The Longest Lasting Cars on the Road

While most people talk about how to save a few dollars on gas, the real savings when it comes to an automobile is holding onto a car for as long as possible and, as long as it isn’t costing you a lot for maintenance, driving that sucker until the wheels fall off.

With that in mind, we put together a list of the longest lasting automobiles on the road today, as per the data that was recently released by  If you’re looking for a vehicle that will last you from now into the next decade and further, these next five cars should be high on your list of the ones to buy. Enjoy.

The Subaru Outback is one of the best cars to purchase if you’re an outdoor enthusiast because it has standard all-wheel drive and, while the interior isn’t what you call luxurious, it is very capable and practical. What’s even more impressive is that quite a few of these excellent cars make it to 200,000 miles.

A big surprise, especially for people who love to bash the American automobile industry, is that the Ford Taurus actually was tied with the Honda Civic and Acura TL for reliability, and the ability to put 200,000 miles on its odometer.

Speaking of the Acura TL, it’s not  surprising to see one of them reach 200,000 miles when you consider that Honda has been making reliable cars for decades. Acura is their luxury line and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree as far as quality is concerned when they made these cars.

Of course any list of reliable, long-lasting cars wouldn’t be complete without the Toyota Camry but, truth be told, it’s only slightly ahead of Acura, Honda and even Ford when it comes to vehicles that have reached or exceeded 200,000 miles on their odometer. Still, it’s America’s best-selling car for something, and longevity is a big part of the equation.

We already mentioned the Honda Civic, one of the best-selling models from one of the best-selling automobile brands in the world. Although it’s tied with the Acura TL as far as the percentage of cars that reach the 200,000 mile mark, the numbers are a bit skewed because the Civic sells a lot more than the TL.

While the Altima is one of the best selling cars in the country, it’s the Nissan Maxima that appears to be hitting 200,000 miles more often. It’s on the same par with the Toyota Camry, although it does sell in lower volumes that either the Altima or the Camry.

Lastly there’s the Honda Accord which, not surprisingly, is the number one longest lasting car on the road with nearly 2% of all Accords hitting the 200,000 mile threshold. This simply backs up what’s been known and said about Honda for the last few decades, that they make some of the most reliable and long-lasting vehicles in the world.

Saving Fuel Requires Lighter Cars

What’s the best way to get better mileage out of our automobiles? Make them as light as possible.

Think car roofs made out of carbon fiber, bumpers created from aluminum foam and windshields made out of plastic. The fact is, even though hybrid and electric cars are in the news, lighter materials are the real “final frontier” for fuel economy.

Known as “lightweighting” among automakers, experiments have been going on for decades to bring that weight of automobiles further and further down. With the new, tougher gas mileage standards that have recently been adopted the effort has definitely gained a bit of urgency of late. The fact is that most cars will need to lose a lot of pounds in order to meet the government’s 2025 fuel economy goals.

For those people that are concerned, the fact is that lighter cars don’t mean cars that are less safe. In fact, many of the cars being made with these new, space age material are doing quite well in government crash tests. Roughly 30% of the new vehicles already being made today have aluminum hoods that are as impact resistant as steel, and a number of auto manufacturers have teamed up with airplane manufacturers in order to get their data from years of lightweight material crash testing.

Developed in concert with the US Department of Energy, the Ford Fusion lightweight prototype car weighs approximately 800 pounds less than the Fusion already on the road, thanks to carbon fiber instrument panel, a rear window made from the same thin plastic that covers cell phones and aluminum brake rotors that are nearly 40% lighter than cast iron.

Due to all of these lightweight materials the new Fusion can use the same engine as the Ford Fiesta, an automobile that gets about 45 mpg on the highway already.

Of course the one drawback that it has is that these lightweight materials are ridiculously expensive. For example, the carbon fiber frames used for the seats are approximately $73 each, compared to the steel frames normally used that are priced at approximately $12.

This isn’t stopping automobile manufacturers however as they are constantly looking for newer materials that not only shave weight but also cost.

Matt Zaluzec, the technical leader for materials and manufacturing research at Ford, says that “These are the technologies that will creep into vehicles in the next three to five years.”

The 2013 Range Rover from Land Rover is a great example. When it was put on sale last year it featured an all-aluminum body and other lightweight components that enabled Land Rover to make it 700 pounds less than its predecessor.

It’s been estimated by Morgan Stanley that, if 1 billion cars on the world’s roads rose today were made lighter by only 110 pounds, upwards of $40 billion would be saved in fuel every year.

“Lightweighting is going to be with us for a long time,” said Hesham Ezzat, a technical fellow at GM. “Every manufacturer is going to have to leverage their entire palette of materials.”

So it seems that, even if they might not be looking for the better, renewable fuels, at least auto manufacturers are doing their best to design cars that are lighter and use less of the fuels we are already using.

Need more Fuel Efficiency from your Prius? Track your route

Okay, we get it. Your Toyota Prius is already an excellent car with mileage so high that it puts every solo gas using car to absolute shame.  But what’s that?  You say you want even better mileage from your Prius, so that you can use even less gas because you can run on your car’s battery for a longer amount of time?  Well then, you’re in luck, because researchers have just figured out a way to make your gas sipping car even more efficient.

The way they’ve done is to let you track the route that you take to work.

The solution that the Prius has right now is that, when you’re battery runs out of power, the Prius starts using your gas supply. It works, but it isn’t the best use of power by any means.

Now however a system has been developed by Chalmers University of Technology and professor Viktor Larsson that will analyze the daily route that you use to go to work, including any detours to places that you go to regularly (Starbucks anyone?), and once it knows your route will then determine the best way to get the most life out of your battery.

For example, when you’re on the highway your Prius may switch to gasoline as it’s more efficient, saving the stored power in your battery to use when you’re in stop and go traffic closer to the office.

It’s not going to save you a huge amount of money on gasoline by any means, but Prof. Larsson predicts that it could reduce the energy consumption of your Prius by up to 10% and, since the technology behind most hybrid cars is relatively the same, the new device will be able to work on most of them. It simply needs to be able to set up a communication between your car’s battery and engine via the computer in order to do it.

Similar technology has already been developed by Prof. Larsson for the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, where testing and simulations have already been carried out. Tests have also been done to see if using a smart phone, in place of the computer server that powers the cars management system, could be an option.

In any case, look for the new technology to arrive sometime in the next few months and help your already ultra-mileage hybrid vehicle to get even more miles out of a gallon of gas and its bank of batteries.

EPA states that there was a new Car and Truck Efficiency Record for 2012

In the last 20 years or so auto manufacturers have invested a huge amount of money into complying with government regulations that are becoming increasingly strict every year. The good news is that, at least here in the United States, fuel economy and efficiency are definitely on the rise while CO2 emissions are on the decline.

In fact, 2012 marked the best record ever for automobile efficiency as the average mile per gallon rating of new cars was over 23.6, the highest it’s been since 1975 when the EPA actually started recording such statistics. Their latest report indicates that, by 2025, the 54.5 mile per gallon target that’s been set should be met by most car manufacturers with relative ease.

Even better news is that emissions also fell in 2012. The adjusted final model year numbers for its CO2 emissions actually dropped 22g per mile while model year adjusted fuel economy rose 1.2 miles per gallon.

What this means is that in 7 out of the last 8 years the average fuel figures in America have improved and turned around a long-running negative trend that started in 1987 and went all the way through 2004.

The report states that every car manufacturing company had higher fuel economy, with Mazda leading the way at 27.1 miles per gallon. This was no doubt helped by the fact that Mazda sells fewer pickup trucks and SUVs then all other manufacturers. Honda came in second with 26.6, Volkswagen was third with 25.8 and Toyota came in fourth with 25.6. Rounding out the top five was Subaru at 25.2.

One of the reasons for the increase is definitely due to the market drop for light trucks including SUVs, vans, pickups and crossovers. In 2012 they only accounted for 36% percent of new car sales, a figure that dropped from 6% over the previous year. Further helping the increase was the fact that today’s newer vehicles are being designed to be lighter and, indeed, the average vehicle in 2012 was approximately 150 pounds lighter than in 2011.

Further helping the increase is new technology like “stop start” and the fact that smaller cylinder cars with forced induction are taking the place of larger displacement engines. Hybrids and plug-ins, to a small extent, are helping, as well as the fact that diesel engines are now becoming quite popular. In fact, in 2012 there were 5 times as many automobiles that offered 30 miles per gallon over 2011 and 4 times the amount that were offering 40 miles per gallon.

The results of efficiency testing from 2013 won’t be released until almost 2015 but still the EPA anticipates that there will be an increase in miles per gallon of .6 and an associated decrease of carbon dioxide per mile of 6g. For people who are looking to save money on gasoline as well as save the planet, this is excellent news and means that auto manufacturers are working harder than ever to not only meet their emissions goals but actually surpass them.

3 Ways To Compare MPG when Buying a new Car

When buying a new car one of the biggest factors that influence is a person’s decision is fuel economy. With gas prices higher than ever that’s really no surprise. Knowing what your new car’s fuel efficiency will be will not only let you know what your monthly vehicle costs will be (more or less) but may also help you decide on which model to purchase.

If you haven’t purchased a new car in some time you may not know what to look for and where to find this valuable information. Not only that but you might not know which information is more important or how to decipher what auto manufacturers and the EPA are saying. Once you’re done reading today’s blog you will however so, as always, enjoy.

  1. The easiest place to find fuel economy information is on the window sticker of any new car. On this sticker you will have EPA numbers for city, highway and combined mpg.

These numbers can be quite deceiving however and, the reality is that few cars will actually achieve the numbers listed on their window sticker. In fact, unless your car is on an open, flat road, in perfect conditions and at a certain specific speed, the numbers on the sticker for city and highway driving will probably never be matched. In most cases the combined number is much more accurate but you’ll need to look harder for it because it’s near the bottom of the sticker in smaller print. (Don’t you just love new car manufacturers?)

  1. The United States DEA has a lot of fuel economy information on their website, fact, it’s one of the best tools for finding and comparing car mpg numbers and you can find and compare them for vehicles going back all the way to 1984. (Insert George Orwell reference here.)

A great feature on the site is being able to customize your data so that your MPG results are more accurate. Just click on the personalized button and you can input your annual mileage, fuel prices where you live, the percentage of miles that you happen to drive in heavy traffic and so forth. Once done, you’ll see all sorts of different results including the cost to fill your tank, drive 25 miles and even your estimated annual fuel costs.

  1. Most every carmaker has information about their brand’s mpg on their website but, in most professional opinions, using that information will get you mixed results at best. For example, if you’re looking for a full-size SUV you’ll probably have to spend quite a bit of time digging to find the mpg for that model and, in some cases, you won’t find it all.

The fact is, the current system that is being used to measure a car’s fuel efficiency is far from perfect and, in many cases, creates a very inaccurate perception of a car’s actual fuel consumption. In the future we can expect to see some changes, including figures that show how many gallons a car uses for every hundred miles it’s driven.

Until that time, take any MPG numbers that you see with a grain of salt and do your best to get as much from every gallon of gas as possible including proper maintenance on your car, driving at slower speeds and so forth. (For that matter, we have literally dozens of blog articles about how to increase your cars mpg so, when you have a moment, take a look at some of them for ideas, tips and advice.)

If you have any questions about fuel economy, how to save money on gas or other personal finance issues, please let us know and we’ll get back to you with options and answers as soon as we can.

The Benefits of a Hybrid Car — and 1 Drawback

There have been many new urban myths created around hybrid cars but, for the most part, they tend to be faster, tougher and longer-lasting than most people give them credit for. If you’re in the market for a new car and you’re considering a hybrid, we’ve put together a blog for you that goes over some of the best hybrid car benefits that you may not know about, as well as one surprising drawback all of them seem to have. We hope that they help make your car buying decision easier. Enjoy.

Many people believe that hybrid cars aren’t fast but the fact is, most were designed by simply adding one (and sometimes more) electric motors to a car’s standard drivetrain, something that resulted in multi-engine power. Indeed, car and driver magazine found that the 2011 Lexus RX450h hybrid was faster than Lexus is non-hybrid model.

The average hybrid car has an anti-freeze storage device on board that’s similar to an insulated cooler, something that can keep the antifreeze warm for several days. What this does is make for easier starts, lowered emissions and also faster heating of the car’s interior. (You’ll hear the antifreeze being pumped into the container when you shut off your car.)

Hybrid cars also don’t have nearly as big a problem climbing steep hills as most people believe. One of the reasons is that, when you are accelerating a hybrid uphill, it will shift to its lowest gear and instantly get nearly 100% of any power that’s available. Also, since their engine’s use no oxygen, electric motors are immune to the thin air problems that some cars have at a high altitude.

In practically every major metropolitan area in the United States you are required to bring your automobile in for emissions inspections. Since hybrid cars have no emissions, in most states there is no need for this time-consuming task.

Hybrids also use something called regenerative braking which not only saves wear and tear on their traditional brakes but also generates electricity for use in the car. When you consider that it’s approximately $500 to resurface a typical car’s brakes and replace its pads, lower brake wear is definitely a plus.

Hybrid electric cars come with expensive hybrid batteries and many people have questions as to their lifespan. In a recent issue of Consumer Reports magazine they found that this wasn’t a concern as hybrids with 200 and even 300,000 miles still had batteries that performed like new. That’s a darn good thing too because the batteries in most hybrids cost about $5000.

A hybrid car will need oil changes less frequently and also will need less maintenance. The reason is that, when coasting downhill, decelerating or coming to a stop, a hybrid car’s gas engine will turn itself off completely. This not only will reduce the amount of gasoline that’s being used but will also reduce the wear on a its engine. Toyota recommends changing the oil in their Prius hybrids every 5000 miles, a number that is much higher than the average car and means you’ll spend less money on oil changes as well.

Interestingly, hybrids seem to have one problem common among all of them.  All hybrid automobiles have a conventional low-voltage battery in them that powers most of the accessories and also starts the engine. What this means is that, if you leave a light on or forget to turn off the radio, you may find that your hybrid car and its very expensive hybrid battery are unable to start in the morning. Many hybrid owners are purchasing aftermarket replacements for these batteries so that they don’t have this problem.

At the end of the day hybrid cars certainly get amazing mileage out of every single gallon of gas. Besides the high sticker price that some of them carry, there are very few other drawbacks and more than enough benefits to make them a compelling argument when you’re thinking of purchasing a new automobile.

Comparing MPG – An important factor when buying a new car

In 2012 Kurt Neibuhr for Edmunds stated that, if a person wanted to find the best indicator of their automobiles real-world fuel economy, they should combine a car’s highway and city mpg figures together and use the averaged result. When it comes to buying a new car, fuel economy is one of the biggest factors that influence the decision-making process. Having an idea of a car’s fuel efficiency will give you a better idea of what your monthly fuel costs are going to be and could also help you decide between specific car models. If you’re looking for a new car, it’s a vital number that you need to know.

The question thus becomes how to determine a car’s mpg and how to best compare the mpg of several cars to see which one is the best. To that end we put together a blog today to give you lots of great information that will help you to do just that. Enjoy.

The easiest way to determine the mpg for a specific new car is to take a look at the window sticker when you’re at the dealer’s lot browsing around. All stickers have a specific section that the EPA uses to put information on the three main numbers that people are looking for, city, highway and combined MPG.

While the smiling salesman at your car dealership would love you to believe that those numbers are accurate, the fact is that few cars will actually achieve the mpg on their EPA sticker in the real world. About the only way to actually achieve those numbers would be to drive in perfect conditions, on an open road with no stops and no curves and driving at a very specific and controlled rate of speed.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

That’s why it’s never a good idea to get too attached to the MPG numbers given on the window sticker. All new cars starting in 2013 will be sporting the EPA’s new fuel economy label, one that makes a point of making the combined mpg figure larger and also adds information about fuel cost estimates and how the car will affect greenhouse gases.

If you’re looking for a better tool to compare MPG you’ll definitely want to surf to the US Department of Energy’s website. At you can actually look as far back as 1984 to find the mpg of any motor vehicle. Not only that but they have retroactively adjusted mpg ratings to account for the EPA’s revisions of 2008.

One feature that is very interesting is that you can get a personalized readout based on the car you drive, the type of driving that you do and some other factors. Once you input that information you’ll be able to see what the cost should be to fill up your tank, how much it would cost to drive 25 miles and also the amount of fuel that you would use and a lot of other interesting information. If you have a few minutes it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

Many people believe that checking a car maker’s website is an excellent way to get fuel economy numbers but the fact is that many automakers will only display the highway MPG number on their website. If you’re looking at an automobile that’s not exactly known to be fuel-efficient, like a full-size SUV, you’ll most likely have to really dig to find any information about the MPG and, in some cases, you won’t find it all.

With gas prices steadily climbing, purchasing an automobile that gets excellent MPG is vital if you don’t want to spend a fortune on gasoline. Even a 5% difference in MPG could equal a decent amount of savings over a year’s time and so, if you’re keen on using as little gas as possible, buying a car with excellent MPG is definitely the best decision that you can make. Just do yourself a favor and don’t believe everything that the EPA sticker tells you.

Alternatives to that gas-guzzling, gigantic SUV

Will gas prices hovering around $4.00 per gallon nationwide millions of people are looking for ways to cut their gasoline bills. Some of those people actually drive gigantic SUVs which, forgive us, leave us feeling a little bit cold about their complaints that gas prices are so high. Seriously, how can anyone complain about gas prices when they’re driving around an automobile with enough room to fit a family of 10?

But, stepping down off of our high horse for just a moment, there are some people that bought these ginormous vehicles thinking that they had very few choices as far as rear seat passenger legroom and carrying lots of cargo were concerned. There are definitely some alternatives on the road however and today we’ve brought you a blog that will tell you about 5 of them. These 5 vehicles are not only much easier on your wallet at the gas pump but they have plenty of legroom front and back and will handle most decent sized cargo loads with ease.  So if you need a relatively large size vehicle but you don’t want to drive something that gets 2 miles to the gallon you should definitely enjoy this blog.

Starting at just under $28,000 the Toyota Venzais one part station wagon and one part sedan. It has a very low silhouette and roofline and looks more like an overfed passenger car than an SUV. That being said it still provides almost 31 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and a huge 70.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down. Of course like most vehicles similar to the Venza on the road today it comes loaded with everything that mom and dad could possibly want as far as luxury but, at 21 mpg city and 27 on the highway, it’s not going to make you feel like a tool every time you’re sitting at the gas pumps.

The Acura TSX Sport Wagon is basically Acura’s wagon version of their midsize sedan and is also the smallest of the 5 vehicles on this list. Still, it has nearly 26 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats still in use, a number that’s only slightly smaller than the gigantic 5 seat Ford Escape SUV. Fold down those rear seats and the cargo capacity shoots up to almost 61 cubic feet, which is still pretty darn good for a car that gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 miles per gallon in the city. Considering that it’s the smallest car on our list the Acura TSX actually costs the most at just over $31,000, something that you should definitely keep in mind if you’re looking for a new vehicle but want to save money too.

One of the top vehicles in the minivan department the Nissan Questoffers nearly 26 cubic feet of storage with all of the seats still in use as well as an extra 11.4 cubic feet of extra storage under the floor (as long as you have the model that does not come with the optional Bose audio system). The Quest also has a roomy 63.6 cubic feet of storage space when the third row of seats is folded flat and an absolutely enormous 108.4 cubic feet when all of the seats are folded flat in the second and third rows. At 19 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway it’s certainly not the top contender as far as miles per gallon is concerned but it is number 1 in the cargo storage space department.

Probably our favorite on this list just because it gets such great mileage and has such an incredibly low starting price is the Kia Soul. At just under $14,000. but offering almost 54 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded the Soul is seriously impressive, especially when you consider that the Honda Civic is actually 1 foot longer. When you take into consideration the 35 miles that it gets to the gallon on the highway and 27 that it gets in the city, plus the fact that Kia seems to be getting better and better ratings by the likes of Consumer Reports magazine, you’ll see why we think the Soul is not only an excellent car but also an excellent choice for beating the oil companies at their own game.

Rounding out our list is the Mazda 5. It’s a minivan and wagon combination that seats6 but is a little bit smaller than your typical minivan. It only sports a meager 5.58 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row so, if you’re actually going to be seating 6 people in it, you’re probably going to have to load quite a bit of stuff on the roof. With the third row folded down however there is a decent 27.5 cubic feetof cargo space and that jumps up to 44.4 cubic feet when the second row joins it. Starting at just under $20,000 and claiming 21 mpg city wise and 28 mpg on the highway the Mazda 5 is definitely a car that you should consider if you’re looking for plenty of space for the family as well as enough room for all their luggage, at least when the third row of seats is folded down.

And there you have it, 5 vehicles that will take you where you want to go without killing your budget and will have enough roomto get the family (and their stuff) there in style. Good luck with your new car search and keep in mind that most manufacturer’s claimed mpg information is between 10 to 20% inflated. (We think it’s criminal to but there’s not much we can do about it.) Make sure to come back and visit us again soon as  we’re always searching for new and better ways to help you save money at the pump. See you then.

Buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle is the best answer to rising gas prices

As the price of gas soars ever higher millions of people across the country and around the world are looking for ways to increase their mpg and decrease the amount of gas that their car uses. While there are plenty of tips, tricks and  alternatives that can be used to do this the simple fact is this; the smaller and more efficient that your car is the less gasoline that it will use.

Of course if you’re a family of 7 getting everyone into a Honda Civic might not be the most comfortable idea and so, no matter if you drive a car, truck, sports utility vehicle or minivan, what you’re going to want to do is find the most fuel efficient model that you can based on your needs. With that in mind we put together a blog about some of the best cars on the road today for gas mileage. Keep in mind that while hybrids can certainly be very fuel-efficient they can also, in many cases, just be too darned small for your needs. That’s why you’ll see many cars here on our list that aren’t hybrids but are still quite fuel-efficient. Enjoy.

Speaking of hybrids let’s just agree that for the most part they are the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. The Honda Civic hybrid gets over 45 miles to the gallon and that’s in the city while the Toyota Prius gets even more. Those are great numbers to be sure and will definitely save you lots of cash at the gas pump but, again, if you have 5 kids there’s no way you’re using a Honda Civic to chauffeur them around.

One of the basic tasks that you have before you buy any car is to sit down and really figure out your transportation needs. Do you need a vehicle just for getting back and forth to the office by yourself or for making quick runs into town? If so a smaller, more economical car is definitely going to be on your short list of possibilities as well as most hybrids. On the other hand if your son is on the football team or your daughter plays soccer and you’re a football or soccer mom there will definitely be times when having a larger car or minivan are going to be absolutely necessary. Keeping your needs in mind before you buy will thus steer you towards a better purchase decision.

Looking at another example, let’s say that you work in construction or own your own construction company. If that’s the case, you definitely will need a large, full-size pickup truck, especially if you are going to be towing a trailer with tools and equipment. On the other hand, if you’re a weekend do-it-yourselfer you would probably be better off sticking with a smaller, more economical car and, when the need arises, renting a truck or van for your weekend projects.

Once you’ve taken a good look at your true automobile needs it’s time to start looking at the various makes and models to determine which one is going to the be the best for your needs and also deliver the best mpg. Also please keep in mind that the numbers that were going to be using below have been provided by the EPA and, frankly, most vehicles never actually meet these numbers. At best they are a good way to compare one car to the next and probably should be reduced by about 10% in most cases.

When it comes to two-seater automobiles the best on the market are the Honda Insight with manual transmission that gets 61/66 mpg and the Honda Insight with automatic transmission and 57/56 mpg.

When it comes to mini-compact cars the two choices are the Mini Cooper with manual transmission that gets 28/36 mpg and the same Mini Cooper with automatic transmission that gets 26/34 mpg

Are you looking for a subcompact car? If yes, your choices are the Volkswagen New Beetle with manual transmission and diesel engine at 38/46 mpg and the same Beetle with automatic and 36/42 mpg

The Honda Civic Hybrid with automatic variable transmission gets 48/47 mpg while the same with manual gets 46/51. Both are considered compact cars. Then there are midsize cars like the Toyota Prius Hybrid automatic and 60/51 mpg and the Hyundai Elantra with manual transmission and an mpg of 27/34.

The Volkswagen Jetta Wagon with diesel engine and manual transmission is a great small station wagon and gets 36/47 mpg while the Volkswagen Passat diesel with automatic gets an admirable 27/38 mpg. Ford weighs in with their Focus Station Wagon with manual transmission and an mpg of 26/35.

If you need a minivan to shuttle the family all over town the Honda Odyssey with automatic transmission gets a decent 20/28 mpg and the Dodge Caravan with automatic gets a 20/26 mpg rating. If a sport-utility vehicle is more along the lines of what you need the Ford Escape Hybrid with automatic variable transmission gets a very high 36/31 mpg while the Toyota Rav4 2- wheel drive with manual transmission gets a 24/30 rating.

Finally there’s your pickup trucks, including the Ford Ranger 2 wheel drive pickup with manual transmission that gets a decent 24/29 mpg and the Mazda B2300 2 wheel drive with manual transmission and a 24/29 mpg rating.

Of course there are plenty of other cars to choose from and, frankly, in many ways there is so much selection that it makes the final choice a bit more difficult. Since gas prices aren’t likely to drop anytime soon the more time, energy and research you put into finding the car that best meets your needs the better off your wallet will be when you head to your favorite local gas station. Good luck with whatever make and model you choose and please be sure to come back and visit us sometime soon for even more information on how to beat the high cost of gasoline. See you then.

What Makes a Difference at the Pump?

At water coolers, across grocery store counters and in kitchens everywhere across the country one of the biggest subjects on people’s lips is the price of a gallon of gas. At nearly 4 dollars a gallon on average people everywhere have been forced to make a huge adjustment to their budgets in order to be able to keep up their driving lifestyles. This of course has led many to search for any way possible to save money when filling up and has been the impetus for a number of blogs here on our website.

The way we look at it however is that there can’t be much talk about saving money on gas without talking about the one thing that makes the biggest difference at the pump; the type and size car that you drive. Indeed, it’s kind of hypocritical for anyone to talk about how much gas costs when they’re driving a huge, gas sucking road monster of a car every day. It’s with that in mind that we put together a blog about the Top 5 automobiles, mileage wise, being sold today.  If you happen to already be driving one of them, good for you. You can make a fuss about gas prices while the rest of us keep our mouths closed. Enjoy.

We will admit to a bit of pride that  there’s an American car among the bunch. The Chevrolet Cruz Eco’s  excellent number 42 mpg on the highway puts it right up there at the top of the charts. One of the reasons that it ships so little gas is that, at number 70 mph and in  6th  gear,  the Cruz’s  engine is only turning at about 2000 RPMs, a recipe for gas saving that suits its owners just fine.

The Hyundai Elantra has been described as ‘aerodynamically slick’ as far as its styling is concerned and, with a 148hp  engine and 6=speed automatic transmission it delivers an excellent 40 mpg on the highway. This car has also been described as ‘conventional done well’ with a comfortable ride and excellent handling. Put all of those together and what you have is an outstanding automobile that sips gas.

 At over 40 mpg on the highway the Honda Insight  is another top gas performer. One of the reasons is the 13hp electric motor that’s sandwiched between a 1.3-liter gas engine and the CVT. The Insight doesn’t do as well as the Toyota Prius  for the simple reason that the Insight  is not made for prolonged electric motor operation, switching on and off when the air-conditioning is running for example.  Still, if this is your ride you’re a happy camper at the gas pumps.

Audi is on our list with their Audi A3 TDI. We will admit to a fondness for this car because it feels so much more luxurious than the rest. Of course the reason for that is that it also runs about $10,000 more than the others. So, while you’ll definitely save money when you fill it up you’re going to spend a bit more to put it in your garage. If that’s a good compromise that allows you to brag a bit at the water cooler then so be it.

The latest  Toyota Prius  has a larger 1.8 L engine that gives it a good bit more horsepower but still is believed to deliver 50 mpg! If giving us a bigger, stronger engine is the way to  decrease fuel consumption we’re very excited! Even if it falls a little bit short of that number we’ll still be fine with driving the epitome of hybrid cars around town or around the country and, with mpg this fantastic, it will be a pleasure to make the occasional stop for gas.

And there you have them. These are the cars to drive if you’re keen on winning each and every argument about gas consumption. Of course, if you’re like us and aren’t big on confrontations, you can just take comfort in the fact that you’re not spending your child’s inheritance on gasoline.  See you back here soon.

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