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Green Car Parade to herald 2014 Denver Auto Show

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Next Sunday the 2014 Green Car Parade will grace the drive circling the Golden Dome (currently under wraps) of the State Capitol Building in Downtown Denver.
Over the past two weeks the Green Car Convoy has gathered green cars and visited various Rotary Clubs in the cities and towns of Meade, Greeley, Longmont, Loveland, Frisco, Eagle-Vail, Breckinridge, Woodlawn Park, Pueblo and Colorado Springs to drum up attendance for this year’s Denver Auto Show.
The last three of those stops were just last Friday and Colorado Springs provided the best overview of the many vehicles available with enhanced efficiency and significantly lowered emissions.
The Green vehicles assembled in Colorado Springs included an Audi A6 TDI, BMW 328i x-drive, the stunning Cadillac ELR, it’s cousin the Chevrolet Volt, Ford’s C-MAX and Fusion Energi; the Infiniti Q50 S Hybrid; a Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel, Lexus ES 300h, CT 200 and RX 450h; the all electric Nissan Leaf, Subaru’s XV CrossTrek Hybrid – a first for the nameplate - Toyota’s Corolla LE Eco Premium and XLE Eco, along with a new Prius and Camry Hybrid.
Over the various dates, opportunities to drive the Toyota Corolla LE Eco Premium, Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel and Subaru XV CrossTrek Hybrid were provided.
The impressive Toyota Corolla LE Eco Premium uses direct injection and a highly efficient throttle and valve control at high speeds to boost power and responsiveness while still increasing economy.
It is now as big as the original Camry and accelerates fairly well for a four-cylinder commuter, and tracks well even at high speeds. We hit a closure on I-70 Eastbound coming back to Denver a couple weeks ago and took a delightful trip through Genesee Park in its winter wonderland guise and the front wheel drive Corolla traveled the snow covered roads with great skill and acumen, thanks to the piloting of Randy Hunt, Toyota Product Training Specialist.
First impressions of the Subaru XV CrossTrek Hybrid were slightly disappointing. As a former owner of numerous models and one who generally respects the brand’s value in Colorado, the XV seemed somewhat lighter and provided a less solid feel for the road than expected. Otherwise, it was well powered and surefooted, something for which the brand is well known.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel is a sheer delight to drive in inclement weather and proved a great hit when we used it to chauffeur four passengers to a Black Tie fundraiser for ArtReach. It is a rare thing to have five people in a vehicle during a review opportunity and the new Jeep drew comments like, “This is so much nicer than my daughter’s Jeep!” When the panoramic sunroof headliner was powered back, oohs and ahs emanated from the rear seat passengers.
A friend’s mother was picked up in the Jeep and dropped at a colleague’s place so she could ride to the event in a Rolls Royce. When the event was over, she specifically requested a ride home in the Jeep, rather than the Rolls.
What does that tell you?
A true standout in Colorado Springs was the bright red Cadillac ELR with a center top-mounted shark fin antenna. This is the high-end luxury version of the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in electric car with range extended by an on-board gas generator.
The beautiful interior sported a scintillating combination of wood and carbon fiber trim with micro suede dash surfaces and a posh, extremely comfortable interior. The only catch is the ELR is in the $80K range and the generator has a thirst for premium gasoline.
The Green Car Parade will occupy the Capitol drive’s west side on April 6 from roughly 10 am to 3 pm. It will be followed by the Denver Auto Shows Charity Preview Party, which will benefit the Clean the Air campaign of the Colorado Auto Dealers Association.
The Denver Auto Show opens at 5 pm on April 9 and runs through Sunday April 13. Tickets and much more information are available at DenverAutoShow.com.

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