Car and Driver

1 reviews & complaints.

Your Leanest And Greenest Weapons In The Battle Against The $4 Gallon
Posted by on
Stingiest Sippers: 10 Most Fuel-Efficient VehiclesFirst Place: 2008 Toyota Prius
City: 48 mpg
Highway: 45 mpg
Combined: 46 mpg
Base Price: $22,160

Second Place: 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid
City: 40 mpg
Highway: 45 mpg
Combined: 42 mpg
Base Price: $23,270

Third Place: 2008 Smart Fortwo
City: 33 mpg
Highway: 41 mpg
Combined: 36 mpg
Base Price: $12,235

Fourth Place: 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid
City: 35 mpg
Highway: 33 mpg
Combined: 34 mpg
Base Price: $26,140

Fifth Place: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid
City: 33 mpg
Highway: 34 mpg
Combined: 34 mpg (Ratings from 2008 model year)
Base Price: $25,860

Sixth Place: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
City: 30 mpg
Highway: 41 mpg
Combined: 34 mpg
Base Price: $22,640

Seventh Place: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid
City: 34 mpg (est)
Highway: 30 mpg (est)
Combined: 32 mpg (est)
Base Price: $29,000

Eighth Place: 2008 Toyota Yaris
City: 29 mpg
Highway: 36 mpg
Combined: 32 mpg
Base Price: $12,210

Ninth Place: 2008 MINI Cooper/Clubman
City: 28 mpg
Highway: 37 mpg
Combined: 32 mpg
Base Price: $18,700

Tenth Place: 2008 Honda Fit
City: 28 mpg
Highway: 34 mpg
Combined: 31 mpg
Base price: $14,620


In the past 17 years, no vehicle in America outsold the Ford F-150 on a monthly or yearly basis — not once. In May of this year, however, Honda moved more Civics and Accords and Toyota more Corollas and Camrys than Ford moved of its bestseller. This shift has less to do with a change in Americans’ vehicular preferences than the fact that trucks guzzle fuel, the cost of which has doubled in the past three years.

America has been sideswiped by the $4 gallon of gasoline, and auto industry heads believe the higher gas prices are permanent, not just a temporary shift or spike. Companies have been reconfiguring their lineups accordingly. GM has green-lighted the electrically motivated Volt plug-in hybrid for a 2010 release, and in addition to ceasing production of trucks and SUVs at four U.S. plants and idling thousands of workers, it is considering selling off the iconic Hummer brand.

From a manufacturing perspective, it’s increasingly difficult to build fuel-sipping vehicles, as current safety and emissions technologies add weight, a primary nemesis of fuel economy. Hybrid technology and low mass are the most cost-effective strategies to better fuel economy, and the bulk of our list of the 10 most-fuel-efficient vehicles utilize one or both. Toyota plays both sides, managing to field three of the top 10 — four if you count the Nissan Altima, which uses the Toyota Camry’s hybrid drive system under license.

That five of the vehicles on our list are hybrids is a harbinger of things to come. Although there’s only one diesel in this group, expect that to change. The following vehicles are ranked according to their EPA combined fuel-economy ratings. Since the EPA calculation favors city mileage, that number is used here as a tiebreaker.


     
Read 23 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
bargod on 2008-07-11:
Good stuff (VH) I will stick with my Jeep 4x4 for now. Until they start making a really fuel eficient 4x4 as I need too get around during the winter months.
Anonymous on 2008-07-11:
Yeah I have a gas hog too. But do I want to spend $30,000 - $50,000 so I can get better mileage? That money will buy me a lot of gas. I'm with you though, I will start looking when they come up with a nice 4X4 to replace my Ford.
Anonymous on 2008-07-11:
(VH) Toyotas RULE!!!
What I would like to know what the safety ratings are on these "cars?"
Anonymous on 2008-07-11:
I'm a fan of Toyota as well,I have a Tundra but I drive my Honda Accord more because of the gas situation.

I will NEVER own a Mini Cooper.LOL

VH!
MRM on 2008-07-11:
BARGOD! You drive a Jeep! Finally, a member that I could relate to!
chemman on 2008-07-11:
I have a 2005 VW Passat TDI and I love it! I have over 100K on it and I get around 40-42 mpg (almost exclusive highway driving). Not to mention, the engine is just getting broken in. Even with diesel costing more (it was the same as gas or less when I bought it), I still am getting a better deal than the V6 which only got around 28 mpg and the diesel option only cost $200 more than the gas engine (unlike hybrids which ran around 5K more at the time)
bargod on 2008-07-11:
Jeeps rule!
Anonymous on 2008-07-11:
Wish Ford owned Jeep and not Chrysler. I'm a Ford truck kind of guy. Have a V10 with 4WD right now, the only think it does not pass are gas stations. But I love it anyway. If I am really, really good I can get up to about 16MPG using the OD.
Slimjim on 2008-07-11:
The problem with these hybrids is the premium for the hybrid option would take about 7 years in fuel savings to break even (although the more gas rises, the shorter that duration starts getting) Problem 2 is any car running rechargeable batteries will need to change those batteries after a couple years or so, just like the regular car battery. I've heard prices of $2000-$3000 for the set. I'd love to own a stingy hybrid as a commuter, I just think they need more refinement from a value standpoint.
NeveragainAmazon on 2008-07-11:
My reason for purchasing a vehicle with substance, was because I was witness to many tragedies involving cars. My ACLS instructor also warned us that the impact in a smaller vehicle was essentially lethal. It's not rocket science. I will stick with the vehicle I have and forfeit the cost of gas for my life.
DebtorBasher on 2008-07-11:
It will always be a Ford for the Basher!
Anonymous on 2008-07-11:
Supposedly, the prius will have a solar panel mounted on the roof of next year's model. Got to be a gimmick, because a panel that small would hardly power the cigarette lighter.
ejack053824 on 2008-07-11:
I have a 2008 Shelby Ford Mustang GT Convertible. This car only accepts 93 octane pump gas. On the highway it gets 26 mpg as long as I stay out of the throttle.
DebtorBasher on 2008-07-11:
And it's black!
Slimjim on 2008-07-11:
You have one of those Ejack? Sweet! I imagine at over 500 horse in that little car, it's quite a ride.
DebtorBasher on 2008-07-11:
If I were driving it...it wouldn't see speed past 35 mph...I guess that why I drive a station wagon...LOL!
ejack053824 on 2008-07-14:
Slim...the car doesn't seem to get comfortable until you hit 145mph for some reason. LOL!

Basher..I would never let you drive my Black Beauty. 35mph is an insult to this machine. Eleanor would be very unhappy with you if you bogged it down like that. LOL!
DebtorBasher on 2008-07-14:
Eleanor? I can handle Eleanor with my eyes closed! Trust me!
Anonymous on 2008-07-14:
Ejack, I had an M5 for a few months. That was a serious ride. It would smoke the crotch rockets.
ejack053824 on 2008-07-14:
M5 is a sweet ride indeed Super!

Basher...Eleanor would scare you shytless! She would show you that she is the boss of EJACK! LOL!
DebtorBasher on 2008-07-14:
I would take my station wagon and race Ejack anyday...and WIN! Once all that gook comes out of the exhaust or whatever from NOT driving it on highways. It's going to cost me $700.00...my Service Engine Light keeps coming on...but ONCE I get that fixed...the race is on.
ejack053824 on 2008-07-14:
LMAO Basher. By the time you hit 80mph...I would be so far ahead of you..I could stop at a diner and eat lunch while watching you coast in.
Bonnie Ember on 2008-08-04:
Hello Superbowl,

How about gasoline alley?
I drive a '66 Mustang Fastback that get 18 MPG freeway by adding 2 ounces of acetone for every 10 gallons.
My car has 325 HP, a 5 speed, & a posi with 279 gears.

The video of it going up the California Coast on a Lighthouse tour is on:
http://www.metacafe.com/f/channels/Bonnie+Blue+Bell/private/
Please pass it on.
(Wish I didn't have the need to speed...)
Cheers,
Bonnie
Close commentsAdd reply
Top of Page | Next Page >