Browsing all articles in Fuel Efficiency
Sep
30

The Most Fuel Efficient Crossovers on the Market Today

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers, Fuel Efficiency     Tags

One of the reasons that crossover SUVs have supplanted full-size truck-based SUVs in many American households is their fuel economy. As gas prices show no signs of ever 2013 Nissan Jukedropping, fuel efficiency has become a high-priority for just about everyone. The more miles per gallon your vehicle gets, the less you spend at the pump, and the less CO2 emissions you throw into the atmosphere. But we can’t all drive hybrids subcompacts – and that’s where crossovers come in. Here’s a list of the most fuel efficient crossovers currently available:

  1. The Toyota RAV4 EV: There just aren’t any vehicles that can beat the RAV4 EV – unfortunately, unless you live in California, you can’t buy one either. If you are so lucky as to track down one of the few that were made, you’ll see a combined 76 mpg equivalent rating.
  2. The Lexus RX 450h: This premium crossover is the best performing hybrid with a 30 mpg combined rating from the EPA. It’s also a powerful, refined, and luxurious choice, that, if you can afford it, will easily meet just about anyone’s needs.
  3. The Nissan Juke: The Juke is small, and it makes no bones about it. While the small size may restrict cargo capacity somewhat it also helps the turbocharged four-cylinder Juke to yield 29 mpg combined.
  4. The Mazda CX-5: This crossover uses the Mazda SkyActiv direct injection engine to achieve an impressive 29 mpg combined. It’s a well balanced blend of style, performance, and comfort.
  5. The Toyota Highland Hybrid: The Highlander is a big vehicle, with seating for seven, but with a hybrid powertrain, it yields fuel economy numbers that put smaller traditional SUVs to shame: 28 mpg combined.
  6. The Subaru XV Crosstrek: This distinctive SUV clocks in at 28 mpg, but for what it’s worth, that’s an estimate with all-wheel drive. Many vehicles on this list get their best fuel economy with only front wheel drive. A hybrid version of the XV Crosstrek is slated for 2014 release, so look out for that.
  7. The Ford Escape: When equipped with the EcoBoost turbocharged 1.6L engine this crossover yields 28 mpg combined.
  8. The Buick Encore: Another American choice, this compact crossover also gets 28 mpg combined.
  9. The BMW X1: The BMW X1 is the smallest SUV available from the German maker, and clocks in at 28 mpg combined.
  10.  The Mini Cooper Paceman: This little crossover also has BMW genes. It yields 27 mpg combined in the most fuel efficient version.
Aug
28

Two of the Best Fuel Efficient Minivans

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags

If you’re shopping for a family vehicle that will give you the best in comfortable seating and cargo space, you’re probably also shopping with fuel economy in mind. Fuel 2014 Odyssey 3economy will make that family road trip less stressful with a lower gas bill. Two of the minivans that battle for fuel economy supremacy in this family friendly segment are the 2013 Honda Odyssey and the 2013 Nissan Quest. Here’s how these two efficient family haulers stack up:

  • Fuel Economy: Based on EPA estimates, the Odyssey beats the Quest on the highway; the Odyssey is rated at 27 mpg highway while the Quest is rated at 25 mpg highway. In the city, the Quest wins out with 19 mpg city over the 18 mpg city of the Odyssey. For those of you doing mostly highway driving, the Odyssey is the clear choice, while the Nissan will do just as well, if not better, in town.
  • Fuel Type and Capacity: Both of these minivans use a 3.5L V6 that drinks regular unleaded. No surprises there. The Odyssey does have a 21 gallon fuel tank; that’s one gallon greater than the Quest. A larger tank and a higher highway mpg rating will give the Honda more range and more time between fill ups.
  • Cargo Space: The Odyssey beats the Quest once again in the cargo department. You get 38.4 cubic feet of cargo with all seats in place and 148.5 cubic feet with the seats folded down in the Odyssey. The Nissan has 25.7 cubic feet and 108.4 cubic feet respectively.
  • Space and Comfort: The Quest does come out ahead in head room, boasting several inches more space both front and rear.
  • Safety: The Odyssey wins out in the safety tests with a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. The Quest received good ratings in the moderate front overlap test, the side impact test, and the rear crash protection test, but only received an acceptable rating in the roof strength test. That last second best rating kept it from receiving the top safety pick rating. The Quest is available with the sophisticated around view monitor that gives you a bird’s-eye view to ease parking.

Both of these vehicles will be an excellent choice for families. If it all boils down to fuel economy, make sure to consider what kind of driving you’ll be doing. For city-centric family hauling the Quest comes out ahead, but for highway cruising, choose the Odyssey.

Jun
23

Choosing a Fuel-Efficient Hatchback: Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. Ford Focus Electric

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags
2013 Ford Focus Electric

2013 Ford Focus Electric

If you’re looking for the ultimate combination of fuel-efficiency and utility, nothing beats a hatchback. And if you’re willing to trade some of that cargo space for the hyper-efficiency of an all-electric vehicle, there are tons of fantastic options. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Ford Focus Electric are two of the more popular electric hatchbacks out there, and each, of course, has its own pros and cons. Which one is the better choice? Read on to find out.

Range and Efficiency

The first question to ask when judging an EV is simple: how efficient is it? The i-MiEV scores an impressive 126 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway, for a combined rating of 112. The Focus, on the other hand, scores slightly lower on this metric, with 110 MPGe in the city, 99 on the highway, and 105 combined. The Focus will take you about 76 miles on a full charge, while the i-MiEV only has a range of 62 miles.

Passenger and Cargo Space

Though the Focus is a class larger than the i-MiEV, they’re actually quite comparable in terms of space. They’ve both got a decent amount of space up front, and not so much space for rear passengers (though the Focus has a slight edge). The i-MiEV falls slightly short of the Focus in behind-the-seats space, but with the rear seats folded down it offers 50.4 cubic feet, which is better than the 44.8 cubes of total cargo space in the Focus.

Overall Value

By the usual EV metrics, the i-MiEV is almost as good as (or better than) the Focus in every way. And even a $7,500 tax credit can’t bring the $40,000 Focus into the budget-conscious consumer’s comfort zone. But there are a few things that the Focus offers that the i-MiEV decidedly lacks, namely refinement, style, features, and engaging driving dynamics. So if you’re committed to buying electric, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not you’re willing to spend an extra $10,000 to get the more well-rounded Ford Focus Electric. For the average driver, however, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV delivers everything you’re looking for in an eco-friendly vehicle at a much more sustainable price.

Jun
8

The Toyota Prius Hatchback vs. the Ford C-Max Hybrid

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags
2013 Toyota Prius

2013 Toyota Prius

With gas prices continuing to soar to record highs around the world, car buyers are searching for vehicles that offer outstanding fuel economy. Two such models are the Toyota Prius Hatchback and the Ford C-Max Hybrid. Both cars deliver strong fuel-efficiency ratings in addition to a wealth of interior features. We took a closer look at them to get a better idea of which is the better deal.

Pricing

If pricing is the sole determinant for deciding on which of these two vehicles to buy, you’re going to have a very difficult time. With the C-Max Hybrid priced at $25,200 and the Prius Hatchback offering an MSRP of $24,200, the difference is only a mere $1,000. For some that may be enough, but for others they’ll need to know more about the cars.

Powertain

The Toyota Prius comes powered by a 1.8L four-cylinder engine; when paired with the electric motor, it can produce 134 hp. It delivers an EPA-estimated 51 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined fuel economy. The Prius has been clocked going 0-60 mph in just over 10 seconds.

Under the hood of the C-Max is a little larger 2.0L four-cylinder engine that delivers 141 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque. When the electric motor and lithium ion battery pack are combined, they produce 188 hp. The C-Max Hybrid is also a bit faster than the Prius, going 0-60 mph in about 8 seconds. The Ford model also offers 47 mpg combined EPA-estimated fuel economy.

Warranty

Both the Toyota Prius Hatchback and Ford C-Max Hybrid offer similar vehicle warranties: a basic 36-month/36,000-mile warranty, a 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and a 60-month/unlimited mile corrosion/perforation warranty. The difference is the C-Max offers better roadside assistance with a 60-month/60,000-mile warranty over the 24-month/25,000-mile package on the Prius. The Hatchback, on the other hand offers a 24-month/25,000-mile maintenance warranty that isn’t available on the Ford hybrid model.

Test Drive the Toyota Prius Hatchback and Ford C-Max Hybrid

Despite everything that these vehicles offer in terms of features, technology, and warranties, the way these cars drive and the comfort level you feel behind the wheel may be the most important factor when deciding which model to buy. Visit your local Ford or Toyota dealers and ask how you can take these automobiles out for a test drive.

May
25

A Look at Fuel Efficient Trucks: 2013 Chevy Silverado 15 Hybrid vs. 2013 GMC Sierra 15 Hybrid

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags
2013 Chevy Silverado Hybrid

2013 Chevy Silverado Hybrid

In these times of high gas prices, fuel efficiency has become one of the most sought after aspects in a new vehicle. Even pickup trucks like the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra have had to create more options based on fuel economy to stay competitive in today’s market.

Engine Size

The Chevy Silverado 15 Hybird sports a beefy 8.0L V8 engine while the GMC Sierra 15 hybrid offers up a 4.3L V6. However, more expensive trims of the Sierra have larger engines, like a 6.3L V8.

Basic Fuel Efficiency

The Silverado Hybrid offers 21 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined fuel efficiency. The GMC Sierra comes up a little short with 17 mp city, 20 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined efficiency. The average efficiency for vehicles produced for the 2013 production year is 23 mpg, higher than both these trucks. This means, if fuel prices remain at the current level or close, you will spend $1,000 more on gas over a five year period with the 2013 Chevy Silverado and $4,250 more with the GMC Sierra, than if you were to choose a smaller hybrid.

Environmental Impact

The 2013 Chevy Silverado 15 hybrid will burn through 15.7 barrels of gasoline on average in a year. One barrel of gasoline is equivalent to 42 gallons of gas. It will also create 418 grams of greenhouse gas per mile. The GMC Sierra will burn through 19.4 barrels of gasoline in a year and produce about 533 grams per mile of greenhouse gases. This means in a 10-year ownership period, the Sierra will have produced 1,150 more grams per mile than the Silverado and will have burned through 37 more barrels or 1,554 more gallons of gasoline.

Safety Ratings

The Silverado and the Sierra have essentially identical safety ratings: four star ratings in front safety, five stars in side impact safety, and four star ratings in roll over safety, for an overall four out of five safety rating.

Final Verdict?

While both vehicles are solid trucks, the 2013 Chevy Silverado is simply the better choice for somebody interested in fuel efficiency and limiting their environmental impact while still being able to tow and haul like a pickup should.

May
20

Fuel Efficient Large Cars

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags
2013 Ford C-MAX

2013 Ford C-MAX

In our last blog post, we looked at a couple two-seat Smart Fortwo models. This time we’ll turn to the larger, fuel efficient brothers. Most people these days want superior fuel economy, but most need more space than one of those tiny European imports. Let’s take a look at the affordable Ford C-MAX Hybrid and the luxury electric Tesla Model S.

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is a wagon-type car introduced in late 2012 as a lower-priced competitor of the Chevrolet Volt—it starts at $25,200—for those interested in cars like the Toyota Prius. Ford’s hybrid has a 2.0L four-cylinder capable of 141 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid part of it, the electric motor and lithium-ion battery, bring power up to 188 hp. It also has a CVT (continuously variable transmission) which boosts fuel economy.

The C-MAX Hybrid gets 47 mpg in both city and the highway. There’s also a more expensive plug-in hybrid version, called the C-MAX Energi, which can travel 21 miles on electric power.

The 2013 Tesla Model S

Tesla is a relative newcomer to the car scene. Their goal is to try to promote electric car technology, even collaborating with other automakers to do so. Right now, they offer the 2013 Tesla Model S, which is about as high end for an electric car as you can get. It starts at just under $70,000, but you could easily spend $100,000 for the higher trims.

What’s very nice about the Model S is that it offers the option of four different powertrains with more range and power as you go. The most basic level produces a very nice 235 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque that can take you to 60 mph in only 6.5 seconds. This one has a range of about 125 miles.

The best option has a range of 265 miles, and it’s super powerful. The Tesla Model S Performance has access to 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, which can take it from zero to 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds. All models can be charged through normal outlets, and Tesla is also building charging stations across the country to promote cross-country trips.

Mar
13

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid vs. the 2013 Toyota Prius

Author JoeC    Category Fuel Efficiency     Tags
2013 Ford C-Max

2013 Ford C-Max

With gas prices continuing to increase, car shoppers are searching for vehicles that deliver strong fuel economy at a great price. Two cars that come to mind are the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid and the 2013 Toyota Prius. There isn’t much difference in price between the two, with the C-MAX starting at $25,200 and the Prius at $26,650, but in the long run, which vehicle is worth buying? Let’s see exactly what each hybrid offers.

Fuel Efficiency

The big draw to both the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid and the 2013 Prius is their astounding fuel efficiency numbers. The Ford C-MAX delivers an EPA-estimated 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway, while Toyota’s Prius offers a slightly better 51 mpg city and 48 mpg highway. While the Prius may offer better mileage, the Ford hybrid does have a larger fuel tank, holding 13.5 gallons compared to the 11.9 with the Prius. Either way, you’re saving a ton on fuel.

Powertrain

Both the C-MAX and the Prius come powered by a four-cylinder engine. The difference is that Ford’s engine displaces 2.0L compared to Toyota’s 1.8L. Ford’s C-MAX also delivers more power than the Prius, offering 188 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque, while the Toyota only produces 134 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers will result in quicker top speeds and pickup.

Comfortability

For their size, both vehicles offer plenty of interior space. The C-MAX offers 41 inches of front head room and 43 inches of front leg room, while Toyota delivers close to 39 inches of front head room and 42.5 inches of front leg room. In the rear, the C-MAX gives a little over 39 inches of rear head room and 36.5 inches of rear leg room. The Prius delivers close to 38 inches of rear head room and 36 inches of rear leg room. Very similar, but Ford does inch out over Toyota.

Which to Choose?

As you can see these vehicles are very similar, but the only true way to see which one is right for you is to head to your nearest Ford and Toyota dealerships for a couple of test drives. The road has your answers!