10 Cars That Drive America’s Energy Efficient Future
Best of the Lot, Eco-Drive
While most of the world has already embraced fuel efficient cars, Americans are slowly warming up to them, gaining popularity by the day. The reasons for this can be attributed to the rising fuel prices and the stricter emission norms. The strict emission norms make sure that outdated engines with poor efficiency stays off the roads. The cars sold in America are far less fuel efficient than the ones sold in other developed markets. To put things into perspective, the average fuel consumption figure for a vehicle sold in America is 22.6 mpg while the same in Europe and Japan is over 40 mpg.
One of the reasons for this is the absence of diesel powered engines in the American market, partly due to particularly strict emission norms along with the lack of interest shown by customers. While in most markets, diesel cars are getting popular for their fuel economy, which typically is in excess of 50 mpg, diesel engine options are conspicuously absent from the American market. Costly modifications are necessary by the strict law, which push the prices up, and people still believe that diesel engines are unrefined and slow, both of which are not true with modern diesel power plants.
Here is a list of the most fuel efficient cars on sale in America today. While the most efficient cars in the market are the hybrids, there is only one car in the list that runs on diesel. It is surprising that Ford is the only American manufacturer to be featured in the list of top ten fuel efficient cars.
1. Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is the most popular green-car in the country. The car couples excellent practicality, and unbeatable fuel efficiency with reasonable price tag. The prices of the car start at $22,720. However, the price climbs steeply when the car gets loaded with optional creature comforts. The 2010 Prius is one of the most fuel efficient cars on the road today, with a combined fuel economy figure of 50 mpg.
2. Honda Civic Hybrid
The second spot is taken by yet another hybrid car made by a Japanese manufacturer. However, unlike the Prius, the Civic hybrid has not yet managed to create a niche market for itself. The only noticeable change from the normal Civic is the custom alloy wheels. The car is priced at $24,320, and returns a combined economy of 42 mpg.
3. Smart Fortwo Coupe
The Smart ForTwo is a funky urban ultra-compact car. The car is based on a platform developed jointly my Smart and Mitsubishi for space efficient cars. The small size and low weight make this trendy car also one of the most fuel efficient cars barring the hybrid duo from Honda and Toyota. It is also the least expensive one in this list. The prices of ForTwo start at $12,635 and it return 36 miles to a gallon of fuel. However, the 70 mpg diesel version is not in sale in our market today.
4. Nissan Altima Hybrid
The Altima is one of the most practical hybrid sedans available on the market today. It has the most interior space among the top cars in this list. The Altima is also the most enthusiastic performer in this list barring the Mini Cooper. The hybrid version of this car does not try to shout out its green credentials and remains entirely discreet if the tiny hybrid badge was absent. The base price for the car is $27,345, and it returns 34 mpg in a combined driving cycle.
5. Volkswagen Jetta Diesel
The Jetta is one of the very few modern diesel powered cars on the market today. While the turbocharged engine is not far behind gasoline powered rivals in terms of performance, it blows away the competition by being extremely frugal. With prices starting at just $22,270, the Jetta diesel makes a strong case for itself in the market as a possible alternative to the more expensive hybrids. It returns a combined fuel economy of 34 mpg combined while the figure for the highway is 41 mpg.
6. Toyota Camry Hybrid
The Camry Hybrid appeals to those who want a bit more luxury, space, practicality and above all, anonymity than the Prius. The Hybrid version increases the popularity of the Camry, which already is one of the most popular cars in its segment. The prices start at $26,870, and it returns a combined fuel economy of 33 mpg.
7. Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid is not just the most fuel efficient SUV on the market, it is also one of the most fuel efficient vehicle sold in the market today. With the aid of the electric motor, the engine recaptures all the power lost while driving in the form of braking and deceleration. The result is a capable SUV that can still return a simply stunning 33 mpg on a combined driving cycle.
8. Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris is one of the most appealing compact hatchbacks available on the market today. The Yaris has enough boot space to swallow any form of luggage that a daily use urban car might have to encounter. The Toyota is also highly practical and reliable. The prices for the Yaris start at $12,925 and it return 32 mpg combined fuel economy.
9. Mini Cooper
Even though the Mini Cooper is powered by a small 1.6 liter engine, it packs enough to make this fabulous looking small car fun to drive. The car features one of the most sorted out chassis that can be found in its price segment aiding the cars handling. In spite of being a spirited car to drive, the Mini returns a fuel economy of 31 mpg combined. The base price for the Mini Cooper is set at $19,200.
10. Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is a small car that offers excellent cargo room, thanks to the highly flexibly fold-flat seats. The base version of the car is pegged at $15,420 and returns 31 mpg to a gallon of gasoline.
The demand for fuel efficient is spiking high in our graphs today; it could be because of the recession or it could be the eco-awareness. Whatever be the reason, consumer interest on these cars have spiked significantly, and hopefully we can look forward to a better future for our coming generations.