9 Cars That Average 50 MPG or Better on the Highway: You'll Be Shocked By No. 1!

My nose would shoot to about six feet in length if I exclaimed that gas mileage was an important feature to me when purchasing a car. However, I'm very much in the minority on this one.

Fuel economy has grown to become an increasingly important factor which sways car buyers when making their decisions. One reason this has come to be is that gasoline price growth, adjusted for inflation, is handily outpacing wage growth, also adjusted for inflation, since 1980. This means the real cost of gasoline is rising faster than consumers' wages, so consumers are having to look toward improved fuel economy when they purchase vehicles.

Source: Nemo, Pixabay.

Another reason we see fuel economy in the spotlight is the negative sentiment built up against the world's largest oil producers. A number of consumers believe that big oil is evil and are looking for vehicles that run solely on electricity, a mixture of gas and electricity, or on gasoline, but that sip rather than guzzle fuel.

Finally, we're also seeing beefed-up pressure from individual states and the federal government to improve mile-per-gallon, or mpg, standards, as well as reducing noxious emissions. In August 2012, the Obama administration announced new vehicle fuel-efficiency standards that would require U.S. auto fleets to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, which was up dramatically from its previous target of 34.5 miles per gallon due to hit in 2016. The goal, of course, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also reducing oil consumption with presumably even more cars on the road. 

But, here's the good news: automakers are listening! In fact, according to a recent Consumer Reports study, nine automakers have managed to build vehicles capable of delivering 50 mpg (mpg equivalent, or mpge, for the ones that don't burn gas) on the highway or better, leaving their peers decidedly in the dust.

Today, we're going to look at those nine vehicles and their manufacturers to see what they're doing right, and determine if these vehicles and automakers truly do have an edge over their peers.

2014 Honda Civic Hybrid, Source: Honda.

9. Honda Civic Hybrid – 50 mpg
Interested in jumping into a hybrid capable of getting you a cruise-a-licious 50 mpg on the highway for less than $30,000 MSRP? Then the Honda (NYSE: HMC  ) Civic Hybrid could be your car of choice. Honda combines its two best attributes with the Civic hybrid – top-notch dependability which we've come to expect from Honda and its subsidiary Acura, as well as impressive fuel economy with an electric motor powering the car at lower speeds and kicking over to the gasoline engine at higher speeds. It may not be among the top five, but the Civic Hybrid has attributes that should keep it selling well in the U.S.

8. Volkswagen Passat TDI SE – 51 mpg
No folks, that's not a misprint – that's 51 mpg on the highway from a fossil-fuel-burning engine. In this case Volkswagen has turned to its highly reliable diesel-engine technology to get even more impressive gas mileage than the Civic Hybrid. Volkswagen's U.S. sales have been stagnant for years, and the Passat TDI SE could be the first step in the right direction for the company in the U.S. market. With a base price just north of $26,000, this is vehicle worth keeping an eye on.

7. (tied with six) Toyota Prius Plug-in Advanced – 55 mpg (composite of electricity and gas)
Believe it or not, Toyota (NYSE: TM  ) doesn't dominate this list, but you will see two of its vehicles lined up in the next two spots. The Prius Plug-in Advanced allows for a nice go-between of the electric-gas-hybrid vehicles and solely electric vehicles by giving consumers the option to plug their Prius in to get up to 15 miles of all-electric range at 62 mph or less. A more efficient and higher capacity lithium-ion-battery pack is what allows the Prius Plug-in Advanced to achieve this superior electric range. In other words, for those with short commutes, this could be a smart choice! However, at a price point north of $34,000, the Prius Plug-in Advanced, even with its reduced price for 2014, may not offer enough fuel efficiency based on its price.

6. (tied with seven) Toyota Prius Four – 55 mpg
Now the Toyota Prius Four certainly hits a perfect chord with consumers looking for the iconic Prius styling and impressive fuel efficiency which topped out at 55 mpg on the highway. With a base MSRP of $28,435 for the Prius Four, which comes with a few premium upgrades, including the solar roof package, navigation, and head-up display, it's right in line with the price point of the Honda Civic Hybrid while providing superior fuel economy.

5. Chevrolet Volt – 76 mpg (composite of electricity and gas)
Similar to the Prius Plug-in Advanced, the Chevy Volt, which is manufactured by General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) , allows consumers to travel an EPA-estimated 38 miles before its gas-powered generator kicks in and allows the car to go an estimated 380 miles on a full tank. Simply put, if you have a relatively short commute, it's incredibly likely you could go weeks or months between a gas fill-up. On the flipside, the Volt has also been associated with a number of battery issues and recalls, and even with a reduced price point for 2014 still appears a bit pricey. It may be a few more years before General Motors and Chevy have a success on their hands with the Volt.

Tesla Model S, Source: Tesla Motors.

4. Tesla Model S (base, 85 kWh) – 102 mpge
No list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on an mpg or mpge basis would be complete without including America's most vaunted electric vehicle, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) Model S (in this case with the superior 85-kWh-battery package). The advantage of the Model S is that it provides the most comparable all-electric driving range to gas-powered vehicles, but it does come with a hefty price point that's north of $60,000 and will price most consumers out of the market. Furthermore, with the Model S being so new, there's no used market, so leasing isn't an option at the moment. The car certainly could be called exclusionary, but there is undeniable demand for the Model S in the U.S. which could translate to big profits for Tesla moving forward.

3. Ford Focus Electric – 107 mpge
If you absolutely don't want to leave a carbon footprint, but can't stand the high price point of the Tesla Model S, Ford's (NYSE: F  ) all-electric Focus could be the answer. The Electric Focus will only run about half the price of the Model S, but it still comes with some hefty drawbacks, including a driving range estimated to be only 76 miles, and a top speed that caps out at 82 mph. In addition, the same exclusions apply for Focus Electric owners in that they'll need a plug for overnight charging, meaning condo owners and apartment renters probably need not apply.

2. Mitsubishi i SE – 116 mpge
Someone had to produce the cheapest electric vehicle; and why not Mitsubishi! The subcompact Mitsubishi i SE is an all-electric vehicle with absolutely no frills attached. Its stodgy interior can fit four people and the car itself can get an EPA-rated 62 miles on a single charge for an MSRP of less than $29,000 before tax breaks. Of course, this cheaper price comes with some drawbacks as well. The car has top speed of just 81 mph (perhaps with the wind at its back), but more importantly has just a 62-mile range and can take 21 hours on a standard 110-volt charger to reach a full charge. If you pony up for the 240-volt charger (which I strongly suggest you do), the charge time dips to an expected six to seven hours.

But the No. 1 most "fuel-efficient" vehicle on the highway is...


Nissan Leaf, Source: Nissan. 

1. Nissan Leaf SL – 118 mpge
Taking the top spot in terms of highway fuel-efficiency is Nissan's Leaf SL which gets an average of 84 miles per each full charge. Although the Nissan Leaf costs a few thousand more than the Mitsubishi i SE, it comfortably seats five people, offers a respectable 107 horsepower, and the SL model comes with upgrades such as 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and leather-appointed seats. Long story short, with the exception of price point, the Nissan Leaf SL appears to be superior in every way to the closely rated Mitsubishi i SE. It may not compared with the Tesla Model S driving range by any means, but it gives cost conscious and carbon footprint aware consumers a perfect vehicle to turn to in the U.S.

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Read/Post Comments (114) | Recommend This Article (68)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:07 PM, badbee54 wrote:

    While you might get great mileage with the Leaf, there is no way you would get me on a highway in it. It is too small to be driving on a highway!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:08 PM, SLCgirlinMO wrote:

    Last fall, I bought a Volkswagon Passat TDI. I cannot begin to tell you how much I LOVE this car. I easily get 51+ on the highway, but even around town I get in the 40s. I went from filling a van with a 26 gallon tank ever 6-7 days to filling an 18 gallon tank every two + weeks. I am literally saving my car payment in gas savings. It is fun to drive - peppy with a lot of power and it is very roomy. Not a little cracker box like most of the cars on this list. My two sons are both 6'2 and sit comfortably in the backseat with plenty (REALLY) of leg room. Their knees are a good 5-6 inches from the seat in front of them. Plus the trunk is gigantic. Best car for the money BY FAR. And if you are worried about the carbon footprint... It is clean diesel and it doesn't have fuel cells that require hazmat to dispose of. Buy one, you won't regret it!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:18 PM, McSniperliger wrote:

    Electric vehicles do not count for fuel efficiency. They run on nothing but electricity and comparing them to a internal combustion engine. Unless more charge stations show up around the country and the range goes upwards of 2000 miles per charge and each full charge takes the amount of time to fill up a tank of gas or diesel...I want nothing to do with them

    They are too dangerously quiet to let them around. I was paying attention but the idiot driver was not and almost ran me over with a Volt.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:37 PM, mcFoolish wrote:

    Highway mileage for an electric car is non-existent. Highway to me means highway - as in a 300-400 mile trip. Not 5 miles between exits. Things like the Leaf are useless to me. 87 miles? Where are you going, to the mail box?

    Only vehicle I would consider on this list is the Passat TDI. You can stop and get another tank of diesel pretty much anywhere, and as another commenter pointed out, there is not a battery bank to dispose of later. Unfortunately, the trunk at only 15.9 cu ft is small, but larger than most others on the list.

    When oh when will Ford put a small diesel in something like an Explorer!?!?!!?!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:40 PM, MassioX wrote:

    Always an agenda it seems. Funny that the Volt is the only one listed as having recalls, Not one mention of the countless recalls and issues concerning the Teslas catching on fire.

    Also. No mention of the Chevy Spark EV. Why don;t you just put up an article saying "Please don't buy GM vehicles" and be done with it?

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:41 PM, b2301 wrote:

    I will never understand why people pay premium for a car in order to 'save' money on gas, which is only furthered by the initial depreciation they will get from buying new.

    Just go the used route that already took most of the depreciation hit and get something fun that doesn't look like fisher price made it.

    Then use those those extra "savings" for gas.

    Tesla is the exception here bc at that price you don't care and the used market actual sells for more than initial msrp.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:43 PM, MassioX wrote:

    BTW, EPA Rates Chevy Volt at 93 MPG, Spark EV as 128 city / 109 highway

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:44 PM, HDDon wrote:

    I looked at the volt a while back and was told it cost approximately $1.50 a day to charge it. Adding another $45.00 to my already high electric bill. Adding that plus the cost of the car is not worth it to me. I'd like to know what the towing capacity is to any of these vehicles. Bet I can't tow my small boat with one! I'll keep my jeep.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:58 PM, grr wrote:

    The headline was "miles per gallon" (of gas, hello!) Comparing gas and gas/electric or electric cars is comparing apples to oranges! Chevy Volt only gets about 35 miles per gallon of gas!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 6:01 PM, metazip wrote:

    The only thing to beware of is are they talking Imperial or US gallons? Big difference. Don't laugh, I caught a Honda salesman saying that once.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 6:12 PM, WatchingOwl wrote:

    All electric vehicles are not as "green" as you may think. Comparing miles on one charge with miles per gallon is not accurate from a carbon perspective.

    The vast majority of electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. Over 80% from the last figures I saw. At best only 28% of the fuels energy is converted to electricity. Then there is the loss as the electricity is distributed through the gird. Also some energy is lost to heat while charging the batteries. Then energy is lost when electricity is converted to mechanical torque to turn the wheels. At best only 30% gets converted. So more than five times as much fossil fuel is burned; as would be needed if a combustion engine powered the vehicle. The only difference is that the carbon is produced at the generation site ( in someone else's back yard) instead of at the location of the vehicle. Bad Trade

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 6:21 PM, PS75425 wrote:

    Not sure I'd want to "stuff" my wife and three kids into any of these ... used to have both a Prius and Jetta TDI ... other than fuel economy ... they were both pretty darn mediocre vehicles...and what???? no mention of the Diesel fuel premium which is Illinois ranges from 30-60 cents per gallon ... what do I drive now ... a gas guzzling 4x4 ... for me there is more to life than "50 mpg"....

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 6:28 PM, tigerade wrote:

    WatchingOwl - Great point, so you agree that fossil fuels are dirty energy, let's do everything we can to get off them. :)

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 6:31 PM, crash3085 wrote:

    The Leaf is not too small to drive on the highway. It's actually a pretty good sized car. It also does well in crashes. Don't plan on getting very far on the highway though...

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 6:53 PM, Dangremaus wrote:

    If there's more than one Leaf, does it turn to Leaves? Or Leafs?

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:03 PM, Ostrowsr wrote:

    Might buy one of these when the price is down under $20,000. You can buy a lot of gas for the extra $5,000 to $10,000 they are charging.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:38 PM, Panth wrote:

    One thing this article does not highlight very well, is the pricing of the vehicles. If a car cost $10,000 more to get 50 MPG, over a car that gets 35 MPG, how many gallons of gas would you need to save to pay back the initial investment? Using those numbers, you would need to save 2800 gallons at $3.5 a gallon. You would have to drive it 460,000 miles to break even.

    City driving would have a greater fuel savings, so perhaps for commuter cars, it may pay off after only 150,000 miles.

    Not a wise investment, in my opinion.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:45 PM, mikeflores2000 wrote:

    Keep in mind diesel is 33% more expensive.

    Therefore should get 33% more MPG than gas.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:45 PM, mikeflores2000 wrote:

    Honda does not have a lifetime Timing chain.

    Timing belts require replacement every 60k.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:46 PM, cheapgary wrote:

    Add $5k a year for maintenance.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:54 PM, Ernest wrote:

    How long do the batteries last, and how much to replace them. There will probably be another cost to dispose old batteries. Add all those to the extra initial cost and you can afford to drive what you really like...

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:01 PM, mobadthangood wrote:

    I can put a lot of gas in my 55 Chevy for the $30,000-$60,000 price tag these things have!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:08 PM, Galane wrote:

    In the 1990's there were vehicles that could get very good MPG. Most people searching for an efficient used car know about the Geo Metro which could easily get 50 MPG with the manual transmission and 45 with the (rather rarely ordered) automatic.

    In the mid 90's there was a car most people would never think could get really good mileage. It was the Oldsmobile Achieva with the single overhead cam 4 cylinder, which was called "Quad OHC". It was a single cam version of the DOHC "Quad Four". The single cam version was discontinued after 1994, the Quad Four demoted to "Twin Cam" as the base engine, with a V6 as an upgrade. A 4 speed automatic with 4th gear overdrive was (AFAIK) the only transmission available.

    What kind of mileage could the 1994 and earlier Achieva get? 40 on the highway, even with long stretches at 75 MPH. It also did very well in city driving. I don't know what the EPA did in their tests of that model, but their numbers don't reflect reality. (But unlike many other vehicles, the numbers were lower than what could be *ahem* Achieved.)

    The Achieva was fairly large car, but also one of the most aerodynamic of its time, much slicker than the other models on the same platform. The only other model that could come close was the Corsica, which the N-Body was derived from, but the Corsica and Beretta never got the efficient drivetrains. (Swapping a 94 Achieva Quad OHC and transmission into a Corsica would be an interesting experiment.)

    So why would GM discontinue one of their most efficient engines in one of their slickest models? I wouldn't expect that a manufacturer would figure their CAFE rating was *too high*!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:25 PM, HunterofWarrior7 wrote:

    Consumer Reports has Tesla as 1st, Volt and VW TDI in second and third. Enough said.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:25 PM, freddiegofaster wrote:

    Except for the VW, these sound about as exciting to drive an my kid's Hula Coupe. Dull still is not trumping eco-friendly.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:27 PM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    @badbee54

    The Nissan Leaf is not a small car. I think it is officially classified as a mid-sized car (but don't quote me on that). However it's officially classified, its size is about what you could expect from a typical American family car.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:47 PM, inkfreak71 wrote:

    Ok the title says miles per gallon. Electric cars do not measure consumption by the gallon of fuel. May be it's just me but I feel the list should be thrown out and rewritten with real cars not golf carts.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:50 PM, SimpleMath wrote:

    WatchingOwl is correct. The fuel efficiency of electric cars is artificially inflated by the EPA use of MPGE = 115,000 BTU which is ALL of the energy in a gallon of gas. It doesn't account for the 33% loss associated with burning coal to make the electricity. Even if you include the energy cost to refine oil to gas, the 100 MPGE cars are really only getting about 30 MPG HC equivalent. The electric cars wouldn't even rank if they used a MPG HC equivalent rating.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:52 PM, 1redwings wrote:

    Dear Motley Fool, do your ratings have any fun to drive factor involved?? Obviously not, most of these cars just plain ol suck , and I can't even bare the thought of driving half of them. I would only drive the Fusion, Tesla or the Volt. Oh wow all American brands go figure!! do an article on EV that are fun to drive.....and US brands will be on top!!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 9:13 PM, OnDeck29 wrote:

    Why do people think electric cars don't leave a carbon footprint - where does the electricity come from??? HUH??? I guess when all go electric we won't need other fuels for cars... what a bunch of dummies

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 9:25 PM, stinkycat1 wrote:

    My 2004 Hybrid Honda Civic needed new hybrid batteries in November. They cost $3000. Last summer I had another repair on the hybrid system (I don't remember what it was called). The bill was $750. It only had 109,000 miles on it. I wrecked the car last week and it was a total loss. I am looking for a new (non-hybrid) Civic and they are much more than the used Hybrid Civics. Why? Who wants to buy an OLD hybrid when their batteries will need replaced to a tune of $3000 when the car is only worth $6000? I can't buy a 2004 regular Civic with 109,000 miles for anywhere near $6000. Never again!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 9:33 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    People are slowly learning that EVs are MUCH MORE EFFICIENT and they are extremely cheap to fuel. You'll be driving one eventually.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 9:40 PM, SLTom992 wrote:

    I am a Ford man but the Chevy is so superior to those others simply because it can drive from gas station to gas station that it isn't any contest.

    The engineering in the Chevy is staggeringly complex. This wasn't a case of something thrown together. They knew exactly what they were doing and they did it. None of the fully electric cars can even stay on the same page.

    Chevy even designed in the capacity to elongate the battery life to the theoretical maximum while the fully electric cars don't even seem to know about it.

    The question is - why did they even bother to put fully electric cars with their extremely limited range in this article?

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 9:57 PM, JDNatHome wrote:

    This article was suspiciously vague on details, specifically, at what speed are these cars running? Electrics are not so hot at 70 mph.

    Just for fun, and because I had nothing better to do, I filled up my year 2000 Camry in Palm Desert, CA, drove to Hawthorne, CA and filled up again (both times at Costco). Distance was about 150 miles (I took some scenic back roads which made it longer than normal). I got 43 MILES PER GALLON!, but....I never went above 60 mph. Had I cruised at 70 I would be sporting 31 mpg-a 12 mpg DIFFERENCE!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:07 PM, Mentallect wrote:

    Fox News watchers hate all these cars. Fox wants everyone to use oil and gas since all their millionaire hosts are heavily invested in energy stocks.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:17 PM, btc909 wrote:

    Don't drive a Leaf over 65 on the highway / freeway otherwise your range is affected greatly.

    Due to battery lifespans (Prius is the exception) the resale value is generally a joke.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:20 PM, nosajkeram wrote:

    Where is the smartfortwo electric? It's only 13k (half the price of every car listed) and gets 107mpge. Biased journalism.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:26 PM, SStoneman wrote:

    And I am supposed to be impressed? I drive a Chevy Corvette with an eight cylinder engine. I took a trip to Palm Springs, set the car on cruise control, and got 33 mpg on the highway!!! And I feel a lot safer in the Vette and have more leg-room than these squeeze boxes. Plus there is enough acceleration to be able to accelerate myself out of danger. Thanks, but no thanks.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:35 PM, solarpete wrote:

    I own a 2007 Honda Fit I changed the tires to hi performance all season tires with a higher tire pressure at 40 psi I can get 48mpg if I drive at 65 mph without the a/c on. I can get from Tampa FL to the border of FL/GA on I-75 on 5 gals of gas. I've done this many times while driving to KY I will fill up every 6 gallons used that is 3 times and the last time will be in Louisville KY that is about 900 miles on 50 mpg

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:57 PM, Captaindory wrote:

    Hopefully Nissan has gone green in other respects too. My mother had a Nissan and even after it was three years old, I had to rent my own car every time I visited her as the toxic fumes emanating from the upholstery and interior nearly knocked me out and gave me a huge headache. Nissan are you listening? The only car I've been able to buy is a Honda as they have really good interior air quality. I hope things have changed - having a Honda, I haven't had to go car shopping in quite awhile but the last time I did, I had to hold my nose in almost every other car brand.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 11:21 PM, Nohurry1 wrote:

    It's a list of cars with only 1 truly appealing version and it's not a gas or electric.. VW TDi. It has already proven to be reliable and perfectly capable of running a few hundred miles per tank. The only drawback is, this car really isn't cheap to purchase or own. As much as I like it, I chose a 31 hwy mpg vehicle instead. It came with more features for less money and is bigger.

    Electric and/or hybrid may indeed be "the future" of vehicles, but they're not even close to taking any crowns yet, let alone winning over the masses. They're either too expensive, too incapable or both, at least for most. There's also that "other" issue... Boredom. Most are simply so slow they are too boring to appreciate beyond city limits and often, inside them.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 11:27 PM, kgj856 wrote:

    I hope everyone posting realizes that Ford makes a car getting 85+ mpg COMBINED in Europe right now, the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic 1.6 TDCi 95. Diesel is the future for non-electric vehicles and if you don't realize that then you are deluded. Europe has been using turbo diesel engines for decades and seeing 50+ mpg....engines are getting cleaner and more efficient. The US has been closed to diesel technology for too long...I applaud VW and Audii for bringing more models to the US, I only wish Ford would follow suit.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:22 AM, Tkk wrote:

    I bought a 96 vw passat tdi for 4000 bucks that is powerful, fast, and gets 50mpg. I run biodiesel so it is green and diesel free. Thats how you do it. You dont need to buy a new one. Used ones are just as good and cheaper

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:38 AM, Fiat500S wrote:

    The elsctric cars don't count, 50 mpg is an equivalent computation. And if you're going to add them, throw in a tenth and put the Fiat 500e somewhere. I'll debate the Honda Civic Htbrid, even the Prius, those cars might have been rated 50+ initialy but real world fuel economy has them somewhere around 40-42. Even the EPA has the 2014 rated as 44/47 ? And go to the EPA fuel comparison, the 2012 is rated 44/44 city/highway, fueleconomy.gov.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:42 AM, petergum wrote:

    My Brother-in-law has a VW Passat TDI and loves it. I am curious why no mention of the Ford C-Max hybrid? I read an article recently comparing the Prius and C-Max and rated the C-Max above the Prius. Both get 50+ mpg, but the C-Max handled better.

    They look similar to me in profile. Does Sean have some sort of Fordaphobia?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:01 AM, larrrup wrote:

    I have often wondered why we did not have any diesels in passenger cars they get better mileage than gas burners for comparable sizes. There are no tune ups only oil and filter changes.

    As far as the pap about oil companies being evil that is leftist garbage. Our civilization would not exist as it does without the energy available from petroleum products. Not to mention all of the items that are made with refined products. Like nylon, rayon, propane gas, asphalt.

    So conserve because it is a precious limited resource and it will improve air quality but don't bite the hand that feeds you.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:15 AM, lpgarber wrote:

    First gen Honda Insights got over 50 mpg, are cheap to buy. and are good for the 250,000 miles Hondas will run. You don't have the depreciation of a new car, and better mpg. Why not?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:19 AM, gregorythornton wrote:

    I have two questions. What is the driving range of the Telsa? And, why can't electric cars recharge as you're driving them just like gas-powered vehicals recharge their batteries as they're being driven?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:24 AM, cdhanks wrote:

    I am shocked by No. 1 because it is a big lie. The Civic hybrid does NOT get 50 mpg, it's official EPA rating is 44 mpg. Who wrote this article, Honda?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:19 AM, tonybudz wrote:

    From my understanding Facebook intends to broadcast it's own wireless internet across the entire USA for free.

    One sweep of the network and everything could be stored thus simply duplicate the WWW network.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:22 AM, CSmith wrote:

    WatchingOwl - At best a power plant runs close to 50% efficiency. Loss from power lines is minimal, at most at the 10% range. An internal combustion engine, at best is close to 20% efficiency - but here's the thing - gas isn't produced without using energy to produce it - about 1/5th a gallon of gas (or it's energy equivalent) to make a gallon of gas. So there's the other side of the coin.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:26 AM, jmooremcc wrote:

    @Panth, your analysis is flawed. $10,000 at $3.50/gallon will buy 2,857 gallons of gas. The differential between the two cars is 15 MPG which means you'll drive an additional 42,857 miles on $10,000 worth of gas. Based on 225 miles driven per week, it will take 3.6 years to pay for that extra $10,000 investment. After that, it's money in the bank.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:32 AM, jmooremcc wrote:

    It's interesting that the author tears down the Mitsubishi in favor of the Nissan by describing how long it takes to charge the Mitsubishi. He never mentions how long it takes to charge the Nissan which weakens his analysis.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:09 AM, amfischer76 wrote:

    Honda Civic Hybrid made the list??? What a joke! I bought a brand new 2006 HCH and it was fantastic for the first 4 yrs, 2010 is when Honda required a software update to extend the life of their very expensive battery. I went from a solid 42-45 mpg to a disgusting 30-32 mpg immediately after the upgrade. Honda's business practice in dealing with the widely known issue and subsequent battery failure has been horribly unethical. I will NEVER own another Honda after this nightmare, nor will I ever own a hybrid. Next on my list is the Volkswagen Golf TDI. I'll gladly trade in my awful Civic Hybrid for a Volkswagen.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:12 AM, makofoto wrote:

    @ ernest ... Taxi Prius have been getting over 300,000 miles on the original batteries

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 4:20 AM, singaporenick wrote:

    Petrol (gas) is much cheaper in the USA than elsewhere.The Gvt should start taxing it much higher to European levels and deter Americans from polluting the world's atmosphere with gas-guzzling cars.It's hard to do because the oil companies hav so many politicians in their pocket.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 5:48 AM, clutch58 wrote:

    Danielle and Mentallect are dyed-in-the-wool MSNBC worshipping Gorebots. They think everyone that disagrees with them are rich oil company stockholders who watch FOX. Too bad they are the ones that are lied to. They never show examples of FOX lies, but they still say it. And singapore is a fool. Only libs want to hurt the working poor with taxation, while claiming others want to hurt them.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 6:12 AM, itsafree wrote:

    First I live in Long Island NY, where we pay extremely high for electric and our congressman get everything. New Yorkers like to get the shaft, that is why we are a democratic state, illegals and the degenerate get everything for free and the rest pay, complain but never vote. With that said, electric cars are a joke. Most people here work atleast 40 miles from work. You would be stranded on the highway with an elelctric car. As for the enviroment, our elelctricity is porduced by oil,,,, So either way the oil companies would make great money. I owned a 1983 nissan sentra that got 50 mpg. No they are bragging about 30 and have to get a 50/50 electric-gas car to get 45....With technology we are going backwards.

    We need a complete new government but the US people are ignorant. The degenerates vote and constantly vote for their free programs, the working just complain and do nothing. Our Muslim president well, you see what he and congress are doing.....Both side doing. We are going doen the tubes. Rich get richer and the working too dumb to want to change anything.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 7:34 AM, bimmerguy wrote:

    Is anyone concerned with MPG around town? I don't stay on the highway very often. My BMW 320i ($38000) gets 32 MPG around town. When I do get on the highway I get 45 MPG going 75 MPH.

    Better resale/residual than the above cars and free maintenance to boot.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 7:54 AM, Jimmypotpie wrote:

    My Subaru Forester gets 31 mpg on the freeway. All wheel drive and tows 3500 pounds. Not bad ! Our New Toyota Avalon Hybrid gets 45 mpg. Almost as good as our old Prius. Research your vehicle and buy whats best for you !!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 8:21 AM, Lefty2053 wrote:

    MPGE? What the heck is this? There is no miles per gallon on an electric. I see if I choose one of these electric cars I could go from on side of my State to the other in about 5 days since it takes 21 hours to get a full charge and then I could go another 62 mile in it. I think I could walk that fast. Of course they would be more rested waiting on the car to charge.

    I own a 2000 Jetta TDI that has 284K miles on it and it averages 48 MPG. I put $5000 into it last March so I could get another 250K miles. It runs like a new car. Just wish it look like one though. Couldn't buy another car for the $5000 that will get me 250k miles and that kind of fuel economy.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 8:31 AM, emjayay wrote:

    badbee54 also cannot drive a Ford Fiesta or Focus, a Toyota Yaris, a Nissan Versa, or a Chevrolet Spark, since they are all smaller than a Nissan Leaf. A Toyota Corolla is larger but has less cubic feet of room inside. The Leaf was a “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 8:41 AM, emjayay wrote:

    Poor itsafree lives in a world of alternate reality where for example the president is of a non-Christian religion. Of course, the Constitution says there is no religious test for office, and the first Congress, with a lot of founding fathers in it, passed a bill that said the United States was not founded on the Christian religion in any way.

    He is also unaware that he can choose to have electricity generated entirely by renewables or entirely by wind power if he wants.

    He is aware however that unless there is a charging station at work, you can't make an 80 mile round trip commute with an electric car other than a Tesla, which is obvious. But he is possibly unaware of the fact that the average commute to work in the US is 16 miles, or a 32 mile round trip, well within the range of any electric car.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 8:47 AM, emjayay wrote:

    larrup wonders why we don't have diesel engine cars. Of course, we do have some.

    Well, first, they used to be dirtier than gas engines, especially in particulates. They are better now.

    Second, diesel fuel prices in the US are much higher than gas prices.

    Third, prices for all car fuels are taxed much lower in the US than for example in Europe, so fuel economy has not been as much of a priority. In Europe, many if not most cars are now diesel.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 8:50 AM, JERRYSTR wrote:

    The most reliable and easiest to maintain is most likely the Volkswagen diesel. An all electric vehicle is NOT "carbon free". The electricity come from a power plant that uses fossil fuel unless it is from a nuclear plant. The efficiency of generating the electricty and then transmitting it hundreds of miles makes it more wasteful than the efficient deisel engine or an efficient small gas

    engine. Also try to repair a hybrid or electric and watch the mantenance costs sky rocket. Batteries are not cheap for these cars.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 9:20 AM, asalo wrote:

    We have a Nissan LEAF, and love it! Someone commented on it being too small to drive on a highway. It's a regular mid-sized sedan -- fits a family of 4 comfortably -- so I'm not sure what that commentator was looking at. It's best use, I think, is for commuting and going on short distance errands. My husband commutes to and from work (about 40 mile RT) and has a charging station at work.

    Regarding environmental issues - we have a charging station near us that is powered by solar panels over a parking lot. If all charging stations were to use that method, that would certainly help.

    We have a second car that is a gas-guzzling Subaru that we take on longer trips, but are hoping that prices on electrics continue to decrease and ranges increase, so by the time our Subaru is kaput, we'll be able to get an electric as a replacement.

    Regarding the question of the car being silent -- Nissan actually has their engine make an artificial noise to combat that issue, and beeps while backing up.

    Hope that helps!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 9:20 AM, kidsnfuture wrote:

    It's kind of depressing to see how few people care about anything beyond how much something costs, as if that is the only criteria in all of life. People don't want to spend $10,000 more to get a cleaner burning car, one that burns less fuel, but they'll blow that in a minute on things that don't even matter. Meanwhile, ya'll are leaving the problems that fossil fuels are causing to your neighbors (who breath the fumes from refineries, etc), or your children. And that thought has probably never even crossed your mind. I keep hoping that our country could become a bit less shallow and selfish someday, a little more thoughtful and aware and caring about the consequences of our acts. Of course, even the hybrids at 50+ MPG don't go far enough. There are much better alternatives. We have power as consumers. We can demand more highly ethical choices from manufacturers. But as long as they see commentary and thinking like this, why would they care? They are just like the people they sell to. Shallow and selfish. I understand it's scary to even think about making truly ethical choices in this culture. I get it. If more of us demanded those, they would be more likely to happen, and would be a lot less risk to any one individual. What is there to lose, by demanding ETHICAL choices in design and production of vehicles, not just cheaper models? We can have both, if that is what we want. But we have to want it first.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 9:23 AM, wgcross2 wrote:

    What's with the "highway miles"? Most of the driving falls under the "city" miles. I've noticed this trend lately, to advertise only the highway miles. Since very few people actually drive highway, with no traffic, at a constant speed, the figure is worthless. It used to be that both city mileage and highway mileage were listed together. If I buy a car, I want to know both mileage metrics.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 9:27 AM, llSteamerll wrote:

    There truly is only One' true electric car that meets any real driving standards on this list .. and that is the Tesla S. This is a car you would want to own, a sleek driving machine, impressive and roomy .. with a range of approx. 266 miles and a trunk.

    The others are cracker boxes .. the size of the original Honda CRX and smaller and a range of under 80 miles & battery issues.

    But that O carbon imprint is a bit deceiving ..

    as making the electricity to charge these batteries has an imprint.

    The imprint is simply being displaced in one' earlier location, as opposed to around town. Believe the efficiency does exceed the current gasoline product .. but still ~

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 10:42 AM, cityperson wrote:

    Nissan Leaf, family of four comfortable? Must be two small kids.

    We were in Ney York City a few weeks ago and took a Prius Taxi (the bigger model), it was hard getting in and out of for us and we are short people my wife and I.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:02 AM, mikab61 wrote:

    What happened to the Mini Electric and the Fiat 500 Electric cars? Surely these made the list? Unless you have some bias to Japanese cars?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:03 AM, natrllifter56 wrote:

    Diesel Technology has been around forever. Clean Diesel works well. You can run cars on old cooking grease. It was developed by Benz originally to do so. So the tailpipe is clean for the lying crap to satisfy Obama trash about our climate.

    Do you really think the automakers are going to turn their backs on the Oil Barons that rule the world going fully electric? Won't happen. Plus think of the jobs that would be lost.

    By the way the cost of the batteries are in the thousands once they go bad in these Hyrbrids and electrics. Also they are real threat to the environment as well as a the spent batteries are are worse than the spent gases out the tailpipes.

    IMO - Every truck or vehicle used for business should be diesel. Overall this would save tons in fuel overall. Diesels are known for torque and work great in these vehicles as well. Personal Cars we should have the choice.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:11 AM, durhamkid wrote:

    Someone (Watching Owl) posted a comment about driving cars using electricity as being significantly WORSE than burning fossil fuels directly. While he is thinking about the big picture, the analysis is incorrect b/c he forgot that internal combustion engines have an efficiency of 10 to 20% at BEST. An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that even in areas of the country with the dirtiest fuel mix for generating electricity, an electric vehicle has an impact equivalent to driving a car that gets an average of 31 to 40 MPG:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-so...

    Of course, as the grid gets greener - or if you decide to purchase green electricity - your impact will be much less.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:15 AM, durhamkid wrote:

    I have a 1993 Honda Civic VX hatchback that gets 55 MPG on the highway (I have actually gotten over 62 MPG when I drive on the backroads - at 45 to 55 MPH but with stops and back & forth to the Vermont mountains). The car seats 5, has a 4-star safety rating for the driver and has 305K miles on it. I tow my small sailboat and utility trailer and has to install my first replacement clutch at 275K miles

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:22 AM, durhamkid wrote:

    natrlifter56 wrote:

    "By the way the cost of the batteries are in the thousands once they go bad in these Hyrbrids and electrics. Also they are real threat to the environment as well as a the spent batteries are are worse than the spent gases out the tailpipes."

    Toyota Prius batteries are guaranteed for 150K miles and many are fine at 200K. Batteries will get much cheaper as more companies work on improving them and using alternative materials.

    Additionally, there is NO comparison between tailpipe emissions (which are gaseous and therefore not collectable) - and batteries that can and should be taken to a recycling center and re-used - in fact, the value of the batteries ensures that they will be. (presently 98% of all lead-acid batteries are recycled - and you only get $5 each for them).

    So...you should not worry about battery replacement and electric vehicles are much better for the environment.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:25 AM, Bobo64 wrote:

    What about the Nissan Leaf SL? Does it make the list?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:42 AM, DWW12 wrote:

    Lost of EV smack talk by EV virgins. Please tell us more about how your girl friend's breasts feel like big bags of sand. My Volt is my only vehicle that I can make the power for it with solar on my garage. It's the only Vehicle where I can go my first 40 miles on $1.20 in "fuel". It can be "on" in the garage with the door shut and not kill me. My Volt is my only vehicle with regen, so I am not doing brake jobs every 20-30k miles (it most likely won't ever need a brake job, because regen does 99% of the braking). Since the engine is only used for about 30% of total miles I won't be doing a timing belt change until 300,000 miles, oil changes every 30,000. It takes off with full torque the moment you floor it, silently, so you don't look like a jackA racing everybody. It is the goto car unless I need to tow or pick up sheet rock, plywood or full load of stuff. When there is an electric SUV I will be buying that.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:43 AM, Gustavo wrote:

    I've had 3 Saturn Ls, two manual and one automatic. With 4 cyl I usually got 35-37 mpg. They were comfortable, quick, big roomy trunk and I could get about 350 miles out of them. And I paid about 6,000 for them used. I got over 160,000 miles out of them. Any mechanic could fix these and there were no batteries to recycle. Regretfully, Saturn tried to keep up with the Joneses, started developing minivans and screwed up their market. And GM decided that they should keep manufacturing the Suburban which has much better fuel economy. We shouldn't focus so much on the new technology. The technology is here. Light diesel, composite panels to lighten the load. We don't need to get crazy to get 50 mpg on regular cars. We just need to get the ridiculous V8s off the road.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:05 PM, durhamkid wrote:

    Please be cautious about what you read in these comments: many of them are misinformed.

    Electric vehicles are usually cleaner than cars that get 50 MPG, depending on the fuel used to generate your electricity (http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-so...

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:21 PM, edteked wrote:

    Other than the VW TDI, all these other cars mileage is based on the best conditions. I know for a fact that the Leaf doesn't get 81 miles per charge! This winter, a coworker was lucky to get 30! And he averages about 45-50 per charge!

    And *NONE* of those Prius's get that kind of mileage...not every day...These are best case numbers, not real world numbers...and they are a joke!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:26 PM, AcuraT wrote:

    "Number of battery issues and recalls" - I saw this on the Volt ranked at #5. Very interesting, as that link goes to disappointing sales - not to battery issues and recalls. I know of one recall - batteries that caught on fire in one NHTSA crash test. GM immediately had one recall and fixed the problem for all cars. Nothing else I can find anywhere. Does anyone know of others that GM has had on the Volt? Or is this story full of hot air?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:34 PM, midnighteye wrote:

    My 24 year old Jetta will give me a similar mileage to those discussed here. So much for old cars giving poor gas mileage. Size and weight is all that matters really.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:37 PM, CluckChicken wrote:

    Why does the Volt mention recalls but none of the others?

    Civic - 3 in 2012 and at least 1 a year for 11 of the last 12 years

    Jetta - 2 in 2012 and at least 1 of each of the last 12 years

    Prius - 5 in 2012 including 2 on the electrical system and at least 1 each of the last 12 years

    i - no data yet, too new

    Leaf - 1 in 2013

    Focus - 3 in 2012 and 10 of last 12 years

    I understand that most of Fool writers are anti GM but do you always have to be so obvious?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:00 PM, Cody700 wrote:

    How much is a gallon of electricity anyway???

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:05 PM, luckytinam wrote:

    Higher Gas Mileage.. It all uses GAS/COAL to run the power plants to charge up the cars! Also, with these new electric/Hybrid CARS the government is reducing how far you can travel now! Now you limited to drive 300 miles away? Than hang somewhere for hours to charge your car again? to Go another 300 Miles.. I dont think this is the best way to go.. Maybe for city cars, local local travellers.. But their needs to be a balance.. That is not what Obama saying.. He's saying all by 2025 you must have.. So that means no more driving to see Mickey? Being hostage to say 300 miles from your home.. I dont think so.. All the miltary vechicles run on What??? Diesel.. Lets practice what we preach

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:07 PM, luckytinam wrote:

    Now with these new cars.. the batteries only last 7 or so years.. than you need to buy another 15k worth of batteries.. than dispose of the old one.. Where before my engine would last 15 years now i am reduced to 7 or so years.. No way jose

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:14 PM, schatzmask wrote:

    Our 2012 Ford Fiesta achieves over 50 MPG at 65MPH on the cruise control, and over 60 MPG at 55 MPH in the real world, not on the EPA dyno, and it is more fun to drive than most of the relatively heavy, marginal handling hybrid cars. Part of the secret is using non-ethanol gasoline.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:20 PM, joecjet wrote:

    No way would Nissan leaf get that under normal driving. It had to be tested at a perfectly straight track at precise temperature readings, with a tail wind. My wife bought one in the fall and where we live is hilly, plus temps get down into the 20's or lower for extended periods. You most definitely lose performance in the cold weather. If you pull hills continuously, forget this car. She is a traveling nurse visiting home patients. She owned the car 2 months and hated it. The only issues we had were the plug in the short time we owned it. Her co worker got a Chevy Volt and got rid of it in a month. These cars weren't designed for this use. We bought a Ford Focus Titanium and she is more than happy with it. A consistent 35 MPG even with our terrain. We were lucky, as the auto group who sold us the Nissan also owns a Ford and Dodge/Jeep dealerships at the same complex so they got us out from under the high priced Nissan. We took a loss, but a lot of dealers don't even want to take a trade on these cars and appraise on trading accordingly.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:23 PM, Tiger69 wrote:

    I have had a Prius since 2007. It now has about 140,000 miles on it. I think that it cost $25,000 less $7,000 federal and Colorado alternate fuel credits. It has given me no headaches and hardly any maintenance costs. The storage capacity is very large because the front seat sits so far forward and the back seats go down. My wife still gets 50+ mpg on the highway. I am 46+ because I drive with fast traffic. Even if my hybrid battery went out tomorrow (probably won't), I would buy another Prius in a New York minute. (It is also fun to drive with lots of pick up and handles very well on ice and snow -- as long as it is not deeper than the low ring car). I don't even start to think about refueling until I have driven 400 miles. I am amazed at the questions I get about hybrids. I wouldn't even know I was driving one if I didn't watch the power display on the dashboard. When there is sufficient infrastructure and better range, I might consider an electric vehicle. But, for now, I'm a hybrid junkie. And with Toyota and Honda to choose from, I can't go wrong.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:26 PM, Dbutler1966 wrote:

    I for one do not care if my car is environmentally neutral or not. I enjoy driving and will buy whatever I want regardless of it's environmental footprint just as everyone else has the freedom to do. There are trade off's regardless of what you choose. For me, a car has to be reliable, reasonably priced and fun to drive. It has to fit my budget above all else. All the tree huggers can drive the electric cars because that leaves more gasoline available to me. For me, give me a Mustang with a a big ole V8 any day over any of the cars listed here.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:32 PM, fisherv wrote:

    Drive a Leaf and love it -- yes, I enjoy feeling self-righteous bypassing the gas station, but I also LOVE not having to pump gas ever (plug in nightly like I do my cell phone) and I really LOVE driving it -- it's fun and zippy and easy to maneuver and park.

    Re: comments above:

    - I do have a family of four (all adults at this point) and prefer to take the Leaf for comfort

    - I do drive on the highway above 60mph but I put on cruise control and eco mode and my range maintains

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:58 PM, Aegius wrote:

    As far as I see it...hydrogen fuel cells are the only way forward right now. Electric is a short term fad. They take hours to charge. Electricity costs money. range can often be limited. Cold weather impacts efficiency, apartment dwellers need not apply.

    Lets face it, consumers wants something that is at least as convenient as what they currently have. Hydrogen accomplishes this and is only limited by poor existing infrastructure.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:21 PM, sj4 wrote:

    As far as electric cars producing as much or more greenhouse gases as a regular car here is a study that NASA is doing...

    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/1036

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:45 PM, TheeShawn wrote:

    Always been curious since I have not seen any studies on this question to date.

    How much energy is consumed in order to charge an electric vehicle? If a charge seems to provide around 100 miles of driving and the average yearly mileage driven is 12,000 miles that's 120 charges per year. If a charge takes 3 hours that's 15 days of continuous charging required to power an electric vehicle all year.

    Add in the extra energy consumption required to build/recycle batteries and other things electric vehicles require are they really as green as they claim?

    I don't know, all I know is I'll never buy one.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:49 PM, wwt17 wrote:

    the irony in all of this is that in 1988 my parents bought a honda civic. it got 45mpg on the highway - unless i was driving it. ;-P still, 26 years later and now we're only talking a handful of cars that do only SLIGHTLY better than that?!?!?!?! if ice fuel efficiency progressed like moore's law, cars should be getting like 50,000mpg by now. i'm not impressed by these numbers at all.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:00 PM, Riggerwo wrote:

    As far as I am concerned Hybrids do not count...they are a minute fraction of the number of cars on the road...they are more expensive...higher maintenance and have very (in most cases) limited mileage and use. There is no reason why most gas powered cars can not get at least 50 mpg. They are also not as "Green" as they claim to be as the production of the battery packs is labour and energy intensive...and is an environmental issue for disposal. Add to the fact it will cost you up to 10K to replace the battery pack...so that kills he second hand market!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:30 PM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    The Leaf is sooooooo ugly.

    Elio motors is coming out soon @ 84 mpg and a price of $6,800.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:50 PM, gdnoel wrote:

    This biggest thing holding back electric cars is surprisingly not battery capacity, its misinformation.

    For starters, Im not sure where the article's author got the idea that the Volt has been plagued with "a number of battery problems and recalls". Its simply not true. There was one incident where the car was smashed in a side impact test and the then totaled vehicle was plugged back in to a charger and subsequently caught fire the next day. so, if your car is TOTALLED, don't plug it in until its fixed. done. GM did however choose to bulk up a metal bracket that would help protect that battery in such an impact. I guess that's the recall the author was talking about.

    Now, for the "electric cars are coal cars" crowd: you're basically, um, well.. wrong. The US electric grid is roughly 46% coal AND DROPPING every day. If you think that electric cars just extend the tailpipe to the powerplant, you are also wrong. Electric cars are far more efficient at converting stored energy to moving a car down the road than internal combustion even considering the losses at the powerplant and along the powerlines. Furthernmore, decentralizing our emissions form the city still has health benefits.

    to those who think your power bill will go through the roof when you get an electric car, again, not true. Granted, I do half my charging at work, but the half I do at home costs me about $15/month extra. Depending on your power company, some people have switched to time-of-use billing so they can charge their cars at night for cheaper. In the end, some of them have actually seen their power bills GO DOWN. I have a Chevy Volt so when I run out of charge it switches to gas. I therefore also spend up to $20 per month in gas. Driving electric is the cheapest way to get around short of riding your bike.

    Waiting for charging: most people never have to wait for their car to charge. You charge at night while you sleep. thats not waiting, that's sleeping. The Tesla can cover far more ground than most people want to cover in a day and the Volt will switch to gas if you go over the EV miles between charges. no one is waiting around for their car to charge.

    Safety: all electric vehicles undergo the same crash testing as any other vehicle. that's the law. In fact, with all the Tesla fires, the same, or worse would have happened had the offending vehicle been gasoline powered, only they driver would not have had 15 minutes to calmly pull off the freeway and collect their belongings before the fire started.

    To be fair, there is no car that is perfect for everyone. Select your own vehicle based on your particular usage. The Leaf is inexpensive but has a maximum range before recharging that can be limiting for some people. The Tesla doesn't have as much problem with that because of the large battery. If you cant afford a Tesla, the Volt will get you where you are going on electric 80% of the time (EV range 38miles EPA, real world 26-60miles depending on driver and weather conditions) and use gasoline at 37-42mpg once you out-drive your electric range. That being said, if you regularly drive more than 300miles each way in one day, you are in the minority, don't trash talk EVs, just buy yourself VW diesel and appreciate that your commute is extremely uncommon.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 4:00 PM, mobycat wrote:

    This is pretty misleading. 51 for the Passat? VW only claims 43. If you look at the sticker in the window, it says it could be anywhere from 35-51.

    I don't doubt that some people could get that. I had a 1979 VW Diesel Rabbit that was getting about 50mpg in the CITY when I got rid of it. I'm sure it was 55+ on the highway.

    But to use the high end of the range is misleading, plain and simple. My current Mazda claims 22/27. I'm lucky to average 24 on a tank and I don't drive it hard.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 4:25 PM, RogK994 wrote:

    I'll take my 1964 Austin Healey Sprite. After the Datsun 5 speed conversion 52 mpg in the Rocky mountains in July with the top down!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 4:58 PM, danwat1234 wrote:

    ERRORS IN ARTICLE;

    The #9 Civic Hybrid is not reliable! Holy crap Sean Williams are you an idiot. Consumer Reports blasts the Civic Hybrid for their horrible batteries, and praises the Prius for it's reliability. http://imgur.com/zlMi4oI

    There have been NO recalls for the Volt, just a service bulletin to strengthen the battery protection in case you leave your crashed Volt fully charged with a full tank of gas, upside down for many weeks. You can now do that safely.

    #8 TDI 51MPG?? According to Fuelly and fueleconomy.gov they only get low 40s real world average.

    #3 Ford Focus Electric; The top speed (electronically limited) is 84MPH not 82MPH, duh.

    "Always an agenda it seems. Funny that the Volt is the only one listed as having recalls, Not one mention of the countless recalls and issues concerning the Teslas catching on fire"

    --MassioX, there hasn't been "countless" recalls/issues with the Tesla Model S. In fact, NONE. They have issued a software update to raise the height of the car when on the highway. The Volt has had 1 recall total and a number of service bulletins.

    --HDDon, actually you can tow a small boat with it. If a Prius can do it, a heavier and faster Volt can do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc5rF54lEZ8

    --WatchingOwl, where did you get that figure of only 28% of the energy put into making electricity at fossil fuel plants, produce electricity? That is no better than conventional engines. Power plants typically use big efficient turbines so I'm sure the efficiency is much more than 28%.

    There have been studies that in states where most of the electricity is made by coal or fossil fuels, at worst EVs are still as good as a good hybrid. You must take into account the horrible efficiency of gas engines, and the gas needed to convert crude oil to gas.

    "How long do the batteries last, and how much to replace them. There will probably be another cost to dispose old batteries. Add all those to the extra initial cost and you can afford to drive what you really like..."

    --Ernest, the batteries are not disposed of at the end of their life, they are recycled and it won't cost the EV owner anything because the battery is worth some metal money. Replacement packs will be cheaper than the pack is today because by the time it wears out in 10 years or more, it won't be as high tech as it is today and there will likely be 3rd party solutions for battery packs.

    --kgj856, that 85MPG car in Europe is using European gallons which is larger than regular gallons, and is tested with the highly unrealistic (inflated) MPG tests they do over there. You won't get anywhere near that in the real world. Maybe as good as a Prius.

    ---------------

    WatchingOwl is correct. The fuel efficiency of electric cars is artificially inflated by the EPA use of MPGE = 115,000 BTU which is ALL of the energy in a gallon of gas. It doesn't account for the 33% loss associated with burning coal to make the electricity. Even if you include the energy cost to refine oil to gas, the 100 MPGE cars are really only getting about 30 MPG HC equivalent. The electric cars wouldn't even rank if they used a MPG HC equivalent rating.

    --------------------

    --You are forgetting the horrible efficiency of gas engines. So you have the energy needed to convert crude into gasoline, the energy needed to truck and train it and the inefficiency of the car itself.

    EVs are the solution as the grid becomes cleaner EVs will automatically become greener.

    You have the freedom of how you power your EV, you don't have that freedom with a gas car.

    --Left2053, it DOES NOT take 21 hours for an electric car to charge? Where did you hear that? Yes it'll take many hours on a regular 120V outlet, but much faster with 240V (only a few hours) and less than an hour on supported EVs that can take 480V.

    natrllifter56, " Also they are real threat to the environment as well as a the spent batteries are are worse than the spent gases out the tailpipes.".

    -- You are wrong. The batteries at the end of their life, are recycled, they don't go out into the environment but get made into new batteries. Lead acid car batteries are recycled as well.

    "Now with these new cars.. the batteries only last 7 or so years.. than you need to buy another 15k worth of batteries.. than dispose of the old one.. Where before my engine would last 15 years now i am reduced to 7 or so years.. No way jose"

    --Luckytinam, you are an idiot. Consumer reports loves the Prius. With 2002 Priuses only 5% have needed a battery replacement so far (http://imgur.com/zlMi4oI) , and it only costs about $2500 for the pack, less if you go aftermarket. You don't dispose of the old one, Toyota will PAY YOU for the old one. You're a lying idiot.

    " Her co worker got a Chevy Volt and got rid of it in a month"

    --joecjet, you are an idiot as well. The Volt has a 1.4L engine as a generator! It can go up hills just fine!

    "As far as I see it...hydrogen fuel cells are the only way forward right now. Electric is a short term fad. They take hours to charge. Electricity costs money. range can often be limited. Cold weather impacts efficiency, apartment dwellers need not apply.

    Lets face it, consumers wants something that is at least as convenient as what they currently have. Hydrogen accomplishes this and is only limited by poor existing infrastructure."

    --Sorry Aegius, you are an idiot as well. Splitting hydrogen from water takes ALOT of electricity! Guess what, Hydrogen cars are less efficient than electric cars, and, hydrogen cars have electric drivetrains anyway (fuel cells convert hydrogen BACK to electricity).

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 6:25 PM, Alfistigeno wrote:

    I can attest that I often get over 50 mpg with my 2013 Passat TDI. It's a very comfortable and competent car. This is my fourth TDI and I have not had any problems with them. I use biodiesel.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 9:12 PM, rschantell wrote:

    It is too bad the coal-fired electricity providers do not take note, step up and do the right thing. Instead, they spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, politicians and lawyers. I believe a strong executive order is necessary to get everyone on the same page.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:50 PM, rawood wrote:

    The Americans have it screwed up. The Europeans have it right. A few years ago I rented a Citroen diesel with supercharged engine and 7 speed transmission. The 7 speeds gave you low gears for very good acceleration and very overdrive gears for cruising. The supercharger only came on when you stomped the gas pedal for really good acceleration. It was a bit smaller than my Honda Accord but still could carry plenty of luggage. I drove from Madrid to Gibraltar and points in between;both freeway and inner city alleys. It got 60 miles per gallon. The European countries tax diesel less than regular gas. They haven't got the safety regs. we do. Net result; a car that gets twice the mileage my Honda gets. And you do not have to screw around with batteries and recharging. How come these peanut cars like the Fiat 500 can not get better mileage ? There is something wrong with this American picture.

  • Report this Comment On March 11, 2014, at 3:40 AM, danwat1234 wrote:

    Rawood, in Europe you were filling up with Imperial gallons, which is 20% larger than USA gallons, so reduce that MPG by 20% to get to the same units.

    60MPG / 1.2 = 50MPG, which is on par with a Prius. A 1st gen Honda Insight hybrid with a manual transmission would get higher than this.

  • Report this Comment On March 11, 2014, at 9:07 AM, jussi wrote:

    I have often wondered how do you provide heat in an electric car when it is 30 below zero? Keep windshield defrosted? run A?C in hot weather?

    Why do people not talk about the electric costs to recharge batteries. Total costs to operate an all electric or hybred must be included not just MPG.

  • Report this Comment On March 11, 2014, at 2:25 PM, danwat1234 wrote:

    If you'd scroll up you'd see comments talking about the cost to recharge an electric car.

    Assuming maybe 12 centers KWh, charging a Leaf fully, which takes somewhere around 24KWh, that is $2.88. Some places have cheaper electricity, some more expensive.

    At 30 below zero F? Electric heat would heat the car and the battery and the windshield. The AC compressor is electric and doesn't take anywhere near as much power as electrical heat.

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2014, at 2:27 PM, jonnytdi wrote:

    330d M Sport 4d

    Engine: 6cyl 2993cc

    Driven wheels: Rear

    Power (bhp): 258

    Torque (lb/ft): 413

    0-62 (mph): 5.60

    Top Speed (mph) 155

    MPG (combined) 57

    MPG (urban) 47

    MPG (extra urban) 65

    Range (miles): 722

    Euro NCAP: 5.00

    Yes 0-60 in 5.6 and more than 50 MPG ... and I have one :P

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2014, at 4:06 PM, miataman5 wrote:

    my 1st gen Insight averages >60mpg US

    VWs experimental XL1 does >200(!) mpg

    but won't be available here +costs over 100k.

    technology should trickle down though.

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2014, at 4:19 PM, dunnydame wrote:

    Don't European gas/petrol/essence pumps give you your fuel in liters???

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 12:41 AM, mikeflores2000 wrote:

    Most electric vehicles depreciate to less than 50% of purchase price after 5 years. The Nissan Leaf is

    projected to depreciate to 20% of original purchase price after 5 years.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 5:33 AM, Riggerwo wrote:

    100mpg...but if the range is only 85 miles...I do not see the point!

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 7:29 AM, JGDTexas wrote:

    Forget the carbon footprint talk....they're recharged using electric. Unless you're electric is coming from all solar.......you're leaving a carbon footprint and it may just be from coal. And, a couple years ago I heard that Toyota battery manufacturing was shipping parts and completed batteries back and forth across the world.....more carbon...then there's the environmental/recycling issues with the batteries. What's the life of the $5000 (?) battery, 5 yrs?

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2014, at 4:24 PM, danwat1234 wrote:

    Jonnytdi, you aren't getting 50MPG with that with that 3L diesel BMW. That is the result of the lax European testing standards. 2 Liter diesels get about 40MPG real world average (USA gallons), a 3 Liter will be worse.

    ----

    mikeflores2000, It won't depreciate that much. But yeah, used EVs will be cheap to buy and then if the battery pack is ~over 10 years old you could spend a couple grand on a new one and you have yourself a nice car.

    ---

    JGDTexas, the battery life is warrantied on most EVs for 100,000 miles, 8 years and should last longer than that since it should be engineered to last longer than the warranty on average.

    The batteries are recycled at end of life and so hopefully the replacement pack will be pretty cheap since it will no longer be high end and the materials to make it are local.

    Even if the electric car/plug-in hybrid is recharged with coal, it is still as good as a Prius. In other states with hydro it is a clear win and as the states with coal transition to cleaner power plant technology, those EVs will automatically benefit.

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