How to Select a Fuel Efficient Car

While choosing a new vehicle, most buyers pay as much attention to its fuel economy as its style, body, color and other attributes. The fuel efficiency of a car is an important feature that dictates the amount of money spent on the purchase of gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made it important for auto makers to post accurate mpg ratings on all light trucks and passenger cars sold in the country. While these ratings make it easier for buyers to discern which vehicles are better placed in their fuel efficiency, they fail to give the complete picture and necessitate a deeper insight.

Read on for a quick look at the best ways of choosing the most fuel-efficient car for your specific driving style and immediate needs.

Size of Vehicle


About a decade ago, there was an unwritten convention that stated that cars with big engines offered greater torque and horsepower, but at the expense of fuel efficiency. Smaller sized engines were considered to be more efficient but lacked in power and provided less-than-exciting experiences to their drivers. In the same way, performance cars and big cars/ trucks were deemed as gas guzzlers while the smaller sized vehicles were labeled as being economical.

However, these beliefs hold less ground in today’s world, where modern engine controls and sophisticated electronics have managed to change things to quite an extent. Contemporary cars with small engines are very powerful while large engines are proving to be equally fuel efficient. Today, fun-to-drive sports cars are as fuel efficient as purpose-built economy cars. While choosing a new car, you should go in for one that is appropriately sized for your cargo and passenger needs.

In most cases, the larger sized cars tend to consume more fuel as they carry additional weight because of their increased passenger/cargo capacity and size. As these vehicles have increased aerodynamic drag and move less efficiently through air, they rank low on their fuel efficiency quotient. So, if you are looking towards a vehicle with a five plus -passenger seating capacity, you may find it more feasible to invest in a seven passenger minivan which is highly fuel efficient, rather than a sports utility vehicle.

On the other hand, if you require a full-sized SUV, then a hybrid like a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid or GMC Yukon Hybrid can serve your purpose to the hilt. In addition, while pickup trucks offer the best towing utility and ability, the new car-based crossover trucks, like those of Honda Ridgeline, prove to be more fuel economic and sufficient for your needs.

Engine Size


Unless you are planning to use your vehicle for regular towing jobs, you do not require the largest engine on the rack. Car manufacturers are now offering 4 or 6 cylinder alternatives for their conventional 6 and 8 cylinder flagship power plants. As these cars contain the features of turbo charging, smaller-displacement engines and direct injection, they end up delivering a lot more power than their bigger-sized predecessors. For example, BMW's new turbo charged 6 cylinders and 3 liters model is more powerful than its last-generation V-8 (4.4-liter). It delivers a more attractive fuel economy rate too

Engine Type


In the current automobile scenario, manufacturers are offering cars that can be operated with diesel, natural gas, gasoline as well as hybrid power plants. For instance, hybrid vehicles are known to combine a displacement gasoline engine that has an electric assisted motor and an extremely fuel efficient configuration.

Hybrid vehicles like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Prius offer excellent highway and city fuel economy. You may like to consider diesel run cars as they prove to be excellent alternatives for larger vehicles (like BMW X535D, Mercedes-Benz GL 350 Blue TEC, and Volkswagen Touareg Diesel) or those specially designed for highway commuting (like Jetta TDI, Volkswagen and AudiA3 TDI). The typical diesel engine has plenty of power and delivers impressive economy.

On the contrary, cars that run on natural gas (like Civic GX) offer little emissions, but prove to be potentially low on fuel economy. Last but not the least, the cars with computer-controlled non-manual transmissions are outperforming their traditional cousins and ranking high on fuel efficiency as well--choose accordingly.

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