Yesterday morning, in the cavernous atrium of Quebec’s historical Chateau Montebello, you could’ve heard a leaf drop. Monday’s winner of the fabled Green Jersey for most efficient driving, a grail lusted after by auto writers from across Canada since time immemorial (okay, last Friday) was your humble author. NB: I had not driven aggressively slowly nor dangerously hypermiled in the tailwind of massive trucks, but simply milked the conditions on the 90km (mostly highway) drive from Ottawa.
The honour includes, umm, a shirt.
However, you’ll get a free lesson in greener driving habits here at DailyXY very soon. Like a rogue magician, I’ll reveal my green secrets. For now, here are the two cars I was assigned in yesterday’s Eco-Run. Sadly, the powers that be have already awarded the Green Jersey for Tuesday’s driving, and the mantle’s already passed on. As the Buddha or George Harrison said, ‘All things must pass.’
Watch for this archetypal family sedan to make a lot of noise (in the press; it’s actually very quiet). It’s gorgeous, aerodynamic, and practical. If you’re bored in drive mode or want better efficiency, you can switch the transmission to paddle or shift gears with the knob—choice is good. The engine is efficient and responsive. There’s plenty of room for four and a half, and the seats flatten to maximize storage space. They’re all black leather and comfortable but, alas, will only attract heat in the summer, so you’ll waste energy cooling the car. Black is NOT the new green.
Kia Rio LX+ ECO
For the price, this hatchback is a winner; so much sportier than its earlier generations (though they have yet to include a comfortable driver’s seat). The Idle Stop and Go technology is remarkable in that it’s not. Meaning? When you apply the brake, the engine shuts off until you release your foot. Then it starts again. I had the Rio LX+ ECO for a very brief leg in filthy Montreal highway traffic, which demanded hyper-attention—and lots of stop and go. So I didn’t notice the engine shutting off, though one would expect to. Early hybrids were far more noticeable.
Note: Yesterday’s Eco-Run article referred to Honda as Lexus’ sister company. We regret the error.
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.