In the rush to purchase fuel-efficient hybrid cars, consumers can overlook some of the smaller, lightweight gas cars that can deliver exceptional fuel economy. While hybrids certainly lead the way in efficiency, the premium price consumers must pay for these vehicles can be a real turn off.
The most fuel efficient gasoline powered car is the Smart Fortwo, a tiny two seater produced by Germany’s Daimler AG. The car has been sold for several years in Canada, but only recently became available in the US. Powered by a 61 cubic foot three cylinder engine, the Smart Fortwo is by far the smallest car on the road, at least a foot shorter than the MINI Cooper.
The advantage of the Fortwo is in its highway fuel economy, where the car achieves 41 mpg according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That number puts the Fortwo fifth on the list of fuel efficient models, behind several hybrid and diesel models, but at the top of the gasoline powered car heap.
“The smart fortwo demonstrates there are options, other than hybrids, when seeking excellent fuel economy at a time when fuel prices have been at a historic high,” said Dave Schembri, president of smart USA. “This vehicle has a low cost of ownership starting under $12,000 and is one of the most ecological vehicles on the road today, not only for its environmental friendliness, but also for its compact size in an age of increasing urban congestion.”
The diminutive Fortwo has also been certified as an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its exceedingly low exhaust emissions. It is also certified by EPA as a “Smartway” vehicle, which indicates good environmental performance, placing it among the “greenest” vehicles available on the market.
The component materials and the manufacturing processes used to produce it clearly demonstrates the ecology of the Smart Fortwo. For example, 95% of the vehicle is recyclable, and the dash material is made from recycled synthetics. Moreover, the “smartville” factory in France, where the vehicle is manufactured, is considered to be one of the most modern and environmentally friendly plants on the globe.
Besides the Smart Fortwo, there are several other gasoline powered cars that are larger, but get very good gas mileage, particularly on the highway. The Chevrolet Cobalt XFE commands 37 mpg as does the MINI Cooper, while the Toyota Yaris returns 36 mpg. Among hybrids, the Toyota Prius returns 45 mpg on the highway, but 48 mpg around town. The most fuel efficient diesel is the Volkswagen Jetta which gets 41 mpg on the highway.
The biggest advantage of the Smart Fortwo besides its fuel efficiency is its price. With an MSRP of $11,590, the Fortwo offers class leading fuel economy along with a class leading price advantage.
(Source: Smart USA)