Gas Mileage

  • 2017 Hyundai Elantra IIHS crash test

    It was one of several common tropes used 10 years ago against proposed regulations to boost average fuel economy. "More efficient cars will have to be lighter-weight, and they'll be unsafe because in accidents, they'll crumple up like Kleenex." Logical conclusion: if you require higher fuel economy in cars, more people will die in crashes. DON'T MISS: BMW i3, Tesla Model S electric cars miss top IIHS safety ratings Now a new study purports to show that's not true, using data to prove it. Unfortunately, the analysis is flawed. It was never going to be true, frankly: crash safety is now so...

  • 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016
    What's the lowest acceptable gas mileage for a compact SUV? Poll results

    We've driven a lot of compact crossover utility vehicles in recent months. It's a hot category in the new-car market, with all light trucks getting better fuel economy than in past years—and gasoline prices continuing below $3 per gallon in most of the U.S. So we wondered what readers felt...

  • Gas pump
    Extra fuel used if 2022-2025 CAFE rules delayed would be low: here's the math

    Barbie never said "Math is hard!" The talking doll did, notoriously, say "Math class is tough!" in 1989, sparking a media firestorm over gender roles in childrens' toys and then a voluntary recall by Mattel for offended parents. Reworded, however, the point remains accurate: many people don't...

  • 2017 Kia Niro Touring, Catskill Mountains, NY, March 2017
    Six things to know about new hybrid cars (if you haven't paid much attention lately)

    For the past few years, plug-in electric cars have gotten more publicity than their small share of the market deserved. That's exactly what had happened to hybrids a decade earlier—and hybrids still outsell cars with plugs, even if they're no longer getting outsize publicity. We've been...

  • Chrome exhaust pipe
    Automakers seek deal to delay EPA's 2022-2025 emission rules

    Despite some alarmist reporting, President Donald Trump hasn't abolished the EPA's vehicle emission limits. Nor has he wiped out corporate average fuel-economy rules, set by the NHTSA. So far, he's done two things: signed an executive order reopening the comment period for 2022-2025 EPA emission...

  • 2017 Toyota Prius
    Toyota Prius One: stripped-down hybrid added at lower price

    It hasn't been the greatest of years for the Toyota Prius hybrid, the Japanese carmaker's flagship product. The fourth generation hybrid hatchback debuted as a 2016 model into the teeth of continued low gasoline prices, and its radical design language apparently turned off at least some potential...

  • 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 2017

    The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid is one of a pair of hybrid mid-size sedans from the Korean maker Hyundai-Kia. It shares its underpinnings, though not a single body panel or styling flourish, with the higher-volume Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. We found it to be a comfortable, stylish sedan that gave us good fuel economy—almost as good as the car's EPA rating. DON'T MISS: 2017 Kia Optima Hybrids: Details On 27-Mile Plug-In Hybrid, Live Photos, Video (Feb 2016) The hybrid version of the Kia Optima sedan is EPA-rated at 39 mpg city, 46 highway, and a combined 42 mpg. Over 340 miles, comprising our...

  • 2017 Toyota Prius
    How to curb climate change yourself: drive a more efficient car

    Given the current political landscape in Washington, it's not unreasonable to worry about the future of U.S. efforts to combat climate change. The Trump Administration has embarked on an explicit mission to undo all Obama Administration efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Climate-science deniers in...

  • Gas pump
    Costs to meet fuel-economy standards even lower than EPA says: analysis

    The auto industry tends to oppose, viscerally and viciously, all attempts to regulate any aspect of its products or business operations for any reason. With President Trump in the White House, the industry has succeeded in getting the comment period reopened for the EPA emission standards finalized...

  • PSA's Carlos Tavares and General Motors' Mary T. Barra
    Europe's emission limits, small cars far from global mainstream: is this why GM sold Opel?

    At the 2017 Geneva auto show, General Motors announced the sale of its entire European operations—comprising factories and the Opel and Vauxhall brands—to PSA Peugeot Citroën. German Opel and its British Vauxhall sibling have represented GM's main presence in Europe for decades...

  • Production line at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Michigan
    Ignore politicians: lower fuel-economy rules don't create jobs, analyst says

    A common refrain among critics of current and future fuel-economy standards is that the need to comply with them produces job cuts in the auto industry. It's a theme picked up by President Donald Trump during a much-publicized visit to Detroit last week. In the hometown of the Big Three U.S...

  • 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
    2017 hybrid mid-size sedans: all the entries, plus what's due for 2018

    The mid-size sedan was once the default for a majority of U.S. car buyers. While the segment's position has been eroded by the rise of crossover utility vehicles of many sizes, these sedans still remain quite popular. Given the number of options available among hybrid mid-size sedans, that should...

  • 2017 Kia Niro Touring, Catskill Mountains, NY, March 2017

    However you choose to view the 2017 Kia Niro hybrid—Kia says it's a crossover utility, we call it a wagon—it's a good-looking and relatively capacious small car. The debate over segments comes because the Niro has neither the ground clearance of a utility vehicle nor available all-wheel drive, making it more of a wagon or "square hatchback" to us. After our first drive last December, we've now been able to spend several days and 545 miles in a Niro to get a sense of what it's like to live with. DON'T MISS: 2017 Kia Niro - full review Unusually for the Northeast, temperatures...

  • President Donald Trump (Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
    What Trump did and didn't say in Detroit on EPA emission rules

    One of the challenges of today's uber-polarized political environment is that fear and alarmism increasingly overtake the factual realities of an issue. This appears to be the case with President Donald Trump's Wednesday appearance in Detroit to announce the reopening of the comment period for EPA...

  • 2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription
    Small turbo engines get good MPG ratings; real-world use may be a different story

    Automakers may gradually be putting more emphasis on plug-in electric cars and conventional hybrids, but they are far from done with plain old internal combustion. Over the past few years, automakers have applied more technology to a wider array of cars in order to boost their efficiency to meet...

  • 2017 Ford Focus
    Bargains surge on small, fuel-efficient sedans, hatchbacks

    Automakers are expected to offer greater incentives on sedans and hatchbacks as sales of these models continue to slow. Overall new-car sales fell 1.1 percent in February compared to the same month a year ago, according to Autodata Corp. But sales of passenger cars were hit particularly hard as...

  • Gas pump
    Automakers say fuel-economy rules hurt buyers; Consumers Union rebuts the claim

    Automaker lobbyists continue to push back against the stricter fuel-economy and emissions standards scheduled to take effect in the U.S. over the next decade. Many of their arguments center on costs—not only to the carmakers themselves, but also to car buyers. Regulators and automakers...

  • 1991 BMW M5
    Overall U.S. vehicle fleet gas mileage rose only slightly over last 25 years

    The average fuel economy of the new cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. is appreciably higher than it was 10 years ago. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has demonstrated that in its regular reports calculating new-car average fuel economy since October 2007. But...

  • Honda WR-V (Indian-market version)

    Crossovers are so popular right now that several automakers are even trying to pass off conventional hatchbacks as high-riding utility vehicles. The latest example of this trend is the Honda WR-V, a new pseudo-crossover for the Indian market. Despite the extra plastic body cladding and slightly-different front and rear fascias, the WR-V looks very similar to the Honda Jazz subcompact hatchback it's based on. DON'T MISS: 2017 Chevy Spark Activ: fake crossover jacks up minicar into SUV wannabe (Nov 2016) The Jazz is sold in the U.S. as the Honda Fit and lends its platform to the HR-V crossover...

  • The White House, Washington, D.C.  [Creative Commons license by dcjohn]
    Auto industry split over halting, changing fuel-economy rules

    Just days after the presidential election, automaker lobbyists urged Donald Trump to loosen pending emissions and fuel-economy standards. Shortly after the election, a lobbying group wrote Trump asking him to change or delay an EPA decision that kept planned emissions standards for 2022 to 2025 in...

  • 2017 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD, Kingston, NY, Feb 2017
    2017 Ford Escape AWD 1.5-liter gas mileage review

    Smaller engines with turbochargers have spread throughout new vehicles as a way to meet the increasingly stringent fuel-efficiency rules that started in 2012. But no maker has been as forward about marketing that technology as Ford, which now offers a range of downsized and boosted engines under...

  • Elio E1A test vehicle, June 2016
    Production for Elio 3-wheeler slides to 2018; is time running out?

    Elio Motors continues to drag its feet regarding the start of production for its three-wheeled, two-seat, "84-mpg" vehicle, but it may now be running out of time. The company previously said it had received 55,000 reservations for the car, representing potential sales of $300 million. Last year, it...

  • 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid
    Why aren't there more hybrid crossover utilities and SUVs?

    It's one of the most frequent questions asked by shoppers interested in utility vehicles with better gas mileage: why aren't there more hybrid SUVs and crossovers? Following the 2012 demise of the much-loved Ford Escape Hybrid, it took four years for the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to emerge. This...

  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
    VW suggests engine downsizing is done; emissions rules are the reason

    When it comes to improving fuel efficiency, simply making an engine smaller is a fairly direct way to get results. It's the approach that many automakers have taken in recent years. They have downsized engines across model lines, usually adding turbochargers at the same time to match the power...

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