Work Lights — Tags: , , — solaroutdoorlight @ 3:30 am

Headlights allow you to see the roadway in front of your vehicle when visibility is poor and makes your vehicle visible to others.

This week, the South Simcoe Police would like to remind you about the importance of headlight maintenance and visibility.

Your vehicle’s headlights must shine a white light that can be seen at least 150 metres in front and is strong enough to light up objects 110 metres away.

Headlights are equipped with the option to use a high beam to enhance vision further down the roadway and the use of a low beam when you are near other vehicles to minimize headlight glare.

When you use high beam headlights, remember to switch to low beams when approaching an oncoming vehicle.

Use your low beams when you are behind another vehicle unless you are passing it.

These rules apply to all roads, including divided ones.

Turning your headlights on activates other required lights, such as your parking lights, tail lights, and rear license plate light.

Daytime running lights are specifically designed to make your vehicle more visible during times of good light conditions and are automatically activated when your vehicle is in operation and your headlight switch is turned to off.

When driving your vehicle, full headlights are required to be turned on between one-half hour before sunset and one-half hour after sunrise, and any other time of poor light conditions such as fog, snow or rain, which keeps you from clearly seeing people or vehicles.

Don’t drive with only one headlight or with lights that are not aimed properly. Have your full lighting system checked regularly, kept clean, and replace burned-out bulbs as soon as possible.

July 29, 2013

Ford Mustang’s experimental vibrating LED shift knob

Filed under: LED Lamp — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 3:38 am

Last week, Ford let me test the first-ever haptic shifter knob on a Shelby GT500. The elegantly simple device vibrates every time the car’s engine hits 3000 rpm, reminding the driver it’s time to change gears.

Really, it’s a more modern dash-mounted shift light some cars have to tell a driver they are holding a gear too long. The vibration is clearly noticeable, even on the GT500, and feels about the equivalent of being blown up on Call of Duty.

But this particular device also uses an LED screen on the top of the shift knob to tell you what gear the car has engaged.

Made from printed plastic, an LED screen

, and the vibrating motor stolen from an Xbox 360 controller, the high-tech shifter handle was created by Zach Nelson, a Ford mechanical engineer who has been working on the company’s new Open XC program.

Open XC allows developers to connect to Ford cars and trucks through the car’s diagnostic port and read real-time data about the car via a Bluetooth connection.

Once the device, slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes, is connected to the port, Nelson could read dozens of data points on a Bluetooth-enabled touch pad.

“I only needed three data points for this device, the car’s engine speed, vehicle speed and what gear it is in,” he said.

But lots more information is available. If Nelson wanted to, he could make the shifter knob change colors to match the LCD interior lighting, which on the Mustang can be one of five colors.  The shifter knob can also be set to provide guidance on how to drive more efficiently or how to extract maximum performance.

I, however, could not tell which mode we were in during my short drive, since I was simply trying to get the revs high enough to make the device buzz again. It worked flawlessly.

“This could be used to help drivers keep their eyes on the road and might even help teach some people to drive a stick,” Nelson said.

Indeed. But more importantly, the shifter knob demonstrates how agile the new program Ford created is and how the open-source philosophy creates a new kind of collaboration for an automaker.

Whereas in the past a device like this may have cost millions and taken years to build, Nelson began developing this shifter handle in earnest three months ago.

“There is really this great group engagement,” Nelson said, “where you can see what people are doing and work together.”

Ford has not said whether the vibrating shifter knob will ever go into production but the plans to make them will be available on OpenXC’s site.

“Based on the nature of open source tools, our goal is to provide innovation such as the haptic shift knob to the open source community,” said Craig Daitch, a Ford spokesman.

Computer programmers and software developers have a long tradition of sharing information and creating platforms where crowdsourcing and testing make a program better.

Automakers, however, have traditionally held all of this information very close to their vests, relying on either in-house talent or contractors to create new technology. Now, nearly anyone can contribute.

What Ford has done is give developers easy access to a lot of the information cars create so they can find interesting things to do with the info. It’s worth noting the device does not control the vehicle, but rather allows access to that information. It’s the difference between knowing the gas pedal is pushed 19 percent down and being able to push the gas pedal down 19 percent. Click on their website hmhid for more information.

July 26, 2013

The California Italian

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:22 am

As hard as manufacturers of cars have worked at taking traditional styling (found in Mustangs, Camaros, etc.) and mixing it with new technologies, nobody has incorporated the latest advancements in engineering into familiar products as successfully as motorcycle makers. A great example of this is Moto Guzzi, for the Italian manufacturer has maintained its signature air-cooled V-Twin engine (mounted across the frame instead of laterally, like the bulk of V-Twins) while working steadfastly in the internals of the bikes to bring the latest advancements on board.

When you build a big, cruiser-style motorcycle like the 1400 California, you really have the best of both worlds, especially if you sample the Touring variant, as we did. Armed for long-haul adventures, this Moto Guzzi is as handsome as it is comfortable on the highway, and has the unique sound and feel that only this iconic European marque can deliver.

The new California 1400 Touring has an engine that looks familiar to Moto Guzzi fans, but it’s actually quite special. At 1380cc, the engine is the largest production V-Twin in Europe, and features Guzzi’s Quattrovalvole (four valve) heads. This mighty mill has a biplane quality about it as you thunder about with those big cylinders out in the breeze. But while the engine is always telling you what it’s up to, vibration is never an issue, thanks to a sophisticated mounting system.

XENON Bulb

The California also features state-of-the-art engine management with which you can adjust response with three settings: Touring, Fast and Wet. There are also three different rider selectable Traction Control settings as well, to further fine-tune the power to the road conditions. The final drive is a 6-speed transmission that gets the grunt to the ground via shaft final drive. A well-calibrated suspension makes the 750-lb. bike surprisingly light on its feet and very stable, and low-speed handling is especially user-friendly.

Unlike of a lot of touring bikes based on cruiser ergonomics, there’s a decent amount of undercarriage clearance, so you don’t scrape the floorboards during moderate cornering. The bike’s stout ABS triple disc brakes are also up the task of stopping the bike in short order, even in wet conditions.

The California 1400 Touring has an upright riding position with standard floorboards that let you move your feet around a bit and therefore offer more comfort compared with footpegs. An excellent windshield keeps the bulk of the wind blast off your chest to lower fatigue on long trips. A standard set of 35-liter rear panniers give you weatherproof storage, and a rear trunk is available as an option. A 5.4-gallon fuel tank along with mileage in the upper 30s deliver good range, and a very simply one-button Cruise Control system is standard. Other intriguing features include a headlight array with LED Daytime Running lights, a two-tone saddle that is both stylish and comfortable for you and your passenger, and standard engine and pannier guards to protect the bike during minor tip-overs. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

July 25, 2013

Honda Civic

Filed under: LED Lamp — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:19 am

This is especially impressive because the IIHS implemented more stringent testing guidelines for this year, including a new small overlap frontal crash test.

‘Free first 2 Years Insurance’, ‘Free 5yr/100,000 Km free service’ and ‘Free first 2 Years Registration’ through a scratch card system. All the customers who buy Honda Car during the Ramadan promotion will be provided with a scratch card and lucky 30 winners will be selected for each of the above offers. So in total 90 lucky new Honda Car owners will enjoy the ‘Holy Month of Giving’ in an exclusive Honda style. During this Ramadan, Honda brings an offer where everyone is a winner by offering free 1st Year insurance, Registration & 3 years / 50000 KM(whichever is earlier) service package on all 2013 MY vehicles apart from any of the below mentioned high value gifts.

The new Honda Civic has major design upgrades with a multitude of standard features, while still maintaining the efficiency and value that has made the Civic an automotive icon for the past 40 years. The new model now comes with all-new front and rear exterior styling, along with extensive interior styling improvements on all models. Retuned steering and suspension sharpen the Civic’s handling, while extensive body and chassis upgrades improve the ride comfort and interior quietness.

The Civic lineup offers more style,

performance and technologies in a sleek, sporty exterior and premium hi-tech interiors while keeping intact its core attributes of safety, spaciousness and fuel efficiency. With such a combination, the 2013 Civic is designed to meet the diverse needs of today’s car buyer. The 2013 Honda Civic will be available in LXI, EXI and VTI grades.

The new safety technologies built into the 2013 Civic include application of the next-gen Advanced Compatibility Engineering II body structure. It has additional front end structures designed to help increase occupant protection by dispersing crash energy in narrow overlap frontal crashes.

The completely redesigned 1.8L, i-VTEC, 16-valve, 4-cylinder 139 HP engine for the 9th generation Civic introduced in 2012, remains unchanged for 2013, continuing to provide exceptional responsiveness, refinement, and fuel efficiency. The engine is mated with 5-speed automatic transmission helps the driver to enjoy a superb starting acceleration, zippy city driving and a smooth, relaxed highway cruising.

The 2013 Honda Civic provides a host of class-leading standard features viz., keyless entry, power windows, cruise control, AUX jack, center console with armrest and digital multiplex meter, to name a few. The EXI grade include additional features like 16″ alloy wheels, fog lights (optional), sunroof (optional), Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth Audio, rearview camera, color i-MID display, USB/iPod interface, steering wheel audio controls, outside temperature gauge. Available on Civic VTI are exclusive features like HID headlights, chrome door handles, 17″ alloy wheels, auto AC and leather interiors.

The New Civic has certainly lived up to its hype. The stylish and attractive sedan is a beautiful reflection of fine taste and high standards. And not to mention, outstanding performance too.

And the good news for all customers purchasing 2012 MY vehicles from Honda is that, they will get the best and low pricing on all cars. Also 2012 MY vehicles come with free 3 years / 100 000 KM mileage warranty + any one of the below mentioned high end gifts.

July 24, 2013

New 7-Series And S-Class Rival

Filed under: solar lighting — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:34 am

Realizing the folly of launching two new sedans positioned above its XTS, Cadillac has decided to focus on one instead, which it will position as a rival to the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the full-size luxury sedan segment. This new sedan, which is tipped to be called an LTS, will hit the streets in about two years, meaning it’s likely to launch as a 2016 model.

The latest information was revealed by General Motors CEO Dan Akerson during a recent interview with USA Today.

Akerson also revealed that the new sedan won’t resemble any of Cadillac’s recent concepts though certain elements, such as the vertical daytime running lights seen on the latest CTS, will feature in order to strengthen the family resemblance of Cadillac’s future lineup.

The car will be based on a new rear-wheel-drive platform for large cars General Motors Company is developing. Called Omega, this platform will share much in common with the lightweight Alpha platform underpinning Cadillac’s ATS and CTS models in order to keep costs and weight down. It will also mean that Omega-based cars could potentially share production lines with those based on the Alpha platform.

In addition to rear-wheel drive, the Omega platform will also be able to accommodate an all-wheel-drive system. Hybrid capability is also expected, though the basic engines will be V-6 and V-8 units.

What’s not clear is whether Cadillac will continue to sell both the existing XTS (its current flagship) and the new rear-wheel-drive sedan, or just the latter. There’s a chance that the XTS may stick around as the car is proving popular in the Chinese market as well as in the livery business.

It’s also uncertain what other models the Omega platform will spawn; possibilities include a large luxury coupe or convertible. GM has previously said it would need more than one model to justify development of a new platform like the Omega.

New tech features include a 6.1-inch touch-screen with a backup camera on the SE trim; and a new navigation system with a 7-inch touch-screen, voice command, 3D mapping, point-of-interest info and real-time traffic with the SE Touring Package. The SE Touring Package also includes new black-leather seating.

In addition, the new SE Premium Package features a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with nine speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer. The package also boasts a new power adjustable driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. In addition, the new LED Daytime Running Lamps Package bundles LED running lights with special front corner extensions. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

July 23, 2013

GE Lighting makes the streets of Bristol shine

Filed under: LED Work Lights — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:44 am

GE Lighting has upgraded the streetlighting in Bristol to deliver an energy efficient, white light solution – part of Bristol City Council’s aim to reduce its carbon footprint and to promote a safer urban environment.

The project comprises the replacement of existing high-pressure sodium street lighting with GE’s improved, higher efficiency CMH Streetwise ceramic metal halide lamps.

As the only UK city to have won the Green Capital Award for 2015, Bristol has a strong environmental ethos and upgrading its streetlights forms part of the city’s energy reduction scheme to generate substantial carbon savings. Much closer to daylight, white light also offers further advantages in the fact that pedestrians feel more secure in their environment and car driver reaction time (mescopic vision) is at least 6 times quicker.

Bristol Council has rolled-out the street lighting upgrade in two phases

, the first of which saw the replacement of around 8,000 existing high pressure sodium lamps to GE’s CMH StreetWise ceramic metal halide lamps over a one year period. Phase 2 of the upgrade began in July 2012 and over the course of the next 12 to 18 months will see the replacement of a further 12000 lamps in Bristol’s residential areas.

In addition, all the lamps have been replaced in conjunction with dimmable ballasts to allow for a greater energy savings and to ensure the council has the flexibility to dim the new lamps (between 7pm and 6am) to an even lower output as and when required.

HID Kit

“We are delighted with the street lighting upgrade to GE’s CMH StreetWise ceramic metal halide lamps. Along with other energy reduction projects financed with interest free loans from Salix the overall result is astounding and will not only make our streets safer but will enable Bristol to save 4.2M KWH and 500,000 per year on our energy bills as welll as a reduction in CO2 emissions,” commented Robbie Park, Principal Lighting Officer for Bristol City Council.

GE Lighting designed the CMH StreetWise ceramic metal halide lamp as an easy-fit replacement for outdated technologies. The lamps are fitted with standard E27/E40 bases and can be dimmed, outperforming most standard HID systems. Plus, with high reliability and sustained lumen output across a longer working life of 24,000 hours, they are supremely cost effective. Furthermore, the lamps support electronic and electromagnetic ballasts and are compatible with the major street light ballasts, retrofitting existing HPS systems. GE Streetwise has approved ballasts with all major manufacturers.

David Orchard, Regional Sales Manager – South West at GE Lighting commented: “Outdoor lighting has become a key consideration for many local authorities as they look to balance a duty of care to provide safe, secure streets against a backdrop of new legislation, a growing resistance to light nuisance and the need to reduce energy and carbon emissions  – lighting has had to evolve to become smarter, which is where the latest outdoor white light solutions come into play.”

Councils looking to reduce energy and carbon emissions can now select from an extensive range of options; including LED and CMH outdoor solutions ideal for motorways, bridges, pedestrian areas and car parks. With virtually no on-going maintenance expenses, both deliver significant operating cost benefits and therefore very attractive paybacks. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

July 22, 2013

Toyota Avalon sedan

Filed under: LED Lamp — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:05 am

I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m a fan of big sedans. I’ve always loved the large Mercedes S-class and Audi A8 sedans.

Large sedans have been put on the back burner in recent times, and we’ve seen an influx of midsized cars roaming about. While most fill the needs of the average family, I’m glad to see the larger models making a comeback, such as the all-new Toyota Avalon XLE Touring sedan.

The XLE model comes with a 3.5-liter V6 with 268 horsepower similar to the one found in a Lexus ES350. The power is transferred via the six-speed VVT-i automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The touring trim adds the Drive Select system with ECO, Normal and Sport modes.

Standing in front of the Avalon

, it resembles a more refined Camry. Thin Quadrabeam headlamps and a large open grille that stretches to the fog lights dominates the front end. This design isn’t for everyone at first, but grows on you with time.

From the side is where you see just how long this sedan is. The overall length is 6 inches longer than a Camry at 195.2 inches to allow for a very spacious and comfortable interior. To put it in perspective, the large Audi A8 is 202.2 -inches long.

Around back are very elegant LED tail lamps and dual exhaust tips. This sedan has a very “full” appearance; not a lot of swoopy lines.

Inside you will find a multisurface dashboard with leather and plastic materials throughout and air vents that blend well into the design. The 6.1-inch touch screen houses stereo controls, and HVAC buttons are just below that for easy use. All other buttons around the screen are touch controls and are very easy to use.

Below the dash is a storage area with a sliding cover to hide away your valuables. The steering wheel is thick and has the perfect amount of weight during cornering or on straightaways.

Driving around town is very easy. Light steering, good brakes and the ECO setting make for soft shifts. On the highway, the car floats a tiny bit, especially in high-speed cornering.

Roomy interior space for all occupants, a strong V6 engine, exceptional steering feel and a very soft, yet responsive ride sums up the Avalon. It’s the total package for a family sedan.

Whether you are driving in the city or on two-lane back roads, you will be immersed in just the right amount of luxury, quiet and responsiveness. This isn’t a Lexus, but it’s as close as you can get without drowning in technology and breaking the bank.

I found the Avalon to be roomier, just as powerful and less “flashy” than the Lexus. Two car seats fit in the back and leave plenty of legroom for the front passengers, and the trunk is absolutely enormous.

If you are looking for a little more room in your sedan, the Avalon may serve your needs well. Gas mileage is rated at 24 mpg combined, and I was able to get 23 mpg during my test.

July 19, 2013

Kia’s new Cee’d

Filed under: LED Work Lights — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:04 am

Every now and then a mould-breaker comes along – a car that changes the public perception of its manufacturer.

In Korean company Kia’s case, that car was the oddly named Cee’d, a five-door hatchback that launched the industry’s first transferable seven-year warranty.

The latest generation of a model that has been designed

, engineered and built for Europe has moved the game on once again.

Slightly larger and with better head and shoulder room, the new Cee’d also has a coupe-like roofline that gives it a sporty stance on the road.

HID Kit

But it’s in the cabin where you really notice the difference, from the quality of the switches and plastics – all sensibly laid out with piano black inserts – to the overall ambience.

A cockpit-like design with aircraft-themed fascia sees the main control panel wrap around the steering wheel for easy access, and there are plenty of places for putting away odds and ends.

While the front seats are comfortable and offer lots of support, the rear ones can accommodate two tall adults, though a centre rear passenger is slightly perched.

You also get a reasonably sized boot and the rear seats split and fold 60/40.

Of the 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol and the pair of turbo diesel engines of similar capacity available in the range, the 1.6 GDI used in the tested model is the most powerful. It boasts 133bhp of punch, six-speed manual transmission and Kia’s ISG stop/start system.

The Cee’d returned an average fuel economy of 41.7mpg over 350 miles of mixed motoring – and that’s not too far removed from the official combined figure.

While family-friendly cars like the Cee’d aren’t about outright performance, the 1.6 GDI certainly isn’t a slouch, showing plenty of spirit and a planted feel when I drove it out on the road.

Trim levels – named 1, 2, 3 and 4 – all feature standard kit, such as electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment and an adjustable driver’s seat.

They also include air con, steering wheel-mounted controls, front electric windows, daytime running lights, remote central locking, cooled glovebox and ambient front lighting.

An iPod-compatible audio system with radio and CD player, USB port, Bluetooth, hill-start assist control, six airbags and speed-sensitive auto door locking also all come as standard.

Prices are from 14,395 for an entry-level 1.4 petrol version developing 98bhp and capable of an average 47mpg with CO2 emissions from around 139g/km.

Diesels start at 15,695 for the 1.4 CRDi with 89bhp and almost 69mpg, as well as CO2 emissions of 109g/km.

July 18, 2013

2013 Lexus ES 300h is refined

Filed under: LED Lamp — Tags: — solaroutdoorlight @ 2:21 am

The best-selling Lexus car, the ES entry-luxury sedan, now comes as a gasoline-electric hybrid, and what a fine hybrid it is.

The 2013 ES 300h has an impressive government fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon in city driving and 39 mpg on the highway; it earned an overall five-out-of-five-stars safety rating in federal government crash tests; it’s a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine, with predicted reliability of above average.

And it comes with the improvements made for 2013 in the non-hybrid, sixth-generation ES. So, the 300h rides on a longer, front-wheel drive platform than the previous ES had, and it has upscale styling that makes it look more like the pricier Lexus LS 460 flagship. The ES 300h even has the striking “spindle” grille that appears on sportier Lexus cars.

The 2013 ES 300h also has 41.9 inches in the front-seat legroom and a whopping 40 inches of legroom in the back seat.

Still, the ES 300h and its gasoline-only sibling, the 2013 ES 350, remain mid-size sedans that are comfortable and refined to drive and ride in. The 200-horsepower hybrid ES 300h has a luxury car starting retail price of $40,145.

This is $2,880 more than the starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $37,265 for a base, 2013 ES 350 with 268-horsepower V-6 and no hybrid system.

But since the ES 300h’s city fuel mileage rating is roughly double the 21 mpg of the 2013 ES 350’s, and the hybrid is estimated to get 8 more miles per gallon on the highway than the ES 350 does, the $2,880 difference in base price can be recouped after fewer than 45,000 miles, given today’s gasoline prices.

Competitors include the 188-horsepower, 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, whose starting MSRP, including destination charge, is much lower: $36,820. The MKZ Hybrid has the top federal government fuel economy rating among luxury-branded, gasoline-electric hybrid sedans: 45/45 mpg; the ES 300h ranks second.

The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which uses the same hybrid drive system as the ES 300h and has the same underlying platform, has a starting retail price of $36,350.

The base ES 300h comes with standard eight-speaker sound system, 10-way, power-adjustable front seats, unique, small “puddle”-illuminating lights under the outside mirrors that light the ground as driver and front-passenger exit, 17-inch wheels, light-emitting diode (LED) turn signals, halogen headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, power moonroof and a high-grade, vinyl NuLuxe material on the seats.

But the feeling inside the new ES is more upscale than in the previous model, in part because there’s luxury-imbuing stitching atop the dashboard and the dashboard is modernized with a layout that almost looks serene. This is not an easy accomplishment, given the number of buttons and knobs and displays in today’s cars.

Passengers didn’t sense that this ES has only a 2.5-liter, dual cam, four-cylinder engine operating with a fuel-thrifty Atkinson cycle. The car accelerated strong and steadily and power felt more like that from a V-6, though there were no V-6 engine sounds.

In the test ES 300h, the 156-horsepower four cylinder was peppy — with 156 foot-pounds of torque at 4,500 rpm — and meshed seamlessly with the two on-board electric motors/generators and 1.6-kilowatt battery pack that helped save on gasoline.

Everything was managed expertly by electronics, and during the test drive, there was no hesitation or shuddering of the car during the transitions from electric power to engine power.

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