With the onset of the credit crunch and increased fuel prices, motorists are increasingly seeking out vehicles with long term affordability and lower running costs. Where once looks and performance played a major role in choosing a new car, in recent years this has often been replaced by questions about reliability, low service cost and good fuel economy. Manufacturers have played an important part by employing new and improved technologies to not only meet ever-demanding emissions standards and Green agendas but also to improve fuel consumption and make their vehicles more attractive to the discerning buyer. This article features five cars that top the tree when it comes to fuel economy.
At one time Kia was viewed as very much a low-budget, inferior-quality alternative to more traditional manufacturers, but in recent years the company has evolved into one the world’s foremost automotive companies. With vehicles boasting a surprisingly high level of equipment and a wide range of options, the Kia Rio has undergone several incarnations. The most recent ‘Ecodynamics’ versions boast extremely frugal petrol and diesel engines, with some models claiming fuel economy approaching 90 miles per gallon (mpg). This is one small car not be overlooked.
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Toyota are renowned for launching the world’s first mass-produced hybrid, the Prius, and have now extended the technology across the range. The Yaris, already a very fuel efficient and highly-respected supermini, is now available as a hybrid, and boasts economy in the range of 80 mpg. There’s an added premium to pay for the car, but the accompanying lowered emissions and great economy make this a terrific vehicle.
Another car which has been refined over the past few years, the C3 ‘Airdream’ model can attain a fuel economy around 83 mpg, and features many of the associated benefits in lowered emissions and comfort as its immediate competitors. With low provisional insurance and new driver costs, coupled with its great environmental credetials, this is a very worthy contender among the most efficient and economical cars in its class.
The Clio has been around for many years, and is extremely familiar to the UK market thanks to an impressive marketing campaign in the 1990s. The bolted-on ECO credentials have once again put the Clio to the fore, with the latest models reputedly rivalling the Kia Rio’s 88 mpg performance level at a very similar cost. In a market consistently dominated by Far Eastern vehicles, the French are definitely catching up again.
No look at the most economical vehicles on the road would be complete without mention of the remarkable Chevrolet Volt, and its sister car, the Vauxhall Ampera. One of the first truly next-generation cars to hit the market, the Volt is the European Car of the Year 2013. It boasts an electric battery with relatively limited range, but with a petrol-powered electricity generator as backup, tests have reportedly shown that the Volt can, remarkably, produce fuel consumption of 235 mpg!
As new technologies are introduced into the market, no doubt fuel economy among all classes of car will continue to improve. The five examples above demonstrate that fantastic fuel savings can be made without compromising great performance and comfort, and have ushered in a new era in car manufacturing.