Monday, June 30, 2008

Over 90 Percent of Americans Are Changing the Way They Live Because of High Gas Prices

Even as oil prices reach a new high, it seems everyone wants to know how these huge changes are affecting US drivers. Mapquest hired a third party surveyor to conduct a survey on how gas prices were affecting their lives. 92% responded that gas prices were already forcing lifestyle changes.

MapQuest collaborated with DMS Research to conduct the survey. A National sample of 1,001 Internet users (age 18+). Interviews were collected from June 5 - 11, 2008.

High Gas Prices are Forcing a Change in Every Day Life
63% said gas prices are already having a significant impact on their life.
80% are forfeiting day-to-day activities and changing their spending habits62% are eating out less
46% are shopping less, enjoying less entertainment or going to coffee houses

High Gas Prices are Forcing People to Drive Differently 
82% are making a conscious effort to drive less
57% are planning routes more carefully
31% are only filling gas tanks partially
24% are walking or biking more
24% are turning to the internet to search for cheap gas prices

Americans Are Going Into Debt to Fill Up
76% say gas purchases are increasing their overall debt

Travel Plans Are Being Changed
58% are the most concerned with cost of gas vs airplane ticket fare.66% of consumers say gas prices have caused them to alter vacation plans
34% have canceled vacation plans altogether
37% are opting to take shorter road trips

Feeling the Heat
27% feel oil companies are to blame for continually rising prices
13% feel the federal government is the cause
78% feel the federal government should step in and set limits on gas prices

All in all, not a pretty picture.  No wonder hybrid cars and more fuel efficient cars are in such high demand while trucks and larger SUVs suffer.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

Ford Backs Out of Plug-In Arena. That Leaves Just Toyota and GM in the Ring

Ford has decided not to join in the hunt for the next great thing, the plug-in hybrid car. Executives at Ford have decided to adopt a wait and see attitude on this new car.

With questions about how many are going to buy into it, who can actually use it (for instance, how are you going to plug your car in if you live in NYC?), and how much it's going to cost to develop it, Ford has opted to let GM and Toyota pave the way.

Of course, it's not surprising that they are going this route. Ever since they backed off their promise to on hybrid cars, Ford has taken a more conservative approach. Sounding more like Nissan executive Ghosn, Ted Miller, Ford's senior manager of energy storage said "If customers aren't buying them, we're not making them. If there's going to be a true plug-in hybrid market, we're going to be there. It's just that that's a huge commitment to actually go to production."

So that leaves the Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius Plug-in as the main contenders in the race to plug in. It wasn't likely at this point that Ford could have gotten into the game and come out as a winner. As Toyota could point out (and as GM has said), not developing a Prius-like vehicle was a mistake. Could Ford be making a mistake?

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hybrid Taxis Pay For Themselves in Just 14 Months

A few Calgary taxi drivers, despite warnings about the batteries, the extra cost, and just won't work in cold weather, decided to enter the pilot project to test drive some hybrid taxi cabs. What they found was amazing.

In just 14 to 18 months, the additional cost of the hybrid was paid off through paying less for gas.

You really have to think about that. A typical cab, the Ford Crown Victoria costs around $15,000, while a Prius cost them more than twice that, at $32,600. In 14 months, they made up the difference at the pump.

By cutting their fuel bill from $60 a day down to $25 a day, drivers were ecstatic over the hybrid performance.

The program was run by the Climate Change Central and paid for by the Alberta government. There were five taxis in the program.

In other hybrid tests in the US, owners had a harder time seeing the benefits. Drivers were very happy to drive hybrid taxis because they were the ones paying for the gas. But the taxi cabs were owned by fleet operators. In order to make up the price on the taxis, they were charging more to rent them out to the drivers each day.

Source: Hybrid taxis create huge savings

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

Friday, June 27, 2008

VW Creates a Plug-In Hybrid Car for German Government

Volkswagen Twin Drive Golf Plug In HybridVW is looking to produce a plug-in hybrid by 2010 and is being supported in its effort by the German government. The new motor developed by Volkswagen has been called 'twin drive' and will debut in a special Golf model with 122 hp diesel engine mated to a 82 hp electric motor.



"While the e-motor on a typical hybrid model just supplements the combustion engine, the exact opposite is true on Twin Drive," Winterkorn said during the car's unveiling in Berlin. "Here the diesel or gasoline engine supplements the e-motor."



In other words, it will be like the Chevy Volt, where the gas engine is designed to extend the range of an electric vehicle. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the Golf plug-in will have an all electric range of 30 miles. Over a 62 mile route, VW believes the Twin Drive Golf can deliver 90 mpg. It will have start-stop capability along with regenerative braking.



A test fleet of 20 vehicles will be on the road in 2010.



The German government sees a future filled with hybrids. Germany's environmental minister believes there will be 1 million hybrids in Germany by 2020 and 10 million by 2030. The Interior Ministry is laying out $23.5 million (15 million euros) in a program to help VW and other automakers to develop plug-in hybrids in the next four years. The trick is to use renewable energy sources when you plug in the car, i.e. wind or solar power.



The new program will also test Vehicle to Grid technology (V2G).



Partners in the new alliance include "Volkswagen, E.ON, (energy provider) and LTC/GAIA and Evonik/Li-Tec (lithium-ion battery providers) as principal partners. Also contributing from the research side are Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Heidelberg Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Ifeu), the German Center for Aerospace Technology (DLR), and the Westphalian Wilhelms University at M√ľnster."



Other Sources: Wired, AFP, and InsideLine.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

German Man Protests High Gas Prices by Burning Car

There are so many things in this little article I feel I have to comment on. But first, the story: German man torches car to protest high gas prices - Yahoo! News.  Go ahead, go read it, then come back.

A German man goes to a public place, sets fire to his BMW, burns it to the ground, and the police need to investigate whether he committed a crime?

The man was unemployed.  If he was employed, would he have done the same thing?  Not likely.

Gas is now sitting at $9.40 per gallon in Germany. At that price, how many burnt out cars would you see in the US? Admittedly, they would probably get burnt in some insurance scam, rather that in protest...

There are some who think we'll hit $5 a gallon in the US by the end of the summer. As gas prices continue to climb, hybrids begin to look better and better. Although, even at $6 a gallon, they won't be the cheapest car to own, at $9 I'd bet they are.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

China May Offer 10 Percent Tax Break on Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars have not done well in China. Toyota lowered the price tag on the Prius, but they still expected only 1,500 sales for 2008. Even as other car makers start building hybrid cars in China, including domestic models, hybrid car sales in China have been almost non-existent.

All reports indicate that the Chinese are opting for other cars, but that may be about to change.

Green Car Congress: Report: China To Offer Tax Break For Buyers Of Hybrids and Diesels

The Nikkei reports that China will waive its 10% vehicle purchase tax on hybrids and diesel-engine vehicles.

Currently, when buying an automobile or motorcycle in China, the buyer must pay for the price of the vehicle, which includes a consumption tax of 17%, plus a purchase tax of 10% on the pre-consumption-tax price. This vehicle purchase tax is to be waived for those buying from the government’s list of earth-friendly vehicles, likely starting sometime this year.

This tax break could heighten demand for hybrids, considering that the price gap will shrink between hybrids and versions that run on gasoline only.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

Thursday, June 26, 2008

CARB Recommends a Big Diet for California Transportation

The California Air Resources Board released the draft Scoping Plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. You can see the presentation to the board under 08-6-4. Given the topic of this blog, I thought I should hone in on the transportation sector.

In the draft report, "the Transportation sector – largely the cars and trucks that move
goods and people – is the largest contributor with 38 percent of the state’s total
greenhouse gas emissions" for a total of 179.3 MMTCO2E from 2002 to 2004. The report also shows an estimated growth in that sector of 25 percent or an extra 46 Million Metric Tons of CO2 emissions (MMTCO2E).

To combat that growth, the board is recommending measures that "include the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in our state, enforcement of regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions form vehicles."

The board recommendations include (estimated reduction in MMTCO2E):

  • California Light-Duty Vehicle GHG standards: implement Pavley standards and develop Pavley II light-duty vehicle standards (31.7)
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard (16.5)
  • Vehicle Efficiency Measures (4.8)
  • Good Movement: Ship electrification at ports, system wide efficiency improvements (3.7)
  • Heavy/Medium Duty Vehicle improvements through aerodynamic efficiency, hybridization, and engine efficiency (2.5)
  • High Speed Rail (1)
Some excerpts from the report give you an idea about what the board is recommending in the transportation sector.

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard will "incent a diverse set of clean transportation fuel options."

"The Pavley I and II performance standards help deploy vehicles that can utilize many of the low-carbon fuels, including advanced biofuels, electricity and hydrogen."

"A regulation to require retrofits to improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks could include devices that reduce aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance. Hybridization of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions again through increased fuel efficiency. This measure would likely achieve the greatest benefits on trucks used in urban, stop-and-go applications, such as parcel delivery trucks and vans, utility trucks, transit buses, and other vocational work trucks. For long-haul trucks, heavyduty engine efficiency improvements may involve advanced combustion strategies, friction reduction, waste heat recovery, and electrification of accessories."

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

Increased Interest in Hybrids, Less Satisfaction to be Had Come From High Gas Prices

According to the latest two J.D. Powers surveys, consumers are showing an increased interest in hybrids, just as satisfaction in new cars is dropping because of higher fuel costs.

Before the estimated cost of hybrid technology is revealed, 72% of those surveyed said they were interested in hybrid technology. That's up from 58% in 2005. After telling them the added cost of a hybrid powertrain was $5,000, the percentage of interested consumers drops to 46%.

Which means that, even at a price premium of $5,000, almost half of those surveyed were still interested in a hybrid.

"High consumer interest in hybrid-electric powertrain technology may be reflective of not only rising gas prices but also a heightened effort among consumers to be more environmentally conscious," said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power and Associates. "Clean diesel technology, however, garners relatively low interest in comparison. One explanation for this may derive from a lack of education with the technology. Many consumers cannot differentiate between clean diesel and traditional diesel fuel—which in the past had a negative connotation with unpleasant vehicle emissions. As consumers become more educated in the benefits of clean diesel through increased product offers launching later this year, interest in the technology may increase."
J.D. Powers also surveyed new-vehicle owners satisfaction levels and for the first time in five years, the level has dropped (slightly). Mostly, new car owners are worried about fuel prices, making them a little more anxious about their new cars.
"Average prices at the fuel pump have increased by 27 percent in the period between the 2007 and 2008 APEAL studies, creating heightened sensitivity to fuel economy among new-vehicle owners," said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Even though more consumers are now achieving the gas mileage they expect compared with previous years, the increased cost of filling their vehicles still leads to a greater level of dissatisfaction with fuel economy than in the past. Manufacturers that deliver more fuel-efficient vehicles and integrate alternative fuel technology into their designs stand a better chance of delighting their customers and being successful in this rapidly changing marketplace."
All of which points to a different landscape for automakers. Even as the pricetags on new cars are continuing to increase (GM raised their prices an average of 3.5 percent for 2009 vehicles as Ghosn, CEO of Nissan, warns of higher steel prices for all manufacturers). Satisfaction levels, despite higher grades on reliability and initial quality, have dropped on new cars. Automakers are emphasizing fuel economy, even on the Dodge Ram. New CAFE rules, while having plenty of loopholes, shows a renewed interest in regulating the auto industry by Congress.

The landscape for cars is shifting rapidly.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

Chevy Aveo Beats Out Hybrid Cars in Cost to Own Study From Edmunds

Edmunds, in their latest study, makes the obvious point that, if you're just looking to save money on a car, a small, cheap car is your best bet. Hybrids, since they are more expensive, aren't the 'best value.'

Does anyone really buy a hybrid because they believe they are going to be saving money? I think they buy them because 1) they are green and/or 2) they use less gasoline and 3) they get to buy a larger car than they expected and still do 1 and 2. No one buys a hybrid because it is going to save them money.

In the end, very few people buy a new car in order to save money.

If you really wanted the best value, you would buy a used, small, cheap car and drive it until it died. Then replace it with another small, cheap car that you can drive into the ground.

I can't really emphasize this enough. If you're buying a hybrid car, you're getting more for less. Now, since not all hybrids are built for fuel efficiency, I can't say you're necessarily getting more fuel efficiency, but I can say you're getting a car that's more efficient. It all depends on what the manufacturer wants to emphasize.

But, anyways, back to the Edmunds study. The best car to buy, if you are worried about the value, is the Chevy Aveo. Edmunds 'True Cost to Own' study "incorporates projected model-specific average vehicle ownership costs, consisting of depreciation, financing, taxes, fees, insurance premiums, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs."

If you factor in all these, the Chevy Aveo will cost you under 43 cents a mile to own. The Prius costs you 50 cents a mile to own, putting it 34th on the list. It was surpassed by the Honda Civic Hybrid, which costs just under 48 cents a mile. That puts the Civic Hybrid in 14th place on the Edmunds list.

Not surprisingly, all hybrids were not built equal, and so the cost to own a hybrid varies wildly. From the aforementioned Civic Hybrid right down to the Lexus RX 400h (which was built for luxury and performance, not primarily for fuel efficiency) which ranks 260. The Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUVs do very well, coming in at 94 and 102, respectively.

The really nice thing about this study is they even take into account the federal tax credit, where applicable.


Cost-Per-Mile: Least Expensive Vehicles to Own
Make
Model
Style
Cost-Per-Mile at $4.06 Per Gallon Rank Cost-Per-Mile at $5 Per Gallon Rank Cost-Per-Mile at $6 Per Gallon Rank
Chevrolet
Aveo
5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
$0.427 1 $0.461 1 $0.496 1












Hyundai
Accent
GS 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
$0.430 2 $0.463 2 $0.498 2












Honda
Fit
4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
$0.442 3 $0.474 3 $0.507 4












Toyota
Yaris
2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
$0.445 4 $0.475 4 $0.507 3












Honda
Civic
DX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
$0.455 5 $0.488 5 $0.522 5












Nissan
Versa
1.8 S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
$0.458 6 $0.492 6 $0.529 7












Mazda
MAZDA3
i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
$0.463 7 $0.498 8 $0.535 11












Kia
Rio
4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
$0.464 8 $0.497 7 $0.533 9












Scion
xB
4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
$0.467 9 $0.506 12 $0.548 17












Toyota
Corolla
CE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
$0.468 10 $0.498 9 $0.530 8

The following are the 10 least expensive hybrid vehicles to own (all 2008 models):

Cost-Per-Mile: Hybrids1

Make
Model
Style
Cost-Per-Mile at $4.06 Per Gallon Rank Cost-Per-Mile at $5 Per Gallon Rank Cost-Per-Mile at $6 Per Gallon Rank
Honda
Civic Hybrid
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.476 14 $0.499 10 $0.524 6












Toyota
Prius
Standard 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.503 34 $0.525 26 $0.548 18












Nissan
Altima Hybrid
4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.540 66 $0.569 59 $0.601 54












Chevrolet
Malibu
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)
$0.563 81 $0.598 78 $0.635 76












Ford
Escape Hybrid
4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.583 94 $0.615 86 $0.649 80












Mercury
Mariner Hybrid
4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.596 102 $0.628 98 $0.662 89












Toyota
Camry Hybrid
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.630 134 $0.660 118 $0.691 106












Mercury
Mariner Hybrid
4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.634 136 $0.670 133 $0.709 122












Toyota
Highlander Hybrid
4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.725 190 $0.764 190 $0.806 182












Lexus
RX 400h
4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
$0.897 260 $0.937 260 $0.980 256

1 The Edmunds.com study takes into account the federal tax credits when applicable.

Edmunds calculations make the following assumptions:
  • Ownership expenses are for a five-year time span
  • Vehicles are driven 15,000 miles per year
  • Vehicles are financed using traditional financing and not leased
  • Buyers pay 10 percent down on the vehicle
  • Buyers are in the "Gold" credit tier for the purpose of determining the finance rate
  • The loan term is 60 months
  • Buyers represent the average demographic in their state for insurance rates
The data is available at no charge to visitors, and provides ownership costs regionally for both new and used vehicles. The tool is available at http://www.edmunds.com/apps/cto/CTOintroController.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hybridfest Gives Hypermilers a Chance to Mingle

Hybridfest 2008 is almost upon us. Located in Madison, Wisconsin on July 19-20 as part of the Dane County Fair. Hybridfest celebrates fuel economy, hybrid cars and alternative transportation solutions.

Hybridfest will allow fuel economy enthusiasts to gather and share their tips on how to use less gas. It will also showcase the MPG Challenge, a hypermiling competition in which competitors attempt to travel a course using the least fuel possible. Last years competitors ranged from 60 to 168 mpg.

Visitors can peruse the Owners' Vehicle showcase and talk with hypermilers about their experiences.

Press Release Follows

MADISON, Wis., June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As consumers continue to see the effects of rising fuel costs in many aspects of their lives, often the most visible is in their transportation costs. They are frustrated with what they can do, and are looking for options to save money. Hybridfest 2008 will offer the largest selection of clean and sustainable vehicles all in one venue, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, biodiesel, electric, propane, compressed natural gas and other experimental vehicles. In addition to highlighting new and future vehicle options, Hybridfest 2008's speaker lineup includes people who will share fuel-saving driving tips. Hybridfest 2008 visitors will learn how to save from 35 cents to $1 per gallon in fuel costs -- or more -- by adding fuel-efficient driving habits. Hybridfest 2008 is the one place for consumers to stop and look not only for a fuel-sipping new vehicle, but also for ways to save money with the one they currently drive.

After two years of growing crowds and nationwide publicity, Hybridfest continues to amaze the skeptics who thought that a grassroots event, organized by volunteers, and held in Madison, Wisconsin, would never succeed. The more than 12,000 people who visited Hybridfest 2007 would disagree. One of this nation's largest events dedicated to clean and sustainable transportation will once again be held as part of the Dane County Fair, July 19-20, 2008. Free public admission to Hybridfest 2008 will be included with the purchase of every Dane County Fair ticket, and parking at the fair is free. Most Hybridfest events are scheduled for the air-conditioned comfort of the Alliant Energy Center.

This year's show will include displays by manufacturers, dealers, environmental groups, vendors and exhibitors, as well as vehicle test drives. Toyota Motor Company, the world's largest auto manufacturer and maker of more hybrid vehicles than any other, is proud to again be Hybridfest 2008's Diamond Sponsor. Felix Kramer, founder of CalCars, will join a varied lineup of speakers on a wide assortment of topics including current and future vehicles, as well as various environmental, fuel-efficient driving and other technology issues.

Hybridfest 2008 will again be the "home" for hybrid owners from around North America. Owners travel from all across the country and Canada, many hypermiling to Madison, to meet, teach and learn with other hybrid and fuel-economy enthusiasts like themselves. Visitors will have the unique chance to see incredible vehicles in the Hybridfest Owners' Vehicle Showcase, and to talk with the owners about their real-life driving experiences. Hybridfest 2008 will also feature the nation's premier fuel economy competition, the MPG Challenge, which will again test some of the world's best hypermilers to achieve the best fuel economy over an open-road course. Last year, MPG Challenge winners achieved from 60 to 168 MPG in various vehicle classes.

Hybridfest promotes awareness and understanding of hybrid electric vehicles and other fuel-efficient vehicles and their positive environmental impact. Hybridfest also empowers drivers to improve their driving habits to achieve better fuel efficiency in whatever vehicle they currently drive. Hybridfest is run with volunteers and powered by Powers Productions, LLC.



Hybridfest sponsors for this year's show include:
DIAMOND SPONSOR: Toyota Motor Company
RUBY SPONSOR: General Motors
GOLD SPONSOR: Madison Gas & Electric
SILVER SPONSORS: CleanMPG.com, Quaker Steak and Lube, Wisconsin Public
Power, Inc.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

The Smart Fortwo Hits Milestone

Chrysler has delivered its 10,000th smart fortwo after only six months on the market. That's a fantastic start to the miniature car. Many of the early sales came (I'm assuming) from those who put down $99 to reserve theirs before the car was even released.

It's hard to know how to put that number in context, however. I only keep track of hybrid car sales, so... The Camry Hybrid, after it was released in April, 2006 sold 21,430 units in the first six months. The luxury hybrid GS 450h, also released in April 2006, sold 1,179 units in the first six months. The Toyota Highlander sold over 15 thousand units in its first six months, while Ford only sold 6,532 units of the Escape and Mariner Hybrids in the first six months. The Nissan Altima Hybrid, as a more recent arrival, sold under 4 thousand units in its first six months, but then the Altima Hybrid has limited sales in just eight states.

It's really hard to judge how good 10,000 sales is after six months. It's obviously not bad, but there was a lot of build up to the Smart release. So, a lot of those sales, as I've already noted, come from that early rush. Will Chrysler keep it up and sell 20,000 a year going forward is the real question.

"This is a landmark sales figure in a very short timeframe, demonstrating that increasing numbers of U.S. drivers are discovering all that the smart fortwo has to offer," said Dave Schembri, president of smart USA. "The smart fortwo has the opportunity to change the landscape of our highways by offering a powerful combination of fun-to-drive aspects, safety innovations and functionality – all with great fuel economy."

The smart fortwo went on sale in the United States in January 2008, and is available at 69 smart centers in 31 states.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

The 81 Most Fuel Efficient Cars of 2007

Since my list of the most fuel efficient cars of 2008 has been so useful to so many people, I have now created a list of most fuel efficient cars of 2007.

Method: I went to the EPA website: fueleconomy.gov, and examined each vehicle whose combined mpg (45% Highway and 55% City Driving) was above 25 mpg. Using that information, I compiled the following list of fuel sippers. There were 81 models in 2007 that made the cut.

Once again, it's not surprising to see hybrids and small cars top the list.

MPG*
Ranking Category Vehicle City Highway Combined**
1 Family Sedans Toyota Prius 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Regular 48 45 47
2 Small Car Honda Civic Hybrid 4 cyl, 1.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Regular 40 45 42
3 Family Sedans Nissan Altima Hybrid 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Regular 35 33 34
4 Family Sedans Toyota Camry Hybrid 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Regular 33 34 33
5 Station Wagon Pontiac Vibe 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 25 41 32
6 Small Car Toyota Yaris 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 29 36 32
6 Hatchback Toyota Yaris 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 29 36 32
7 Small Car Toyota Corolla 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 28 37 32
8 Small Car Toyota Yaris 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 29 35 32
8 Hatchback Toyota Yaris 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 29 35 32
9 Small Car MINI Cooper 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 6-spd, Premium 27 36 31
10 Small Car Honda Fit 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 28 34 31
10 Hatchback Honda Fit 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 28 34 31
11 Small Car Honda Fit 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic 5-spd, Regular 27 35 31
11 Hatchback Honda Fit 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic 5-spd, Regular 27 35 31
12 Small Car Honda Fit 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic (S5), Regular 27 34 30
12 Hatchback Honda Fit 4 cyl, 1.5 L, Automatic (S5), Regular 27 34 30
13 SUV Ford Escape Hybrid FWD 4 cyl, 2.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 31 29 30
14 Small Car Toyota Corolla 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 26 35 30
15 Small Car Honda Civic 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic 5-spd, Regular 25 36 30
16 Small Car Honda Civic 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 26 34 30
17 Small Car Kia Rio 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 25 35 30
18 Small Car Honda Civic CNG 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic 5-spd, RNG=200, Natural Gas 24 36 29
19 Small Car Hyundai Accent 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, I4, Regular 27 32 29
19 Small Car Kia Rio 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 27 32 29
19 Hatchback Hyundai Accent 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, I4, Regular 27 32 29
20 Small Car MINI Cooper 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic (S6), Premium 26 33 29
20 Small Car Nissan Versa 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 26 33 29
20 Hatchback Nissan Versa 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 26 33 29
20 Station Wagon Pontiac Vibe 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 26 33 29
20 Station Wagon Toyota Matrix 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 26 33 29
21 Small Car Nissan Sentra 4 cyl, 2 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 25 33 29
21 Family Sedans Hyundai Elantra 4 cyl, 2 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 25 33 29
22 Small Car Nissan Versa 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Manual 6-spd, Regular 26 31 28
22 Hatchback Nissan Versa 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Manual 6-spd, Regular 26 31 28
23 Small Car Hyundai Accent 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic 4-spd, I4, Regular 24 33 28
23 Small Car Ford Focus 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 5-spd, I4, Regular 24 33 28
23 Family Sedans Hyundai Elantra 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 24 33 28
23 Hatchback Hyundai Accent 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic 4-spd, I4, Regular 24 33 28
23 Hatchback Ford Focus 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 5-spd, I4, Regular 24 33 28
23 Station Wagon Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 5-spd, I4, Regular 24 33 28
24 Station Wagon Toyota Matrix 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 25 31 28
25 Small Car MINI Cooper S 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 6-spd, Premium 24 32 28
25 Small Car Mazda 3 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 24 32 28
25 Small Car Nissan Versa 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 24 32 28
25 Family Sedans Honda Accord Hybrid 6 cyl, 3 L, Automatic 5-spd, HEV, Regular 24 32 28
25 Family Sedans Saturn Aura Hybrid 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 24 32 28
25 Hatchback Nissan Versa 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 24 32 28
26 SUV Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD 4 cyl, 2.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 28 27 28
26 SUV Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD 4 cyl, 2.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 28 27 28
27 Small Car Chevrolet Aveo 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 23 33 28
27 Small Car Chevrolet Aveo 5 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 23 33 28
27 Hatchback Chevrolet Aveo 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 23 33 28
27 Hatchback Chevrolet Aveo 5 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 23 33 28
28 Small Car Nissan Sentra 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 6-spd, Regular 24 31 27
29 Small Car Saturn Ion 4 cyl, 2.2 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 23 32 27
29 Family Sedans Nissan Altima 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Manual 6-spd, Regular 23 32 27
29 Family Sedans Kia Spectra 4 cyl, 2 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 32 27
29 Luxury Sedan Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec 6 cyl, 3 L, Automatic 7-spd, Diesel 23 32 27
29 Convertible MINI Cooper Convertible 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Manual 5-spd, Premium 23 32 27
30 Small Car Nissan Sentra 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 24 30 27
31 SUV Lexus RX 400h 2WD 6 cyl, 3.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Premium 28 25 27
31 SUV Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2WD 6 cyl, 3.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Regular 28 25 27
32 Small Car Mazda 3 4 cyl, 2 L, Automatic (S4), Regular 23 31 27
32 Small Car Chevrolet Aveo 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 31 27
32 Small Car Ford Focus 4 cyl, 2 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 31 27
32 Small Car Chevrolet Aveo 5 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 31 27
32 Small Car Mitsubishi Lancer 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 5-spd, SOHC, Regular 23 31 27
32 Family Sedans Honda Accord 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 23 31 27
32 Family Sedans Nissan Altima 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Regular 23 31 27
32 Hatchback Chevrolet Aveo 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 31 27
32 Hatchback Ford Focus 4 cyl, 2 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 31 27
32 Hatchback Chevrolet Aveo 5 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 31 27
32 Station Wagon Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl, 2 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 31 27
33 Hatchback Dodge Caliber 4 cyl, 1.8 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 24 29 26
34 Small Car MINI Cooper S 4 cyl, 1.6 L, Automatic (S6), Premium 23 30 26
34 Family Sedans Kia Spectra 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular 23 30 26
35 SUV Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2WD 27 25 26
35 SUV Lexus RX 400h 4WD 6 cyl, 3.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Premium 27 25 26
35 SUV Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD 6 cyl, 3.3 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios), HEV, Regular 27 25 26
36 SUV Saturn Vue Hybrid 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic 4-spd, Regular 23 29 26
* MPG based on revised MPG figures from the EPA. The MPG testing was adjusted in 2008 to reflect real world driving.
* Combined MPG Based on 45% Highway and 55% City Driving


The list may seem to be repeating itself, but fuel efficiency depends on the engine type. There's also a diesel car on the list, so keep that in mind. Comparing the fuel economy of a diesel to a gasoline car can be said to be like comparing apples and oranges, but it all depends on the reader.

The rankings are based on combined fuel economy. There are 81 models, but 36 rankings.

If you notice a 2007 model year car that gets a combined 25 mpg or better and is not on the list, please let me know in the comments.

Update: I have lists up on the most fuel efficient cars of 2006 and the most fuel efficient cars of 2005.

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