Clean Special Fuel plate status of the SUV Hybrid

Lou Ann Hammond :

A few weeks ago a chatter inquired on Real Wheels Live about the Clean Special Fuel plate status of the SUV Hybrid. This vehicle was not on the list and the local Nissan dealers could not explain why they could not drive in the HOV lane when other hybrid SUVs could. The chatter emailed me this week and said, “I wanted to share with you that, after researching the matter, I’ve learned this vehicle is not on the list due to its certification as a ULEV instead of SULEV (such as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid). Buyers in NoVA should be beware when purchasing and expecting to transfer an existing plate.”

This week I drove a different Nissan that isn’t allowed in the HOV lane, but probably gets more mpg than any SUV – the 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL. A turdy ride, it got 33 combined mpg. While some cars I have driven have taken another $10,000 to be outfitted the way I would drive them, the Altima SL started at $27,920 and the out-the-door price was $30,830.

I looked on the sticker for the Altima and couldn’t find the fuel economy rating (whether it was a ULEV)

Let’s chat about cars:

Lou Ann Hammond

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louann August 8, 2014 Washington Post car chat Automobiles and Energy car buying tips Driving tips Warren Brown Washingtonpost.com